Final Disclaimer of Volume One: Harry Potter and assorted cast belongs to J.K. Rowling. A few other characters mentioned or referrenced belong to Rorschach's Blot, who's wonderful story Make a Wish was one of three of the inspirations that led to this series. Special thanks for all the reviews, and to my wonderful Betas CassieP and KDtheRavenclaw. Volume two is currently in progress, (The first chapter is already in Beta). Hope everyone enjoy's the ride. Fudi
Chapter 11: Old Park Bench
Harry stared at himself. Literally, well almost literally technically he stared at Dobby who was polyjuiced to look like him. He quickly cast a privacy ward on the fake wand and around his room.
"Oh Harry Potter has returned to his room. Winky is so glad!"
Dobby waited a second and then he shifted back to himself. "Oh the great and wonderful Harry Potter has returned!"
"I missed you too Dobby, Winky. How have things been?"
"Stupid fat muggles gone to the store. Won't be back till late."
Harry smiled. "That's great! Listen I only have to stay here for tomorrow after that I'm going to stay with the Weasleys."
"Harry Potter is going to be with his Wheezys! Dobby loves the Wheezys especially the youngest Wheezy she used to visit Dobby in the kitchens!"
"Hermione will be there as well."
Dobby seemed happy but Winky was a little nervous. "Miss Grangy won't try to free Winky will she?"
Harry dropped to one knee to face Winky. "Don't worry Winky she may be the closest thing I have to a sister, but I won't let her free you no matter how bad she may want to."
Winky cried tears of joy and gave him a surprisingly strong hug.
Harry smiled and relaxed he missed Hermione, Ginny and his godmother, but this wasn't so bad either.
Ginny smiled elegantly for the hundredth time as she curtseyed to the entering couple. "Welcome milord and lady to the Flamel's annual gala. May I take your coats?" She accepted the garments and as soon as their attention was elsewhere used a wandless spell to hang them up on a rack beside her.
Beside her Hermione was doing a much better job. "If milord will follow me I will take you to the ballroom."
As Hermione vanished for a moment Ginny felt her blood go cold and she felt the urge to kill someone, especially the person walking up to her now. Instead she once again put on her fake smile and curtseyed. "Why Headmaster, welcome to the Flamel's annual gala. May I take your coat?"
"Why certainly Miss Weasley. I must say I am surprised to see you here. What brings you to the Flamel residence?"
"My mother wished for me to learn some of the more gentle arts, and Madam Flamel was looking for some extra hands tonight, I would say all parties were happy except my own."
The Headmaster chuckled. Despite their division among the order; the Weasley's were an entertaining family. He made a mental note to try and patch things up with the family patriarch at a later time.
Not wanting to let Hermione have to deal with seeing him Ginny took it upon herself to escort him to the ballroom after hanging his coat up the proper way. It wouldn't do to let him of all people get suspicious of her.
Having seen him to the ballroom she ran back to the entrance to resume her duties. She saw Hermione waiting for her return. "Ginny where did you go?"
"The headmaster decided to join the party, I didn't want him to know you're here so I took him in. Go find grand-mère and warn her?"
Hermione flushed and nodded. Ginny sighed as she once again resumed greeting the guests, thinking that even if he was back with those awful muggles Harry was definitely having the better night between the two of them.
Harry was indeed having a better night, he had finally read the letter Griphook had given him and discovered that the goblins had decided to officially stay neutral, but unofficially were throwing their lot in behind himself. They also offered to teach him goblin magic and warding. Re-reading that part twice he quickly penned his response.
He remembered from his lessons that in addition to very powerful combat useful spells, goblins had turned warding with runes into an art form and was quite pleased they were willing to teach him. He was just signing his name when Hedwig appeared.
"Hedwig! Hullo girl I've missed you!" she landed on his shoulder and nipped his ear affectionately.
She took the letter and flew off into the night. With little else to do he slipped on his suppression bands/reading enhancers and began reading through the book on animagus transformations. A few hours later he closed the book and made a mental note to go over it with Ginny the next time he saw her. Part of the process involved a horribly complex potion that he felt he was too prone to make a mistake on. 'Perhaps Hermione too, can't tell Ron though; he's too close to the ministry to get involved in something like this, that idiot Fudge would torment him just to get to me and I can't subject Ron to that.'
Reminding himself that he could no longer count on the support of the ministry he penned two more letters to Gringotts. "Winky."
"Harry Potter is calling for his Winky?"
Harry cringed; he was going to have to keep this a big secret from Hermione or he'd never hear the end of it.
"Yes Winky, do you know if Gringotts is still open? If it is can you take these letters to them, but Winky, I can't let them know they're from me, can you disguise yourself?"
Winky hung her head low. "Winky can't change the signature of her magic source. It shows on all elves, only other house-elves and goblins know how to read the flow."
Harry thought about what she said and then grinned. "Winky if I change my magical signature does that mean it would show up different on you?"
"Yes Harry Potter sir, but wizards are not knowing how to change the colors that... Harry Potter sir is the most amazing powerful and kindest wizard in the world!" she said as he changed his magical signature and her connection changed from blue to green. She took the letters and then with a muffled crack vanished from the room.
"Oh the great and wonderful Harry Potter is calling for his Dobby, Dobby is so happy that great, kind benevolent, generous, honorable, life saving Harry Potter called for him."
Harry blinked, Dobby had always had a soft spot for him but this was far beyond the norm even for the odd house-elf. "Dobby what was that all about?"
The little house elf grinned at him, "Oh Dobby just practicing for when Dobby meets your Grangy. Dobby wants to put on a little show."
Harry started snickering, after a few seconds he was wiping the tears from his eyes and getting up from where he had half-collapsed on the bed in gales of laughter. "Dobby that's fantastic I never considered you to be a prankster!"
Dobby smiled back. "Dobby knows and keeps it this way, Dobby helped with professor toad last year."
"Now Dobby that's not fair, that's too mean to toads everywhere."
The two of them laughed again; the little house elf's laugh was high pitched and wheezy. "Dobby You know I can change my magical signature right?"
"Dobby saw his change earlier to what it is now. Harry Potter is a very powerful wizard to do this, only those with great power and knowledge can change their magical signature."
"But Dobby I'm not the only one, Ginny can change her signature too, so can Mr. Weasley."
"Dobby didn't know your Wheezy's were that powerful, but it is true Harry Potter sir. House-elves can see magical power, it helps un-bonded house elves find families of powerful magic to bond themselves to. Dobby and Winky are much stronger now than ever because of the great Harry Potter's magic, Harry Potter has the best aura Dobby has ever seen."
"Dobby, speaking of that why doesn't the color of the bond match the color of my magical signature?"
"The color of our bond to wizards shows the relationship between house-elf and master. Harry Potter's normal bond is blue because he feels house-elves are like family. It is best type to have. When Harry Potter changed magical signature to green it showed he feels house-elves are friends. If it went to red it would be master and servant, the color of Dobby's bond when Dobby worked for the malfoys was the worst color. Black. Black shows cruelty to the house-elf and that the master enjoyed abusing the house-elf."
"So when I changed my magical signature so that Winky couldn't be connected to me our bond went to green?"
Dobby's little head bobbed. "Yes because both Harry Potter and Winky were trying to hide who he was so the bond's color reflects that. Dobby and Winky will have a green bond to Harry Potter's friends who feel the same way about them. Dobby also thinks that the best bond Dobby and Winky share with Harry Potter's friends is smallest Wheezy."
Harry blinked, 'Is Dobby trying to set me up for a date or something?' Before he could ask the question out loud Winky returned with a crack. She handed him a letter and he quickly read the contents and smiled. "Do you have any of that potion left?"
Dobby nodded. "Winky made sure we kept Harry Potter's Harry Potter potion."
Harry chuckled at the expression and then smiled. "Good, tomorrow I need you to be me for a little while. In fact, don't tell the Dursley's we're leaving."
Tomorrow would be a most interesting day…
Morning came at last to the Flamel estate in Devon. Ginny had stayed up through the party and happily returned coats to the leaving guests, no one's exit made her more happy than her own headmaster. 'Well perhaps minister Fudge' she thought to herself as she looked over to the lump on the other bed that was her best friend. She sighed and made her way downstairs cursing McLain's existence and his drilling of early mornings, she used to be able to lie-in until noon. Now her body was ready to go at the all-too-early hours of bloody six in the morning.
She found Perenelle in the kitchen sitting in the chair and reading an issue if the quibbler. "Last day grand-mère?"
"Yes dear. Nicholas and I will return to the manor in France tonight after the party. Now remember what I taught you, after all your mother is under the impression that you spent the last two weeks learning the gentle arts. Not only that but those extra skills we covered can make a lovely cover, something especially important for a field surveillance special operative. Remember dear, as much as you've grasped the combat aspect of your training, it's your job to get the information about what's going on before the spells start flying."
Ginny nodded her head and Perenelle pulled her in for a motherly hug. "Do watch over my godson when I can't please. Keep him safe and as out of trouble as he'll ever be. And never drop your guard, he's more alert and sensitive to danger when he's tense, but he lowers his guard far too soon for my liking. You two will make a splendid pair. I'll try and send you some small assignments."
Ginny smiled and felt the love that Perenelle had for her godson. "I'll do what I can, grand-mère, but Merlin knows I get into far more trouble than he does."
She nodded back to her and the two made their way to breakfast before preparing for another more low key party to be held that night.
The few witches and wizards who were out that early in the morning gasped and quickly found something to do elsewhere. He had probably been handsome once, but the years had obviously taken their toll on this man. His hair a mixture of black and white, his dark green eyes dull and void of signs of life. He was horribly scarred and where his skin was visible there were multiple scars across it hinting that what wasn't visible was probably worse.
He entered Gringotts and made his way to one of the tellers.
"May I held you sir?"
"Yes, I'm here to talk to a Goblin about making some real estate purchases."
"Of course, I'll get one of our acquisition managers, please wait here."
A few minutes later the goblin teller returned and took him to an office where an elderly and very dignified looking goblin awaited his arrival. After the teller left the goblin rose to his feet. "Greeting and prosperous days to you, I am Choksmok how may we assist you today?"
The man bowed back politely, "I am Mr. Black and I'm here to make some purchases of properties and I do not have the time nor the temperament to shop for them myself. Here is a list of locations I wish to purchase property in."
The goblin took the paper and his eyes went wide between small towns and large cities there were 20 locations listed on the paper. "For give my asking this Mr. Black but may I ask how you intend to pay for your purchases?"
"Do you take money? I will pay either wizarding or muggle currency depending on where I'm working when you contact me that you have acquired one of the locations I wish."
"Well Mr. Black as it happens we've have one location in London and another in Hogsmeade currently available if you wish to purchase them."
"Condition of those properties?"
"Both are in fair condition and though they are fairly small they should suit your needs quite nicely."
He nodded and then pulled out a money satchel. "I require all paperwork and I do not wish to have anyone able to trace these purchases to me, nor do I wish anyone to locate these purchases. If that costs extra so be it."
"May I inquire on what you intend to do to these purchases Mr. Black? Do forgive the inquisitive nature of this question we just don't wish to give the ministry further ammunition to attack our business with."
"I understand, I plan on taking the properties making nice little vacation spots and then rent them out to tourists from other countries. I've performed this operation in two other countries and while I occasionally have to deal with someone trashing one of my properties it has been a very lucrative deal. The main reason for the secrecy is I have two competitors, one in France the other from the colonies, they have taken to tracing my purchases and then acquiring their own properties near mine to try to rival my own operation."
"Well then all seems in order, your total for both properties comes to three thousand galleons."
The man with drew a large money sack and began counting the process of counting out. He hadn't gone too long when Choksmok offered him a scale. "This will make it easier Mr. Black it's set at 100 galleon increments just put them on until the scale is even."
A couple minutes later they shook hands and Mr. Black left with all records of the properties he had just purchased and Choksmok had begun his task of locating the properties his new client wished to purchase.
Mr. Black apparated to Hogsmeade and made his way to the first of his new properties. Using the key the goblins had provided he entered the building and looked around. It wasn't in bad shape there was a small kitchen, a tiny sitting room with fireplace, two bedrooms and a bathroom it wasn't much of a house but with magic it didn't have to be.
His first order of business was to get the wards up, he pulled out a wand and began.
An hour later he finished with the last ward on the property and the fireplace. The property was now unplottable, had anti-apparation, anti port-key in wards, and key-in wards on the fireplace. There were notice-me-not and repellant charms over the property and he had put it under an ancient version of the Fidelius with himself as the secret keeper, something that couldn't be done with the modern-day version of the spell.
Satisfied that the safe house now actually was, he deactivated his chameleon pendant, and Mr. Black shrunk a couple inches into Harry Potter, complete with vivid green eyes and messy black hair.
He began adding some luxuries to the safe house, including a powerful runic expansion ward that doubled the size of all the rooms. He made a note to get some furniture for the place, reactivated his Mr. Black disguise and then left for London where he repeated the process.
As he had finished his major tasks for the day Harry apparated back to his room and with little else to do for the time being set about reading the other two books that his godmother had given to him. He especially enjoyed the book his mother had written during her Hogwarts days.
"Does Harry Potter need anything?"
"No Winky I'm fine just waiting."
"Waiting for what?"
Before he could respond there was a knock on the door downstairs followed immediately by a "BOY, GET DOWN HERE!"
He smiled to Winky and Dobby who were looking annoyed at his Uncle's yelling. "Waiting for my transportation to arrive." he said and then ran down the stairs.
"Hello Professor, I take it my parole has just arrived?"
Remus smiled at Harry. "Indeed, two weeks of endless floo calls and howlers finally convinced the headmaster that you would be safe enough in another location."
"I wonder if Dumbledore just gave in to Mrs. Weasley or actually thinks I'll be safe there?" Harry mused to himself out loud following Remus to Mrs. Figg's.
Remus frowned for a second before shaking his head, at one point he would have berated Harry for his attitude regarding his headmaster, but after recent events he couldn't help but agree with him. "You realize your friend Ron is going to be busy don't you?"
Harry nodded and hid a grin. "A little bird may have mentioned something about Professor Moody but my lips are sealed."
Remus grinned and then frowned and looked over to the younger man. They had arrived at Mrs. Figg's and were now standing in front of the fireplace. "Are you okay with this? Ron's getting special training from a former auror, while you'll be at the Burrow with Hermione and Ginny."
Harry grinned at the elder werewolf. "Why Moony! Surely the last marauder would agree with me there are worse fates in the world than to be stuck in a house with two pretty girls?"
Remus barked a laugh and then looked thoughtful. "That's the kind of thing Sirius would have said."
"The flea bag had a lot of wisdom for someone who thought himself a dashing rouge."
Remus gave Harry a piercing glare. "I don't know what happened when you vanished from the ministry but it was apparently good for you."
Harry nodded back to him. "And Tonks has been very good for you as well."
Before Remus could respond Harry grabbed the floo powder and with a shouted "The Burrow" was gone. Remus shook his head and then apparated to the Weasley's ancestral home.
Harry tumbled out of the fireplace and managed to once again crash land. "Thank you to whoever the kind hearted person who put the cushioning charm here was."
"It's no problem…"
"Even though I must admit…"
"It was at the insistence of our little sister…"
"Though insistence might be the wrong word to use here…"
"Too right, she did after all nick Mum's wand…"
"And threaten to hex us until we begged for her bat-bogey hex…"
"And that's enough out of both of you, I still have Mum's wand after all."
"And why do you have that young lady?"
"Urk! Well Mum, I was…"
"She was just making sure there was a cushioning charm for me Mrs. Weasley."
"Oh Harry Dear!" She wrapped him in a bone crushing hug ending the chaos the twin's had started upon his arrival and reminding him that here, he was family. At long last she released him from the hug and then held him at arms length. "You look much better than normal dear, have those awful muggles been feeding you better?"
"Well not exactly, but I was able to eat for most of the summer, until the headmaster forced me to go back to the Dursleys."
"Yes, I can't understand why on earth Albus would do such a thing, surely he understands what kind of people those muggles are by now."
Harry shrugged and Ginny latched onto his arm. "Let's go, Hermione will want to see how you're doing."
He let himself be pulled from the room and dragged up to Ginny's room where Hermione was deeply engrossed in the book she was reading. As unobtrusively as possible Harry began probing Hermione's mind with the legilimency Perenelle had made him learn. She looked up instantly her hand reaching for her wand. She relaxed when she saw who it was and then frowned at him. "That was very rude Mr. Potter."
"My apologies Miss Granger, I was just checking your work, a perfect job as always I might add."
"And what about you Mr. Potter, how good are your shields?"
"Why don't you take a glance for yourself Miss Granger." He said and opened himself to her, at least that's what it appeared like he was doing. In actuality in addition to his formidable created defenses he used some of the lessons from his muggle training. His first barrier that was always active was similar to spider silk and served only as a tripwire. When it was sprung walls sprung up until his mind was an airtight fortress with titanium walls and firing ports.
"That's very impressive Mr. Potter, are you just doing this to impress little old me?"
Harry grinned back at her both enjoying the light banter until Ginny cleared her throat at the doorway. "If you two are done flirting around." She said with a light grin, "then we have some important issues to discuss."
"Get the twins?" asked Harry getting down to business.
Ginny nodded and left the room.
"All kidding aside it's very good to see you again little brother."
"Little? Aren't we in the same year?"
"Not my fault my birthday is after the year starts at Hogwarts, and yes little brother. As the elder sister it's my job to try and keep you out of trouble."
"Actually that's my job now, assigned to me by his godmother though we both agreed I'm more prone to getting into trouble than Harry is." Said Ginny returning with the twins.
The group rearranged themselves, finding comfortable sitting places. Harry nodded to Fred who, along with George began to put up privacy wards that made paranoid Mad-eye Moody look like an amateur. Even Hermione was impressed and let that be known causing the twins to blush.
"Well, with the things we get up to…"
"We had to make sure certain parties wouldn't be privy to our information…"
"Especially Mum, she'd go spare if she knew about some of our earlier planes…"
"But enough about that twin of mine…"
"I believe we're here for a reason?" they asked looking at Harry, Ginny and Hermione.
"Hermione, Ginny and I already know, do you want to tell the twins?"
She nodded and explained to them what had happened with the headmaster making both of them go pale. Though they had been recruited, they hadn't been cleared on Ginny, Harry or their father's operations.
"So the reason why we're here is to go over some supplementary equipment. I've got one of these for everyone. He passed out the tiny little charms, there were two earrings, four ankle bracelets, four rings and four tie clips. "Each one of these will prevent mental intrusions from legilimancy and protect the wearer from minor mental attacks."
"Why so many of them?" asked Fred looking at the pile set aside. The girls each had an earring, ankle bracelet, ring and tie-clip. He and George had the same minus the earrings.
"Because I want you to be able to vary what you're wearing to throw off certain parties. I know for sure that Snape uses legilimency on students. If he thinks that the ring is what's protecting you he'll try and force you to take it off making you vulnerable. And while I know that some of us have learned occlumancy these take no work or concentration to maintain. I chose ankle bracelets because I doubt any one is going to check your foot when they're trying to get into your head."
"Okay Potter, now that you've made sure we aren't security risks, spill it."
Harry nodded and then pulled out a bunch of bracelets, "I will need a drop of everyone's blood."
Around the room the responses were varied, The twins gave him a confused look. Hermione looked at him her eyes somewhat wide and her mouth opening in protest. Before she could speak Ginny pulled a knife out of somewhere and cut into her hand. Harry quickly moved to Ginny, put a drop of blood on a bracelet and then put a bandage on her hand. She then took her hand to Fred who vanished the bandage and used a healing charm to quickly seal the cut.
Both of the older Weasley brothers looked at their sister with newfound respect while Hermione frowned. "Bloody Hell baby sister!"
"Where'd you get the knife Gin?"
She gave him a teasing smile and shook her head. "Not telling Potter, a girl has to have some secrets after all."
Hermione looked back and forth between the two, and then spoke up. "What on earth happened to you Harry? You didn't say much when we met you at the Alley, but it's obvious whatever it was, was very good for you!"
Harry smiled at Hermione and offered her a bracelet. She took a deep breath and then took the knife from Ginny, delicately she pricked her finger and let a single drop of blood fall on it. She then held her finger out to Fred who did the healing charm again. She fixed Harry with a stare as Fred and George both took their own turns.
"Those bracelets are untraceable emergency port-keys that will take you to a safe house that was set-up earlier. They are now keyed in to your blood so that only you can use them. To activate them grab them and say sanctuary, you'll be taken to a safe place, if you need to take someone with you say emergency sanctuary and make sure they're holding on to it." He paused to take a breath and then looked at three surprised and one calculating faces. "Any questions?"
"Where does it go?" was echoed by both twins, while Hermione was asking about the spells on the bracelets.
"It will take you to a safehouse in London, one that is free from both the Ministry and Dumbledore's influence. It's a portkey spell, but the bracelets are made from a special magical reactive metal. A person who I know I can trust helped me with them."
"When did you two start working for the department of mysteries?"
"Don't lie Harry, you were rescued out of the ministry by an un-named party, managed to out-smart both the order and the ministry, though I will admit outsmarting the ministry doesn't seem to be that difficult with Fudge in charge. You then showed up in a spectacular manner at your trial produced a key witness who couldn't remember how he arrived there, in addition to getting Professor Moody the most paranoid person I know, to help you at your trial, prove your innocence and then vanish again. You reappear at the alley and seem to be having a secret conversation with no words to Ginny, and then you manage to get us some privacy by tricking Ron, that I'll also admit isn't that hard."
"Ouch poor Ronniekins" said Fred as Hermione glared at him and then continued.
"You showed open hostility toward the headmaster which I agree isn't exactly unfounded, and then managed to help me break through something that was thought unbreakable, and then you found me help, by Perenelle Flamel no-less. Then I find she's familiar with both you and Ginny, and then you come to the burrow after two weeks that the entire order thinks you spent at the Dursley's with occlumancy preventing jewelry, portkeys that need blood to work and take us to a secret safe place in London. Did I miss anything?"
"I don't think so Hermione, but I can tell you with complete and utter certainty that there is no one named Harry Potter working for the Department of Mysteries."
"And I can say the same about Ginny or Ginevra" she added with a distasteful look, "Weasley, or if there is she's obviously my evil twin."
Hermione narrowed her eyes at both of them and gave them both a glare that would have done McGonagall proud. "So what fake names are the two of you using?"
The Harry Potter at the beginning of the summer would have stuttered, shook, stammered or otherwise let slip that she had guessed right. The new Harry Potter had the benefit of a great deal of training, and association with the sneakiest of all the Weasley's. As such he didn't blink, bob, balk or bat an eye. Instead he simply said, "You've been reading too many muggle spy novels Hermione."
Instead of responding she held up her right hand that was now adorned with both a ring and a bracelet. Issuing him a challenging glare she finally spoke, "Come on Potter, James Bond doesn't have equipment this good."
"Stupefy!" Ginny nailed the bushy haired girl with a quick stunner tucking her wand back into it's holster as the twins gawked.
Harry nodded a quick thanks to Ginny before speaking. "Ok, before I enervate Hermione we need to agree on something here. As of now we are independent contractors for the International Bureau of Unspeakables. We have no affiliation with the Ministry of Magic, or the Department of Mysteries. Do we bring her in?"
"I say we bring her in, she's got a brilliant mind and to be honest we could use another person, she's already half-briefed anyway, it's just a matter of bringing her the rest of the way in. Grand-mère likes her too."
Harry nodded and looked at the twins.
"Hey you'll get…"
"No argument from us…"
"We know she's brilliant…"
"And she already distrusts Dumbledore…"
"So we think she's ready." They chimed in together.
He nodded back to Ginny who quickly reawakened Hermione who was now glaring openly at them.
"What was that for!?" she demanded angrily.
"Sorry Hermione you had to be cleared for part of this conversation before we could talk to you about it. Let's see," He paused to try and find an easy way to say this, finding none he forged ahead. "No we aren't employed by the department of mysteries, yes we have cover names. As of about a week ago we are independent agents for the International Bureau of Unspeakables, of which the Department of Mysteries is a cover for the British department. By telling you this I am placing you under a provincial contract and I will need your oath of secrecy. You must either comply or I will have to wipe your memory, and it'll be dangerous for you, we know you can throw off a memory charm."
Hermione recoiled for a moment but then her intellect dissected his words and she readily gave her oath. With that out of the way she asked what was going on.
Harry nodded to Ginny while he pulled out a piece of parchment and began writing on it. Ginny began the explanation.
"Right now we have three threats to deal with. First and foremost on the list is Tom Riddle, better known as Voldemort."
"Bloody hell Gin-gin!"
"You can say his name!"
"Shut it you two, let me finish." She snapped at the twins pulling out her special operations wand and gesturing it at them for emphasis. They visibly paled and did as they were instructed.
"Second on the list is the ever incompetent Ministry, though thankfully at the moment they aren't a big threat. More-so is Professor Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore; champion of the light and leader of the Order of the Phoenix. Normally due to his standing he wouldn't be considered a true threat. However we have reason to believe that, in addition to being unwilling to deal with death eaters in a permanent basis, he's also willing to sacrifice people on the light side to redeem those on the dark."
Hermione stared at her in horror and then looked at Harry. "He wants to use you to redeem Voldemort?"
"We think so. At least that's the only explanation for me not getting special training. So any questions?"
"More than you'd be willing to answer." She said earning her a smile. "But I've got a few to start with. Why not Ron? Why the twins and I? How does Ginny fit into all this? And what about Madame Flamel?"
Harry handed a note to Fred who read it, nodded and grabbed George. A moment later the twins apparated out of the room leaving Hermione, Ginny and Harry.
"There are a couple reason's why we're not including my youngest older brother." She began ticking a list off on her fingers. "Don't get me wrong, I love my brother but, He'd walk around like the cat who had the canary. He doesn't have the mental prowess to master the occlumancy needed. He's too emotional to trust the secret too, imagine him getting in one of his snits and snapping something with the wrong people around. He's also in an advanced Auror prep program so we think the ministry is going to use him to monitor Harry, even if he isn't actively involved in the operation and yes." She held up her hand to stop Hermione's protest. "I know he'd never willingly betray Harry, what I also know is that Minister Fudge isn't above using illegal methods to keep tabs on people he sees as a threat and after the trial I think Harry is the biggest threat in his eyes."
Harry chimed in at this point gently squeezing Hermione's shoulder. "I'm not happy about leaving him out of this but this is for his protection as well as ours. Ron now has responsibilities and duty to the Ministry as part of his training program. What we are doing is protecting him. If we were to tell him what was going on he'd be at odds with his oaths to the ministry and some of those have some nasty effects. Especially with Mad-Eye as his instructor. I'm not going to cut him out or anything, but there will be times when we have to do things without him so be prepared, as he'll most likely end up a bit put-out with us."
"I think it'll be easier to explain how I fit into this before we get to the second question. After my horrible first year dad brought me to some specialist who work for the Department of Mysteries to help me. They then recruited me to keep tabs on parties at Hogwarts, mainly the Headmaster but a few students as well, they especially wanted me to keep an eye on those with potential. They've been wanting to approach Harry since his second year, but until this past year he was too close to Dumbledore for them to do so. Once they did we ran into each other and ended up as partners. I'm a field surveillance operative, Harry is tactical. The twins were just recruited as development and we would like you to be our research specialist."
Hermione blinked. "This is an awful lot to take in. Let me get this straight. You've been an Unspeakable since our second year at Hogwarts?"
"You're recruited as a field surveillance agent, that's what like spy?"
"Something like that, I try to get advanced information for the tactical team going in before they get into place, I also specialize in wards, putting them up and tearing them down, though I have to admit Harry's become much better at that than I am. I've also had tactical training, but I'm not good enough to qualify as a full tactical operative."
Harry had to put his piece in as well. "She's also extremely perceptive, she catches on to things much faster than I do. When we're working together she often sees little clues I miss." They grinned at each other then Hermione.
"Right, and you," she pointed to Harry, "Are Tactical ops?"
"Was, I told you as of last week all records and memories of Ginny, or myself working in the department were removed or destroyed. It's to protect us. Fudge, Dumbledore even Voldemort may have access to people in the department; this protects our identities. Which reminds me, we should each have a few sets of fake identities set up. I've got a couple now."
"Harry what about tactical ops!" snapped Hermione aggravated at his changing of the subject.
"I go in and follow operational guidelines on how to deal with objective targets."
"Meaning if they tell me to bring them in alive I do so. If they tell me to terminate them…"
"They haven't yet…" chimed in Ginny helpfully.
"Yes thankfully, I'm not sure what I'd do if they did."
"They won't now that you're independent be thankful."
"And you two are partners?" Hermione asked breaking back into the conversation. "Though it shouldn't surprise me you two have gotten awfully close."
"Yes well we spent a lot of time sneaking around training together. We can fight very effectively as a unit now and…"
"We could do the same weird talk thing…"
"That the twins do, though in our case…"
"It's a bit more conscious effort…"
"While for them it's natural…"
"But we still can get by don't you think Hermione?" they asked together.
Hermione stared at both of them her mouth wide open and Ginny gave Harry a smirk and gave his shoulder a playful punch. "Oh way to go Potter you broke Hermione. Now who are we going to get to do our research?"
"How did you two do that?" asked Hermione a second later as her voice found her again.
Ginny smiled at her and then told her about their teamwork training. "Our instructor had as for an hour every day, but he made us practice in our off times. We had to learn about each other and learn to look for little hints in each other."
"For example, before Ginny casts her favorite bat-bogey hex she grips her wand a bit tighter than normal and gives it a slight twist to the right."
"Or when Harry's about to quick draw his wand he likes to limber his fingers to make sure they're nice and loose."
"So you two spent a lot of time together?" she asked with a wag of her eyebrows causing both of them to blush. The pair hadn't told her that part of their training included doing everyday things for each other including brushing hair, teeth and definitely wouldn't mention the massage's they'd occasionally do for each other to help relax their muscles after a hard work out.
"Yes you might say that, it's part of the reason Ginny doesn't have to worry about putting her elbow in butter dishes anymore, we've become quite comfortable with each other's presence."
"Why I ought to…" she muttered and chucked a pillow at him. Naturally he read her move and dodged to the right, just in time to catch another pillow to the face. "You prefer to go right Potter, you need to work on that." She said with a triumphant smirk.
Harry picked himself up off the floor with as much dignity as he could maintain. "In point of fact we can recognize when we're near each other by our presence. I daresay you'll get to that point with us eventually. Now regarding the twins. They'll be working with the person who created this metal. He's a bit eccentric but very brilliant as is his assistant. They've also gone independent and they will be working with the twins. Their cover story is that they're taking care of the joke shop while Fred and George finish their last year at Hogwarts. The twins are brilliant, I mean look at the things they've developed for humorous and entertaining purposes. I daresay when we ask them for goods they'll deliver in spade."
"As to why you, Hermione, several reasons. The first is you're family; you're like a sister to both Harry and me, and you always look out for us. Secondly you are the smartest witch at Hogwarts and I'm including professors in this account, you do have a tendency to rely too much on what you read but we'll get you over that. Thirdly what you've done is remarkable and as such this will help protect you from some of the earlier threats we discussed."
Hermione blinked a tear away and then tackled the pair wrapping them in a massive hug that would have done Molly Weasley proud.
The week past by quickly and Hermione found herself in possession of a single special operations wand and instructions on when not to use it.
As they had to ride to platform nine and three quarters early the next morning Harry was busy packing his trunk. Ginny had come up to give him a hand and make sure he hadn't forgotten anything. Most of his possessions were in his unspeakable trunk, but they had to make sure he had enough stuff in his old trunk to not arouse suspicions.
He was busy stuffing spare packs of parchment and quills into the trunk when Ginny smirked and spoke up. "Harry are those blood runes on your trunk?"
He looked up in surprise, he hadn't been expecting anyone to notice the truth behind the decorations he had placed on the lid. "How did you know? I didn't think anyone would see them in the patterns on top."
Ginny smiled and motioned for him to follow her. When they got to her room she grabbed his arm and pulled him in, and then shut the door and opened the lid of her trunk. "I know because I keep the same set of runes in the same place on my trunk."
He smirked at her. "Great minds think alike after all, but let me key you into my wards first."
"Harry you don't have to…"
"If anything happens to me and we need certain items, I want someone to be able to get inside it."
She nodded at the logic and then smiled at him. "Well since you're already here, let me key you into mine for the same reasons."
She nodded, "Yeah it's more likely for her to get into the girls dorm than you."
"I daresay I wouldn't be opposed to trying at least once." She swatted him and then he nodded towards the trunk. "Though most of my important stuff is kept in my special trunk I'll leave my invisibility cloak and the map in this old one, Dumbledore would expect it, if he had a way to search the trunks. I'll key you in so you can get that, the map comes in awful handy."
"How are you carrying your special trunk?"
He held up a chain with it disguised as a pendant on the end, she smirked and brought out the exact same thing.
Ron showed up for the first time that night as he had come home from training. He gave Harry a back slapping hug and a quick "good to see you mate" and then vanished to his room to work on his lessons Moody had given him. Everyone gave Harry a nervous look as if wondering how he would take this new development but he merely smiled. "If working with an Auror was all we needed to get Ron to do homework we should have found someone ages ago."
Everyone chuckled and Ginny caught his eye and the two made there way outside for a walk around before night fell.
"Are you alright Harry? I know seeing Ron like that must have been a shock."
Harry shook his head. "He's grown up a lot. At least I think he has, I guess time will tell."
She nodded and she pushed against him as he wrapped an arm lightly around her shoulder. "So tell me Potter, why am I not breaking your arm right now?"
"Because I've got a great smile and a fit body?"
"True, but not right."
"Because I've got dreamy eyes and butter dish worthy hair?"
She elbowed him hard causing him to wince.
"Because we're best friends and partners who care about each other?"
"If it took you that long we might have to find someone for intelligence analysis as well."
"Hermione can handle that." He said only half joking as they made their way to a hill with a great view of the field they played Quidditch in. He sighed and got serious. "I'm worried about this year."
"I am too. Between Dumbledore and Tom we're going to have to be very careful."
"Did we do the right thing bringing Hermione in? I almost feel it's placing her in more danger."
"Hermione is smart and has enough mental prowess to throw off an obliviate. If we hadn't brought her in she'd put the facts together and probably come up with the right conclusion. At least this way she already knows and won't be giving anyone else hints on what's going on. If we hadn't brought her in she'd be in more danger. I am a bit worried about Ron."
He waved his hand and the two ended up sitting on an old park bench he had conjured. "I'm worried about Ron too, but I'm guessing for different reasons."
She nodded. "He's at the ministry a lot for his training now. Even at Hogwarts he was given a port-key for a weekly lesson. It's well known how close the two of you are and Fudge is too paranoid to not try something."
Harry thought about her words he hadn't considered what Ron would have to deal with and hung his head in shame. "I was more worried with his new training he might be able to figure out what was going on with us. Even with our great trade-craft we're only human."
Ginny smiled. "Don't feel guilty about it Harry. You've taken oaths of secrecy and even though they've been released you're still honorable enough to uphold them. That Ron is a threat to your nobility is something that has to be weighing on your mind."
He paused for a moment and then decided that he trusted her. He had already placed his life in her hands and she had proved herself worthy. "I'm worried about grand-mère. I'm not going to see her for a year Gin, what if something happens to them. She told me that Voldemort is trying to get someone into InterBUn and she's target number one if he manages it.
She gave him a moments pause and then squeezed his hand. He hadn't even realized she was holding it until then. "A summer's night the stars aglow, just for a moment Harry, relax. Perenelle doesn't want you to worry about her, she's safer in France now anyway. Tom's too busy with us to do too much on the continent."
He nodded and the two teens relaxed together. For a moment they weren't highly trained specialists. For a moment they weren't the boy who lived and the girl who was once possessed by Voldemort. For a moment they let fortune, fantasy and faith alone to themselves and were simply two people enjoying a sunset and a moonrise together.