Knowledge is Power
Bella's nerves were stretched tighter than a dragon's heartstring, she had been hiding below the stadium for two days now, laying low as the aurors guarded the entrances and contestant tent without once searching the arena before the event.
She'd watched the whole by-play with the half giant, couldn't these people at least have some respectable friends? As they trooped off into their seats Bella took up station between the stands that was also an auror blind spot and tried to remain calm, she had no potions left and was beginning to feel the effects of them leaving her body but steeled herself with the knowledge that it would all be over soon. One way or the other her life would change forever in the next few hours, she was in position and it was now down to fate whether she was going to be given an opportunity to participate in events or just hide here until everyone went home then try to get out the country.
Bella didn't know if she should be cheering or cursing as the four walked right into her ambush zone, she was pretty sure that the tall girl was the one who hit her in the graveyard but that was more to do with recognising the cowardly weasel by her side. She didn't recognise the other little red head but Potter's adopted daughter was just too good a target to pass up, fate had made her decision and now Bella only had seconds to act.
She burst from concealment and fired off two cutting curses at the girls before summoning three wands, grabbing the child as she spoke to the small redhead who was on the ground before kicking her in the stomach.
"Tell Potter to destroy the cup or he'll get his daughter back in tiny pieces."
The curse had hit Ginny square on the chest but her life had been saved by the dragon hide vest that Harry had bought her though the force had knocked the petite witch onto her back. Her wand was gone but Remus had been training her for just such a scenario, the knife in her wrist holder slipped into her waiting hand. Ginny's vest also absorbed most of the impact from Bella's kick to her stomach but Ginny jack-knifed as if in great pain and used this movement to plunge her blade deep into the bitch's thigh.
"Get your filthy hands off her you bastard!" Ginny screamed at the death eater but Lestrange toppled backwards and pulled Joan down with her before she must have activated a portkey as they both disappeared.
Ginny was on her knees wailing "NO!" as Harry came upon the scene, he rushed to Ginny who was covered in blood and it took her a second to answer him. "It's not mine or Joan's, I managed to stab that bitch Lestrange but she got away with Joan. I'm so sorry Harry, I let you down."
Any thoughts on continuing that conversation were ended when they glanced over at the other couple.
Millie had seen the curse heading straight for her but had been frozen in place, suddenly she was moving and something heavy landed on top of her, something heavy and wet.
She looked to see her betrothed who must have pushed her out the path of the curse but this had placed him directly in the line of fire, he was cut from shoulder to hip and bleeding profusely.
Millie cradled Ron's head in her arms and looked pleadingly towards Harry.
One glance told Harry Ron didn't have long to live though Millicent's words seemed to pull him out his stupor, "He gave his life to save mine."
Harry's temper was barely under control, "Not today he didn't, Dobby!"
The little elf appeared and immediately took charge, he started emptying his many pockets and resizing objects, soon there was a hospital bed, instruments and a table with potions of every kind on it. He handed a blood-replenishing potion to Millicent, "Make him drink this and when he's finished we'll give him more."
Harry asked his little friend where he got all the stuff; it was with a wry smile that Dobby answered him. "When Harry Potter is your friend it's best to be prepared for anything, Winky will be bringing Poppy in a moment."
Harry and Hermione had been in constant communication and the witch just couldn't wait any longer, she burst out the tent and into the arena as the dragon handlers were getting ready to leave.
A brilliant bolt of red light blasted from each of her outstretched hands and both hit the dragon between its eyes; the massive creature was knocked out instantly as Hermione raced for the golden egg. She threw it towards Charlie before casting a sonorus on herself, "Team two, let's go now. Poppy you're needed…" Winky was here already popping the healer to the scene, "Amelia that bitch Lestrange has just kidnapped Joan, do not let the competition stop as that's exactly what the bastards want, we'll deal with it!"
Anyone in the large audience who thought that this fifteen-year-old muggle born witch shouldn't be giving orders to the minister of magic kept their mouths shut for two very good reasons. The first being that she had just single-handedly knocked out a dragon in under two seconds and the second reason was the look on her face when she said 'we'll deal with it,' this had scared the life out of everyone and they all silently thanked Merlin that they weren't the ones going to be dealt with.
Sirius was hurrying out the stadium and cursing himself for stupidly letting Joan go without a bigger escort, they could see Harry and there were aurors everywhere so they thought she'd be safe having such a short walk. He could see Moony berating himself about the same thing, his friend had fought most of his life to contain his inner wolf but one thing that always brought it to the surface was anyone harming a child. The fact that he was going to become a father and already considered Joan part of his family made it ten times worse, his cousin would not survive to see tomorrow it was only the manner and, noticing that Dan and Emma both had their weapons already in their hands, a question of who would carry out the deed.
Back in the stadium Pomona had to take the phone off her sobbing niece and hand it to Justin Finch-Fletchley as the people in Italy would be every bit as anxious for news as they were, she pulled Amber into a hug. "This is why they're fighting, so our children can grow up without this threat. They'll come back to us and we'll have to be strong for them, hurting a child is probably the worst crime anyone could commit and they won't be taking prisoners."
At the Potter Institute it was pandemonium as everyone had heard Hermione's instructions to Amelia. While Filius and Minerva tried to restore order, Percy was assisting Jillian with the younger children and only the fact that they couldn't hear what was happening at Hogwarts got the noise level reduced. Justin's voice coming out the speaker that was hooked up to the phone had a lot to do with this, his plumy tone was similar to a BBC WWII radio correspondent which was probably quite apt as whoever had taken Joan had just declared war on the Potters, not a good idea.
The three former Gryffindor chasers were comforting a distraught Natalie Macdonald with Minerva and Filius watching as the older students helped comfort the younger ones and especially the children from the orphanage. It was little Joanne who changed the whole mood with her heartfelt comment, "That bad witch doesn't know who she's messing with, Harry and Hermione will be really pissed and kick her arse into next week."
Jillian Green scooped the little girl into her arms and, instead of a lecture about her use of language the girl received a hug and a kiss, "Joanne's right, Joan will likely be home for dinner so lets sit quietly so we can hear what's happening."
Alice Longbottom was sitting holding Augusta's hand, silently praying that fate wouldn't bring her back only to take the most precious thing in the world away from her as payment. Alice was aware on some level that her thoughts were irrational but she was a mother whose family were going into battle so conflicting thoughts and emotions were par for the course.
There was no way on this earth that Harry and Hermione wouldn't go after their adopted daughter just as there was not a hope in hell of Neville and Luna not being right by their side when they did. Both had stayed by her last night as they had talked for hours about everything and nothing, just trying to get to know each other and lay the foundation for their future relationship. When Neville and Luna had left because of needing sleep for today, Augusta and Alice had chatted long into the night as the mother was brought up to speed on her son's life.
Augusta's eyes had almost glowed with the pride she felt for her grandson but there was also a hint of sadness in her voice that Alice was quick to pick up on and immediately set about dispelling.
"Mum, we're always going to need you in our lives. The way Neville and Luna look at each other it's not going to be long before we've got a wedding to plan and that's very hard for me to take, I couldn't be happier with the girl he's chosen but the last memories I have of him he was still in nappies. We need to get tomorrow over with then hopefully Frank back before making any plans about where we go from here, never doubt for a second that you are a big part of those plans. You were left in a terrible situation yet have done a wonderful job of raising Neville, I couldn't be prouder off my son and know I couldn't stop him today even if I wanted to. He's his fathers son and I'm just praying he gets to meet him."
Justin's voice informed them that Hermione had also been given full marks and they were trying to get an unconscious dragon out the arena and prepare for the fourth contestant, Fleur Delacour.
Some of the older students were now beginning to understand why Harry didn't want them to attend today, they were realising just how dangerous this could turn out to be if Voldemort actually made an appearance.
Winky delivered Poppy to the impromptu medical facility and her first thoughts were of a bloody Ginny.
"Mum, I'm uninjured, this blood belongs to the death eater that I stabbed in the thigh. It's Ron who needs your help."
Dobby had him placed on the bed and all the potions lined up like soldiers on parade, Millicent was finishing off administering his second dose of blood-replenishing potion. Poppy handed the girl a third vial as she began trying to treat the massive wound while Winky conjured up walls and a roof, turning the area into a small field hospital that Dobby had equipped.
Hermione raced in just ahead of the other team and met a tearful Ginny who tried to apologise for not protecting Joan, it was Remus who was more growling than talking that answered. "Ginny there were eight of us in Black Manor and we couldn't bring her down, it's not your fault as we should never have let you go unaccompanied."
Everyone there agreed with that assessment but Poppy added her two Knuts worth as she worked feverishly on Ron, "Judging by the amount of blood on Ginny she must have at least nicked the Femoral artery, if Lestrange doesn't get medical help soon she'll pass out and eventually die from blood loss, if she pulls out that knife she won't last two minutes."
The Potters made their decision, "Ok we need team two to remain here in case Riddle shows his snout, we'll go after the mad bitch and communicate via mobile phones."
There were four very unhappy people now in the field hospital, five if you counted Ginny but they had a command structure in place for a reason and now wasn't the time to argue the toss.
Harry and Hermione took Neville and Luna away by side apparition just before Shacklebolt turned up enquiring if there was anything they could do to help.
Bella landed heavily which hurt her leg even worse but at least she held on to the girl, in an increasingly rare moment of clarity she wondered if her parents would be proud of her. Long term resident of Azkaban, lost an arm, no teeth, currently had a knife sticking out her leg and all so she could take this little girl to meet a perverted squirrel.
She had to use a gravestone to help get herself onto her feet, managing with great difficulty to cast a tourniquet above her wound while still keeping a hold on the brat. The death eater got quite a shock when she looked into the eyes of the child who wasn't the slightest bit afraid of Bella or her current situation.
"You have no idea what you've just done," an indignant Joan declared to a bemused Bella. "you're in so much trouble because my family are so gonna kick your arse all over this graveyard."
Bella was beginning to think she'd lost more blood than she first thought, who did this little bitch think she was? "Listen kid, your chances of still being alive at suppertime tonight are not great so don't give me any of your lip. You don't have a family, you're adopted!"
Joan actually rolled her eyes at the bad witches stupidity, "That just makes my family all the more special, mum and dad actually picked me to be their daughter, your parents didn't get a choice."
"Look you brat, you're the one in trouble here and nobody knows where you are."
"My mum says that I'll always be safe as long as my dad's around and he's standing right behind you."
"Nice try kid but I stopped falling for that old trick before I hit my teens, now get your arse moving before I take my wand to you."
A female voice behind Bella snarled, "Touch my daughter and I'll rip your throat out."
The four found themselves in the middle of the Grangers living room as Hermione offered an explanation, "We're going to try and send the four of us back an hour in time, we can't interfere with that bitch taking Joan because we know it already happened but we can be in the graveyard waiting on the portkey delivering them there."
Luna proved why she had been sorted into Ravenclaw, "ok I've got some questions, will it work with four of us? Are you sure she'll go to the graveyard and why didn't we wait to see if Riddle showed up first and then go back in time?"
Hermione was holding onto Harry for strength as he answered their sister's questions, "The time turner took two of us back three hours so we think it will manage four for one hour, Riddle will be hiding out at the old mansion and won't allow portkeys or apparition into the building so it's the graveyard and walk. As to why we didn't wait if we know something's happened we can't change it, if the bastards did something to Joan and sent us proof we couldn't reverse it."
Luna and Neville went deathly pale, if they decided to cut a body part off Joan then post it to Harry they wouldn't be able to prevent the incident as they knew it had already happened.
"We came here because we knew the house was empty as we spent the morning in London, this way it should eliminate the chance of meeting your 'other' self which would be very bad." Like Harry, if Hermione told Neville something would be very bad then that was good enough for him.
She pulled out a gold chain with a small egg timer on it and they had all to stand close so that the chain encompassed all four of them. One turn of the egg timer charm and they blinked out of existence, reappearing in the exact same spot but an hour earlier.
Checking the time and estimating when the portkey activated, Harry disillusioned everyone before they side apparated to the graveyard.
They found it empty and reckoned they had between thirty and thirty five minutes to wait for the portkey to arrive, it was a fair sized graveyard but they decided to stake out the Riddle grave for no other reason than that's where the original portkey deposited Harry and Cedric. Even from this position though they could still see the entrance to the old house as they waited on Joan to arrive.
When both eventually did turn up it was clear Ginny had done a number on the death eater, she was still losing blood and hardly able to stand though still managing to hold Joan close to her.
Their hearts filled with love for the little witch at her declaration of family and Harry was sure she could feel their presence as she didn't squeal as he lifted the charm and they became visible once more.
When Hermione made her threat Bellatrix spun round and rapidly fired four killing curses at them, only three were blocked before Harry's hand shot out and intercepted the green beam that was just about to hit Luna.
Bellatrix may not exactly have been at her fighting best but fear had lent her speed and power, the death eater put everything she had left into her four Avada Kedavra's. Seeing three of them blocked was shocking enough but when Potter caught the last one like a snitch, Bella's potion deprived mind struggled to comprehend what her eyes were telling her. The traumatised witch dropped her wand in shock as a puddle started to form at her feet, only the fact that she was still leaning on a gravestone kept her upright.
The death eater spinning round and casting curses allowed Joan to get out of the way allowing Neville his opportunity, they'd watched a sci-fi movie where someone was frozen solid and hung on a wall as an ornament. Neville wanted a similar fate for this bitch and planned on using her as a climbing frame in his greenhouse for Venomous Tentacula, having firstly worked on an appropriate petrifying spell with Hermione. It took a lot of power to perform the spell though and Neville wasn't sure he'd be able to cast it until he saw the killing curse almost claim his betrothed; he let the death eater have it with everything that he had.
The spell worked by instantly and totally freezing living tissue but there was one side effect they hadn't considered, as Neville's spell left Bellatrix frozen like a statue Joan approached her.
"I told you my family would come for me!" Joan then kicked her uncle Neville's new garden ornament angrily on the ankle, which caused Bellatrix Lestrange to shatter into thousands of tiny frozen pieces with not one being bigger than a gobstone.
Joan didn't get time to contemplate this as she was whisked off her feet and into her crying mother's arms, her aunt Luna quickly joining the hug.
Harry was standing with his arm on Neville's shoulders, "How do you feel Nev?"
He took a calming breath before answering, "I'm fine Harry, after getting my mum back yesterday a lot of the hatred had gone. I used to think that it was cruel being able to see them but they weren't there, talking to mum last night healed a lot of that. What I did today was for taking Joan and trying to kill Luna, my family honour has been satisfied."
The bundle of energy that was Joan Potter hit them both, almost hugging the life out them. "Uncle Neville, could you tell aunt Ginny it was you who broke her knife?"
Neville just smiled, "for you sweetie, anything."
"Can we use the phone yet to find out how Ron is?" asked Luna.
Harry felt Joan stiffen in his arms, "Bellatrix fired a bad spell at your aunt Millicent but Ron pushed her out the way and it hit him, Poppy was working on him when we left."
"I think we're still too early as we haven't left yet, what are we going to do about Riddle?" Hermione asked.
Harry thought for a moment before replying, "I think we stay here unless we get a phone call, he's currently up in that house and we hope he stays there until he dies."
Emma reckoned that Fleur had completed her task by the cheering emanating from the stadium, she didn't know how she was going to get through the waiting when her mobile phone went off; the voice on the other end had her in tears of relief.
"Hi gran, I'm fine and so is everyone else. The bad witch is gone and won't be bothering us ever again."
She had to hand the phone to her husband with only Emma's smile letting the rest of the worried party know things were fine as she was choked with emotion and incapable of speech. She sat and cried for her family that were safe for the moment before being joined by Ginny; Millicent had never left Ron's side. She heard her husband pass on a report that Poppy was still working on Ron and was becoming more hopeful the longer he kept breathing.
Emma pulled herself together and after hugs from a much relieved Sirius, Remus and her husband the four started to prepare for battle, if it was going to happen it would be soon and she'd swore to be ready any time her family needed her.
Victor was not pleased with his marks, what do a few smashed dragon eggs matter to him? His mood became even darker when the minister stood and made an announcement that had the whole stadium cheering like mad for something that wasn't Victor Krum.
""Lord Potter has just informed me that his daughter is safe and Bellatrix Lestrange is no longer with us."
Amelia continued to talk to Harry until the unnatural silence made the minister lift her head, what she saw was transmitted down the phone as "Oh Fuck!"
In the Potter institute their phone clearly picked up Amelia's message resulting in jubilation on a never before seen scale, McGonagall was on a table dancing with Flitwick while the younger kids started chanting, "Potter! Potter! Potter!" This was soon taken up by everyone and only stopped when Justin's clearly panicked voice started blasting out the speaker, "Oh Shit! Oh Shit! Oh Shit!"
The squirrel was hopping around the room, unable to settle. It was days since he'd last seen Bella and he could actually feel his magic being pulled towards a certain location. He had deliberated with himself over the best course of action to take and was unsure that appearing in public under this guise wouldn't do permanent damage to his image when he returned with a new body. When the pull on his magic became painful his opinion rapidly changed, he was Lord Voldemort – the most powerful wizard in the world, people would bow to his power no matter what form his body took. He let the pull on his magic guide him to the required destination and apparated out of Riddle Manor.
The tent flaps opened and a six-foot squirrel bounced into the arena, totally silencing the crowd. It stood proudly facing the main stand and with the sun at it's back looked majestic with its bushy tail and ears standing straight up, it really was a stunning sight. The whole illusion was ruptured very quickly though, a bit like David Beckham when the creature spoke.
"I am Lord Voldemort, master of death and the most powerful wizard in the world, you will all bow down before me!"
As soon as two red headed twins heard that squeak coming from the squirrel they both loudly burst out laughing, throwing out comments in their own inimitable style.
"Bow to Bushy Tail?"
"He's out of his tree!"
"Looks quite cute though."
"If you're into Squirrels."
"Nothing wrong with a red head."
"The furry red arse is a bit off-putting though!"
The crowd were starting to laugh as the twins berating of the ridicules rodent emphasised just how ludicrous the creature's demands were.
The squirrel squealed and fired a curse at the twins, knocking them both flying through the air. Shacklebolt and about a dozen of his aurors started firing curses but the squirrel was casually batting them away before starting to reply with some of his own.
Voldemort was rapidly firing curses everywhere and actually beginning to enjoy himself, showing these fools his real power. All that quickly changed with the sound of gunfire being immediately accompanied by pain, he spun round only to be knocked on his tail as Peter's wand went flying from his paw.
Harry and Hermione were holding hands and letting their true power show, actually scaring the shit out of the Squirrel. "Just before we end this Tommy, or should that be Tufty? We have a few presents for you, Dobby!"
Hufflepuff's cup, Slytherin's locket, Ravenclaw's diadem, Marvolo's ring and his own diary rained down on the squirrel's head.
There all gone," said Harry but still not mentioning horcruxes so only a select few knew what he was talking about. "The good witches and wizards of Britain have rid this country of your followers, granting them their wish to eat death. Now it's your turn to pay for your crimes Tommy boy, I would imagine there's quite a number of angry people waiting for you on the other side."
The sound of the squirrel crying and begging for mercy in its squeaky voice destroyed the legend of Voldemort forever, no one would ever again be afraid to say the coward's name. The Potters were ready to administer the final blow when they were halted by an almighty crunch that could be clearly heard in the Potter Institute.
The Hungarian Horntail had sat quietly and amazingly unnoticed, protecting its eggs and ready to attack anything that came too close. As she hadn't been fed since being dragged from her home some days ago the smell of blood and fear surrounding the bushy tailed one proved too tempting, one quick pounce and she was biting through the squirrel's head and wondering where she could get more of these strangely delicious morsels, goats and sheep just wouldn't taste the same after this.
It was like a car crash, bloody and horrific but not one person present was able to take their eyes of the spectacle that was playing out before them, a Hungarian Horntail had just munched down a squirrel snack for lunch. Harry had entered Tom Marvolo Riddle into the tournament by his hand and the dark lord was most definitely dead as the dragon spat out a bushy tail before retreating back to its nest.
Harry stepped forward and bowed to the noble beast before incinerating the tail, he wanted nothing to remain of Voldemort. He took his wife by the hand and led his family out of there to the sound of total silence, a creature had just died a horrible death and cheering just didn't feel appropriate.
As the whole stadium watched Pomona and Amber led the Institute students to the exit, each one with their head held high and their school logo clearly visible. They had put their faith in Harry when all others doubted and that doubt would take more swallowing than a squirrel down a dragon's throat.
Joan's little legs were just a blur as she raced towards her parents, waiting with her aunt Ginny in the field hospital was agony and at first glimpse of them returning there was no stopping the young witch. Clinging to her parents the hug was then joined by all the fighting group and Ginny, Pomona and Amber came running with any thoughts of dignity or decorum vanishing as soon as they spotted their wizards. The Institute students joined their friends and professors in a mass hug of relief before Hagrid bounded up and attempted to join in, unfortunately his enthusiasm combined with his rather large size knocked them all over like skittles. Thankfully the only thing broken was the mood as they all started laughing while helping each other regain their footing.
"Sorry bout that!" Hagrid apologised "I was just so glad to see you all OK, always knew you would be a great wizard Harry but Hermione, Neville and Luna, you were brilliant and so brave."
"Thanks Hagrid," Neville blushed.
"I'm leaving Hogwarts at Christmas, Charlie has got me a job working with the dragons in Romania. It's always been my dream and the pay is a lot more to, there's nothing left for me at Hogwarts now."
"Anytime you need anything Hagrid you let me know, you were my first friend and gave me my very first birthday gift that I love dearly. You'll always find a welcome at our house and we'll be back to see you before Christmas."
Amelia approached the group, "Lord Potter, as minister of magic I would like to express the gratitude of the witches and wizards of Britain for ridding our country of the cancer that was Voldemort. As Amelia Bones I would just like to say that you all were magnificent today, Shack and his aurors couldn't cope with him and you eight turning up saved a number of lives today. We have some injuries but thanks to the armour your gold provided are confidant Riddle is going to be the only fatality, even the Weasley twins survived with no more than broken bones."
"Ron Weasley got hit when he pushed Millicent away from a cutting curse that Bellatrix fired, Poppy's working on him now." With impeccable timing the healer walked over just as Hermione was finishing informing the minister.
"He's going to be ok, sore for a few days and will be weak for a while after that, I'd like to take them both back with us."
"I think it's time we were all going home," Remus was standing with his arm around his pregnant wife knowing the last obstacle to his dreams had been removed. Home with a wife and family made him the richest man in the world.
Her mum was putting Joan to bed when the little girl's nose began twitching; Hermione hugged her daughter to her and asked what was troubling her.
"I heard some people talking and they were saying Britain was now safe with the bad witch and wizard gone, does that mean we'll be leaving here?" asked the clearly worried girl.
Like Harry, Hermione wouldn't lie to her daughter or fob the little girl off with some excuses. "We have no plans to return to live in Britain, things might change in the future but if they do we'll sit down as a family and discuss our options. If you can look back six months and think of the changes in our lives then you'll understand why I'm not ruling anything out but I'm pretty sure Italy will be our home for many years to come."
This seemed to settle some of her fears but Hermione could sense there was something else bothering Joan, "Mum I was frightened today, not when the bad witch had me because I knew you'd come for me. When you left me with aunt Ginny and everyone walked away I wasn't sure if I would see you again, I was really scared mum." The sight of her daughter's tears broke Hermione's heart.
"I just kept repeating what you told me, no harm could come to you while dad was there and it's true mum."
She held her daughter tight, "we'll never leave you again sweetie, that should be the last of them and we can live our lives in peace now." She kissed Joan before tucking her in, Millicent was going to be staying with her 'niece' tonight after she finished saying goodnight to Ron in the infirmary.
Amelia looked at the pieces of parchment that might grant her freedom sooner than she thought, both Drumstrang and Beauxbatons realised their contestants were massively outclassed by the Potters so with one contestant dead and another disqualified they were proposing the competition be cancelled. As they had already competed in the first task there was no danger of anyone losing their magic if the ministry declared it over.
She was certain Harry and Hermione would jump at the chance since they had already achieved their objective and it was going to save Amelia trying to choose who would be their hostages that were going to end up awaiting rescue at the bottom of the lake.
The headlines in tomorrow's papers would be spectacular and Amelia could throw fuel on the fire by citing bigotry and bias as her reason for quitting as the minister of magic on Monday. She truly wondered if the British magical community could survive and was certain it wouldn't without changes, that would be the job of the new minister and they were welcome to it.
Amelia could honestly swear she'd done the best job she could and with Harry's very public display of displeasure at toad woman, Deloris was effectively out the running to replace her. She was sure there must be a hell of a story there somewhere and perhaps one day the Potters would tell her the tale.
Neville lay cuddling his blond betrothed, it had been quite the few days and tomorrow Harry and Hermione were going to attempt to awaken his father. Neville Longbottom's life changed beyond all recognition the day Harry Potter said he wanted him at his side, all three Lestrange's were dead, his mother was back and he was positive they would help his father return too. When you factored in that the beautiful witch currently in his arms was going to marry him then Neville knew his lonely days were well and truly over.
Luna felt Neville's arms tighten around her and smiled, they were so close now she could almost read his mind. Her heart was filled with happiness for him and the fact that their friends could begin to lead normal lives. The blond witch could now concentrate on her studies because passing her NEWT's granted her the ultimate reward, becoming Mrs Luna Longbottom.
Amber was staring again at the ring on her finger, put there by the wizard who was currently sleeping beside her after their earlier exertions. The emotions currently racing through her body left her more likely to be dancing rather than snoozing, she was sure that she must be glowing in the dark with happiness.
They hadn't even thought about using potions or spells and neither was worried, a Christmas wedding was their future and if she became pregnant by then so much the better. Another Lupin boy would be best friends with a Black once more, if she and her aunt Pomona had any say in the matter there would be a whole tribe of Blacks and Lupins pulling pranks at the Potter Institute.
That thought had her snuggling back into her wizard, with some encouragement he just might wake up and discover what was waiting for him.
Dan Granger held his weeping wife, their bracelets told him this was exactly what she needed. The pressure had been steadily building towards today and now that it was over and they were all safe Emma needed to let it all out, her tears were those of relief as she hadn't expected them all to emerge unscathed from their ordeal.
Their lives had been a rollercoaster ride ever since that day in the bank, they would never want to return to their old lives but their emotions had been rubbed raw with all the peaks and troughs. They now had a daughter, son and a granddaughter but needed some level and steady track to catch their breath and enjoy their new family.
With the danger to their family now gone both Grangers were looking forward to what their children would do next, they were certain it wouldn't be boring but just hoped it didn't include armour and bullets.
Hermione was getting ready to join her husband in bed when she had a thought, "Do you think we could invite the Macdonalds to spend at least some of Christmas with us, Natalie and Joan seem quite close."
Harry chuckled, "Hardly surprising love as Natalie reminds me quite a bit of a certain Miss Granger in her first year, at least she doesn't have two clueless first year boys to corrupt her into telling lies to Minerva. I think that would be a great idea and will phone Roy tomorrow and we can maybe surprise both girls."
Hermione climbed in beside her husband, "Thanks for today Harry, when that bitch took our Joan I would have lost it without you in my head keeping me from going insane. I'm glad Joan kicked the bitch as every time I looked at that statue I would want to rip its head off and spit down the bitch's neck. Only the fact that I knew Neville had a prior claim on her stopped me from killing the bastard as painfully as I could."
Harry kissed his wife's anger away before she cuddled into him, "Do you think it will be easier to get Neville's dad back?" she asked.
Hermione could physically feel the heat radiating off Harry with embarrassment, a raised eyebrow was enough to let her husband know it was time to spill the beans.
"My beloved godmother whispered a phrase she assures me will get Frank out of there like a shot." Harry's hope that his wife wouldn't require him to repeat the phrase was so slim that it really was no hope at all.
"Apparently they were going to try for another child so she told me to tell Frank that 'mother needs her snuggle bunny for a midnight picnic so they can make a brother or sister for little Neville."
Hermione was doing her trout after flies impression before giving herself a mental shake, "Are you taking the piss?"
"I wish I was, we may need to obliviate each other when I come back."
After such a harrowing day it was something of a relief to hear the sound of laughter reverberating around the Potter Institute for Sorcery and Spells.
A/N thanks for reading this story and especially those who took the time to review.
*Tufty was a red squirrel that was used for many years in a massively successful road safety campaign and even has his own web site now; only the British could have a squirrel teaching our children how to cross the road – you really couldn't make that up.