Harriet Potter and the Minister of Magic

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or any of the characters you recognize from the HP books in this story. All I own is the plot. Everything else belongs to JK Rowling.

Pairings: DM/femHP. CD/femHP. CD/HG. JP/LP (past). SS/LP (one-sided).

Warnings: Spoilers from canon (Books 4 to 7). Occasional time jumps from chapter to chapter. Mature content later on.

Notes: Hello again, everyone! Did you all miss me?! :D First of all, I am so sorry for the delay of this chapter! I was really swamped with RL and work so I barely had any time to write these out. Just a bit of random info – this was actually supposed to be one chapter but while I was writing it, it got too long that I had to split it into two parts. Oh well, hope you guys enjoy it anyway! Happy reading! :D


Chapter 33 – The Wedding, Part 1

Only a few days after Autumn was attacked, James found himself heading towards the guestroom where she was recovering. To his stunned disbelief, he came upon the sight of Rufus Scrimgeour, the current Minister of Magic, waiting for him near the entrance of Malfoy Manor. Draco was standing beside him, having just let the Ministry official in, but one look at the unwelcoming sneer on James' face caused the Slytherin to wince and hesitantly step aside just as James approached them.

"Potter." Scrimgeour acknowledged him in a gruff voice, nodding his head in greeting.

"Scrimgeour." James returned coldly, the sneer never leaving his face. "How's the Ministry's newest lapdog nowadays? I heard you did some redecorating in my old office." He mocked sarcastically.

"I have." Scrimgeour responded evenly, keeping a stoic look on his face.

To what do I owe the pleasure then?" James drawled when Scrimgeour didn't take the bait. He ignored the way Draco was shifting his gaze back and forth between the two men in obvious discomfort.

"I am not here to antagonize you, Potter. Nor am I here to discuss politics." Scrimgeour told him, folding his hands behind his back. "I am merely here because I have been assigned the sole task of personally delivering the will of Albus Dumbledore to its addressed recipients." He paused, surprising both James and Draco with his next few words. "Would you mind if I have a word with your daughter?"

"M–my daughter?" James blinked for a couple of seconds, obviously confused.

"Yes, I need to have a word with Harriet." Scrimgeour ignored the suspicion on James' face and turned to Draco. "Mister Malfoy, if you would be so kind as to fetch Harriet for me? Oh and if you don't mind, please fetch Miss Granger as well. Would you permit me the use of your living room?" He asked.

"Of course, Minister." Draco answered with a reluctant nod. "I'll go get them. Excuse me."

Once Draco had left, James turned to Scrimgeour again but before he could open his mouth to say anything, the Minister of Magic cut him off, and this time, he focused his attention fully on James.

"You are welcome to join us, Potter. In fact, I have something to discuss with you as well."


Neither James nor Sirius understood the significance of what Albus Dumbledore had thought to give Harriet and Hermione, and they doubted whether the two girls understood either. Dumbledore had given Harriet a 'deluminator' – the likes of which James hadn't seen since the one his great grandfather owned more than twenty years ago. For Hermione, Dumbledore had given her his own personal copy of the Tales of Beatle the Bard, a Wizarding nursery rhyme common among traditionally magical families.

More importantly, however, the former Headmaster of Hogwarts had also instructed Scrimgeour to leave James a magically sealed message – one that would not reveal itself other than to its intended recipient. James had no intention of reading the letter in front of Scrimgeour, however, and he waited until the Minister of Magic had left before he dared to open the letter to read its contents.

Unfortunately, nothing could have prepared him for the words that Dumbledore had written.

James,

I am fairly certain that by the time you are reading this letter, I will have already passed and gone to the next world. Unfortunately, it is with my deepest regret that I am unable to take the secrets I know with me to the grave, for I fear that to do so would be to condemn us all. Now, I must ask for your help more than ever. I know that only you can carry this heavy responsibility in my place.

I know the truth about your daughter, James.

I must confess that I have suspected it for quite some time now.

Harriet has always been a strong and special young witch, as her mother was back then. But the second she began conversing in the language of the snakes, I knew what she had become – but I also knew that there was another layer of dark magic blanketing her other than Voldemort's soul.

James' hand shook at the written words but he forced himself to continue, his face turning pale.

I do not blame you, nor do I blame Sirius for what transpired many years ago back at Hogwarts. You were both children then, and you did not realize what you were doing. And I want you to know that I am not, in any way, telling you this because I want to condemn you for what happened.

What I want to tell you is that there is a way to undo the damage that has been done.

There is a way to kill the Dark Lord and to spare your daughter's life.

To do this, you must not only find and destroy the remaining pieces of his soul.

You must also find the Deathly Hallows.

James' eyes widened in shock at the written words and he frowned in confusion as he read on.

I truly wish I could speak more, but I fear that, despite the magical seals I have placed on this letter, it may still be intercepted, and this war cannot afford to have this falling into the wrong hands. Sadly, this is why I must entrust such a burden upon you, James. I'm afraid there is no other way.

The answer lies in the Deathly Hallows.

Unfortunately, the letter ended there and quite some time James could do nothing else but read Dumbledore's neatly written words over and over again. He tried to make sense of them – to try and make out the truth behind the carefully worded phrases but he had no idea where to even begin.

He did know one thing for certain though, and that was what bothered him the most.

Somehow, Dumbledore had discovered the one secret that James and Sirius had sworn for more than seventeen years that they would never speak of to anyone ever again – not even to Lily or Remus.

Dumbledore had discovered that Harriet was, in fact, Voldemort's seventh horcrux.

Seventeen years ago, when Voldemort attacked the Potters' house in Godric's Hollow that night and murdered Lily, he had, unintentionally, created his final horcrux in James' one-year-old daughter.

It was a rare occurrence, and only the darkest of magic could have caused a human to become a horcrux for another, but James knew exactly what happened that night because of yet another secret. For the past sixteen years, he and Sirius studied everything they could about how a horcrux was made.

There were two things a wizard needed to do to be able to create a horcrux.

First, he would need to rip his soul apart by taking a human life. After that, he would need a powerful object – one that was encased in a layer of dark magic. No ordinary object could simply be made into a horcrux; it had to be already emanating dark magic for it to attract a piece of a soul inside. Because of this dark magic being emitted by the chosen object, the soul would gravitate towards that dark object like a magnet and attach itself onto it forever, or at least until the object was destroyed.

On the night Lily Potter was murdered, there had been a layer of dark magic surrounding Harriet. It was the very reason a piece of Voldemort's soul had attached itself onto her in the first place.

Why did I ever think that using Dark Magic would ever solve anything?! James clenched his eyes shut, shaking his head as he tried to drown out the memory of that fateful incident so many years ago.

He and Sirius were seventeen then – the two smartest and most talented students in the school.

They had just mastered the art of transforming into Animagi, and they were truly at the top of their game. Truthfully, they both thought that they could do practically anything with their magical talents, and that included the notion that they thought they could get away with challenging fate itself.

A few weeks after James had proposed to Lily, he was shocked to discover that Professor Trelawney had made a prophecy about him – or more importantly, his future child. Her prophecy was that James would be the father of a girl – and that one girl would be the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord. Trelawney went on with her prediction, telling James that his child would be born at the end of the seventh month, and she would wield power that the Dark Lord would never come to possess.

It was the next part of Trelawney's long speech that pushed James into the brink of fear and sheer desperation. She told James of another possible future – one in which the Dark Lord would indeed come for his daughter, and that he would kill her before she even grew up.

James was terrified.

He and Sirius spent months in the library after that, pouring over as many books about magical defense and protection that they could get their hands on. James wanted to make sure that nothing happened to his family in the future. He not only wanted to protect Lily, but he also wanted to do anything that was within his power to ensure the protection of future daughter above anything else.

Truthfully, he wasn't thinking about what it would cost or what the consequences were.

All James really wanted to do was to make sure his future daughter would be safe.

Whatever it takes. He remembered the words he and Sirius had agreed on so many years ago.

In the end, the two marauders had found what they were looking for in the restricted section of the library one evening. It was in the form of a tightly bound, black book – one that they had seen Severus Snape pouring over a couple of times before when the Slytherin thought no one was watching.

That book had contained some of the oldest and darkest forms of magic that both James and Sirius had ever seen, and though their minds had screamed at them to slam the book shut, they read through it – and they found the very thing that they were looking for within the book's dusty old pages.

It was a particularly dangerous spell to learn, that much James remembered clearly, but if cast properly; the book guaranteed that the spell could protect its intended target from even the killing curse itself – but at a fair price. Once they cast the spell on Harriet, she would be encased in a layer of dark magic that would protect her from the killing curse. However, what James and Sirius had failed to realize was that since Harriet was also emanating dark magic, she was also highly likely to become a horcrux.

Neither James, nor Sirius knew what a horcrux was at the time, and so they didn't understand.

They finally managed to cast the spell on Harriet on the day of her first birthday, a week before the Dark Lord came to attack James and Lily's home in Godric's Hollow. And sure enough, the spell worked perfectly. Harriet was saved from the Killing Curse, but at the expense of becoming a horcrux.

If he were to be honest with himself, James wasn't even sure if he regretted that decision.

His daughter was alive, that was really all that mattered.

Right? James closed his eyes and covered his face, his features heavy with exhaustion.

For years, from the very first day James and Sirius had set foot in the Ministry of Magic, he and Sirius had dedicated their lives in understanding the nature of horcruxes – but it was to no avail. When they realized that they would never be able to find any of the Dark Lord's other horcruxes, James instead decided to dedicate his term as the Minister to make sure that every Death Eater was put in Azkaban. He wanted to make sure that the Dark Lord would never come back. More importantly, James wanted to make sure that no Death Eater would get the chance to resurrect the Dark Lord ever again.

Unfortunately, James knew that the Dark Lord would come back. He knew that every single time he looked at his daughter and saw her for what she was – a living carrier of a piece of Voldemort's soul.

The answer lies in the Deathly Hallows. James read the carefully written words over and over again, frowning as he tried to figure out what Dumbledore could have possibly meant for him to do.

Shaking his head, James stiffened and his fingers began to crumple the letter in his hand.

How can I trust him?


Not long after James had explained to Sirius the contents of Dumbledore's letter, the other marauder suddenly stormed into Autumn's bedroom and rounded on the red-haired woman on the bed.

Autumn had barely managed to sit up when Sirius turned his attention to her and snapped.

"I knew I'd seen you somewhere before. It was you who dated my brother." He said flatly. "It was also you who ratted everything out to Dumbledore, wasn't it? You were the one who told him the truth about Harry? You must have been, you said so yourself you knew where all the horcruxes were!"

James started at this, trying to interrupt them but Autumn answered anyway before he could.

"Y—yes, I was." She whispered weakly, trying to sit up on the bed. "But please don't misunderstand me, Black. Dumbledore would have figure out the truth about Harriet anyway, I only just confirmed it with him. And I do know the horcruxes and I do know where the Dark Lord has hidden them but not because I dated Regulus. I know because I have spent my entire life studying nothing else—"

"Does anyone else know?!" Sirius exploded at her, his eyes narrowing in accusation. "Who else have you told about Harry?! Does the entire Order know about my goddaughter being a horcrux?!"

"N—no one else knows, I swear!" Autumn stammered again, shaking her head. "No one else has to know, I won't tell anyone else! Please understand, I would have never hurt Harry! I swear to you—"

"Don't lie!" Sirius growled, his eyes flashing with accusation. "Tell me the truth! Was the reason the Dark Lord killed my brother was because he found out where the horcruxes were?" He demanded.

"Yes it was." Autumn admitted, her eyes downcast as she stared at her hands. "Regulus was the first one who discovered what the Dark Lord had done, but he didn't know where to find all of them."

"I don't understand." James blinked, unsure of how to follow their conversation.

"How else could she have known about the horcruxes and Harry?" Sirius retorted, glaring pointedly at Autumn. "No one else knew about that except for us. And Regulus of course." He snorted and shook his head. "If that bloody bastard hadn't walked in while we were doing that blasted spell–"

"That 'bloody bastard' was your brother!" Autumn snapped back at him, her blue eyes flashing. "And yes, if you must know, he's the reason that I know the location of all the Dark Lord's horcruxes!"

Both James and Sirius froze at that and eyed her warily, trying to take all her words in.

"Regulus spent the last few years of his life taking notes about the Dark Lord's past. He wanted to find anything – any clues or facts that might help him figure out where Voldemort might have hidden his horcruxes." Autumn paused and reached under her pillow, pulling out a small, black notebook. "He wrote all of his notes in here – in this diary. I've done nothing but study it for years." She told them.

James cut her off with a shake of his head, pulling Dumbledore's letter out of his pocket. Without waiting for her to answer, he tossed the letter at her and waited until she reluctantly began to read it. Once she set it down, Autumn glanced up at him and met his questioning look with a calm stare.

"What exactly do you expect me to say, James?" She asked quietly.

"You think we should trust Dumbledore just like that?" James growled at her, sneering.

"We don't have a choice!" Autumn snapped back with narrowed blue eyes.

"So you knew?!" James challenged, looking even more furious. "You knew this whole time what my daughter was and you didn't tell me?! So what, were you just biding your time so that you could—"

"Like I said, I have no intention of harming Harry!" Autumn interrupted him, looking horrified.

"Well, you know what she is!" James snapped, glaring at her. "So how can I trust you?!"

She looked dismayed at his words and she shook her head. "James, there is a way! There is a way to do this – to bring an end to Lord Voldemort once and for all without harming Harry. I trust Dumbledore and I know that he had a plan before he died. Let's just trust him and follow that plan—"

"Sorry but I seem to have a little bit of trust issues here, Perigreen." James drawled sarcastically.

Autumn glared at him. "Well, Dumbledore trusted us! I think we owe him the same courtesy!"

Sirius scoffed loudly at that. "He trusted Snape and look how that ended up!"

"Just listen to me!" Autumn sighed in frustration. "It's just as Dumbledore says. The answer lies in the Deathly Hallows. We have to find them and the remaining horcruxes. I know where they are and what they are, I've been searching for them for years. We have to find them and destroy all of them—"

"Autumn." James interrupted. "Even if we did manage to get all those horcruxes and destroyed them all, then what next? What good will this all do?! I am not about to let you harm my daughter—"

"I just said that we'll find the answer in the Deathly Hallows!" She repeated irritably.

"The Deathly hallows are a myth!" Sirius snapped impatiently. "They're part of a nursery time told to little children by their mothers when they were trying to get them to sleep! Perigreen, you can't honestly expect us to just go on a wild goose chase in the middle of a war. That's just bloody suicidal! We don't even know where they are! Or even if they're real or not!" He added, looking exasperated.

"They're real!" Autumn glared at him. "We just have to do a bit of research—"

"This is crazy." James muttered under his breath, massaging his temples in defeat.

"It's the only plan we have." She answered grimly, sighing. "Once we find and destroy the horcruxes and we find the Deathly Hallows, we'll find the way to destroy Voldemort and save Harry."

"And pray tell, Autumn." James cut in sarcastically again, sneering at her. "Suppose we do find these horcruxes you're talking about. How exactly are you planning to destroy them?" He pointed out.

Autumn shifted uncomfortably, inadvertently causing her to wince at the sharp pain in her leg. "Well, Dumbledore did tell me that the horcruxes can be destroyed with the Sword of Godric Gryffindor. Its blade is still infused with basilisk blood. So I suppose we can use that." She offered uncertainly.

"Okay, great." Sirius arched an eyebrow pointedly at her. "So where is the sword then?"

"That's the problem." She shifted uncomfortably again, looking away. "The sword is missing."

"Mother of Merlin." James whispered under his breath, massaging his temples in frustration. "This plan is bloody insane." He repeated inaudibly to himself but Autumn seemed to hear him anyway.

"It is." Autumn agreed quietly, nodding. "But like I said, James…it's the only plan we have." When the two men fell silent at her words, she continued. "I was planning to search for the horcruxes by myself, but you two are welcome to join me. I'm leaving first thing after Bill and Fleur's wedding—'"

"You're not going anywhere in your condition, Autumn." Sirius told her bluntly. "Your injuries will take a couple more weeks to heal, you'll just open up your wounds again and get yourself killed."

"I'm not going to stay here if that's what you mean!" Autumn argued, glaring at him as though he had just admitted to being a Death Eater. "Don't you understand? Someone has to be out there on that search! Otherwise, this is pointless and we have absolutely no chance at winning this war—"

"Sirius and I will do it." James cut her off sharply, looking surprised in spite of himself. "We'll go the week after the wedding." He told her, much to her surprise. "In the mean time, you can stay here with Remus and Tonks to watch over everyone until we get back. Once you've recovered, you can continue to lead the rest of the Order and make sure everyone stays safe. Can you do that, Perigreen?"

"You can't just leave me here!" Autumn protested indignantly. "I was the one who found the horcruxes, I should be the one who destroys them! I've waited my whole life to do this—'" She tried to sit up but she winced and clutched the bandages around her stomach, falling weakly against the bed.

"You won't be of any help to anyone if you go out there in your current state." James pointed out flatly. "You'll stay here with Remus and Tonks and help the rest of the Order fight against the Death Eaters. You'll make sure to hold the fort and protect everyone else – including muggles – until we get back. I'm afraid that's my final say on the matter, Autumn. Do we have an understanding?" He snapped.

Autumn looked furious at his words and she looked as though she was about to argue with him but that was when James cut her off again. "Believe me, I know how it feels like to want to get revenge on the man who murdered your family, I've felt it for years." He reached out and placed his hand on top of hers. "But if you go out there now, you'll only make your injuries worse. I need you to stay here instead, so that I know that everyone else is in good hands." He told her quietly, meeting her blue eyes.

Autumn remained silent, avoiding his eyes until she was staring at the floor. When she still refused to answer, James finally sighed and gestured to Sirius before they both walked out of the room.


"I'm going with you."

James froze in the middle of his carefully worded explanation of why he and Sirius were leaving to the rest of the Order members that afternoon and stared in stunned disbelief at Draco's declaration. He glared at the blonde from where he had spoken near the back of the room. Draco ignored his reaction, and walked calmly over to where James and Sirius stood in the middle of the living room.

"I'm going with you on that search." Draco repeated, meeting Sirius' incredulous stare. "I knew about the horcruxes, Sirius. I've known for quite a while now, Harriet told me." His gaze flicked briefly to where Harriet was gaping at him across the room with a similar expression of disbelief on her face. "And I want to go with you both. I'll help you look for them." He told them, bringing his eyes back to James.

"You most certainly will not!" Harriet blurted out furiously as she got up from her seat and stormed over to them. "This is crazy! I am not going to let any of you three risk your lives like this!"

"Harry!" James interrupted her sharply, shaking his head. "Sit down—"

"Draco." Remus finally spoke up for the first time since their meeting had started. "Are you sure about this? There was a reason that James and Sirius wanted to do this horcrux hunt alone." He began uncertainly. "It's going to be very dangerous; there are Death Eaters just about everywhere out there."

"I know that!" Draco snapped, shaking his head. "But I'm not just doing this for nothing, Lupin." With that, he turned to James again and, ignoring Harriet's confused glare at him, walked right up to the older man so that they were glaring at each other, face to face. "Minister, I swear to you that I will risk my life in helping you find and destroy those horcruxes. But in exchange, I'm going to have to ask something from you." He paused when he noticed the way James stiffened in anticipation at his words.

"Draco, what—" Harriet tried to speak up again but this time, it was Draco who cut her off.

He shook his head at her and continued. "The reason I'm doing this is because, more than anything, I want to prove my loyalty to this side and to you. I'll help you find those horcruxes, Minister. But in return, when this is all over, I want your blessing and your permission to marry your daughter."

"Draco, are you crazy?!" Harriet exploded at him. "You can't be serious about going with them!"

"Funny." James interrupted her flatly, giving Draco a cold smile. "I never pegged you as the type to ever need permission from anyone to do anything, Malfoy." He drawled, causing Draco to stiffen.

"I couldn't care less about you." Draco sneered back at him, narrowing his eyes. "But your blessing about our relationship obviously means a lot to your daughter, and I want to earn it for her."

"Draco, you don't have to do this." Harriet sighed, covering her face with her hands. "Dumbledore entrusted this to me, I should be the one out there. You don't have to prove anything!"

"Yes, I do." Draco gave her a sideways glance before sneering at James again. "Harry, if this is the only way I can convince your father that I'm not a Death Eater, then so be it. I hate to say it, but I doubt that he's going to change his mind on his own anytime soon and I'm not about to wait for that—"

"How very astute of you, Malfoy." James snapped at him, mirroring his sneer easily. "You're absolutely right, my opinion of you hasn't changed and probably never will. You're nothing but a pathetic, cowardly little brat with no loyalty to anyone but himself! Don't think I don't know that you were the one who let the Death Eaters into the school on the night of Dumbledore's death!" He exploded, causing the other Order members in the room to gasp in shock and stare at Draco in horror.

"I did that on Dumbledore's orders!" Draco raged furiously, flushing with humiliation at James' outburst. "I had no idea what Dumbledore was planning; I was just as blind as everyone else in here!"

"Oh, and I suppose Dumbledore also told you to attack Sirius last summer? James added snidely.

"I thought I explained myself about that!" Draco reddened even more and he raised both of his hands in surrender before turning his horrified expression to Sirius. "I swear, I had no idea that was you! I didn't mean to hurt anyone, it was an accident! I mean, you were there, you saw what happened!"

"I was there." Sirius agreed with a hesitant frown. "But that was a pretty serious injury, Draco."

"I apologized!" Draco sputtered, flicking his glare back and forth between James and Sirius. "I can't believe you're holding this against me! I thought I made it clear to you that I am on this side—"

"Stop it, all of you!" Harriet interrupted them angrily, directing her glare at her father. "This is ridiculous, Dad! You're acting like a child! The only reason you're giving Draco such a hard time about all this is because of me, not him!" She challenged him, causing James to snarl back at her in annoyance.

"Probably." James agreed in a sarcastic drawl before turning to Draco. "But you still can't go."

"Why not?!" Draco's jaw dropped and he would have approached James again had Sirius not reached out and placed a heavy hand on his shoulder, holding him in place. When he glanced at the other pureblood, Sirius sighed out loud and gave Harriet a pointed look before glancing back at Draco.

"You can go." He told Draco, causing both Harriet and James to gape at him in shock.

"WHAT?!"

Both father and daughter glared at him, their features scrunched into an identical angry scowl.

"Sirius, you can't let that little brat come with us!" James raged at the other marauder.

"He can come with us, James." Sirius countered, shaking his head. "We can use the help, and I think Draco's proven that he's capable enough to take care of himself. Besides, you said yourself that you needed to see something to affirm his loyalty, give the kid a damn chance!" He added pointedly.

"We can't bring that incompetent idiot! He'll just slow us down!" James argued, seething.

"Incompetent?" Draco scoffed, giving James a mocking smile. "I happen to be the top student in my year."

"No, you're not. I am." Hermione couldn't help chiming in from the back of the room.

"Not anymore." Draco retorted, giving the brunette Gryffindor a smug smirk. "I just received my sixth year ranking this morning. I am now officially the top ranking student in our batch." He drawled.

"What?!" Hermione, Ron and Neville all gaped at him, looking horrified at the announcement.

"Sirius, if you're going to let Draco go with you and Dad, then I'm coming too!" Harriet suddenly called out again, interrupting their conversation and directing everyone else's attention back to her.

"Oh….Harry, I uhm…" Sirius cringed at her statement and directed a questioning look at James. "I'm afraid that's not my call this time, little Prongs. You're going to have to ask your Dad on that one—"

"You're not going." James hissed, lifting his glare from Sirius and directing it at Harriet instead.

"Yes, I am!"

"No, you're not!"

"Yes I am, Dad!" Harriet's eyes narrowed. "You can't stop me!"

"Harriet Jamie Potter, I am your father! Of course I can!" James sneered at her.

"Harry." Tonks finally interrupted them as she spoke up from where she was seated across the room. Massaging her temples in exhaustion over their argument, she tried to give Harriet a consoling look. "I hate to say it, but James is right. It's too dangerous for you to be going with them on that search right now. You're at the top of the Dark Lord's wanted list – if they catch you out there, there's no telling what might happen. Maybe we should leave the horcrux search to your father." She offered gently.

"What?!" Harriet sputtered at her words, looking outraged. "B—but what do you all want me to do?! You want me to stay here – hiding behind closed walls like a bloody coward?!" She felt Draco trying to reach for her arm beside her but she growled and yanked herself away. "I am not about to let you on that horcrux hunt without me! Dumbledore left me in charge of that responsibility, I should be the one out there! I'm not going to let you leave me here like I'm some kind of helpless child!" She snapped.

"Harry." Draco began uncertainly, trying to get her attention. "I hate to say it but I have to agree with them on this one. I think I'd feel much better if you just stayed here instead of out there with us."

"And do what, Draco?!" Harriet challenged as she turned around and glared at him. "You'd feel much better if I stayed here and did nothing but sit on my ass all day, waiting for news on the war?!"

"I didn't say that." Draco growled back, looking exasperated. "Look, I just want you to be safe!"

"I can take care of myself!" She raged at him.

"You wouldn't be doing nothing, my dear." Molly Weasley offered hesitantly, giving her a small smile. "The rest of us really need people to stay here so that we can hold down the fort. While the three of them are out there, the rest of us will stay here and fend off the other Death Eaters." She told her.

"We need all the help we can get, Harry." Arthur added with a nod. "We heard news that Severus Snape has been appointed as the new Headmaster of Hogwarts this coming school year. We need you, Hermione, Ron, and Neville to back to Hogwarts and make sure the students are all safe—"

"I'm sorry but I'm not going back to school, Mister Weasley." Harriet told him flatly.

"I'm not going back to school either." Hermione admitted, avoiding everyone's eyes. "It's too dangerous for me to go back to Hogwarts now. I'm a muggleborn witch; they'd capture me on sight—"

"Kingsley and I are leading the resistance that's helping to defend the muggles being attacked." Remus spoke up, giving Harriet an expectant look. "Maybe you and Hermione would like to help out?"

"You and Kingsley don't need any help with that, Remus." Harriet countered, shaking her head. "And you know it." She added after a few seconds, causing him to wince and shrug apologetically at her.

"Then maybe you and Hermione can help me, Bill, and Cedric with healing in some of the refuge centers?" Fleur Delacour offered. "More war casualties are being reported everyday on the radio—"

"We could really use the help." Cedric chimed in, glancing expectantly at Harriet and Hermione.

"No offense, but I don't want to help with healing!" Harriet let out a frustrated sigh. Before any more of the Order members could say anything, she turned her attention back to James and glared at him. "Look…I don't know exactly what you are trying to protect me from, Dad. But I'm going on that horcrux hunt whether you allow it or not. And no one, not you, not Sirius, not even you, Draco—" She turned to glance at her fiancé, meeting his stunned expression with a resolute glare. "—can stop me."

"What exactly do you mean—Harry?! Harry! Don't walk away from me, I'm your father!"

Harriet gave James one last glare before she turned on her heel and stormed out of the room.


A few days after that incident, Harriet found herself staring quietly at her reflection in her closet mirror.

She was wearing a mint green towel around her body, and her hair was pinned up in loose curls on her head, soft make-up accentuating her face. In front of her was the white and lavender gown she was supposed to wear for Bill and Fleur's wedding, similar to the one all the other girls were given to wear to match with Fleur's chosen theme. Just a few inches from her feet, there was a pair of classy white heeled shoes, and Harriet sighed to herself as she thought of how beautiful the ensemble was.

This is ridiculous. Who can think about going to a wedding after everything that's happened?

There was a soft knock on her bedroom door, causing Harriet to pause in the middle of reaching for her gown and sigh before she turned around, a frown on her face as she stepped out of the closet.

"Draco, I thought I told you to wait downstairs for me—oh!"

The rest of her teasing remark promptly died in her throat when she walked into her bedroom and found herself gaping stupidly at Cedric's beet red face. He was standing by the foot of her bed, dressed in a stylish black tux with his hair combed neatly from his face. Much like Harriet's horrified reaction, the Hufflepuff had sputtered incoherently and reddened at the sight of her half-dressed state.

"O—oh, Merlin! Excuse me!"

Coughing, Cedric turned around hastily just as Harriet scrambled back into the closet.

"Harry, I am so, so sorry!" Cedric stammered, still blushing as he stared at the opposite wall.

"N—no, it's okay. It was my fault."" Harriet called out from the closet as she hurriedly wrestled herself into her gown, oblivious to the way Cedric was practically digging a hole in the carpet from the way he kept shuffling his feet. "I thought you were –I didn't realize it was you. Let me get dressed—"

"I'm really sorry!" Cedric blurted out again, hanging his head. "I should have knocked—"

"You did knock." Harriet pointed out wryly.

"Oh…I did?"

Harriet couldn't help laughing in spite of herself, unaware of the blush that lingered on her cheeks. "It was my fault. What would have been more embarrassing is if I didn't have a towel on—"

The blush on his face darkened and he shook his head. "This is awkward enough as it is, Har."

"I was kidding!" Harriet laughed again before she finally walked out of the closet, fully decked out in her gown and strappy, heeled shoes. "Are they looking for us downstairs already?" She asked.

"Uhm, well….No. That wasn't why I came in here." Cedric shifted a few times again and shoved his hands into his pockets. "I actually came up here because I wanted to…apologize for what happened a few days ago during that Order of the Phoenix meeting. I realize I didn't exactly help you out there." He began slowly, but when he looked up, he was taken back when he saw the look of surprise on her face.

"Apologize?" Harriet asked, looking confused. "What do you have to apologize for?"

"Well, I didn't really defend you against everyone else, for one." He ducked his head behind his hand, running a hand through his brown hair. "Now that I look back on what happened, I think your Dad actually was being unfair. You should be out there looking for those horcruxes. I mean, Dumbledore obviously entrusted you with that responsibility. It's what you were meant to do." He told her quietly.

At his words, the confused frown on Harriet's face softened slowly into a small smile.

"Thanks, Ced." She nodded, sighing and folding her hands behind her back. "That's what I kept trying to tell my Dad too, but I haven't managed to convince him yet. I'm still hoping I can talk him into letting me join them before they leave the week after the wedding. If he still won't let me go with them, well then—" Harriet averted her eyes carefully and she let her voice trail off as she stared at the floor.

I'll leave and start a search of my own. She finished to herself with a grim smile.

Thankfully, Cedric didn't push the matter further and instead, gave her a polite nod and promptly changed the subject. When he noticed her attire, he blushed again and gave her a small smile.

"You look really beautiful." He told her quietly.

"Thank you." Harriet reddened at his words but she smiled slowly and shrugged. "You don't look so bad yourself." She teased, noting the way his tuxedo complimented his tall, lean frame. "In fact, I think I'd steer clear of any chocolates later, I'm pretty sure a lot of your fan girls are going to be there."

"Oh shut up." Cedric laughed good-naturedly and rolled his eyes at her quip.

"Right." Harriet made a face at him before she bent down to adjust her shoes. "So what can I do for you then, Ced? Is something wrong?" She looked up just as Cedric began scuffling his shoes again.

"I just…I wanted to ask you something that's been bothering me these past few days." He paused and glanced at Harriet again, waiting until she had straightened and was staring at him. "I uhm… I just…Well, there's something that's been on my mind lately, Har…And…I just thought I'd…Well—"

Harriet's eyebrows furrowed together as she listened to him, waiting for him to finish.

"—th—that is, I just…I couldn't help…feeling something. Especially when I heard about…you know." Cedric paused again and glanced cautiously at her. "Do you understand what I'm trying to say?"

"Er—" Harriet winced and forced a laugh, shaking her head slowly at him. "—to be honest, Ced, I really don't. What's bothering you?" She sat down on the bed, waiting until he sat down beside her.

"Okay…Here goes." Cedric was quiet for a few minutes and he took a long, intake of breath.

"Are you really engaged to Malfoy?" He whispered.

Harriet's eyes widened at his question and she gaped at him, clearly stunned at his forwardness. When she finally recovered, however, she had to blink a few times to make sure she heard correctly.

"Yes, I am." She answered carefully, looking confused. "I'm not sure I understand."

"Uhm." Cedric sighed and he reached out, taking both of her hands and intertwining their fingers together. "Harry, look…I know I told you all those things before – about how happy I am that we're still friends and the truth is, I really am. I mean, nothing means more to me than your friendship. I'm honored that you still consider me a part of your life. But, it's just that…Well—" He hesitated again.

"Cedric, what are you trying to say…?" Harriet prodded gently, watching him.

"The truth is, Harry…I have to know something. And I'm just afraid that, if I don't do this now, while you're here…I might regret this opportunity for the rest of my life." Cedric lifted his eyes from their hands and met her gaze with wide gray eyes. "So will you forgive me for what I'm about to do?"

She stiffened at the intensity of his expression but before she could even make an attempt to answer, the former Hufflepuff suddenly shocked her when he reached up, curled one hand around her neck and pulled her head towards him until her lips were pressed firmly against his in a soft, warm kiss.

Harriet's eyes snapped open at the contact immediately and her entire body stiffened in alarm at the unexpected gesture but she didn't push him away, nor did she kiss him back either. Instead, she kept perfectly and completely still as she sat there, frozen as an ice statue and waiting awkwardly until Cedric finally snapped back to his senses and he pulled away, wincing as he met Harriet's accusing glare.

Neither of them spoke for a few minutes as they stared at each other, both teens trying to figure out exactly what had happened and what they could possibly say to each other to quell the awkwardness in the air. Finally, it was Cedric who broke the tension first. He cursed, covered the guilty expression on his flushed face with both of his hands and jumped up, facing the other side of the room.

"Oh Merlin, that was the stupidest thing I've ever done." He mumbled incoherently to himself.

"I agree." Harriet drawled flatly as she shook her head and arched an eyebrow at him. "But I think I have to say something now, Ced. After that...kiss—" She paused and studied him very closely.

"—did you find the answer you were looking for?"

Cedric sighed as he turned back around and met her questioning gaze with a sad smile.

"I think I did." He admitted ruefully. "But it wasn't the one I wanted." Cedric scoffed at himself before he hung his head again and looked away. "I swear, Harry… I'm sorry but I had to do that—"

"I know." Harriet cut him off with a shake of her head before she stood up and walked over to him, reaching for his hand and giving his wrist a comforting squeeze. "Ced…Look, I know we never really got the chance to talk about what went wrong in our relationship back then. And I'm sorry for that, maybe that was my fault. The truth is, we were great together. In fact, we were perfect together—"

"But?" Cedric arched an eyebrow and managed a weak smile at her.

"I don't want perfect." Harriet smiled back sadly at him, squeezing his hand again. "To me, a relationship is strengthened and becomes more meaningful because of its imperfections. It's how you learn from each other…Grow together. And the truth is…Ced, we just didn't have that. I'm…so sorry."

"I understand." Cedric's eyes were unnervingly soft as he nodded and he gave her a small smile. "I suppose things were too smooth between us. Uhm…I'm sorry for uh…Well—" He hesitated again.

"—kissing me?" Harriet supplied for him, her lips twitching with reluctant mirth.

"Yeah, that." Cedric reddened at her teasing expression but he chuckled and ducked his head behind his hand again. "It's just that – when I heard that you and Draco were engaged, I felt like I had to make sure I understood my feelings for you clearly before you got married forever. It would have been really horrible if you were my soul mate and I let you marry someone else." He added, blushing slightly.

"Soul mate?" Harriet grinned teasingly at him. "You are still such a Hufflepuff, Diggory."

"Hey." Cedric chuckled in spite of himself. "You say that like it's a bad thing."

Harriet ended up laughing at his expression and she punched him lightly on the arm, causing Cedric to begin laughing as well. When their hilarity eventually died down and Cedric looked as though he was going to excuse himself out of the room again, she stopped him by giving him a warm, tight hug.

"You're still going to my wedding right?" She asked him quietly. "You're still my friend, Ced."

Cedric pretended to make a face at her words but he nodded and hugged her back. "Wow. I have now been officially friend-zoned." He pretended to quip wryly, causing Harriet to roll her eyes.

"Of course, I will." He told her as they pulled away and smiled uncertainly at each other again. When she began escorting him to the door, Harriet was surprised when Cedric turned around again and gave her a reluctant grin. "For what it's worth, Harry—" Cedric paused and arched an eyebrow at her.

"—you and Malfoy make an attractive couple. When you're not at each other's throats."

"Thanks." Harriet gave him a wry grin. "I think."


It was a few minutes after Cedric had left and Harriet had closed the door when she heard a soft knock again. This time, she made sure to check her attire fully in the mirror before she went out to open it. When she pulled the door open slowly, however, she was startled when she found herself looking up at a familiar pair of mercury gray eyes, followed by her fiancé's voice breaking her out of her stupor.

"Can I come in?" Draco's calm expression was guarded – and Harriet couldn't tell if he was angry or not – but she nodded and let him in anyway, closing the door quietly behind them. Like Cedric, her blonde fiancé was fully attired in an expensive black tuxedo and his hair was swept back from his face. He didn't seem inclined to speak as he sat down on her bed for a few minutes, studying her expression.

A bit unnerved at his behavior, Harriet sat down on the stool of the dresser by her bed, watching him through the mirror's reflection as she began applying the finishing touches of her make-up. When after a few more minutes and Draco still wouldn't say anything, Harriet sighed and looked up at him.

"Is there something you want to say?" She glanced at him over her shoulder, meeting his gaze.

Draco stared at her for a long moment, his expression slowly creasing into an angry frown.

"Why was Diggory in here?" He asked coldly, glaring at her through narrowed gray eyes.

Undaunted, Harriet was able to recover from her shock after a few seconds and she turned around fully in her stool to face him. She ignored the hostile expression on his face as she stood up and walked over to him, settling herself down onto the bed beside him and carefully meeting his angry glare.

"He and I just had a talk." She answered carefully.

Draco stiffened at her answer and he sneered at her. "And?" He pressed impatiently.

Harriet paused and bit her lip, trying to figure out what she could possibly say so as to avoid any argument or confrontation. Finally, forcing out a small smile, she pulled the blonde Slytherin back up from the bed and stood up on her tiptoes so she could wrap both of her arms coyly around his neck.

"I invited him to our wedding."

"And he actually accepted?!" Draco scoffed harshly at her words but she noticed the way his shoulders had loosened at her answer and the way he was subconsciously leaning towards her touch.

"He did." Harriet murmured against his cheek, playing with the blonde strands at his nape. "And you know…He thinks we're an attractive couple." She traced her lips along his jaw, causing his breath to hitch in his throat and his hands to move up, wrapping tightly around her waist as he pulled her closer.

"Hmm." Draco didn't answer and a scowl continued to linger on his features.

Rolling her eyes, Harriet pulled slightly away from him so that she could look up at his expression and he could look down at her emerald eyes. When his scowl didn't disappear, however, her lips twitched and she began to imitate his expression, waiting for Draco to look down and notice her.

When he saw the way she was pretending to scowl up at him, he let out an irritated growl.

"Potter, what the hell are you doing?!"

"I'm trying to copy your expression!" Harriet quipped back with a soft laugh. "Honestly, do you see yourself, Malfoy?" She sighed at the answering glare on his face and she finally pulled away from him. "You look like you're trying to merge your eyebrows together. That, or you smell something nasty. As I'm quite certain I don't smell since I took a bath this morning, I'm going to conclude it's the first—"

Draco sighed and averted his glare from her, shaking his head. "Harry, stop fooling around!"

Harriet sighed at his reaction and pulled away, sitting back down onto the bed. She watched as Draco turned away from her again and glared at the doors for a few moments, trying to gather his thoughts. Finally, he took a deep breath and turned around, lifting his eyes back up slowly to meet hers.

"Do you ever regret it?" He sat beside her again and took her hand, turning it around slowly so that they were both staring at the engagement ring on her finger. "Being with me, I mean." He asked.

Harriet looked confused at his words but he continued before she got the chance to speak.

"Do you sometimes wish that you had stayed with Diggory instead of me?" Draco noticed the way her eyes widened at his question and he scowled again before looking away. "It bothers me whenever I think about it, you know. I mean…You and Diggory practically grew up together." He sneered and turned away so that she couldn't see his expression. "You have the same group of friends. His father and your father were close, and I'm more than certain your father would prefer him for you instead of me." He turned her face gently so that she was facing him. "Do you wish you had stayed with him, Har?"

"Draco, listen." Harriet's eyes began to narrow at his question and she glared indignantly at him. "If I wanted to be with Cedric, I would have realized it years ago." She snapped, pulling away from him. "And I don't understand where you're coming from! What on earth possessed you to think this way?!"

He fell silent again and it wasn't until she kept glaring expectantly at him that he answered.

"When I spoke to James and Sirius, they—" Draco hesitated, looking away. "—they told me that I didn't deserve you. I didn't believe them, of course. But sometimes, when I hear stories about how close you and Diggory were and I see you two together, I can't help but compare myself to him. And I—"

"Stop that." Harriet cut him off sharply as she reached out and cupped his face, turning him to meet her eyes. "To hell with what Dad or Sirius or what anyone else thinks, Draco! I thought you were the one who told me that?" She pointed out with a frustrated sigh. "Draco, you were the only one who ever believed in me. You were the only one who challenged me to fight back when everyone else seemed to want to hold me back. You forced me to become stronger, even when everyone else seemed to think that I was made of glass! I'm a better person because of you." She leaned towards him, resting her forehead against his and closing her eyes. "No one else – not Cedric, not Sirius, not even my Dad could say the same. I have absolutely no regrets about this….About you…Or about us." She whispered.

Draco's gaze softened and he closed his eyes, placing a hand over the one she had on his cheek. She felt his tension melt away at her words as he squeezed her hand, pulling her close against him. He didn't speak for a long time but Harriet knew that he didn't need to, and she was content to just let him hold her close, their arms wrapped tightly around each other as they basked the other's body warmth.

They stayed in that position for a few more moments, and Harriet wasn't sure how many minutes had elapsed before she finally opened her eyes and stared at her reflection in the dresser.

"Is that why you're going with them?" She waited until Draco opened his eyes and met her gaze questioningly through the mirror. "When you told my Dad and Sirius that you wanted to go on the horcrux hunt. Was it because they told you that you didn't deserve me? Is that what this is all about?"

"No, it's not. Well—" Draco paused, looking dismayed at her words before he sighed and looked away. "—it's not just about that. Of course, all that stuff I said about wanting to prove myself to your Dad and earning his blessing about our relationship was true too, but it wasn't the main reason. The real reason I volunteered to go on that horcrux hunt was really because I knew you would. And I wanted to do it instead so that you wouldn't have to. So that you'd be safe." When he felt her stiffen in his arms, he avoided her eyes. "You told me before that you felt that it had to be you out there. That it was your responsibility because Dumbledore told you to finish the job. Well…It's not, Harry." He looked up at her.

"You don't always have to be the hero, you know. It doesn't always have to be you out there who's risking her life to save everyone else. You have to learn to stop trying to carry that burden all on your own all the time. Sometimes, you have to trust other people in your life who are willing to carry some of that weight for you." He finally looked up and met his fiancée's narrowed green eyes in silence.

"And in this case, that's you, my Dad, and my godfather, right?" Harriet drawled sarcastically, glaring at him. "So you're saying, I should just run away from my responsibilities like a pathetic coward and worry about my own life while the people I care about are out there, doing what I'm supposed to? Draco, how could you think that I could ever learn to live with myself for doing that?" She whispered.

"I don't." Draco winced at his own answer and frantically shook his head. "Harry, you're taking this completely the wrong way. I never meant to imply anything, I just don't want you to get hurt."

"Then how does that make you different from my Dad?!" Harriet challenged again, her eyes dimming slowly with disappointment. "Like I said, it was you who taught me I was stronger than this! You were the one who convinced me I wasn't made of glass! Please tell me that you still believe that!"

"I do!" He croaked out, his voice heavy with emotion. "Harry, you don't understand!"

"What don't I understand?!" She shouted back at him in growing frustration.

"I can't lose you, damn it!" Draco finally exploded out, his eyes growing wide and his voice echoing in the empty bedroom. "I can't lose you – I won't! That's all this was about, don't you understand that?!" His voice began to shake as he reached down and clasped her hand firmly in his, lacing their fingers tightly together. "Because damn it, you have no idea how much you scare me, Harry! Every night, I'm holding you against me and you have nightmares! You scream from nightmares about the Dark Lord that I can't even protect you from! And it kills me knowing that one night, you might just up and decide to go on some godforsaken quest and get yourself killed! It kills me so much that I can't even sleep, Harry! I'm bloody terrified that I might wake up and you won't be there!" He blurted out.

"Draco—" Harriet began uncertainly, her green eyes finally softening with realization.

"So what is it, Potter?! Am I wrong?! Are you going to shut me out because I just want to protect you?!" He hissed at her, his gray eyes flashing angrily. "I'm sorry if I appear to be stifling you the same way your father does but I wouldn't do this if I was sure that you wouldn't try to go off on your own—"

"Shhh." She cut the rest of his flustered tirade off by reaching out and cupping his cheek, forcing the Slytherin to bite back the rest of his words when she leaned in and pressed her forehead against his. "It's okay, love…Shhh...It's okay. I understand." She whispered, closing her eyes and listening to his shallow breaths. She waited patiently for his breathing to return to normal before she spoke again.

"Look, I'm sorry I even brought this up." Harriet began uncertainly, leaning in again and giving him a gentle kiss on the cheek. "We don't have to talk about this now if you don't want to. Is that okay?" She waited until Draco met her eyes and he nodded weakly before she offered him a small smile. "I really don't want us turning on each other about this tonight. Not right now, and certainly not like this."

When Draco sighed and nodded reluctantly at her words again, she squeezed his hand.

"Thank you." She whispered, leaning against him and resting her cheek against his shoulder.

They were silent for a long time again after that, both teens staring off into empty space with a thoughtful frown on their face and listening intently to each other's breaths. It was Harriet who spoke up first, her voice barely above a whisper as she played distractedly with the buttons along his coat.

"Seems silly, doesn't it?" She thought out loud, drawing Draco's attention as he blinked a couple of times and pulled away from her so that he could meet her eyes. He looked puzzled at her words at first, but Harriet gave him a weak smile and gestured to their formal attires. "With everything that's been going on – the magical war and all – and here we are actually getting ready to go to a wedding."

"Hmm." Instead of answering right away, Draco leaned in and began pressing kisses quietly along her neck. "The only thing silly about us going to a wedding is that it's not our own." He whispered back as he trailed his lips along her collarbone, nibbling half-heartedly on a few patches of her pale skin.

"Flatterer." Harriet smiled in spite of herself and raised her left hand up, staring at the diamond ring on her finger. She tilted her head slightly to the side, allowing her fiancé more access to her neck. "I guess I can't really blame Fleur or Bill for wanting to get married even in times like this. I mean—" She closed her eyes and held back a moan when Draco began to kiss more fervently at the crease between her neck and shoulder. "—I guess everyone just wants to be happy. Especially in the middle of this war."

Draco didn't answer and instead, buried his face into her neck, taking in a whiff of her scent.

She swallowed the lump in her throat and forced herself to open her eyes, pulling away from him for a few minutes so that she could reach for something in her bedside drawer. When she turned back to him, he watched as Harriet lifted her mom's locket up into the air, holding it against her neck.

"Would you clasp this for me please?" After she had handed him the necklace, Harriet turned around and bent her head slightly so that she gave Draco a perfectly enticing view of her smooth nape.

His eyes darkened and his hands shook as he took the locket from her. A few seconds later, she felt the cold silver against the warm skin of her neck and he leaned down, pressing his lips against her nape. Without warning, his arms tightened around her waist and he pulled her against him so that her back was against his chest. He ignored her surprised gasp and leaned down to whisper into her ear.

"Do you know how beautiful are?" He teased, his voice thick with evident lust.

"You remind me every day." She whispered back as she began melting in his arms.

Draco purred at her response and leaned down again, burying his face into her shoulder nibbling on her skin. Harriet smiled and turned around in his arms so that she was facing him, looking up into his misty gray eyes. She watched with avid fascination as those mercury orbs darkened slowly with arousal.

"I want you." He murmured heatedly against her skin, sending goose bumps all over her body.

In response, she linked her arms around his neck and leaned up slightly so that her lips were ghosting over his ear. When Draco stiffened at the contact, she leaned in and kissed along his earlobe.

"You have me." She whispered quietly, causing the blonde to groan and pull her closer.

Before she had a chance to say anything else, Draco surprised her when a low growl erupted from his throat and he pulled her roughly on top of him so that she was straddling his lap. She made a half-hearted attempt to protest at that, worried about rumpling the skirt of her gown, but her fiancé paid her no attention. He pulled their bodies tightly together, one of her knees on either side of his lap, purposely making Harriet aware of his growing arousal. She blushed at the realization but she didn't protest when Draco bent her backward slightly and leaned down, lavishing her with his hungry kisses.

In spite of her concern for their attire, Harriet gasped and closed her eyes at the sensation of his lips against her skin. She clung onto him, digging her fingernails into his shoulders and turning her head so that she gave him more access to the most sensitive area of her neck. He obliged by biting down on the skin, causing her to gasp again and muffle a moan as she subconsciously ground her hips against his.

After a few minutes of this, she was just about to move away from him but that was when Draco pulled her close again and without warning, he leaned in and caught her lips in a deep, passionate kiss. She felt the heat of his mouth on hers instantly and without any prompting on his part, she parted her lips, allowing his tongue entry into her mouth. He groaned at that and they both closed their eyes as they reveled in the other's taste, their tongues challenging each other fiercely in a battle for dominance. When his grip around her waist tightened, however, and his other hand snaked up to cup her breast, Harriet forgot herself and gasped, inadvertently causing her to lose the fight as his tongue plundered her mouth. His hips bucked up sharply against her, causing Harriet to moan against their intertwined lips.

She was just debating on whether or not she should snap herself out of her lust-induced daze and make herself presentable or if she should continue to enjoy that agonizingly wonderful friction that Draco was creating with his movements when she heard someone clearing his throat loudly by the door.

"Ahem."

Gasping and pulling their mouths apart from each other, Harriet and Draco looked up, gaping at George Weasley's completely impenitent grin. The redheaded Gryffindor was leaning one shoulder against the open doorway, his arms crossed and one of his ankles tucked behind the other. When he noticed the way they were beginning to redden at his unexpected intrusion, his cheeky grin widened.

"Mooorning." George arched an eyebrow at the way Harriet practically jumped off Draco's lap. "Sorry to interrupt, but Fleur just sent me up here to tell you that we should head off to the Burrow soon." He waited until Harriet managed to put a semblance of order into her gown before he continued. "But by all means, this is much more exciting than watching some boring wedding. Do continue, it was just getting interesting." George added with a sly smile, turning to Draco and giving him a thumbs-up.

"Perfect." Harriet mumbled sarcastically under her breath, covering her face with her hands. "I think I'm going to go now. I'll see you two at the Burrow." She added hastily, avoiding George's eyes.

Seemingly unperturbed, Draco watched lazily as a completely embarrassed Harriet finished adjusting her gown and scurried out of the room. As soon as she was gone, Draco turned to George very slowly, allowing the older teen to notice the warning glint in his eyes. Unfortunately, George didn't seem particularly affected by his glare and his grin only widened as he gestured to the other boy's mouth.

"No offense, Malfoy but…I don't really think pink is your color."

Draco reddened at the remark and furiously wiped the lipstick off his mouth. When George grinned again and sniggered at him, Draco growled and shot up from the bed, making to storm out of the room. Just as he reached the doors, however, George called something out to him over his shoulder.

"I take it I should I have knocked then?"

Without turning around, Draco flashed a very rude finger at him and slammed the doors shut.


A/N: Oh, George…You silly boy! You should have waited for them to finish first! *giggle* More to come very soon, I promise! Oh, and for those of you who might be disappointed about the fact that James and Draco don't want Harriet on the horcrux hunt – don't worry. Knowing our headstrong little heroine, Harriet isn't likely to listen to them anyway! That's all I'm going to say at this point. *wink*

Next chapter should probably be up in a couple of days – a week at most. :D

Next Chapter: Bill and Fleur's wedding, and the fall of the Ministry. *dun-dun-dun*

DON'T FORGET TO LEAVE A REVIEW, MY LOVELIES! HAPPY NEW YEAR! :D