Hi all, yes I know it's been ages but this I'm in the middle of some difficult bits. The last chapter was something I just had to get right and the rest of these are not easy to write. Regardless enjoy.
I'm only just realising how much SPEW had an impact on the canon story. Because I killed Dobby (which I will not apologise for just for the record) it hasn't had as much chance to feature. That's kind of irrelevant to this chapter I just feel I should say something other than I'm not dead, seriously I have had reviews and messages asking if I'm still alive, mostly anonymously so I can't even reply.
Seriously I love reviews, but if you want me to answer a question there are two simple rules one, don't ask me when I'm updating, because you will be ignored, and two don't do it anonymously or with private messaging disabled because I'm not a wizard.
Warning some strong language
The Unwelcome and the Unexpected
As strange as things were, Harry and Emma managed to live with the Secret of the Seven Patroni, as well as the rest of the baggage that came with being a Potter during the Triwizard Tournament. There were still two tasks to go, but battling a Dragon, not only being the only Champion to unexpectedly face it, and being the contestant that performed the best (in spite of Karkaroff's appalling and blatant favouritism) sort of indicated that if Harry could handle something like that, he could handle anything.
However there were still moments that made one or both Potters want to commit homicide on a mass scale. Rita Skeeter, as Dumbledore had accurately predicted, wrote her piece on the First Task which was published the morning after. Emma and Harry had been with Dumbledore when it arrived at Hogwarts, so they were amongst the last to have read it.
Potter Does One Trick After Another
By Rita Skeeter
When he entered the tournament, it was always obvious that Potter was out of his league. Earlier this month I took the opportunity to speak to Mr Potter after his name had controversially came out of the Goblet of Fire. At that interview he bragged to me about how he had gotten past the Goblets Defences and how he was going to win. How was he going to win you ask? By cheating that's how. Although it is not obvious to those who watched Mr Potter face off against his Dragon, several experts have come to me saying what Mr Potter apparently did in the arena is not possible.
"The idea that a 14-year-old could perform any elemental magic is preposterous." Asserts Professor Atir of the Reteeks Magical institute in Stornoway. "No one that age, never mind a wizard raised by Muggles could possibly be capable of such magic."
It is clear to anyone who has looked into these matters that Mr Potter's act was staged, probably with some professional help to make him look good. However he severely overdid himself by casting not only magic that is far too advance for someone of his upbringing and age to perform, but also casting magic that cannot possibly exist. A total of twelve different British experts in Defensive magic came to me of their own volition and resolutely stated that it is beyond impossible for Elemental Patroni to exist and that the animated creatures Mr Potter supposedly summoned (we suspect they are specially enchanted dummies) could not possibly exist.
"This field has been studied extensively for centuries. Any researcher with even the slightest competence knows that it is impossible to elementally enhance Patroni."
The article in question was essentially a takedown of Harry. But near as anyone could tell, no one at Hogwarts was taking it seriously. Furthermore a segment on the Wizarding Wireless Network lauded Harry's skill and courage during the task and named him as someone to keep an eye on in the future, saying that it was undeniable he would go far and achieve great things. Not much the same could be said for people outside of Hogwarts though. The students had the benefit of actually seeing Harry's magic and none of them, not even Malfoy and his lackeys, genuinely believed that what they saw was rigged, though Malfoy still used the article as ammunition, or at least tried to. How could anyone reliably rig anything like that around a Dragon? However the 'write in and tell us your opinions' section Prophet was filled with letters calling for everything from a simple investigation to ascertain the truth, to having Harry hauled in front of the Wizengamot and thrown into Azkaban.
Emma was fuming on her brother's part, but Harry just couldn't bring himself to care. Since no one around him believed what was being written, as far as he was concerned Rita was just some person out there. Between Dudley and Malfoy he had worse things said about him.
Regardless, he was still coming to terms with revealing the Patroni. Harry wasn't brooding anymore. He wasn't even trying to hide the seven. He was openly using them as needed. In one Care of Magical Creatures lesson, featuring Blast-Ended Skrewts, instead of taking his for a walk, as the others in the class had been instructed to, Harry summoned Solum, tied the leash around the Earth Patronus' neck and let the two loose.
With any other teacher he would probably have gotten scolded, but Hagrid had his own viewpoints on the universe.
"Seems ye've got a gud han' on things Harry." Beamed Hagrid proudly. "I don' think any o the others have had as gud exercise."
That was certainly true, unlike Harry's class mates, Solum could break the sound barrier in 3 seconds, meaning he could easily keep up with the rocket propelled abomination.
"No worries." Replied Harry happily.
Ron and Hermione made attempts to try and approach him and talk to him during the lesson, but Ron's Skrewt had exploded, dragging him in the opposite direction of Harry and right bang straight into Daphne Greengrass. As a result, Hermione ran to help him while a number of Slytherin and Gryffindors descended into one of their traditional inter-house bickerings that probably would have descended into something more serious had exploding Skrewts hadn't chosen to drag their leash holders across the fields and, perhaps, mercifully away from each other.
"Ah. They're havin' such fun." Hagrid Remarked joyfully.
Harry assumed he meant the Skrewts because most of the students had by this point ran off and left their exploding creatures behind.
After the lesson, Harry determinably marched back to the castle. Hermione however tried to get his attention again.
"Harry… Harry… HARRY!"
Harry stopped where he was, turned and as such Hermione bumped into him and fell back. On instinct, he grabbed her arm and steadied her.
"I have nothing to say to you." Harry snapped and turned to keep going.
"Please Harry, I'm sorry, Ron is too, if you could just…" Hermione pleaded.
"Get stuffed." Snapped Harry. "You think you can just say sorry for all that. We were friends for three years, you know the sort of things that happen in the Wizarding World and you just called me a liar and a cheat like everyone else."
"You have to understand." Said Hermione.
"No I don't." Harry retorted. "I don't have to have anything to do with you."
But Harry drew his wand. "Leave me alone Hermione. I am in no mood for your know-it-all stuff."
Over the next week Harry rarely communicated anything meaningful to people outside the Guild. Ron and Hermione re-joined Guild gatherings, as members they had a role to take in matters concerning the werewolf lawsuit. That at least had not changed, but Harry refused to accept their apologies or talk to them outside matters concerning the group.
His upbringing at the Dursleys had left him with very few people he could trust. Asides from Emma and maybe Dumbledore and Hagrid, Ron and Hermione had been the people he trusted the most. But that changed at some point over the last few months.
The werewolf case was making good progress.
"From what Mr Boot said in his latest letter, things will be over inside the next six months." Said Emma happily.
This was good news. In the beginning the werewolf case was estimated to take as long as 18 months, while Harry and Emma could only afford to fund it for 11. The case had now been on for over 2 months.
"How did they manage that?" Asked Hermione incredulously.
"It seems that the ministry spent so much time trying to discredit Mr Carrow and Mr Boot, as well as find out who we are, that they didn't pay much attention to the legal arguments. The Judges are refusing to hear any more evidence in regards to recognising anti-werewolf sentiment as unlawful discrimination or regarding the rights of werewolves to seek medical treatment or for lycanthropy research to be allowed to continue unabated. Carrow and Boot argued in our favour while the Ministry lawyers wasted so much time demanding the case be dismissed and our identity to be revealed they barely submitted any legal arguments when asked to by the judges. Now the Judges are refusing to discuss the topic, saying the Ministry had its chance." Said Emma determinably not looking at the girl.
"It really couldn't have gone better for us." Said Neville. "The Ministry has often irritated the judiciary and things very rarely go their way when that happens."
"On the downside, Gringotts sent us another letter." Said Harry. "Honestly it's like having some bossy overlord trying to control how we spend our money."
"We call them parents." Said Ron, trying for a joke, but Harry ignored him.
"Bill sent plenty more of those forms so Emma and I forwarded another one this morning." He continued.
"We've also sent a letter to Mr Boot explaining what happens in case Gringotts cut us off." Supplied Emma.
"However in other news I've spoken with Professor Lupin." Said Harry. "It looks like the trip is a go."
"Oh that's wonderful." Exclaimed Hermione.
"Are you sure that trip is such a good idea?" Asked Vicky.
"We'll be going in under the cloak." Said Harry. "Remus said he can vouch for the people arranging the visit. He trusts them, but we would like to ask your uncle to come with us if at all possible Natalie?"
"I'll send him an owl." Said Natalie. "However I wouldn't get your hopes up, single, childless Aurors tend not to get time off around Christmas."
Harry nodded. "If not, I know how to fight so it's no biggie."
"Harry." Said Hermione scandalously.
"If that's everything." Said Harry. "We'll reconvene same time next week."
Ron and Hermione seemed to relax their efforts trying to talk to Harry. Harry as such tried spending more time with Neville, but Neville, quite reasonably, wanted to spend his time with his girlfriend. So he found himself spending most of his time with Emma and her friends. No one particularly minded, in fact Colin and Ginny were beyond thrilled, but there was no denying there was something strange about it.
"We're not going anywhere brother." Said Emma in a reassuring manner.
"I know." Harry Acknowledged, but he stole a glance at Ron and Hermione who were both neck deep in Defence Against the Dark Arts homework.
"You want them back don't you?" Said Emma.
"Yeah." Admitted Harry. "But I don't want to feel… that… again."
Emma nodded. Neither of them could understand why Ron and Hermione acted the way they had. Emma felt horrified by what happened, so she imagined Harry felt several times worse. In order for Harry to recover his lost friendship, Ron and Hermione had to explain why they did what they did. As both Harry and Emma had more time to reflect on what happened, they found things making less and less sense.
Ron and Hermione weren't the only ones Harry was cross with however. When Susan Bones sat next to him in Arithmancy, Harry stood up and moved over to another table.
"Harry?" Said Susan.
"Best stay away from the cheater Susan, you might lose points again." Snapped Harry. Several Hufflepuffs in the classroom looked awkwardly away from Harry.
"Come on Harry." Said Justin. "You performed marvellously against the dragon…"
"No thanks to any of you." Snapped Harry. Neville came in and the two friends took one of the desks together.
"Hey we didn't put your name in the Goblet." Snapped Ernie.
"Well someone did." Snapped Harry.
"Yeah and unlike Harry, all of you were in the Castle when it happened." Remarked Neville sarcastically.
Harry caught his friend's eye. What they were doing lacked all logic and would probably make them look stupid, but the Hufflepuffs had put Harry in this situation, so he and Neville were going to run it as they saw fit.
"Yeah I bet Susan did it, because she fancies me and wanted to see me in action." Said Harry scathingly.
"Harry…" Susan blushed.
"Or maybe Ernie did it, because he was too cowardly to put his own name in and wanted to use someone else's." Pondered Neville.
"Shut up." Snapped Ernie angrily. "We have no idea how your name got in the Goblet."
"Oh but you had plenty of ideas two weeks ago." Harry Reasoned.
"Look, no one here knows how you put your name in…" Began Ernie.
"You keep saying that, but let's look at the evidence." Harry remarked using his out of skewed reasoning. "You were in the castle when I wasn't. Out of the two of us you're the only one who could have put my name in so it had to have been you."
"Let's not forget that he keeps on calling you a cheat." Said Neville. "A poor cover for his own cowardice in facing down a dragon."
"Neville, Harry please this is ridiculous." Pleaded Hannah, worried at how red Ernie was getting.
"No more ridiculous than the shite you were all spouting last week." Snapped Harry.
"Mr Potter please keep a civil tongue in my classroom." Said Professor Vector in a neutral voice as she came in the door. However her voice got considerably terse as she continued speaking. "Mr Macmillan if you adopt an irrational line of argument, you are in no position to start complaining when your opponent uses the same rational against you, now sit down. Mr Potter has become significantly competent at calculating formulas, but the rest of you need to knuckle down and learn this, or face repeating the year come August."
Professor Vector liked Harry very much, and her style of character kept her expressing it very much, especially when other human beings were around. Then again there were always expections.
Throughout the lesson Susan kept on looking at Harry. Occasionally when he looked at her, or when she thought he looked at her, she would mouth 'Please, I'm sorry'.
"What is with her all of a sudden?" Harry grumbled under his breath, before focusing on the task at hand. "Element of Fire cannot link with Ice using that algorithm."
"I don't need it to link I just need them to be there and tolerate one another." Reasoned Neville. "She likes you."
"She's got a funny way of showing it." Retorted Harry. "Well with that algorithm you'll need to tie it to a permanent rune."
"Damn." Said Neville.
"Though if you have a mobile accessory like a necklace or even a thick enough boot you should be fine. You'd need to make whichever of them out of a really tough rock or iron." Remarked Harry.
"Would marble not do?" Asked Neville. "What I mean is Susan's got the hots for you."
"No she doesn't." Snapped Harry. "Marble shouldn't necessarily work but… we need to do some calculations."
"How long will that take?" Asked Neville. "And yes she does."
"Not long, we just need the chemical makeup to figure out the Arithmatic data, should be in the textbook somewhere." Said Harry. "She's not allowed to like me."
"That's not how it works." Retorted Neville. "Hmm, the compound doesn't look that compatible with the elements."
"We can fix that. Just let me do some calculations." Said Harry. "How does it work then?"
"I know Emma's your world and Hermione is/was like a sister to you." Said Neville. "But there are other girls out there."
"I know." Said Harry. "You're dating one of them."
"Yeah, Luna and I just kind of synced." Said Neville. "But when you talk with girls, don't you feel anything… different… like nice different."
"Depends on the girl." Replied Harry. "Aunt Petunia makes me feel revulsion."
"She's supposed to." Said Neville. "Look Harry, what I'm trying to say is. You're cool, and I'm not just saying that because you're my friend. People like you, the shit with the Goblet may have made them forget about that but still, especially since you beat the dragon, people like you."
"I think I've figured out a way to make your algorithm work." Said Harry. "All we need is to paint it with a mixture or metallic paint and a handful of magical herbs."
"Great." Grinned Neville. "That'll cut down on the homework."
They didn't mention girls again that lesson. But Harry still had the topic in his mind. Did he like girls? Of course he did, one only had to look at the Defence Guild to see that, most of his friends were girls. But actually like-like or fancy?
There was Cho. Harry really thought she was pretty but speaking to her made him nervous, also the last few times he'd seen her he was angry, which made interactions with her difficult. He didn't feel ready to seek out girls right now, but he was open to the idea.
How did he feel about Susan? Well at that point in time, he hated her guts.
"Harry… Harry…" She called out as they left the classroom.
But Harry wasn't stopping. The only reason he wasn't moving faster was because Neville was panting to keep up with him. At some point Harry really had to thank his friend for being so supportive during his moods.
"Harry please. I'm sorry." Susan said, almost beggingly.
"I don't care, get lost." Harry snapped.
"I know I should have listened to you…" Susan began.
"Listened? LISTENED?" Harry snapped. "Your Aunt is a bloody police officer, you should have seen the fact that I wasn't here and automatically realised I couldn't have put my name in."
Susan stopped short and glared. "I am not though."
"Still doesn't take a man with half a brain to realise I couldn't have done it." Snapped Harry.
"Look I said I was sorry." Said Susan.
"And I said get lost." Said Harry. "After everything we've done in class, you could have at least considered what I said. You didn't so why should I give a damn what you say now."
"Harry… I… I…" But Susan was lost for words.
Harry turned around and continued on his way.
"Harry wait." Said Susan desperately.
Harry heard her footsteps following him and decided he'd had enough.
The fire stag emerged from Harry's wand and blocked Susan's path towards him.
"Don't try and follow me." Said Harry. "I'm not in the mood."
That wasn't the first time Harry used the Patroni.
After charms a week after the Dragon fight, his Ravenclaw year mates tried to reconcile. Strangely enough it was just the female members, Padma Patil, Lisa Turpin and Su Li; which was rather strange as Harry has hardly spoken to Padma and never spoken to Lisa and Su, there only interactions had been when they were calling him a cheat in the lead up to the First Task.
"You're a Hypocrite." Harry practically spat at Lisa Turpin. She had made the mistake of trying to languish praise on Harry, when simple words of friendship had failed.
"Hey!" Snapped Padma. "That's not very dignified."
Harry just turned and walked off.
Padma on the other hand wasn't having any of it. Patils were not bigoted like Malfoy but they were still a family that spoilt their children and Padma was not used to being told no. She ran up and grabbed Harry by the shoulder.
In response Harry pushed her off and cast his spell.
"Aqua Patronum!" The Water Patronus came upon Padma and rubbed its face against hers.
As Harry walked on, he heard her scream "Ah my makeup."
One day on the way out from Potions, Malfoy and his cronies tried to confront Harry.
"Hey Potter, think you can cheat your way through the next task, My Father said…"
But Harry kept on walking, pushing Malfoy over in the process. The other Gryffindors present burst out laughing as the blond haired ponce landed on his bum.
Crabbe and Goyle ran after Harry, but he heard them coming. Two silent Body-Binds left the tip of his wand and they too dropped to the floor.
Had they been going into Potions rather than out, Snape might have made and intervention but the Slytherins regrouped later and went after Harry. It took them a while to catch up to him of course, when he was eating his dinner with his Sister and his friends so they had to wait until they got up to leave.
To add insult to injury, Harry didn't even acknowledge them. He moved past them, at the Slytherin Table nearest the door to the Great Hall and ignored the "Hey Potter." Addressed at him.
Harry and Emma and their friends made half way up the Entrance Hall stairs before they managed to get his attention. Pansy Parkinson fired a leg-locker curse that his Emma causing her to trip.
Harry and Demelza caught her before she hurt herself, but the confrontation had begun. Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, Parkinson and about ten Third and Fourth Year Slytherins had assembled.
"Come and face me Potter you coward." Malfoy Called out, as his friends all laughed.
"Do I have to?" Said Harry. "Your face isn't pleasant to look at, and I've faced down trolls so that's saying something."
"Pah." Sneered Malfoy. "You've never faced down a troll Potter, you're just a compulsive liar."
"He has." Said Demelza incredulously. "You were there, his Third Year Defence Exam?"
"Oh yeah." Recalled Kieran Harper. "That was so…"
Crabbe and Goyle turned on him, Crabbe grabbing his shirt.
"…so pathetic, I could have done way better." Harper uttered hurriedly, fearing physical pain.
Harry looked at his fellow Guild members. It was just him, Emma, Demelza and Colin. They were outnumbered by nearly three to one and yet all he could think was where on Earth these idiotic Slytherin people came from?
"I'm going to expose you Potter." Sneered Malfoy. "Right here and right now. Everyone knows you're a fraud. Everyone knows you are just a pathetic…"
"Look Debra." Said Harry despondently. "This may surprise you, but I have better things to do than entertain whatever is going on in that overly yellow head of yours. But if you like you guys can play with this."
Harry directed his wand and cast. "Tonitris Patronum!"
The Thunder Patronus came out and Harry and his friends turned and left it standing on the stairs. He was somewhat aware of the Slytherins running in every direction as strikes of lightening came out of the stag and impacted the ground near where they were standing.
Malfoy and his cronies started the altercation so they got a detention along with a 40 point deduction for their troubles. Harry on the other hand managed to avoid losing points but McGonagall wasn't happy. He was summoned to her office.
"While I appreciate how stressful things have been for you lately Mr Potter, we cannot have spellfights in the stairs." She said sternly.
"Wasn't much of a fight, they ran off like cowards as soon as I cast my spell." Harry said dismissively.
McGonagall glared, and too her credit Harry had the decency to look awkwardly away.
"I am not going to tell you this again Mr Potter. Duelling is not allowed in the corridor, cast so much as a Flipendo at Mr Malfoy or anyone else for that matter and you will be mopping the lavatories on the First and Second Floors. Understand?"
The following evening Harry found himself cleaning a bathroom on the second floor. Malfoy had come to him again, said some stuff that Harry didn't hear (because he wasn't listening) and when the Slytherin goons tried to block his way, Harry sent a series of tickling charms at them. When McGonagall confronted him about what happened he merely stated that he had not used the Flipendo Jinx. Now Gryffindor were down 100 points and Harry was to spend the next three evenings cleaning the toilets on the First and Second Floors.
The following day, he got irritated by a group of Third Year Ravenclaws trying to talk to him about the Dragon task. He lost his temper and fired off two stunners that impacted at their feet. His detentions increased by another two, an extra 50 points were taken off and the Third Floor toilets were added to his list.
So that evening he was mopping around the sinks when a voice sounded behind him. "Are you going to spend the rest of your time at Hogwarts doing this?"
Harry turned his head to look at McGonagall standing at the doorway. He then turned his head back to do his work.
"I can't imagine doing this is going to be a good use of your time, especially next year when you are studying your M.A.D.A.M." Remarked McGonagall.
"Then stop giving me detentions." Grumbled Harry.
"There are rules in place at Hogwarts for a reason Mr Potter." Said McGonagall. "I suppose you like it better when Mr Malfoy is doing this sort of thing, but I can't simply overlook your conduct."
Harry said nothing, he kept moping the floor.
"I know you are in a frustrating position." Said McGonagall. "But taking it out on everyone around you is not going to help in the long run."
Harry kept on going.
"I'm sure you don't want to talk to Mr Weasley and Miss Granger right now, and that is fine, but you are going to have to find a way to live with your current situation. You cannot keep striking out at the other students, it is not fair to them, no matter how much it may seem to be. If you are going to stay at Hogwarts…"
"Maybe I won't stay at Hogwarts." Said Harry.
"Hmm." Said McGonagall. "We both know that you are going to stay here."
Harry threw down the mop and glared at her. "Oh yeah. Why should I stay here?"
McGonagall raised an eyebrow. "Well in the short term, if you do not complete the Triwizard Tournament, as a Hogwarts student, the Goblet will see that as a breach of the contract, even if say, for the sake of argument, you left school and only returned to compete."
Harry continued to glare, even though he had nothing to say, McGonagall wasn't finished.
"As for the long term, where do you think you can go? You have been out of the Muggle educational system for over three years, do you really want to face catching up again?" Said McGonagall.
Harry looked to the ground. "There are other schools, magical schools."
"How is your French?" Said McGonagall. "Or your German, or your Portuguese?"
Harry blushed. "Uhh… well…"
"There are other English speaking schools, but have you ever tried emigrating to Australia or America? I can tell you right now they will not allow an underaged wizard to emigrate unaccompanied by an adult." Said McGonagall. "I am also aware of how you value the rights of Miss Granger, Miss Robins and Mr Creevey in spite of their ancestry, but know that many societies are less accepting of Muggleborns."
Harry turned around, picked up his mop and went on with the job in hand, hit it roughly against the floor to try and drown out McGonagall's talking. It didn't work.
"You could always pay a tutor to teach you either magical or muggle studies." Said McGonagall.
Harry turned to look at her.
"I could certainly recommend some to you if you like. Would you like me to do that?" Said McGonagall.
Harry ignored her. But he didn't need to say anything. The idea of him leaving Hogwarts was stupid. He didn't speak a non-English language and he had no desire to leave behind his friends.
"As Professor Snape would say life is unfair." Said McGonagall.
Harry glared at her again.
"But you don't have to take his outlook." Said McGonagall. "I myself understand the difficulties on making do with what you have. Part of growing up is learning to do what you can and accepting that sometimes life is going to suck." Somehow McGonagall using that last word seemed wrong.
Harry nodded. Maybe it was time to stop.
"If you finish all the bathrooms tonight, you will not have to do your detentions hereafter." Said McGonagall, taking out her wand. "Scourgify!"
McGonagall's charm spread across the bathroom and all the filth, mould and water disappeared.
Harry looked at her incredulously.
"I said you had to clean the bathrooms Mr Potter. I never said you can't use magic." Said McGonagall. "But if you prefer to use a mop…"
Harry shoved the mop and bucket into the cleaning cupboard and the rushed passed McGonagall, heading for the other lavatories. As he did so he swore he could hear a chuckle coming from his Head of House.
Harry's opinions of other human beings did not change after his meeting with McGonagall. However he did manage to keep them to himself. He focused on what was important to him, namely Guild business, studying for his N.E.W.T. and arranging Christmas plans with Emma and Professor Lupin.
The following week, the Third Years were about to leave Transfiguration when this happened.
"Before you all go I have an announcement to make." Said Professor McGonagall.
Emma and her friends looked at each other.
"Some of you may be aware of this already, however for Fourth Years and above there shall be a special event at Hogwarts over the holidays. As part of the tradition of the Triwizard Tournament on Christmas Day, representatives and students of the three schools gather for a dance known as the Yule Ball. It is an occasion that allows us to… let our hair down… as some would put it." McGonagall remarked disapprovingly.
Most of the female students, Emma included, giggled a little at the way McGonagall put it.
"I know that you are all too young to attend unchaperoned but should you be invited by a student who is in Fourth Year or above you are welcome to join us." Said McGonagall. "I am aware of how exciting many of you will find this, however this festivities will not excuse from flouting rules, I will be most displeased if a Gryffindor does something to embarrass our school. To coincide with the event, there shall be a Hogsmeade weekend, before the last week of term so that those interested can have the opportunity to shop for the dance which, I should emphasize, is formal and requires attire to match. Now off you go."
The dance was just a few weeks away, which didn't give the Third Years much time to prepare. Unlike the older students they had to find, as Natalie put it.
"Big boys. We need to get us some big boys." She asserted.
"I have a boyfriend I would remind you." Said Vicky. "I can't exactly dump him for a day can I?"
"Where is Geoffrey?" Asked Emma.
Everyone looked around. He wasn't there.
"He must have run off." Said Ginny.
"Wish I'd thought of that." Said Colin despondently.
"And why do you say that Colin dear?" Asked Emma.
"Do you not want to go with us?" Said Demelza. "Or perhaps even… just one of us?"
Colin turned completely red. "I… I… I…"
"We can't go remember." Said Natalie. "We need big boys."
"I do hope I can convince Neville to go." Said Luna.
"He'll be uncomfortable, but you'll get him. You make him feel safe." Said Ginny.
"That's true." Said Luna.
"Wow you're not exactly modest." Said Natalie.
"No. Neville told me I make him safe." Reasoned Luna, "I'm just truthful."
"So Luna can go." Said Demelza. "What about the rest of us?"
"Well I can't." Emma reminded them. "Harry and I have plans this Christmas."
"Pity you have to do it now." Said Ginny.
"It can't be helped." Said Emma. "It's taken a lot to get trust from the Elders and even if we could reschedule, we can't do it during term and Easter is months away."
"Well that sucks for you, but how do we get dates?" Said Natalie.
By this stage the Third Years had made it to the Practice Room.
"It's obvious." Said Demelza. "We have to get some older boys interested in us."
"We haven't got much time." Said Natalie.
"Well let's start with potentials." Said Demelza. "What boys are in Fourth Year? Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean."
"Harry and Neville are out." Said Natalie. "That leaves three, we need five."
"I am not going with anyone." Said Vicky. "If I can't go with Geoffrey I…"
At that moment Geoffrey burst through the door. "Hey Vicky I got us into the Yule Ball."
"What?" Said Vicky. "How?"
"How?" Said Demelza
"HOW!" Shouted Natalie.
"Guys, calm yourselves." Said Emma. "Geoffrey care to explain?"
"Neil Randall and Thelma Holmes will chaperon us." Said Geoffrey.
"Our Seventh Year Prefects?" Said Ginny.
"What do you mean chaperon?" Said Vicky. "Are you suggesting I swap my boyfriend?"
"No don't be daft." Said Geoffrey. "We go with each other, we'll just be collectively invited by Randall and Holmes."
"I don't think you'll be allowed to do that." Said Colin. "I think invited means, dating."
"That may be what it means, but all it says is an older student can bring a younger student." Said Geoffrey.
"That is a remarkably astute assessment." Said Luna. "It is hard to argue with that kind of logic."
"I don't have to argue, I checked with McGonagall on the way up, as long as Randall and Holmes are fine with it, we can do this. They are 'responsible for us' though." Said Geoffrey.
"That is awfully nice of them." Said Vicky suspiciously. "Did you blackmail them?"
Geoffrey looked at the floor. "It's all fine."
"Geoff?" Said Vicky warningly
"Don't call me that." Whined Geoffrey.
"Don't make me use Ginny's hex on you?" Said Vicky.
"Look I learnt something about the two of them." Said Geoffrey.
"It's no secret that they're together." Said Emma. "They've been together longer than we've been at Hogwarts."
"Yeah. I just learnt something else-ish." Geoffrey said. "I really can't tell, I promised."
Vicky narrowed her eyes, walked right up to her boyfriend and looked him very closely in the face. "Come with me."
She pulled him outside the Practice Room.
"What do you suppose he has?" Said Natalie.
"Don't know, probably caught them in a broom cupboard or something." Said Demelza. "Anyway what about the boys? We need dates for me, you, Ginny and Emma."
"Again, Harry and I are not staying." Said Emma.
"Spoilsports, it'll be no fun without you." Said Demelza despondently.
"Don't worry I'll keep it fun." Said Ginny. "If I can get a date. Pity Harry's gone."
Emma rolled her eyes.
"So Dean and Seamus?" Said Demelza. "That's two of us but we need three."
"You'll not get Seamus." Said Colin. "He's going with Lavender Brown. Dean might be an option but…"
"Holy mother, I forgot about you Colin." Said Natalie. "We need to get you a date."
"Wha… I… I…"
"Guys, let's not torture Colin just now." Said Emma.
"Thank you." Said Colin.
"Though for the record, we are getting you to this dance, one way or another in a kilt."
"What?" Said Colin.
"Potter this is not up for debate." Said McGonagall.
"I don't dance." Said Harry.
"All champions are to lead the schools alongside their partners in the opening of the dance." Said McGonagall.
"You shall dance Mr Potter. Dismissed." Said McGonagall in a voice that left no room for further debate or discussion.
Emma could not stop laughing.
"Will you stop it?" Said Harry. "This is serious."
"Oh relax brother of mine." Said Emma. "She can't make you dance if you're not here."
"I guess." Harry Agreed. "Should have told her I had other plans I guess."
"Yeah." Said Emma. "Maybe, never mind, put your name on the list for the train as soon as it comes up."
The train list came up the following Friday. By this stage most girls in the school had dates, but with the exception of Luna and Vicky, no one in the Guild did. Ron apparently tried shouting at Fleur Delacour, asking if she would go with him.
Demelza and Natalie were working, almost viciously, to try and find boyfriends. They had unfortunately been targeting the oldest boys in all three schools, it was rather amusing trying to get precise details from a trio of 17-year-old German gentlemen as to why they couldn't take three Third Years to the ball.
Emma noticed the train list as she walked past it in the Great Hall, Harry's name was already on it.
"I'm going to do my research, I'll meet up with you guys at dinner." Said Emma.
After her friends said goodbye, Emma pulled a quill out of her bag and wrote her name up as well.
"Not sticking around for the Ball are you?" Came Cedric's voice.
Emma turned to see the older boy behind her. "Nope. I'm Third Year, can't go remember."
Cedric smiled. "Such a shame. I'm sure there are those that would have liked to take you for an evening out."
Emma giggled. "Mr Diggory are you asking me to the dance?"
Cedric Smiled. "I would have been honoured to have you as my partner. Sadly I cannot do that if you are not here."
"No I guess not." Said Emma. "Regardless, even if I could stay, you are nearly twice as tall as me. It would be rather awkward trying to dance together."
Cedric laughed. "Maybe, but we could have had some interesting conversation."
"Regardless, I think you better find someone else to dance with this time." Said Emma.
"I'll see you later Miss Potter."
Emma proceeded to the Second Floor classroom she and Harry had been assigned to conduct their studies. When she arrived she found her brother was already there.
There was a large sheet of paper on the floor of Harry's half of the room, he appeared to be drawing runes on it.
"Wind and Earth Runes?" Asked Emma.
"Yep." Said Harry. "Patroni regardless, elements are useful in combat magic."
"You can't replicate…"
"I doubt it." Said Harry. "It seems limited to the Patronus Charm. Without the Elemental Stimulus or access to all of the Seven there is no way to do it. I think this project is a better alternative to the Patronus Charm."
Emma nodded. "Has my potion been bothering you?"
"Not really." Said Harry. "It only smells mildly bad and even then I have to go nearer to your side in order to notice, much less be bothered."
Emma strode over to her cauldron. She had been brewing a large supply of Wolfsbane potion. It took considerable time to brew, nowhere near as bad as Polyjuice Potion but still time consuming and unlike Polyjuice, very easy to get wrong. Luckily Emma was far from a novice.
"How much is that now?" Said Harry.
"Plenty." Said Emma. "I might even start sending some to Dùn Blaidyn."
"Don't get your hopes up." Said Harry. "Remember we're doing M.A.D.A.M. not Guild stuff here."
"I know." Said Emma.
"Also mailing a few phials to Remus is one thing, but Hedwig cannot carry enough for a whole village." Said Harry.
"Fine, fine it was just a thought." Said Emma despondently. "So how're you doing?"
"Not bad considering." Said Harry. "I'm going to need a crap load of stone, but I can transfigure what I want out of rocks in the general environment."
"What do you plan to say when you levitate rocks through the school?" Asked Emma.
"Research?" Said Harry.
Emma snorted. "Couldn't you just order the rocks?"
"I need stone, not simple rocks." Said Harry. "Too much for owls to carry."
"Owls don't bring everything." Said Emma irritably looking over her supplies. "I got most of the stuff I wanted but there are muggle drugs missing."
"Can't you just ask Colin's Mum?" Asked Harry.
"No, some of this is controlled and regulated, I can't ask her to just send me stuff like that, if someone asked questions she could get into trouble." Said Emma. "I just need to kick up enough fuss to get the Education Authority to make more of an effort to purchase these things."
Harry smirked and turned back to his runes. "I can't do much either until I get my stones." He said. "Maybe I'll go levitate some rocks from outside."
"Or…" Emma began. "You can write to the Education Authority and ask for stones, unlike penicillin Wizards use stones in runes all the time so they're easy enough to buy. In the meantime, why don't you try that egg?"
Harry growled. He was half tempted to just ignore the thing completely but a week ago he had finally bent to pressure from Emma, taken the egg up to the boys dormitory and opened it. The shriek was heard throughout Gryffindor Tower, Harry refused to talk about it, other than to say it was the "stupid egg". Given that Fred and George Weasley resided in the tower as well, most people were not that disturbed by the noise.
"Fine. I'll be upstairs in…"
Harry was cut off by a sudden knock on the door.
He strode over and opened it to reveal Professor McGonagall.
"Mr Potter, Miss Potter can I come in?" She said.
"Uh. Sure…" Said Harry, unlike the Practice Room and the Room of Requirement this was officially recognised as his and Emma's area for working. The fast-track program had specific rules to it.
McGonagall shut the door behind her then got straight to the point. "I understand that you have put your name down to go home for the Christmas holidays. I'm afraid you cannot go."
"What?" Said Harry angrily. "I told you, I don't dance."
Emma looked quizzically between the two.
"This is not a choice for you Mr Potter, you are a Champion in the Triwizard Tournament, you must lead the opening ceremony." Said McGonagall.
"I didn't ask for this, it's nothing to do with me." Snapped Harry.
"Do not take that tone with me Mr Potter, or you'll find yourself back on detention." Said McGonagall dangerously.
"Oh screw you." Shouted Harry.
"MR POTTER!" Roared McGonagall.
"STOP." Shouted Emma.
Her brother and Head of House turned to look at her.
"Look. Let's just talk about this civilly." She said in a calm and soothing voice. "Professor, I understand the Wizarding World has its… traditions. But Harry didn't put his name in the Goblet of Fire, he has openly said again and again that he has not entered the tournament. I can't imagine that much fuss is going to be made if he doesn't take part."
"Miss Potter, your spirit is admirable, but it is not that simple." Said McGonagall.
"What is simple is this." Said Emma. "Harry and I have plans, we're spending Christmas with Professor Lupin. We have certain projects we want to work with him on and it is our right to leave for the holidays. Unless we're declared wards of Hogwarts, you can't keep us here against our will, I've read Hogwarts a History."
McGonagall sighed. "Could the both of you come with me please?"
Harry and Emma looked at each other, McGonagall had a very troubled look on her face.
The Potters followed her upstairs. Strangely it was not her office they were going to, but Dumbledore's.
McGonagall knocked on the door.
"Enter." Said Dumbledore.
When they got there, Crouch and Fudge were having a heated discussion with the Headmaster. But they weren't the only ones. Emma and Harry had not seen Delores Umbridge since they had faced off her and Fudge alongside Mopsus and Hedwig, back when Emma had first arisen in the Wizarding World.
"Ah Minerva, Mr Potter, Miss Potter. I can see from your face that you would like to talk, I will be with you shortly, perhaps if…"
"NO." Said Umbridge very loudly. "Since he is here, Mr Potter can answer for his crimes."
In the years since their first encounter, Harry and Emma had learnt enough about Umbridge to know she had a psychotic and skewed perception of the universe.
In response to her comments they just looked at each other, then Emma twirled her finger against her temple and rolled her eyes.
The gesture didn't go unnoticed and Umbridge's face turned red with rage.
"I think that sounds like an excellent idea." Said Fudge. "How would you like to answer in a court of law?"
"Didn't we establish last time, that you don't have the right to arrest us?" Said Harry.
"And the time before that?" Said Emma. "Weren't you there Miss Cumberland?"
"It's… Umbridge…" Umbridge growled out.
"Regardless. There are questions that you must answer." Said Fudge.
"No there aren't." Said Harry.
"Yes there are." Said Fudge.
"No there aren't." Said Harry.
"YES… THERE… ARE." Roared Fudge.
"No there aren't." Said Emma very quickly.
The sudden change in tone silenced the room and everyone turned to look at her. A second later both Potters burst out laughing.
"What?" Said Emma, when she noticed the enraged faces around the room. "He's funny when he's angry."
Harry snorted again.
"This conversation is pointless." Said Crouch.
"Is it?" Said Fudge. "Aren't you the slightest bit concerned that Potter has cheated his way through the First Task?"
"No." Said Crouch.
"Barty…" Said Fudge in an exasperated voice.
"It's Mr Crouch to you. I judged that tournament, I witnessed the magic Mr Potter cast. I can vouch that while it is unlike anything I've ever heard of, it was a legitimate use that cannot be considered cheating." Said Crouch.
"As a recognised expert in magic I can also vouch for that." Said Dumbledore.
"As can I." Said McGonagall.
"And even if we weren't able to vouch, this is not Quidditch, there are no review panels. Only the impartial judge can rule against a champion. If Mr Potter breached the rules, the Goblet of Fire would exact its fate upon him." Said Crouch.
"What is this fate?" Snarled Fudge. "How do we even know what it is?"
"Oh I know." Said Crouch. "Instances of it are well documented."
"Then what is it?" Demanded Fudge.
"I'll let you know back at the ministry. I respect Professor Dumbledore and do not want to dirty his floor with your bodily fluids."
"There is still that matter of the expert witnesses." Said Umbridge incandescently.
"What witnesses?" Said Harry.
"The ones highlighted by the journalist Rita Skeeter." Said Umbridge.
"Pah!" Emma laughed so hard she made the rest of the room jump, while Harry had been going through his angst moment after the First Task, she had looked into Skeeter's article. "She is a Gossip Columnist, not a journalist. There is a difference."
Umbridge glared at Emma. "She cited an expert who claimed as I recall 'no one could perform magic like that' or words to that effect."
"You mean Professor Atir of Reteeks Institute of Magic in Stornoway?" Said Emma. "My god you're so stupid."
"I BEG YOUR PARDON?" Screamed Umbridge.
"The clues in his or her name." Said Emma. "There is no Institute of Magic in Stornoway."
"This isn't over." Snarled Fudge.
"Yeah next time you want to arrest me, bring a warrant." Said Harry.
"Or a brain." Suggested Emma.
"Like that'll happen." Said Crouch. "Even had Mr Potter cheated this is a tournament controlled by the schools, not the Ministry, Mr Potter cannot be criminally prosecuted for his actions in this tournament any more than a game of chess. Now, let's go, I'll explain the Goblet's fate to you. Whatever you think of Mr Potter, he does not need to know this particular horror."
The Ministry personnel left, but Umbridge did not stop glaring at Emma until she was out the door.
"Well that was odd" Said Harry.
"I must concur." Said Dumbledore. "Now Minerva, what's going on?"
"Professor… I… Mr Potter and his sister are going to Professor Lupin's home for Christmas." She said.
Professor Dumbledore nodded. "Have you told them?"
McGonagall shook her head and Dumbledore nodded again.
"I see. Mr Potter, Miss Potter please take a seat. Minerva I think you'd best retire to your quarters for the time being and have a cup of tea and a bourbon or two."
"Albus. What are you going to tell them?" Said Minerva.
"The truth." Said Dumbledore kindly. "Please leave us."
"First Mr Potter, I should apologise. Professor McGonagall has been most concerned for your wellbeing and welfare. Especially since the Goblet of Fire incident."
Harry nodded. "I don't really understand."
"There is a great deal of danger surrounding you right now Mr Potter. The Triwizard Tournament is the most obvious threat, however the incident at the Quidditch World Cup indicates a resurgence amongst some of Voldemort's supporters. While what happened can be interpreted in any number of ways, as his mortal enemy, should the worse happen, you would be in a vulnerable position."
"I am guilty of this as well, but Professor McGonagall has sought to protect you by keeping information from you." Said Dumbledore. "Do you know why you need to stay."
"She wants me to dance, because all the other Triwizard Champions in the past have always danced." Said Harry.
"That is the excuse she has given you, however reality is much more complicated than that." Said Dumbledore. "I am advocate of freedom of choice, and ordinarily I would have no objection to you shunning a dance because you did not wish to participate, in this instance I must compel you to stay."
"Why." Said Harry.
"Because you are a Triwizard Champion…" Said Dumbledore.
"Oh come on." Said Emma.
"Let me finish." Said Dumbledore. "Because you are a Triwizard Champion, you are bound to certain obligations, otherwise you will meet with a terrible fate."
Harry looked at the Headmaster in confusion, Emma however understood.
"You are not serious?" Said Emma. "Please tell me you are not serious?"
"I'm afraid that while there are no dragons or egg clues with which he or she needs to plan, a Champion is obligated to attend and open the Yule Ball. Should he not do so, the Goblet of Fire would deem this a breach of the contract, just as it would had you skipped the First Task." Said Dumbledore.
There was a moments silence while Dumbledore's warning set in.
"This is ridiculous." Said Harry. "I could lose my life or… whatever… if I don't dance?"
"I'm afraid so." Said Dumbledore. "You must find yourself someone to accompany to the dance. The consequences of doing otherwise would be severe."
"But how am I supposed to do that." Said Harry. "All the girls in school will be taken by now."
"I'm not." Said Emma. "I'll go with you."
"I'm afraid that is not allowed." Said Dumbledore.
"Why not?" Said Emma.
"Because you are his sister." Said Dumbledore.
"So? It's a dance, not a wedding right?" Said Emma.
Harry nearly had a heart attack when Dumbledore pulled an awkward looking face.
"I am not getting married, I'll face the consequences." Said Harry.
"It is not quite a wedding." Said Dumbledore.
"QUITE!" Shouted Emma. "I am not ready to have a sister in law."
"Mr Potter, you must understand that times have changed, it has been over a century since the last tournament. In the past it was deemed customary that, having proven themselves a Champion in the first task, a candidate would lead the festivities alongside his or her lifelong companion, or at least a suitable candidate for such a role. In times gone by, many students would have been matched in arranged marriages expected to occur before graduation, even a student your age Mr Potter would likely have been matched to a lady deemed suitable to their family. Arranged Marriages still happen but they are considered an old tradition practiced only by older families and are no longer binding in law or society." Said Dumbledore.
"But…" Said Emma.
"That practice may have become the exception rather than the rule, however the Goblet of Fire does not see it that way. In more dangerous tournaments, the Champion's partner was expected to wed them in the event where they were injured and not expected to live. They were also expected to mother their children should the circumstances call for it." Said Dumbledore.
"That's sick." Said Emma.
"I would not expect you to marry anyone you choose to partner Mr Potter." Said Dumbledore. "Nor Mr Diggory or the other Champions. However the Goblet expects the option to at least be theoretically possible. Miss Potter is therefore ineligible."
"So I need to somehow find a girl to go to the dance with, who isn't my sister and is willing to dance with me in the opening ceremony." Asked Harry.
"Not necessarily." Remarked Dumbledore, who then proceeded to say the least helpful thing Harry had ever heard. "They could be a gentleman. I can vouch that Magical society is more liberal than Non-Magical in that particular area."
Harry and Emma found their way back to the Room of Requirement and took stock of the situation.
"How the bloody hell am I supposed to get a date now." Said Harry.
"I don't know, who do you fancy?" Said Emma.
"I don't know. Why does that matter?" Said Harry.
"Anyway, what about Remus?" Said Harry.
"I'm sure he'll understand given the circumstances." Said Emma.
"But the visit." Said Harry. "We can't reschedule."
"I'll write to him, maybe we can leave Hogwarts for a few days before Christmas. I'm sure McGonagall will grant us a little leeway given the circumstances." Said Emma. "In the meantime, choose a girl, ask her out and don't die or whatever from Goblet-itus."
Harry nodded. "What are you going to do?"
"Don't know. I'm thinking I'll ask Fred out." Said Emma.
"Fred?" Said Harry.
Emma nodded blushing. "I'd ask Colin or Percy but… I can't…"
"I'll ask Cho." Said Harry. "But she's pretty and I'm sure someone will have asked her already."
"Well go do it now, I'll write Remus and meet you back in the Common Room." Said Emma.
As it turned out Harry was right.
"I'm sorry Harry, but…" Said Cho.
"It's fine." Said Harry. "Don't worry about it, I shouldn't have waited until last minute."
Meanwhile Emma had gathered in the Common Room with Colin, Demelza and Ginny.
"You want to ask my brothers out?" Said Ginny incredulously.
"One of them." Said Demelza reasonably.
"Yeah. If Harry has to go through with this, I want a date as well." Said Emma. "I can't think of anyone better to ask."
At this point Colin got up from the table in the Common Room and left for the Boy's Dormitory.
"Where're you going?" Called Emma.
But Colin didn't answer.
"I think he's had enough of this talk." Said Demelza. "We have been talking about dating a lot lately. I don't think he's that interested."
"Hmm." Pondered Emma thoughtfully.
"Anyway you can't ask Fred out." Said Ginny.
"Why. Are your brothers off limits to me?" Asked Emma with sarcasm in her voice.
"Don't be daft." Replied Ginny. "What I mean is that he's asked Angelina Johnson out."
"Crap." Said Emma.
"You could ask George." Demelza suggested.
"I don't fancy George." Said Emma.
"He and Fred are the same." Said Ginny.
"Are not." Said Emma.
"Anyway George is going with Alicia Spinnet." Said Ginny, rolling her eyes in the process.
"You could ask Percy." Said Demelza.
"No you can't." Said Ginny very quickly. "I mean… he's Percy… he's 18… and… and…"
"In his own way very cute and charming." Said Emma. "He's also out of school. He also told me he's looking forward to spending Christmas with his Mother and Father."
"He what?" Said Ginny. "When did…"
"He and I write to each other on occasion." Said Emma. "You know he's a lot more sensitive than you give him credit for."
"I highly doubt that." Said Ginny.
"I'm serious." Said Emma. "He's got a lot of responsibility in his new job, Crouch has apparently been giving him a lot of autonomy over stuff. He's also still a bit cut up about Penelope, just as well he managed to talk about it. Honestly if I hadn't gotten that out of him last summer I shudder to think how he'd handle it."
"I can get that." Said Demelza. "When I got kicked out of home, my whole world got knocked asunder. I would have wanted my mum and dad if not for… you know…"
"Exactly." Said Emma. "Your parents have been helping him make the adjustment from school to Ministry. He also likes to pass… certain things… by me…"
"What things." Asked Ginny her eyes narrowing.
"That is between me and him." Said Emma. "Oh what am I going to do?"
"If I may." Said Demelza. "It's Harry that needs a date, not you."
Emma glared at her friend.
"Although sure, let's get you one as well." The Cornish girl clarified.
"And maybe us while we're at it." Said Ginny.
"WAIT." Said Emma abruptly. "That's it. One of you can take Harry."
Ginny immediately blushed and looked down to the floor.
"Uh. Ok." Said Demelza. "Which one of us?"
"Well… since you…" Emma began.
"HEY… Hey…" Shouted Natalie.
All of a sudden everyone in the Common Room turned and saw Natalie sprinting towards them. "Hey Emma." She said before turning to the girls. "You guys are going to love me, I just got you dates."
"What?" Said Demelza and Ginny.
"I… I just got asked out by Michael Corner. He's got two friends…" Said Natalie. "He asked if I could… fix them up…"
"Oh… how charming." Said Ginny disdainfully.
"Hey… their boys and they're really cute." Said Natalie. "They're Terry Boot and Anthony…"
"WAIT, Terry Boot hasn't got a date?" Said Demelza. "The big hot guy in Ravenclaw, oh sweet?"
"And grandson of a certain Lawyer." Emma reminded her.
Demelza turned to Emma. "Sorry Emma, I like Harry and all… but I have a thing for tall guys.
"Wait Harry?" Said Natalie.
Emma filled in her friend on the situation.
"I had just come up with the idea of him asking Demelza or Ginny or you out when…"
"Oh shuttlecock." Snapped Natalie. "I can't say no to Michael now I would look like a… a… a…"
"Shuttlecock?" Supplied Demelza.
Natalie glared at Demelza. "Well Emma since you're staying, you can have Anthony Goldstein, assuming Ginny doesn't want him?"
"And why would I not want him?" Asked Ginny, her voice rising.
"Oh he's cute." Said Natalie, then she smiled evilly. "But let's face it, he's no Harry Potter."
If I'm honest I might reupload this later after giving it another proof read. I gave it a good one over the last day or so, but I am not good with spelling and grammar. I just cannot be bothered going through it right now, it's been the hottest day of the year (something which is bad enough) and I now look after 1-year-old babies which means in order to have a meaningful conversation I have to talk to my colleagues (who are lovely for the record) and it's not the same. Seriously spend enough time with a three/four-year-old and they'll say no end of amusing stuff, actually they might, but I'm very good at getting children to be fun.
So yeah, the concept of dating is getting stronger, which is another area I'm not very familiar with so may take some getting used to.
One last thing about the Secret of the Seven Patroni. Many of you have offered guesses about what you think the secret is, I can't even remember if anyone got it right. They might have done, or I might have dreamed it (it is literally too hot to do any meaningful concentration right now). The point I want you to consider is why does Harry dare not tell anyone what he found out? More than a few of you have suggested that using a Patronus damages a person's soul, if that was the case why would Harry want to keep it secret. Not telling people that seems more dangerous than keeping it secret.
Anyway sorry for the wait please review.