III

Catherine or Cate

III

What Should Have Been

III

World Order Step Two

III

"Draco! You must wake up!" Lucius' urgent and rather loud insistence that his son wake, aroused Harry from his slumber first.

"What's wrong, Professor Malfoy?" Harry asked pulling back his curtains and noticing their head of house standing close behind anxiously. Flicking his wand to attack Neville and Blaise's beds Harry turned to the two older men. "What's wrong?"

"Cissa," Malfoy senior mumbled shaking his son by the shoulders as Draco drowsily tried to process what was going on.

"Professor Snape?" Harry asked climbing out of bed and depositing Daphne's dog on the floor from where it had been sleeping on the end of his bed.

The beagle quickly disappeared out the open doorway.

"Minister Malfoy was attacked sometime in the evening in her office at the Ministry," Snape said, softly. "When she failed to return to the manor the house elf went to the Ministry building to wake her and take her home only to find her on the floor of her office cationic."

"Cationic," Neville said from his position, half in, half out of bed. "What do you mean 'cationic'?"

"What happened to Mum?" Draco asked his father now fully alert.

Lucius broke down in his son's arms.

"Severus!" Draco pleaded as Daphne appeared in the doorway.

"Narcissa is currently at Saint Mungos being treated for exposure to an unforgivable," Severus said quietly.

"Wake them up!" Harry declared, looking Daphne in the eye before she disappeared. "Blaise."

The dark skinned teen was immediately up out of bed and pulling the older Malfoy away from the younger.

"Oh, dear Merlin," Neville said, slowly moving to assist. "Cruciatus."

"Draco get dressed!" Harry ordered pulling on his own clothes. "We're going to the hospital!"

"Me too!" Hermione declared racing into the room with school robes thrown hastily over leggings and a soft cotton dress.

"Harry?" Daphne asked slipping a vial of calming draught to Blaise before coming to her partner's side.

"Start looking into some of those contingency plans we have been writing," he said softly kissing her brow.

"We didn't plan for this," Daphne said flicking her hair over her shoulder.

"Adapt some of the plans we do have," Harry replied. "We need something by lunch time."

"We're going to need Mister Moneypenny," their head of house said quietly.

"Sirius first," Harry replied letting Daphne help him into his own robes. "He's better in a crisis."

Hermione held up a quill and indicated that the boys should hold on.

"Now just wait!" Severus said with growing alarm.

"Porteous," Hermione whispered.

Harry looked to Daphne before the riot of colour took him away and he was forced to race through the empty corridors of the wizarding hospital after his friends. What a way to start sixth year, he thought.

III

Amelia Bones arrived at the hospital grim faced.

"Madame Bones," Harry greeted. "Who did this? How did they get around security? Why did they do this?"

The woman looked stoney faced and uncomfortable. "We don't know. The Minister was working late and all the alarms we aurors have around her office failed because she wasn't attacked in the four walls of her office and the attacker never set foot inside."

"Indicating an inside job or someone with sound knowledge of how the auror's protect the minister of magic," Harry replied.

"Our investigation will continue," Bones promised. "We will find whoever did this."

"I know you will," Harry said touching the woman's arm comfortingly and her mask slipped just a little.

"The minister was a great woman with amazing foresight and political ability. I… The minister and I…" Bones said, trying to express herself before taking a deep breath. "What does the hospital say?"

Harry shook his head sadly. "Cissa was held by the curse for several minutes. At least three uses of the curse were made. She's not expected to recover."

Amelia's lips thinned. "Are we talking another Alice and Frank?" she asked.

Harry affirmed the conclusion with a nod.

"What's your plan?"

Harry looked up in surprise.

"My plan?"

"Your plan, boy," the older woman declared.

"I don't have a complete one yet," Harry said.

"You need one by sundown," Amelia declared, her posture straightening as she spotted something over Harry's shoulder.

"Madame Bones," Draco greeted his arm firmly around Hermione's waist in comfort and support.

"Mister Malfoy, your mother, has done great things. Have you thought of who you would like to replace her? In circumstances such as these your opinion would have great influence," Bones asked.

"I can't think," Draco said quietly. "I need to see my father."

Harry patted Draco on the back. "I'll think for you, Dray. Mimi, let's take him back to his dad."

"I'll keep in touch, Mister Potter," Auror Bones declared.

Harry looked back over his shoulder to see the woman nod to him approvingly before taking up a guard position outside Narcissa Malfoy' door.

"What are we going to do, Harry?" Draco asked in a broken whisper.

"You and Hermione are going to go back to our dorm and sleep," Harry said. "Give the rest of us a chance to figure something out."

III

Harry emerged from the Slytherin dorms cleaned and dressed half an hour later only to be set upon in the kitchens by Susan Bones as he was getting some breakfast.

"Auntie told me," she said without preamble. "She sent me a letter just before dawn. I want to be included in your meeting, wherever it is. Ginny Weasley is there. I want to be there."

Harry looked at the strawberry blonde.

"I have an idea," Susan elaborated.

Accepting an egg and bacon roll from the elves, Harry gestured that she should follow.

In the common room used the previous year by the four Triwizard Tournament Champions Harry found their circle of friends bickering.

"We have no useful ideas," Blaise declared loudly over the hubbub.

"I do," Susan said looking to Ginny. "Weasley's mother."

"What about my mother?" Ginny asked twisting her wedding ring around her finger.

"She'll be the new minister," Susan said. "Especially with the support of the Blacks, considering her mother was one, the Longbottoms, because they hold the same ideals, and the Malfoys, because she's a mother too, fighting for a better world for her children, just like Minister Malfoy was."

"That's actually the best idea I have heard," Sirius declared. "And it is completely executable."

"We need Mrs Zabini, Remus, Mr and Mrs Weasley, Madame Bones…" Moneypenny started listing.

"We need none of them," Sirius declared. "We need Lucretia. And that's all we need."

Ginny lifted her head and looked at Sirius sharply. "You're making Mum and Grandmother come to the same room?" she asked in surprise.

"It is the only way this works," Sirius declared standing and pulling on his robes. "I'll go and get my great-aunt."

"I'll go and get Molly and Arthur," Remus said standing. "Come on, Ginny."

"Come on, Daphne," Harry said softly. "We have work to do elsewhere."

"What are we doing?" Daphne asked once Harry had taken her hand and was leading her to the tunnel to Hogsmede.

"If Molly Weasley is going to be a Minister of Magic we need to get her attired correctly," Harry said quietly. "I was speaking with her at Blaise and Ginny's wedding and discovered her strength."

"What's that?" Daphne asked.

Harry smirked. "Molly Prewett was a competitive dueller, and a rather good one too before her marriage and motherhood. What we are going to do is go and buy and then fit duelling robes. Molly Weasley is a practical woman, she needs practical clothing."

"Nothing showy," Daphne said softly. "But gives her freedom to move and represent us with dignity internationally if required. And not too different to what she is normally seen in so the change isn't dramatic. I know what to do."

"Good," Harry replied. "I'm going to make a quick firecall to our friends abroad." Then, from underneath the floorboards of Honeydukes, Harry sidealong apparated Daphne to London.

III

"I don't think so," Molly Weasley said nervously looking at all the faces around her.

Remus Lupin and Ginny had snuck her and Arthur into Hogwarts for a meeting. This meeting and they were talking about making her, a housewife for the past twenty five years, Minister of Magic.

"It's not possible," she reiterated.

"That's not true, Molly," Arthur said slowly. "You've always been good at politics and thinking quickly. And we both know you can still duel with the best of them."

"Arthur," Molly reprimanded in her best disciplinary tone.

"No Mum!" Ginny declared. "You're our choice."

"You are the best person to continue my mother's vision for our world," Draco said softly. "You will have the support of the French and German leadership."

"And the extended Black family," Lucretia declared. "Narcissa was a Black. Draco has promised his support. You have the support of your father and I and Sirius is also going to support your cause."

"And me, Molly," Amelia Bones said speaking up. "You would have made a wonderful law enforcement officer. You beat me on the circuit and for fun so many times. People remember that. You will have me and my aurors behind you every step of the way."

"Minister Malfoy cleared up so many problems," Arthur said. "The foundations of a strong ministry are built. Build our government like you did our family."

"I can't cook that much," Molly joked.

"Do not joke," Hermione said, harshly. "You are in a position I can only dream of. You have the acceptable blood lines. You can achieve things. Do not let your children down. Do not let your grandchildren down. We need to be proactive with the issue of Voldemort. He could come back at any time. We need to be ready."

"You can do it, Mum."

Molly looked at all the faces around her.

"I can't do this on my own," she whispered looking to her husband.

"You won't be," Mrs Zabini declared. "That is the beauty of these children. They, and their allies, will be behind you."

"Mum?" Ginny asked.

Molly looked to her daughter and saw her holding tightly to the hand of her seventh son husband. They would do great things.

"I'll need a second. So this situation does not happen again," Molly said slowly. "I will need a Deputy Minister of Magic."

"Pass the law the moment you are confirmed," Harry encouraged. "We will find you a Deputy."

"Andromeda Tonks," Moneypenny declared. "Neutral and famous for coming down strong on crime but well respected by both sides. And with her young son, a new reason to fight, but not keep a full time job. Andy is also a former ministry prosecutor, making her perfect as she already knows the law inside out."

Molly opened and closed her mouth as the group quickly discussed the strengths of Andromeda Tonks as her second in command.

"Come with me, Molly," Mrs Zabini declared leading the red headed woman into one of the bedrooms.

"What are we doing?" Molly asked looking at the robes hanging around the room.

The other woman smiled. "Convincing you completely that you can be our Minister of Magic. Pick one and try it on."

Molly looked at the robes in colours and cuts she would have worn on the duelling circuit before Bill was born. Slowly, picking up a pair of robes she moved behind a screen to change.

"I still have a waist," she declared looking in the mirror several minutes later.

"You're not even close to old, Molly," Mrs Zabini declared. "Of course you have a waist and wonderful legs too, I see."

Molly ran her hands over the hidden bodice that protected her torso, but also emphasised her figure. Turning from the mirror she walked back into the room to be met with silence.

"Good evening, Minister Weasley," Harry said with a grin.

"It's Weasley- Prewett to you, young sir," she replied. "I am going to emphasise all my family ties."

"You'll be an amazing minister, Molly dearest," Arthur declared.

Molly nodded. "We'd better get all the boys home for the announcement. And I'd better promote Percy to being my personal secretary. That way I won't have to train someone."

III

Amelia Bones stood at the dpprway leading back into the Ministry of Magic from the Wizengamot Chamber.

Harry nodded as their little group paused before the closed doors.

"The press is here," she said quietly. "Are you ready for them?"

Harry looked to Neville who stood on the other side of Draco. Both blond teens had clenched jaws. Their Head of House stood behind them his face an unreadable mask.

"Let's get out of here," Draco whispered.

The doors to the chamber opened and Harry and Neville stepped up to protect their friend as best they could from the camera flashes and myriad of questions they were being bombarded with. Not until they stood before the atrium fireplaces did they stop to answer questions.

"Mr Malfoy!" the first reporter asked. "How do you feel now Molly Weasley has replaced your mother as Minister of Magic?"

"I am sure he feels no different to how he felt this morning when we left former Minister Malfoy in St Mungos. Draco is shocked and lost, like any son who has lost their mother to violent crime," Harry replied sharply. "He is confident that Minister Prewett- Weasley will do an excellent job in his mother's stead."

"What is the former Minister Malfoy's long term prognosis?" another reporter questioned.

"The long term spell damage ward, alongside other heroes of our society who stood up to terrorists and biggots and paid the price," Harry answered again. "Our world is going to change whether the small minded and petty like it or not. And we will continue to be here to make and support those changes to the very best of our abilities.

"You three operate like the heads of a Hydra," Rita Skeeter began.

"Do you want to find out which one bites?" Neville asked roughly, silencing the press pack and making Amelia smirk.

Rita Skeeter swallowed but squared her shoulders to continue on. "Mr Malfoy, why did you support Molly Prewett-Weasley in this hastily called election to take your mother's place as Minister of Magic?"

Harry kept his face impassive as Draco stirred and a fire lit in his eyes for the first time that day. "I have supported someone who holds similar ideals to my mother, who is not afraid to fight for what she believes in. Someone who is going to respect and reshape my mother's vision into something even more extraordinary than what my mother imagined. A lioness who will protect her cubs whatever the cost. My cousin is going to reshape the world in a way you cannot imagine. She had the full support of the Malfoy family. "

"And the Potters," Harry added with a firm nod.

"And the Longbottoms," Neville declared. "Not to mention the Blacks, the Greengrasses, the Prewetts, the Weasleys…"

"The Zabini's!" Blaise's mother called from behind the press pack startling them.

"The Bones family and myself as a department director and member of the Wizengamot," Amelia added.

"And given her family's close ties with Albus Dumbledore, I am sure he will also give my cousin his full support," Draco concluded. "We need to return to Hogwarts. Please direct any further requests to Mister Moneypenny or Sirius Black."

"Game on," Neville whispered to Harry as Draco disappeared into the green flames.

"We're actually going to have to start that hunt for Horcruxes now," Harry replied and Neville nodded.

"I am sure Hermione and Draco will welcome the distraction," Neville said stepping into the flames. "We will also have to start on several other plans."

"I'm not sure I will enjoy any of it," Harry muttered to himself before he too flooed back to Hogwarts.

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