A/N: Sorry for it being so long. Enjoy. :D
My quill is furiously moving over my History of Magic final. Most of the questions are rather easy. For example, who defeated Gellert Grindelwald? However, the next question wants a list of the six major battles citing locations and results. I can remember two of the major battles, meaning I can name the first and last battle. Adding the locations and results for those two battles are even easier. It's when I try to remember the other four that I start to have the trouble. The only things I can remember right now are the stupid facts pertaining to the use of Gillyweed, which I needed for my Potions exam earlier. I scribble down my answers before moving on. I still have five questions left.
As I read the next question asking me to outline the major reasons Grindelwald was, I sigh. Flitwick might as well have asked me why Voldemort is after me. I haven't a clue. I remember faintly Mum telling me this when I wrote my essay. However, so much has happened since then. I mean, for example, a man, who made my life hell for three years, now calls me his son. How's that for the Twilight Zone factor? I shake my head, though. My inner musings aren't helping me. I scribble down that Grindelwald wanted world domination. It's at least what Voldemort wants, and Grindelwald and he aren't that different. They both have tortured and killed Muggles.
My eyes narrow on the following question. What similarities are there between Death Eaters and followers of Grindelwald? I immediately write that both evil guys' lackeys wear a brand on their arms. Mum told me about that one. I then write my usual thing that they all want to dominate the world. I'm not certain if that's right or not, but I don't really care at this point.
"Quills down," Flitwick suddenly announces.
My eyes widen on the small Charms professor. He has to be joking. I still have three questions left. I groan and close my eyes. Lovely, there goes that O. Honestly, why must school be so difficult?
"Please bring up your exams up to the desk and have an excellent rest of your summer."
My small class slowly filters towards the front and places our exams down where he has instructed. I wait for Draco by the door, and we slowly walk out together. We don't say anything to each other. We just let the silence take over as we head down to the cool dungeons. After three long grueling hours of finishing my last exam on my last day of summer school, I slowly drag myself into our rooms. My bag slams to the floor with a loud thud. It feels nice not to have to carry that heavy bag anymore.
Okay, so granted, my exams aren't really that difficult because Draco and I actually studied together last night. I know, shocker, me actually study for once? The world must be coming to an end now. Truth be told, though, I think I did rather amazing on all four. Well, possibly not on my History of Magic exam, since, well, I gave Flitwick as much attention as I usually gave Binns.
"All finished?" Mum asks from the couch.
"Finally," I reply glumly. My potions exam probably is the one I've been dreading the most. Ever since I found out that Dad was writing it, I've been worrying non-stop about it. I studied Potions rather intensely with Draco last night and got into another argument where we said some rather nasty things to each other. Unfortunately, Mum broke up our fight, and it wasn't pretty because five minutes later Dad came in and yelled at us because we upset Mum. Frankly, I think they're both just being extremely emotional right now because of the baby. After all, neither Draco nor I drew blood this time. We only managed to destroy a few pillows.
"Well, come over here then."
I glance at Mum then at Draco. He only shrugs before sitting down at the island and reading something. Not wanting to upset her or anything again, I calmly walk over to the couch and kneel down in front of her. She stares at me with a soft smile before gently touching my cheek. No doubt, her pregnancy hormones have taken over again. I just hope she doesn't cry this time. My stomach sours whenever she bursts into tears.
"Lily would be so proud of you, Harry," Mum says with a soft somber smile.
"Thanks," I croak back. My throat is suddenly very dry again. I don't know why, but she keeps bringing up my mum a lot lately. It unsettles Dad slightly, but he doesn't say anything about it so I'm not going to say anything either. I watch her slowly push herself up into a sitting position before patting the cushion next to her. I softly laugh and sit next to her.
"I'm sorry for being so…Hufflepuff on you, Harry."
"It's all right. I understand. It's just because of the baby."
"Harry, you know that we'll still love you and Draco tremendously, right?"
"Well, it's just that I know sometimes a child starts to feel like he's not appreciated by his parents or loved because of the new baby. It's nothing—"
"Mum, really, everything's fine. Draco and I know that you and Dad will be busy with the baby. We're fine with that. Plus, we're fifteen. I think we know enough not to get into trouble."
"And yet you do get into trouble, Harry," Dad replies as he walks into the sitting room with a stack of exams in hand.
I can't help it. I wince at the stack. One of those is my Potions exam. I chew on my bottom lip and glance down at the floor. My palms are sweaty already. I can't believe this. Why does that class scare me so much? I then shake my head and draw in a deep breath. It's over. I get to live another day because Potions class is over for the summer. We're just going to try to forget the fact that I have Potions again four weeks from now.
"Not worried, are you, Harry?" Mum asks with a pointed look towards Dad.
I shake my head for fear of my voice hinting that I'm truly terrified. I'm now the son of a Potions Master, and according to Dad, Mum, my real mum, was amazing at Potions. However, I honestly am pants at it. Okay, so yes, I have been doing better at it with Professor Vector as my teacher, but it's only because she makes a point in trying not to get us killed. I mean, all except for that first day when I became a lobster because of her mistake, she kept close eyes on us and was right there with us. Dad's philosophy, however, is sink or swim, and I usually drown marvelously.
"Well, it shouldn't take Severus too long to finish grading." I nod my head in response. "How do you think you did on your other exams?"
"Um…all right, I guess," I reply softly.
"Even History of Magic?" she asks with a smile.
"Probably not that class," I admit. "I mean, it'll be better than my usual marks, but I got confused on one of the questions." I then wince slightly. I wasn't really much confused as I was clueless. Honestly, why do teachers want us to remember dates? It's not as if someday we're ever going to need the dates in a life or death situation.
"Well, as long as you tried, Harry," Mum says before kissing my cheek. "How do you think you did on your Astronomy exam?"
"Pretty well," I respond. "Dad had me memorize some stupid little sayings and other things to help me remember it better. I think I did really great on finishing the star chart, but I had a bit of an issue with placing Pegasus."
"Did you remember that it's upside down?"
"Yeah, but all of the tiny little dots on the chart look like they could make something upside down." I hear Mum softly laugh before nodding.
"I suppose it would seem like that." Mum then sighs. "Have you boys started to pack?"
"We finished last night."
"Well, aren't you two just wonderful? You're in a hurry to have your summer vacation."
"This wasn't so bad," I say with a shrug.
"I'll remind you of that next summer when your grades force us to do this again."
"Yeah, yeah, Dad," I reply shaking my head. "So where are we going on vacation? Ron and his family went to Egypt a few summers back."
"Well, nowhere that extravagant, Harry," Mum responds. "It has a stable full of horses, though."
"No Quidditch pitch?" I softly ask.
"Sorry, Harry, but I'm sure you and Draco can still fly around the estate." She then inhales. "It rests on a rather large cliff overlooking the sea. There should still be a path down to the beach, so if you two wished to go swimming, you could."
"Is it safe?"
"Well, you'll have to take Declan with you, of course, but it should be."
"Declan?" I ask before glancing at Dad. He doesn't pay attention, though. "Who's Declan?"
"Someone that you'll meet," she responds casually. "Severus, are you almost finished yet?" Dad instantly holds up an exam, but otherwise doesn't respond. Mum then remains silent as we all watch Dad correct the last exam.
I want to laugh slightly because one can just see the concentration on his face. His correcting quill has made a few marks, but nothing really like my usual my exam. It's not my exam, though. I can tell by the doodle in the corner of a stick figure who shares an extreme likeness to Dad. I know better than to draw anything on my exam. I hear Dad sigh heavily before writing the grade at the top and banishing the exams.
"Now are you finished?"
"I'd have thought you'd know by now how I dislike your tendency to be so impatient with me."
"Oh, yes, because you're just the king of patience, Severus," Mum drawls before laughing. "Now we just have to wait for Albus to sign off on the grades, and then we're off to start our summer." She then snorts quietly before walking towards Dad. "I believe you have an 'I told you so' for Albus, Severus." She silently sits down in Dad's lap with her legs swinging off the side of the arms of the chair.
"What do you mean, Aurora?" Dad gives Draco and me his 'Laugh, and you die' look.
"Well, when we started this summer school thing, I told him that I was worried that the curse would affect me." She then motions towards her swollen abdomen. "I think it applies to me, Severus."
"You will still be able to teach next year."
"After I get off maternity leave, you mean," she responds with a soft smile. She rests her head on his shoulder and nuzzles into him. "Men have it so easy. They don't get to feel the joys of carrying a quaffle that punches and kicks in their belly. They don't have to use the facilities every five minutes because said quaffle is trying to score with their bladders. They don't feel the overwhelming urge to vomit everything they eat while still be hungry all the time. They don't feel sad one moment and then rather happy the next. Men also don't get to feel the extreme joy of labor. There isn't a potion to simulate pregnancy, is there, Severus?
"Actually—" Draco starts to say.
"No, there's no potion, Aurora," he replies glaring at Draco.
Dad, you're not lying, are you? I then glance towards Draco before looking back at Dad.
I do not make a habit of lying, Harry. There is no potion. Dad then wraps his arms around Mum to secure her even more. However, there is a spell. I'd rather not use it, though, and if either you or Draco mentions it to her, I'll cast it on both of you. Is that understood, Harry?
Yep, it's crystal clear, Dad.
"Well, that's a shame. I think you could benefit from this experience." Dad quickly kisses Mum's forehead before nodding.
"Perhaps, but I'm experiencing it right now alongside you, Aurora." He then sighs softly. "We have numerous details left before our child's birth."
"Like discussing baby names, I know, Severus. Well, since Albus is taking his precious time signing the grades, let's talk."
I glance at Dad with a smile. I honestly don't know why I'm smiling, though. Well, maybe it's because Dad has tried numerous times to get her to discuss the plans before and failed. Then again, it could be the fact that there's just something sweet about hearing them talking about my little baby brother or sister. I then lean back and just listen to them.
"Okay, so I'll tell you the boy names, and you tell me if you like them. Then you can tell me the girl names, and I'll tell you if I like them. Is that agreeable?" Dad only nods his head. "So far, I've thought about Joshua, Perseus, Jacob, Scorpius, Connor, Viper, Drew, and Salazar."
"No to Salazar," Dad replies instantly. "Viper is more of a nickname than first name. I refuse to name my son after one of your foolish characters from that horrendous Muggle book, so no to Jacob."
"Oh, come on, Severus," Mum pleads.
"Also, you are wishing to name my son after a werewolf. I think not. The rest are acceptable."
"Do you have a favorite from the five?"
"I do not. They are all good names."
If they had asked my opinion, I would have stated that I like Perseus the best out of the group. It's a tough sounding name. The other names sounded a bit to plain for my baby brother. Then again, I do like the name Connor. It's a cool name.
"All right, so what if it's a girl, Severus?"
"Astra, Emma, Darcy, Elena, Sarah, Elizabeth, Selene, and Katie."
"No to Darcy, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Katie, but I like the other four. What if we combined Astra with Selene, so it'd be Astra Selene Prince?"
"It's tolerable. If it is a boy, then his name should be Perseus Connor." Mum nods.
"Okay, onto the nursery then, I suppose."
"I've already given my specifications to the house elves. They should be finished with the renovation when we return. I apologize for not consulting you, but—"
"You needed to start moving on it. I understand, Severus. So what have you decided then?"
"I've more or less given them the room specifications as to how big I wish it to be and that I wish for a door joining our room with the nursery."
"You didn't come up with the colors or furniture or anything like that?"
"No. I felt that was a decision that we would make together." Mum nods slowly. "Except for the crib, that is." Dad then sighs. At the sight of Mum's look, he explains himself further. "I had thought it'd be nice if I handmade it. I have not done such work since my youth, but I thought it would be a nice touch to the room."
"Well, I'm sure it will be, Severus. We should probably wait until after the baby is born before we decide on the walls."
"It would be wise. However, I have already instructed them to charm the ceiling to be like the night sky. It is rather calming to look at, Aurora." She smiles softly before lightly kissing Dad.
Draco and I glance at each other with our familiar awkward smiles. I can't help but think about where we're going on vacation. I mean, there's going to be horses there. I've never actually rode a horse before, but Dudley did for his seventh birthday. The horse collapsed under him. It was rather funny until Uncle Vernon caught me laughing.
I wonder if this Declan guy is about my age. There has to be a reason Mum mentioned him. Then again, she was smiling slightly when she said it. Maybe she has known him for a long time. Maybe he's an ex-boyfriend, oh boy, that would be awkward. I then shake my head to rid myself of those thoughts.
I have to admit that when I first started this summer school thing, I thought it was going to suck. It hasn't, not really. Sure, my first week of summer school was horrendous. My first class consisted of my summer Potions professor breaking Dad's number one rule and using magic against a potion. My second class was my being bored out of my mind. Third class I learned some Astronomy from Dad, but I never made it to my Herbology class. That was thanks to Draco for being defensive and my being a total prat by not thinking what I was saying to him.
However, I have learned a lot, and I'm not just talking about in the classroom type of stuff either. I mean, I'm learning what it means to have a family. I'm adjusting to being a son rather than the freak that must live with people. I'm learning how to be a brother, which sometimes means to have a pillow fight until the parents yell about destroying pillows. I'm starting to become a better student, but only because Dad has started to force me to study.
When I read that note from Dumbledore at the start of school stating that there would be no houses, I wanted to run away. I mean, sure, it sounds good on paper. But to see it happen in actual life would be a completely different thing. There's a lot of animosity between Gryffindor and Slytherin, and there always has been. However, during this summer, the animosity seemed to lessen slightly. I mean, Marcus Flint congratulated me, me a Gryffindor, on my Quidditch skills. I'm pretty sure that wouldn't ever happen during the regular term. Well, mostly because I know that he's graduating.
Then there's the fact that Draco Malfoy is now my adopted brother. It's rather odd, but we've grown rather close. I almost feel as close to him as I do for Ron. That's probably not a good thing in hindsight because I know both Draco and Ron are in love with Hermione. I'm still not getting into the middle of it, though.
I also have learned this summer that I share a link with Dad and Mum. There's that link with Voldemort too, but I'm not going to discuss that one. I like my link with Dad. I like knowing that no matter where I am that I'm never alone. At first, hearing Dad in my head scared the hell out of me, but now it's rather comforting. I mean, it's rare to hear Dad chuckle, but I know now at least that he is capable of laughing.
I've learned about the Order. It's rather cool to know that not just my real parents joined, but also my adopted parents. It feels a bit like I belong to a continuum. Yes, my real parents were Gryffindors and my adoptive parents are Slytherins, but it's like the best of both worlds. The Sorting Hat said when it tried to sort me that I had a thirst to prove myself. That comes from both sides of my family. Both James and Severus wanted to prove themselves to others. With my real dad, it was to prove himself to my real mum that he was the one for her, not Dad. With my adoptive dad, it was to prove himself that he wasn't a victim. I also receive my courage from both sides. My real parents stood against Voldemort just as Severus and Aurora do now. Mum, my adoptive mum I mean, even had the Dark Mark carved into her for not taking Voldemort's real mark. That takes a tremendous amount of courage to say no to any of Voldemort's Death Eaters, and she has stuck to her principles even after everything. I've even seen her talk to Flint this summer and try to get him not to join the Death Eaters. I still don't understand how she didn't just whack him over the head for being so stupid. It definitely shows her strength because I know I would have hit him.
I then glance at Mum. I almost lost her a few days ago to Voldemort. She still doesn't seem at all phased by knowing how close she came to death. It's as if she's used to these near death experiences. I know when I nearly died my third year because of the Dementors that it took me awhile before I could fully move on from that. I won't sugarcoat anything and say that I didn't want to die because a part of me did. I wanted to be with my parents again. I wanted to have a family. I didn't want to have to deal with the Dursleys calling me a freak, treating me worse than a house elf, and having Vernon teach me lessons on a daily occurrence. My life sucked then. But if I had ended it then, I'd miss all this.
I'd miss knowing what a family feels like. I'd miss having someone hug me and telling me that I was special. I'd miss all the cheek kisses from Aurora. I'd miss the dark humor from Dad. I'd miss the pillow fights with Draco. I'd miss all that because I wanted to be with my real family. Not everyone is lucky like me and can reclaim a family, but I thank Merlin that I am. I love my whacky family. I love knowing that someone at least cares enough when I get hurt. I love having someone's shoulder to cry on if something bad happens. I love, even though it's still rather odd to me, sharing a bed with my adoptive parents and Draco, knowing that we're safe, sound, and together. I love opening presents, eating cake, and laughing hysterically when Mum puts frosting on Dad's nose. I love waking up and seeing Mum and Dad at the island reading the Prophet while eating breakfast. I love when Mum comes in and checks on me every now and then, just standing in the doorway watching me sleep. I love all of this and more because the Dursleys never did this for me.
They never treated me like family. I was the outcast. I was the freak. I was the one thing they never wanted. I was the waste of space. I was the extra mouth to feed, whenever it was they'd feed me. I was their maid. I was their quick solver. I was never Harry. I was never love. I was just 'hey, you' or 'boy' or 'freak' or whatever hell they felt like calling me.
It's different with my adoptive parents. I'm their son, not a freak. I get kisses and hugs, not looks of revulsion and wishes of death. They love me, not hate me. They'd cry if I died, not cheer. And they're the evil Slytherins, not the Dursleys who are just plain monsters. They taught me what it means to be a family. They taught me that it's okay to cry and to ask for help. It doesn't mean a person's weak or idiotic. Asking for help is a sign of maturity. Asking for help is what a child is supposed to do with his parents. He's supposed to feel loved. He's supposed to have someone to go to when there's monsters under the bed. He's supposed to have someone help him with homework when it's too confusing. He's supposed to have his mum nurse him back to health. He's supposed to walk into a sitting room and see his parents snogging on the couch because sometimes the bad comes with the good. He's supposed to have his parents embarrass the hell out of him by showing off baby pictures to his first girlfriend. Thank god, I don't have one yet. That's what a family is supposed to be, and I have that with Severus and Aurora now. I regained what Voldemort took from me.
"Harry, love, are you all right?"
"Yeah, fine, just thinking, Mum," I reply flashing a soft smile at her.
"That's a dangerous trait for a Gryffindor to have, Harry," Mum jokes.
"So I've heard." I then sigh softly. "Mum, are you taking Dad's last name when school starts?"
"Well, I do like the sound of Aurora Prince," Mum responds laughing. "However, I wasn't planning on taking it. At least not until Severus can call himself a Prince again. It wouldn't be fair. Why do you ask?"
"But the baby is taking the Prince name?"
"Won't the curse affect the baby?"
"Only if it's a boy, according to my mother's letter," Dad replies. "The curse affects my male heirs and me, Harry. Purebloods unfortunately considered male children to be more valued than that of their female counterparts. It appears as if my grandparents didn't care if only my half-blood daughters carried the name, only the males."
"Oh," I respond for the lack of anything better to say. I then chew my bottom lip staring at Dad. "So if it's a boy, then it'll take your last name?" Dad nods slowly. "So then you'll have a Potter, Malfoy, and a Snape for sons," I softly mumble.
"If it's a boy, then yes," Dad responds.
"And if it's a girl, then she's a Prince," I say quietly. "Can't we just start to stick to one name? I mean, this is starting to get a bit confusing."
"I could tell you to stir clockwise and you'd find that confusing, Potter," Dad drawls.
"Gee, Dad, thanks for being all sympathetic for me." He only raises an eyebrow at me.
"Sympathy is not my strong suit."
"No kidding?" I deadpan back to him as if I'm shocked.
"My ability to sympathize is about as good as your ability to brew a pepper-up potion."
I grab the decorative pillow next to me and throw it at Dad. He only waves it away as if it's nothing. That evil man made fun of me! I give him my best glare, which doesn't even come close to any of his. I'm pretty sure Crookshanks could glare better than I can. I then get a very Slytherin idea in my head. Personally, I frighten myself sometimes. I glance towards Mum and then towards Draco. Making up my mind, I quickly stand up and storm towards my room.
Once I get in there, I grab a few of my fluffiest pillows. However, when I start to head back out, Mum and Draco are walking towards me. They instantly stop when they see the pillows. I only smile at them and walk past. So far, the plan is going brilliantly. Mr. Evil Doom and Gloom won't know what hit him. Well, until the first pillow hits him. I nearly snicker as I imagine Snape wearing feathers. Then again, I have seen Neville's boggart. That dress really suited him and most definitely the big hat.
I then laugh softly before rushing down the corridor and launching myself towards the chair he's sitting in with pillow firmly in hand. I do some crazy samurai move and use the pillow as my pretend sword. It slams against him instantly and bursts. Hundreds of feathers explode as if confetti. I start to laugh uncontrollably, which makes Dad quickly yank one of my pillows from me.
When the pillow whacks me in the face a few seconds later, I'm stunned. Severus Snape, evil git of the dungeons, is actually going to partake in a pillow fight. Dear Merlin, where is Ron? He'll never believe this. Pretty soon, Dad and I are having a pillow duel, showering the room in large white feathers. I'm probably laughing enough for the both of us, but I can see amusement in Dad's eyes. He looks happy. Sure, there's no smile on his face, and he's not laughing like lunatic, but he looks happy, though.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see another white fluffy pillow make an entrance. I open my mouth to say something just as the pillow slams against my face. Of course, while Draco and Mum are laughing, I end up coughing up white feathers. Okay, so it's somewhat funny that I'm coughing up the feathers, but they taste horrible. Then again, they are feathers. A person is not supposed to eat feathers. Ron probably could, though. He'll eat anything. I've seen him eat the most disgusting things in the world and actually like it.
"Come here, you little Gryffindor," Dad growls with a soft chuckle before wrapping his arms around me. I instantly start to squirm when I feel feathers shoved into the back of my shirt. It starts to itch within seconds. He is just plain evil sometimes. None of us notices the emerald roaring flames in the fireplace because we're all laughing so hard and throwing feathers until we hear the clearing of a throat.
"Perhaps I should come back?" Dumbledore asks with twinkling blue eyes.
Dad is the first to recover. He brushes the white feathers off quickly, and his face quickly melds back into his neutral pose. His arms go to his sides as he waits. Out of all of us, Dad looks like he never was involved in a pillow fight.
"You decided to hand deliver their grades, Albus?"
"Oh, yes, so that I could make sure that I spoke with you and Miss Sinistra before either of you left. We do have several plans to hash out yet."
"It's already been arranged, Albus. Aurora will take maternity leave near the end of September and return in January."
"And you, my boy?" Dumbledore asks with a pointed look. "A mother should not be expected to be the only one taking leave."
"I will do so if and when the time arises, Albus. It is not wise for you to be without your Potions Master for long periods of time."
"I could perhaps ask for a substitute teacher to take over for you, Severus."
"And I would inform you that I do not need that, Albus. If Aurora needs me, however, I will be there. However, I cannot just leave my post unattended with just anyone in charge. It would be a free for all, Albus. I would think you could understand that."
"I, however, understand that a father must adjust to his son or daughter also, Severus. It will not be like it was with Harry."
"You believe I can't take care of my own child?" growls Dad.
"Not at all, Severus," Dumbledore quickly replies. "I am just merely pointing out that Draco and Harry are at that stage in their life where they just need love and care, not discipline."
"I will not become my father, Albus."
"I was not insinuating that you would, Severus." Dumbledore's voice is very steady, and there's no anger in his voice. "I know that you are a much better person than Tobias. I have seen that from you. You have proven yourself repeatedly, Severus. You need not prove it to me or anyone else."
"And yet I still need to prove my loyalties to your staff," Dad responds.
"Severus, I am not insinuating anything. You will be an amazing father. I can see that with how you have been with Harry and Draco. I am not suggesting that you will become Tobias. I am merely stating that you should spend time with your child to adjust to fatherhood. I have seen good wizards, good fathers, who have turned their backs on their families because they lose sight of it with everything going on around them. I am only trying to make sure that doesn't happen to you, Severus. I have known you to let people slip through your fingers before because you were too busy brewing. I do believe you stood Aurora up once or twice for that reason."
"I see," Dad replies crossing his arms. "I shall take leave if and when it is needed, Albus. I believe it is still my decision, not yours." He then draws in a breath. "I believe I can handle juggling my schedule with my son or daughter and still stocking potions. If Aurora needs me, however, she is more than welcome to come into my lab and drag me kicking and screaming into our rooms. But I do not wish to take leave right now, Albus. I will if it arises, though."
"As you wish, Severus," Dumbledore responds with a sigh. "Then perhaps it is necessary to inform you that I've spoken with Remus and asked him to fill in for Aurora while she is on leave. My dear, is that suitable for you?"
"It is fine, Headmaster, but on the nights Remus cannot attend, then who will be in charge?"
"Filius and other staff members are willing to step in when that arises. You need not worry about that plan, my dear. Actually, if it is not at all disagreeable, I thought perhaps you and Remus could co-teach until you must go on leave, Aurora. It would make the transition much smoother."
"I have no issues with it, Albus."
"Excellent, most excellent," he says with a smile.
"I believe you have grades to deliver, Albus."
"Ah, yes, you're quite right, my boy." Dumbledore then reaches into his velvety purple robes and pulls out two envelopes. He hands them to Draco and me with a beaming smile. "Forgive me for the delay before, but I believe you'll both be pleased with your results."
I tune Dumbledore out and rip open the envelope. A part of me is rather fearful, while the other part of me is just plain ecstatic that I have my grades in hand. Once we get over this minor bump, my summer vacation starts, making me like every other student. I carefully unfold the parchment and skim over my grades. I can't believe. There's no way that… My eyes then squint just in case a bit of dirt has collected on my glasses again. Nope, there it is. Wow. I then glance towards Mum and Dad. They are staring at Draco, however.
"Well, I best be on my way. I shall see you all soon. Enjoy your vacations." Dumbledore then disappears back into the fireplace probably heading back to his office again.
I then glance back down at my grade report. I can't believe it. There has to be some sort of mistake. I mean, I'm Harry Potter. I'm the foolish boy who still wants to find the Sword of Slytherin even though I know that I'll probably get myself killed as a result. Okay, well, possibly hurt, not killed. Dad will kill me if he ever finds out that I still want to find the sword.
"Draco, how are your grades?"
"All Os," Draco drawls handing the parchment to Dad. He's not arrogant about receiving the good grades, though. He's actually rather modest. Then again, grades were never Draco's problem. They're always mine.
"Excellent job, Draco," Mum replies hugging him briefly and kissing his cheek.
"Well, Harry, what did you get?"
I glance at my grades and slowly smile. Overall, I did very well. I mean, very well when I see my Potions grade. I could have tried harder with my Herbology class since it was Hagrid teaching it. There was no way I'd ever do amazing in History of Magic. It's just too boring to me.
"Oh, um…I have two Os and two Es," I reply holding out my grades for Mum and Dad to read.
"Well, least you tried for our subjects," Mum says with a smile. "I like knowing my son has an O in Astronomy. Now, if you can manage it with me after I return from leave, then we should be great." She then catches my other O. "An O in Potions is rather hard to come by, Harry. You should be rather proud of yourself." She pulls me into a quick hug and kisses the top of my forehead.
"Yes, I agree. You did rather well with Professor Vector. I was most impressed with your exam actually. You showed clear insight and retention of the material," Dad responds.
"Well, on that note, should we, Severus?" Mum asks with a wide smile as she holds out her arm.
"Let's," Dad replies linking arms with her.
"So where are we going anyway?" I ask.
"Sorry, Harry, it's a surprise."
"Lovely," I mumble glancing at Draco. He only shrugs before we follow Mum and Dad out of the rooms. However, I stop at the door and glance back towards my room. It seems odd that we aren't taking anything with us so I ask. "Aren't we going to bring our trunks with us?"
"Don't need to, love," Mum replies. "Mokai is planning to send it all there before we get there."
I quickly fall back into step with Draco. Mum and Dad lead us out of the castle, past Hagrid's hut, and towards the front gates. Okay, so we must be apparating there. We suddenly stop, and Mum and Dad hold out their arms towards us. I quickly grab Mum's arm, while Draco grabs Dad's arm. I feel the horrible feeling of squeezing into a tube immediately. I swear that I'm going to sick up wherever we get. I hate apparation as much as I hate traveling by Floo.
A few seconds later, I open my eyes and inhale the deep smell of wildflowers and the sea. Lush trees, thousands of blooming various flowers, and white fences surround a massive stone manor. Off to my right, large tidal waves crash against the white cliffs in a steady rhythm. And sure enough, I see the white sandy beach with a small walking path down to it. My eyes then spot the numerous horses that have gathered at the white fence line as we walk towards the manor. There are Appaloosas, Arabians, Mustangs, and various other types of well-known breeds. It is just how Mum described it. I'm…
A/N: Thank you so much for reading "Summer School." I hope you've enjoyed it. The sequel to this story is called "Sword of Slytherin."