Title: The Order of the Phoenix
Author name: Ruskbyte
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: I never thought I'd feel sad having completed a story, but somehow I do. Still, I take comfort in the fact that this is only the end for now. There are still an entire two years of Hogwarts left for me to play with.
~ Musings and Hints ~
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number six Kerry Lane, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense.
Unfortunately such nonsense had quite a good hold on them.
Vernon Dursley, the man of the house, was not having a particularly good week. Firstly Vernon's company, Grunnings Drills, had not been doing as well as he had hoped for during this the last quarter and, as much as he would like to, Vernon could not find a reasonable excuse to blame his firm's problems on his nephew.
His nephew, an undisciplined and unappreciative whelp named Harry Potter, was the cause of most of Vernon and his family's problems.
Not a week ago Harry had returned to the Dursleys' previous home, number four Privet Drive, after having spent the year at that misfit school of his up north. Ordinarily this would not have provoked the Dursleys into anything beyond contempt for the pitiful boy and result in an example of brutal antagonism and forced manual labour. After all, even if he was a freak, the boy could at least work for his room and board.
This was the way things were supposed to be, you see. The Dursleys were perfectly normal in every way, and it was only proper that Vernon, his wife Petunia and their son Dudley, attempt to beat the strangeness out of Harry. Whether this meant physically or verbally did not make much of a difference to Vernon, although he would concede that everything would probably have run a great deal smoother had he taken his belt to the boy earlier on.
This, you must understand, was the root of the problem.
Over the course of the previous summer, when Harry had returned from his schooling in a state of mild to severe depression, the boy had changed. Unfortunately, for Vernon and his family, these changes were not for the better. To be perfectly honest, and Vernon would deny it till his dying breath, the boy had begun to frighten him.
Which is why Vernon had taken matters into his own hands and, once the boy left to rejoin the other freaks, he moved to acquire a means of dealing with the problem. Unfortunately, even after all of the precautions he had taken, Vernon had been unable to resolve the situation with his nephew in a satisfactory manner.
After all, one could hardly consider the complete and utter destruction of one's home, and all the earthly possessions therein, a satisfactory resolution to the situation. It was very unsatisfying, in fact, and possibly the key reason why Vernon was in such a foul temper this mid-Saturday morning.
It's all that damned boy's fault, he thought, biting viciously down on his slice of slightly burnt toast. The other weirdos that had come after Harry had blown up number four, had been very apologetic and, though Vernon was loath to admit it, very accommodating in paying for the damages incurred and locating a new place of residence for the Dursley family.
Basically, it was the principle of the thing that kept Vernon in a bad mood. Either that or he was naturally an unpleasant person, but that was unlikely, wasn't it?
Vernon had managed to ignored his son's bleatings for the morning--he loved his Dudders but the boy did tend to complain a lot--when there was a crisp and loud knock on the front door. Vernon lowered the newspaper he had been reading and glared through the kitchen door into the entry hall of his new home.
Being interrupted during breakfast, on a Saturday, did not soothe his temper.
The knocks on the front door were repeated, sounding perhaps a bit... impatient, and Vernon decided to give whomever it was a piece of his mind. Placing his paper down on the table and rising from his seat, Vernon stomped angrily out of the kitchen to the door. With a practised scowl, he swung the front door open and boomed, "We don't want any!"
The man standing on the doorstep gave absolutely no indication that he was even in the slightest manner put off by Vernon's open belligerence. Instead the man, who was a good few inches taller than Vernon, possessing a wiry, yet solid look physique and neatly trimmed black hair, nodded politely in greeting. With a calm and, in Vernon's opinion, ingratiating politeness he asked, "Mr Vernon Dursley?"
"Yes, who are you?" scowled Vernon, hoping to frighten this already annoying man away with a display of cultivated unpleasantness.
"Mr Vernon Dursley, director of Grunnings Drills?" asked the man, his midnight blue eyes sparkling with what Vernon instantly recognised as anticipation.
Vernon frowned and decided, in the interests of aiding his company, that perhaps a modicum of politeness was called for. "Yes, what of it? If this is a business call-"
The man smoothly interrupted and asked, "Mr Vernon Dursley, previously of number four Privet Drive?"
By now Vernon was growing a tad bit frustrated with his visitor. He was fairly certain that he had established his identity well enough and this constant inane questioning was beginning to work his already frayed nerves. "Yes, yes, what the devil do you want, man?"
"Mr Vernon Dursley, legal guardian of Harry James Potter?"
The blood in Vernon's veins frozen into ice, and he could literally feel as it drained from his face, undoubtedly leaving him pale as a sheet. Vernon swallowed desperately and tried to gather his wits and customary disdain for these wizarding folk.
"You - you're one of them! Aren't you?" he asked in return, feeling somewhat proud that he had managed to hold back from stuttering.
"Give the Muggle a round of applause," commented the dark man, who, Vernon noticed for the first time, was dressed completely in ominous black.
"W-w-wh-wh-wha-what do you want with us?"
What could only be considered an evil grin stretched the man's lips as he extended a hand and introduced himself in a mockingly pleasant tone. "Pleased to meet you Mr Dursley. My name is Sirius T. Black, and I have heard a great deal about you."
"S-Sirius Black?" Despite himself Vernon frowned and tried to concentrate, thinking back. "I know that name..."
"Indeed. Perhaps you heard about me on the trollivision?" suggested Black, his smile now one of a cat that was about to dine on not one, but three, plump canaries. "I'm Harry's godfather, recently escaped from Azkaban, the wizarding prison."
With the sudden numbness that had descended over him, Vernon was surprised that he managed to retain any of his mental faculties. Of course, considering the nature of the only word he was able to think, this was not saying very much.
Godfather. Godfather. Godfather. Godfather. Godfather. Godfather...
"Now, Vern - may I call you Vern?" Sirius, grinning like the psychotic killer Vernon knew him to be, swung an arm around Vernon's burly shoulders, turned him around and led him in an amiable fashion back into the house. "Let's go inside shall we?"
Godfather. Godfather. Godfather. Godfather. Godfather. Godfather...
"I think the two of us need to have a nice, quiet chat."
They were standing by the fireplace looking, depending on the point of view, either incredibly cute or incredibly pathetic. Had either Molly or Arthur Weasley been present, they would have undoubtedly decided the two teenagers looked incredibly cute in that awkward way teenagers in love manage. If it had been the infamous Fred and George Weasley present, they would have declared the two as being incredibly pathetic in a lost puppy dog kind of way.
Fortunately for Ron and Hermione they were alone, with only each other, in the kitchen so the only opinions present were their own. Not that it helped much against the uncomfortable silence that seemed to permeate the air.
Harry, still recovering from his ordeal, had said his goodbyes to Hermione after lunch and had retired to Ron's room. Nobody was surprised when Ginny, despite the voluble scolding she had received from her mother the day before, had immediately volunteered to accompany Harry and keep him company. Naturally nobody was too surprised when Mrs Weasley insisted that Charlie go with and keep an eye on the two smitten teenagers.
And so Ron and Hermione stood there.
Ron was standing on one side of the fireplace, shifting nervously from one foot to the other, with his hands clasped firmly behind his back and his attention focused on a very interesting point one foot above and to the left of Hermione's head. On the other side Hermione, with her overnight bag slung over her shoulder, was wringing her hands nervously in front of her while at the same time making a close examination of the kitchen floor.
After four or five minutes passed in this manner even Molly and Arthur would have had to admit that, truth be told, the two looked more pathetic than cute.
"I'd better get going," Hermione finally said, breaking the quiet before the tension could get any worse, if that was possible.
"Yeah," agreed Ron, sounding very dejected about the idea.
Hermione looked up from the floor and smiled weakly. "Hey, at least you get to have Harry stay with you the entire summer..."
"Oh, joy," he muttered sarcastically, "an entire summer of having my best friend jumping in bed with my little sister and shagging through the night. Yay."
"Ron! Honestly!" protested Hermione, glaring at her boyfriend.
The gangly, but starting to fill out rather nicely, youth scuffed his feet together and blushed as he hung his head. "I'm sorry," he apologised, "I'm just not used to the idea, that's all."
Hermione sighed and patted him on the shoulder. "Ron. They haven't done anything yet."
"How can you be so sure?" he asked, looking suspiciously at her.
"Because they told us so," she declared, rolling her eyes. Hermione looked at him with a small amount of frustration. "Just because they ended up in bed once, and only because Ginny was helping Harry, does not mean that they will be sleeping together for the rest of the holidays."
Ron sighed and leaned against the wall. "I know, but the thought of my best friend shagging my sister, if not now then later, makes me queasy..."
Hermione stomped her foot in annoyance. "Ron, please! Don't be so vulgar! Even if Harry and Ginny were going at it three times a night and all day on Sundays, they won't be 'shagging' - they'll be making love! Don't belittle what they have like that!"
By now Ron was a bright red in the face that almost matched his hair. "All right! All right! I apologise! Can we just stop talking about Harry and Ginny's sex life?"
"If you insist," Hermione conceded with a small smile. "If you'd prefer we can discuss our prospective sex life instead..."
"Hermione!" protested Ron, jumping forward to clamp a hand over her mouth. Ignoring her muffled protests he cast an anxious look about, checking to see if anyone had overheard them.
Prying Ron's hand from her mouth, Hermione smirked at the flustered young man. "What is it, Ron? Are you ashamed to admit that we have a relationship?"
Ron frowned, oddly enough taking the question seriously. "Hermione, I'm proud to admit that you're my girlfriend. I'd shout it from the top of the Astronomy Tower - even if you looked like Mad-Eye Moody's twin sister. But I do not want my mum and dad to hear anything about when, where and how we make love - if we ever do."
Hermione, suitably impressed by his words, smiled warmly and enveloped Ron in a hug that could almost match one of Molly's. She drew back just enough to kiss him lovingly on the lips before pulling away and shifting the strap of her bag.
"I really have to go," she sighed, now sounding just as unwilling to leave as Ron was unwilling to have her go. "I was supposed to let Rita Skeeter out of the entomology exhibit at the zoo two days ago."
"Why don't you just leave her there?" suggested Ron, remembering how the reporter had dragged more than one person's reputation through the mud during the Triwizard Tournament.
Hermione smiled and shrugged. "Tempting, but I think spending a year living in a glass box is more than enough time to teach her the error of her ways."
Ron nodded reluctantly and then offered Hermione the flowerpot that held the Floo powder. "I'll miss you."
"Don't worry," she assured him, taking a pinch of Floo and throwing it in the fire, "I'll be back at the end of the month for Harry's birthday party and then for the last couple of days before next term starts."
As the flames burning in the fireplace flared high and a bright green, Ron sighed. "I'll still miss you."
Hermione leaned forward to kiss him quickly before jumping into the fire. "Granger Residence!"
Ron watched as the bushy haired girl disappeared from view, leaving behind only a puff of black soot and the crackling green fire. As the flames slowly died back down to normal and returned to a their normal yellow colour, Ron sighed wistfully.
"I love you..."
"I hate snakes..."
Lucius Malfoy, for once looking less than perfectly groomed, turned his head so that he could sneer at the short man walking beside him. It was after midnight, what the Muggles called the witching hour, and Lord Voldemort had summoned his inner circle of Death Eaters.
"Not surprising," he snapped harshly. "Snakes do tend to keep the rodent population down."
Peter Pettigrew, more often than not known simply as Wormtail, cringed back from the scathing tone and disdainful glare Lucius held him under. Uncomfortable under Malfoy's gaze, he pulled his robes tightly around him, despite the fact that it was now summer. Lucius could see the gleam of silver from Wormtail's right hand in the pale moonlight as he shifted nervously about.
"Really, Lucius," declared a voice from the shadows. Lucius and Wormtail drew to a halt as one shadow detached itself and strode purposefully towards them. "You shouldn't be too harsh on our little traitor here. It's far too easy."
"My Lord, we come to serve," responded Lucius, dropping to his knees in supplication before his master. Beside him he could see Wormtail clumsily copying the motion.
Voldemort smiled thinly and motioned for his two servants to rise as he crossed the large room the two Death Eaters had just entered. With a devilish glow in his red eyes the Dark Lord sat himself on a throne of ebony, his thin and skeletal hands stroking the arms of the chair.
"Has your son returned home from Hogwarts, Lucius?"
Lucius nodded. "Yes, my Lord. He arrived four days ago."
Voldemort's smile broadened, and he turned his scarlet eyes towards Wormtail. "Have you found the necessary items for the ceremony?"
Wormtail was cowering, but managed to nod and stutter, "Y-yes, my - my Lord. Everything has arrived, e-except for the powdered Kraken Beak, w-wh-which shall be arrive in - in two days a-a-and the Huorn sawdust the day a-after that."
"Not as early as I had hoped for," mused Voldemort, stroking his chin with one long finger. "I am displeased, but the delay is acceptable providing everything proceeds as I require. I will not punish you now for failing."
"Y-yes, my Lord," stuttered Wormtail in relief. "Thank you, my Lord."
Lucius sneered as his fellow Death Eater bowed low and grovelled. The pathetic fool was a coward and traitor, neither traits that Lucius trusted as far as he could throw a dragon. Wormtail had betrayed his only friends. What was to prevent him from repeating such an act?
His attention quickly returned to Voldemort as the Dark Lord shifted comfortably in his seat, slitted red eyes glowing in the darkness. His tiny and sharp looking teeth were bared in a smile that most Death Eaters were wise enough to try and avoid. Only fools such as Pettigrew thought this was a sign of approval.
It was not.
"Lucius…" Voldemort reached down as his familiar, Nagini, slithered between the two Death Eaters and coiled around the base of the Dark Lord's throne. Voldemort stroked the massive snake's flat head with a tenderness that belayed his dark nature. "The ceremony is to take place at midnight on the summer solstice. See that your son is fully prepared."
"He is ready, my Lord," Lucius responded, trying to keep the pride he felt out of his voice. "Narcissa has given Draco the scrolls he needs to learn, and he has been studying them since his return to Malfoy Manor."
Voldemort fixed Lucius with a penetrating stare that chilled his blood. It was all Lucius could do to prevent his knees from shaking. "I hope you are correct in your assessment, both for your son's sake and your own. I will not tolerate any failure in this endeavour."
Lucius shook his head and said with absolute certainty. "There is no need for concern, my Lord. Draco's hatred for the Potter boy knows no bounds. He would gladly do anything required of him if it helped to ensure his death."
"It is not Potter's death I am concerned with, Lucius," remarked Voldemort. "Rather I wish to see him humiliated, disgraced and ultimately defeated. Then, perhaps, I might permit him to die a slow and painful death. Perhaps."
"A fitting punishment, my Lord," agreed Lucius, bowing in deference. "My son would be greatly honoured to aid you towards such a goal, even with his life and soul."
Voldemort's laugh was high and unpleasant. "Then he is a perfect candidate, Lucius - for that is what will be required of him!"
Lucius bowed again, deeper this time. "He shall not fail you."
"Pray that he does not," warned Voldemort, his expression a dangerous one. "I intend to bring several new Death Eaters into the black fold at the same time. You would do well to introduce young Draco to then, and the others, since he shall be working closely with them in the future."
"As you command, my Lord."
Voldemort settled back in his throne and steepled his hands before him. The thin slits of his eyes peering over his fingers and glowing dangerously from beneath his cowl. "Soon it will be time to take action, time to strike the killing blow against that old fool and his pitiful allies. And when all is in place... then I shall march upon Hogwarts itself!"
Lucius almost grinned and laughed in delight, but managed to restrain himself. After all these long years of hiding, of waiting, of building and regaining all the strength and power lost to The Boy Who Lived, finally, the moment of retribution was nigh at hand.
Even that pathetic piece of rabble, Wormtail, seemed stirred by the Dark Lord's words. Of course he was probably just deliriously relieved that his master had seen fit not to punish him.
"Until then, we shall have to pass our time with other matters," concluded Voldemort, that terrifying smile returning as his eyes shifted from Lucius. "I think we should begin with Peter's punishment..."
Wormtail, not being the brightest of souls, took several seconds to realize the meaning behind Voldemort's words. He did not even have a chance to cringe before thirteen and a half inches of yew were pointing his way.
Ginny stopped by the kitchen on her way out of the Burrow, fixing herself two large glasses of pumpkin juice in an attempt to wash away the foul taste in her mouth. It worked, to a degree, but the nauseous feeling she had since jerking awake refused to die down.
Ever since Halloween, when Harry had 'shared' one of his nightmares with Ron, Ginny had been wondering what one of Harry's nightmare visions was like. After having just experienced one in painfully vivid detail and clarity, she had begun to realize why cats needed nine lives.
Gritting her teeth and swallowing against the tremulous and queasy movements her stomach was still insisting on having, Ginny finished her second pumpkin juice. She washed the glass and set it down in the sink to dry overnight before leaving the kitchen through the back door and out into the Burrow's spacious back garden.
"Hopefully the fresh air will help," she thought, taking a deep breath as she padded barefoot across the damp grass.
Under the soft starlight and the silver glow of the crescent moon, Ginny could see Harry sitting silently on the small grassy knoll at the very back of the garden. A feeling of melancholic nostalgia filled her as she remembered the last time she and Harry had sat together there, the night before they had left for Hogwarts, nearly a year ago.
Harry was gazing up at the stars with a thoughtful expression, much as he had that night which seemed so far in the past. Ginny sank to the ground beside him, matching his posture and tilting her head back to stare up at the night sky.
An indeterminate amount of time passed, Ginny didn't know how long. It could have been a minute or an hour. Regardless of the actual duration the two young lovers sat in a comfortable silence and appreciated the heavens above.
"Knut for your thoughts?" Harry finally asked, breaking the silence.
"Sorry," she answered, "but they're worth more than that."
Harry looked down from the sky he was watching and turned to her. "How much? A Sickle?"
Ginny shook her head. "I don't know. Truth be told, I'm trying not to think about anything right now. If I did I might start throwing up again."
"I'm sorry you had to see that," he told her, shifting closer to her until they were brushing together. His arm slipped around and hugged her close to him as she dropped her head to rest on his shoulder.
"It's not your fault, Harry," she said. The dream they had shared was still fresh in Ginny's mind, particularly the excruciating pain that had wracked her body when Voldemort had begun casting the Cruciatus Curse on Wormtail. She never realized how horribly real Harry's visions were - no wonder he always looked so ragged after experiencing one.
Harry sighed and held her tightly. "I feel terrible saying this, but I'm actually glad you were there to share it with me. I still felt helpless about it, but at least I wasn't alone."
Ginny snaked both her arms around his waist. "Don't feel bad about it. If it were me, I'd also want someone with me. It was definitely not an experience anyone suffer by themselves."
~I'd rather I suffer alone than force that upon you,~ he replied silently.
"Don't think that," she told him, squeezing him to get the point across.
They lapsed into silence, satisfied to simply be in each other's presence and comforting embrace. Once again an unmeasured period of time passed, but both teenagers were too lost in their own thoughts to noticed just how long they sat there.
"So…" This time it was Ginny that broke the silence. "Draco's going to become a Death Eater."
"Can't say I'm surprised," admitted Harry.
Ginny shook her head in bewilderment. "I wouldn't have thought Tom would be that stupid. By now it would be stretching credibility to suppose that he doesn't know we can detect a Dark Mark. Even if he doesn't know that, surely someone must have told him that the Situation Map can."
Harry frowned and considered the idea. "That might be what this ceremony they were talking about is for. A way to mask the Dark Mark from detection."
"Can they do that?"
"I guess we'll find out the next time we see Malfoy."
"Should we tell someone about this?"
Harry nodded. "Yes. I'll have Hedwig deliver a message to Albus in the morning."
Ginny smirked playfully, trying to lighten the mood. "It's already morning, Harry."
"Thanks for pointing that out, Percy," retorted Harry with a teasing smile.
"Harry, I didn't know you swung that way!" Ginny clutched a hand to her chest in mock despair. "I must warn my poor, innocent brothers that you're only using me to get to them."
"You're incorrigible, do you know that?"
"I think you're mistaking me for Fred and George."
Harry chuckled and leaned forward to kiss her lightly on the lips. "I could never do that. Those two aren't nearly as dangerous as you are."
Ginny giggled and tried not to blush. "Don't forget that."
He laughed lightly and held her close. "With the Order constantly reminding me of the fact, I doubt that would be possible."
"Harry?" she turned her head to look up at him, her face oddly serious.
"I want to become an Animagus."
"That's nice. I'm sure the Order will help," Harry agreed. His eyes narrowed for a moment as he considered, then he smiled. "Sounds fun, actually, just so long as you don't blow up the Burrow first time you change. That might upset your parents."
"Don't worry," Ginny assured him, "blowing things up is Fred and George's job."
They had been sitting outside on the little hillock for several hours, half the night nearly. Around the horizon the sky was beginning to lighten as dawn approached. First the impenetrable black took on a tinge of deep blue, then a rich purple and was currently a deep pink with a hint of orange.
It was a beautiful sight. Harry, however, was having a hard time deciding if the sunrise could possibly compare to the beautiful sight resting against him.
~What are you thinking about?~
Harry continued to stare at the horizon which was starting to come alive with streaks of orange and red, while the clouds scattered here and there began to glow scarlet and gold. Pondering Ginny's question he eventually answered, The future.
~Are you worried?~
Ginny arched her eyebrows and looked at him curiously, ~Why not?~
Harry smiled sadly and turned away from the sunrise to answer silently, Something I've learned, Gin. He reached up to gently stroke a finger across Ginny's cheek before tucking a loose strand of her fiery hair behind her ear. Don't worry about the past, because it can't be changed. Live for today and only worry about the problems at hand.
~And the future?~
Let the future worry about itself, he told her with a smile. He looked back to where the sun was just beginning to crest the horizon, and could feel her own smile even though he couldn't see it.
Ginny hugged him tightly as the sun rose into view, the warm butter yellow light slowly crawling along the ground. Harry relaxed in her arms and decided to speak, saying something that he felt could only be true. An old and very dear friend had once consoled him with these words and now Harry repeated them, with only a slight modification.
"What will come, will come... and we'll meet it together."
M.Black - You'd better be careful or Lester might burn the place down while you're still stuck inside!
Amanda - I think everyone was distracted by Molly.
Slinky - I was hoping for the humour to come across more than anything else.
FaLL4mGrace - Since we don't know Ginny's birthday, it's kinda hard to guess but I'd say she's 15 by the end of the story.
teazer - I aim to please.
P-chan - I think everyone says that at one point or another.
usakid - Unfortunately no Aol.
Steve - People change and unfortunately nobody's perfect.
Spike Shinizzle - Okay. Good Charlotte?
Deerose91 - Nope. I'm going to stick with PG-13 and maybe the occassional dalience into R, but that's it.
Eris, Queen of the Shadows - To find out what's really going to happen next you're going have to wait for the sequel, unfortunately.
luvin-sean - I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed it - even the cliffies!
Dark-Angel-Star - I'm still amazed that I actually wrote the R part. Good to know it came across as okay.
Raine Lionheart - Anubis will be getting a mention in the sequel, but not as a good guy.
bubblez fairy - Seemed like a good idea at the time.
Chrissy - They do say you're supposed to write better if you write from experience.
Temporary Insanity - Don't worry. Everyone will eventually get what they deserve.
Viva - It certainly has potential, but I don't think Molly would approve of Ginny riding Harry. :)
Ookii Mamoru - Last one, unfortunately. ::sighs::
Khatt - No more. ::pouts sadly::
The Millennium One - I will be posting the sequel at the end of October and will see about maybe putting up a 31rd chapter with replies to reviews for chapter 30.
Embyr - A few tender moments in this chapter.
lp - I decided to err on the side of caution.
Washuu - I think Ginny was feeling something along the lines of 'Kill me now! Please!'
missa8867 - I had to lighten it up a bit.
Confuzzler - More a "I want you to hear this."
ffnet-joel - Something like that. I'll explore it more in the sequel.
AgiVega - Credit for Molly shouting up a storm must go to Anne (my beta) who suggested that she have a more extreme response than I originally wrote.
Lone Wolf - As you can see the Dursleys got a visit from someone perhaps even more dangerous than Voldemort when it comes to Harry's well being.
pamela-potter-24 - Heh heh. JKR would get in a wee bit of trouble if she did, don't you think?
WN - I've been saying that ever since he arrested Hagrid in CoS.
guess - Too good for the likes of him!
Geor-sama - I think the few hints of what is yet to come will probably be better than leaving everyone hanging.
sk8reagle - Somehow I doubt Harry and Ginny made it downstairs within the five minute time limit. More screaming followed no doubt.
TigerLily - The sequel will hopefully resolve a few things.
Sakura Le - Harry is the master of nonchalance.
Y-lime the Geek - It was an honour.
serenity soldier - Ron and Herm's relationship will get some screen time during the sequel.
Noisy Jenn - I'm not planning to, but I think one R scene every thirty or so chapters wouldn't be too bad.
Annabelle - The twins will never let H/G live it down, will they?
The Millennium One - Nope, the Order is pretty much here to stay.
Thea - You can never have too much hope.
Silvertenshi - Don't worry, the sequel is already on the production line.
Lisa - Fortunately Ron has Hermione to keep him from making an ass of himself.
sons - I've set Cho up with Neville I'm afraid. You're reading this in class? That's naughty of you, good work ;)
SparkySparkles - Hopefully this was soon enough.
Acidpops - As you can see, Sirius did pay Vern a visit. Now it's just Fudge left.
Merusa/Red Vixen - Nightmares? It couldn't have been that bad, could it?
LittleA - First I'm going to see if I can finish Midnight Avatar and then I'll be starting on year six.
Liquid Ice - You want Fred and George for brothers? Is you insurance paid?
jake - Thank you.
HP Challenge Writer - If you skipped it, how do you know it was gross?
Angelis - I'll be leaving the dirty details for the wedding night.
StuFFedTlGer - I might include his complaints about what happened in his bed during the sequel.
Matt - Being an owl I think Hedwig could always fly out the window if things got too steamy for her tastes.
Ebony rain - It's only a temporary condition.
Emma Malfoy - Very little. One paragraph really. Glad you liked it, I was kinda worried about the responses I'd get.
Briar Rose - I am evil! Shout it from the rooftops!
oom00nstar - H/G did have a proper date when Harry took her to the Ragnarok. Wormtail will be involved in the sequel which will be coming out at the beginning of November.
legolas lover - I'll try to keep the sequel to the same standards.
Dream (Essence of Power) - I'll be starting on Midnight Avatar this weekend. Just to warn you, I'll be trying to make it darker.
Moridin Shadar - I'm sure H/G will agree with that. :)
Orion - Hee-hee, oh I have plans for the Minister, don't doubt that.
Bob - Not particularly original I feel, but useful for the future.
Elvesrbetterthanhumans89 - Well, I still have plenty of time before I have to finalize exactly what her Animagus is.
Krista of StarTress - Yes ma'am.
gardengnomez - We shall see.
The Fierce Deity, God of War - That's Ron for you.
firstname.lastname@example.org - The Order do tend to be like that, don't they?
LaminaCourt - I prefer to leave that to your imagination. Or maybe I'll have a flashback to it during the sequel.
Lana Riddle - I will certainly try to.
AcGirl - Just a little work on Midnight Avatar and I'll be working on the sequel.
song*breeze - Thank you.
Korinna Myorin - Glad you liked it.
Phoenix - Aw, it wasn't that bad, was it? The story will unfortunately be ending, but that's what sequels are for.
No Reply - I hope you're alright. I wouldn't want anyone to choke because of my writing.
Goldenfire - I would be worried if it hadn't.
Lady FoxFire - He was, it just took some time.
anastacy - I plan to warp your fragile little minds. ;)
Ezmee - Just a couple of weeks delay while I take care of MA.
Santa Claus - I did mention Ghostbusters in the disclaimer of chapter 8. What episode was the legs bit in? Unfortunately Buffy is on during my swimming training so I miss it more often than not.
may - The voices will definitely be returning for the sequel.
BenRG - Get your mind out of the gutter! :) I actually did consider that for a moment, but decided H/G are still be bit young, so left it be.
chibi-chan - It did turn out funnier than I originally thought it would.
Arizosa - Lucky for Harry she was yelling at Ginny for the most part.
Margot - Haven't decided on a range yet.
Mistri - Don't worry, hopefully it will be clearer now.
Rogue1615 - I'm sure there must be one or two that aren't cliffies.
Honey666 - I don't trust Percy with Sirius' secret just yet, that's why I left him out.
Rishi - Hopefully the wait wasn't too long.
The Red Dragons Order - More twists coming right up.
QuidBrm - I'll think of something.
Magi Vixen - Fudge will get his comeupance sooner or later.
WolfMoon - More is written.
Harry, Ginny and the rest of our dear friends (and enemies) shall be returning soon enough in the sequel; The Well of Shadows.
Just to whet your appetites, I've included a very short preview of things to come.
"If this is an accurate translation..." he muttered, brows furrowed deeply.
"Trust me, it is," she assured.
Dumbledore drew an unsteady breath, "Then Harry is going to die."
"Trust me, it is," she assured.
Dumbledore drew an unsteady breath, "Then Harry is going to die."