Black, White and Red

By Barmy-old-Codger

NOTE TO ALL Oct 10/06

The first four chapters that were originally posted have been rewritten based on what I hope was good advice. I have been trying to get someone to correct my grammar and punctuation … dare I trust my spell chequer?

Disclaimer & Author's Notes

Disclaimer: Any characters you recognize from the first 6 books in the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling belong to the aforementioned J K Rowling. I am simply playing with them for my amusement, and to see what kind of reaction I can get.

A/N #1: When I had finished reading book 6 the second or third time, I had the idea that I wanted to create my own book 7. I knew how I wanted to start it off, and some of the events in between, but I didn't know how I (Harry) was going to defeat Voldemort. Now I do, thanks to two paragraphs in a newspaper entitled, "Who will die in book 7?" Readers say it's ... (Oops, I don't want to give away too much). The first paragraph was by Jack Barry and the second by Nicole Nagle.

Anyway, 3 days later, after returning from a trip, I started putting this down on paper (actually, in the computer). I started by making a list of possible chapter titles to give me the logical progression through the story. So far, I have 33 chapter titles that were supposed to get me from the end of book 6 to the return from Christmas break (year 7). My problem is that I have the better part of 15 chapters written and it's less than a couple of weeks since the end of sixth year. At some point the timeline will speed up

A/N #2: Yes, this really starts as they were walking back to the castle from the funeral with an hour left to catch the train to King's Cross. Skim through the last couple of chapters of HBP to refresh your memory, and then carry on here.

A/N: this starts not 10 seconds after HBP ends.

(1) Years End

The three friends slowly made their way to the Gryffindor common room in silence, and then shuffled off to their dormitories to change into their traveling robes. They met up in their common room about an hour later, trunks packed, pets caged and more or less ready to leave for the train.

After a few minutes, Hermione noticed that Ginny had come down, but was sitting on the other side of the common room.

"Harry, why is Ginny on the other side of the room? We could squeeze up and make room for her. Call her over."

"No," Harry said sadly. "It's better this way."

Hermione whispered in Harry's ear, "You didn't break up with her, did you? You were sitting together at the funeral ... then you left separately ... Oh Harry, I'm sorry."

Harry whispered back, "There's no fault Hermione. It's just the way it has to be. But she's going to have a fit when she finds out you and Ron will be going with me to hunt for the horcruxes, because I told Ginny that I was going alone."

Soon all the remaining students had returned to the common room. They were waiting for a teacher to tell them to head for the waiting carriages. Professor McGonagall entered through the portrait hole and announced that the carriages would be at the front door soon. Their trunks and pets would meet them at Hogsmead station where the Hogwarts Express would be waiting.

"Harry Potter," she said. "Please come with me. We have several things to discuss … hopefully we'll be done in time to get you onto the train."

"Yes Professor," Harry replied believing this to be another attempt to get him to disclose what he and Dumbledore had been up to. He turned his head away from McGonagall allowing Hermione to see the frown of displeasure on his face.

"Professor McGonagall, may I wait for Harry?" asked Hermione.

"Come with Harry then, it's not a secret and your presence will be useful," Professor McGonagall replied. "Mr. Weasley, Miss Weasley may come along as well as I am sure they will be the next people to know."

"No thank you Professor," replied Ginny.

Ron's mouth dropped as his head swivelled between Ginny and Harry, now realizing they were at opposite ends of the room. Then it dawned on him what must have happened. He said, "I think I'll go on the train with Ginny, but I need a word with Harry and Hermione before they go with you."

"Alright Mr. Weasley, but don't take too long. The carriages will leave if no one is waiting to board them."

Turning to Harry and Hermione she said, "You two can find me in the Headmaster's office when you are ready. The password hasn't changed." Her expression became very sad for a moment and then she turned to leave.

As she prepared to leave through the portrait hole she said, "If you change your mind Mr. Weasley, just stay with Harry. Harry, if we're not finished in time to make it to the train before it leaves Hogsmead, I'll get you all to King's Cross in time for the train's arrival, so you can meet your families as usual."

When everyone else had left the common room, Ron asked Harry, "What happened between you and my sister? You two didn't have a fight did you? You seemed OK earlier today and her expression a few minutes ago didn't appear to be upset."

"One question at a time Ron," said Harry. "I sort of broke up with her at the funeral. She pretty much guessed my reasons and we discussed them. She doesn't know about the horcruxes. She thinks I'm going after Voldemort alone. When she finds out you two are coming with me, I expect she will believe I lied to her and then it could get messy."

"Ouch," said Ron. "I'd better go to the carriages so I can be there for her. She may need a big brother to lean on. I'm not going to say anything about this conversation, but Merlin help us when we break the news to her. We'll probably be better off going one-on-one with Voldemort himself."

Ron arrived at the front steps at a dead run and out of breath in time to see Luna and Ginny boarding the last carriage and got in with them. "Hello Ron," Luna said dreamily. "How are you? What did you do with Harry and Hermione?"

Then Ginny piped up, "Yes, why are you here alone?"

"I'm fine Luna, thanks, and McGonagall wanted to talk to them. I came to keep Ginny company … though I will have some Prefect duties as well."

"Keep me company? What for?"

"Harry told me everything, well maybe not 'everything', after I asked what was up with you two," said Ron.

"Oh! … Well, I still might be able to convince him otherwise."

"He doesn't want you to get hurt or killed Ginny," said Ron.

"Ron," said Luna, interrupting him, "… I'd like the five of us that were with Harry at the Department of Mysteries last year to have a little talk, maybe over tea. Do you think Harry and Hermione will join us?"

"If they don't make it to the train, McGonagall said she'd get them to King's Cross for the train's arrival, so you can ask them then. I expect they'll come, as long as Sirius and Dumbledore don't come up in conversation. Harry's still upset about that."

"Oh good. I'll try to organize it for next week. Ginny, when we get to the train would you ask Neville for me?"

"OK Luna."

Soon the carriage trip to Hogsmead Station was over and everyone got on the train. They found a compartment at the end of the train to stow their trunks and Ron said, "I have to go to the Prefect's compartment at the front of the train, but I'll be back as soon as I can." As Ron left the compartment, Neville arrived looking for a friendly face. He asked Ron, "Do you mind if I join you?"

Ron closed the door before the girls saw Neville and whispered, "Oh good, keep Ginny company will you? She and Harry just broke up ... remember, I didn't tell you that." Then Ron opened the door and said lightly, "Look who I found." He showed Neville into the compartment before walking to the front of the train to join the Prefects.