Sorry for the long wait!
Caution: Very raw.
Disclaimer: Don't own anything... any problems are caused by school-induced madness... Real Life is AU.
Amelia was impressed enought that she allowed Emrys to work. Amelia made the first test deliberately hard to gauge Emry's decision making. A healer is expected to defer decisions, if he or she is unsure of what to do; granted the time. It took additional tests to confirm that Emrys had the ability to "give up" with healing a patient. She tested him more and figured that he was at least somewhere between intermediate and full healer. Half the time he worked in the wards and in the emergency room. The other half, he spent with the potions master after he got wind of his outstanding newts and owls. The potions master did not have enough helpers as he was strict and didn't let just anyone to help him. He asked Emrys to help. Emrys was very open to the idea and tried to get permission from Amelia. Amelia, at first didn't agree but Emrys was persistent. She reluctantly agreed as she wasn't able to dissuade Emrys.
Just then a catastrophe. On the last day of the Healing convention, Voldemort attacked. It was his first public attack.
"Mediwizard Jones!" one of the volunteers exclaimed. "Hogsmeade has been attacked!" Jones was the supervising mediwizard that time. There was one other full mediwizard and about 3 others who have mediwizard status and 5 with healer status. There were about 5 volunteers including Emrys.
"About 100 injured."
"Heiffen, take Potter, Callalily, Hugo and Mincer with you and go. Call if you need more help," Jones ordered. Heiffen was the other full mediwizard. Callalilly was a volunteer, Hugo was a full healer and Mincer was an intermediate mediwizard.
Just as they were packing their materials another call came. "Mediwizard Jones! Diagon Alley has been attacked. About 300 injured."
"Heiffen, change of plans. Go to Diagon Alley, take all the volunteers and Fellows (junior mediwizard). Jagger, you're in charge of Hogsmeade," Jones said. He couldn't leave since the hospital had to be manned by one full mediwizard at all times. Jagger was an intermediate mediwizard.
"Take Cadence, Coda, Staff and Ale with you."
The healers took their orders and supply and left after Jones instructed them to immediately return to St. Mungo's once the situation has cleared in their assignments.
Heiffen's team arrived in Diagon Alley. Shops were burning and many bodies littered the ground.
"Luisa, Jerry,(volunteer and healer) you're on triage. Callalily, Hugo, Potter, secure an area and set up a medical tent. Do you have your minder with you Potter?"
"Yes. Liam's right here." Emrys said motioning to the now visible Liam.
"Liam, help them. How much healing do you know?"
"Basics. Cuts and bruises and other minor maladies."
"Alright. Send all level 1s to Liam." Heiffen shook his head. 10 people to treat 300 potentially life-threatning ailments. He and the others who weren't occupied went out to start finding and healing those in critical condition.
Thanks to magic, they managed to build and organize the tent within a few minutes. It was just in time as the first few patients came in.
Suddenly, they heard pops. Liam went into defensive position. "I'll check it out."
A few seconds later, he yelled, "It's alright. They're aurors."
The most senior auror, a guy by the name of Kingsley Shacklebolt entered the tent.
"Tell me you did not just arrive," Emrys muttered darkly, not looking up from what he was doing.
"We apologize. We were held up at Hogsmeade." He said, not minding that he was talking to a 12-year old who seemed to be scolding him.
"How's Hogsmeade?" Hugo asked.
"It's secure, but there's a lot of injured and several dead. Diagon Alley looks to be worse, though. Do you need help?"
"Well, we keep getting patients. If your guys could help heal the level ones?" Hugo offered. They had a lot of level ones, but then again, they also had a lot of level 2s, 3s and even 4s.
Just then the aurors were called again.
"What's happening?" Emrys asked.
"The Healing convention is being attacked."
"What? GO!" Emrys said as he panicked.
"Potter!" Hugo called out seeing Emrys's distress.
"Potter!" He tried again. Emrys was going on overdrive.
"Huh? What? Sorry."
"Stop panicking. We need you to be here, helping out as fast as you can. Once we clear Diagon Alley, we can go back to St. Mungo's and possibly help out at the Healing convention. Don't worry, healers are tough." Hugo said as he rubbed Emrys's back to soothe him. Emrys steeled himself as he realized that panicking was not going to help. He has made a lot of healer and mediwizard friends and were worried about them. He buried them at the back of his mind and started to work diligently.
He noticed Snape lying on a bed with level three injuries. He healed him and was about to make him sleep but his hand was grabbed by the Professor, well ex-Professor.
"I want to help. So do my newfound apprentices." He was setting up his new shop in Diagon Alley when the attack happened.
"Professor, I healed you, but you're not completely recovered."
"I know that, but I'll be fine. You need more people to assist right?"
"Then get every able body here to assist. We can help. We have at least intermediate healer training. I have full healer status," said Snape.
"Ok. I'll ask." Emrys replied. Hugo, as the most senior, in the tent went to Snape. They argued, but Snape eventually won. He and his apprentices were allowed to help heal. He also got two of his apprentices to brew more healing potions.
"Thank you Professor." Emrys said.
"Least I could do." Emrys didn't say anything but went back to work. The Professor was right. They sped up. Eventually, they got more volunteers. The civilian volunteers helped administer potions under the direction of either Hugo or Professor Snape.
They finished 3 hours after arriving. Heiffen and the others who didn't do tent work had went back to St. Mungo's with the critically ill.
They went back to St. Mungo's to find chaos. Half healed healers and mediwizards were helping heal others.
"Hugo, Callalily, Potter! How's Diagon Alley?" Jones asked. He was tending to a healer that had a gaping cut, deep enough that you could see the bone. It was cursed. It had to heal the muggle way, so Jones was stitching it closed.
"Cleared. Need help?"
"I'm fine here. Go to Ward C. They need the most help there." He said. The three took off running.
"Go and help anyone. Don't bother waiting for orders. Everyone's too busy. Even the house-elves seem swamped." Hugo said. The house elves usually handed healers potions and materials, or moved patients out, or helped stir potions or other small errands. They were doing that but were also helping hold some instruments because of the sudden lack of them due to the sheer volume of patients.
House elves. Emrys suddenly found inspiration.
"What can Tippy be doing for Sir Potter sir?" She asked as she appeared with a pop.
"Can you get more house elves here. I need you to help out. Just ask the healers nicely what they need help with."
Emrys then went to the first patient he saw. As usual he did diagnostics. The man couldn't breathe, had multiple lacerations and was losing blood, fast. Emrys fixed his breathing by removing a suffocation curse. Then, Emrys gave him blood replenishing. He also had burns which Emrys applied a salve on to. He closed the lacerations, grateful that they weren't cursed. He did another diagnostic and found nothing. He spelled the bed green, indicating that the patient could be moved to another ward.
"Emrys!" exclaimed Callalily. She motioned him over and said, "I don't know what to do. He seems cursed. Curses aren't my forte."
"I'll handle it." Emrys said.
"Thanks." Callalily said as she went to another patient.
Emrys did a diagnostic and managed to hold his shock in. The man was a death eater. He still had to heal him since it was a healer's duty, but the curses proved tricky. They were layered and intertwined. It wasn't life threatning as of yet, other than the fact that the man was in constant pain. Emrys also noticed a dormant curse connected to the layered curses. Emrys decided to heal others first. The man's case was more complicated and needed a lot of time.
It is strange. Why would a death eater have these curses on him? No one from the 'light side' could have done this to him in the heat of the battle, Emrys thought.
He ordered a house-elf to let him know if a healer decides to take on his case. Emrys healed 5 others before deciding to go back to the death eater. He felt guilty letting the man suffer.
Emrys carefully blasted the silver glow connecting the dormant curse to the layered curses. It was a mistake.
Cutting off the silver glow activated the dormant curse. It was a crucio beyond anything Emrys has ever seen. The screams of the patient called the attention of Amelia, who only obtained minor injuries.
"I tried taking out a curse and it activated a dormant one."
"Didn't you do a diagnostic?"
"Of course I did. I know I probably should've asked someone higher, but it looked like the blue red thing from the dummy."
"No use blamestorming," Amelia said. She helped Emrys take off the layer of curses and when they were done, only the crucio was left. They took that out easily. It took them an hour and a half to finish.
"Here. Give him this. Next time, when you meet something complicated, ask a second opinion, no matter how busy everyone is," Amelia scolded as she handed the new and improved crucio potion care of Snape and Lily. Emrys gratefully took the potion and administered it to the unconscious death eater. He left him there, not asking the elves to take him away. He needed to be monitored, all of the patients requiring the Crucio recovery potion. Emrys went on to work with other patients. In another four hours, the team of medics managed to clear the room. They lost 50 civilians, 10 mediwizards and 11 healers from complications, or lack of time and resources or because of plain tricky curses. Emrys took it hard. The count didn't include anyone who died on the scene. 70 dying in the hospital was, to him, unacceptable.
After everything that's happened, all recovered healers, trainees and mediwizards had a debrief to talk about what went wrong and how they can improve.
"We don't have enough people for this kind of emergency. We weren't prepared. That's really what the conference was about. Sadly, we were interrupted," one of the healers commented.
"Move forward a month from now. If the attack had happened then, do you think we would have been prepared?"
"No." Heiffen asserted. "We are lacking in human resources when it happened. Most of the healers were at the convention. We were going to ask for everyone's help, but the attack on the convention prevented that. My team was sent to Diagon Alley. We had to rely on civilians to help us heal level 1s and sometimes 2s. We were lucky that a lot of the injuries were minor enough that we could focus on the more severe injuries. I don't think we'll be lucky next time. We have a lot of healers, but we also need cursebreakers, more potions masters, more specialists and generally more people."
"Any suggestions? Healers need training."
"Accelerated training. There's more than a month left to summer. Maybe the students from LSM would agree to accelerated training to finish of their healing classes and apprentices can go on accelerated learning too." Jones replied.
"The new building has only so much space. Even if we do train them, we don't have money to hire them. Money we don't have."
Emrys spoke up. Everyone looked at him. "How much do you need?"
"At least 2 million galleons." The elder said.
"Consider St. Mungo's four million galleons richer. I would suggest approaching some of the Hogwarts students for training. If Hogwarts is attacked, they'd need healers." I should probably talk to Professor McGonagall about making the Hogwarts curriculum more aggresive.
"Just how is St. Mungo's four million galleons richer?" One of the healers arrogantly asked.
"Anonymous donation," Emrys replied coldly. How thick can the healer be? The healer was going to retort but was silenced with a glare from one of the elders.
"We've wanted to do that for years, but they don't have enough knowledge to pursue healing until they're in 6th year. We'd be wasting our resources if we train 7th years who are graduating soon anyway."
"Not even basic healing?" Emrys asked.
"I guess we can teach them that."
"How about we find some teachers who can conduct accelerated classes on the prereqs for the summer, and then during the year, ask Professor McGonagall if she'd agree to St. Mungo's sending someone to teach healing." one of the healers suggested.
"What year do you suggest we take for the accelerated classes?"
"All of them. The more healers we have, the better, after all. From my experience, there are only certain topics that's required from the prerequisites. If you just take all of those, then I think it would be fine if you do all ages." Emrys said.
"The reason they're kept in different units in LSM is because of the complexity. A first year cannot do them. They're too complicated." One of the healers protested.
"Uh, technically I'm still a first year. I haven't started second year yet. But in any case, if they can't do it, then remove them from the program. But filtering potential students when they could help is a bad idea. Invite them all, then filter. Besides, I think you'd mostly get dedicated students who'd work hard. They wouldn't sign up for summer courses otherwise." Emrys replied.
"I'd also advise to invite certain members of the public." Liam piped.
"People we can trust. You're essentially letting them into st. Mungo's, even if it's only for training. Security is crucial," said Liam. "You're not going to employ all of them either. You just want someone with the knowledge on a possible scene."
The meeting went on and on. In the end, they were able to make several recommendations for improving the way they handled emergency situations. They also agreed on accelerated healer's training including the accelerated prereq classes. They also somehow managed to rope in aurors. They would be required to attend training. They were doing it hush-hush, though, since the minister was vehemently denying Voldemort's return. Emrys went to his solicitors after to facilitate the transfer of money.
Emrys went to his much needed sleep after everything was settled.
He awoke to hear sirens blaring.
"What's happening?" Emrys asked. Liam was already up and was inconspicously setting himself up as a guard for Emrys.
"St. Mungo's is under attack."
"We need to evacuate!" Jones said.
"Where? The other building has also been destroyed!" Amelia protested. Emrys racked his brain then remembered he had a lot of properties.
"I know of a place. Liam, can you make portkeys to Helga's?"
"I need your blood," Liam said. The wards wouldn't allow anyone to portkey in without Emrys' permission via his blood, or physical contact to the portkey.
"Just do it. I'll give you blood later. Make as much as possible. Can we bring everyone to one place? It will be easier to portkey that way. Where are the aurors?"
"They're coming!" Amelia fumed. "We'll bring everyone to Hyperward. It's the largest ward."
"Ok, I'll help Liam with the portkeys."
"You can make portkeys?" Amelia asked.
"Long story. I learned it from the same place that I learned lightning from." Amelia just nodded and went to work.
"Let's do this on the run. Let's stay at the Hyperward so we can transport while we make portkeys." Emrys suggested.
"I personally, don't think we'd be able to transport everyone." Liam said glumly.
"We'll do what we can," Amelia said.
They came into a busy hyperward. Liam brought a box of syringes that they were using for the portkeys.
"Callalily!" Emrys exclaimed. She went over.
"I want you to prick me with these syringes and hand them over to the healers. Tell them to make sure the patients touch the syringe as well and then say."
"Yes. Don't worry about me. Is everyone here?"
"No. Some healers are still transporting." She said.
"I'll leave the portkeying to you." Emrys said as he finished another portkey. They only had five for now and each one could transport 10 at the most, if they squish their fingers together.
"Here use this," Callalily said as she handed them a box of tubes. The tubes were long. They abandoned the syringes and started using the tubes. Emrys was in hypermode. He could hear the commotion getting closer and closer to them.
"Cut me so my blood drips on the tube. The password is Emrys Arthur."
Jones took over the scheduling and made some junior healers go first with the more fragile patients and some visitors.
Five minutes later, they could hear a loud bang. The deatheaters were very near.
Emrys stopped working and instead started chanting. He was planning on erecting a light ward. It wasn't strong but it will buy them time, specially because it's tied with his magic through blood. Elvish lessons are very handy.
He kept it up as the room slowly dwindled away. Every death eater started blasting a spell toward Emrys. The minor ward eventually fell. A banishing curse hit Emrys and the next thing he knew, he was unconscious.
Emrys woke up in a comfy bed and tried to stand.
"Easy there, you lost a lot of blood, you have magical exhaustion and you got hit with a curse that won't let us heal you magically." Amelia said.
"Casualties?" Emrys asked.
"We weren't able to get 20 patients and lost 5 more healers of varying levels."
"Loopy!" Emrys called out. "Did you close off the castle?"
"Yes sirs, Master Emrys sir! We closed it off after we called several house elves to help us here sirs. Did we does wrongs sir?"
"No, Loopy. That's excellent."
"Stop worrying. We can handle it." Amelia assured. Emrys nodded. His time at the village and his status as a royal made him mature faster than a normal kid would. He felt like an adult, sometimes.
"We really need to stop being surprised by Voldemort. I really don't get how he managed to do simultaneous attacks. Are there really that many death eaters?" Emrys said.
"I don't know. I can only guess that yes, he has that many death eaters. I wonder how, as well." Amelia said. At this rate, the ministry is going to fall, soon." Amelia predicted. Emrys shuddered. Yes, the ministry was incompetent, but the ministry falling is not something that would be helpful right now.
"Liam!" Emrys called out after some thinking. As expected, Liam came to him.
"I need you to go to Tripe and tell them to assert my hold on the Daily Prophet. I mean, tell the Prophet there's a new boss. Then, I need you to threaten the minister. If he doesn't make it public, I will. But leave my name out for now, will you?"
"Yes, your highness. Anything else?"
"Bring Professor McGonagall here and Professor Faustina here please. Maybe you could bring the head of the Dept of Magical law Enforcement here too," Emrys said. Helen Faustina is the headmistress of LSM.
"Amelia Bones," Amelia, the healer, supplied.
"ARG! This wasn't suppossed to happen! We were suppossed to have 20 years of peace!" Emrys fumed in his head. "Bring Loopy, she can let them into the wards."
Loopy bowed to Emrys and left with Liam.
Amelia forced Emrys to go back to sleep. Emrys didn't want to but was won over with, "You own the castle. We need you fully rested in case another emergency occurs!"
Liam came back with Amelia, Professors McGonagall and Faustina, and Amelia Bones in tow. Emrys was awake, writing a message to his elven family. He continued the communication. He found that they were quite worried when years passed without his messages. He felt bad for making them worry and so he wrote messages to them as often as he could. He couldn't help being unconscious though.
The elves prepared a meeting room. Emrys was joined by the heamistresses, Bones, Amelia, Jones and other elder full mediwizards.
"Welcome to Helga's Sanctuary. I chose this location since Helga was a known herbologist. We could use the supplies," Emrys said.
"Helga? As in Helga Hufflepuff?"
"Yes. Don't ask how. It involves a long story and answers which I myself aren't aware of." Emrys said.
"Are you really an eleven year old?" Amelia blurted unexpectedly.
"Technically, I'm thirteen, but that's a long story too." Emrys replied.
"I assume we're here to plan?" Professor Faustina asked.
"Yes, Professor. Before St. Mungo's was attacked, the healer council was able to agree on developing accelerated healing and healing prerequisite classes. We are lacking in manpower. I, personally, was dismayed at how little common wizards knew about healing." Emrys explained
"You know LSM is already at full capacity." Faustina replied.
"I know. I'm not criticizing anyone other than the wizards and witches who allowed themselves to be defenseless and stagnant." Emrys replied. "We're here to plan, not blamestorm."
"Now, that St. Mungo's has been decimated, we can't hold the classes there. Emrys doesn't know this. We were hoping we could hold the classes at either Hogwarts or LSM." Amelia said. Apparently, she was the spokesperson for the council.
"Will this be open to my students?" McGonagall asked.
"Yes. That's really why healing prerequisite classes were brought to the table." Amelia replied.
"All the classes will be run like LSM classes. It will be completely self-guided. Instructors will be there to answer questions, but they will not 'd set a target date and anyone not meeting the target date will be removed from the program." Jones explained.
"The only problem we have is that all the training dummies have been destroyed in the attack."
"There's a room at Hogwarts that provides whatever you need. I have yet to find it."
"Have you asked the house-elves, Professor?" Emrys suggested.
"Good idea. I'll talk to them then."McGonagall replied.
"We just need teachers, then."
How did I get roped into teaching? Emrys wondered. Emrys was tested over the weekend and was awarded junior mediwizard status. His promotion was met with protest but the protest suddenly quieted when he was given a pop test in front of everyone. He passed with flying colours. Somehow he was given the task of teaching a class.
Emrys remembered the death eater. He asked Loopy to find him and a few minutes later, Emrys was led to one of the rooms. The man was awake, reading a book.
"Hello. Who are you?" He asked.
"The question is who are you, deatheater?" Emrys spat. The man flinched at being called deatheater. He didn't reply though.
"Black?" Emrys asked after staring at the man who, he realized, looked like Sirius Black. He was shocked. It was Sirius' brother? "How are you related to a Sirius Black?"
"He's my brother. Name's Regulus."
"So, give me one reason not to kill you." Emrys challenged.
"I don't think you can really kill me. I'd prefer to die actually, thank you."
"Why were you tortured by Voldemort and his minions?"
"How-?" Regulus stuttered. He sighed and slightly chuckled. "I should have known. Healers were always too smart for their own good. To answer your question, he had an artifact that I stole and hid. I wanted to destroy it, but didn't know how."
"How do I know you're not dark yourself?"
"Hedwig!" Emrys called out. Hedwig came out and landed on Emrys.
"Neat way to prove you're light. Fine, then. I had a locket. That's all I'm going to say."
"Horcrux," Emrys mumbled.
"What did you say?" He demanded as he took Emrys from his collar.
"It's one of the horcruxes."
"How did you know that?" Regulus demanded, preparing to obliterate Emrys. He was starting to think Emrys was dark for no one but the dark really ever knew about the horcruxes.
"My mother told me. You might want to put me down. Loopy is not very happy with you right now. My orders are the only one stopping her from blasting you or something worse."
"I told you, I'm ready to die," Regulus said as he released Emrys.
"I believe you."
"Yeah, you feel like you're being honest. Anyway, what do you want to do now?"
"Will you stop it with the doom and gloom? You're affecting me. Surely a part of you want revenge or something. Help us." Emrys pleaded.
"I'll think about it."
"Thank you. Just ask for Harry Potter when you finally decide." Emrys said. He left, not seeing how surprised the ex-death eater was.
Before "classes" started, Emrys dropped by for dinner at the castle. He immediately got enveloped in a hug by his grandmother and his aunt and uncle.
"Can you fit us in your busy schedule more often?" Camilla huffed in annoyance.
"I'm sorry Aunt Camilla. I didn't mean to ignore you or anything. It's just that Voldemort attacked."
"What and you didn't tell us?" the Queen demanded.
"I'm sorry, it was a busy time. As you know, Voldemort attacked." Emrys said with a hidden rolling of his eyes. He never would have imagined his grandmother to be such a bad listener.
"Why weren't we informed of this?" Charles asked.
"To put it bluntly, the minister is insecure. He's keeping it even from the public. I imagine it will be harder to keep it quiet, with the fall of St. Mungo's and pressure from Liam and the press."
"Fall of St. Mungos?" Grandmother voiced.
"Liam?" Camilla asked. "Your butler?"
"I ordered him to threaten the minister with a smear campaign if he continued to be idiotic. I own the paper. I don't know how, but somehow Liam managed to acquire many damning evidence against the prime minister. Anyway, Voldemort attacked. St. Mungo's fell. If the ministry doesn't get their act together, it will fall soon too. Good thing their head of law enforcement is actually reliable. Plus, I think Voldemort's laying low, right now."
"St. Mungo's was a statement. He'll be laying low and recruiting." Charles said in agreement. Emrys gave a nod.
"Anyway, Helga's Sanctuary, one of the properties I own, is being used as the replacement for now. All the healers are there. We've also planned accelerated classes. We lost a lot of healers in the attacks."
"What's your role in all this? Are you assuming Dukeship?" the Queen asked.
"Not yet. I think I can do more without assuming Dukeship. If I did, everyone would be too busy trying to kill me, tyring to outdo me and impeach me or trying to suck up to me. No. I'm a junior mediwizard. That's two levels below full mediwizard. Mediwizards are the wizarding equivalent of doctors. I've been assigned some classes and I'll also be doing rounds."
"Classes? What classes are you taking?" Camilla asked.
"Healing and u, I'm actually teaching."
"But you're only 12," Charles said, gobsmacked. Emrys was already teaching, at only 12!
"I know. That's what I told them, but they wouldn't listen."
"That's great, Emrys but don't forget you're only just turning 12. I expect you back here on July 31st." The Queen demanded.
"Yes, Grandma. I'll talk to my super to take the day off." Emrys replied. Really, a birthday while there's a war brewing? He doubted he'd have much fun on his birthday.
"Are you only training in healing?" Charles asked.
"The aurors, wizard police, will be in the Sanctuary pending clearance from me. There's a spell that healers use to diagnose their patients. Somehow, it also shows me if the person has the mark of Voldemort. So, I'll test them. My phoenix will also test them as well. They'll start training there, less interference from the ministry. The accelerated classes will be held at Hogwarts."
"Phoenix?" Charles asked in amazement. He only ever saw phoenixes in books.
"Hedwig!" Hedwig appeared in a flash.
"C-can I touch her?" Charles asked like a kid in a candy store. Emrys motioned for him to approach Hedwig. Camilla and the Queen soon joined in. Hedwig seemed to enjoy the attention.
I like them, Emrys heard from Hedwig. Emrys chuckled.
The Queen said he'll inform the Prime Minister about Voldemort. Emrys also warned her that attacks on muggles might start. Emrys sighed. Too much work for a 11 year old (technically, 13).
He went to his solicitors just before he went back.
"I know it's short notice, but is it possible to arrange for a meeting with the goblin warders?" Emrys asked.
"Of course. May I ask what's wrong? Are the Gringotts wards not to your satisfaction?" Solder asked.
"It's not that. I want an additional ward to one of my castles, but I don't know how to go about doing it. I don't even know if it's possible."
Tripe and Solder did what he asked and contacted Gringotts who sent a representative through.
"Good Day Mr. Potter, or should I say Duke? How may I be of service?"
"Please call me Emrys. Anyway, I'm turning one of my properties into a public place, but at the same time, I don't want intruders."
"Ah. I see. You need a trust ward. We used it on the castles we already warded. I take it, this is a different one?"
"Yes. It's part of the list I've added."
"You want it done immediately?"
"Yes, please. It's Helga's sanctuary."
"What is it being used for?"
"It's temporary St. Mungo's. It might turn into temporary Auror Academy as well. This trust ward, what is its extent?"
"It won't allow any deatheaters or anyone wanting to seriously harm or kill anyone inside."
"Will that affect the auror academy?"
"Not unless they want to seriously harm or kill their comrades or anyone inside. The ward can distinguish between wanting to be better than everyone else and wanting to harm someone."
"Alright. Please put up the wards as soon as possible. Do you need us to leave or anything?"
"I need you to take out everyone you think might be affected by the ward. I don't know if St. Mungo's have death eater patients or spies. Other than that, I just need you to be here when we do it. We'll need access to the wards through your blood."
Within a week, the wards were up and running at full power. Regulus was moved to Grimmauld Place since he still had the Dark Mark. Emrys talked to him everyday and found him to be trustworthy enough to be offered the Dark Mark Remover potion. Regulus declined saying he decided to go after the Horcruxes. Apparently, you needed a dark mark to access some of them semi-safely.
The day after, students started pouring into Hogwarts. They scheduled the classes such that healers only had to go to Hogwarts for a day or two, depending on how many classes they were taking and teaching. (Hogwarts = training ground for general public; Helga's = St. Mungo's and extra training for aurors)
"Emrys!" Exclaimed several familiar voices. Emrys was then enveloped in a hug from Sarah, Anna and Jeremy.
"Welcome!" Emrys exclaimed as he returned their hugs.
"We've heard about the attacks! We were so worried about you!" Anna said.
"Thank you. I'm sorry for making you worry. Anyway, come, let's walk to your quarters."
First - fourth years were going to be housed at the Hufflepuff Dorm. Healers/part-timers were to be housed at the Slytherin Dorm. Fifth to seventh years were to be housed at the Gryffindor dorms, while the adults were to be housed at the Ravenclaw dorms.
"I would love to catch up, but I have to continue playing greeter. I suggest you study the books laid on your bed. The classes will run LSM style. If you can prove you can, you pass and move on."
"What level are you in?" Jeremy asked.
"Yeah, it would be so fun to have a class together!" Sarah exclaimed happily.
"Um, technically, I do not have classes with you. Sorry. I hope you realize how serious the situation is, though. We are at war. Class together would be fun, but stay focused and serious, alright?"
"I knew that!" Sarah exclaimed adamantly. Anna was in deep thought trying to figure out what Emrys meant.
"I know. I just had to say it." Emrys replied sadly. He was sad about not being able to have fun with his friends due to the war. Voldemort is just like Dudley. He drives my friends away! Emrys thought bitterly.
"Emrys!" another set of voices shouted. Emrys looked up to see Draco, Hermione and Neville.
"Hi guys, you here for training?"
"Yes and I'll be helping out Uncle Severus." Draco replied.
"Oh, I did not know Professor Snape was involved."
"He is helping out."
"How about you guys?"
"I'm taking the accelerated academics stream and helping out in potions." Hermione said excitedly.
"I'm helping the Herbology team and studying as much as I can. I don't think I can take the accelerated lessons." Neville replied.
"Nonsense. You can do it. Anyway, you three need to be at the entrance of the great hall tonight after dinner."
"The Potions and Herbology teams aren't at Hogwarts." Emrys replied. He knew that telling them about Helga's castle would make their conversation longer than it should with Hermione at the other end.
"What about you? What classes are you taking?" Hermione asked. Draco started to laugh, "Do you really have to ask? I'm pretty sure he's finished all of them." Emrys blushed but remarked, "I see you're getting along better," effectively distracting the trio. Draco lost his smile and indignantly said, "We do not!"
Emrys just shook his head.
Emrys knocked on Severus' door.
"Good evening Master Severus."
"It's your rightful title as a potions master, is it not?" Emrys asked.
"That is correct. I am surprised you knew about the custom. Most everyone just calls me Severus, Professor, or a dingy bat or some other insult."
"I don't understand. You seem nice enough not to warrant any name calling."
"We first met under unfortunate circumstances. I daresay you would have probably hated me had we met normally," he drawled. Severus Snape what the heck are you doing, associating amiably with the spawn of your arch-enemy? he thought. He tried pushing it to the back of his head as much as possible.
"How come?" Emrys asked.
"I terrorize my students." Snape replied almost proudly.
"Ah." Emrys replied. "I think I understand. Potions is indeed a dangerous art when taken lightly." Severus raised an eyebrow. "Anyway, how may I be of assistance? I'm sure you didn't come here for idle talk." Severus said.
Emrys took out the contents of his bag. There were several potions vials and a parchment.
"To obtain entry to the potions mastery program, I need the approval of a potions master by making the potions on the entrance list. I was hoping you could be that potions master for me."
Severus was surprised. He was at that level?
"I find it hard to believe that such a young boy like you produced these potions."
"That's what those parchments are for. I performed the log spell. It recorded everything that I did, when I did it, who was in the room etc."
Snape nodded. He himself had used the same spell numerous times before. It was part of the standard protocol for the Society of Potioneers. In the British Magical Domain you can make a potion, submit it to the ministry for testing and voila, ready for sale. However, in the international community, you had to document your research thoroughly.
He read over the parchment and increasingly became impressed. Emrys made sure he was alone by doing it in the empty classroom, locking the door and erecting some wards. When did he learn wards? More importantly, how did his core not explode? One of the benefits of the log was that it recorded everything. Any potions master reading the log could gain insight to the work habits of the potioneer. Emrys was very methodical, almost obssesive compulsive.
"Where did you learn potions?"
"I bought the book you suggested to me and several others. At first, some potions blew up, but eventually I got the hang of it. It's just like cooking, except there's no explosions in cooking. Then, I completed my potions units in school. I also helped Master Giovane in the first part of the summer."
That's impossible! There's no way he could memorize all those potions in one year. Severus thought.
"Recite the recipe for dreamless sleep for me." Snape ordered. Emrys complied. Severus went through many other potions until he was satisfied.
"Just how old are you?" Severus blurted out.
"Technically 13, but that's a long story." Emrys said.
"I remember your mother telling me that as well. Did you go to the elven realm too?" he asked. Emrys replied with a shocked face. That made Severus almost chuckle. Almost.
"I'm assuming you did, judging from your face. I didn't believe her at first, but eventually I did."
"What made you finally believe my mum?"
"She was so insistent on it. Plus, she learned so much in a day. I know she's brilliant but she can't be that brilliant, is what I thought. She actually brought me to the elven realm one time. I've never been back ever since."
"Explain to me one other thing. How did your core stay intact with those ward creation?"
"Was it suppossed to?"
"Your magic is not mature enough to handle such power draw." Severus explained. Emrys thought.
"I use magic differently. I think that's why. It's actually what the theory of magic class is all about."
"Ah, the class you're teaching?"
"Yes. I actually don't know what to expect. I am prepared content-wise, but I'm afraid, I'd lose control of the class. They'd probably think I'm not qualified to teach. I'm glad I grew in the time that I spent with the elves, but I don't think I grew enough."
"Expect skepticism, certainly. As for handling the class, start as stern as possible."
"Will that work on adults?"
"Maybe. If all else fails, kick them out of the class. It will show the rest of the students that you're quite serious. What are you planning to do for your feature potion?" Severus asked. Apart from brewing the listed potions and taking the exams, mastery candidates had to 'create' something new in their field.
"I was planning on searching for a cure for lycanthropy. I was actually going to ask you if I could borrow your notes as well."
Severus raised his eyebrows. It was an ambitious venture. One that even he haven't completed. "Come back next week, I'll have my notes by then."
"Thank you very much Master Snape." Emrys said with restrained joy. Severus nodded.
Emrys was supposed to teach just one course(Theory of Magic). But when the elders asked for a demo, he delivered a very good one. So good, they gave him two other classes to teach.
"But, Mediwizard Amelia knows more than I do. Surely, she'd be more qualified." Emrys protested.
"Mediwizard Amelia is a very skilled and gifted mediwizard. But you are better than her at teaching." The elder replied calmly.
"Emrys, they're right. It's been a long time since I've been in school. Concepts that are second-nature to me, would surely be hard for first timers. You've earned your JMed status rightfully. You don't have to hide it, nor shy away from it." Amelia replied.
"So will you accept the two other courses?" an elder asked. Emrys looked at them for a while, as if saying 'you're bonkers', but he did eventually accept. So now, he's stuck with teaching an introductory class on theory of magic that will be taken by virtually everyone from Hogwarts and St. Mungo's, Healing I and Healing II.
The elves have done an excellent job with making huge classrooms. Instead of a gothic stone room, they had a modern room with "muggle" lights powered by magic, whiteboards and markers powered by magic. What separates it from a normal classroom were the sofas and bean bags that were scattered on the floor.
The students piled in. They were amazed at their own diversity. Students of all ages were attending. They naturally grouped into themselves, save for some first years who went into their cliques.
Ten minutes into the hour, Emrys entered.
"Welcome to Theory of Magic."
"Are you the assistant? Where's the Professor?" asked a healer.
"What a show-off!" A red haired first year exclaimed.
"Ron!" scolded an older woman.
"Emrys my love!" said a seductive voice. Emrys wanted to puke.
"SILENCE!" Emrys shouted with the help of magic.
"I am the instructor. I'm not trying to show off and if you're not going to concentrate, I can kick you out of this course and consequently, this whole summer program. This course will teach you how to better use magic and will speed up your learning. Voldemort's back. We need all hands on deck ASAP."
"That's a lie! He's not back!" Shouted someone from the back. It was a hogwarts student with red hair as well.
"Percy!" The older woman seem to have her hands full. Emrys saw two other redheads who looked alike throw paper at 'Percy'.
"It's alright, Mrs..."
"Weasley, Molly Weasley."
"Thank you Mrs. Weasley. Anyway, I won't argue with you since attacks on St. Mungo's can't seem to pursuade you. If you wish to leave, the door is open. Frankly, if I were in your place, I'd relish the chance to do advanced study whether there's a threat or not." Emrys said in a tone that left no room for argument. He was channeling his "official persona" that he adapted from watching his royal family.
"Now, any other objections?"
"How can you teach us? You're probably not even a first year!" one of the Hogwarts students said.
"Idiot. He's going into second year and he took some OWLs and NEWTs already!" Mischa exclaimed. Figures, she had to protect her fiance; never mind that she became his fiancee illegally.
Emrys raised his right hand to ask for silence.
"I was going to start my presentation with my credentials, as suggested by Full Mediwizard, St. Mungo's elder, Amelia Famsie, my supervisor. Anyway, you may or may not know that LSM has a different way of schooling. We are allowed to advance whenever we want by doing challenge exams. I advanced far enough that I was allowed to take my OWLs and NEWTs. I have my OWLs in DADA, Potions, Charms, Transfiguration and History and my NEWTs in DADA, Potions and History. This summer, St. Mungo's was attacked and lost several healers. As a result, a need for speedy training arose. I am a Junior Mediwizard through testing; though, I don't have the same amount of experience as junior mediwizards traditionally do. I've spent the past summer here training and helping treat people." His speech spurned whispers among the Hogwarts students and "special" commonfolk personally invited by Amelia Bones, McGonagall and several healers. Emrys have been delivering his theory of magic classes even before the extra helpers arrived. The healers thought it would be a good idea since it would decrease his class size.
"This course will only last for a week, after which, feel free to ask me questions if needed; just ask for Tipsy and I'll be notified. Students from LSM might be able to answer your questions as well. They know this stuff already."
"A few rules," Emrys started trying to hide his anxiety. A few rules towards people older than him, some of them more than twice his age.
"If someone else is speaking, please don't interrupt. Raise your hand, I'll call you next. Ask questions the same way, though don't be offended if I tell you to see me after class instead. I'll do so if the questions are irrelevant for the class. Yes, I'm Harry Potter, but please call me Emrys. Don't ask why, it's a long story. Everyone is equal no matter where you're from or how old you are. One last thing: In case of an emergency, such as a mass attack, the healers and mediwizards in this room will have to leave. That includes me. Feel free to browse the library, or go to the kitchens or anything like that, but please stay out of our way. If you wish to help, please inform a Full mediwizard soon. You can identify them by the three crosses on the shoulder of their robes. Some of you might have been invited here for that sole purpose. Please, contact a full mediwizard as well just so they know you're here." Mediwizard robes were blue. Emrys' had one cross on his sholder to signify his junior mediwizard status. (It's the same as generals with stars on their shoulder).
Without furder ado, Emrys went into the theory of magic.
Emrys was surprised by the response. Some students were falling asleep. He took note of them. Hermione, Draco and Neville were rapidly taking notes. Mischa and her goons were staring at Emrys the whole time. The adults, on the other hand were just full of attention. When Emrys went into the practical part, he realized that it was 1 versus 300. He needed assistants. Much to everyone's dismay, he stopped the practical part after fifteen minutes and went back to lecture.
"I apologize. I didn't really realize the size of this class until I saw all of you. Maybe I should just kick out those about to fall asleep." He half-joked. "I'll get some assistants for tomorrow, or ask them to modify the schedule. Anyway, moving on."
After class, he was met with a crowd of people, wanting to ask questions.
"Ok, there's too many of you even now." Emrys joked with a smile. "Let's do this logically, those with classes for the next period raise your hands please." The healers raised their hands. "Sorry to everyone else, but I think I should take their questions first. If you need to leave, don't hesitate. I will be available for the next two hours, so feel free to pick my brains."
Emrys was glad to see Hermione, Draco and Neville put their hands down. Mischa and Ron didn't put their hands down, though.
He answered the healers' questions dutifully until they had to really leave. One time though, he was interrupted by Mischa.
"Really Emrys! Is this the proper way to treat your fiancee? I demand you answer my question before these low-lifes!" Emrys sighed. Who invited her anyway? Oh right, I did. Emrys thought miserably, remembering his suggestion that no student be left out.
"If you can't follow instructions then obviously, you can't be here. I don't have to answer you, since technically I'm Emrys the instructor right now, not Emrys your fiancee. Technically, you're not even my fiancee. Maybe this is the way I prefer to treat my fiancee until she learns her manners. Please leave the classroom and don't come back until the next time you have class." Emrys said steadfastly not caring if people would start thinking of him badly. Seeing what happened to Mischa, Ron didn't put his hand up anymore and even left the classroom as well. He went back to answering questions.
"Don't worry, I'll be around. Feel free to ask me for answers anytime, as long as I'm not with a patient."
Once everyone was satisfied, Emrys went out to get some lunch.
"What was that all about?" A voice demanded. Emrys turned to his right and true enough, his annoying fiancee was right there.
"How dare you embarass me in front of everyone!"
"I didn't need to. You already did that for yourself." Emrys siad with no hint of any care in his voice. He started walking but was blocked by Mischa again.
"I'll tell the Queen!"
"See if I care. Besides, she's not happy with you at the moment anyway. I doubt she'll listen."
"Oh I'm sure she'll listen," she said maliciously then left.
He was able to do the practicals the next day. He asked his LSM friends and several of them volunteered since they didn't have any classes.
"So we do have class together after all!" Jeremy exclaimed. He, Anna and Sarah were in Emrys' Healing I class. "I just can't believe you didn't tell us you were teaching it!"
"I was afraid you'd go and sabotage my class," Emrys retorted.
"I'm hurt," Jeremy joked. Emrys missed this. He missed being with his friends. He missed having a semblance of childhood.
As expected sparks flew between Mischa and Emrys' friends. What's worse is that she did it in class, not after class.
"I told you to stop hanging out with these losers didn't I? How dare you let them teach! They're not qualified for anything!"
Sarah and Anna had to restrain Jeremy from harming Mischa, even if they did want to do Mischa in themselves.
"Who are you to tell me anything?"
"I am your fiancee!"
"And I teach this class. A class, I might add, you need to pass if you want to stay for the rest of the summer! Cease and desist or leave! You're not helping! We're at war and all this drama is not something anyone needs!"
"When are you going to start treating me right?" Mischa demanded. Just then a slap was heard. It was Hermione. Emrys was surprised.
"Will you shut it? We're trying to study here. If the material is above your mental capacity, then shouldn't you leave instead of embarassing your royal pompous arse? You're embarassing Hogwarts."
"Go Hermione!" Neville cheered. Draco tried to hide a smile of pride. Hermione blushed after realizing what she just did.
Royal arse? Never knew Hermione had it in her, Emrys thought. Thoroughly embarassed, Mischa did leave. She left for good to Emrys' relief.
On Friday evening, they had an elder's meeting. emrys was invited, seeing as it was his castle they were using as St. Mungo's II. He attempted to say they didn't need to include him just because it was his castle, but they replied, "That's precisely why we need you there."
"Firstly, anyone fail your class?" Amelia asked.
"Lady Mischa, Lady Stefania and Lady Emma from Hogwarts have left the program," Emrys said with restrained contempt. He was still angry at how Mischa treated his friends.
"Now, to the issue. As you perfectly know, we're housing the patients at Helga's Castle. Recently, a reporter named Rita Skeeter made it public that St. Mungo's survived and she's now accusing us of kidnapping our patients. We've recieved letters from family members, some friendly, some hostile, demanding to see their relatives. We're also being sued for those that didn't survive the attacks. We'll handle the latter, but is there anyway, we can let visitors into Helga's Castle?"
Frankly, Emrys didn't want other people to enter, but he trusted the Goblin wards.
"There are wards at Helga's that will prevent anyone with malicious intents to enter. I still want the location to be kept secret. Is there a way to control the Floo Network or something?"
"You can have a one-to-one Floo connection. It will probably be easier for the healers as well. You can also add a password and change the name of the destination. So instead of saying Helga's Castle, they'll say something else."
"Liam can you arrange it?" Emrys asked.
"As you wish, your highness." Emrys sighed in annoyance. When did the titles return?
"And can you see why it was published without permission?" Liam bowed in response and left the room.
"Permission?" Amelia asked.
"I own the Prophet. I get advanced copy of every issue. I didn't get this."
"Isn't that curtailing the right to speech?" one of the mediwizards assisting the elder protested.
"I let them publish their opinions as long as it is written well and is actually based on facts. Had I known, I would've delayed the article and brought it up with the council." Emrys reasoned.
"Anyway, not to burden you with any more work, but we thought that you and several others would benefit from learning from aurors." Amelia said.
"We need a hybrid team of healers and duelers. That way our medic team can be protected from attacks. Besides, healers are required to know how to duel to a certain extent anyway. We need more skilled duellers as healers though," one of the male elders explained. Emrys nodded in reply.
"Most of the patients are stabilized so we need less healers on duty. You're still always on-call, but what I'm trying to say is that you're not needed as a healer as much as we did before. Concentrate on your lessons." Emrys reluctantly agreed.
"While we're on the topic of schedules, can I have the 31st off?" Emrys asked.
"Yes, you may. We all need to rest at some point. Just make sure to have someone cover your class." Amelia replied. Emrys nodded. Callalily has already offered to cover his classes that day. Emrys only had Basic healing to teach that day. Callalily was well qualified.
The next week, Emrys started to teach his other classes along with more Theory of Magic classes to people who wanted smaller classes. They technically passed already, but wanted more instruction. Emrys was teaching Potions, Healing I and Healing II now that his Theory of Magic class is over. Now that he was off-duty, he could take on more classes. As such, he had 6 classes of Potions, 6 Healing I, 3 Healing II, about 2 hours of Theory of Magic drop-in classes and 8 hours of combat lessons from aurors. His first potions class was a disaster. They were a mixed group, with students from LSM and Hogwarts of all-ages. There were several who were serious about potions, while the others, disenfranchised by Snape's teaching methods, took it less seriously. Several explosions later, the class saw why Emrys was a respected teacher.
"WHAT WERE YOU THINKING! It's not the time for house or school rivalries and yes Mr. Weasley, I saw you drop a Dungbomb on Ms. Rosewood's cauldron and yes Jeremy I saw you retaliate. If I hadn't been brewing myself, I would have been able to stop you, but alas I was brewing a potion that patients actually need! I'm disappointed in you first years, especially in you upper years. Instead of stopping them, you follow their example and fight amongst yourselves! With this attitude, I wouldn't be surprised if Voldemort won and killed, or worse, enslaved us all! I'll be back in ten minutes. When I come back, I expect this lab to be cleaned or else I'll get the lot of you kicked out of the program!"
The door slammed harshly making everyone wince.
"Come on you lot. We better clean up or Professor Potter will have our hide," said one of the twin red-heads without malice.
"No offense, but I'm surprised that this whole time we've been here, you guys have actually been serious," Hermione told them.
"Dad works for the Ministry. He tells us things. We know how bad it is. It's bad enough that our brother Charlie, a dragon breeder in Romania, is trying to convince Mum and Dad to move us all away from England. Mum and Dad wouldn't hear of it though. We still want to make a joke shop, but I think we'll do that after all this is over," they said, taking turns with their sentences. It usually annoys Hermione, but their overall seriousness won her over.
"Now, if only Ron grew up and started to act responsibly..." Hermione said.
Emrys nervously waited in an office close to the lab. He didn't know if he did the right thing. He might just end up with a class full of miscreants who would refuse to clean up the lab, forcing him to make do with his promise and kick them all out of the program, consequently losing possible talent.
No, don't think that. Anna and Hermione are there. They'll be the voice of reason.
Emrys nervously went back to the classroom and inwardly sighed in relief upon seeing a tidied up classroom.
"Very good. Now are we all ready to go back to class?"
Everyone agreed though Emrys could see that Ron was totally sulking. He let it go.
Emrys had a dinner meeting with the St. Mungo's elders, Amelia Bones, Professor McGonagall, Professor Faustina, Severus Snape and several other adults including Remus Lupin and Sirius Black. They were basically planning a rouge operation defying all Ministry edicts that are counter-intuitve and are purely based on the notion that Voldemort isn't alive and general inaction. Despite, Liam's threat, the Ministry still continued in its incompetency. Fudge was still an idiot. The public somehow still believed him. Daily prophet was seized unlawfully. Emrys still owned the company but he could do nothing against the hit wizards and unspeakables guarding the premises and the equipment. They only published Ministry-approved stories. Emrys technically had the support of the aurors, but does he really want a civil war in addition to a terrorist threat? The elders advised him not to; at least not yet.
"Do you think we should open the combat exercises with the Aurors to other students?" Emrys asked.
"They're too young," Professor McGonagall said. Uh, what about me? Emrys thought. Maybe I should come out of the closet. I need to talk to Grandma.
"You'd let them be powerless because of their age?" Emrys challenged. "I'm technically of their age, yet you allow me to sit in this council of sorts."
"That's different." she protested.
"How? Last time, I was included because one of my castles were involved."
"You're included now because you own the Daily Prophet."
"And so isn't that a testament to what people my age can do? I'm not saying turn them into an army. What I'm saying is give them the means to defend themselves."
"That's why we have DADA."
"No offense but I've taken your owls and even your NEWTS. In no way can Owl grads stand against fully grown wizards who've studied outside school. Newts grads, maybe, but not really. In LSM we have duelling classes. Our curriculum is also more advanced. A third year can defend themselves. A fourth year can defend multiple persons. We can defend ourselves. Can you say the same of Hogwarts students?" Emrys challenged. Sirius and Remus were looking at him in awe and slight suspicion. Who are you and what have you done to Emrys Potter? were ringing in Sirius and Remus' heads.
"You insolent child!" exclaimed someone.
"Kingsley!" Amelia Bones exclaimed in return.
"It's alright Kingsley. The boy has a point and we did ask him to be here." Minerva said.
"Rather than argue about whether the system is flawed or not, why not just focus on the fact that we need to prepare?" Amelia Famsie (the healer) commented. "Amelia, what do you think?"
"I think training kids is a wise idea. Adults can't always be there, specially in schools. DMLE is already stretched thin with Hogsmeade, Diagon Alley, Knockturn Alley, MoM and Azkaban on our to-guard list; not to mention the calls we get for anything related to magical disturbance. Even if we get Hit Wizards and Unspeakables into the mix, it`s not enough. The truth of the matter is, magical law enforcement is a small group. There are probably more healers than there are magical law enforcers; partly because St. Mungo`s is only subsidized and not a main arm of the Ministry and therefore has more freedom," Bones commented.
"Can you spare some aurors to train everyone here?" Amelia Famsie asked.
"Well, I don't think they have to be aurors. I might be able to find someone who can persuade Moody to teach. Sirius, I know you're retired and I know you don't want your old job back, but would you be agreeable to teaching?"
"It would be my pleasure my fair lady," Sirius said in full theatrics mode.
"Mr. Lupin, I know that you have reservations what with your condition, but we need all hands on deck. Can we rely on you to help teach?" Amelia Bones again asked. Remus gracefully accepted. She did the same with Severus.
"What condition were they talking about Mr. Lupin?" Emrys asked once they convened for lunch. He already knew, but felt that Remus would be more comfortable with him if he admitted it himself. Remus shifted. "I'm a werewolf."
"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that. It must be hard on you," Emrys replied.
"It has its moments."
"Emrys, you have to live with me!" Sirius whined.
"I'm sorry Mr. Black, I'm quite happy where I am. I'd be happy to know more about you and Mr. Lupin, but living with you is not an option," Emrys said.
"H-he... Remus! He called me Mr. Black!" Sirius exclaimed, highly appalled.
"I apologize. I seem to have offended you."
"Don't mind him, he's just being immature," Remus replied.
"If you would excuse me, I have a class in a few minutes. I look forward to your classes," Emrys finally said.
"What's he doing here?" Sirius demanded. Emrys and his friends were in the duelling class taught by Sirius and Remus. Sirius was demanding a reason for why Draco Malfoy was in their class. Subconsciouly, Emrys moved in front of Draco.
"I'm here to learn Professor Black." Draco said humbly.
"Go back to your deatheater father." Sirius spat. The room gasped.
"Sirius!" Remus scolded. Draco hung his head and was clearly sad.
"That was uncalled for Professor." Emrys said in defense.
"His father is a deatheater. His father helped Voldemort murder many innocents, possibly including your parents and the rest of the people who lived in Godric's Hollow!" Sirius said.
"The sins of the father shouldn't be passed on to the son. By the same logic, shouldn't we be weary of you?" Emrys challenged. For the second time, Remus and Sirius thought, who are you and what have you done to Harry Potter?
"I am different."
"I left my family. I left the dark. Can you say the same for Malfoy?"
"I honestly don't know. But I think he deserves the chance," Emrys exclaimed.
"Thank you Emrys, but I don't want to cause trouble. I'll just, take my leave," Draco meekly said and went to leave with his bag in tow. Emrys held on to his arm to stop him from leaving. "No, stay! You have as much right to stay her as everyone else."
"Please. It's alright. I'll just go and help Uncle Severus." Draco said. He even pulled Emrys' arm off with his other hand. Emrys watched him leave, helpless. It was just so unfair for him.
"I hope you're happy!" Emrys retorted and walked out of the classroom. His dormates soon followed, as did Draco's. Well, Blaise Zabini, since he was the only one who was invited. After Emrys' dormates walked out, the rest of the LSM students soon followed. Pretty soon, Remus and Sirius were left with only Gryffs, Huffles and Ravens.
"You're an idiot. Why'd you do that? You shouldn't have left the class!" Draco told Emrys exasperatedly. After walking out, Emrys went to his room to study. He was housed with the healers at the Slytherin rooms. Sarah, Anna and Jeremy told Draco what happened and Draco immediately went to see Emrys.
"It was unfair! He can't judge you by your father!" Emrys exclaimed. They were seated in the Slytherin common room with Anna, Sarah, Jeremy and Blaise.
"Emrys, did you not think that it would create a rift between you and the adults? or maybe between LSM and Hogwarts?"
"I don't care. He's basically doing the same thing as Voldemort, except with a different target. Tell me honestly, are you planning on following your father?" Emrys asked.
"Of course not!" Draco replied indignantly. Draco looked around, noting that there were many people in the room and try as they might not to, they still looked very interested in his answer.
"Can we talk somewhere private?"
"Sure." Emrys said as he brought Draco to his private quarters. He did leave his trunk so that the people they were leaving behind would be occupied.
Draco took a seat on the bean bag near the window, while Emrys sat on the floor, leaning against the bed.
"Sorry, I just didn't feel comfortable talking to everyone."
"I'm surprised you feel comfortable talking to me," Emrys replied. "You seem out of character, actually."
"How so?" Draco asked, leaning forward with interest.
"You're less arrogant. The you that I met at Hogwarts would probably have argued with Professor Black, or something."
"Would you have defended that me?"
"I'd hope so. After all, Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt," Emrys replied.
"Thank you. To tell you the truth, I've been living with Uncle Severus since the end of school. Living with him allowed me to re-examine my life. Once I looked close enough, I felt like we were more similar than alike."
"Why are you living with Professor Snape?" Emrys asked, genuinely curious. Draco's face fell, became solemn and hardened.
"My father sold my mother to Voldemort."
"Sold?" Emrys asked in shock.
"Voldemort didn't want to accept him back in his ranks without an offering. He was going to offer me but mother pleaded for my life. They got into a huge duel. Mother told me to run away to Uncle Severus. I didn't want to leave her, but she ordered one of the elves bonded to her to take me away..."
Draco activated a portkey given to him by his Uncle Severus when he was much younger. He arrived at Severus' living room with Dobby, the house-elf in tow. He didn't even have time to gather any belongings.
He was met by Severus who pointed his wand at the intruder. Once Severus saw that it was only Draco, he lowered his wand.
"Draco, what happened?" Severus asked with worry. He wasn't affiliated with the death eaters anymore, but Draco was still his godson.
"Father w-wanted to..." Draco started but broke down. He tried to stay strong for as long as he could, but even Malfoys had a breaking point. His mother had always been close to him, protecting him as much as she could from Lucius. She didn't outwardly show it, but she was still a mother who would do anything for her son.
Severus went to Draco and enveloped him in a hug. Draco didn't even notice being given a potion. The next thing he knew, he was on a bed and the sun was up.
Draco went down to the dining hall to see Severus drinking his coffee.
"Good morning Draco."
"You drugged me."
"You seem like you needed it."
"I still don't know what happened." Severus stated. He wanted to know what happened. Draco hesitated. Severus waited patiently. Eventually, Draco opened up.
"F-father wanted to gain his position back in the Dark Lord's ranks. To get in, he had to make a 'sacrifice' as per the Dark Lord's orders. He was going to offer me to become the Dark Lord's new death eater," Draco spat. "Mother intervened and pleaded for my life. Ultimately, they dueled. Mother told me to leave and even forced a house-elf to bring me elsewhere. We got out of the manor and I used the portkey you gave me for my seventh birthday."
"You do realize that I'm a death eater, right?" Severus tried. Technically, he wasn't anymore. Draco's eyes widened and suddenly went to his wand. Severus was faster. He summoned Draco's wand easily.
"None of that, this morning." Severus said as he lifted his sleeve. "I'm not a death eater anymore. I was just trying to see if you were the least bit interested in becoming someone's minion. I also want it to be a reminder of what not to do. How did you know that I wouldn't bring you to the Dark Lord? It's not a secret that I was a death eater."
"I just assumed. You were just so different from all the other death eaters I've met."
"Next time, don't assume, is that understood?"
Just then an owl came. Draco recognized it as the Malfoy owl. He was going to jump at the letter but was pulled back by Severus.
"You don't know if it's cursed." Severus said. Trusting that Draco wouldn't jump after the letter, he performed curse detection spells on the letter. Once he was sure it was clean, he took it from the owl who promptly left. He gave it to Draco as it was rightly his. Draco read it and suddenly broke down and left the room. Severus picked up the letter and read.
My insolent son,
Just letting you know what happened to your petulant mother. I beat her in the duel, as expected. I then bound her and delivered her to the Dark Lord. The Dark Lord bound her to him using an ancient ritual. She will forever be compelled to obey the Dark Lord. Defying his orders would lead to excruciating pain. Being more than 20meters away from him would cause her excruciating pain and as such, he brings her everywhere he goes. Expect to meet a brother or a sister soon. I'm sure the Dark Lord won't waste such an opportunity. Just remember that you could have saved her from this fate had you come with me willingly. You chose your freedom in exchange for hers.
Have a nice life, my insolent son. I assure you it will be short. Don't let us capture you or you will suffer the same fate as your mothers'.
Severus crumpled the paper and burnt it in the fireplace. He went to look for Draco and found him vomitting in the bathroom.
"He-he- His own wife!"
"I know Draco. I'm sorry."
"Father, no, Lucius. Lucius brought me to a revel the first day back. It was so disgusting. How could they do that? And now all I can imagine is a revel with my mom as their victim. Uncle Sev what do I do? It's all my fault!"
"It's not. Your mother is a great mother who sacrificed herself for you. She did it willingly. The only thing you can do is to honour her by living as she would want you to."
"I don't know what she wanted me to be."
"She wanted you to be yourself, that I am sure of."
"Simple. We've talked a lot. Yes, behind Lucius' back. We would send letters talking about life in general. We've talked about you. We've talked about how she didn't want you to be a death eater kissing the hem of a half-blood's robes. She thought it was degrading and hypocritical. Live your life as you would want to. I know for a fact, that you don't want to be your father."
"Definitely not." Draco said with a firm resolve. He would get revenge against those that harmed his mother.
By the time he was finished, Draco`s voice was cracking. He turned to look away from Emrys.
"Just give me a second," Draco said trying to stop his tears.
"I'm sorry about your mother. Professor Snape is right. It's not your fault, you know?" Emrys said. "Should I leave?" Emrys asked. Draco didn't answer. Emrys left to give Draco some space.
He went back to the living room.
"What did you do to him?" Blaise asked.
"Nothing. We just talked."
"Where is he?" Blaise demanded.
"He's still in my room. Feel free," Emrys said motioning to his room. Blaise indeed went.
"What happened?" Anna asked.
"We talked. I have more reason to believe him now, not that I doubted him." Emrys replied.
"What reason?" Jeremy asked.
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I can't tell you. It's his secret to tell."
"Alright. If you say so," Jeremy said.
The next day, everyone went back to Sirius' and Remus' class, dragging a reluctant Draco along. To their surprise, the class was opened by an apology from both Remus and Sirius. Sirius still looked suspicous but was no doubt persuaded by Remus. Draco accepted their apologies and made peace. Emrys and those who walked out the previous day also apologized for the disturbance, but didn't actually apologize for walking out. They still think they were right about protesting.
Sirius and Remus' classes were actually fun. They were put into pairs, with the only rule that they had to be from the same school. Jeremy paired with Sarah while Anna paired with Emrys. Neville paired with Hermione while Draco paired with Blaise Zabini. The Weasley twins paired with each other, of course. There were a total of 35 pairs in total in the class. The aim of the class was to improve team work.
"In combat, you're not dueling. You're not fighting just one person, you're possibly fighting many. It's always good to do so in pairs or more. That way, you can watch each other's back. Now, we are going inside the main room. In the main room, there is a corridor with several doors. Pick one. The doors will be your starting point. The goal of the exercise is to be the last pair standing. Yes, you're all duelling each other. You will have five minutes in your respective starting points before the game starts. You can use this time to strategize or anything of the sort. Questions?" Remus asked.
"Are we allowed to use potions and such?"
"Yes. You're also allowed healing spells," Sirius replied.
"No fair. Potter knows advanced healing! He's practically the instructor!" Ron whined.
"Life's not fair. The hostiles you will encounter in real life will have way more experience than you." Remus replied gently.
"Are we allowed to use any spell?" one of the twins asked.
"Yes. No dark arts, though. Nothing you can't reverse, either." Sirius added, knowing the twins' penchant for experiments.
"Are we allowed to split up?" Emrys asked.
"Can we revive those who have already fallen?"
"Even if they're not our partner?"
"Sort of." Sirius replied.
"If they are your partner then you can revive them as much as you want. If they are from a different pair, then they can only be revived once. If they fall again, they can't be revived by a non-group member."
"So basically, the only rule is no dark arts and nothing we can't reverse? Oh and no reviving someone who's not your partner twice?"
"Yes. Any other question?"
"Alright. Pick your starting positions." Remus said as Sirius handed out pendants that were mini-portkeys that would activate if the pair died 'twice'.'
Emrys and Anna managed to pick the cornermost portion of the room. In the ante-chamber, they were given a map of the whole place. Emrys committed it to memory, as did Anna. Well, they both tried with the meager 5 minutes that they were given.
"We will probably be a huge target." Emrys admitted.
"I figured as much. Don't worry, we won't go down so easily," Anna said, fire burning in her eyes. Sometimes, her competitive mode just blazes on and makes her a force not to be reckoned with. They planned a route that will take them through all the starting points. At first, Anna thought that it was reckless and they could potentially be ambushed or cornered, but Emrys replied saying, "It would be better than being sitting ducks. They could corner us here too."
Anna gave the wonderful idea of setting traps. They would walk through and leave traps behind them so that they will be alerted of anyone on their backs. It would buy them time.
The first team they encountered were an unknown Ravenclaw pair from Hogwarts. They knew quite a bit of spells but their execution was weak. Anna and Emrys easily subdued them. To take them out of the game, Emrys hid them behind some cardboard boxes that were part of the obstacle course. The next they met were the twins.
"My dear brother, I believe someone has finally trespassed our territory," a twin said.
"I concur my fellow brother. I am quite excited to see how they end up looking after going through all those traps." Emrys and Anna were better than that. They easily avoided all the traps laid by the twins. They were quite obvious, at least to Anna and Emrys. Emrys wasn't taking any chances, though. He thoroughly checked every corner of the hallway and deactivated those that they couldn't avoid.
They were greeted with the shocked faces of the twins who hesitated for a split second before attacking the duo vehemently.
"Coloris noir!" Fred shouted. The spell would blind the victim.
"Lumos!" Emrys countered.
"Due stupefiosa!" Anna shouted as Emrys shouted, "Petrificus totalis!" towards George. They dodged the spells well. Emrys realized they had to step it up. The twins weren't like the other Hogwarts students who relied on brute force. The twins were actually going about it with a plan.
"Stupefy! Accio wand! Expelliarmus!" Anna said in succession. She managed to hit Fred with a stupefy but George managed to revive him. Suddenly, Anna was hit from the side, out of nowhere. Emrys immediately went to her, erected a shield and revived her. They saw who attacked. It was Ron and Dean Thomas.
"Ready Anna?" Emrys asked. The shield that he erected was two-way. There was no way they could fire spells towards their attackers without letting the shield down.
"You betcha." Anna replied in a rare moment of absurdity that made Emrys smile.
"3, 2, 1," Emrys counted. As if on cue, the two pairs attacked. What they didn't know was that the shield made spells bounce. Ron and Dean were taken down by their own Flipendos while the twins had to dodge their own barrage of spells. Emrys laughed.
"Gotcha!" Emrys replied as he lowered the shield. They immediately went to attack mode and managed to subdue Ron, Dean and Fred. George was about to revive him when suddenly he was hit by an unknown source. The source continued firing and Anna and Emrys had to duck for cover. Emrys made hand signals to Anna telling her that they should continue along their path; or at least not wait like sitting ducks waiting for the assailant to emerge.
A few minutes later they encountered Neville, Hermione, Draco, Blaise, Sarah and Jeremy. Immediately, the two erected shields.
"Hi Emrys," Draco said mischievously as the other three sent spells surrepitiously. There was a spell you could cast that would make the light turn invisible.
"Nope, not going to work," Emrys replied as he performed a spell that made the spells visible again. "You forget I taught you that," he told Sarah and Jeremy.
"Doesn't hurt to try," they replied.
"So how many have you taken out?"
"2 and a half." Emrys replied, still alert.
"2 and a half?" Jeremy asked.
"Yup. Someone took out George. I don't know who." Emrys replied. He could see the glint in Draco's eye. "It was you then."
"I was kinda disappointed you two didn't come out to play." Draco whined.
"I think we're smarter than that."
"Not smart enough apparently. Attack!" Draco yelled. Suddenly, twenty other pairs came out. Immediately, Emrys and Anna summoned boxes to block the spells. Emrys then took Anna's hand and immediately ran with her, blasting a whole area to make a path.
"I guess you were right. We should have stayed in our corner. At least we wouldn't have had to watch our backs." Emrys said as they ran, looking for a corner. They passed through the twins' ex-lair and were surprised to see that it was empty. Fred, George, Dean and Ron were revived.
"Any tricks up your sleeve?"
"Hmm." Emrys thought. He summoned several boxes and made a barricade with small holes. "Perfect!"
"Here. You insert your wand here and fire spells." Emrys said.
"But they can just blast the boxes."
"I know. But it should buy us time. I have a feeling that the 20 that were part of the ambush had previously been 'killed' by Draco's team, Hermione's team or Sarah's team. I wouldn't be surprised if all of them have been previously killed.
"That's about ten unaccounted for."
"True. We'll worry about that later."
"Do we have an escape route?" Anna asked. Emrys shook his head. "Not really."
"Ok, I'll think about a contingency plan while we wait."
They didn't have to wait long.
"Anna," Emrys whispered. "They're here."
"If we want to win against them, we need to use spells that will take out multiple teams."
"2 Stupefy maxima then luminatrix?" Emrys asked.
"Yeah, good idea." Anna said. She took out a pin from her hair and transfigured them to sunglasses.
"Thanks." Emrys said. He suddenly got inspiration and handed Anna a potion. "Pepper - up."
They felt re-energized after drinking the pepper up. They couldn't say the same about the others.
The pair stuck their wands and waited. Emrys mouthed, "three, two, one. Fire! Stupefy Maxima!"
Emrys and Anna managed to take down 10 pairs with their combined Stupefy maximas. They did it again, but was disappointed that only 3 pairs got hit. They were right in their assumption, though. Most of the teams have already 'died'. Out of the 6 that got hit, only 1 wasn't portkeyed out.
The students were transported to the '2nd floor'. It had a glass floor that allowed everyone to see what was going on in the '1st floor' where all the excitement were.
The two donned on their sunglasses and Emrys did the luminatrix. The luminatrix was like Fred's coloris noir, except it brought light, not darkness. The blindness from it lasted longer. It had the desired effect. Everyone was immobilized. They couldn't open their eyes and Anna had an easy time stunning them all. Emrys was on defense.
Suddenly, "Stupefy!" Emrys just barely avoided the red light. He looked at the source and saw Sarah and Jeremy wearing sunglasses as well.
"Figures," Emrys said.
Anna, Emrys, Jeremy and Sarah battled it out. They used to do this at LSM too, during the weekends. It was their idea of 'fun', sometimes.
About ten minutes later, a buzz rang.
"That's enough you four. Class is over." Remus called out.
The four indeed stopped and went up.
"Very good. You've done this before?"
"Yes in DADA at LSM and during the weekends when we have nothing else to do," Sarah said.
"We'll dissect the session next class. Please be there," Remus said. The four nodded.
They dissected the session fine and everyone admitted that they learnt a lot, both in spells and strategies. They all agreed that having it once a week would be beneficial.
A week later Ronald Weasley was nowhere to be found resulting in a hysterical Molly Weasley and worried father and siblings. A few days later they recieved a letter.
Mom, dad, brothers and sisters,
By the time you read this I will have gone far away. I don't approve this support-Emrys-Potter thing you have. He is an obnoxious prat that wants the glory all to himself, just like he did a year ago. Did you see how he treated his fiancee? Utterly disgusting.
I won't tell you where I am. I am safe, mother. Safe from Potter, safe from Voldemort and safe from all of you. You don't want nor need me anyway. You have 5 other sons and your beloved daughter. Now you have Potter too.
May we never cross paths ever again,
About two weeks into the training program, the students were deemed ready for healing classes. It meant new classes to teach for Emrys.
They held the classes at the Room of Requirement. Minerva was finally able to locate it with the help of a house-elf.
"Welcome to Healing 101." Emrys started. "As mentioned previously, this class will run like it does in LSM. For those who don't know, we basically run on a do-it-yourself basis. For the first two days, I will teach you basic healing theory. It's basic, just enough to do the job properly. However, I suggest you read the manual fully on your own if you wish to pursue healing in the future." Emrys said. Gone was the meek little boy who was worried about getting his class' respect. He has proved to himself time and time again that his class, at least this pool of students, respected him.
Two days later...
"Congratulations on finishing the theory part. I'm going to test you on it." Emrys suddenly said. He could almost laugh as he saw panic in them. Really, the theory part was all about ethics and what not to do (like, adding water to acid instead of the other way around). Anyone could pass as long as they went to class and listened. There was nothing to memorize.
And indeed everyone passed.
"Congratulations on passing. Now, I want you to pair up." Emrys said. Immediately everyone paired up.
"Anyone not have a partner?" Emrys asked. He suddenly saw his three friends in a group. Hermione paired with Neville and Draco paired with Blaise Zabini.
"You three can't be in a group," Emrys said.
"But then one of us don't have a partner."
"Hmm." Emrys thought. He didn't expect the class to be uneven.
"Is it doable alone?" Anna asked.
"Perhaps I should explain that. Each of you will be provided with a dummy each where you can practice the spells on your list. If you don't understand anything, feel free to ask. The purpose of being in pairs is so that you can ask each other in case I'm otherwise preoccupied. Also, at the end of the mini-units, you will be asked to heal a dummy with various injuries as a team of two. You could technically do it alone, Anna."
"I'll do it alone then."
"Alright. At least for practice, you can make your groups larger, only for practice." Emrys said instantly revising his plan. The dummies worked like the LSM dummies. You had to do a spell right multiple times then you're given a mini-quiz. The test at the end of the mini-units were more complicated, looking at the order in which you healed injuries and other complications.
Emrys was amused when he saw the Sarah, Jeremy, Anna, Hermione, Neville, Draco, Blaise and the twins group together. Ever since Ron left, the twins became more aggressive in wanting to improve. They worked harder and were more focused than ever before. They still played pranks and such, but there was something i n them that changed. Their vigour pushed the rest of the group harder. It wasn't a surprise, therefore, when his friends finished the mini-unit earliest, despite there being some adults in the room. As promised they got tested in pairs. Sarah and Jeremy made a mistake in the order. Their patient went into critical condition but they were able to salvage the patient with potions. Hermione and Neville did better thanks to Hermione's obssessive compulsive desire to analyze things and do things in an organized way. Emrys did warn her that sometimes, you have to be impulsive. You may not have time to dissect things in a real emergency. Draco and Blaise did well, though they missed a couple of bruises.
"If you have time to heal the minor injuries, heal them too," Emrys advised. The twins did it perfectly. Anna ran out of time, but that was to be expected since she was alone. At least, her patient didn't die.
Emrys told them that they passed (no one died), so they were allowed into the next level (not unit)
"Very good everyone! Class is dismissed." Emrys bid. He also told them when the room was available for more practice.
He really disliked big parties. His past 12th birthday was a disaster, in his opinion. It was a let's-suck-up-to-the-new-royal event for many. It was a let's-cling-to-Emrys for Mischa, who thankfully wasn't able to tell the world that they were engaged. The Queen somehow managed to persuade her into thinking that it was a dangerous move. Emrys was just grateful to get away at the end of the evening. He didn't even open his presents yet. When he came back to Hogwarts, he was greeted by a surprise party by his friends. Thankfully, it wasn't an exercise in sucking up, for anyone. After all, only Blaise, Draco, Mione, Neville, Sarah, Anna and Jeremy were present. They dragged him to a room that they decorated with the help of the elves. Food was courtesy of the elves as well.
"Sorry, we were going to cook, but in no uncertain terms were we allowed to. Hogwarts house elves are vicious when their teritory is invaded," Jeremy said. Emrys just shrugged it off and gave him a hug of thanks. "You didn't have to. Thanks for arranging this party."
"We figured you would need some air from that stuffy party," Sarah exclaimed as she hugged Emrys. She told Emrys how weird and awkward she felt at the last royal ball she attended (Me To We Event). Emrys admitted that he too felt awkward most of the times. He just wasn't cut for upper class socializing.
He gave everyone a hug. He needed a hug after that horrible night with Mischa and all that fake fondness.
"I apologize for not having a present. I did not realize it was your birthday. I should really have remembered," Draco ranted. Emrys just gave him a brotherly hug.
"I don't expect any presents. Besides, you just met me a few months ago. Your friendship is present enough. Thank you for being my friend," Emrys said. Draco tried to supress his glee. He finally had a real friend who isn't Blaise!
Hermione, Neville and Blaise were going to express the same sentiments but Emrys stopped them first. "That goes the same for you three. I'm glad to have found friends at Hogwarts." Blaise felt awkward hugging Harry. Out of everyone in the room, he was the most unfamiliar with Emrys. He was technically friend by association. He was Draco's friend and so now was Emrys' friend.
"Here Emrys. I know you didn't expect any gift from us, but we managed to come up with something," Anna said. Emrys was curious. As far as he knew, Anna had already given him a present at the ball. She gave him a necklace that he was already wearing under his shirt. It was a locket with a picture of Lily and James Potter. She explained that she found it one time in one of her mom's jewelry boxes. Apparently, her mom and Lady Lily were best friends, before she went to Hogwarts. The locket was given to Lily by James in her third year. She only wore it once - when James gave it to her. After that, Lily showed it to Anna's mom and ranted about that "arrogant scoundrel who only knew how to be a stuffy aristocrat". She left the locket with Anna's mom and it has never been used since.
Emrys opened the present. It was a book of sorts. He was surprised that it was a book of pictures of the summer. There were pictures of Emrys teaching. There were pictures of him angry, sad, happy and even proud. He liked the last picture. Somehow, though he couldn't remember how, it was a group picture with him, Anna, Sarah, Jeremy, Draco, Blaise, Hermione, Neville and the twins. They looked like they were posing for a picture. But Emrys can't remember a time where he posed for any pictures with the lot.
"Fred and George had this brilliant idea of taking pictures of everyone. I think they were going to make joke postcards by somehow charming the pictures to act differently from their real counterparts. Anyway, they failed and told us about it. We asked them for the pictures, which they readily gave. Then, we compiled them," Anna said. "They also send their regrets. They went home tonight to their Burrow. They said that their mother insisted on having dinner together, as a family." He understood. The Weasleys were still worrying/grieving their lost brother/son. Emrys put down the book and hugged Anna.
"Woohoo! Go Emrys! Kiss her! Kiss her!" Jeremy chanted loudly. Emrys blushed and ended the hug abruptly. Anna blushed too and was immediately fascinated by the rug.
"Oh shut it! You're not helping!" Sarah retorted with a nudge to Jeremy. Boys!
The Hogwarts students were trying their best to stiffle their laughter but were miserably failing. Unexpectedly, Draco laughed first.
"I apologize, it's just... you look like a tomato!" Draco said in between giggles.
The end-of-summer party was held on Hogwarts grounds. They had a campfire, courtesy of Hagrid and some muggleborns who thought of the idea. The house-elves provided graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. Hermione had fun teaching them how to make smores. Draco reluctantly agreed that it tasted good. He still couldn't believe that muggle food tasted better than his home food. Emrys, on the other hand, didn't like roasted marshmallow on its own. He liked smores, though.
Fred and George, even at their young age, entertained everyone with their joke products. Suddenly, they heard explosions. The aurors were automatically alert and ordered everyone to evacuate to the castle.
"Everyone in, NOW!" screamed Mad-Eye Moody. Amelia Bones did manage to persuade him out of retirement. He taught the aurors and occasionally helped with the training of the young ones.
It was too late. The aurors and most of the adults got engaged in the battle, protecting the students who were also trying to send their own spells from the back.
Emrys and his friends were being shielded by Sirius, Remus and Snape. The three adults were outnumbered by the Death Eaters.
"Harry, go and bring your friends inside!" Sirius exclaimed.
"Stupefy! Accio Student!" Screamed a voice. Anna went flying toward the death eater.
"ANNA!" Emrys exclaimed and foolishly engaged the wizard in a battle. His friends foolishly helped too. Voldemort then emerged beside the death eater who summoned Anna.
"Stop, or she dies!" Voldemort exclaimed with a wand pointing to Anna. Emrys shot another spell at the death eater before reluctantly lowering his wand. "Ceasefire!" Voldemort exclaimed and all the death eaters stopped fighting. After another spell or two, the 'light' side stopped as well.
"What do you want?" Emrys exclaimed.
"A bargain. Your life, for hers," Voldemort exclaimed.
"Emrys no!" Liam exclaimed.
"Potter, don't you dare!" Moody exclaimed. Emrys started walking though. Voldemort, true to his word started floating Anna back. Some death eaters started to leave. Only the inner circle stayed - or at least everyone thought they were the inner circle.
"Why?" Emrys asked as he walked from his side to Voldemort's
"Simple. You exist," Voldemort replied as he grabbed Emrys by the neck. Well, he tried to. The next thing he knew, his hand was deteriorating. Emrys, realizing what happened, lunged on Voldemort and touched his face.
"ARGG! Get him off!" Voldemort demanded. However, the death eaters couldn't. Once Emrys lunged on Voldemort, the 'light' side started attacking again. With the previoius retreat of the, assumedly, junior DEs, the DEs currently on the field were outnumbered.
"Retreat!" said a brave DE. If Voldemort survived, the DE wouldn't survive the ensuing torture from Voldemort. What was left was a kid wrestling a dark wizard with his hands on the dark wizard's face which was slowly crumbling too.
"Harry stop!" a voice shouted. It was Sirius.
"We need to expunge the soul. Killing him that way, would destroy his body but leave his spirit free," Remus said. Emrys immediately lifted his hands off of the wizard's face. Moody stupefied You-Know-Who. Emrys watched in fascination as Sirius, Remus, Moody, Amelia Bones and Minerva formed a star and started chanting. Voldemort disappeared into nothingness.
Sirius and Remus have been researching Horcruxes ever since they found out from Regulus. Regulus surprised Sirius when Sirius visited Grimmauld place. There was some fighting and duelling, but they did make up eventually as real brothers do.
"How did you-?" Emrys started but then fainted.
He woke up to people talking. He didn't open his eyes yet. It was a neat trick, he figured out in the elven realm. If you pretend to sleep, you'll learn a lot of things.
"Anna, it's not your fault!" A voice that could only be Sarah reasoned.
"She's right. We all did our best, including you. It was just unfortunate that you got hit. But, with that many spells flying, it was so hard to see where the spells would go." Jeremy added.
"Anna, with all due respect, stop lamenting. You're acting as if he's dead already." Draco said.
"I'm not," Emrys finally said.
"Emrys!" Sarah and Jeremy exclaimed.
"You really need to explain this Emrys thing," Draco whined. Emily stayed back, almost afraid to go near Emrys.
"Anna, I agree. It's not your fault, you know," Emrys said. "You didn't ask me to accept that bargain. I decided to accept it wholeheartedly."
"I-I'm sorry." Anna said then ran from the hospital wing.
"Anna!" Emrys exclaimed.
"Should I go after her?" Liam asked. Emrys remained silent. Emrys was hurt that Anna left the room so abruptly and so callously. But he knew how Anna felt. He probably felt as guilty when he lost that patient in the elven realm. So he couldn't really blame her.
"I'll go," Sarah said.
Sarah found Anna staring at the lake. She cautiously sat beside Anna who tried, but eventually broke down and threw herself sobbing at Sarah.
"It's all my fault! I keep ruining his life. First, I inspire the ire of Mischa! I made Mischa desperate enough to meddle in the affairs of the royals! And now, I almost killed him! Why can't I ever do anything right?" Anna asked.
Sarah just wrapped her arms around Anna. She had practice from the orphanage where she became an older sister to most of the other orphans.
"It's not your fault. I don't know what happened, but I'm pretty sure Emrys chose you over Mischa. Emrys decided to choose you, Emrys decided to save you in exchange for his life. You didn't do anything. Emrys did. There is nothing to be sorry for, other than running out of that room."
"I probably shouldn't have done that," Anna conceded.
"Yeah. We need to support Emrys. He's strong, but sometimes, we should allow him to be weak too. What do you say? Should we go back?" Sarah asked, hoping the answer was yes. Anna looked at the horizon for a few moments before finally saying, "I'm ready."
Sarah and Anna entered to witness a man in black robes berate their friend.
"I would like to remind you that you still have your potions mastery to finish! Next time no more heroic stunts or I'll personally harvest your dead body for potions ingredients! Is that understood, Mr. Potter?" Snape said in his menacing Potions Master voice.
Emrys gulped. Now he knew what they meant by Snape being a scary Potions Master. "Yes, Potions Master Snape." Snape existed with a huff and with the billowing of his robes. What am I doing being worried by Potter? What does HE think he's doing? Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he did inherit Potter's stupidity!
"I-I'm sorry for running out like that Ems," Anna started. With a nudge from Sarah, she starting moving closer, towards Emrys.
"I was worried you'd hate me for putting you in that perilous position," Anna continued. When she finally came to within Emry's reaching distance, she was pulled into a hug.
"You worried me. I was so worried they'd harm you. I was so worried you were beating yourself up over it. I'd give my life for any of my friends, especially for you," Emrys admitted shyly. Sarah and Hermione silently shooed everyone to give the, erm budding couple some space.
The opening of classes was moved to the second week of September, giving the adults and the children some quiet time to themselves. Sirius and Remus briefly talked to Emrys. They told Emrys that they were indeed helping Regulus find and destroy the Horcruxes. They've destroyed the floating spirit from Voldy's original body and the spirit from the locket (I'm changing the horcrux list: Locket, original body, cup, diary, nagini, diadem, ring). They still had five to go.
Snape gave Emrys his werewolf files reluctantly. He wanted a real apprentice in Emrys, not some part-time apprentice who would only see him to report his progress. But, the kid was indeed a kid, so he couldn't do anything but to let Emrys go to LSM. He got his wish when the Potions Instructor at LSM resigned. He applied and got the job. Minerva asked him to stay at Hogwarts for a while, at least until they found a replacement. He did double-duty at LSM and Hogwarts(quadruple if you count St. Mungo's and Emrys' apprenticeship) until November when Minerva managed to find a potions master from France named Almond Pecan.
Emrys was going to continue to help out at St. Mungo's. Now that peace was back, he could finally finish the practicals experience requirement. The elders told him he didn't need to. But Emrys insisted, saying it just didn't feel right without it. He was going to use some weekends and the vacant period previously assigned to LSM's Healing 5, which he more than finished during the summer, much to the chagrin of Severus.
Throughout the year, Professor Faustina, headmistress of LSM, promised to help Professor McGonagall, headmistress of Hogwarts, make the Hogwart's curriculum more progressive, yet manageable. Her first suggestion was to find a replacement for a ghost named Professor Binns.
Ron Weasley was never found, but his family kept on hoping.
Dumbledore is still in Azkaban.
Hermione, Neville, Blaise, Draco and the Twins talked to Professor Faustina about transferring, but she sadly had to turn them away due to space restrictions. She did promise them, however, that when space opened, they've be the first ones to be considered.
Amelia Bones, with some help from the Duke of Magic, managed to expand her training program. She's now able to sustain a larger DMLE.
Emrys, with the help of his solicitors, managed to find a property that eventually became St. Mungo's II. The patients held temporarily at Helga's castle were promptly transferred. As always, Emrys asked the goblins to ward it. The goblins were more than happy. Emrys was their most favoured customer.
Emrys, Sarah, Anna and Jeremy went to LSM happily. At the beginning of the year, they took the tests and managed to skip again.
Emrys Anna Sarah Jeremy
Transfiguration 7 7 7 7
Charms 7 7 7 7
DADA C 7 7 7
Potions C 6 6 6
Muggle History C 7 5 5
Magical History C 5 5 5
Math 5 4 5 4
Science 5 4 4 5
English 6 6 4 4
Music 4 3 5 3
Dance 6 6 4 3
Art 3 5 5 4
PhysEd 7 5 4 5
Sarah, Anna and Jeremy dropped Art and took Dueling instead.
Mischa, is still Mischa. But to her glee, she's still somehow engaged to Emrys.
Thank you all for staying with this story!
I don't know about a sequel. Even I'm sometimes confused with the rollercoster ride. Plus I think my muse for this story needs a long rest to refresh so that the next one(if there ever is one) won't be such a monster. Plus my muse is leaning towards something else.
If you want to take any ideas from this story, extend it... etc... feel free.
Thank you for the 404 reviews. Thank you for the hits. Thank you for the 48 C2s. Thank you for 339 Favs and 544 Alerts. I can't obviously name you all.
Thank you for all the words of encouragement. Thank you for the criticisms. Thank you for everything! It was fun while it lasted!
The ideas that I had for a sequel:
- Dumbles would be more evil than Voldie... he has something worse than horcruxes
- Regulus and Sirius and Remus would be an awesome horcrux-fighting trio
- One of Harry's Hogwarts' friends would transfer to LSM
- Adventures of Potions Master Snape and his apprentice
- Adventures of LSM students under Snape
- Mischa's humiliation - finally their engagement is broken - because of something elvish and Anna related
- Ron is Dumbledore's lackey
Thank you to everyone who reviewed. In an ideal world, I would have responded to your reviews, I would have acted on your suggestions. I tried doing that. But I just really don't have the brainspace (time to me, is unlimited... it's just a matter of how many things you can juggle in your mind before you drop something).
Molto Grazie miei amici. Merci beaucoup mes amis. Maraming Salamat!