March 2, 2091: It was the 111th birthday of Ronald Weasley. Hero of the Great War: member at large for the International Confederation of Wizards: and last but not least, proud owner of the Chudley Cannons. He sat at the head of a large table full of family and friends and thought to himself that his life so far had been truly sweet. Ron figured that he had everything a man could ask for, an amazing wife (Hermione Weasley), two great kids (Rose and Hugo), grandchildren and great grandchildren.
The fact that he had risen to such heights in his career riding on the coat tails of his best friend, Harry Potter, eluded him. Having had to finally emerge from Harry's shadow after Potter was murdered in his sleep by Ron's sister Ginny. The – Man –Who –Conquered had, rather foolishly, admitted to a lengthy affair with Romilda Vane, the Patil twins and several other witches and muggles to Ginny during a heated argument. Ginny Potter smothered her husband with a pillow while he slept. She then went to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and confessed. Mrs. Potter was never convicted of the crime. She did however; have to spend the next 15 years in the secure ward of St. Mungo's being treated for a case of magical depression.
That was 20 years ago and Ron still missed his best mate of 80 years. A tear slid down his cheek at the remembrance of his old friend.
Ron's eyes immediately brightened when his great great grand children brought out his birthday cake. Ron blew out the candles. Hermione sliced the cake and handed Ron the first piece. He greedily shovelled the cake into his mouth and began to chew. Suddenly, Ron was unable to breathe! His face turned crimson as the large group of people looked on in stunned disbelief. Finally, after Ron collapsed on the floor, did anyone move to help him. It was already too late. Ron Weasley was dead.
Hugo Weasley stood up and shouted, "Finally the Old Bastard who gave me this bloody stupid name is dead! It's amazing what a little bit of muggle poison can do." Before anybody could react, Hugo touched his wand to the plate in front of him and muttered "portus." The plate turned portkey glowed blue. He left on what now had to be the happiest day of his life and was never heard from again.
No one heard his Aunt Ginny whisper "Adios Hugo."
Ronald Weasley awoke to find himself sitting in an uncomfortable wooden chair as chains snaked their way around his limbs. Staring at him from the benches that surrounded the walls of what appeared to be courtroom ten were hundreds of angry witches and wizards.
Front and center, looking down at Ron was Fred Weasley. On either side of Fred were Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and James, Lilly & Harry Potter. Ron tried to put on a winning smile as he said "Hi Fred! I've missed you." Completely missing the death glares that were being sent his way by the members of the courtroom, Ron spoke up again – "Hi guys I've missed you too. By the way, what the heck is all this? Is it a dream? Is it real? Come on Harry! This is some kind of joke, isn't it? When do we eat?"
Having heard enough, Lilly Potter raised her wand - pointed it at Ron and said "Silencio!" Turning to Harry the red headed witch whispered "I don't know how you managed to remain friends with that stupid git for eighty years, let alone marry that whore he calls a sister!"
Harry looked remorsefully at his mother and softly replied "It was the only way to stay close to her." James Potter smiled knowingly at his son and patted his shoulder gently.
"Sorry little brother, but this is Sirius business, seriously!" roared Fred Weasley. "Damn right!" barked Sirius. Remus Lupin spoke next. "Ron you will notice that the members of the court are wearing 3 different colours of robes. The people wearing black robes were those who died before your crimes or who were going to die soon anyways." Ron noticed James and Lilly Potter wearing black robes. Lupin continued "The people in red robes are those that died as a direct result of you interfering with the bond between Harry and his soul mate. The people in white robes are those that were never given a chance at life because of you."
Most of the people seated in the court room were wearing blood red robes, while there were also a fair number wearing white robes. Every single one of them glared at Ron Weasley, while he stared around the chamber, Dumbstruck.
Fred Weasley stood up and banged his gavel twice and then spoke in a strangely authoritative tone. "Ronald Bilius Weasley you are here by charged with the following crimes!"
Just then, a black robed Albus Dumbledore strutted into the courtroom and dramatically stated "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore for the defence." He then used his wand to make himself a comfortable chair.
James Potter rose quickly waved his wand quickly and transfigured Dumbledore's chair into a large stag. The stag glared at Dumbledore, snorted and began to paw the courtroom floor. A livid Lilly Potter shouted "Your trial is next old man! You have a lot to answer for! Get the hell out of here before I hex your sorry ass into oblivion!"
The stag began to charge and Dumbledore had only enough time to shout a hasty "Sorry Ron" before he exited the courtroom with the angry stag on his heels.
Fred banged his gavel and began to recite the charges once more. "Ronald Bilius Weasley you are here by charged with the following crimes!
1. Acting like a jealous prat towards your friends
2. Deserting your friends when they needed your support
3. Keeping Harry Potter from bonding with his soul mate Hermione Granger
How do wish to answer these charges."
Ron tried to speak, but no sound came out. Fred looked to Lilly Potter who picked up her wand and waved it, only to have the wand emit a large bang and turn into an extremely large goldfish. The marauders and Fred laughed together until Lilly glared at them.
Fred muttered a quick apology and handed Lilly her wand. Lilly removed the silencing charm. "Would you like to enter your plea now or wait until the evidence has been presented?" inquired Fred. Ron chose to wait until he saw the evidence against him.
Scene after scene played on a courtroom wall : Ron bullying Hermione – Acting jealous of Harry – Influencing Harry to stay away from Hermione – Deserting Harry and Hermione – Lavender Brown. Ron Just hung his head in his hands. After thirty minutes worth of evidence had been shown Ron had seen enough. "Guilty!" he cried "Guilty, please have mercy on me. I didn't know. I had no idea!"
Severus Snape stood up and spat at him "The things that you don't know Weasley could easily fill up several libraries worth of books."
Lilly Potter stood up once more and with tears in her eyes she asked "How could you be jealous of my Harry, when you had the only thing that he ever really wanted – a loving family?"
Lilly's words stirred something deep in Ron Weasleys' soul. The weight of what he had done hit him like a frozen bludger to the head. For the first time in his life he felt true remorse for his actions. And in the end that is what saved him……………..
Ron Weasley was a broken man. He wept with abandon while the pain of genuine remorse racked his body. The pain blinded Ron with white hot intensity. Observing the spectacle before them, the hearts of the souls gathered in courtroom 10 softened.
It was Harry Potter that spoke up first. "Ron! We have been considering your situation and have been moved deeply by your remorse. If you choose, we may be willing to give you a second chance to get things right."
Ron looked up at Harry, his brother in all but blood. Tears still rained freely down his face. "Please forgive me Harry; I had no idea that I was such a stupid – self-absorbed - selfish prat! I'm willing to do whatever I can to set things right."
Sirius Black spoke up next. "Ron we believe you. We will give you the chance to prove yourself. What needs to be decided now is where in the old time line to send you in order to save as many people as possible."
"What about the start of 6th year? I could start pushing Harry to Hermione, while I pursue Lavender." Ron voiced his suggestion to the courtroom at large.
After a brief discussion James addressed Ron. "While that is a possibility, we think that is too late. Many deaths and disappearances had already taken place at the hands of Tom Riddle and his death eaters."
Cedric Diggory spoke up next. "Why not send Ron back to his 4th year? The disappearances had only begun to start. It's also another time when the soul mates were close to bonding. I would really have liked to live past 17 years old."
After more discussion it was decided to send Ron back to his fourth year just after the first task in the Tri-wizard tournament. Fred Weasley smiled at his younger brother. "Good Luck Ron! It is essential that you help Harry and Hermione to see each other as more than friends. If you are willing to help, then there will be further jobs beyond that. You will retain partial recall of the events of your previous timeline. When we feel that you are beginning to get off the track one of us will appear to you in a vision to hopefully set you on the right path again." Ron closed his eyes and courtroom 10 faded from into a mist of dense fog.
Ron Weasley woke up in his bed in the boys' 4th year dorm of the Gryffindor Tower. His head was spinning and it took a while for him to get his bearings. He had had the strangest dream, or was it a dream?
After getting ready for the day and getting dressed in his school robes Ron made his way to the common room and then down to the Great Hall for breakfast. He eagerly loaded his plate with everything that he could reach. Harry and Hermione arrived for breakfast together. They quickly said good morning to Ron and their other friends. After breakfast, the golden trio went to their morning classes.
Just before lunch Professor McGonagall made the announcement about the Yule ball and informed Harry of his obligations as Hogwarts champion. Ron, who was waiting outside of the transfiguration classroom, immediately asked Harry what Professor McGonagall had wanted. "Can you believe it? I have to find a date for the ball and open the dancing with the other champions. Just kill me now! Please!"
"Bummer! Any thoughts about who you are going to take?"
Harry smiled to himself as he thought of Cho Chang. "I was thinking about asking Cho, you know the seeker from Ravenclaw."
"I admire your taste mate, but you're wasting your time." Ron was quickly formulating a plan to get Harry to ask Hermione to the ball. Harry gave Ron a questioning look and Ron continued to speak. "I saw Diggory haul her into a broom cupboard yesterday after the first task. Besides, I think you need to ask someone who isn't just another pretty face. You should ask somebody you actually like - somebody you're comfortable with. Does that Help?"
Harry shook his head and grinned. "Sorry Ron! No matter what you say I'm not taking you to the Yule ball!"
Ron laughed at his best friend. "And people think I'm the thick headed one! Do I need to spell it out for you?"
A blank look crossed Harry's face. "Who do you think I should ask then? Ginny?"
Ron just shook his head in bewilderment. "Not Ginny. If you asked her during lunch she would probably choke to death before you got an answer." He took a deep breath before he continued. "Harry, I think that you should ask Hermione."
Harry's mouth dropped open as he stared at Ron. "Hermione? She's my best friend. I not sure I could see her that way."
With an amused look on his face, Ron answered his questions. "Of course I mean Hermione! Harry, she cares for you! Who else has been your best friend from first year? She has always believed in you, never left your side - even after I did. Last year, when we weren't talking to her, Hermione never stopped looking out for you. Besides, you never know, it might be the beginning of an even better relationship. My parents always said that lasting relationships are built on friendship first."
His eyes moved up and to the left as he thought about all the things he had been through with Hermione. Slowly, a smile came to Harry's face as he considered the truth in Ron's words." Ron you may just have something there. She is a girl after all! Are you sure that you're alright with this?"
Ron breathed a sigh of relief. Yes Harry, I'm fine with this. I think you should ask her quickly though. Guys in other houses might have noticed she's a girl too." The two friends made their way into the great hall for lunch. Ron was smiling at his good fortune. "Harry I'll stay behind and you can ask her right after lunch." After seeing Harry begin to tense up he added, "Relax Harry! It's Hermione. You can do this."
Unknown to Harry or Ron, a Gryffindor girl had witnessed their conversation and was very impressed with Ron Weasley's selfless act. Katie Bell let out a sigh and thought to herself that she just may have to invite Ron to the ball. After all Angelina and Alicia had their Weasleys, why shouldn't she have a Weasley too?
After a lunch where Harry had spent most of his time stealing glances at Hermione and steeling up his courage – rather than eating his lunch. Harry left the great hall with Hermione. True to his word, Ron stayed behind for one extra helping of desert. Hermione and Harry made their way to Care of Magical Creatures. Harry steered Hermione to a tree by the black lake in order to watch the antics of the giant squid and wait for Ron to show up.
Facing Hermione, Harry Potter took a deep breath and nervously asked, "A –a –a Hermione w-w-would y-you go to t-t-t-the –b-ball with m-me?" He then blushed deeply. "I mean if you've already got a date or don't want to go with me –I understand."
Hermione's face went from a look of shock, to a magnificent smile. She wrapped Harry into a rib cracking hug that stole his breath away. "Of course I'll go to the ball with you." she nearly shouted in his ear. They continued to talk quietly as they made their way to Hagrid's hut – smiles never leaving their faces. Ron could tell from the faces of his two best friends that his plan was working.
By supper time that evening word had spread throughout the school that Harry Potter was taking Hermione Granger to the Yule ball.
Malfoy, Crabbe & Goyle made their way the Gryffindor table. "Hey Potty! I can't believe that you asked that mudblood to the ball. What's the matter did little Weaslette turn you down?"
Harry looked at Hermione, "Relax, we'll handle this." Harry, Ron and Neville stood up as one. Ron grabbed Goyle's arm and wrenched it behind his back before Goyle could even threaten to do any damage. Neville rammed his shoulder into Crabbe's stomach as he tackled Vincent Crabbe to the floor. Harry reared back and punched Draco Malfoy in the mouth with all the force he could muster.
As Ron, Neville, Harry& Hermione made their way up to the common room, they thought that it was well worth the detentions with Filch and the 60 points from Gryffindor. The sight of the 3 Slytherins on the floor bloodied and in pain was enough. The fact that Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle had also lost 60 points for their house and had to walk Hagrid's skrewts every night for a week was icing on the cake.
The three Gryffindors received a hero's welcome when they arrived in the common room. Fred and George actually admitted that Ron was their little brother. Neville went off to talk with Ginny and Seamus while Harry and Hermione went to find a quiet corner of the common room to talk.
Katie Bell managed to corner Ron as she congratulated him for his role in the snake stomping. "Hi Ron, that was a really great thing you did at dinner tonight. And what you did for Harry and Hermione before lunch today really touched me. I was wondering if you would go to the Yule ball with me?" Ron blushed a deep crimson and felt that his body was shaking with nervousness. He took a deep reassuring breath before he spoke. "Y-y-yes I'd l-l-like that."
Dec. 2, 1994
Dear Mum & Dad:
I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I won't be able to make it home for Christmas holidays – again. This year the school is hosting a Yule ball as part of the tri-wizard tournament and everybody 4th year and above is going. I guess that's why we had to have dress robes this year.
You know all about Harry's exploits in the first task from my last letter. I still can't believe that their forcing him to compete.
Well during transfiguration class, Professor McGonagall announced that there will be a Yule ball as part of the tournament. Right after lunch Harry asked me to the ball! Can you believe it? I didn't even realize he saw me that way. That evening in the common room I asked Harry why he wanted to take me. (He could take pretty much any girl that he wanted.) Harry said that Ron, yes the boy with the emotional range of an earth worm, convinced Harry to ask me. I almost fainted when Harry told me that.
I'm not sure if Harry actually knows how to dance. Just to be safe, I'm going to ask Professor Flitwick and Professor McGonagall if they could give us some lessons. This way Harry and I can get lessons without feeling too self-conscious.
Mum, Dad, I'm so excited! I can't believe that I'm going to the ball with Harry! This could be the best night of my life. If this is a dream, please don't wake me up yet – I want to see how it ends.
Lots of Love,
p.s. I'm sorry that this is such a short letter, but I'm just so excited!!!
"Well Richard, I do believe our little girl is growing up. I just hope that she doesn't get hurt. She's had a crush on Harry for a long time now."
"What do you mean she has a crush on a boy? She's supposed to stay my little girl forever and not even start thinking of boys until she's 30 at least!" laughed Richard. "Helen I do believe that it's time we met Mr. Potter. I think we should see if the boy lives up to the six or seven pages of her letters each and every week for the past three and a half years."
Now it was Helen Granger's turn to laugh. "It is more like it's time to see if he is good enough for your little girl. Richard, promise me – you won't hurt him."
"Helen I don't want to hurt him. I just want to put the fear of God into him."
"Be careful Richard, if you scare him too badly your daughter will never forgive you." Richard chuckled lightly at his wife's warning.
"Honey, I was thinking a little more about having Hermione and Harry visit. Maybe they can ask their head of house or headmaster if they could visit after the Yule ball" "That's a good idea Helen. Why don't we ask her in our next letter? "
By the way Helen, why don't we call up your dad?"
"Why do you want to do that Richard?"
"I just wanted to know if he had any copies of the speeches that he gave when I first started dating you. I think I was too nervous to remember them. I just remember that your dad always seemed to be doing something when we talked. It seemed he was always sharpening a knife or cleaning his rifle whenever I came around"
"Richard David Granger, you will not terrorize our daughters' boyfriend. Do you understand me?"
"Yes dear" Richard replied automatically.
Just so you know Honey, if she had tried to bring that Ron Weasley home I would have brought Daddy's' rifle to you myself" Both the Grangers laughed boisterously.
It was a dreary December morning in the Gryffindor common room when Hermione met Harry to go for breakfast in the great hall. Hermione was absentmindedly biting he bottom lip as she thought about the best way of bringing up the subject of dance lessons. Harry was also lost in thought as they walked through the silent corridors. The only difference was that Harry was thinking how cute Hermione looked when she bit her bottom lip.
"Hermione, I'm worried about the Yule ball." Hermione gave him a questioning look, but remained silent. "I think it's brilliant that you decided to go with me and everything, it's just that I'm rubbish at dancing and the champions have to open the ball."
Hermione smiled to herself. "Harry I was thinking about that too" Maybe we could ask one of the professors to give us lessons or something. It would make both of us feel more comfortable."
"Alright Granger, just who did you ask for dance lessons?" growled Harry.
Hermione looked at Harry sheepishly, and then she whispered to him. "I asked Professor McGonagall and Professor Flitwick and they both agreed. Look Harry I was only trying to help you feel more comfortable with this.
Sensing that Hermione was suddenly feeling apprehensive, Harry grinned. "Brilliant! I thought that you might have asked Mad Eye or a certain divination teacher. Sorry about winding you up, but it was just too easy."
"You prat!" Hermione replied as she playfully hit Harry on the arm. Laughter filled the hallway, as the two teens continued down the hallway.
Later that evening in the charms classroom it was getting close to curfew. The two professors looked on as Harry and Hermione waltzed around the classroom. Once again Harry stepped on Hermione's toe. He stopped dancing as she winced in pain.
"I'll never get this." groaned a frustrated Harry Potter.
"Harry, relax and take a deep breath. Instead of thinking about what you're doing Harry, just look into my eyes and move to the music." Once again the music began to play. Harry looked into Hermione's brown eyes, took a deep breath and began to lead her around the classroom again. "Harry, what do you think about when you're flying?"
They continued to waltz around the classroom as Harry thought about how to put his answer to words. "Do you mean during a quidditch match or just flying?"
"Just flying." replied Hermione.
"I feel like I am a drinker of the wind, like I will never get tired, and how much my freedom means to me. Sort of like the wild horses in America."
"When you describe it like that Harry, it makes me want to fly with you"
Just then Harry & Hermione were brought from their discussion by applause from professors Flitwick and McGonagall. "That was perfect Harry, Hermione" squeaked Professor Flitwick.
"Harry what were you thinking about this last time?" asked Professor McGonagall.
Harry grinned, "I was thinking about flying."
Professor McGonagall smiled, "Only a Potter would think about flying while dancing with a pretty girl." Everyone in the room laughed.
After thanking their professors, Hermione & Harry left the charms classroom hand in hand. They were talking about anything and everything as they approached the portrait of the fat lady. Suddenly Harry pulled Hermione to the side of the portrait. He looked into her brown eyes again. They were standing so close that he could count the freckles across the bridge of her nose. "Hermione, I just want to thank you for your patience with me tonight and for helping me get through that last dance." Hermione ran her tongue along her bottom lip as Harry began to move his lips closer to Hermione's.
"Harry, Hermione, look I just managed to turn Trevor purple!" Neville Longbottom blushed as he realized what he had just interrupted. "I'm sorry. I'll just go back to into the common room now and leave you two alone."
Harry and Hermione both sighed, the moment was gone. "That's alright Neville; we don't want to be out past curfew. The three teens said goodnight to each other as Harry and Neville headed upstairs to the boy's dormitory.
It was a frustrated Harry Potter that sat in his bed, unable to sleep. Every time he closed his eyes he could picture himself flying over the black lake with his arms around Hermione. Sitting in an empty classroom or broom cupboard and trying to kiss his best friend. Each and every time they were about to kiss, they were interrupted by a purple toad apologizing with Neville's voice. He pounded his pillow into shape one more time and slipped under the cover one more time. Crookshanks leapt up onto his bed and Harry stoked his head and finally fell asleep to a contented Crookshanks' purring.
In the 4th year girl's dormitory, a smiling Hermione Granger hugged a pillow to her chest as she thought to herself - Harry almost kissed me!
An. The 'Drinker of the wind' quote was taken from the Ian Tyson song La Primera.
Dec. 8, 1994
Congratulations! We know that you have been waiting for Harry to notice you for a long time now. Here's hoping that the Yule ball is everything that you have dreamed. Even if the night doesn't live up to your expectations, remember that we still love you. And yes, we were both surprised to see that Ron was the one to convince Harry to ask you to the ball.
Your father and I are both disappointed that we will not get to see you again this Christmas. We were wondering if you could ask either your headmaster or head of house if Harry and you could stay with us for the reminder of the holidays. Both of us are anxious to meet Harry after everything that you have written about him. Don't worry about your Father. I've warned him that if he torments Harry too much he'll be spending at least a month on the couch.
Please let us know as soon as possible if you and Harry are able to visit.
We love you with all our hearts,
Mum & Dad
p.s. Pumpkin I really miss you. Please tell Harry not to worry too much, I won't be too hard on him. Also if Harry has any family that he wants to introduce us to, we would like to meet them.
Hermione quickly tucked the letter from her parents into Hogwarts a History. She smiled as Harry sat next to her. Giving Harry the opportunity to meet her parents was a good idea. Maybe they could introduce her parents to Sirius as well. Hermione decided that it was best to ask Harry directly if he wanted to visit her parents after Christmas –rather than arrange things behind his back.
"Harry I just got a letter from my parents. They want to know if we want to visit them after Christmas. They also asked about meeting your family, so I thought maybe we could see if Padfoot would come. It might be good for you to get away from this place and be just Harry for a while."
"That's Brilliant Hermione! It would be great to see Padfoot again too. Why don't we go ask Professor McGonagall and then you can write your parents back, and I'll write Padfoot?"
Hermione& Harry headed to Professor McGonagall's office and knocked gently on the door. The door swung open and the professor invited the pair inside. "Ms. Granger, Mr. Potter what can I do for you today?"
Hermione spoke up, "Well Professor it's just that my parents were wondering whether it would be alright for Harry and I to visit them after the Yule ball?"
"I think that is a splendid idea Ms. Granger. Just sit there a minute while I talk to the headmaster."
Professor McGonagall took a pinch of floo powder from a little jar on the mantle and threw it on the fire. After the fire turned emerald green, she stuck her head in and called for the headmaster's office. After 2 or 3 minutes she pulled her head from the fire, straightened herself up and informed her students that the knight bus would pick them up on the morning of the 26th.
The two teens hastily wrote their notes and walked upstairs the Owlery together. "Hermione, why don't you use Hedwig and I'll use a school owl. Hedwig's a little too distinctive to be flying regularly to Sirius." "Good idea Harry. She is such a beautiful owl. Mum always likes it when Hedwig delivers letters to her" Harry smiled, "Why don't you use Hedwig all the time then, I don't mind and I think she would be grateful for the work."
Up in the Gryffindor common room, Katie Bell and Ron Weasley had their books open and were working on their homework. Ron had found that he rather liked doing his homework with Katie. She wouldn't give him the answers outright, but she did point him in the right direction and always checked his essays after he had finished.
"Katie, tell me again why we are doing our homework on a Saturday?" Ron groaned. She sighed and took a deep breath, "Three reasons Ron: 1. if we do it now, we don't have to finish it Sunday night: 2. we will have more time to practice dancing before the ball: 3. It's my owl year and I have to keep up or die trying."
Over the last few weeks Ron had spent very little time with Harry & Hermione. It wasn't that he didn't want to be around them anymore, it was just that he enjoyed spending his free time with Katie. Even if it meant spending two hours dancing with her to every song that came over the wireless –which was exactly what he was doing now.
Ron was slowly beginning to fall under her spell. He loved that Katie was smart. Not scary smart, but smart enough. He liked how she was always willing to have fun after all their homework was finished. Even the night when she had almost beat him at wizard's chess. Off course he had spent more time looking into her grey eyes than actually concentrating on the match. She was pretty, fun to be with, smart, a great personality and a wicked sense of humor. Any bloke would be lucky to spend time with her. In 3 weeks it felt like he had known her his whole life.
While taking a break from the dancing Ron looked into Katie's stormy grey eyes. "Katie, I know we haven't hung out together that long, but I was wondering: no I mean I would like it very much if: Bloody Hell I'm rubbish at this."
Katie laughed, "What is it your trying to say Ron? Relax; I won't bite you, at least not yet"
Ron tried to take a deep calming breath and looked at Katie again. In a strange high squeaking voice he asked again, "Katie, will you go out with me?" Katie's answer was a deep passionate kiss that left Ron breathless and curled his toes.
"It's getting late Ron; I think we should make our way down to the great hall for supper."
"Katie it's only 3:00 I don't think it will take us 3 hours to get down to the great hall from here"
"Ron there are 28 broom cupboards between here and the great hall and we are going to inspect each and everyone. If you're a really good boy we may make it down in time for dessert."
Ron & Katie quickly left the classroom and headed for the nearest broom cupboard - to begin their 'inspections'.
The end of term came quickly, and Christmas day seemed to almost catch them by surprise. After a late lunch and an afternoon snowball fight the girls left to get ready for the ball. The boys head out as long as possible.
At 7:30 the boys waited in the common room as 1 by 1 the girls made their entrance. Katie Bell came down in dress robes of what could only be described Chudley Cannon Orange.
Ron's eyes nearly bugged out of his head and his face had begun to turn red as he had forgotten to breathe. Katie smiled, "That's the reaction I was looking for. Ron you can breathe now. Nice robes Ron, but I don't think maroon is your colour"
Ron's face did begin to return to normal as he started breathing again. Katie took her wand and waved it at Ron's robes and turned his robes black with Chudley orange trim.
Harry was left standing in the common room alone as he waited for Hermione to come down the stairs. Her dress robe were lilac in colour, while her hair was done up in a sophisticated bun. Harry's heart hammered in his chest as he too forgot to breathe. "Hermione, I don't think words can begin to describe how incredible you look."
Hermione smiled and took his arm as they left the common room. "Thank you Harry. You look pretty incredible yourself."
As the couple got to the entry way of the great hall a buzz went through the crowd. 'I thought Harry was taking Hermione to the ball.' 'Wow, it is Hermione!'
In many people's eyes it was a tossup between Fleur and Hermione as to who was the prettiest witch at the ball. In Harry's eyes there was no question as to who the prettiest witch. She was clinging tightly to his arm.
Years later Harry and Hermione would remember very little about the dinner; except that it was excellent. The first dance as the champions opened the ball was a blur to Hermione as she looked deep into Harry's green eyes. How long they danced or to what songs hardly mattered. They only stopped dancing to take a quick drink or talk briefly to friends.
Late into the evening found Harry & Hermione sitting on a bench in the enchanted rose garden. Green eyes looked intently into brown as Harry finally began to speak what was in his heart and in his dreams to Hermione. "Hermione you are incredible! Not only are you the cleverest witch of our age, you are the most beautiful too. Will you be my girlfriend?"
Tears of happiness filled Hermione's brown eyes as she smiled and said, "Of course I will Harry. Was there ever any doubt?"
Hermione unconsciously moistened her lips as Harry slowly leaned in to kiss her. Slowly the kiss was deepened. Who's tongue caressed the others lips that night was a mystery that neither really cared about. The universe faded around them as a rainbow coloured aura seemed to surround Harry & Hermione. First the aura was red then it was joined by pink, orange, yellow, gold, green, blue and silver. Finally an inky black cloud oozed into the night from Harry's scar as the part of Voldemort's soul that had attached itself to Harry fled into the night. The evil that was Tom Riddle's unknown horcrux could not remain in the presence of the binding of two pure souls.
The event was only witnessed by Professor McGonagall. She smiled to herself as she saw the many coloured aura, realizing that 2 souls destined to be together had finally bonded. What the cloud from Harry's scar was she didn't know. She would show the memory to Albus in the morning. He might know what that meant.
Far away in Riddle Manor just outside of Little Haggleton Lord Voldemort screamed into the night.
AN: aura colours
Red: Powerful, energetic, competitive, sexual, and passionate
Pink: Loving, tender, sensitive, sensual, artistic, affection, purity, compassion; new or revived romantic relationship
Orange: The color of vitality, vigour, good health and excitement. Lots of energy and stamina, creative, productive, adventurous, courageous
Yellow: Relates to the spleen and life energy. It is the color of awakening, inspiration, intelligence and action shared, creative, playful, optimistic, and easy-going.
Gold: Spiritual energy and power activated and awakened
Green: Relates to heart and lungs. It is a very comfortable, healthy color of nature. When seen in the aura this usually represents growth and balance, and most of all, something that leads to change.
Blue: Peacefulness, clarity and communication; truthful; intuitive
Silver: This is the color of abundance, both spiritual and physical.
Minerva McGonagall made her way to the Headmaster's office. "Canary Creams" She spoke the password firmly and stepped onto the moving staircase. Not wanting to waste time, she climbed the stairs quickly. As she was about to knock she heard Albus call "Please come in Minerva."
When she entered the office, she noticed that Severus was just leaving.
"Please keep me informed of any further developments Professor Snape."
"Yes Headmaster." replied the potions master.
Albus Dumbledore sat down behind his desk and offered his deputy headmistress a seat. When she had taken a seat in the straightest, firmest and most rigid chair in the office, he asked "What can I do for you this fine morning Minerva?"
"Albus, I saw the most wondrous sight last night at the Yule Ball. It happened when Mr. Potter kissed Ms. Granger"
"Minerva, if your here to bore me with tales of school romances then you are wasting your time and mine."
Minerva's face began to turn red as she scowled at the headmaster. "Albus you know me better than that. The reason I came is what happened during the kiss that the young couple was sharing. There was a rainbow coloured aura that surrounded. Then an inky black cloud seemed to rise into the air from Mr. Potter's scar."
The headmaster almost fell out of his chair at Minerva's words. Regaining his balance quickly Albus sat up with a large smile on his face. "Would you please allow me to view your memory of last night's events? It may allow me to answer your questions and some of my own as well." Dumbledore quickly retrieved his pensive form its cabinet and set it on the desk between them.
"Yes of course headmaster." replied the transfiguration teacher. She lifted her wand to her temple and with her concentration firmly fixed on the pertinent memory - she pulled the long strand of memory and deposited into the pensive.
After both professors had viewed the memory and returned to the previous positions all Albus could say was, "Incredible." He looked at the deputy headmistress and said "Thank you Minerva, this is indeed a most joyous event. I believe that you know that you have witnessed the consummation of a soul bond between Harry & Hermione and a very powerful one judging from the rainbow of colours present in their aura."
Minerva nodded her head and then began to ask the questions that she had come to have answered. "Albus, does this mean that they are married now? Do you know what the black cloud that leaked from his Mr. Potter's scar?"
"No Minerva, I don't think that sharing a soul bond means that the young couple are married, though if they do decide to marry then being bonded will help them greatly. When two souls bond in this manner the two bond mates will be able to share emotions and will learn from each other easier than anyone else. From the memory that I witnessed, I do believe that Harry and Hermione will end up married because it appears that they already share a deep love for each other."
"Thank goodness" Professor McGonagall sighed. "I was worried about having to find married quarters for them. Now what do you make of the black cloud that came from young Harry's scar?"
Professor Dumbledore's expression suddenly became serious. "Minerva, if you truly want to know what that cloud means then you must swear not to tell a soul until I say otherwise."
"As you wish Albus." whispered Minerva." I Minerva McGonagall do swear on my life not to speak of what Albus Dumbledore reveals to me until I have his permission to do so."
"Thank you Professor. I believe that what you saw leak form Harry's scar was a piece of Lord Voldemort's soul that attached itself to Harry after the killing curse rebounded on the caster. The fragment of Evil could not stand to remain in a vessel that was filled with the love shared between these to extraordinary people. If I am right then Voldemort deposited fragments of his soul in other objects and it is those objects that still tie him to life." He then showed Minerva the prophecy that was made before Harry's birth.
"You mean that bastard made horcruxes , as in more than one!" Albus nodded his head gravely. "Does Harry know about this?" Albus shook his head – no. "Headmaster you must tell him as soon as possible. He needs to know; he needs to prepare!"
"Minerva, I think that Harry has enough on his plate at the moment. I don't want to burden him with this now. The time is not yet right for him to have this knowledge."
"If not now, then when Headmaster? This young man has already done more to fight You - Know – Who than any other magical person alive! He deserves to know what he is up against. We have to prepare him as thoroughly as possible."
Albus suddenly felt the weight of his 160 years crash down on his shoulders. He slumped in his chair and placed his head in his hands. "Of course you are right Minerva. I only wished that Harry had some semblance of a normal life before he had to face this fate. I think that I will take the opportunity to share this with Harry and Hermione as well as Sirius and Hermione's parents while they are all together as it concerns all of them now. Please inform Harry and Hermione of my intent to visit them during the holiday."
"I will do as you say Albus." Professor McGonagall stood up and turned to leave. As she placed her hand on the door knob she turned around and whispered, "You are doing the right thing Albus."
As the door closed Dumbledore again hung his head in his hands and said to no one at all, "I know it's the right thing to do, but it is by no means easy."
Ron Weasley enjoyed a deep dream filled sleep after giving Katie a goodnight kiss in the common room. In between dreams of dancing with Katie and dreams of snogging Katie senseless slipped a dream of James Potter.
"Well done Ron, you have done a great service to both Harry & Hermione. We have no right to ask anymore of you, however if you would like, there is still much that you could help with."
"Thank you Mr. Potter. Who knew that by giving up on Hermione now I would find something so amazing with Katie? To answer your question I would be happy to help in any way possible."
James smiled again, "Call me 'Prongs'. Ron your help is graciously accepted. Do you remember the events that led to the death of Tom Riddle?"
"This year – Professor Moody turns out to be Barty Crouch jr. Voldemort is resurrected and Cedric dies. After Dumbledore died, we went on the horcrux hunt and during the final battle Harry killed Riddle".
What would you say if we could speed up some of these events and finish this war before it starts." questioned James.
"Yes! Of course, I mean who wouldn't want the war be over. But how can I help?" replied Ron.
James grinned, "You understand strategy and tactics and are the perfect person to end this war. Let's start with a first step. What do you think would happen if we exposed Crouch now?"
Ron was silent for a moment and then responded. "If we expose Crouch now then Voldmort's plan can be exposed now and we can either avoid the trap or – reverse it"
"Exactly Ron!" said an excited Prongs. "We will leave the details in your hands. Good luck Ron."
Hermione woke early the day after the ball feeling extremely happy. She wondered whether the kiss she had shared with Harry was just a dream. Somehow she seemed to know that Harry felt just as happy as she was.
"Well that was some good night kiss you shared with Harry last night!" giggled Lavender Brown.
"How was it? Are you going out with him? We want all the details. Spill Hermione!" commanded her other roommate Parvati Patil.
Hermione grinned "Can't you even let a girl freshen up before you start firing questions at her?" Both girls shook their heads. "Not when it comes to the love life of the Boy – Who – Lived." replied Lavender.
Hermione was trying to keep from giggling as she answered, "Wonderful, yes, and none of your business." She then made her way to the bathroom as the Gryffindor gossip machines put their heads together and started whispering about every couple that had gotten together or split up last night and everything that they knew of the individuals involved.
Harry on the other hand managed to wake up, shower, pack and head for breakfast before his roommates even stirred. For some strange reason he almost burst out in a fit of giggles during his shower.
Hermione & Harry met for breakfast in the great hall and shared their first good morning kiss as a couple. They only broke apart as applause and wolf whistles was heard from 3 house tables as well as the staff table. The new couple looked at each other and then blushed a light pink colour before eating their breakfast in a hurry.
Professor McGonagall walked over to the table. "It's time that the two of you left for the Granger's she said." Then the Professor led the two Gryffindors outside into the morning air. "The Headmaster has asked me to inform the two of you that he wishes to visit you at the Granger's house in three days time."
"Do you know what he wants to talk to us about Professor?" asked Hermione
"I'm sorry but I can't discuss it with you now, you will have to wait for your talk with Professor Dumbledore. Rest assured that you are not in any trouble"
After they had reached the gates Professor McGonagall summoned the Knight bus and watched as Harry and Hermione climbed on board and paid their fares. At the door, Harry turned around and said thank you to Professor McGonagall. Hermione gave Stan the address to her parents' house. Then they climbed to the top floor of the bus and cuddled together for the trip to Hermione's.
The ride to Hermione's could not end soon enough for the two teens. As they got off the bus a large shaggy black dog bounded up to them. "Hello Padfoot, it's good to see you again" grinned Harry. In the meantime Hermione was scratching him behind the ears.
The door to the Granger house opened as a bushy haired Helen Granger bolted towards her daughter and wrapped her in a hug. "I'm so glad you're home darling. We missed you" she whispered into Hermione's hair.
Next out the door was Richard Granger. He also hugged Hermione tightly. "I missed you pumpkin. I'm glad you could make it home."
Hermione turned towards Harry who had waited patiently while the Grangers were reunited. "Mum, Dad, I would like you to meet my boyfriend Harry Potter and his dog Padfoot. Harry this is Richard and Helen Granger, my parents."
Helen wrapped Harry in a hug and said "Hello Harry. It's nice to finally meet the boy my daughter has been writing home about weekly since first year."
"I'm pleased to meet you too Mrs. Granger. These are for you." he said as he handed her a large bouquet of flowers that he had purchased in Hogsmeade on Christmas Eve.
"Oh Harry, they're beautiful." smiled Helen.
Next, Richard Granger gave Harry a firm handshake. "It's good to meet you Harry. We'll talk again later"
Harry paled visibly as he said, "I'm happy to meet you to sir. I'm looking forward to talking to you too sir – I think." Everybody laughed at Harry's little joke.
The group made their way into the Granger's large suburban home. "So Hermione, when did this shift from best friend to boyfriend happen?" asked her dad
"Let's see, it is 11:30 now so I would say about 12 hours ago give or take a few minutes." Hermione smiled as she took Harry's hand in her own.
"Harry, in her last letter, Hermione said that your Godfather was coming. Do you know what time he will be here?" asked Helen.
"Actually, Mrs Granger he's here already. May Introduce you both to my Godfather – Sirius Black" At Harry's words Sirius transformed back into his human form. Judging from the Granger's lack of surprise, Harry figured that Hermione had told them all about Sirius.
"It's my pleasure to meet you both. You may not know this but I owe my life and my freedom to your daughter and Harry."
Mr. Granger grinned "Our daughter has told us all about you and all of Harry's other adventures. Your Godson seems to be a magnet for trouble."
Sirius took no offense to Richard's remarks as he barked out a laugh. "Richard you may be onto something there. I think all the Potters have been trouble magnets to one degree or another. That and they usually fall for the prettiest and most intelligent witches at Hogwarts."
The afternoon and evening seemed to fly by. At about 8:30 Richard asked Harry and Sirius into his study. Hermione gave her mother a worried look as she glanced at the study door. Helen only shook her head and told Hermione not to worry.
Inside the study, after everyone was sitting comfortably, Richard asked Harry the most feared question that any father can ask. "I'll cut straight to the chase here. Harry I'd like to know what your intentions are towards my daughter?"
Harry took a long moment to compose his thoughts. Sirius was grinning from ear to ear. He had been on the receiving end of that question many times and it was nice to see somebody else squirm for a change.
"Well sir, Hermione isn't just my girlfriend. She has been my best friend since our first year. It's hard to believe that someone as beautiful and intelligent as her can see anything good in me at all. She has taken the time to see past the hype and fame. To her, I'm just Harry and not the – boy – who – lived. Finally, to answer question, my intention is to keep getting to know more about the wonderful person that is your daughter-for as long as she will have me. If we are still together after we graduate, then I believe I will have a question to ask you sir." Harry relaxed a little as he saw Mr. Granger smile.
"First of all, please call me Richard. Sir sounds like you are talking to my father. To say the least, Harry, I'm surprised at the maturity of your answer. Before you showed up I thought that no one would ever be good enough for my little girl. From what she has told my wife and I about you and from just listening to your words now -I believe that you are as close to a knight in shining armor as a father can hope for his daughter. Now that the important business is over why don't we relax for a bit? If we come out of here too quickly they will get suspicious."
The 3 men relaxed while Richard and Sirius told stories of meeting their girlfriends' fathers. Harry realized that he had gotten off easy. When they decided to leave all three put on grim faces and Harry made sure to keep his head down and his eyes looking at the ground.
When Hermione saw this she glared at her father. "What did you say to him?" she asked angrily. She then ran over to Harry and threw her arms around Harry's neck." It's alright Harry. If he's going to treat you this way then we will be leaving now."
Sirius was unable to hold back his laughter any more. His laugh was contagious as Harry and Richard joined in. Hermione blushed furiously. "You Prats! Just for that Harry the only kisses you will be getting are from your dog father over there. As for you Daddy, you will just have to do without." She then turned away and walked towards the stairs.
All three men looked downcast when they saw how their prank backfired. "Hermione it was just a … "pleaded Harry.
"Gotcha!" laughed Hermione. "You guys are so easy." Everybody laughed at how Hermione was able to put one over on the three men.
For Harry the time seemed to fly by. He marvelled at how easily Sirius and he were accepted by the elder Grangers.
All too soon the wizarding world came crashing down on them again as Albus Dumbledore arrived for his talk with Harry, Sirius, and the Grangers.
"Good afternoon everyone, I trust that the holiday break finds you in good health and enjoying a well deserved rest." said Professor Dumbledore casually.
"Sorry to interrupt you Albus." growled Sirius Black. "Are we going to spend the afternoon exchanging pleasantries or are you going to get down to business and tell us why you are here."
"As you wis, Sirius. The reason that I am here is to discuss an occurrence at the Yule ball and to pass on information that I have neglected to give Harry. Seeing as how this information now impacts Hermione as well, and by extension her family, I thought it would be prudent to have this discussion with everybody at one time." reasoned Professor Dumbledore. "Judging by the fact that Sirius is here and in human form I am going to assume that the Grangers know about Harry and Hermione's adventures at Hogwarts." Every one present nodded their heads and waited for the old headmaster to continue.
Albus pulled his pensive from a bag that he had been carrying. "This is a pensive; it is used to view memories of events that have happened and allows the user to view other memories and look for patterns in events that would not be readily apparent. I would like all of us to re-visit an incident observed by the deputy headmistress." He withdrew a vial of memory from inside the pocket of his robe, uncapped it, and poured it into the pensive.
He tapped his wand to a rune on the side of the pensive. The image of Harry and Hermione sharing their first kiss was displayed to all. Everyone watched as the rainbow coloured aura surrounded the young couple and then the inky black cloud leaving Harry's scar.
Harry & Hermione blushed scarlet. Sirius grinned, "Nice technique pup." Nervous laughter sputtered around the room.
Helen asked the questions that everyone wanted to ask. "Professor is it normal for an aura to appear around a magical couple as they kiss and what is the cloud that leaked from Harry's scar?" Richard glared darkly at Harry. Seeing this, Hermione generously volunteered to kiss Harry in front of everyone. Her dad backed off after that.
Albus sighed and explained about the young couple's soul bond and horcruxes. Needless to say everybody in the room was stunned. He then showed them the memory of the prophecy. Dumbledore then explained how everything related to Harry.
All eyes turned to Harry. He stood up quickly and began to head for the stairs. "I'll be leaving now. I don't want to put all of you in danger while I'm here. Losing my parents was bad enough, I don't want anybody else that I care about hurt." cried Harry.
"Freeze Potter! Just where do you think you're going?" shouted Hermione. "There is no way in Hell that you are going to face this alone." She then wrapped Harry in a fierce hug that conveyed all the love she felt for him. Hermione was soon joined by Sirius, Richard and Helen.
Once everybody calmed down and resumed sitting, Albus Dumbledore looked sadly at Harry. "I am truly sorry to burden you with this when you already have more than enough on your plate. You have shouldered a grown man's burden and found yourself more than equal to it. Harry, you have faced circumstances in your life that would harden the heart of the kindest person and yet you retain the ability to love. Please don't push the people who care about you away. They are your greatest strength. I believe with the help of your friends you will pull through these dark times and live to see the sun again." Professor Dumbledore informed Harry and Hermione of the 'lessons' that he would be giving the two of them and the fact that it was alright to share this information with Ron.
Harry was glum with the realization that he must become either murderer or victim. "I think that I've always known that it would come to this Professor. Even if there was no prophecy, I'd want to be the one to end this. He killed my parents and many other innocent people. I'll be dammed if I let him hurt anybody else that I care for." Hermione and Helen both wrapped Harry in another warm hug.
"Harry, you would not be the remarkable person that you are if you felt any other way. I know that his is heavy news, but please try to enjoy what is left of your holidays" smiled Dumbledore. He then rose from his chair and left the Granger's home. It had cost him dearly to give up so many of his secrets, but Minerva was right in the end. These children had to be prepared for what was to come.
Later in the evening, as Harry and Helen were cleaning the dishes from supper, she managed to corner him with the one question she had for Harry. "Are you in love with my daughter, Harry?"
After collecting his thoughts Harry answered. "Truthfully Helen, I'm not even sure that I know what love is. I do know that Hermione means the world to me."
Helen sighed and once again marvelled at the young man that her daughter was bound to. "Do you want to spend all your time with her Harry? Is she the first thing you think of in the morning and the last thing you think of at night? Do you dream of her? Do you hear love songs on the radio and think that they were written just for her? Does the thought of being separated from her for any significant length of time feel like a fate worse than death?" Harry nodded his head. He thought all those things and more. "Well then Harry, I do you believe that you love Hermione. I also know for a fact that she feels the same way about you. Please take good care of her and don't wait too long to tell her how you feel."
It was shortly after the beginning of the New Year while Harry, Sirius and the Grangers were in the sitting room talking that a new plan began to take shape. "I don't know how wizards and witches stay sane in your world." complained Richard. "I mean aside from insane dark lords you have a society that seems to be ruled by people who feel superior because they are inbred. Sirius was convicted of a crime and imprisoned for twelve years without a trial. Don't get me started on the secretive headmaster and the situations he's placed Harry in. Harry I know you're committed to finishing off this Voldemort. If I were you, I'd get the hell out of the country as soon as he's finished. Maybe we should all go. Make a new life somewhere else."
"You may have a point there Richard. My family has houses in several different countries. It would be nice to be away from all of this insanity. I think that we should look into this further." agreed Sirius.
"Helen chimed in, "We could sell the practice in a heartbeat Richard. It would be no problem selling the house. I'm sure that there will be quality magical schools in whatever country we decide on. What do you think kids?"
"I think it's a brilliant idea." agreed Hermione. "Just think Harry, we could go someplace where you could be just Harry and we could build a life based on who we are and not what we were forced to do here."
""I'm in." chuckled Harry. "As soon as I knock off the most evil dark lord ever - we all get the hell out of here" Soon after the conversation was over everybody went to bed dreaming of a new life in a new country.
The next morning Harry and Hermione packed their trunks in preparation to go back to Hogwarts. It was decided that Sirius would stay with the Grangers as the lovable stray that they had adopted. Everyone said their goodbyes as Harry and Hermione stepped onto the Knight Bus and back into the wizarding world.
As soon as they arrived back at Hogwarts, Harry and Hermione found Ron and dragged him to a classroom so that they could explain all that they had learned from Dumbledore. Ron chuckled, "Bloody hell, all this could only happen to Harry Potter. Don't worry mate, just like Hermione, I'm in this with you to the bloody end."
After catching up on all the other news that the newly reunited trio had to share Hermione looked at Ron and smiled teasingly, "I don't know if it's just me but I think that Katie has been very good for you Ron? Since you and Harry made it up, you seem to have grown up considerably. I have to admit that if I think about it too much it's all kind of unsettling."
Harry started coughing something that suspiciously sounded like "Whipped".
"You're one to talk Potter." glared Hermione.
"You're right Hermione, I think it's all down to Katie." laughed Ron. "Not only is she a Chudley Cannons fan, but when it comes to getting homework done her ah 'motivation techniques' are second to none. Honestly though, I think that we may have a good thing going and I'm just trying not to mess it up."
"Who knew that the way to get Ron Weasley to do his homework was to find a witch willing to snog him in a broom closet after he finished." teased Harry.
Rather than look upset, Ron sat up proudly, "Actually Harry it's not just one broom closet – It's every one between the common room and the great hall and a few other places that I'll let you two find out for yourselves." The trio laughed and made their way back to the common room. Ron rejoined Katie, who had been taking the opportunity to continue studying.
Ron smiled to himself and drank in the peaceful atmosphere. He knew that once he started putting his plans into action that the shit was going to hit the fan.
Jan. 6 1995
I'm Harry and Hermione's friend Ron Weasley. Harry has told me all about your talk with Professor Dumbledore. I have some Information that could help you find certain objects. I don't feel it's safe to put this information in a letter. Is there another way that we can communicate? If not, the information will have to wait until the next Hogsmeade weekend.
Well that's the first part of my plan finished Ron thought to himself. Ron shuffled off to DADA class with Harry and Hermione. After class he stayed behind to ask Professor Moody a question.
"Well Weasley what do you want?" Mad eye asked gruffly.
"Well sir I was wondering how you met my father? I mean it's obvious that you know him fairly well." asked Ron.
I first met Arthur Weasley at the Ministry of Magic Christmas Party. In fact it was shortly after he married your mother." Mad eye contorted his face into grotesque smile.
"Thanks Professor. I better get to my next class." Ron left the class in a hurry.
Later that night he cornered Fred and George in the common room as they had finished working on a letter of their own. "Fred, George, I need to talk to you – alone" Ron whispered. They went to a quiet corner of the large room and sat down at a scrubbed wooden table.
"What's up little bro" asked George. "Do you need some pointers with Katie? You know we always" Fred started. "love to help our little brother." finished George.
"Knock it off you two this is serious. I don't think that Professor Moody is the real Mad Eye Moody"
Fred suddenly looked concerned. "Ron what makes you say that?"
"Today after defense class I asked Moody how he knew dad. He said that he met dad at a Christmas party."
"What?" asked a shocked George. "The whole family knows that he is dad's Godfather. How's he pulling this off?"
Fred, George you two are the NEWT students, you tell Me." hissed Ron.
The twins looked at each other for a minute. "Polyjuice Potion." they said together. "Makes sense." muttered Fred.
"Just has to take a sip of it every hour." nodded George. "It's probably in is flask"
"What should we do about it? Tell Dumbledore?" queried Fred.
Ron answered, I don't think so. If the imposter is smart enough to fool Dumbledore he probably has a plan in case Dumbledore finds out on his own. How do we expose him without anybody getting hurt?"
"Diversion" smirked Fred. "We set up a diversion"
"We swap out his flask with a fake and then we give the real one to Dumbledore." grinned George.
"Brilliant" they said together.
The three Weasley's spent the next two hours drawing up a plan and then perfecting it. They were convinced that it would work and that nobody they liked would get hurt.
Planning stopped abruptly when Katie Bell came to say goodnight to Ron. 45 minutes later it was a dazed Ron who said good night to Katie at the foot of the stairs to the Girl's dorms after coming back into the common room from a deserted classroom.
A week later, Ron, Fred and George were sitting in a secret corridor adjacent to Professor Moody's office. The Weasleys were looking at the Marauders map, which Ron had borrowed from Harry. Ron pointed his finger at the map. Alright there coming. Let's do this. As they came into the corridor they met up with Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle.
Draco's face lit up as he saw the Weasley's and started hurling insults at the three Gryffindors. "Malfoy" chided Fred. "You have two choices: 1. Turn around and walk away or 2. We will make the snake stomping in the great hall look like a play date. "
Malfoy didn't turn around. "You blood traitors are too gutless to do anything. You should go back to the pig sty you call home before you get hurt." Ron lunged at Malfoy and started pummeling his face. Fred and George started wrestling with Crabbe and Goyle. A surprised Moody came out of his office. His wand was drawn and he was looking at the commotion. Fred knocked Goyle into him. George made the switch and pocketed the original flask. Moody performed a freezing charm on all 6 of the combatants.
Just then Professor Snape swooped around the corner. "Oh dear, fighting in the hallways, you Weasleys are in trouble. 100 points from Gryffindor and a month's detention with Filch." he hissed. "Unfreeze my students please Moody. I need to take them to the hospital wing.
Moody unfroze the three snakes all of whom were bleeding heavily. I don't think that punishment is justified Snape, your boys started this little muggle duel."
"I think the punishment stands Snape said in his most dangerous voice, but if you wish to contest this we can go see the headmaster."
"Done" growled Moody. "All right you three of you go to the headmaster's office, the password is cockroach cluster."
Fred, George, and Ron ran up to the Headmaster's office and gave the password. They sprinted up the stairs and knocked on the office door. George handed the flask to Professor Dumbledore while Ron explained what happened with Malfoy and friends.
Dumbledore unscrewed the cap, and then sniffed the potion. "Polyjuice Potion" was all he said. The boys nodded "Thank you gentlemen. I'll cancel your detentions and give 200 points to Gryffindor." The three Weasleys smiled to themselves. They got to beat up Malfoy and got 100 points for their efforts.
Just then Moody and Snape burst into the office and continued their argument. It was only settled when they looked at Moody's pensive memory. The memory consisted of hearing Malfoy's insults and then the status of the fight when he left his office. After a long discussion it was agreed that both Slytherin and Gryffindor would lose 100 points and no detentions to be served.
Fred and George left Ron alone with the professors. Ron was just about to leave when Moody's polyjuice potion wore off and he turned back into Barty Crouch Jr. Dumbledore disarmed Crouch while Snape conjured robes to tie him up. He then reached into his pocket and removed a bottle of veritaserum.
Barty Crouch detailed his escape from Azkaban. How he had entered Harry in the tournament and the plan to deliver Harry to his master at the conclusion of the tournament.
Dumbledore and Snape debated what to do with the information they had gotten when Ron spoke up. "Excuse me sir, what would happen if we obliviated him and let him carry out his plan." Both professors stared at him in shock and Ron continued with his idea. "When Harry gets to the graveyard, Voldemort is reborn, and he calls his death eaters, we reverse the trap. You know, have people waiting for them to appear and take them out. I know it's risky but think of the benefits."
"Thank you Mr. Weasley. I will consider your idea. Now if you will excuse us I need to discuss some things with Professor Snape." Ron left the office and rejoined Fred and George and explained all that happened after they had left Dumbledore's office.
"I hate to admit it Headmaster, but Weasley's idea has merit. The dark Lord would not expect his plan to fail and we would have the element of surprise on our side. Even if he somehow managed to escape the trap, he would be crippled without his supporters to help him."
"A trap within a trap, if it is carried out properly we could stop the war before it starts.' considered Albus. "As risky as it is, the plan is the only feasible one we have."
Hermione & Harry had their first 'lesson' with the headmaster. While watching Bob Ogden's memory in the pensive, Harry found that he was now unable to understand Parseltonuge. Hermione asked Dumbledore about Harry's loss of that skill. He had informed them that since Harry no longer harboured a horcrux he had lost his connection with the dark lord and the ability to speak to snakes.
It had been almost a month since Harry and Hermione had returned from the Granger's house. Harry found himself feeling deliriously happy and frustrated at the same time. He was happy because of his relationship with Hermione had been beyond his wildest dreams. Well, maybe not beyond his 'wildest dreams,' but beyond his expectations anyways. Finally people were talking about something that made both Harry and Hermione happy. Harry was frustrated because no matter how many times Hermione and he tried; they could not figure a way to solve the mystery of the golden egg.
That is until a chance meeting between Cedric and Harry. Cedric suggested that Harry take a bath and bring the egg. He also gave Harry the password to the prefects' bathroom in order to insure his privacy. "Just one more thing Harry, if you want to work on the clue and take Hermione for some private time – the tub is the size of a large swimming pool." Cedric chuckled.
Harry thought that Cedric had a great idea. He asked Hermione who also seemed to like the idea. Later that night, just before curfew, Neville came into the common room and hesitated there as Harry and Hermione slipped through open passage way under Harry's invisibility cloak. "Thanks Neville" Hermione whispered as she passed through the door.
Harry and Hermione stripped down to their swimsuits that they were wearing underneath their robes. The couple then proceeded to open every tap that surrounded the tub. They both slipped into the warm foamy and perfume scented water. Harry reached for the egg and opened it and they heard the same wailing sound -exactly the same as every other time they opened it. Quickly pushing the egg under water to keep people from hearing them, the egg became quiet.
Suddenly Hermione smiled in realization, "Harry it's in Mermish! That's why we can't hear it. We need to listen to it underwater."
Harry kissed Hermione firmly and told her that she was brilliant. The two took a deep breath and listened to the clue underwater. It took less than 15 minutes to work out what the clue meant. Not wanting to get into specifics about how to stay under water for an hour or what would be taken, Harry and Hermione decided to enjoy their alone time.
Harry looked longingly in to Hermione's eyes. He remembered Helen's words of advice back in the kitchen of the Granger's house. He knew it was time. Harry took a deep breath to steady himself. "Hermione ever since I asked you to the Yule ball it has been like living someone else's life –I've never been so happy. It's like we have borrowed a little bit of heaven."
"Harry, let's never give it back." smiled Hermione. "I love you Harry Potter"
The words forced a small tear of happiness from Harry's green eyes as he responded to the words he had no memory of hearing said to him before. "I love you too Hermione." The young couple then engaged in fierce snogging session that lasted late into the night.
Years later, Hermione reflected that she would have given herself to Harry that night if he had asked her. Harry and Hermione both knew that they were not ready to deal with the consequences at that time.
The next morning Neville asked Harry if he had solved the clue yet. Harry told Neville that he had solved the clue but had no idea how to stay underwater for an hour. Neville gave a smile that lit up their dorm room. "I know the answer Harry. It's in this book that Moody gave me. All you need is a handful of gillyweed."
"You're brilliant Neville! Can I borrow that book? I want to show it to Hermione and see what she thinks." shouted and excited Harry.
A few days later Helen Granger let out a shriek of happiness as she read Hermione's shortest letter ever.
Dear Mum & Dad;
Harry Potter loves me!!!!!!
Ron received his response from Sirius in the form of a mirror and a short note on how to activate it. He took the mirror and hid it carefully in the pocket of his robes.
After studying with Katie for a while, Ron left for the room of requirement. Once in the come and go room he took the mirror from his pocket and spoke "Sirius Black" It took only a minute for Sirius to respond.
"It's good to see you again Ron. Can you please tell me what's so important that you can't say it in a letter?"
"Sirius, Harry told me about the Horcruxes and what Dumbledore thinks they are. I think that I know where one of them is. Sirius please don't ask me how I know because I can't tell you. Just trust me, just trust me."
"Alright Ron, tell me what you think it is and where can I find it."
Ron explained about the locket that Regulus and Kreacher had taken from Voldemort and that it was now hidden in Sirius' ancestral home at Grimmauld Place. Sirius looked grim, but nodded his understanding.
"Sirius, I just two more things: First can you ask Kreacher about how He and your brother got the locket – it may surprise you. Second, Can I bring my brother Bill in on this? He's a curse breaker with Gringotts and he may be able to help you with destroying this horcrux and possibly others."
"It's okay with me Ron, as long as you think that you can trust him with the secret about me and the Horcruxes."
"He's my brother Sirius. I trust him with my life."
"Then I trust him too. Stay safe Ron, and give my best to Harry and Hermione."
"Stay safe Sirius."
Ron then sent a letter to his brother Bill and asked him if they could meet in Hogsmeade on the next weekend visit to the village. It was after sending his letter that he ran into Hermione, who was leaving the library, and he passed on Sirius' good wishes. She asked Ron how he had contacted Sirius and what they had talked about. Ron shared all the details of his conversation with Sirius.
A look of fear crossed Hermione's face as she listened to Ron talk. Suddenly she grabbed Ron by the collar of his robes and forcing him up against a wall she put her wand to his throat.
"Just who the hell are you? And where is the real Ron Weasley?"
"If you're the one that entered Harry into that tournament I will hex you to Hell and back." threatened Hermione.
Ron chuckled, "I always knew that you would be the first one to figure things out Hermione. Just so you know I really am Ron Weasley. If you let me put my hand on my wand I'll take a magical oath to prove it to you."
Hermione let go of Ron's collar and took three steps backwards, her wand aimed directly at his heart. "Keep your wand in the pocket of your robe and just put your hand on it. If you try anything other than what you're told; you'll regret it."
Ron placed his hand on his wand exactly as Hermione had ordered. "I Ronald Bilius Weasley do swear on my life that I am Ronald Bilius Weasley."
Hermione breathed a sigh of relief and lowered her wand. "Explain yourself Ron."
"Not here Hermione, there are too many curious ears. How about I give you answers to some of your questions in the common room after everybody leaves. So, how did you figure it out?"
Hermione looked amused,"I think my first clue was when Harry told me that you convinced him to ask me to the ball. Pardon me for saying but that type of selfless act is beyond the Ron that I know. The next thing I noticed was how you stood up to Fred & George in the common room. I've never seen you do that before. You have also started saying 'Voldemort' rather than You Know Who. There are only a handful of people that I know who actually say that name. I was suspicious but didn't act until now. Finally, when you told me how you sent Sirius to his mother's house to look for the locket. I figured that you could have been sending him into a trap or something."
They arrived at the common room and started working on more homework at a table with Harry & Katie. After about an hour, they were the last pair remaining.
"Don't worry Katie, Hermione is just checking over my potions essay before bed." He then gave her an enthusiastic goodnight kiss. Katie went up to the fifth year girl's dorm. Harry and Hermione also shared a good night kiss.
"Hermione, you may not believe this, but I'm actually 111 years old. I was sent back in time to carry out two missions. The first mission that I was given was to get you and Harry together. The man that you ended up with in my timeline didn't deserve you. The girl that Harry ended up marrying made him bitter. He couldn't love her the way that he loves you. She killed him because of that. The second mission is to help Harry to stop Voldemort before he regains power and starts a second war –saving as many innocent lives as possible."
Hermione could only nod. "In your timeline did we win the war?"
"Yes, we won Hermione, but we also lost. Too many of our friends and loved ones died before their time." Ron continued speaking, "I know all about Voldemort's horcruxes. I know what they are and I know where they are. I'm going to use Sirius, Remus and Bill to collect the three that are outside Hogwarts. As for the one inside Hogwarts, I was thinking that you and Ginny's friend Luna could find that one. Voldemort's pet snake will have to be taken care of at the final showdown. Harry has already destroyed one and you have destroyed another.
Hermione smiled at the memory of the first kiss she shared with Harry. I trust that you will tell Luna and me what we need to do when the time comes." Ron nodded his head yes. "So Ron, how do you destroy a horcrux?"
"You have to damage it beyond magical repair. The sword of Gryffindor will work because it is coated with Basilisk venom, and the goblins have a special fiend fyre oven that will work also."
"Where does Katie fit into all of this? Did you date her in the first timeline?"
It was Ron's turn to smile, "I barely knew Katie in the first timeline. I'm lucky that she noticed me this time. She really is good for me. Please don't ask any more questions about the future. You know that I really can't tell you anything about it. In fact, once this timeline has been altered enough. I won't remember a thing. Promise me that you won't tell anyone else. I want to keep the people who know to a minimum."
"Of course Ron. Besides, who would believe me if I told them?"
When the weekend of the Hogsmeade visit finally arrived, the two couples made their way to the village together. Ron & Katie's first stop was Madam Puddifoot's. Harry and Hermione went to all their favourite stores. While Hermione sent an owl to her parents, Harry slipped into the magical jewellery store to buy a special present for Hermione. At lunch time the two couples met up at the Three Broomsticks. Shortly after they arrived they were joined by Bill Weasley.
Ron saw Bill and shook his hand. "Hi Bill, it's great to see you. I'm glad you could make it. You already know Harry and Hermione. This beautiful lady beside me is my girlfriend Katie Bell"
Bill greeted Harry and Hermione and then rested his eyes on Katie. "Wow Ron you really have good taste in women" Everybody at the table laughed.
After kissing Ron, Katie snickered" I really didn't give him much choice in the matter, but thanks for the compliment Bill." Harry & Hermione left soon after Bill arrived for their time at Madam Puddifoots'. After sharing more laughs over a round of Butter Beers it was time for Ron and Bill to have their talk.
"Katie if you don't mind I need to talk to my brother alone for a while." Ron asked.
"That's okay Ron I have to pick up a Valentine's gift for someone."
Ron led his brother out of town towards the shrieking shack. "Bill can you set up some privacy wards please, I really don't think we should be overhead."
Bill's face became serious as he set up the wards. "Okay Ron what's going on?"
"How much do you know about Sirius Black, Bill? Bill gave the standard reply about the mass murders and his escape. "Do you know that he was sent to Azkaban without a trial?" Bill shook his head. "What would you say if I told you that he was innocent and that Peter Pettigrew was an unregistered animagus whose form was a rat?"
Bill looked at Ron in disbelief. "Scabbers" was all he said. Ron nodded his head. "That's kind of a bitter potion to swallow Ron"
"I know Bill, but Sirius is innocent. Would you like me to take a magical oath prove what I'm saying is true."
"I think I can do without that little brother, but I would like to know what's going on." Ron told Bill the same story that he told Hermione. He knew that Bill was just about as smart as Hermione and would figure things out fairly quickly. It was a necessary risk.
By the time Ron finished, Bill was in shock. "That really is some story Ron. It's just crazy enough to be true."
"I agree Bill. Will you help us?" Bill quickly agreed to help. "Well then I think that it's time I introduced you to Sirius Black." He pulled out the two way mirror from his pocket and called, "Sirius Black."
After the introductions were made Bill agreed to meet Sirius at the Granger's house and get the goblins to destroy the first Horcrux. Ron had also told Ron about the horcrux in the LeStrange vault and asked him to have the goblins check into the financial records of Cornelius Fudge and Lucius Malfoy. Bill promised that if the goblins found anything interesting, he would forward the information to Rita Skeeter.
The two brothers walked back to town and Ron borrowed some money to buy Katie a valentine's day present. "Hey Bill, be sure to come back to Hogwarts for the final task and I'll introduce you to your future wife." Both men laughed as they entered the village again.
Valentine's Day came 3 days later. That morning Harry could not wait to give Hermione her present. He kissed her good morning and led her to a deserted classroom. Happy Valentine's Day Hermione." he smiled as he gave her an expensive looking card. Hermione seemed a little miffed as she handed Harry her card and a small package. In the package was a locket with a picture of Harry and Hermione at the Yule ball. Harry kissed her and then put the locket on. Hermione was a little disappointed as she was sure that she had given Harry sufficient time to buy her a gift. Sensing her disappointment he smiled, "I almost forgot Hermione this is for you." He handed her a small lavishly wrapped package. Disappointment changed to hysterics as she opened the box and found a platinum promise ring with a heart shaped emerald on top. A weeping Hermione allowed Harry to place the ring on her finger. She then proceeded to snog Harry senseless.
When the happy couple sat down at the Gryffindor table, Lavender Brown spotted the ring immediately and began to shriek happily as she hugged Hermione. Soon the commotion Lavender had caused died down and they were able to finish their breakfast in peace.
Katie and Ron exchanged gifts, in their favourite broom closet, after they had finished their homework. Ron gave Katie a heart shaped pendant with a single diamond. Katie gave Ron a personalized Chudley Cannon's jersey. After a month or so Katie stole the Jersey back and happily wore it to sleep each night. Ron had been frantic that her gift was missing. That was until he spotted her wearing the jersey one morning in the common room. Seeing Katie Bell walking around in the common room with Weasley across her back was just about the most amazing thing he had ever seen.
The second task of the tri-wizard tournament went pretty much as Ron had remembered it. The only differences were that Hermione was Harry's hostage and surprisingly Colin Creevey was Viktor Krum's. Apparently Viktor had taken a liking to Colin and was training him to be a seeker. Colin was sort of like the little brother that Viktor had always wanted but never had.
Some time just before Easter break, Ron saw a headline in the Daily Prophet t hat made him smile all the way to his toes.
Corruption at the Ministry's Highest Levels
Minister Fudge Resigns in Disgrace
By Rita Skeeter
It has been an extremely turbulent week at the Ministry of Magic. During a routine audit of Minister Fudge's finances, representatives of Gringotts' Bank detected several irregularities. The Daily Prophet can now exclusively reveal that all of these 'irregularities' can be traced back to suspected Death Eater Lucius Malfoy.
Aurors were dispatched to Malfoy Manor early this morning to arrest Malfoy on charges of bribing public officials.
For more on Fudge's resignation see page 2
For more information on Lucius Malfoy and his alleged activities as a Death Eater see pages 6, 7, 8, and 9
Under that were more headlines that made Ron smile.
Amelia Bones Tapped as Next Minister
Minister Bones Vows to Fight Government Corruption
Arthur Weasley to Head Ministries Corruption Commission
It was a great day for Ron. So far all of his plans had worked to perfection. He had been notified by a smiling Bill Weasley and an equally happy Sirius Black that the two horcruxes had been disposed of by the goblins. He would wait until after Easter to set the rest of his plans in motion.
Ron was going with Katie to her parents' house for Easter break. Harry and Hermione were going to back to the Grangers.
Katie introduced Ron to her parents, Peter and Mable Bell. Peter Bell owned a muggle pub called the De'd Dog. Both Katie's parents seemed to like Ron from the moment that they first met. For Ron it was like having a second, smaller, family.
Harry and Hermione arrived at the Granger's house and the young couple were greeted enthusiastically by Helen, Richard, and Sirius. Helen quickly noticed the promise ring on Hermione's finger. She hugged both Harry and Hermione tightly. Harry whispered in Helen's ear, "Thanks for the advice mum."
Helen hugged him again and kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you for making my daughter so happy." Sirius clapped Harry on the shoulder and Richard shook his hand.
That night after supper Harry, Sirius and the Grangers were continuing to discuss their plan to leave England. "I spoke to the realtor yesterday," began Helen, "She said that with the current market and our desire for a quick sale it will be no problem unloading the house."
Richard spoke up next. "I've had the accountants update the books for the practice and I asked our solicitor to seek out potential buyers.
"Richard and Helen, I assume that you are still thinking the farther away the better." Both Grangers smiled at Sirius. "The Black portfolio includes houses in: Montreal, Canada: Cancun, Mexico: Cape Town, South Africa: Perth, Australia and Wellington, New Zealand. I assure you that all of the houses are large enough to accommodate the 5 of us quite comfortably."
"Why don't we leave the decision on where to go until this is all over?" asked Hermione. "I mean it's nothing that we have to rush into."
The days spent at the Grangers' home were like a healing potion for Harry. He felt free without the stares of the nameless masses at Hogwarts. There was no Tri-Wizard tournament looming in front of him. Getting lost in Broomhill Park with Hermione was one of his new favourite activities. Unfortunately the day soon came when Harry and Hermione had to say goodbye again and return to the fish bowl that was Hogwarts.
Upon returning to Hogwarts Harry and Hermione spotted a group of Slytherin's bullying a slender blonde haired Raven claw. They scared off the Slytherin's and helped the girl to her feet. One defiant snake stopped when he thought he was far enough away. "We'll find you again Looney. …" He didn't finish what he was saying as Hermione fired a well aimed stinging hex that hit the young boy where the hex would cause the most pain. Harry cringed, "Hermione remind me to never get you angry at me." Hermione and Luna both laughed.
"Hello, you're Harry Potter, she smiled at Harry, and you're Hermione Granger – thank you for chasing those boys away. I'm Luna Lovegood by the way."
"Pleased to meet you" Harry and Hermione said together. All three students laughed.
"I'm glad that the two of you finally bonded." Luna casually remarked.
"How do you know about that Luna? We haven't told very many people about it just yet." asked Hermione.
Luna smiled serenely, "I can see the rainbow coloured aura surrounding the two of you. It's keeping the wrackspurts and nargles away."
"Goodbye Luna" Harry and Hermione shook their heads as they left for the Gryffindor tower.
Ron was glad that Hermione had met Luna without his making the introduction. He kept his distance from Luna. Ron knew that Luna would figure his secret even quicker than Hermione had.
Ron knew that it was time to tell Hermione about the diadem. After instructing Hermione where the horcrux was and how to access the room of hidden things, he left it up to her to figure out how to get Luna's help to find it. He also made sure that Hermione knew she and Luna were not to try it on.
During a free period, Ron ducked into the room of requirement and called Sirius about the location of the ring. Sirius was suspicious about how Ron had come upon this information. He also knew enough not to ask questions that he really didn't want answered. Ron had suggested that Sirius bring both Remus and Bill for this job. It was the one horcrux that was still protected by You - Know – Who's magic.
At breakfast on the first Saturday in May, Hermione had invited Luna to have breakfast with her.
"Luna, I have been doing an extra credit assignment for history of magic and I was wondering if you could help me with it? I know that Harry found the sword of Gryffindor and I was interested in trying to locate other founders' objects. Is there anything of Ravenclaw's that has been lost?"
Luna thought for a long minute and the answered, "I think that there might be one –Ravenclaw's diadem. You probably won't find it though; the diadem has been lost for almost a thousand years. Daddy and I are going to try to make a copy of the diadem. It's our summer project."
"That's brilliant Luna. You wouldn't happen to have a picture of it or something?"
"Hermione, there aren't any pictures of it, but there is a bust of Rowena Ravenclaw wearing the diadem in the Ravenclaw common room." Luna took Hermione to see the bust.
Hermione told Luna about wanting to check a room that she had heard the house elves talking about. The two girls made it into the room of hidden objects and began searching for the diadem. It was an hour later when she finally spotted it. She called Luna excitedly and began to move towards it. Just as she was about to pick up the diadem Luna grabbed her hand. Hermione looked confused. "Don't touch it Hermione! It's evil. The diadem is cursed I can feel it."
"Are you sure Luna?" asked a surprised Hermione. "Help me find something to wrap it in then and I'll take it the Headmaster." Luna quickly found an old cloak with a pink stain on it. The girls wrapped it in the cloak, being careful not to touch it. Hermione picked up the diadem and Luna led the way out of the room of hidden objects.
Hermione and Luna quickly made their way to the Headmaster's office. On their way to the Head's office the girls met Professor McGonagall. "Where are the two of you going this quickly Miss. Granger?"
"Please Professor, we need to see Professor Dumbledore – it's urgent."
Professor McGonagall saw the look on the girls' faces and knew that they were serious. "Girls are you sure that you have to talk to the Headmaster. He is a very busy man. Perhaps I can help you."
Just then Professor Dumbledore appeared from his office. "Is there anything I can do to help, Minerva?"
"Sorry Professor, it's just that Miss. Granger and Miss. Lovegood wanted to speak with you."
"Please Professor it has something to do with the lessons that you have been giving Harry and I."
Professor Dumbledore looked solemnly at Luna and Hermione. "Alright girls come this way please. Thank you for your assistance Minerva."
"Hermione, what is so important that you needed to see me so urgently?"
"I asked Luna to help me on my project for history of magic class sir. I was trying to locate objects that had once belonged to the founders. Well Luna and I think that we have found one in the room of hidden objects. I was about to pick it up when Luna stopped me. She said it had a dark curse on it, so we wrapped it in this old cloak."
"Thank you Hermione and you too Luna. Please place it on the table here and I will examine it." Hermione followed the Headmaster's instructions. Dumbledore carefully unwrapped the diadem. He smiled at the two girls as he read the inscription. "Excellent work ladies, I think your work is worth 50 points apiece to Gryffindor and Ravenclaw. Unfortunately I must ask that you keep this discovery a secret for the time being. Miss Lovegood, would you mind terribly if I ask you to return to your common room while I have a chat with Miss. Granger."
Luna smiled at Professor Dumbledore before turning and leaving his office. "Well done Hermione. This is indeed a fortunate stroke of luck." The Headmaster then waved his wand over the diadem and confirmed that it was a horcrux. He pulled the sword of Gryffindor from its case and handed it to Hermione. "Miss Granger, as you were the one to find the horcrux I believe that you should be the one to destroy it. Would you care to do the honours, please?" Hermione lifted the sword above her head and swung with all of her might. The diadem was cleaved in two and a cloud of inky black smoke rose into the air.
Hermione smiled as the Headmaster said "Thank you Hermione we have just severed one more of Tom Riddle's ties to this world."
Bill, Remus and Sirius were not having quite as easy of a time finding Slytherin's ring. They had found the Gaunt's shack easily enough and Sirius was just about to reach for the door when Bill pulled the older man back. "Not so fast Sirius. If this is the place that Voldemort hid the ring then we need to use extreme caution."
"Sorry Bill, I guess that is why we have a curse breaker and a DADA teacher on this job."
"Sirius did I hear you right when you said that it was Ron that sent us here? How did he know about this place?'
Both Bill and Sirius looked at Remus, "Yes that's true Moony, but I learned a long time ago that sometimes it's better not to ask how someone knows the information that they are giving you. You may not like the answer. I think that this is one of those times."
Remus nodded, "I guess you're right Padfoot old friend. What can we do to help, Bill?"
"For now, just stay where you are, while I check the building for curses." Bill then proceeded to walk around the building several times while he muttered every detection spell he had learned. At last pointed his wand at the door and used a goblin spell to unlock the door. Remus and Sirius then waited outside the door as Bill repeated the same procedure inside. Only when Bill gave the all clear did the two marauders enter the shack. "Use no magic what so ever in here until I tell you it's alright" cautioned Bill.
Suddenly they heard the beam holding up the roof give a loud crack. Sirius immediately moved to hold the beam while Remus looked for something to support the roof. The floor board that covered the ring glowed green. "There's no curse on the hiding place" Bill then slowly and very carefully pried the board up.
Bill pulled a small sack from the pocket of his robes and pulled it open. "All right Remus, on the count of three I'm going to cast a levitation charm on the ring. As soon as I do I want you to cast a freezing charm on the ground underneath the ring."
"Yes" was all Remus said as he nodded his head."
"1 .. 2 .. 3" Bill levitated the ring into the sack as Remus cast the freezing charm.
As both men stood up Remus heard a faint click. "Run!" he shouted. All three men bolted for the door as the old shack collapsed. Bill and Remus made it out unscathed. Unfortunately for Sirius a large splinter of wood about 25 cm long was sticking out of his right thigh. The two men helped Sirius off the property and promptly apparated to the Granger's house. Once in the kitchen Bill began moving his wand in a complicated pattern over Sirius' leg. "You're lucky Sirius, the splinter's not cursed."
"That's easy for you to say Bill." grimaced Sirius.
"Normally I would suggest that we go to St. Mungo's and have a healer remove it. But unfortunately the place would be surrounded by dementors if you showed up."
Helen and Richard burst into the kitchen and looked at the wounded Sirius. "If you guys can't heal this then we will have to do it the muggle way. Get our first-aid kit Helen. Richard went to the liquor cabinet and grabbed a bottle of whisky. He poured half of the bottle over the wound in Sirius's leg to sterilize the wound. Sirius grimaced in pain. Richard then gave the bottle to Sirius who took a long drink. Helen used a scalpel to open the wound wider.
The Grangers were working on Sirius' wound. Remus apparated to Diagon Alley to buy some potions. He rushed straight to the apothecary. Remus bought essence of dittany and a blood replenishing potion. He then apparated back to the house. Richard was about to stitch the wound closed when Remus walked into the house. He quickly poured the dittany onto the wound. The Grangers watched in wonder as the wound hissed and smoked and then began to seal itself. He then gave the blood replenishing potion to Sirius.
He gave Remus a drunken smile, "Cheers Moony." Sirius swallowed the potion in one gulp and then went back to work on a second bottle of scotch.
After making sure that Sirius was alright, Bill returned to the bank so that the goblins could dispose of the ring. Remus stayed to help Sirius into his bed and then cleaned the kitchen for the Grangers before he left.
Albus Dumbledore in conjunction with Amelia Bones, the recalled Order of the phoenix, and Arthur Weasley the new head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement finalized their plans for the graveyard ambush in Little Hangleton.
Madam Bones then joined Professor Dumbledore, Madame Maxime, and the 4 champions in a special meeting to discuss the final task. Igor Karkaroff was not invited as nobody trusted the former death eater.
Dumbledore told the champions about Barty Crouch jr. and the trap that he had set for Harry. "I realize that you all want to be Tri Wizard champion but Crouch is going to make the trophy into a port key. If anyone but Harry touches that cup, it will be the last thing that you ever do. Voldemort is ruthless.
In exchange for your cooperation, Madam Bones and I have agreed that we will declare the tournament a draw. Each of you will receive a trophy and the 1000 galleons in prize money." Albus asked Harry and Madam Bones to remain behind while everybody else vacated the office.
"Harry you need to know that we are doing everything in our power to ensure your safety." assured Madam Bones.
"Harry there is an excellent chance that we will be able to prevent Voldemort from regaining the power he enjoyed before he first met you. Once in the graveyard you must be willing to follow my instructions whatever they are. Do you understand?" Harry could only nod his head. "Good now off you go to bed. Try and get some rest."
When Harry arrived in the Gryffindor common room He rushed to Hermione and Ron. He told them all that had happened in his meeting.
Harry and Hermione stayed on the couch and held each other through the night. It was late into the evening when sleep finally claimed them. Ron woke up early that morning. He smiled as he saw Harry wrapped In Hermione's arms on the couch in front of the fireplace. Ron noticed that Hermione's cheeks were stained with tears and figured that she had cried herself to sleep worrying about her Harry.
Ron reluctantly woke them up. Harry and Hermione gave Ron a grateful smile and rushed to their dorms to get changed for the day. Katie Bell walked up to Ron and hugged him tightly. "You're worried about him aren't you?" Ron gave his answer. Katie gave Ron a weak smile and said, "Me too Ron."
At breakfast Harry received good luck cards form the Grangers, Sirius and Remus Lupin. After breakfast that morning Bill and Molly Weasley showed up to support Harry. Halfway through the tour Bill spotted Professor Dumbledore and went to talk to him in private. "Good morning Professor, I have a present for you from the goblins." Bill reached into the pocket of his robes and gave him the charred remains of the three horcruxes.
Dumbledore was shocked to say the least. After a few minutes all he could do was ask "How?"
Bill just shook his head. "All the goblins would tell me sir, is that they had their sources."
At lunch time Bill came up and said hello to Ron and Katie. "Alright little brother it's time to pay up. Where is she?"
Ron smirked at Bill, "Who are you talking about Bill? Mum and Ginny are right there."
"Get off it Ron. You said that you would introduce me to my future wife."
Ron chuckled, "Oh her." He looked over at the Ravenclaw table and pointed out Fleur Delacour.
Bill could only say "Wow" as he got up and went to introduce himself to the French girl that had been checking him out when he met Harry this morning.
After lunch, Ron pulled Harry aside and told him, "I want you take my wand Harry. You will need to take it by force – Disarm me"
"Ron why do you want me to take your wand?" asked a confused Harry.
"Just in case you need a spare wand Harry. You never know what may happen – especially when you face You - Know –Who tonight.
Harry gave Ron a feeble smile. "Thanks Ron, I won't forget this." He lifted his wand and pointed it at Ron. "Expelliarmus"
Harry spent the afternoon leading up to the task in Hermione's arms. They were hidden away in Harry's dorm. The two young lovers shared kisses and caresses as they went further than they had ever gone before. Their robes lay in a tangled mess on the floor beside Harry's bed. Hermione was only wearing her knickers while Harry was left in only his boxers. Harry was kissing the sensative spot on the nape of Hermione's neck that he knew drove her wild. His need to be one with her was overwhelming. He looked deep into her brown eyes. "Hermione, make love to me!"
Hermione desperately wanted to give in to Harry's request. The word yes was on the tip of her tongue. Somewhere in the back of her mind she heard a small voice say 'not like this.'
Harry moaned desperately into her neck, "Please Hermione, I need you so much."
The voice in the back of Hermione's mind became stronger, clearer, and more insistent. She thought to herself 'I can't give myself to him yet. I'm not ready.' Finally she spoke, "Uhm Harry, I'm sorry I can't"
Harry reluctantly rolled off of her. She saw the hurt and disappointment in his face. She tried desperately to make him understand what she was feeling. She took Harry's hand and placed it over her heart. He felt it hammering in her chest. "Harry, I love you with all my heart. I want to make love to you too, but not like this. Not when our future is so unsure. When you come back to me, when this is over we will have all the time in the world. Please don't hate me Harry. I'm just not ready for this step in our relationship. I think that you know deep down that you know you're not ready either."
Harry put his arm around Hermione and placed his hand over her heart again. With his other hand he pulled Hermione's head over his chest so that her ear was directly above his heart. She heard its steady rhythm beating away. "Hermione, I could never hate you. Not now, not ever. I'm sorry that I tried to push you beyond what you're ready for. Words can't do justice to the love I feel for you."
"Harry, you don't ever have to apologize to me for this. I was a willing participant too. I think that we just got carried away. Harry we will both remember the day we make love for the rest of our lives. I don't want to remember the day that I made love to you was also the day I lost you forever."
Harry left for the boys' bathroom to take a cold shower. Hermione quickly got dressed and went up to her dorm to take a take a cold shower as well. They met in the common room and sat in their favourite arm chair and cuddled together until supper time.
They both struggled to eat their supper as neither Harry nor Hermione had much of an appetite. Harry received many well wishers from the Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw tables.
After dinner, Harry and Hermione made their way out to the maze. Hermione hugged Harry tightly to her chest and kissed him deeply. She put his hand on her heart again and looked into his green eyes. "Promise that you will come back to me Harry"
Harry kissed Hermione's brow. "I promise Hermione. There is no way in Hell that I'll let that snake take me away from you"
Hermione spotted Katie and Ron waiting for her a discreet distance away. Before she got to them she turned around and shouted, "I love you Harry Potter!" She then ran into his arms and kissed him one more time.
She then walked back to Katie and Ron unable to hide the tears that were leaking from her eyes. Katie and Ron pulled Hermione into a warm hug. "Katie whispered Into Hermione's ear, don't worry he'll be alright."
Hermione looked both Katie and Ron in the eye," I know he'll be alright. Harry promised that he would come back to me."
Ron smiled at her; "Of course Harry will come back to you. He never breaks his promises and his most important promise is that ring on your finger."
Katie and Ron walked Hermione up to the stands where she was hugged by Luna and all of the Weasleys'
Ron was sitting between Katie and his mother. He was worried about Harry, but he was also thinking about making a promise of his own. He fingered the promise ring that was in the pocket of his robes. He looked at his mother whose face was creased with worry and then at Katie who was also worried for their friend. He thought to himself it's time to live in the present and not worry about what others think. He took a breath, 'Okay Ron you can do this.' He turned to Katie and looked into her grey eyes. He took the ring from his pocket and thought of the girl who had made him happier than he had ever thought possible. "Miss Katie Bell, I love you! Will you take my promise ring?"
A smiling Katie held her hand out to Ron so he could he place the silver ring with a ruby stone on Katie's finger. "Oh Ron, I love you too."
The lines of worry evaporated from Molly Weasley's face as she hugged her youngest son and his girlfriend Katie.
At twilight the final task started. Professor McGonagall gave the four champions their final instructions. Cedric and Harry had the most points in the championship so they entered the maze first. The two Hogwarts champions waited just inside the maze for Viktor and Fleur to catch up to them. In an unprecedented display of international magical cooperation, the four champions worked together to make their way through the maze.
Each champion had their individual strengths, but together they were an unbeatable team. Fleur seemed to have an intuitive understanding of the magical creatures that they encountered. Cedric was a master at dispelling enchantments and charms. Viktor was able to use logic and remain calm no matter what was coming at him. Harry showed his courage, daring and aptitude for Defence against the Dark Arts.
The first obstacle that the group met was a boggart in the form of a dementor, it was Harry that first sent his stag patronus charm at the fake dementor. When that didn't work he realized what he was facing and banished the boggart with a loud "Riddikulus." The group carried on looking for the next obstacle.
The next obstacle that the group faced was an enchanted silvery mist. Cedric grinned as he stepped into the mist and his world turned upside down. He took a confident step forward and everything returned to normal. He explained the obstacle to the other champions. They quickly got past that obstacle.
It was 5 minutes and two right turns later that they met one of Hagrid's blast-ended skrewts. Fleur's brilliant use of a well placed tickling charm held the extremely large blast ended skrewt in check while the champions passed unharmed.
Viktor Krum solved the sphinx's riddle quickly and allowed the 4 champions to take a short cut to the cup.
Fleur took the lead again when the champions faced the acromantula and had the 4 champions direct stunning spells at precisely the same spot on the underside of the super sized spider. It fell to the ground with its eight legs sticking in the air.
The 4 champions worked seamlessly until at last they stood in front of the cup. Cedric spoke up, "Harry I know that we agreed to call the contest a draw and let you take this cup. We can't let you do it Harry. We've gotten this far together, so let's finish this together." Viktor and Fleur shouted their agreement with Cedric.
"Please, you three can't do this. You heard Dumbledore. If anyone other than me shows up Voldemort will kill them without blinking an eye. I can't live with that on my conscience. This isn't your fight, it's mine. It always has been my fight."
Tears flowed freely from the eyes of Harry's competitors. Viktor shook his hand, "vhen you return ve vill fly togetter, yes?"
"I'd like that Viktor"
Cedric took his turn to shake Harry's hand. "You don't mind if I join the two of you. It would be nice to fly with you instead of against you."
Fleur kissed each of Harry's cheeks twice. "Au revoir 'Arry Potter. I would also like ze opportunity to fly wiz you". Harry's skin burned where Fleur had kissed him
Just as harry was about to touch the port key, Cedric made a lunge to touch the cup as well. It was only a sure tackle by Viktor Krum that saved Cedric's life. Krum then had to restrain him until Harry touched the port key.
Harry took one last look at his three friends, touched the port key and disappeared from site.
The three champions sent up a shower of sparks from the center of the maze. Hagrid escorted then from the maze. Professor Snaoe and Professor McGonagall disarmed and stunned Barty Crouch. Albus Dumbledore and a group of ten order members and aurors touched their hand to another port key and landed silently in the grave yard on the other side of a small hill, about 150 metres from where Harry was tied to a headstone.
A disillusioned auror gave them from the advance team gave them a quick signal to proceed into position.
Seconds after Dumbledore had landed in the grave yard, Fawkes arrived carrying the sword of Gryffindor
Peter Pettigrew was too busy adding the final ingredients to the potion that would revive his master to notice the large force of wizards and witches surrounding Harry and himself.
Nagini snuck up behind Harry and watched the cauldron intently, waiting for her master to rise.
When Harry arrived he quickly felt for Ron's wand that was hidden in a secret pocket of his robes. Wormtail disarmed him and tied him to the headstone of Tom Riddle.
Peter pointed his wand at the giant pile of wood. A fire stared under the largest cauldron he had ever seen. He took the cloak off the baby like thing he had been carrying. Wormtail wore a look of disgust as he placed the ugly creature in the cauldron. I hope that it drowns thought Harry. Pettigrew had placed bones from the grave of Tom Riddle sr. into the cauldron. He continued to chant as he chopped of his right hand. Finally he took a vial of Harry's blood to add to the potion.
Harry looked on in horror as Voldemort rose from the depths of the cauldron. Voldemort was clothed by Pettigrew. "Well Harry Potter I Am pleased that you could make it to our little gathering. I might go so far as to call you the guest of honour as our little party would not have taken place without you." Voldemort then pressed his thumb onto the dark mark on Peter's left arm. Peter howled in agony. Riddle went into the rant about what had happened to him, how he and his death eaters would rule the world and put the muggles in their place.
After tormenting the death eaters who would not go to prison for him he promptly forgave all of his followers in a god-like manner.
He promised to feed Harry to Nagini after he had finished playing with her food for a while first. Harry was untied, given his wand back and told to defend himself. It was while being subjected to the cruciatus curse that Harry lost his wand. He hid behind a tombstone so that he could retrieve the wand that he had won form Ron earlier in the day. Harry made the choice to duel Voldemort rather than wait for death to take him.
Harry thought about Hermione and all the love that they had shared since that Christmas. He knew in his heart that after tonight he may never see her again.
Voldemort only had eyes for Harry as the two circled each other. While taunting Harry with the promise of a slow painful death that he never noticed that a group of disillusioned aurors and order members silently slid up behind his death eaters, and one by one they disarmed the death eaters and silently left by way of ultra quiet port keys for specially warded holding cells in the ministry.
There were now only five living beings left in the cemetery: Dumbledore, Harry, Voldemort, Nagini and Fawkes who was orbiting above the two combatants.
Albus Dumbledore silently cancelled his disillusionment charm and shouted at Voldemort. "It's over Tom." He threw the destroyed horcruxes at Voldemort's feet.
"No" Voldemort screamed into the night. He commanded Nagini to attack his former transfiguration teacher.
Albus Dumbledore nimbly removed the sword from his belt and held it out right as Nagini rose to strike Dumbledore. The huge snake impaled itself mouth first onto the sword. The blood covered tip protruded from top of Nagin's head.
A furious dark lord hurled a bludgeoning hex at the ancient headmaster before Albus could reach his wand and erect a shield. The curse hit Dumbledore square in the chest. He flew backwards into a headstone and collapsed heavily.
With blood dribbling form his mouth, Dumbledore looked at Harry and whispered, "Run! Harry Run!" he then passed out. Fawkes landed on the Headmaster's lap and began to sing a mournful song.
A million emotions flooded Harry at once. From some source Harry could not identify he felt an overwhelming feeling of love and righteous anger.
Voldemort sneered at him, "Yes, run away Harry Potter. Save yourself whole you still can. Oopps, sorry you're too late."
Harry faced Tom Riddle. His eyes were a glowing green. Sparks of lightning were bursting from his wand.
"No Tom, this ends here and now. You will never hurt another person."
"What? The immortal Lord Voldemort will never be afraid of a child like you! You must think that you possess magic stronger than mine; magic that I don't know about."
"I don't think that Tom, I know it!" There was a momentary look of confusion that crossed Voldemort's face. "Would you like to know the prophecy that you foolishly acted on all those years ago, before you die?" Harry recited the prophecy word for word.
Neither wizard noticed Arthur Weasley apparate next to the grave stone that Harry was initially tied to. He immediately went to check on Dumbledore and begin to minister to his wounds.
"Neither can survive while the other lives Tom! If you think that you can kill me then take your best shot."
Red eyes stared into green Voldemort shouted the curse that had ended so many lives into the night. "Avada Kedavra!"
At that exact moment Harry shouted "Stupefy!"
The two spells collided in mid air. Voldemort's spell rebounded and struck him in the chest. The most evil Dark Lord in over a century was dead at Harry's feet.
Harry fell to his knees as a massive sense of relief flooded him. He thought of Hermione and felt her love warming his body.
Arthur Weasley ran to Harry and hugged him tightly. "Well done Harry, you've done the wizarding world a great service today."
"Is Professor Dumbledore going to be alright Mr. Weasley?"
"I won't lie to you Harry. He needs medical attention but I think he will live."
Arthur gathered up Harry's lost wand and Voldemort's wand and gave them to Harry. Harry took Voldemort's wand and snapped it in two and threw the pieces into a nearby river that flowed through the valley.
"Harry use Fawkes to take Dumbledore back to Hogwarts. I'll port key Riddle's body to the ministry for disposal."
Harry grabbed Fawkes' tail feather in one hand and held onto Dumbledore with the other. In an instant Fawkes had transported Harry and the Headmaster back to Hogwarts.
Hermione was the first to see them return. She ran straight at Harry and jumped into his arms. She wrapped her legs around his waist as she kissed him in front of everyone gathered for the third task. Professor Dumbledore was immediately taken to the hospital wing by Poppy Pomfrey.
Once Harry put Hermione down he was engulfed in the largest group hug in the history of Hogwarts. First the other three champions joined then the Weasleys, then the Professors including Professor Snape and then all of the students.
Through all the hugs, pats on the back and congratulations, Harry Potter only had eyes for his Hermione. He clung to her the entire time he was trying to make his way to the hospital wing. When Harry and Hermione finally arrived in the hospital wing, Madam Pomfrey checked him over and healed the cut on his arm.
Albus Dumbledore was resting quietly in a bed across from where Harry was resting. Several of the professors were gathered around him. "Madam Pomfrey Is the headmaster going to be alright?" Harry asked.
"Yes dear. He will probably need to rest for several weeks, but he will probably wake up in a day or two."
Professor McGonagall entered the hospital wing with Minister Bones who wanted to interview Harry. "No offense Minister Bones, but is it possible to give you my memories of tonight and you can look at them on your own. I'm extremely tired at the moment."
"Of course Harry, but I would like to let you know that Peter Pettigrew was captured last night and as of right now your Godfather is a free man." Professor McGonagall helped Harry withdraw the memory and handed it to Madam Bones.
"Harry this place is going to be a madhouse tonight. How would you like Fawkes to take you and Hermione to the Grangers tonight? We will send someone to pick you up in the morning for the trophy presentation."
Harry looked at Hermione who smiled brightly back at him. Hermione put her around Harry's neck and started to kiss him. Harry Grabbed onto Fawkes' tail feather with one hand and Hermione's bum with his other – Fawkes took them to the Granger's backyard. Harry let go of Fawkes tail and wound his other hand through Hermione's hair.
That is exactly the position that Helen, Richard and Sirius found them in. After several minutes, Helen cleared her throat, "Pardon me for interrupting Harry, but I think Hermione needs to breathe."
The two teens blushed scarlet as Sirius laughed, "Nice technique pup!"
Richard glared at Sirius "Please don't encourage them."
Helen chose to intervene at that time. "Richard, Harry just helped to destroy this lord of the inbreds person. I think that we can cut them some slack this one time."
Hermione seemed to get over her embarrassment as she asked, "So Mum and Dad which country are we moving to?"
Helen answered, "Well after looking over brochures for magical schools we've decided to move to the home in Wellington. The Silver Fern Academy of Magic is supposed to be the very best and most progressive school in the Southern Hemisphere. The school even allows day students. So we won't have to send our daughter away for ten months a year. What do you think Harry?"
"I think it's brilliant as long as I can play quidditch."
Everyone decided it was time to go to bed. Hermione gave Harry a very chaste kiss on the lips, mainly because her father was watching, before they went to their own bedrooms.
The next morning Hermione got up early and was surprised to see her mother waiting for her in the kitchen. "I promised your father I would talk to you about your relationship with Harry. He was concerned about the passionate kiss that you shared with Harry when you got home."
Hermione blushed crimson and took a drink from the mug of tea that her mother had handed her. "Would you prefer to talk to your father about it or worse yet have your father talk to Harry about it?"
Hermione swallowed hard, "I think that I'll talk to you Mum."
"That's a wise decision Hermione. So let's cut to the chase shall we. Have you slept with Harry yet?"
"No Mum I haven't. Yesterday we came close to sleeping together. I was down to my knickers when Harry asked me. Mum I wanted to, but I said no and Harry stopped right away. We had never gone that far before. I think both of us were worried about his facing Voldemort last night. Harry understood when I told him that I didn't want my first time to be on the same day he was taken from me."
"I believe you honey. Just make sure that you don't get that carried away around your father or me again. It's kind of unsettling to see your only daughter kiss someone like that."
"Alright Mum, We won't let you catch us kissing like that again –for the time being. Once I'm Mrs Potter the deal's off."
"I think that your father and I can live with that for now."
At 10:30 in the morning a smiling Professor McGonagall knocked on the Grangers' door. Harry, Hermione and Sirius were all dressed in their finest robes and waiting in the kitchen.
Ron Weasley got to sleep at about three in the morning. His usual dreams of Katie Bell were interrupted by Lilly Potter. "I want to thank you Ron. You helped to save a great many people. I'm glad that you got together with Katie. She's an amazing young woman and Katie has helped you grow as a person. I would like to give you one piece of advice Ron. "Don't screw this up! You and Katie are meant for each other. I'm going to wipe the previous timeline from your memory now. "The only thing that you will remember is that Katie is for you and you are for Katie. Good bye Ron Weasley."
At 11:00 in the morning the contest was officially called a draw. The 4 Champions were all awarded their prizes. Harry promptly gave his winnings to Fred and George.
After the award ceremony Harry was awarded the Order of Merlin First Class. He asked Professor McGonagall to place it in the trophy case in memory of his time at Hogwarts.
Just before lunch Hermione and Harry pulled Ron aside to tell them their plans and give Ron his wand back and the Marauders' map. Harry spoke up, "Well Ron we would like to tell you that we're leaving England next week. Sirius, the Grangers and I are moving to New Zealand. I want to try and find out what it's like to have a normal life."
"Good on ya mate." Ron smiled. "As much as I'm going to miss the two of you I think that you're doing the right thing. Take care of each other and be happy." The golden trio walked into the great hall together and joined Katie and Sirius who were having a spirited discussion about quidditch.
After Lunch, Harry and Hermione met with Fleur, Cedric, and Victor to go flying. Victor lent Hermione his back up broom – a shiny Nimbus 2001. Fleur and Cedric were also riding the same make of broom as Hermione. Hermione was a little uncomfortable at first. Once she got used to the broom and how well it handled she had a blast, as did the 4 champions. Viktor and Harry put on a display of aerial acrobatics that will be talked about would be talked about for generations.
At 3:00 Harry & Hermione met with Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey in the hospital wing." Harry my boy, congratulations on your rather splendid achievement."
"Thank you sir." smiled Harry.
"For some strange reason Minerva seems to be under the impression that the two of you will not be returning to Hogwarts next year. Is that true?"
"Yes Professor. Sirius, Harry and my family are all moving to Wellington next week. We think that the only chance that Harry will have for a normal life is to leave the country."
"That is quite understandable. We will miss you two. I think Madam Pomfrey will be lonely without your frequent stays in the hospital wing Harry. Everyone had a good laugh at that.
"What about you sir" What are you going to do now that Voldemort is finally gone?" Harry asked.
To tell you the truth Harry, I've been thinking that it's time to retire. A long time ago I gave up on a dream to travel the world. Maybe it is time that I finally live that dream."
Professor McGonagall wiped the tears from her eyes as she hugged her two favourite students. "You two will remember to write won't you?"
"Of course Professor." smiled a teary eyed Hermione.
That night at supper Professor McGonagall announced to the school that Harry and Hermione were leaving. Molly Weasley made them promise to show up for a farewell party at the Burrow.
The most surprising farewell of the night was when Professor Snape came to say good bye.
"Well Potter and Granger I guess this is good bye then. Believe it or not I'm going to miss you two. Harry you may look like your father, but you have your mother's heart. Have a good life." He shook Harry's hand and hugged Hermione.
The party at the Burrow was amazing. They shared laughter and stories with all of their friends and teachers from Hogwarts. The Night was Capped off by an amazing fireworks display put on by Fred and George Weasley.
Sirius shrank the Grangers belongings so that they would fit inside a shoe box. At 11:00 the Grangers, Sirius and Harry took an international port key to Wellington.
Christmas day, 1997
Harry Potter proposed to Hermione Granger on a quiet beach on the North Island.
It was a warm summer night, the moon was full Harry and Hermione were walking along the quiet beach. They were not more than a kilometre from the beach house that they had rented. Suddenly, Harry got down on knee in front of Hermione. As soon as Hermione saw Harry kneel down she knew what was coming. Tears of Happiness filled her Eyes as she fanned her face rapidly with her hands. "Hermione you are my everything. I love you with all that I am. Hermione Jane Granger, will you marry me?" Hermione was speechless. It was all she could do to nod her yes. She let Harry place the diamond engagement ring on her finger.
That night Harry and Hermione made love for the very first time. Lying on that quiet beach with Hermione as the sun rose. Harry thought "I guess Hermione was right. We will remember this night forever"
September 30 1998
Ron Weasley and Katie Bell were relaxing in their London flat after a hard day of quidditch practice. Ron was now the keeper for Chudley's reserve team while Katie Bell had recently been promoted to starting chaser. They were living their dream – playing professional quidditch for the Chudley Cannons. An exotic looking bird tapped against the window. Tied to its leg was an invitation to the wedding Hermione Jane Granger and Harry James Potter on Christmas day.
Ron smiled to himself. He had been waiting for this invitation for some time now. "Katie do you know what would be better than going to a wedding on Christmas day?"
Ron got onto one knee in front of Katie and looked into her eyes "How about getting married on Christmas day? Miss Katie Bell you amaze me. Every day I think that I can't love you any more than I do now. Every day you prove me wrong. Will you marry me?"
Christmas day 1998
There was a beautiful double wedding in the back yard of Sirius Black's Wellington mansion. It was celebrated by friends and family. Everybody had an amazing time.
August 13th 2002.
Quidditch World Cup top Box Somewhere in Northern England
Ireland vs New Zealand
"Where are they Katie? I can't see them anywhere."
"Relax Ron, they'll be here. Can you hold Peter Arthur for a second?"
Ron smiled at his year old son who had the Weasley red hair and his wife's beautiful grey eyes.
It was a very pregnant Hermione Potter, escorted by Sirius and Remus, who sat down beside Ron. "Sorry I'm late, climbing those stairs was murder."
"Where's Harry, he's going to miss the match if he doesn't hurry"
"Don't worry Ron Harry wouldn't miss this for the world." laughed Hermione.
Lee Jordan introduced both nations' mascots. Ireland had again brought leprechauns. New Zealand brought a group of Maori warriors who performed the Hakka.
"Where's Harry? The games about to start."
Deep under the stadium in the New Zealand Locker room sat seven black robed quidditch players and their coach Wayne Sheltford.
"We have proven over and over again that we are the best Quidditch team in the world. As a team we will handle any adversity that comes are way. We will reload and we will answer. We have beaten this team the last two times that we have faced them. We're playing in the World Cup final in front of 100 000 screaming fans. Men we've got them right where we want them." The team mounted their brooms and blasted out of the locker room.
Back up in the stands Hermione took of her outer robe and sat it on Harry's seat. She was wearing a New Zealand qudditch jersey underneath.
Lee Jordan announced the Irish team and then the New Zealand team. When he came to the last name on the New Zealand roster he did a double take. "Ladies and Gentlemen I give you Potter."
Authors Notes etc.
My strange little version of Mr. Toad's wild ride has come to an end. Thanks to everybody who took the time to read.
For me this was an exercise in free-flow writing. Was it rushed; definitely. Was it hard to follow at times and lacked the details that take it from mediocre to excellent? Guilty as charged. I knew very few things when this little journey began. 1. It would be Ron who travelled back in time. 2. Harry and Hermione would end up together –after all, the hero is supposed to always get the girl. 3. Harry would end up playing in the world cup final.
I came up with the idea after reading countless stories about evil Ron, stupid Ron, and jealous Ron and on and on. I don't really like or hate Ron. He is what he is. Like him or hate him, I think there may be a little bit of Ron Weasley in all of us. Insecure about his friends always being in the limelight, and a little unsure of how to express his feel true feelings. The ability to stick his foot in his mouth repeatedly and yet still be accepted and forgiven by his true friends.
Yes Hugo killed his father. Why? I think that he was influenced by his Aunt Ginny, who despite being released from St. Mungos' was still insane.
Harry taking Ron's wand by force: He had to do that in order to win the wand's allegiance. Even if Ron's wand didn't work properly for him anymore he could always replace it. It's not like he was the master of the elder wand.
Ron and Katie naming their child Peter: Sorry it was the first name that popped into my head. In one deleted scene from the story I had Ron meeting Katie's dad who was Peter Bell. The real Peter Bell owned a bar in Edmonton, Canada where some of my favorite local bands would play for a beer tab. At least until it was cheaper just to pay them.
In pairing Ron with Katie Bell, I wanted to put Ron with someone outside the trio's circle of friends. An older girl, who was more mature and would help Ron to grow up far quicker than in cannon.
Originally I had planned to make this story about half this length. It just took on a life of its own. Call it an obsession if you like.
A great deal of the story was written while listening to the music of Canadian legend Ian Tyson. I think that there times when Ian's lyrics and music seemed to influence my writing. The course from the song La Primera was actually:
I am a drinker of the wind.
I am the one who never tires.
I love my freedom more that all these things.
The conquistador, the Comanche, and the Cowboy, I carried them to glory.
I am La Primera, Spanish mustang, Here my story.
The speech at the Quidditch world cup was adapted from a speech that John Hufnagel gave to the Calgary Stampeders before the 2008 Grey Cup game. The full speech is on youtube if you're interested.
One again thanks to those who took the time to read the story marked it as one of their favorites or even submitted a review. I read them all despite not responding to them.
Once again: My thoughts: Your time: Thanks for reading.
Until the next great adventure,
The Captain has spoken.