Harry glanced over at his partner, and signaled for silence before setting up some anti-apparation and anti-portkey wards to keep anyone from escaping. Neville Longbottom, the once portly, unsure boy had grown into a strong man over the years and a good friend. Since the incident in the department of mysteries, Neville had dedicated his life to becoming an Auror along side Harry, and Harry couldn't think of anyone more focused. Neville nodded his head once, acknowledging that he understood.
Once Neville had overcome his insecurity, Harry noticed that his friend was a very good and quite powerful wizard. It was simply that the loss of his parents had hit him hard, much harder than Harry's own loss. Over the last two years at Hogwarts, Neville had thrown everything he had into Harry's DA and the results had shown. Harry couldn't help but smirk at the memory of their sixth year, when the real 'Mad-eye' Moody had come to Hogwarts to teach DADA. That the old Auror had been shocked at the DA member's performance in his class would be a huge understatement. Still, at the end of the year, he had insisted on a dueling tournament
In the finals, Harry had beaten Neville to emerge the champion, but only just. Theirs was a grueling match lasting over ten minutes but that wasn't the only high point of the tourney. No, the match where Neville had trounced Malfoy soundly was. It was in the match that Neville had shown that he had grown up by completely ignoring all of Malfoy's taunts, only responding by throwing spells with greater frequency. The clincher came, when holding Malfoy at wand point after disarming the boy, Neville calmly asked him if he conceded the match. Then, when Malfoy told him to stuff it, Neville smiled, shrugged and stunned him response.
Neville raised an eyebrow at Harry's smirk, but Harry shook his head and schooled his face into a neutral, determined mask. "Ready?" he mouthed to his partner. Neville nodded once and Harry held up three fingers…then two…then one.
Harry quickly stood and fired a Reducto curse at the door to the hotel room where Bellatrix and Rodolphus Lestrange, the last of Voldemort's inner circle, were hiding out. He and Neville wasted no time casting shields and striding into the dust filled room. Harry glanced through the haze for any sign of the two fugitives but judging by Neville's, "Aurors! Freeze!" his partner had found them first.
Unfortunately, the two former death eaters didn't want to come with out a fight and Harry dove to the side as a sickly green curse flew in his direction. He dove into the bathroom just to the side of the entry foyer a fired a few of his own spells back before ducking back behind the doorway.
He could hear a few more spells being exchanged then heard Bellatrix shriek, "Ministry lap dogs! We will never be taken alive!"
Neville leaned out from the upturned dinette set he was taking refuge behind and spat back, "They said alive, Lestrange! They didn't say anything about in once piece!" He finished his statement with a rather powerfulreducto that nearly vaporized the couch.
Harry peaked out again to see Rodolphus take new cover behind a recliner, but didn't see where Bellatrix went to. She was still conscious though if her response of, "If it isn't wee little Nevikins!" she cackled. "In such a hurry to join your parents?"
Harry heard Neville's wordless growl of fury punctuated by the trademark rapid fire disarming jinx he had patented in seventh year. But Bellatrix evaded them all and fired her own curse back, a dark purple arc that, judging by Neville's cry of pain, had hit its mark. Figuring that he should end this quickly, Harry transfigured the recliner into a coffee mug and proceeded to stun Rodolphus into a stupor.
He then hurried out into the sitting room proper to see Neville huddled behind his table, one arm clutching a nasty looking gouge in his chest that was gushing blood. "Lestrange!" Harry roared. Bellatrix turned to Harry with a surprised look on her face as she raised her wand in his direction.
Harry quickly banished the section of the couch she was crouched behind into the wall with a nasty crunching noise, crushing and trapping her behind it. She dropped her wand as her dislocated right arm spasmed in pain. Her crazed look changed into one of fear as Harry stalked over to her, his own face twisted into a visage of fury. He wordlessly stunned her then bound her with an incarcerous spell before hurrying over to his partner and friend.
"You ok, mate?" he asked as he knelt down to inspect Neville's wounds.
Neville pulled his arm away revealing the extent of his injuries to Harry. The curse Bellatrix had fired left him with a deep gash from his left shoulder nearly to his right hip. "I've had worse," Neville managed to grit through the pain.
And he had.
Harry grimaced as he recalled an incident during the final confrontation with Voldemort two years ago during their seventh year at school. Harry was fighting his way through to Voldemort when he came upon Neville fighting along side his girl friend, Ginny Weasley. Harry had briefly considered helping them but the looked like they were holding their own, but as Harry turned around to continue looking for his nemesis, he heard Ginny's cry of anguish.
He whirled around to see none other than Draco Malfoy standing there, his wand raised and a nasty expression smeared across his face as he loomed over Neville's prone, face down body. There was a large area on his back that was still smoking and sizzling from the point blank reducto that Malfoy had fired at him. Together, both Ginny and Harry had cursed, jinxed and hexed Malfoy's brain to much before he had much of a chance to react. Malfoy was still recovering in the long term ward in St. Mungo's. Turned out that the reducto curse had nearly crushed Neville's spine beyond repair, but the miracle workers at the hospital had managed to get the boy back on his feet in no time, and they would again.
Harry gripped Neville's shoulder lightly in a show of support. "Hang tight," he said as he wandlessly dropped the anti-portkey wards. "We'll have you to St. Mungo's in no time. I'll come visit you when we have things wrapped up here."
Neville tried to smile but it came out as more of a wince as he activated his portkey and vanished.
Harry released a sigh as he collapsed into the recliner he had re-transfigured from the coffee mug as he watched the unconscious and bound forms of the Lestranges be hauled away by two burly looking Aurors. He ran one hand through his mess of black hair as his other found its way to the lightning bolt shaped scar that adorned his forehead. Since Voldemort's defeat, the scar had finally begun to fade, a testament to the fact that Tom Riddle was well and truly dead. An involuntary shudder ran down Harry's spine as he recalled none to fondly that fateful night three years ago.
Voldemort and his forces had stormed Hogwarts just after Easter. The fight had been going as expected, both sides suffering losses. Hagrid and Bill Weasley, just to name a few had been killed on the side of the light. Dumbledore had been struck down by a terrifying blood boiling curse that struck him as he and Harry had been defending the unconscious form of his friend, Ron. But the dark was not without its devastating losses either. Lucius Malfoy, Fenrir Greyback, and much to Harry's morbid satisfaction, Pettigrew had been killed or mortally wounded.
Perhaps the loss that affected Harry the most was Severus Snape. The potions master had bodily shielded Harry from a killing curse that was fired from Voldemort himself while Harry was still reeling from the shock of almost losing Hermione.
Harry was startled from his reverie by a kind, deep voice. He looked up from the chair to see Kingsley Shacklebolt looking down at him, concern etching his dark skinned face. After Voldemort's defeat, Kingsley had been offered a position as Minister of Magic but he turned it down in favor of keeping his job as the head of the Auror department. "Kingsley," Harry said with a brief nod.
"Alright there, Harry?" He asked.
Harry sighed and rubbed his face vigorously for a brief moment before answering. "Yeah," he said hesitantly. "Yeah, I'm fine. I was just lost in my memories."
Kingsley nodded in understanding. He understood what the young man was going through, having fought in the battle of Hogwarts as well. Even after two years, the emotional wounds still hadn't faded. "You and Longbottom did well today," he said, offering Harry a hand up from the chair. "The Lestranges were the last of Voldemort's followers still at large."
Once on his feet, Harry rubbed his arm and sighed. "Not well enough," he said with his eyes downcast. "Neville was wounded. If I had-"
But Kingsley cut him off saying, "It was hardly your fault, Harry." Even after three years, Harry still had the tendency to blame himself for any short-comings of his friends. "Neville was simply wounded in the line of duty. It happens from time to time." Harry looked like he wanted to argue, so Kingsley continued with a wry smirk. "Look, don't dwell on it too much. You did a good job today, so why don't you take the rest of the day off. You have a lady-friend back at the Ministry that's been anxious to talk to you all day."
Harry smiled in spite of himself. "Hermione must have found something out," he said, thinking fondly of his fiancée. "She always gets excited when she does." He paused for a moment before nodding to himself. "Thanks, Kingsley. I'll see you tomorrow."
And with that, Harry disapparrated to St. Mungo's with a small pop.
Hermione sat at her desk in her office at the Department of Mysteries, dissecting her latest find, and agitating her already frazzled hair in frustration. She had been researching the Veil of Death for the past year and had made some amazing discoveries. The biggest was that the veil wasn't a gateway to the afterlife after all, but simply a doorway of sorts to other worlds. Two years ago, immediately after graduating from Hogwarts, Hermione had received an offer from the Ministry to work in the Department of Mysteries as an Unspeakable. She jumped at the chance and soon found herself immersed in her current project after receiving a book from an anonymous person.
Hermione huffed in frustration and slammed the tome shut. She was getting nowhere pouring over the same passage for the third time. Standing up, she took a moment to calm and compose herself. There was no point in getting agitated in waiting on Harry. He would arrive when he arrived. Smoothing out her robes, she walked out of her office and into the former death chamber to examine the archway once again. As she studied the runes, she wondered about Harry's reaction to the news about the veil. A small smile spread on her face at the thought of her fiancé and when they finally realized their feeling for each other.
Hermione smiled at the memory of one of her best summers ever. Her parents had managed to make arrangements to bring Harry along with them to Italy on their vacation and while visiting the island of Sicily, Harry and Hermione finally realized their feelings for each other. Their love for each other hadn't diminished at all over the past five years since that summer, and Harry had proposed to her almost the moment she recovered from the horrendous injury she received during the Battle of Hogwarts. Hermione accepted with a resounding 'yes'.
She had changed much physically in the three years since graduation. Her hair, having been bushy and unmanageable for as long as she could remember, finally calmed down after graduation but remained wavy and full. She still had her youthful and curvy figure and she delighted in driving her fiancé wild during the nights they spent in each others arms. She still had difficulty taking deep breaths however; just a reminder of the final battle.
Turning back to the veil, Hermione's feelings went back into the toilet as the frustration returned. The veil was a puzzle, but one she was determined to solve. She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that she didn't hear someone sneak up behind her.
"I heard someone here wanted to speak with me?" the person asked.
Hermione gasped and whirled around. "Harry!" she cried happily. She flung herself into his arms and kissed him soundly on the lips.
Harry pulled away from the steamy kiss that left him dizzy. "Someone's happy to see me," he joked with a smile.
Hermione stayed in his arms but slapped his shoulder playfully. "I'm always happy to see you, you prat." She laughed. "Oh! I have so much to tell you!"
Harry put a finger over her full lips. "Can it wait till after dinner?" he asked. "I haven't eaten since breakfast and I'm famished." He added seeing Hermione's pained look. When she had something to share, keeping her from doing so was like kicking a puppy. "Please?"
She sighed and looked at her watch, realizing it was almost dinner time. "Oh all right." She agreed. "Where do you want to go?"
"How about our little Italian bistro down the street?"
"You should have seen the look on his face when the chair turned into a coffee mug!" Harry said. "He just stood there and almostlet me stun him."
Harry was talking about his day to a rapt audience, as Hermione as always willing and interested to listen to Harry's stories. She nodded with wide eyes as Harry continued to tell her about the arrests of the Lestranges. "What about Bellatrix?" she asked.
"I'm getting there," Harry admonished playfully. "So, I then banished both Bella and the rest of the couch into the wall, stunned her and bound her. It was almost like she gave up. Either that or is completely barmy now, and forgot how to fight. Then I went over to check on Nev."
"Is he going to be ok?" Hermione asked worriedly having heard of her friends injuries.
Harry nodded with a solemn look on his face. "It looked worse that it was. The doctors at St. Mungo's said he simply got hit with a diffindo curse and they patched him back together fine." He said. "They're keeping him overnight so the blood replenishing potion can take effect and he can go home tomorrow."
"You didn't have to leave him there to come meet me," Hermione said, concern for their friend bubbling up. "He needed someone there."
Harry couldn't help but laugh. "He does have someone there. I was all but chased out by Ginny. She told me that she could take care of him and that I needed to get back to you." He said. "She really does take after her mother in that aspect." He gazed fondly at his fiancée who wanted to share her day so badly that she was bouncing up and down in her seat. "Ok, how was your day?"
Hermione straightened her posture and entered what Harry liked to call 'teaching mode', despite the happy grin on her face. It was a trait that Hermione had picked up while she was still in school and still carried two years out. He didn't mind at all, and it was one of the things that endeared her to him. "Well," Hermione began. "You know that book I received last year?" Harry nodded, recalling the anonymous gift Hermione received when she started her current project, and she continued. "Well, I finally managed to translate most of the second half of the book."
Harry smirked at her while she gesticulated wildly during her explanation. He knew this was good news. Any step closer to understanding the death of a loved one was good news in Harry's opinion.
"Well," Hermione went on, "It turns out that there are runes in the five stones near the top of the arch. They've just been faded over time, and all it took was the correct incantation to reactivate them. Now the book is a little hazy on this part, but I believe that the runes act as sort of a dimension address." At this point she pulled out a quill and began to draw diagrams on her napkin. "The only things I haven't been able to figure out are how to change the runes, or how the door knocker fits into all this."
Harry nodded in understanding. "Does the archway work?" he asked. "I mean, does it actually transit between dimensions at this point."
Hermione frowned while she thought. "I assume so but I honestly don't know." She said. She looked up at Harry almost apologetically. "I mean, Sirius had to go somewhere and all the objects I threw in didn't come out the other side."
"Can you show me?" Harry asked hopefully. As always, he and Hermione made a good team and he could see things that her logical mind simply glossed over.
"I thought you'd never ask!" Hermione exclaimed happily. Harry paid the bill and left a generous tip for their waitress and the two of them left the bistro, Hermione clinging happily to Harry's arm. As the two of them walked the short distance back to the ministry, they chatted about in consequential things, like how Ron was doing with the Cannons. It turned out that his goalkeeping skills were much of what they needed to begin to improve their record, and he was quite happy with his wife, Hannah. Hermione was also happy to tell Harry that she had finally achieved her animagus transformation. She was a bushy tailed fox, a nice complement to Harry's black furred wolf.
"I still feel incomplete though," he told his fiancée. "I mean, I can manage the wolf form, but I still feel like I'm missing something."
Hermione nodded thoughtfully. "Well, one of the books I read that really helped me out mentioned that some exceptionally powerful wizards," she poked Harry in the chest for emphasis, "have both a mundane and a magical form." Harry frowned. The last thing he wanted was to have yet more abilities. Hermione noticed his look and squeezed his arm lovingly. "It's nothing that you have to go about advertising, love, but wouldn't it be fun to become a sphinx or a phoenix?"
Harry smiled down at her and pondered just how fun it would be to change into something like a dragon. The rest of the walk went in silence and before long the two of them arrived back in the Department of Mysteries. While Hermione went into her office to gather her notes and book from her desk, Harry went into the death chamber and stared impassively at the archway. The voices still whispered to him, calling to him of things beyond the veil, and he could still see his godfather falling through with an imploring look in his eyes. But for perhaps the first time ever, the memory didn't hurt. Now, with his finacee's help, there was hope that Sirius was off gallivanting in another world, pranking people there.
The voices and whispers however still bothered him. What were they, if not the voices of the dead? They were soothing, almost pleading Harry to jump beyond the curtain that floated lazily across the opening. "Harry?" Hermione said softly. "Are you okay?"
"I still hear the voices, 'Mione." He said just as softly. "Have you found out what they are?"
Hermione nodded and pulled out a sheet of parchment that she had covered in notes. "They seem to be excess temporal and dimensional energy that filters through other veils in other dimensions." She explained. "Now, I can't hear it, but according to the tome you can because…" she paused to scan the parchment. "Ah! Here it is. 'Those that can speak a magical or supernatural language may hear voices or whispers coming from the veil. This is normal, as the veil picks up energy from other dimensions and times and acts as a funnel of sorts.'" Hermione finished her explanation and looked up at Harry, whose face had fallen.
"Why can't I be normal in anything?" he said in monotone.
"I happen to love you just the way you are," Hermione said. She punctuated that statement with a kiss which ended that train of self-loathing. "Anyway," she went on, tapping the five stone blocks at the top of the arch with her wand. One rune began to glow red in the middle of each block. None of them made any sense to Harry. "These runes are supposed to be interchangeable, but I can't make hide nor hair of the translation of the book that covers it."
"Wait a second," Harry said. "Temporal? As in, time?"
"The book mentioned that some of the dimensions are staggered time wise." Hermione explained. "For instance, the next dimension over could be a year ahead of or behind us."
Harry just nodded. Hermione then revealed the bronze door knocker. It was shaped like a scorpion facing downward, its claws pointed at its head. The tail served as the knocker, as it curved over its body. "This floats when placed in the center of the archway," she said, demonstrating so. "This is as far as I've gotten."
Harry stared at the archway for a long while, but his focus kept landing on the scorpion shaped door knocker. He couldn't resist the urge to use it for its intended purpose. "Have you ever thought of knocking?" he asked Hermione.
"What?" she said. "Well…no."
Harry shrugged. "May I?" he asked. Hermione nodded. Harry wiped his hands on his trousers then reached almost reverently and knocked the tail of the scorpion three times. The brass on brass contact echoed loudly around the chamber but nothing else happened. He and Hermione looked at each other and Harry shrugged. "Well it was worth a try?" he said ruefully. But before Hermione could open her mouth to respond, the room began to rumble and shake. The wind that moved the black cloth of the veil began to blow harder and the veil began to whip about violently. The pearly white light in the archway began to intensify and before either of them could step away, Hermione was dragged suddenly and violently into the arch. It was a testament to Harry's reflexes that he was able to grab hold of her wrist before she was sucked completely through.
"Harry!" Hermione shrieked while she maintained her death hold on his wrist. "Help!"
But try as he might, the veil was simply too powerful, and it slowly, inescapably dragged the two of them further and further in. Harry braced himself, one foot on either side of the arch way and grabbed Hermione's other wrist and held on for dear life, but the veil would not be denied and Harry finally lost his footing. He fell head first into the ether with a girlish scream.
Almost immediately, Harry was subjected to the mercies of the ether and the experience was far from pleasant. Harry felt like he was simultaneously being kissed by a dementor and kicked in the groin, followed by an ice cold sensation. He could feel his body compress, bones creaking and snapping and a feeling like he was in a trash compactor surrounding him. The pain was intense, more so than any cruciatis inflicted on him by Voldemort. "We were wrong," he thought. "It is a veil of death."
Then there was a sudden shock, like the time he had stuck his finger into the electrical socket when he lived with the Dursleys. He remembered his uncle laughing maliciously at him as he writhed around on the ground in pain. Next came the feeling of belly flopping into a body of water, then being pulled under. Harry couldn't breathe, but felt oddly peaceful. He was grateful when he finally lost consciousness.
Holly Potter staggered glanced at her alarm clock with a bleary eye and noted the time; 8:30 am. Might as well get up, she thought, throwing her legs over edge of her bed. She yawned hugely and ran a hand through her long disheveled black hair and briefly wondered if she should take a shower now or later. Later, she decided heaving herself to her feet. She put on her dressing gown and staggered down the stairs. Holly Susanne Potter was the youngest child of James and Lily Potter. At thirteen years of age, she looked much like her mother but with her father's hair color and eyes, as well as James' mischievous tendencies.
When she reached the foot of the stairs, her nose was pleasantly assaulted by the smell of sizzling bacon. Her mum must be cooking breakfast. "Mornin' mum," Holly said as she walked into the kitchen. She pulled a chair from the table and plopped down heavily. "Dad at work yet?"
Lily glanced up from the stove with a smile for her daughter. "Morning sweetie," she chimed happily while flipping a strip of bacon. "You just missed him. He left about half an hour ago."
James Potter was an Auror for the Ministry of Magic, and a damn good one. With his record of arrests, he was next in line to make head of the department and Lily couldn't be happier for his success. The Potters didn't need the money, but if James was happy, Lily was happy. Lily herself worked during the school year as the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts. Initially, she took the job once Holly started her first year at the school as a way to keep an eye on her children, but in the two years Holly had finished, she had come to love the job and students. She tossed the loose plait her hair was done up in back over her shoulder and asked Holly, "Breakfast is almost ready. Why don't you run back upstairs and wake your brother."
Holly groaned. She hated waking her brother in the mornings. It was like trying to wake a rock. "Don't give me that young lady." Lily admonished. As Holly rose grumpily to her feet, Lily added playfully, "You can wake him any way you want."
Holly had made her reputation in her two years at Hogwarts as a prankster alongside her brother, Harry. She was never one to pass up a prank, even on her older sibling. Besides, she owed him one for the nasty prank he pulled the other night. She had finally managed to get it all out of her hair yesterday. Holly giggled as she ascended the stairs, her mind working quickly to come up with a suitable way to wake Harry. She finally settled on the old reliable glass of ice water to the face. Stopping by the bathroom, she filled a handy glass to the brim with cold tap water and snuck quietly toward her brother's room. Boy was he in for a surprise.
Harry groaned as a sliver of bright sunlight managed to find a hole in the curtains covering his window and nearly blinded him. He had had the most horrible dream. He was the boy-who-lived and had to kill Voldemort. Then, after Sirius died, he and his fiancée, Hermione researched the veil that killed Sirius only to be killed by it themselves. But…wait. It wasn't a dream. Harry awoke with a gasp as everything he had just gone through came flooding back to his sleep addled brain. He felt oddly comfortable after the horrible sensations he had just experienced. Pain like he had never experienced, even under a crucio followed by comfort and warmth? "What the hell was that?" Harry thought to himself. He closed his eyes and thought hard on what happened. Judging by Hermione's reaction, whatever they just experienced was unexpected to say the least. Hopefully the afterlife wasn't too bad, he thought ruefully.
"Oh well," he thought, rolling over and getting comfortable in his bed. "It's over now."
Wait a minute…bed? Harry nearly flew from the mattress and began to look around the unfamiliar room in a panic. The room wasn't very big, about ten by twelve feet, and was decorated how you would expect a young teenage boy's room to be decorated. The walls were adorned with various posters, both magical and muggle. The bed that Harry sprung from was located in the corner opposite and to the right of the door and opposite that was a dresser with a vanity mirror. On top of the dresser, were various photos; wizard, he thought based on how the moved. To the left of the dresser, along the same wall, was a small closet. Various articles of clothing were scattered about the room mixed in with school books and other things a teenage wizard might have. Harry's Auror trained mind kicked in and he began to assess the situation.
He was in an unfamiliar location dressed in…he looked down at himself and blushed. He was clad in only his boxers, sky blue ones with zooming snitches on them. "Alright then," he muttered to himself. "First things first; need my wand." Harry began to rummage around in the unfamiliar objects in the room for his wand. He became more and more frustrated with his lack of success as he failed to find it. He moved over to the dresser and paused when he noticed the photos more closely. They were pictures of him and…his parents.
Harry picked one of the pictures up and looked at it. It was a photo of one of his birthdays. Harry was sitting at a table, smiling, with a cake with eight candles sitting in front of him. His parents were standing behind him, his father patting him on the back and his mother glaring at Sirius as he tried discreetly to put a hand around her waist playfully. Sirius… Harry couldn't help but smile as he set the photo down and picked another up. This one was a professional family photo. James and Lily were in the back row, and Lily had her hands resting lightly on Harry's shoulders. James was mirroring Lily, but with a girl Harry had never seen before. She looked like a younger, female version of his father down to the eyes, but she had Lily's face and smile. "My sister?" he wondered. Once again, his mind began whirring. Where was he exactly?
It was then that Harry finally glanced in the mirror, and what he saw there made him gasp. He was young again! If he had to wager a guess, he was around fourteen years old, but what caught his breath in his throat was the scar on his forehead. Or, more specifically, the lack there of. The scar had been fading previously after Voldemort's death, but there had always been an uncomfortable tingle underneath it. Now, the scar was completely absent from his brow, and there was no tingle. Perhaps he really was dead. He pinched himself and winced with the pain. Definitely not a dream, he mused.
Then the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. His Auror trained senses told him that he was in danger, and he didn't have his wand yet. If I were me, he thought, where would I put my wand? His bedside table, of course. Harry went back across the table and rummaged through the candy wrappers and other detritus on the table. His wand wasn't there, but he succeeded in locating his glasses and put them on his face, sighing with relief as everything came clearer into focus. Now what?
Harry pondered for a second. He was still a little hazy on what was going on, but it was obvious now that this wasn't the afterlife. If it was, it was a pretty crappy one. He recalled what Hermione told him the other day."The book mentioned that some of the dimensions are staggered time wise." Hermione explained. "For instance, the next dimension over could be a year ahead of or behind us." That would explain a bit. Hermione was right; the archway was a door to other dimensions, and the one he happened to be in was six years in the past. But that didn't explain why he was fourteen years old again. He really didn't want to go through school again, once had been enough.
Harry felt a momentary pang of loss at the thought of Hermione. What were the odds that she would end up in the same dimension? Oh well, he would cross that hurdle when reached it, but for now, he needed information. Who were his friends? What was his family like? What was HE like? He couldn't exactly tell anyone that he was from another dimension and time, lest he end up in St. Mungo's loony ward. First things first, though, he really needed his wand. The last two places he hadn't checked yet were his closet and his school trunk. Harry was pretty sure that he wouldn't be stupid enough to store his wand in his closet and so went to check the trunk first. Besides, looking through the trunk would give him a bit of insight on what he was like in this dimension.
He popped the latch on the battered trunk and gazed with disdain with the contents. Everything was in disarray; nothing was folded, the books were scattered about and an ink pot had spilled, spreading black ink over everything in the trunk. Harry sighed and began to sift though everything in there. He found a half full bag of dung bombs wrapped in what looked to be the marauder's map. Harry pulled that out with a smile and set it aside after cleaning it with a quick wandless charm. Then he went back to rummaging. He stopped and pulled out a school robe and noticed with dismay that embroidered on the back was a huge pink heart with the phrase, "I love Snivellus," written in red lettering in the heart. Ok, it seemed he was a bit of a prankster, and had been caught on the receiving end of pranks too. Then at last, Harry found his wand. It was covered in ink, but was in otherwise good condition. After cleaning it thoroughly, he gripped it lightly and the want spat emerald and crimson sparks from the end.
Harry then got his first good look at the wand. It wasn't the holly and phoenix feather wand that was so familiar to him, yet this wand felt almost better. Like an extension of his hand. He cast a standard identifying spell on the wand. It turned out that the wand was made of white birch with a dragon heartstring core. 'Interesting…'
Then with out warning, his bedroom door burst open and someone charged in, something glinting in their hand. Harry's reflexes took over and he whipped his wand around, firing a stunner before his brain registered what he had done. The person that charged in took the stunner straight to the chest and collapsed bonelessly, the glass they were carrying spilling its contents all over the floor. Harry cursed his jumpiness and went over to make sure that the person was alright. Harry toed the person over and cursed again. He had just stunned his sister. What a way to start things off, he thought wryly.
"Ennervate. Hey, are you alright?"
Holly's eyes snapped open when the revival spell hit her and she shot to her feet and scuttled away from Harry. She had no idea what had just happened. She remembered preparing to sneak into her brother's room with the intent of waking him up in the rudest way possible, then a flash of red light followed by unconsciousness. She glowered at her brother, standing there bemusedly with his wand in his hand and looking at her with concern in his green eyes. "Are you alright?" he tried again.
"You stunned me you jack ass!" she growled out, finally breaking from her stupor. She stomped over to him and cuffed him hard on the shoulder.
Harry rubbed his arm and glowered at the girl that was supposedly his sister. "Well, what did you think I would do?" he said. "You came storming in my room and caught me by surprise."
"Tackle me, throw a rictusempra at me, take the water from me and splash me with it! Anything but stun me!" Holly shouted exasperatedly. Then she turned her head and blushed. "Put your robe on."
Harry realized that he was standing half naked in front of his sister and flushed with embarrassment. "Oh, sorry," he said. He rooted about in on the floor till he found a dressing gown and quickly put it on. "And I'm sorry for stunning you. I was just jumpy from a bad dream," he explained.
Holly looked at him weirdly. Harry almost never apologized. If he did something wrong, he acted properly cowed when he was chided for it. He wasn't arrogant by any stretch of the imagination, but he never apologized either. "Whatever," she said, waving off his apology. "Mum's making breakfast and wanted me to wake you."
"Mum?" Harry asked with his eyes full of hope. If his mother was alive here, he would have the chance to get to know her. A feeling of excitement ran through Harry with that thought, and he began to bounce up and down on the balls of his feet. He didn't notice Holly's confused look as he rushed out of his room. Harry paused once through the door, absolutely lost. It had just struck him that he had no clue where he was. Holly shouldered her way past him and headed toward the stairs.
"You coming?" she asked.
"Yeah," Harry said slowly. He wanted to look around before going to meet his Mum for the first time ever. "I just need to use the loo right quick."
Holly made a face. "I didn't need to know that," she snapped. Then she smiled. "If you don't hurry though, I won't leave you any bacon." And with that, she ran down the steps, making enough noise for a herd of hippogriffs.
Harry took the next few minutes poking about the upper floor of the house. He found what he thought was his sisters room and was pleasantly surprised to find that she wasn't as girly as he thought she would be. She was as much as a quidditch fan as he was but her room was still feminine enough to be a girl's room. Leaving quickly, lest he incur Holly's wrath by being there, he moved on and found his parents room. The first thing he noticed was the scent. He could smell clean linen, some perfume and a slight musky undertone. It brought back memories, however faint of his babyhood living in Godric's Hollow, and he had to quickly leave to stifle the tears. At last, he found the bathroom and, after relieving himself and washing his hands, quickly made his way down the stairs. Fortunately the stairs ended in the kitchen so he didn't have to stumble around the house and arouse any more suspicion.
What he saw there though nearly knocked the breath from his lungs. Standing at the stove, humming a soft lullaby while turning the bacon, was none other than Lily Potter. His mother. He stood in the landing for a few minutes with a gobsmacked expression on his face and simply watched her cook breakfast. She was a natural in the kitchen, it seemed, as she glided around the countertop. She had her long auburn hair pulled back into a loose plait and was wearing a frilly pink and white apron over a pair of grey lounge pants and a baggy white t-shirt. She looked very comfortable, but it in no way detracted from her beauty. She looked very good for a 35 year old woman.
Harry fought the lump in his throat as he stared. "Harry," Holly chimed in from the table. She was holding a piece of bacon loosely in her hand. "You're staring."
He glanced over at his sister and truly saw her since waking up that morning. She had his father's hair and eyes but her face and nose came entirely from Lily. She carried herself with a mischievous bearing that immediately put Harry on guard. She was a prankster, he was sure of it. "Oh, sorry," he muttered turning his attention back to his breakfast.
It was a simple breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast but to Harry it was the best breakfast he had ever had. If just for the fact that it was the first he had eaten that was cooked by his mother, he would cherish this morning for the rest of the life. He reached for the salt shaker to lightly salt his eggs and gaped when the top of the shaker fell of and the entire thing was emptied on his plate. Well, he would have cherished this breakfast…
"I'm going to get you back for that," he told his giggling sister. "Mark my words…"
Lily had noticed the whole thing and scoffed at the antics. Harry noticed an amused smile on her face and smiled back as she cast a charm to remove the salt from the plate. Back to cherishing… Harry finished about half of his plate then drained his orange juice. "May I be excused?" he asked.
Lily blinked bemusedly. "Of course Harry, you don't need to ask."
"Oh," he said lamely. He glanced at his sister who was looking at him with a curious expression. Not sure what to make of it, he shrugged and gave his mother a brief hug before bounding back up the stairs to shower and dress for the day.
Lily smiled softly and sighed before starting in on her breakfast.
Once Harry had left the room, Holly began to pick at her eggs while she pondered her brother. Something about him had changed. She composed a mental list and began to fill it. Firstly, Harry had reacted to the prank this morning with a stunner. Normally, he would have simply vowed retaliation, like he had with the salt shaker. Secondly, Harry never asked to be excused from the table. Normally he just up and left after thanking their mother for a wonderful meal. Lastly, but not least, Harry gave their mother a hug. Harry never did that unless the two of them were alone. Holly vowed to keep a closer eye on her brother. Something just wasn't right.
As the day lazed on, Harry took it upon himself to explore the house and the environs. The place seemed vaguely familiar to him, but he couldn't put his finger on it. The house was not overly large; about the size one would expect for a well to do family, and it was furnished rather comfortably. The furniture was well worn and comfortable, the library was full of books and the kitchen constantly smelled of baked goods. All in all, the house reminded Harry of a wealthier Burrow.
Harry eventually discovered the ward room. He found that the wards cast on the binding stone were strong, but nothing too hazardous. Harry still didn't know the background to this world, but he assumed by the type of wards the Potters used that there wasn't a rampaging dark lord.
It wasn't until Harry went to explore the grounds that he realized where he was. He was at the Potter's house in the village of Godric's Hollow. Harry was floored. When Voldemort had attacked him and his family on the other side of the veil, the magical eruption from the dark wizard after the killing curse rebounded destroyed the home and rendered it uninhabitable. Harry never had the chance to see it, but he was satisfied with what was here. He was glad that he had been given the chance to see it.
Harry spent the rest of the afternoon wandering the grounds and exploring the extent of the wards. The house was set on the outskirts of the village on a rather expansive plot of land and had a lush garden behind the house that was maintained by the family's house elves. Behind the garden was a large open field that was covered by the wards. Harry was happy to note that they had a place to fly without disturbing the muggles.
Harry eventually found himself in the garden, lounging on the soft grass in the sun. He felt he could get used to this. He lived in a nice house, had a loving family and a chance at a real childhood. The only thing missing was Hermione. Worry for her was constantly plaguing his thoughts. He remembered very distinctly Hermione being wrenched from his grasp as the forces inside the veil shunted him to what ever dimension he was in now. He only hoped that Hermione was here too.
The sun felt comfortable on Harry's face and just as he was about to doze off he felt someone plop down on the grass next to him. "Hey…" he greeted, opening his eyes. He looked up at his sister…er… He had already forgotten her name. Dammit, he swore mentally.
"Nice day, isn't it?" Holly said. She leaned back and propped herself up on her elbows, enjoying the sun too. The two of them sat in companionable silence for a while before Holly spoke. "So Mum told me that uncle Sirius is coming over for dinner."
She looked down at him, waiting for his answer. "Sirius?" Harry asked, cracking his eyes open. His heart nearly stopped beating at his godfather's name. Holly nodded. "Good. It'll be nice to see him again," he finished vaguely.
Holly frowned, but Harry didn't see it. He had already closed his eyes again. "I'll bet you're looking forward to seeing Michelle again," she needled.
"It'll be nice to see her too," Harry said. He had no idea who Michelle was so he played it as nonchalantly as possible. Holly frowned again and pushed a little bit more.
"You're not worried about her drooling all over you?"
"No," Harry said. "Why? Should I be?"
Holly realized that it was a stupid question to gauge Harry's reactions from. She had forgotten that he was completely unaware of Michelle's huge crush on him. As far as she knew, Harry just thought the blonde girl was weird. She smirked inwardly at the theatrics that would be happening tonight, but then moved on. "Have you picked what classes you're going to take this year?" she asked.
Harry shrugged. "Haven't given it much thought," he replied. Indeed he hadn't. He had no clue what classes this dimensions Harry really took and he didn't want to give anything away by showing that he didn't know. "I figure that I still have most of the summer to decide."
Holly sighed inwardly. Dammit, she swore. Harry wasn't giving anything up. Perhaps she was being paranoid. Maybe Harry was simply growing up. People change. Still, she was getting fed up with his non-answers and got to her feet in a huff. She wanted to be angry at something and Harry was laying there, a prime target. "Prat," she growled and she stalked away toward the broom shed.
Harry blinked bemusedly. "What did I do?" he asked Holly's retreating figure. When she didn't answer him he got up to follow her. "Hey!" he called. "Talk to me."
Holly pulled a broom out of the shed and took off into the sky, doing loops and corkscrews as she rose. Harry noticed that she was a damn good flier and entered the shed. The shed was small but well stocked. Against the far wall, opposite the door was a shelf with a set of quidditch balls on it. On the wall to the right was the broom rack. Harry noted that, while there were no Firebolts, there were four Nimbus 2001s. Harry grabbed one and appraised it. It was well polished and the bristles were trimmed nicely. Harry took the broom out and without a second thought, rocketed into the sky after his sister.
He pulled to a stop next to Holly, who was looking at her brother like he had grown a second head. She had nearly convinced herself that Harry was simply changing then he went and pulled this stunt.
"What?" He asked. "Can't I go flying with my sister?"
"But, Harry you hate flying," Holly said cautiously.
"Uh," Harry began lamely. "First time for everything, right?"
Holly just shook her head and flew off, Harry close on her tail. She glanced back at him and noted angrily that he was following her. "What?" she growled.
"Are you going to tell me what I did?" he asked. Holly sped off. "Guess not…" he said, following on his sister's tail.
Holly led Harry through a series of dives, loops and twists through the field and around the sparse trees behind their house and was growing increasingly frustrated with his performance. First he takes to the sky like he was born on a broom, then he flies like an expert! She smiled ferally back at her brother. "See if you can follow me!" she challenged. And with that, she rocketed off.
Harry was never one to back down from a challenge and pushed his broom to its limit. Holly led him on a series of twists, loops, and spirals and was becoming more and more desperate to shake him off. Finally, she soared up higher and higher into the sky. She was absolutely certain that he wouldn't be able to follow her into the next maneuver. Once she peaked, she inverted and sped toward the ground. She was going to try and plough Harry with a Wronski feint. Waiting till the last minute she pulled up hard on the handle and skimmed the ground, mere feet from the gorse. She glanced back and nearly fell off her broom.
Not only had Harry pulled off the feint, but he had done it better than she did. He was skimming through the weeds and even more, he had a cheeky grin on his face. Holly led her brother back toward the broom shed and landed.
"That was a blast!" Harry cheered.
Holly slugged his shoulder after putting her broom away. "Prat…" she growled again. She stalked off, leaving a completely bemused Harry standing in the shadow of the shed. She would find out what was going on.
Harry sat on the couch in what he had dubbed the 'Muggle Room' rubbing his bruised shoulder. He called it the muggle room because his mother had purchased as many top of the line electronics as she could find and placed them in one room that had been warded against magic. The room had everything from a big screen projection television to a DVD player and Playstation. Harry decided from the moment he had discovered this room that it was his new favorite. He would spend as much time in here as he could since he never had the chance to play with muggle technology when he was growing up with the Dursleys. His family be damned if it wasn't how he acted before. It was what he wanted.
Speaking of his family, he believed that Holly suspected him of something. She had spent most of the day questioning Harry on things that she assumed he knew. Harry was never good at lying but he was good at giving non-answers and half-truths. He wasn't sure if Holly was accepting this, but he was sure it was driving her barmy. She slugged him in the shoulder every time she grew frustrated with him and now his shoulder really hurt. He was sure he was going to have a nice purple bruise come the morning.
He was currently absorbed in a muggle show called 'Braniac' that did strange experiments, like dropping a lorry full of milk and wondering if it made a louder crash and a falling piano. Harry actually enjoyed the show. His attention was pulled away from the show when Holly screamed, "Daddy!" and rushed past the muggle room.
A sense of anticipation fell over Harry like a wet blanket. His father was home and Harry was overcome with the urge to meet him; for the very first time. Harry tentatively stepped into the hall where James Potter was currently giving Holly a noogie. Holly screeched and writhed in his grip and Harry couldn't hide his smile. Everyone was right; he really did look like a miniature version of his father. The only real difference was the color of his eyes.
James let his daughter go and adopted a very serious expression. He pointed directly at Harry and said, "Wipe that smile off of your face young man. It's your turn next."
Harry wouldn't have fought him off even if he wanted to. For the first time in his life, Harry had his father's arms around him and despite the noogie, it still felt good. Harry laughed and twisted out of his fathers grip. He grabbed the bigger man in a headlock and proceeded to give James a noogie in return. Somewhere deep down inside, a voice was telling Harry that these people weren't really his family. It was telling him that he had stolen them from some other Harry. He told the voice to stuff it and enjoyed his father's company.
"Hey! No fair!" James whined. Harry scurried off to stand next to his sister, both of them adopting innocent expressions. "You two just wait till Sirius gets over. You're going to be hurting."
The three of them laughed and Lily came into the foyer. "I suppose you already heard then?" she asked. James nodded. Both he and Sirius worked as Aurors and were damn good at their jobs. James was head Auror and Sirius was his second in command. "We'll, Sirius and his family will be here in about an hour. I have a roast in the oven."
For the second time that day, Harry's breath caught in his throat. He didn't want to hold out hope that the Sirius in this dimension was his Sirius, but he couldn't help but hope anyway.
"Why don't the two of you go find something to do," James told the children. Holly adopted a disgusted expression and Harry had a pretty good idea as to what was coming. He really didn't want to bear witness to his parents having a snogging session so he followed his sister up the stairs.
As he reached the top, he heard his father's voice float up toward him. "So, this morning, the DOM reported a huge energy spike near here…" Harry gulped. Looks like his entrance didn't go unnoticed.
Harry couldn't tear his eyes away from Sirius at dinner. He had never seen his godfather looking so happy and healthy and it made him happy. He was pretty sure that this Sirius wasn't his, but either way, he was glad to have the Marauder back.
Sirius was talking animatedly about something with James, most likely a prank he had pulled on his coworkers, so Harry turned his attention to the rest of the blacks.
Michelle Black was a good looking, if young girl. She had blonde hair and Sirius' piercing blue eyes, and she blushed prettily every time Harry looked at her. Honestly, Michelle reminded Harry of a prettier Ginny with the way she held her crush on Harry. So far, she hadn't said anything during dinner, but Harry caught her making eyes at him on more than one occasion; It honestly creeped him out.
Now he knew what Holly was trying to needle him about in the garden earlier. He believed that the previous Harry was bothered by the crush as much as he was…either that or he was oblivious.
Harry turned his attention to Amanda, Sirius' wife. It blew him away when he found out about her. Never in his wildest dreams did he believe that Sirius would settle down. In any dimension. But settle he did and Harry had to admit that Amanda was quite the catch. Michelle shared her hair: long luxurious golden locks that curled slightly at the end. Amanda had pretty yellow eyes and honestly reminded Harry a bit of Luna Lovegood. Amanda caught Harry staring and winked saucily at him. Harry blushed.
"You feel all right, kiddo?" Sirius asked Harry. "You look a little distant."
Holly muttered something under her breath that sounded like, 'That's what I want to know."
Harry spared her a weak glare before addressing his godfather. "I'm fine," he said. Sirius' brow furrowed slightly before he went back to talking with James about the surprise. Harry was pretty sure he was referring to the Quidditch World Cup. He immediately decided to make a bet on it and bet everything the other Harry had saved up. If the game went anything like it had before, Harry stood to make a fortune.
Harry zoned out and picked at his dinner while he pondered what he was going to do here in this dimension. He figured the best course of action to be waiting until he could get back to Hogwarts and research anything and everything he could about dimension travel. While he did feel comfortable here, there was an underlying agitation that he couldn't place his finger on. Perhaps it was that he felt he was stealing a family, but Harry wanted a contingency plan in case an emergency arose. He was pulled out of his musing once again by Sirius.
"C'mon, Prongslet," he said, scooting away from the table. "You look like you need to talk with someone."
James looked at Sirius a bit lost but Sirius shook his head as if to say, 'I've got this one.'
Harry pushed away from the table and reluctantly followed Sirius up to his room. "So," Sirius began when they reached Harry's bedroom. "What's on your mind?" Harry looked at his godfather a bit apprehensively. How was he supposed to tell this man that he was dead in a different dimension and it was indirectly Harry's fault? Harry looked at the floor and scuffed the toe of his trainer on the carpet. "Did I do something?" Sirius prompted.
Harry decided to go with a version of the truth. He would tell Sirius about what happened but he would claim it was a dream. That was the best course of action, he told himself. "So, I had this dream where I was convinced to go to this…laboratory, right?" Sirius nodded and Harry continued. "I believed that you were being tortured there and I felt that I just couldn't let you suffer so me and some of my friends left to go rescue you."
Harry didn't notice the color drain from Sirius' face and he continued. "When we got there we discovered that it was a trap set up by a dark wizard. There was a big fight and you were killed and…" Harry stopped when he heard a strangled gasp from his godfather. "Are you okay, Sirius," he asked, finally noticing his godfather's condition.
There was a long pause where Sirius seemed to be thinking really hard before Sirius whispered, "Harry?"
Harry blinked in shock. It couldn't be… "Sirius?"
Suddenly a huge grin broke out over the older man's face. "Harry!" he shouted.
"Sirius!" Harry responded, wrapping Sirius in a bone crunching hug. They simply embraced each other for a good five minutes before Sirius pushed Harry away roughly.
"You willingly jumped through the veil!?"
Harry found the carpet very interesting once again. "Well, maybe not willingly…"
Sirius looked at Harry expectantly and Harry launched into his tale of how he came to end up in this dimension. Sirius couldn't help but needle him a bit about Harry and Hermione's relationships but listened patiently while Harry told his story. Sirius seemed rather interested in just how he and Hermione became an item so Harry sat down on the edge of his bed and patted the spot next to him. "Maybe I ought to tell you everything from when you died till the other day?"
Sirius sat down next to him and nodded like an eager child. Harry began to tell Sirius a slightly abridged tale of everything from that evening in the Department of Mysteries and finishing with Harry's own ungraceful dive into the veil of death. Harry seemed to stumble over everything having to do with the final battle so Sirius changed the subject. He wanted to know all about Harry's animagus form.
"You're an animagus?" he asked with a mischievous glint in his eyes. "What's your form?"
"I'll do one better and show you," Harry said. Then he paused as a worried look came over his face.
"I still have my dog form, if that's what you're wondering," Sirius reassured him. It was indeed what Harry was worried about, and Harry smiled happily before changing into a shaggy black wolf. The wolf was a bit younger looking than it had been before the veil, but that was understandable. He was in a younger body now.
The look on Sirius' face was priceless. He looked like a kid in a candy store as he morphed into his grim form. The two animagi romped around in Harry's room for a few wonderful minutes before changing back. "Merlin, Harry!" Sirius exclaimed. "I never in my wildest dreams thought that you'd have a canine form! I thought you'd be a stag like your father."
Harry shrugged. "So did me and Hermione. She turns into a fox…turned…" Harry trailed off, staring at his hands and Sirius put a comforting arm around his shoulder.
"I'm sure where ever she is that she's fine," he said comfortingly. Harry scrubbed his eyes and smiled up at his godfather gratefully.
"Thanks, Sirius," he said. "Anyway, tell me about your time here. I can't believe that you got married!"
Sirius laughed his bark-like laugh; Merlin how Harry had missed that. "Neither could I," Sirius said. "But I'm glad the me from before did get married to Amanda. She's a wonderful woman and Michelle is a beautiful daughter."
Harry smiled at the wistful look that came over Sirius' face. "So? Talk. Tell me how you two met. What's different here than on the other side?"
Sirius cleared his throat and prepared for a long story. "Well, back in our dimension, I originally met her in my sixth year at Hogwarts. She was in Hufflepuff."
Harry was always fascinated to hear stories of the Marauders in school and listened with rapt attention. "Hufflepuff?" he chimed in. "She actually reminds me of Luna."
"That creepy girl that went with you to the DOM?" Sirius asked. Harry nodded and Sirius looked thoughtful. "Yeah, I suppose she does. I think she's a bit of a seer. Anyway, it was lust at first sight. She was, is hot! I wanted to date her so I approached her one day at lunch and asked her to go to Hogsmeade with me." Sirius laughed. "I was all set for rejection. The only example I had to go off of was your father. Normally girls would approach me so I didn't know how exactly to go about wooing Amanda. So I walked up to her and said, 'Hey, want to go with me to Hogsmeade?' I was completely floored when she answered, 'It's about time.'"
Harry laughed. "So what happened then?"
Sirius' eyes dimmed a bit and his mood became somber. "Well, we had our date and the lust became love. When we said our goodbyes at the end of the year, it was the last time we saw each other. Her entire family was killed by Voldemort over the summer…"
This time it was Harry's turn to comfort his godfather. "Well, you have her now. And she's given you a daughter that you've had six years to get to know."
Sirius smiled at that. "Anyway, let's see…what's different over here," he murmured. "Well, obviously Prongs and Lily are still alive and they had another kid. I'm married and have a kid," Sirius' eyes sparkled. "OH! You might be happy to note that you're not the boy-who-lived."
"I've noticed. So who is, if there is one?"
Sirius went on. "It's actually Neville," he explained.
"Neville?" Harry choked out. "Neville Longbottom?" Sirius nodded.
"I guess that the roles were reversed here. Voldemort attacked the Longbottoms first. Alice and Frank were killed and Neville rebounded the killing curse." Sirius said. "The difference was, when Crouch and my twisted cousin and her in-laws came here looking for info, Moony and I were visiting and were able to fend them off and arrest them."
"Still a traitor," Sirius explained. "Your parents managed to convince the Longbottoms not to use old lady Longbottom for their secret keeper and instead use Peter. You know the rest." Harry nodded. "Oh, and since I was never sent to Azkaban I made to second in command of the Auror corp."
Harry couldn't handle that news and broke down into hearty guffaws. "You?" he gasped between laughs. "In a position of authority? Hell has frozen over."
Sirius was about to snap some sarcastic comment at Harry when the boy suddenly stopped laughing and held up his hand in the Auror signal for silence. Sirius immediately clammed up. "What?" he whispered.
Harry snuck over to the door and counted down from three with his fingers. When the last finger dropped, he wrenched the door open and immediately sighed when Holly tumbled into the room. She looked at them both with and expression of fear and scooted back into the corner of the room.
"Wonderful…" Harry groaned.