The title of this chapter comes from the Prisoner of Azkaban Video Game (GC) although I have altered the spell description slightly.
I should tell you that last week I lost all my fanfiction documents but managed to recover the file that was four days old. Despite that though I lost probably about 6,000 to 8,000 words. Most of which are a new Symphonia crossover but my new chapters for My Brother, Jessica Black and the Boy Who Lived and The Realm of Passing are now going to be delayed slightly. In the case of the Realm I lost the entire chapter I had managed to write up to that point (over 2,000 words) So if you read my others stories and you come to wonder what's going on, that's what's going on.
This story was largely unaffected as I wasn't working on it during those four days, so please enjoy.
Warning one use of strong language.
Chapter 11: Carpet Retractum
"No way." Said Ron loudly
"Absolutely not." Said Hermione "If you think we're letting you go into Gringotts alone…"
"Hermione this is not about me trying to protect you, or Ron." Said Harry "This will be easier if it's just me. You can't come into the bank because if more people than me come along there is a greater chance we'll get noticed and you can't hang about outside the bank because you could get noticed by someone who then tips off either Dumbledore or the Ministry which in turn will cause all sorts of trouble and I won't know about it until I get out of the bank."
"Assuming this crazy plan of yours works." Said Ron "Not that I don't think it will, it's totally brilliant. The Goblins will never know we took the cup."
"Not we." Said Harry "Me."
"Harry Potter." Said Hermione
"I think Harry is right." Said Ginny
It was the afternoon the day after they had retrieved and destroyed Marvolo's Ring and Remus, Sirius and the Weasleys who hadn't travelled in time were enjoying a show of Harry arguing with his two best friends.
"I know the two of you don't want to be left out, but this sounds like Harry's task." Said Ginny "It sounds like bringing either of you along would not help matters."
"I must also concur." Said Remus "This isn't a case of fighting ones way to the Horcrux, this is a case of extracting the Horcrux without being seen in the process. Harry going alone makes the most sense."
Ron and Hermione glared.
"Can you two say honestly you would do anything other than get in his way?" said Ginny
The two of them turned their glares to Ginny but didn't answer. They begrudgingly admitted defeat.
If all went to plan Harry should be back at Potter Manor within the hour. But even the best made plans tend not to work out the way we intend.
He apparated directly outside Gringotts Bank, in hairy dwarf disguise, and made his way into the building. It only took a few minutes of waiting but he met the Goblin teller and again arranged for a private meeting.
"Mr Potter?" said the Senior Goblin
"Hello. I'm sorry to come at short notice but I need to find something in the Potter Vault. I don't know how long it will take for me to find it but…"
"Understood." Said the Goblin "I'll send you down with Griphook."
Harry internally cringed at that. He wondered if it was a sign of something going wrong that Griphook would, albeit unknowingly, aide him in stealing from the Lestranges.
Harry was taken down by cart alongside Griphook to where the old Family Vaults were.
"Do not fear the Dragon Mr Potter." Said Griphook "He is trained to expect pain at the noise of the clangers." He began shaking the device and Harry witnessed, probably the same poor-sighted Dragon as last time backing away.
The pair of them made their way up a set of stairs.
"Vault F06, the Potter family vault." Said Griphook. He ran his finger down the door and it slid open.
"Thank you." Said Harry "I'll try not to take too long."
Harry knew exactly where what he was looking was. A copy of the Potter Family Will. It was largely irrelevant in the scheme of things it merely told Harry that he was sole heir to the family fortune and held legal rights to his Grandparents house and the ruins of the house in Godric's Hollow along with a ruling stating that his custody was to be granted to Sirius in the event of his parents being unable to fulfil their roles.
The Vault contained mountains upon mountains of gold in it, as well as dozens of filing cabinets. Wizards tended not to hang onto legal or financial documents, they merely sent them to be stored in Gringotts and went to get them should they need them. Harry was well aware that documents for his father, his Grandparents and his ancestors stretching back to the First Wizard Born Potter in Medieval times were all here. He made a show of opening several filing cabinets before 'accidentally' finding it will. He cast a Gemino Charm on the document and put the copy in his rucksack.
"All finished Mr Potter?"
"Yes thank you." Said Harry. He stepped out of the vault so Griphook could seal it. The Goblin led the way back towards the stairs when Harry pointed his wand.
"Imperio!" Harry incanted.
Griphook suddenly found himself at the mercy of an 11-year-old boy who knew an unforgivable.
"I really am sorry about this." Said Harry "For what little it's worth I take no pleasure from it and I do not do this out of greed or to insult Goblins. It's just a necessity."
Harry directed Griphook towards the Lestrange's Vault which was just round the a few vaults away. Vault F09.
Griphook drug his finger down the door and Harry was greeted with the familiar site of the spoils of the Lestrange Family. Harry decided, after what happened in the other timeline, not to enter the vault. They tried summoning the cup last time, but that didn't work as the defences in the vault could easily prevent that charm from taking effect. But there was another, more basic charm that would do the trick.
Harry glanced into the vault and saw Hufflepuff's cup. Sitting on the same ledge as it did the last time. He trained his wand and incanted:
A magical rope sprung out of Harry's wand and rapped four times around the handle of the cup. With a single harsh tug Harry dragged it rapidly through the air. It didn't have a chance to hit the floor or any of the other items in the vault. The cup dangled from Harry's wand and he dropped it in his rucksack.
"Sorry about this Griphook." Said Harry "But you won't remember this when we're finished."
Harry had him close the vault then guided the Goblin back to the Potter Vault and had him open it again. Then Harry wiped his memory of the Imperius and then gave him a modified memory of it taking longer than it actually did to find what was in his family vault.
"Sorry that took so long." Said Harry "I found what I needed."
"That's quite alright Mr Potter." Said Griphook, not displaying any signs of remembering the enforced side trip to the Lestrange's Vault. "If you will follow me I shall take you back to the surface."
When Harry got out of the bank in his Hairy Dwarf disguise it took all his effort not cry out in joy. Admittedly robbing a bank once each on two different timelines was not something to be proud of, one could not deny it was an impressive feat.
The item was in Harry's backpack, all that remained was to apparate back to Potter Manor.
But something was wrong.
The Golden Trio did not know this but before they forcibly bought Ron and Ginny's wands in Ollivander's Wand Shop, the owner of said shop had seen three hairy dwarves enter an alley nearby.
Dumbledore realised that Harry and his friends must have used glamour charms to get about Wizarding locations without being recognised. He knew that if the three of them did not know this disguise had been compromised they would use it again so he quietly asked members of the Order to be on the lookout for the hairy dwarves.
This request had finally paid off. One was seen going into Gringotts. Albus got some of his best associates to come with him to Diagon Alley, set up anti-apparation and anti-portkey wards and had them watch the three alleyways leading to the bank.
It didn't take Harry long to realised someone at least suspected he was in Diagon Alley. There were three streets that converged on Gringotts. The one in front of the bank's main entrance led through the main shopping area to the Leaky Cauldron, the one on Harry's left led to the access way to Knockturn Alley and the one on his right led to the corporate area where the Daily Prophet offices, amongst other, were located.
Harry looked at each of them quickly enough to realise that each had at least two witches or wizards standing as if waiting for someone.
He did the only thing he could, he ran behind one of the pillars on the bank and put on his Invisibility Cloak. Harry's only chance was to get through the crowd before someone noticed an invisible person was in their presence. Harry didn't know where the anti-apparation ward ended so his best bet was to find a fireplace. He knew there was one in Knocturn Alley but that alley was too narrow to sneak through using the cloak without knocking into someone and he would easily get noticed, although maybe not as Harry Potter, and be confronted by an unpleasant witch or wizard.
Harry did not know of any floo area near the Prophet offices and he didn't want to risk barging through the offices in case he was challenged.
The best bet appeared to be the route to the Leaky Cauldron, which would also be the route where a trap was most likely set.
With that in mind Harry chanced the route to the Leaky. He got halfway towards the people who looked like they were watching for them when he realised that one was Arthur Weasley, the other was Mad-Eye Moody, with particular emphasis on the magical eye.
Harry had just processed this information when he noticed Mad-Eye say something to Arthur and gesture in his direction. Harry realised with horror where the magical eye was looking. He was discovered. He backed away and began jogging back up towards the Bank. His senses just in time detected magic heading his way.
He rolled onto the ground letting the stunner fly over him. Arthur Weasley was a good Dueller in his own right but Mad-Eye was in a class way higher. A veteran of the First War it had taken Voldemort to defeat the aging Auror during the Battle above Little Whinging.
That information in mind Harry fired a stunner at Arthur which hit before he could mount a defence. He was out of the battle for now, but Harry was now facing Moody.
"Come on out." Barked the Auror, by this stage people were running away from the apparent battle taking place in the middle of Diagon Alley. "I can see you and that cloak is not going to…"
"Harry fired a stunner at the Auror, who easily blocked it."
"You want to try something more than that kid?"
Did Harry want to try something more deadly than a stunner? No of course not, it was bad enough Moody was killed at the same time as his beloved Hedwig, but Harry did give a little variation.
"Pertrificus Totalus!" incanted Harry
But Moody blocked that as well.
"Come on I said more than a stunner not less than."
Harry didn't have time for this. If Moody was here it meant that others weren't far behind, including Dumbledore, and now that the old man knew Harry was a more than capable wizard, Harry was not so sure he could best him this time, certainly not at the same time as Moody. He had to take out the Auror quickly, but thanks to that eye of his Harry couldn't use the element of surprise the cloak gave.
"That's it!" thought Harry
Mad-Eye began conjuring ropes out of his wand at the invisible assailant. Harry countered with a series of severing charms.
"Not bad kid. You could make a good Auror some…"
"Accio!" incanted Harry
To Moody's shock his magical eye shot out of his socket and rolled across the alley.
His brief moment of shock was enough for Harry to get a good stunner in and Mad-Eye fell unconscious.
Harry began to run towards the Leaky when he noticed that he had taken too long with Moody. Dumbledore emerged from the pub. Harry knew that the Headmaster had always found him under his invisibility cloak before. Hermione explained after the war he was most likely non-verbally incanting the Homenum Revellio spell and Harry had to conclude that she was right.
Dumbledore was taking no chances this time round. Using the wand he had won 46 years ago he fired a series of stunners that Harry had to drop to the ground to avoid. The advantage Harry had in the instance was, that unlike Moody, Dumbledore could not tell when Harry crouched. Nor could he get his exact position, making a clear shot difficult.
Harry had to buy time to figure a way out of this. He didn't return fire, so Dumbledore could not make out his position.
Harry risked a glance back toward the bank. A group of about five witches and wizards were blocking that path. Harry recognised Tonks and Shacklebolt, but did not have time to identify the other three. He was completely trapped. It wouldn't be long before they found his position, even if they stunned every square meter of stone in Diagon Alley. Harry then realised he could get help from above.
He decided this was a good a time as any to try this method of escape, as he looked up at Quality Quidditch Supplies.
He non-verbally incanted "Accio Nimbus!" A Broom like the one that had won him his first Quidditch game, smashed its way out of the window and landed on top of Harry.
Not wasting a second, Harry hugged the broom through the cloak's material and accelerated off the ground and into the air.
"Dumbledore tried to stop him with some stunners but Harry managed to perform enough shield charms and barrel rolls to avoid the Headmaster. Diagon Alley was soon behind him.
But Harry's troubles were far from over. He flew as far away and as fast as he could from London, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't apparate. This meant one of two things, one: someone had place an anti-aparation charm over the whole of Britain, or two. It was the same charm and it was following him.
A glance over his shoulder confirmed his second theory. Dumbledore had really come prepared, thestral and all. There was no way Harry could outrun a thestral on a broomstick. He had to try something else. Harry's cloak was useless, it could never cover him up enough on a broom to keep Dumbledore from spotting him. He stuffed it into his rucksack just before Dumbledore entered spell fire range and it began.
Muggles would spend that day looking up wondering where all these fireworks were coming from.
Harry realised his best shot at this stage was to target the thestral. It bothered him that Dumbledore could get injured if the creature fell from the sky, but the headmaster knew enough magic to survive a fall of a thousand feet, or however high this was.
Harry aimed for the thestral but Dumbledore blocked the spell and sent back his own variant of the Jinx. Harry taking full advantage of the broom he was on barrel rolled out the way. Had it not been for his daring incursion into Hogwarts the previous month and the fact that he had held his own despite being surround by wizards with good to expert experience in combat, Dumbledore would have been shocked at Harry's skills on a broom. Yes this boy would one day be a Quidditch star, but Dumbledore had to catch him first.
Harry fired off several more stunners at the thestral but Dumbledore kept on shielding his stead. Harry then tried something else.
Harry's enhanced red sparks spell worked for a time, Dumbledore was forced to slow down and shield himself and his stead, but he soon regained the ground he lost and repeated uses of the Flipendo spell proved useless as Dumbeldore maintained a heavy shield charm in a bubble around himself and his stead and rammed into everything Harry threw at him.
Dumbledore had ceased casting his spells now and was seeking to catch Harry the old fashioned way. With his hands. He charged at the boy on the broom, aiming to grab him. But even if brooms couldn't outrun a thestral, they could outmanoeuvre them. Harry made a hard 90 degree turn and flew at full throttle. He gained about half a mile on Dumbledore before the Headmaster quickly caught up.
Harry knew that a basic anti apparition ward had a radius of 1500-2000 meters but that the Elder Wand in the hands of a Wizard like Dumbledore could produce a radius of up to 3000. At the rate they were going, this was going to end up being a race to exhaustion. Harry was sure he could win that battle against Dumbledore, but the Ministry and the Order would both know that he was up here and would probably send other wizards to with their own wards to try and capture him.
Harry had to loose Dumbledore before that happened.
Flying like this vaguely reminded Harry of the First Task in the Triwizard Tournament. Under Polyjuice Potion impersonating Mad-Eye Moody, Crouch Junior had told him to play his strengths. The man may have been a psychopathic killer in disguise but his advice worked. Harry had used Quidditch skills to overcome the dragon. Dumbledore was a whole different character and far more skilled than a dragon. Nevertheless, as Harry performed a corkscrew to avoid Dumbledore again, he got an idea that a little Quidditch and a lot of something else might dismount the Headmaster.
Harry dived straight for the ground. The top speed of a Nimbus 2000 was 120 MPH, usually. Harry was performing a near, if not precise vertical dive.
Dumbledore followed as fast as he could but the Nimbus was going at a speed at the edge of the thestral's comfort zone. Harry was giving it his all and the vertical dive was probably making him outrun his old Firebolt. Harry had gone top speed on both brooms and he had to conclude that the speed he was at now, combined with the gravity, was far faster than any he'd gone before.
Glancing back, he realised the thestral was gradually expanding its comfort speed, but it was not expanding it fast enough. Harry was now less than 200 meters from the ground.
"Harry stop, you're going to crash." Came Dumbledore's voice. But Harry would not be dissuaded. Between Hermione and Mrs Weasley he had ignored far more frightful warnings in regards to his Quidditch antics.
From Harry's point of view it had been 13 years since he rode a 2000. But the memory of its capabilities was all there. He had to time this just right.
Harry pulled up at the last possible second, the turn was agonizing on his body and so extreme that his vision turned black. Just as he'd planed.
With his vision gone for a brief seconded Harry non-verbally incanted "Lumos Maxima!"
His own vision was unaffected thanks to the high-g turn. Dumbledore and the thestral on the other hand got a blast of pure light.
The Thestral collided with the ground, breaking all but one of its legs and howling in agony. Dumbledore got thrown off but his skill of magic gave him a rough but otherwise relatively lenient landing.
Harry was flying vertically upwards when his vision returned. It was a heavily unpleasant experience to go through, performing a Wronski Feint that extreme was definitely not recommended and Harry was lucky not to have blacked out. It took him a few seconds to get all his bearing right. Unfortunately that was too long.
Dumbledore fired off a redactor curse which impacted the broom causing it to shatter. Harry was blown off and flung to the ground about 20 meters from.
"Aresto Momentum!" Harry incanted landing on his feet. His escape may have been foiled but he took comfort from the fact that he had a softer landing than Dumbledore. The thestral was injured and the broom littered in pieces on the ground.
Harry and Dumbledore had both crash landed in a large green valley next to a lake, there were some sheep grazing on the hills to one side and rippling water of the lake to the other.
"Harry you are clearly not going anywhere, you are out of options." Said Dumbledore "I would recommend you come quietly and…"
"Stupefy!" shouted Harry punching his wand through the air at his former mentor.
Dumbledore blocked the spell and sent a body-bind which Harry dodged.
"Harry you have impressive duelling skills, but I just want to talk."
Harry answered by non-verbally sending a Disarming Charm at Dumbledore. The old man deflected it right back at Harry who dodged and fired a Body-Bind. Dumbledore still carried the anti-apparation charm on him, and Harry knew the only way to break it was with the Elder Wand. In order to escape, Harry had to defeat the Professor Dumbledore in a duel. The good news was that with apparition out of the picture it would take the Ministry and the Order a considerable amount of time to get to the area, particularly as the terrain was not very forgiving.
Harry had defeated Voldemort, rounded up Death Eaters after the war, and become Britain's top duelling champion. But he had never fought an opponent like Dumbledore before. Dumbledore's skill was easily at least as good as his own, if not better. What made Dumbledore particularly difficult to beat right now was his possession and mastery of the Elder Wand. Harry knew that wand was more powerful than any other in history and he knew that Dumbledore was almost unbeatable with it. But if Harry had proven anything during his seven year at school, impossible odds did not matter. Robbing Gringott's was supposed to be impossible, surviving the killing curse once never mind twice was supposed to be impossible, summoning a Patronus with less than three years magical training was supposed to be impossible, winning the Triwizard Tournament at 14, teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts at 15, hunting down the Horcruxes. Harry had done what was impossible and he had done what no others could. He had help to be sure, but if anyone could beat Albus Dumbledore in a duel it was not Tom Riddle, not Draco Malfoy, not Gellert Grindlewald, or anyone else who had won or desired the Elder Wand, the person to beat Dumbledore would be Harry Potter. Maybe.
Harry could not admit to having that faith in himself right now. Between the fighting in Diagon Alley and the aerial acrobatics followed by a crash landing he was not at his best. The only consolation was neither was Dumbledore.
None of the spells were lethal. Neither wanted to harm or kill the other the most dangerous spell either used was Harry's red sparks spell.
He discovered it gave him an edge. Because Dumbledore was on the ground, and not in the air, he could not form a bubble shield because the ground was in the way and had to endure a few strikes of red sparks.
"Stupefy" incanted Dumbledore
"Flipendo!" incanted Harry
Neither wands were brothers so there was no Priori Incantatum. But despite that both Harry and Dumbledore found themselves trying to overpower the other's spell. It was no contest. Dumbledore wielded the Elder Wand, Harry was a skilled and powerful wizard, but even he couldn't overpower the wand. But then again he didn't have to.
Harry learnt long ago, in First Year really, that it takes more than raw power to win. There is a Muggle saying that size of a stick matters a hell of a lot more than whose swinging it. In terms of wands, Harry knew what he had to do. He didn't need to overwhelm Dumbledore's spell, he just had to deflect it.
Harry, using all his focus and all his energy, guided the joint spells to the ground. Dumbledore realised what Harry was doing too late. He tried to veer his spell back towards Harry, but the spells impacted the ground sending a raw magical energy rippling back into the casters bodies. Harry was prepared for it but Dumbledore wasn't, he mistakenly thought that he could gain the upper hand on Harry and flinched as a result of the feedback.
Harry made use of the opening "Expelliamus!"
Dumbledore couldn't react fast enough. The Elder Wand shot out of his hand.
"Accio!" incanted Harry. The Elder Wand flew into his hands and he felt the familiar warmth spread through him.
Harry once more surprised Dumbledore by rapidly performing a series of counter-curses that collapsed the anti-apparation wards. Aurors, both from within and outside the Order, flew in on brooms ready to take Harry into custody only for him to disapparate.
Many years later; those who descended on the scene would reflect on how upset and broken Dumbledore was. That, not only had Harry refused to acknowledge him outside of spell fire, but that he had won and also taken the very wand Dumbledore himself had taken from a Dark Wizard over 45 years ago.
Harry apparated into the back garden at his Granparents house.
The back door flung open and Sirius went to greet his Godson from the future in his 1991 body "Harry you're back. Success I take it."
Harry for his part did not acknowledge Sirius, he was so mentally and physically exhausted it was a wonder he could stand. "Oh? I'm starting to wobble?"
"Harry!" shouted Sirius in surprise as the boy fell.
Sirius' shout in surprise alerted everyone else and they all flocked in.
"Oh my… Harry what happened." Said Hermione
They guided the limp but still slightly conscious Harry to the lounge, pulled off his rucksack – causing him to involuntarily drop his wands – and laid him on a sofa.
"He's burning up." said Remus with his hand on Harry's forehead. "He's also really sweaty."
"He's exhausted." Said Hermione irritably "Harry what did you do, please tell me the Goblins didn't find out."
Harry tried to utter the word no, but even that seemed to require an unusual amount of effort.
"Hey he's got two wands." Said Sirius looking at where Harry had dropped what he was carrying. He picked them up, and Hermione went over to look and gasped when she recognised the Elder Wand.
"Sweet Merlin Harry." Said Hermione "Sweet fucking Merlin what is your problem." She whined and went back over to Harry. She held his face with her hands and forced him to look her in the eyes. "Do the Goblins know? Blink once if they don't?"
Harry blinked only once and held his eyes open afterwards.
"Then why that wand?" Hermione demanded.
"T…" came out from between Harry's lips "Trap…. Di… gon… All…"
"Hermione what is it?" said Remus "What's wrong Ron?"
"Beats me." Said Ron "She must have…" he trailed off looking at the other wand in Sirius' hand "Sweet Merlin's buttocks Harry, you didn't. You won that didn't you?"
Harry nodded slightly and fell asleep from the exhaustion.
"How did he do that." Said Ron "I know he's good but…"
"Would one of you please tell us what's going on my boyfriend looks half dead and I want to know why?" demanded Ginny
"Boyfriend?" said Ron
"Good as, I don't think it's too much of an exaggeration of our relationship." Said Ginny
"Ginny you're only…" said Ron
"Age aside Ron care to share…" said Fred
"…what's so special about the extra wand?" finished George.
"Don't you recognise it?" said Ron "That's the Elder Wand. Harry just beat Dumbledore in a duel."
That declaration provoked gasps from everyone, except Hermione who was stroking Harry's head.
"We send him out on one mission alone and this happens." She said "I don't know what make me angrier, the fact that Harry just went through the duel of his life without us or the fact that he won."
"What do you mean?" said Ginny
"Sorry Ginny, Harry always got into trouble when we were at school. I genuinely don't believe he went looking for it, but it came nonetheless. So Ron and I did the only thing we could when these times happened. We stuck by him. We stuck by him and helped him whenever we could." Said Hermione
"But there were always times we weren't there to help." Said Ron "When he fought against Quirrell, when he fought against the Basilisk, all three tasks in the Triwizard Tournament, the resurrection of Voldemort, detentions with Umbridge, guiding Dumbledore back from the Horcrux Cave and finally…" Ron trailed off.
"The battle?" said Ginny
"Harry learnt on his own that he had to die." Said Hermione "Harry made the decision on his own that he had to die. Harry made the decision on his own that he had to sacrifice himself and let himself be killed by Voldemort. He suffered so much, and he suffered alone despite what we tried to do to help him." Tears were now forming on her face.
Ron went over and took his wife in a hug. "We kept him close after the battle." Said Ron "We didn't let him be on his own until we were sure he could manage. Turns out we had very little to worry about. Harry suffered as much as the rest of us, but he had you back Ginny and Mum, Dad and all our other brothers made sure that we were there for him."
"You were all suffering." Said Remus "Because of what you lost."
"That was only part of it." Said Hermione "Most of the time horrible things happened to Harry at the end of the school year and we couldn't be there for him because he was returned to Privet Drive. When he went back at the end of Fourth Year…"
"We saw." Said Remus "He really had one hell of rough time back then."
"He could never stop." Said Ron "Not until Voldemort was dead. Now that he's alive again, Harry will do anything to take him down, including this."
"Let's get him upstairs." Said Sirius "We can find out from him what happened when he wakes up."
As it turned out, Harry did not wake up again before they found out. Between eyewitness accounts and reports from the Aurors, they discovered how Harry had run from then fought Dumbledore. The report was extremely accurate although instead of mentioning Harry's invisibility cloak it mentioned a disillusionment charm.
"Only Dumbledore knows about the cloak." Said Hermione. "If all other witnesses saw was spells flying from nowhere they would assume a disillusion charm. Dumbledore might not even know that Harry has retrieved the cloak."
"Wouldn't the Sorting Hat and the Head's portraits have told him?" asked Ron
"Maybe if he asked them specifically." Said Hermione "But maybe not. The portraits never told Snape that Voldemort created Horcruxes and they would have to have known that because Harry and Dumbledore talked about them at length in the office."
"He knows." Croaked a voice. Harry entered the lounge, where everyone was gathered, looking very drowsy but mobile.
"Harry." Said Ginny happily and rushed towards him, hugging him tightly.
"Sorry about that." Said Harry "I really didn't expect to end up in a trap like that."
"Yeah well…" said Ron his temper rising slightly.
"You couldn't have made it any easier for me Ron." Said Harry moving to sit down with Ginny "All you would have done was get trapped alongside me. By the way has anyone destroyed the cup yet, it was in my bag."
"Um… no." said Hermione "We forgot about it, wait you go the cup?"
"Yeah it was only after Gringotts they sprung the trap. I think that someone must have recognised my disguise from when we went to Ollivander's and the Order and possibly the Ministry have been on the lookout for us ever since."
"That would make sense." Agreed Hermione "But why do you think Dumbledore knows the cloak is missing?"
"He used his spell to figure out where I roughly was. The portraits must have told him, or he must have looked through his things and noticed it was missing. I barely got out of there, I had him on one side and the other Order members on the other. By the way I stunned Mr Weasley so sorry for that."
"You stunned Dad?" said Fred
"Don't worry we won't hold it against you." Said George
"We might not but Mum?" said Ginny
"I'm sure you can get Mum to forgive Harry." Said Ron "They're both wrapped round your finger."
Ginny smirked "Ok, I can't very well marry Harry if they don't like him though."
"If it helps by this stage I'll have returned to my time and the other Harry will be left behind, they can't blame him." Said Harry
"Do you want to get that Horcrux now?" said Remus
"Good idea." Said Hermione, she went over to the rucksack Harry had put down earlier. "Who hasn't destroyed one yet?"
"I haven't." said Ginny "But I want the Diary, even if I haven't been possessed by it yet."
"I guess I'll take this one." Said George "Unless one of you three want to?"
"No we each destroyed one in the last timeline." Said Harry "Hermione destroyed this one, I destroyed the Diary and Ron destroyed the Locket."
"Who got the credit for destroying the Diadum?" said Ginny
"Well we admitted that an item was destroyed by Crabbe's Fiendfire, but we all got group acknowledgement for that."
"An Item? Didn't you tell the Ministry what any of the items were?" asked George
"We admitted the Snake was so Neville could get the credit. He's one of the few we told the truth about." Said Ron
"Who did you tell the truth to?" said Fred
"Neville, Luna, Kingsley, Professor McGonagall, Hermione's parents and anyone and everyone who had the Surname Weasley in 1998, including Fleur."
"You told Hermione's parents?" said Ginny
"Yeah I felt really guilty about that." Said Harry
"It was my fault Harry." Said Hermione
"I still think you did the right thing." Said Ron
"What happened?" said Sirius.
They were all distracted by a sudden screech as George destroyed the cup.
"Well I guess that's one down." Said the Weasley twin.
Later that evening they had dinner, as usual cooked by Ron, and once the question about Hermione's parents arose.
"Well." Said Hermione looking down. "You no doubt saw from the Pensieve that I modified their memories and sent them to Australia?"
"You didn't ask their permission?" said Remus
"No I did." Said Hermione "But they said no…"
Sirius and Remus' eyes widened. "Ah!" said Sirius.
"Ron and I didn't know that until we got to Australia and met them." Said Harry "The two of us had only met the Grangers once the summer before Second Year and we barely said hello and Goodbye."
"They were really angry." Said Ron "I didn't help matters there."
"Ron I would have done the same." Said Harry "You were just nearer, and had your wand before me."
"What do you…" began Ginny
"Ronald thought that my father was going to slap me." Said Hermione "He cast a stunner."
"Her parents were absolutely furious and said some nasty things." Said Harry "Things got exacerbated further when Ron and I stood up to them. Hermione was and is like my sister and I told them that, which also didn't help."
"In hindsight, I could have tried something better than finding them and saying, this is my boyfriend and this is a boy whom I've adopted as my brother. I always kept the Wizarding and Muggle aspects of my life separate but by this stage I couldn't keep that up."
"Her parents threw Harry and me out of the house after a while. Hermione left as well but she gave them the number for our hotel and asked them to phone when they had calmed down." Said Ron
"We stayed in there for a week before they called us." Said Hermione "I don't know what I would have done if these two hadn't been around."
"We got invited back to their house and explained everything from the beginning." Said Harry
"I hadn't kept them informed at all about what was going on in the Wizarding World. Well that's not true, I told them Voldemort was back and that he was targeting Muggleborns but that's pretty much all I told them. They were more than a bit shocked to find that I was a war hero."
"We then left them overnight to let them digest that information." Said Ron
"It took them time but they eventually accepted who I had become and they also accepted that I was not a child anymore so they couldn't forbid me from seeing Ron and Harry. I could tell they wanted to. It took them a little longer but they began to accept why I did what I did. To this day I still don't know if I made the right choice, but they did accept that I couldn't do nothing."
"They get on quite well with us now." Said Harry "I think we must have some kind of charm because by the time Ginny and Hermione finished their last year at Hogwarts, there was no obvious hint that they held anything against us."
"Obvious?" said Ginny
"They forgave me for what I did but they never forgot it." Said Hermione "I suppose that at least this time round my other self won't have to go through that."
"We don't have long before we separate from our old selves." Said Harry "There is now only one Horcrux left, then we can take out the wraith."
"The Diary." Said Ron "And it's somewhere in Malfoy Manor."
"The way I see it we have two choices." Said Harry "Break in and steal it or burn the entire house down with Fiendfire."
"Harry." Said Hermione "No Fiendfire, we need to find it and verify its destruction. We leave too much to chance if we burn the place. Besides the Malfoys haven't committed the same crimes they did in our time, we can't just pass that Judgement."
"Well when do we enter?" said Harry "The sooner we do this, the sooner this all ends. But we can't just force our way into Malfoy Manor, we need a plan and we need to figure out what the defences are."
"I'm glad to see that 'we' in there, because after this morning's chaos, we're not letting you out of our sight." Said Hermione
Harry for one did not object. He knew that when he went off and did things on his own he usually scared Ron and Hermione.
There are only going to be two more chapters but I'm not entirely sure at this stage when Chapter 12 ends and Chapter 13 begins so I may end up posting them both with about a days gap. It may take me time to write the next chapter as I'm going to try to be a bit more creative.