What's In a Name?
a/n – Everything recognizable in the Harry Potter universe belongs to JK Rowling and her various and sundry corporate partners. Just a little something that came along on that cliché of clichés, a dark and stormy night. This doesn't really fit into the storyline of any of my other stories, so this should be considered to stand alone.
Chapter One - A Dark and Stormy Night Followed by Sunshine
9 September 2006 – Number 12 Grimmauld Place
It was the middle of the night, and a fire crackled in the fireplace of the library of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. Even with the lateness of the hour, a solitary reader slowly turned pages in a large leather-bound tome, as if the answers to all of the questions of existence could be found within. Outside, the heavens raged as a storm blanketed London.
Leaning against the frame of the open doorway, Hermione smiled as she watched Harry, deeply engrossed in the book he was reading. Looking over at the clock ticking away in the corner, she saw that the hour was approaching two. Deliberately scuffling her feet to let him know she was in the room, Hermione walked up behind the chesterfield that he was sitting on, smiling as he looked up at her and nodded. Placing a tender kiss on the top of his head, she leaned against the chesterfield, and slid her hip up on the back.
Grinning at the look on his face, she turned to throw her legs over the back and slid down the back and beside him with her back to him. Chuckling, Harry wrapped his arm around her and let her snuggle close to him.
"Didn't you just dock Teddy an hour of timeout for doing that earlier?"
"Hush, you. That was different. He came running in here like some sort of invading horde and then jumped over the back of the chesterfield.
"I, on the other hand, gracefully entered the room with poise and dignity and then took my rightful place at the side of my loving husband, who is doing a credible imitation of his bookworm of a wife." Arching an eyebrow, Hermione leaned back and looked up at him.
"Care to share?"
"I received an owl from Minerva today." Placing the book off to the side, Harry gently lifted her and set her on his lap. Letting her settle in and get comfortable, he noted the knowing smile on her face.
"She had an interesting proposition."
"Really?" Pausing for a second, she smirked.
"As interesting as Ms Parkinson's proposition for you at the Ministry press conference last month?"
"That wasn't interesting, that was nauseating." Seeing the look on Hermione's face, he blushed and amended.
"The thought of doing that with her is fairly nauseating."
Chuckling, Hermione kissed him gently on the cheek. "I was wondering if you were a much better actor than I'd given you credit for the past three years."
Sitting there quietly for a couple of minutes, they watched the fire burn and listened to the night sounds of the old house. Finally, Hermione hugged him and began, "Minerva sent you an owl…"
"She's had a request from a group of students to allow them to reform the old defense study group."
"Dumbledore's Army?" Twisting a bit, Hermione looked deep into his eyes.
"How do you feel about that?"
"I think it's good that the students are thinking about the bigger picture." Closing his eyes, he leaned his head back against the chesterfield and gently hugged her to him.
"They've got seventy-five students from third year and up committed to giving two hours every Sunday except Hogsmeade weekends for meetings. All four houses are represented, apparently"
Remaining silent, Hermione watched her husband closely as his emotions played across his face. That, coupled with the link that they shared on an emotional level told her the story that he wouldn't.
"Harry, that's not what I was asking. How do you feel about it being 'Dumbledore's Army'?"
Sighing, Harry shrugged. Keeping his eyes closed, he seemed to choose his words carefully.
"They wouldn't have any reason to not call it that. We were Dumbledore's Army in the old days, banding together against Umbridge's cruelty and Fudge's stupidity by actually trying to learn something. Probably wouldn't do to call it 'Junior Order of the Phoenix'."
Getting up, Hermione straddled him and leaned against his chest for a minute before she kissed him tenderly.
"Harry, all that was before we found out how shamelessly Albus manipulated your life. My life. Our lives. There aren't many who know the true story of what went on, but there are enough."
"We forgave him. Remember?"
Opening his eyes, Harry stared deep into the chocolate brown eyes that were the windows to the soul of the witch who had held his heart, his very soul for so long. Seeing the conflicting emotions there, he nodded.
"He's kept his part of the bargain, he's been genuinely open with the advice he's given through his portraits and he's tried to make amends for the things he's done, for the harm he caused."
"Damn it Harry, you died that night." Eyes flashing, the tension in the room mounted as magical power in the ancient house began to pool around her, reacting to her emotional state.
"That egregious, arrogant, egotistical, manipulative old wanker set you up as a lamb for the slaughter. You died."
Leaning forward, she gently touched her lips to his. Brushing the tip of her tongue against his lips, she eagerly slid into his mouth as he began to respond to her. As his hands came up from her waist to caress her back, she began to move on his lap, feeling his response to her body.
Reluctantly ending the kiss, she hugged him to her as she shuddered. "You died."
"But I returned. I came back to you. For you." Wrapping his arms around her, he gently nuzzled her neck.
"He was doing what he thought was best."
"That's shite and you know it."
Pulling back so she was resting on his thighs, she shook her head, tears glistening in her eyes.
"He developed a plan that fit his interpretation of that drunken old fraud's 'prophecy', and then he spent the next sixteen years working to make certain his plan came about." Glaring at him, daring him to disagree, she whispered, "Regardless of the cost to you."
Looking over at the two shelves of books that only she and Harry could touch, her personal restricted section, she snarled.
"Once we got everything settled and I started my project, how long did it take me to find three different solutions that wouldn't have involved you dying to get rid of the Horcrux in your scar?" Turning back around, eyes blazing, she stared into his emerald eyes.
"How long Harry?"
Maintaining the stare, Harry nodded sadly. "Three weeks, once I convinced the account goblins at Gringotts that I was serious about not caring if you spent every galleon I had."
"Piffle, it took me twenty minutes to find those three tomes on Albus' personal shelf in the Hogwarts restricted section. The money I spent at Flourish & Blotts was just to verify what I'd learned in those three books. If he'd ever bothered to look in them…" She broke off as her husband passionately kissed her again.
"We can't keep doing this," Harry whispered when they finally broke for air.
"Why not? Snogging Harry Potter in a library has always been one of my chief ambitions in life. The fact that we own the library and I'm going to shag you senseless in a bit is just frosting on the cake."
"That's not what I meant." Chuckling, Harry marveled at the shudder that ran through her as he nuzzled her neck.
"We can't keep revisiting the things he did to us. If we don't let go, it will make us no better than the people we oppose."
"I'm not you. In case you've forgotten Ms Parkinson's last little diatribe in Witch Weekly, I'm 'petty, vindictive, mean-spirited, vengeful, shallow, and amoral'."
"I believe she said 'immoral'. It was right before she insinuated something about a torrid weekend you spent in Fort William with Blaise Zabini."
Chuckling, Hermione rolled her eyes and sat back on Harry's lap. Shaking her head, she started laughing so hard she couldn't speak. Staring at her, Harry began to worry before she collected herself enough to speak.
"What's so funny about you and Zabini sweating up the sheets in Fort William?"
"Harry, I really don't think I'm quite Blaise's type." Hermione started giggling, a sight that Harry very rarely witnessed.
"I was doing a home visit up there, one of my last before the transfer to DMLE. His house elf had been treated for some very suspicious injuries the week prior and I made a house call to get a look at the conditions." Looking a bit confused, Harry patiently waited for her to continue.
While she hadn't been able to totally change the place in wizarding society that house elves held during her time working for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, the changes in regulations and Ministry policies she had been able to get through had improved their lot considerably. One of the first things she changed was the name of her office.
One would have thought that wizarding civilization itself was in jeopardy from the uproar that followed her changing the name from 'The Office of House-Elf Relocation' to 'The Office of House-Elf Relations and Protective Services'.
Visits from her newly reorganized office had cut down on the number of 'accidents' that befell house elves, especially after she hired a trio of muggle-born former Hit Wizards as field agents.
"As he was taking me on a tour of the house and grounds, he was doing his level best to be charming. Overdoing it, actually." Seeing the look on Harry's face, she snickered.
"Harry, please. I remember every veiled insult he threw my way while we were in school. He was just being smarmy and tolerating me because of what I represented. Trust me, his insincerity was patently transparent."
"Are we getting any closer to what you found so overwhelmingly funny about Pansy's assertions that you and Blaise were involved? I know it's ludicrous on the face, but what do you find so amusing about it?
"It was at the end of the visit. We were back at the house and I was just getting ready to leave when I heard the floo in the salon activate. Over Blaise's shoulder, I could see Gregory Goyle stumbling out of the floo." Seeing the same baffled look on her husband's face, she chuckled.
"Wearing leather hot pants, a leather vest, and a studded dog collar around his neck."
Silence reigned in the room for several seconds, and then Hermione began giggling at the gobsmacked look on Harry's face.
"A dog collar?"
Shaking his head, as if the motion could dislodge the image that his wife's description had placed in his mind, Harry started chuckling.
"I always knew that Draco kept him and Crabbe on a short leash…"
"And now you know why Daphne always had that frustrated look on her face when she was dating Blaise in school." Chuckling, Hermione placed her hands on Harry's shoulder and kissed him deeply. Pulling back, she smiled.
"Satisfied that I'm not carrying on a torrid affair with Mr. Zabini?"
"I suppose Goyle's the satisfied one, but I never credited that you'd give Zabini the time of day. If anything, you'd be drawn to the more cerebral types, like Finch-Fletchley or McLaggen." Grinning at the shocked look on his wife's face, Harry shrugged as she tried to find her voice.
Glaring at him with her patented 'Death Stare', as Ron so aptly named it one rainy afternoon; Hermione shook her head in dismay.
"And to think, both of those events were primarily your fault."
"My fault? How in name of Magic is the fact that you went out with both of those idiots my fault? As I seem to remember, you were feuding with Ron in both instances." Shaking his head, Harry chuckled at the indignant look on his wife's face.
"Harry James, need I remind you that you could have asked me to Slughorn's party just as easily as asking Luna? And as for the other, since I was through seeing Ronald and you weren't seeing Ginny any longer, the logical thing to do would have been to ask me to the Ministry Halloween Ball instead of that vapid blonde waitress who was gushing all over you at Maxine's."
"I distinctly remember you saying, rather emphatically in fact, that you'd 'rather eat ground glass than attend another dreadful Ministry social affair', as you so charmingly put it." Pausing a second as she began to blush, Harry smirked and continued.
"Loud enough that everyone in the staff dining room heard you, including Kingsley."
"Well, yes. I did express my displeasure regarding attending the 'typical' Ministry function, especially after attending those functions with Ronald since they continually devolved down into a contest of wills over whether or not he was going to act as if he was still fourteen and this was that dreadful Yule Ball." Staring at Harry for several seconds to see if he was going to stop smirking, she rolled her eyes and nodded in concession.
"I'll admit my problems with Ministry social functions have seemed to disappear since we've been together."
"Actually, dinners at the Burrow were worse, since Molly was continually dropping not so subtle hints about you and Ron tying the knot and popping out a tidal wave of grandchildren." Grinning, Harry noted that the tips of his wife's ears were starting to turn pink, a sure sign he was getting close to her limit.
"But that still doesn't explain how you going to the Halloween Ball with Finch-Fletchley is even remotely my fault."
"Harry James Potter, you know perfectly well that since I had very amicably and permanently broken up with Ronald, and you were very permanently finished with pretending to date Ginny, the extremely logical and very proper thing to do would have been ask me to that Ball."
"Even though you told Lavender that 'Harry's a big boy, he can see anyone he wants' when she asked if you minded if she fixed me up with her cousin?"
"How was I supposed to know that you were mental enough to go out with that ambulatory piece of fluff, much less someone you knew was related to Lavender?" Closing her eyes and crossing her arms across her chest, she fumed.
"Sometimes I think you did that just to …"
Hermione's eyes popped open in shock when Harry started laughing uncontrollably. Glaring at him in disbelief, she waited until he began to regain control.
Shaking her head in frustration, she poked him in the chest with her finger.
"How could you?"
"I tried three times to ask you to the Ball. Every time I broached the subject, you started in on your routine about how much of a relief it was to not have to go to those things since you and Ron weren't seeing each other."
"I was trying to let you know that there wasn't anything keeping you from asking me to accompany you, in case you were worried that Ronald and I were still harboring feelings for each other."
"All you let me know was that you supposedly hated going to Ministry social functions. At least I had a plan for getting us to leave together."
"What plan? What in Heaven's name are you nattering on about? I say 'yes' to going with one of the three most boring wizards in England after you got yourself roped into attending with that Beauxbatons hussy because I could see that the evening was destined to be a total fiasco for you. And I was right."
"Really now. And just how was it a disaster?"
Smirking, Harry leaned back and watched his wife stare at him in disbelief.
"Have you lost what passes for your mind? In case you don't remember, your date left with my date. Just because both you and Justin were wearing very similar…"
Closing her mouth, Hermione sat back and closed her eyes. Worrying her lower lip with her teeth, she fell into deep concentration for almost a minute. Opening her eyes, she sighed.
"Was she in on it?"
"Giselle?" Shrugging, Harry made very Gallic gesture with his hands.
"She might have mentioned that she was very interested in Justin when we were making plans for the evening. And Lavender might have made mention of the fact that Justin had planned on going dressed as 'Zorro' when she was talking to us about it."
"And you just 'might' have mentioned to your date that you were going to ask me to dance and that the other Zorro would be standing there unattended." Shaking her head, Hermione started chuckling.
"Honestly, I can't believe you let me go on like that about our respective dates for almost twenty minutes."
"It was mildly entertaining and I've learned over the years not to get in your way when you're on a roll about something."
Stopping in mid sentence, Hermione shook her head and chuckled. "Oh no you don't Potter. I'm not quite that easily distracted. We were talking about our issues with Minerva reforming 'Dumbledore's Army'."
"You're the one that started it, dragging Pansy into the conversation." Seeing from the look in his wife's eyes that she wasn't going to play any longer, Harry shrugged.
"I'm not quite certain what I can do about it."
"Harry, Minerva knows full well what happened. She was just as appalled as Molly and Arthur were when she found out the real story behind what went on. Rumor has it that Albus' portrait in her office was blacked out for almost six months."
"The students need this opportunity. Voldemort wasn't the end of that pureblood nonsense, and while no one can argue that there are fewer dark wizards today than there were, the new problem is that they're simply less organized." Seeing the knowing look on Hermione's face, Harry nodded.
"Which makes them a bit more dangerous since we don't really have a good handle on what each individual group of them wants. At least with the Death Eaters, you could pretty much count on their orders being 'Bring me Harry Potter, kill the mudbloods, kill the half-bloods, and kill the muggles'."
"Don't forget Bellatrix's 'Bring me that swot Granger so I can torture her myself' as part of their script." Putting her hands on Harry's shoulders, Hermione leaned forward and kissed him gently on the lips. Pulling back a bit, she watched him carefully.
"What do you want from this group?"
"The problem with the original Order of the Phoenix was that it was too crisis oriented." Seeing the look on her face, Harry nodded.
"Think about it, Albus only cranked the Order into gear whenever there was a clearly defined threat. We've kept the Order going and changed its function so that it's gone from a reactive strike force to something that's more constant. We watch for things before they get out of hand rather than scramble to catch up once things go pear shaped."
"So you'd like to foster that mindset with the students?" Looking thoughtful, Hermione closed her eyes briefly. "That would be a bit different than what we did the first time."
"Face it, we started so we could actually learn something useful rather than that fluff Umbridge was passing off as Defense. Once she started taking over completely, we became the thorn in her side. But you can't deny that we were really just reacting to the 'Educational Decree' of the week."
"And during the War, Ginny, Neville, Luna, and the others defied the Death Eaters that were on the staff as best they could." Nodding thoughtfully, Hermione smiled.
"What would you have them do?"
"The ideas that bred the problems that led to the rise of Voldemort and Grindelwald always start small. Along with defense, they should concentrate on keeping an eye out for those that can't stand up for themselves." Leaning back and looking up at the ceiling, Harry sighed.
"There were those who were harassed and persecuted simply because they were muggle-born, different, or perceived to be weak. The bullies and wannabe Death Eaters took advantage of the system to make life miserable for Luna, Neville, and any of the others they could catch alone. Not to sound too much like Mad-eye, but teaching them to be vigilant about what's going on around them and being a force that would 'discourage' those that would prey on the others."
"Sounds as if you're talking about the prefects." Hermione sat back and watched the thoughts and emotions play out across Harry's face.
"The prefects have their place, but you know as well as I do that the system is flawed. A group like we're talking about would be above House loyalties and rivalries, hopefully." Opening one eye, Harry smiled as he watched Hermione watching him.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Maybe a bit. From what you're saying, it sounds as if you want the group to be something that keeps an eye out for the start of the bullying and prejudices that allowed Tom Riddle to become Voldemort. Something that trains and teaches out in the open, but watches carefully from the shadows and swoops down to nip problems in the bud." Smiling smugly, Hermione nodded.
"What you need is two groups."
"Two?" Shaking his head, Harry opened his other eye and stared at his wife. "Why two?"
"This group that Minerva's talking about, we'll simply call it 'Defense Study Group'. We'll concentrate on amplifying the DADA curriculum, helping students keep up and covering subjects that haven't made it into the Ministry approved texts. It'll be open to all that want, mostly casual but it will help the ones who want to know more, for whatever reason."
"And the other?" Starting to smile, Harry placed his hands around Hermione's waist as she began to smile wickedly at him.
"And the other will be an invitation only in the shadows group that will supplement the prefects as needed and will be something that students can turn to that is beyond petty house rivalries."
"We're back to 'Junior Order of the Phoenix'." Pausing for a second, he smirked. "We could always go with 'Minerva's Marauders'."
"Harry, she'd go apoplectic if you even suggested it." Trying to keep from laughing at the thought of telling their former Head of House that was their 'suggestion' for the name of the new group, Hermione sighed.
"We need to come up with something."
"I'd like to give them some sort of identity of their own." Shaking his head, Harry frowned as he thought.
"Vigilant, watchful, friends to the friendless, swooping down from the shadows to silently nip a problem in the bud…" Breaking off, Hermione smiled as both hers and Harry's eyes lit up simultaneously.
0830 5 October 2013 – The Great Hall, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
"A word, Mr. Lupin, Miss Weasley, if you don't mind."
Turning around Teddy Lupin and Victoire Weasley smiled as Headmistress McGonagall walked briskly towards them from the staff table in the Great Hall. Nodding to the older witch, both waited patiently as she spoke briefly with their Head of House and DADA professor, who just happened to be Victoire's father, before she joined them.
"Good morning, Headmistress McGonagall. Lovely day for a Hogsmeade visit, non?" Beaming, Victoire glanced out of the corner of her eye at her boyfriend before turning her attention back to their Headmistress.
"Will you have time to join us in Hogsmeade today?"
"Alas, Miss Weasley, I find myself in the middle of a small matter that's going to take up most of my attention this morning." Shaking her head, Minerva smiled at the young witch before turning her attention to one of her prefects.
"Mr. Lupin, you weren't on the patrol schedule last night, were you?"
"No Professor, we were holding an extra training session for the DSG last night. We were working with a few of the third years who seemed to have the aptitude to manifest a corporeal patronus." Looking over at his girlfriend, Teddy tilted his head a bit to the side as he thought.
"We were there until just before curfew, right Cabbage?"
Throwing Teddy a glare that would have been worthy of either the Headmistress or his mum, Hermione Potter nee Granger, Victoire shook her head.
"We cut it a bit close, but I think we had all of the younger students back to their dorms reasonably close to curfew." Rolling her eyes at the amused expression on the headmistress' face, she added, "And for the twentieth time, it's 'mon petit chou', you English barbarian."
"Linguistic niceties aside," the Headmistress broke in trying to keep a serious demeanor about her, "I was wondering if either of you might have noticed anything amiss down near the Potions Lab?" Seeing the studiously blank looks on both their faces, she waited.
"We got Arthur Creevey back down to his commons in good time; he was the first one we dropped off." Looking at Teddy with a twinkle in her eye, Victoire smiled.
"I didn't notice anything amiss, did you dear?"
Shaking his head, Teddy smiled as he answered. "Everything seemed perfectly in order. Of course, we weren't heading towards Potions, so we might have missed whatever it was that happened."
"It seems that a trio of sixth-year witches ran into a bit of a problem last night." Studying the blank looks on the faces in front of her, Minerva sighed and continued.
"Miss Nott and Miss Carrow of Slytherin and Miss Fudge of Gryffindor were all found blindfolded and silenced in three large birdcages hanging from the ceiling next to the Potions Lab door." Pausing for a second to see if the pair in front of her would react, she smiled grimly and finished.
"Each of the unfortunate witches had a placard around her neck proclaiming 'I went too far harassing the muggleborn – spin my cage!'."
"Oh my." Eyes twinkling, Victoire looked up at Teddy who was shaking his head.
"I'd heard rumors about Miranda, but I never dreamed they were true."
As Victoire finished speaking, the aforementioned trio walked shakily into the Great Hall, having just been released from the Hospital Wing. Looking a bit the worse for wear, and just a bit green around the gills, they slowly made their way towards the Slytherin house table, evidently thinking there was strength in numbers.
"Unfortunately, all three witches seem very reluctant to discuss any portion of what happened, so I'm going to have to close this as 'Unresolved' I suppose." Eyes twinkling, the Headmistress nodded towards the pair as she prepared to head back to the staff table.
"I just thought I'd tell you two how much I appreciate the extra time you spend with the Defense Study Group."
"Hedwig's Posse?" Victoire cheekily replied. Taking out her wand, she touched the tip to a silver band that sat around the thumb of her off hand that was engraved with the outline of a snowy owl. A very distinct 'krufff-guh-guh-guk', the hunting call of the snowy owl, sounded in the Great Hall.
As the call reverberated around the room, all three witches heading for the Slytherin table ducked and covered their heads, looking around trying to find the source of the sound. From around the hall, an answering 'hooo-uh, hooo-uh, hooo-uh, wuh-wuh-wuh' responded from almost a dozen locations around the room. From all four tables, in fact.
As the three witches slunk into seats, they looked warily around trying to pinpoint the origin of the calls, which seemed to come from random places around the room.
"Owlpost must have come early for some," Teddy observed. "Seems as if Miranda and company have gotten the message."
As the three looked around the room, Victoire nodded towards a seventh-year Ravenclaw that was heading for the exit. "Isn't that Jorgenson's older sib?" Seeing the nod from her boyfriend, she smiled. "I've heard some very interesting things from his youngest sister."
Rolling his eyes, Teddy nodded to the Headmistress as he put his arm around Victoire's waist and started to guide her towards the exit. "First rule, no sibling rivalries. But I seem to remember McLaggen saying he was heading into town today."
Just as they reached the doors exiting the Great Hall, Victoire touched her wand to her thumb-ring again. An eerie 'krufff-guh-guh-guk' sounded once more as a dozen students excused themselves from their places and began heading towards the door.
Hedwig's Parliament was on the wing.
A/N 2– A group of owls is called a parliament. As best I could find, those are close approximations of the hunting call and acknowledgment calls of the snowy owl.
Tonks is Teddy's mother, but Hermione's his mum. Godmother's count too. While not technically canon, does anyone really think Tonks would have picked Ginny?