Author's Note/ Disclaimer: *runs in* I do not own Harry Potter or Sherlock. Both belong to their respective authors and recording companies! Please support the official releases! *runs off again*
Sherlock burst into Ron's bedroom with John panting and spluttering just behind him; earning themselves a perplexed stare from a familiar pair of emerald green eyes.
'T-that was ch- cheating!' John stuttered through gasped breaths; pointing an accusing finger at George and Fred.
'No it wasn't.' Fred teased.
'We were using our resources.' George added as he and his twin flashed Sherlock and John a wicked grin. 'Now if you don't mind, Harry was having a lovely rant.' The redheads turned their attention to the ebony haired teenager. 'Please do continue.'
'You two are here too?' Harry shot at Sherlock and John with an expression of disbelief.
'Due to the fact that we're standing in front of you, it would seem so.' Sherlock replied sarcastically. 'Want to point out anything else, captain obvious?'
'Sherlock.' John muttered to the Ravenclaw in a warning tone.
'Anyway, Harry.' Fred cut in; seeing Harry open his mouth to give a snarky retort. 'You're interfering with reception. Extendable Ears.' The redhead added holding up the flesh coloured string that he, George, Sherlock and John had been using moments ago.
'Interferring?' John grimaced to himself. 'I think his shouting burst my eardrum.'
'Oh, don't be so dramatic.' Sherlock tutted.
'We're trying to hear what's going on downstairs.' Fred finished; throwing a smirk at Sherlock and John.
'You want to be careful.' Ron eyed the Extendable Ear. 'If mum sees one of them again…'
'It's worth the risk, that's a major meeting they're having.'
'Besides, Mrs Weasley is busy with the meeting.' Sherlock waved his hand dismissively.
'It's Moody who we have to look out for.' John added as the door opened once again; making the sandy haired teen give a startled jump.
Ginny stepped inside the bedroom; closing the door behind herself and glanced around at everyone. 'Oh, hello Harry. I thought I heard your voice.' She smiled brightly in greeting before turning her gaze to the twins. 'It's a no go with the Extendable Ears, she's gone and put an Imperturable Charm on the kitchen door."
'How d'you know?' George and John enquired in unison; giving Ginny the same curious stare.
'Tonks told me how to find out, you just chuck stuff at the door and if it can't make contact, the door's been Inperturbed.' The youngest Weasley confessed; showing everyone her dirty hands with a mischievous smile. 'I've been flicking Dungbombs at it from the top of the stairs and they just spar away from it, so there's no way the Extendable Ears will be able to go under the gap.'
'Isn't there a way we can lift the spell?" John pitched thoughtfully.
'We're underage and I doubt we would be able to do it without gaining someone's attention.' Sherlock frowned. 'Besides, the spell is too complex for us to restore in time when the meeting is finished, we will be found out anyway.'
Fred heaved a crestfallen sigh. 'Shame. I really fancied finding out what old Snape's been up to.'
'Snape?' Harry's eyes snapped onto Fred. 'Is he here?'
'Yeah.' George nodded slowly; checking that Ginny had closed the door properly while Ginny and Fred settled themselves down comfortably on Ron's bed.
'Apparently he's been giving top secret reports.' John confided in Harry.
'Or at least that's what we think.' Sherlock shrugged.
'Git.' George and Fred murmured to themselves.
'But he's on our side now.' Hermione reassured Harry while giving the twins a reproachful stare.
'Doesn't stop him from being a git. The way he looks at us when he sees us…' Ron gave a disgruntled snort.
'There's no denying that he's still a git.' John nodded in agreement. 'But I guess we have to remain civil with him.' He added; nudging Sherlock painfully in the ribs when he heard the Ravenclaw give a irritated grunt.
'Bill doesn't like him.' Ginny piped up matter-of-factly.
Harry descended onto the remaining bed in the room and glanced at his friends with an interested expression; relief courses through John and he felt himself relax, he didn't think his ears could take much more of Harry's yelling - at least it wouldn't have been amplified through an Extendable Ear this time.
After a short pause, Harry broke the silence. 'Is Bill here? I thought he was in Egypt.'
'He applied for a desk job so he could come home and work for the Order. He says he misses the tombs.' Fred explained with a small smirk. 'But there are compensations…'
'What d'you mean?' Harry asked; even Sherlock and John shared a confused stare.
'Remember old Fleur Delacour?' George continued with a matching smirk. 'She's got a job at Gringotts to eemprove 'er Eeenglish -' George adopted a terrible French accent before succumbing to a fix of giggles.
' - and Bill's been giving her private lessons.' Fred finished; joining in with his twin's sniggering while Ginny and Ron grinned in amusement.
'What about you other brother? What was his name?' John asked; racking his brain in an attempt to remember all of the names of the Weasley siblings.
'Charlie's in the Order too, but he's still in Romania.' George replied as soon as he had recomposed himself. 'Dumbledore wants as many foreign wizards brought in as possible, so Charlie's trying to make contacts on his days off.'
'Couldn't Percy do that?' Harry frowned.
The air shifted to one of tension as the Weasleys and Hermione shared knowing glances.
'What ever you do, don't mention Percy in front of mum and dad.' Ron forewarned Harry before turning his focus on Sherlock and John. 'That goes for you two as well.'
'Why not?' Harry asked.
'Because every time Percy's name is mentioned, Dad breaks whatever he is holding and Mum starts crying.' Fred grimaced.
'Did something happen?' John cocked his head to one side curiously.
'Percy and Dad had a row. I've never seen Dad row with anyone like that before. It's normally Mum who shouts…' Fred shuddered at the memory.
'It was the first week back after term ended, we were about to come and join the Order. Percy came home and told us he'd been promoted.' Ron explained.
'You're kidding?' Harry stared at Ron in disbelief.
'Even after the fiasco with Mr Crouch?' John asked as he and Sherlock joined Ginny and Fred on Ron's bed. 'No offence, but I'm surprised he wasn't sacked.'
'Yeah, we were all surprised too, because Percy got into a load of trouble about Crouch, there was an inquiry and everything.' George nodded at John. 'They said Percy ought to have realised Crouch was off his rocker and informed a superior. But you know Percy, Crouch left him in charge, he wasn't going to complain.'
'But Mr Crouch wasn't off his rocker.' John frowned. 'He was being controlled by You-Know-Who.'
'I've already told you, the Ministry are in denial.' Sherlock supplied in an indifferent tone. 'The Minister isn't willing to accept the fact that Voldemort has returned, so he'll use any means necessary to cover up his return.'
Everyone in the room - with the exception of Harry and Sherlock - flinched at Voldemort's name and gave the Ravenclaw a wary glance.
'Oh don't be so ridiculous.' Sherlock sighed. 'It's only a name, it's not going to hurt you.'
'It's back luck though.' Ron pointed out.
'Complete bollocks.' The Ravenclaw muttered to himself.
'So how come they promoted him?' Harry asked; steering the conversation back to the original topic.
'That's exactly what we wondered, he came home really pleased with himself - even more pleased than usual, if you can imagine that - and told Dad that he had been offered a position in Fudge's own office. A really good one for someone only a year out of Hogwarts: Junior Assistant to the Minister. He expected Dad to be all impressed, I think.'
'Only Dad wasn't.' Fred rejoined with a sour look upon his face.
'Why not?' Harry and John asked in unison.
'Well, apparently Fudge has been storming around the Ministry checking that nobody's having any contact with Dumbledore.' George told the two Gryffindors.
'Dumbledore's name is mud with the Ministry these days, see.' Fred elaborated for his twin. 'They all think he's making trouble saying You-Know-Who's back.'
'Dad says Fudge has made it clear that anyone who's in league with Dumbledore can clear out their desks.'
'Trouble is, Fudge suspects Dad, he knows he's friendly with Dumbledore, and he's always thought Dad's a but if a weirdo because of his Muggle obsession -'
'But what's that got to do with Percy?' Harry interjected with a confused expression.
'I'm coming to that.' Fred said with a small, sad smile. 'Dad reckons Fudge only wants Percy in his office because he wants to use him to spy on the family - and Dumbledore.'
'A perfectly reasonable assumption.' Sherlock commented with a shrug as Harry gave a low whistle.
'What did Percy say?' John urged.
Ron gave a hallowed laugh. 'He went completely berserk. He said - well, he said a lot of terrible stuff. He said he's been having to struggle against Dad's lousy reputation ever since he joined the Ministry and that Dad's got no ambition and that's why we've always been - you know - not had a lot of money, I mean -'
'What?' The look of disbelief on Harry's face grew.
'I know.' Ron grimaced while Ginny scoffed irritably. 'And it got worse.'
'How could it get worse than that?' John asked in amazement.
'Trust us. It got worse.' George said with a dark expression.
'He said that Dad was an idiot to run around with Dumbledore, that Dumbledore was heading for big trouble and Dad was going down with him, and that he - Percy - knew where his loyalty lay and it was the Ministry.' Ron continued. 'And if Mum and Dad were going to become traitors to the Ministry he was going to make sure everyone knew he didn't belong to our family any more. And he packed his bags the same night and left. He's living here in London now.'
'Shit.' John whispered; staring wide eyed at Ron. 'I always thought that Percy was the quiet one in your family.'
'So did we.' Ginny replied while Hermione nodded in agreement.
'Mum's been in a right state.' Ron told the others. 'You know - crying and stuff. She came up to London to try and talk to Percy but he slammed the door in her face. I dunno what he does if he meets Dad at work - ignores him, I s'pose.'
'But Percy must know Voldemort's back, he's not stupid. He must know your mum and dad wouldn't risk everything without proof.' Harry reasoned.
'Yeah, well, your name got dragged into the row.' Ron told the raven haired Gryffindor.
John felt Sherlock twist around to listen to Ron properly with an interested look on his face.
'What did he say?' Sherlock enquired.
'He said that the only evidence was Harry's word and… I dunno… he didn't think it was good enough.' Ron answered rather hesitantly.
'Percy takes the Daily Prophet seriously.' Hermione added quickly; fearing another outburst from Harry.
'What are you talking about?' Harry questioned with a bemused look.
'Haven't - haven't you been getting the Daily Prophet?' Hermione three Harry a nervous glance.
'Yeah, I have.'
Have you - er - been reading it thoroughly?'
'Not cover to cover. If they were going to report anything about Voldemort it would be headline news, wouldn't it?' Harry replied; taken aback.
'Well, you need to read it cover to cover to pick it up, but they - um - they mentioned you a couple of times a week.' Hermione explained hurriedly.
'But I'd have seen -'
Hermione shook her head. 'Not if you've only been reading the front page. I'm not talking about big articles. They just slip you in, like you're a standing joke.'
'What d'you -'
'It's quite nasty, actually, they just building on Rita's stuff.' Hermione's voice shook with anger.
'But she's not writing for them any more, is she?' Harry frowned; remember the beetle that Hermione had caught after the third task.
'Oh no, she kept her promise - not that she's got any choice - but she laid the foundation for what they're trying to do now.'
'Which is what?' Harry asked in an impatient tone.
'Just tell him.' Sherlock huffed. 'He'll find out sooner or later anyway, besides, dragging it out like this isn't going to make it any less unpleasant.'
Harry's eyes flickered from Sherlock's face back to Hermione's. 'What's he talking about, Hermione?'
'Ok.' Hermione heaved a sigh and composed herself and tried to choose her words delicately. 'You know she wrote that you were collapsing all over the place and saying your scar was hurting and all that?'
'Yeah.' Harry replied.
'Well, they're writing about you as though -'
'They're saying that you're an unstable nutcase who only wants to be seen as a hero because you crave the attention.' Sherlock supplied bluntly.
'For fu- Sherlock!' John rounded on his best friend.
'I'm only saying it how it is.' Sherlock shrugged.
'You could've said it in a nicer way.' The sandy haired Gryffindor lectured Sherlock.
'There is no nice way of saying it.' Sherlock argued. 'And with the way that Hermione was going about it, we'd still be here until Christmas trying to break the news.'
'That's basically what the Daily Prophet is saying.' Fred said as he turned his attention back to Harry; leaving the pair to squabble behind him.
'They keep slipping in snide comments about you.' Hermione told Harry. 'If some far-fetched story appears, they say something like, "A tale worthy of Harry Potter", and if someone has a funny accident or anything it's, "Let's hope he hasn't got a scar on his forehead or we'll be asked to worship him next" -'
Harry grunted in frustration 'I don't want anyone to worship -'
'I know you don't.' Hermione hushed the bespectacled teen. 'I know, Harry. But you see what they're doing?'
'They're making you look like a liar.' Sherlock rejoined the conversation. 'As I said, they're in denial, so what better way to quash the rumours of Voldemort's return than to make you look like you're just a kid who loves to be famous.'
'I didn't ask - I didn't want - Voldemort killed my parents!' Harry ran a hand through his hair in exasperation. John, Ron and Hermione braced themselves for another outburst of shouting from Harry. 'I got famous because he murdered my family but couldn't kill me! Who wants to be famous for that? Don't they think I'd rather it never -'
'We know, Harry.' Ginny reassured the ebony haired Gryffindor.
'And of course, they didn't report a word about the Dementors attacking you. Someone's told them to keep that quiet.' Hermione scowled. 'That should've been a really big story, out-of-control Dementors. They haven't even reported that you broke the International Statue of Secrecy.'
'It's really surprising considering that they seem to be really against you at the moment.' John added with a calculating expression. 'It would definitely benefit them with the whole "Harry Potter's an egoistic show off" persona they've got going for you.'
'They're probably waiting until you're expelled.' Sherlock said with a thoughtful expression.
'If you're expelled.' Hermione corrected the Ravenclaw. 'You really shouldn't be, not if they abide by their own laws, there's no case against you.'
Harry glanced around the room with an expression of discomfort. They group were spare the discussion of Harry's hearing by the sound of the creaking stairs.
'Mum!' George hissed at Fred; who quickly tugged at the Extendable Ear - that still had the end tucked under the bedroom door - and quickly Disapparated with a loud crack.
Mere seconds after the twins had disappeared had Mrs Weasley opened the bedroom door with a soft knock and peered around the doorway.
'The meeting's over, you can come down and have dinner now.' Mrs Weasley announced. 'Everyone's dying to see you, Harry. And who left those Dungbombs outside the kitchen door?'
'Crookshanks, he loves playing with them.' Ginny lied easily.
'Oh, I thought it might have been Kreacher.' Mrs Weasley gave a small shrug. 'He keeps doing off things like that. Now don't forget to keep your voices down in the hall. Ginny, your hands are filthy, what have you been doing?'
'She was helping us.' John indicated towards himself and Sherlock. 'We thought we might get a head start on the Drawing Room this evening, but it was messier than we thought.'
'We were going to try again tomorrow after we finish those lovely heads on the stairs.' Sherlock went along with John's lie - earning himself a disgruntled glare for Hermione for his comment about the House-Elf heads.
Mrs Weasley gave Ginny and the two boys an understanding nod. 'Male sure you all wash your hands before dinner please.'
Ginny share a fugitive grin with Sherlock ad John as they filed out of the bedroom behind Mrs Weasley; basing their temporary farewells to Harry, Ron and Hermione as they ascended the stairs to the upstairs bathroom while Mrs Weasley crept downstairs to join the rest of the Order at the base of the stairs.
They saw George and Fred leaning over the banister as they reached the next floor - the twins were cautiously lowering the Extendable Ear towards the witches and wizards gathered below. Sherlock, John and Ginny moved closer to the two redheaded boys and leaned towards the Extendable Ear in hopes of eavesdropping too.
Within moments, the throng of people began to move down the hall towards the front door and out of sight.
'Dammit!' Fred cursed; thudding his fist against the banister as his twin retracted the Extendable Ear.
'Better luck next time.' John grimaced; clapping a hand on George's shoulder.
'We'll get them next time.' George stated darkly as he and Fred retreated to their bedroom.
Sherlock and John washed and dried their hands then waited as Hinny done the same.
'Doesn't Mycroft work for the Ministry now?' John asked his Ravenclaw friend; recalling the conversation they had had with the older Holmes sibling. 'The Department of Magical Law Enforcement, right?'
'That is correct.' Sherlock nodded.
'But he is a member of the Order too.'
'I guess.' Sherlock replied with a thoughtful expression.
'So wouldn't he be investigated by the Ministry too? Seeing as he's working with Dumbledore.'
'Of course not.' Sherlock chuckled. 'As much as I hate to admit it, Mycroft is clever enough to evade suspicion.'
'What about Lestrade?' John enquired.
'He's probably being investigated, yes.' Sherlock bowed his head again. 'But I'm sure he will be fine, he's got himself out of trouble before.'
A crashing sound from the floors below reached their ears - which was swiftly followed by the shouts and screams of Mrs Black's portrait - as Ginny rejoined the two boys.
'FILTH! SCUM! BY-PRODUCTS OF DIRT AND VILENESS! HALF-BREEDS, MUTANTS, FREAKS, BEGONE FROM THIS PLACE! HOW DARE YOU BEFOUL THE HOUSE OF MY FATHER'S -'
'Tonks must've set her off again.' Ginny chuckled.
Sherlock rolled his eyes. 'She's an irritating bi-'
John smacked Sherlock around the head while Ginny sniggered. 'Don't swear.'
'YOOOOOOU!' The portrait's howls carried up the stairs. 'BLOOD TRAITOR, ABOMINATION, SHAME OF MY FLESH!'
'What a loving mother.' Sherlock commented; leaning over the banister to see Sirius standing in from of the portrait.
' - SHUT UP!' Came Sirius's voice; Sherlock, John and Ginny watched as the man tugged the curtains over the portrait.