Title: Strings of Fate
Author: Knife Hand
Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated
Spoilers: Nothing Specific, general for first few books.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hermione, or Luna, or Ginny, or Cho, or... I would buy them all but I am broke.
Summary: Being raised only by his Aunt, Harry comes to Hogwarts not only knowing about the Wizarding World, but with a kind of training no one at the school is expecting.
Draco sat in the in one of the compartments of the Hogwarts Express. Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle were with him. Pansy was nattering on about something or other, but Draco was not paying attention. Pansy annoyed the hell out of him sometimes but he had to keep up appearances.
The Christmas/New Year Social events had mostly been the same as they had been last year, and the year before, and the one before that. Potter had joined the social events along with his Muggle Aunt. Potter and Susan Bones being seen together was not unusual given how close their entire circle was at Hogwarts, but the big surprise was how much time Potter's Aunt spent with DMLE Director Amelia Bones. When word spread, after the first Ministry Event, of what happened to Flint and his Family, the Malfoy's knew immediately what it meant.
"I'm going to go find Millicent." Pansy said as she stood, annoyed at Draco for ignoring her.
"Go with her." Draco ordered.
Crabbe and Goyle paused for a second before they stood up and followed Pansy. As soon as the door closed behind them, Draco could drop his façade and winced in pain. His arm and chest were aching, the deep wounds barely held together with the healing magic, even after several days when it should have been fully healed.
It was his punishment for getting named in relation to the Contraband issue, and it had occurred just after the final Ministry Event. Part of his punishment was that he could never tell anyone about what had happened. Not that he ever would.
Of course, Professor Snape knew, because he was there when the punishment occurred and was expected to help Draco keep his secret. He absently rubbed his now permanently scarred shoulder and arm, and the poison that now ran through his bloodstream. Half of his belongings had to be replaced to get rid of all Silver and he was now acutely aware of the phases of the moon as something more than an assignment for Astronomy Class, but it was better than what had happened to Flint. Maybe. Regardless, Snape would have everything ready when it was required.
Harry and his friends walked into the Great Hall with Little Beth, who was holding on the Harry and Luna's hands and swinging forward instead of walking. It was quite a sight actually that she could do this, as Luna was the same age as Little Beth but the Hufflepuff First Year looked more like a four year old than an eleven year old.
"Henni!" Beth yelled in joy when she saw her Sixth Year Witch Apartment-mate, the one who had brought her to request the lullaby from Diva.
Breaking away from Harry and Luna, Beth ran across the Hall and practically jumped into Henni's arms. The Sixth Year caught her and shot Harry a fake long-suffering look that was spoilt by her huge grin. Little Beth's enthusiasm was contagious, even for many of the Slytherins.
The group separated into their Houses and moved to their relevant House Tables. The Ghosts came along the tables, interacting with the Students more than they had been in living memory. Helena was with Harry, Susan and Hannah while Myrtle was hanging out with Luna, Hermione and Padma over at the Ravenclaw table.
"Gwen has requested that you visit as soon as possible, Harry." Helena said. "Sister was quite down while you were away."
"We'll have to explain to her we can't spend all our lives here with her." Susan countered.
"I think she knows that, but she is lonely." Helena replied. "After all, she has not had physical form for almost a millennium."
"Alright, welcome to the first match of the Second Round of this year's Quidditch Cup." Lee Jordan's voice boomed over the Pitch. "In this round there have been some rule changes. Here is Professor McGonagall to explain them."
"Thank you, Mister Jordan." Professor McGonagall took over. "These changes have been discussed at length between the Professors and the Quidditch Teams, in response to the extremely long match between Hufflepuff and Gryffindor and the disappointingly short game between Ravenclaw and Slytherin in the First Round. The first, and most major change, is that catching the Snitch no longer ends the game."
There was a murmur of shock from the crowed and a few shouts from the crowd.
"Instead there will be a four hour time limit." McGonagall continued. "After the four hours then the game will end, regardless of if the Snitch has been caught or not. Given this, the role of the Seeker will change slightly. The Snitch is still worth 150 points should it be caught. If the Snitch is caught then the Seekers become a fourth Chaser for the remainder of the game. Either side can choose to have their Seeker play as a fourth Chaser prior to a Snitch Catch as well. Back to you, Mister Jordan."
"Thank you, Professor." Lee said. "Alright, lets get this match going. It is Hufflepuff versus Ravenclaw and here come the teams. Ravenclaw's team is unchanged. Chang's ban will be over after this match, so this is Madison's last chance to cement her spot as Ravenclaw's Chaser before Chang becomes available. And here comes Hufflepuff. Watson will be starting as Chaser for Hufflepuff, so it looks like she has recovered from her latest injury troubles, but it looks like Stevens is kitted up just in case. Unfortunately for Hufflepuff, Sampson is out with a bout of Wizarding flu, so Thomas will be making her debut as Keeper."
There was twenty minutes left in the game when Watson called a time out. Williams had been taken out fairly early in the match from a bludger to the shoulder, so Stevens came in to replace him. Hufflepuff was not doing well. It was 320 to 150 in Ravenclaw's favour.
"I'm sorry everyone." Thomas said, hanging her head low. "I am trying my best."
"Don't worry about it." Harry said encouragingly. "The Ravenclaw Chaser line was always decent, but Madison is devastating. She could take a permanent Chaser spot if she wanted."
"She's a damn fine Seeker too." Cedric added. "She's been able to block me every time I go for the Snitch. Almost got to it herself once or twice."
"We need a game plan." Watson said. "Potter, your call."
"Mine?" Harry asked, shocked.
"Williams has already spoken to Sprout. You're next in line for Captain." Watson added with a shrug.
"Right. Ok." Harry replied, running his hand through his hair. "Cedric, go for the Snitch. Even when you can's see it, every minute or so make a run as if you do. Madison knows how important the Snitch is, so she breaks off from Chasing every time you make a run. Keep her occupied."
"Got it." Cedric said.
"Beaters, isolate one of the Ravenclaw Chasers. I don't care who just get one off the plays. And keep an eye out for Madison. Disrupt her as you can. Keeper, I know it's rough but try to keep as many out as you can." Harry ordered.
"Ten seconds." Hooch called out.
"We got twenty minutes." Harry concluded. "Three unanswered goals and the Snitch, and we win. Let's do this."
Harry landed and the team began to walk off the pitch, tired but… well not happy but relieved. A few minutes after the time out, Cedric had found and caught the Snitch, which shifted the entire flow of the game. Ravenclaw, even through they were still ahead, started playing more as if they were losing the game. That's not to say Ravenclaw gave up. They still played doggedly and with vigour, bur without the ease from before the time out. Hufflepuff played like they had been re-energised. Thomas still let goals past her as she was just not experienced enough to predict moves and occasionally fell for feints, but she moved with a bit more confidence and purpose, coming much closer to stopping the missed shots than she had earlier in the match. The play was frantic for those final twenty minutes and the game ended with a draw, 380 all.
As the teams were leaving the pitch, Harry's eyes caught sight of something both familiar and identifiable. A head of shock pink hair.
"Indy!" Harry called out and ran over to give the Auror Trainee a hug.
"Hey Ambassador." The Metamorph replied, ruffling his hair. "Girls."
Hannah and Susan had joined Harry and when he stepped back they stepped in to give her a hug. A dark haired, lithe figured woman stood next to Tonks.
"Hi, I am Harry Potter." Harry said, extending his hand to the woman who was obviously a friend of Tonks.
"Pleasure to meet you." The woman replied. "I am Tali Zorah. I am Indy's roommate at the Academy."
"She staying out of trouble?" Harry asked. "She almost gave me a heart attack on my second day last year."
Tali laughed and it was the kind of laugh everyone just wanted to sit and listen to.
"Of course not." Tali replied. "I try my best but still, the little bosh tete."
"Rubbish head?" Harry asked. "or is it supposed to be empty head? Tete is French for head and bosh is most likely derived from the Turkish boş which means empty."
"Sorry, I tend to mix and match swear words." Tali said. "Perils of moving around a lot as a kid. You're right it is something along the lines of empty head, or idiot, but in an affectionate way. Spent some time in Australia when I was a teen, and got hooked on their playful insults amongst friends." Tali explained.
"I still haven't come up with a good playful insult for Tali yet." Tonks interrupted. "She is just too adorable when she is flustered, so I go for that instead."
Tali could not help rubbing her hands together at her waist when Tonks said that, as was her nervous habit.
"Indy!" she said, half pleadingly, half reproachful.
"See. Adorable." Tonks chuckled.
A/N: Ok, so to credit again, the rule changes for the Quidditch Match belong to the Super Carlin Brothers as they outlined in the video 'How to fix Quidditch' on YouTube.
Draco's punishment was inspired by a fan theory that Draco was a Werewolf in The Half Blood Prince Book was first suggested by Brittany & Nick on the website dracomalfoyisawerewolf dot com
Auror Trainee Tatiana Liana 'Tali' Zorah is very much inspired and has the habits of Tali'Zorah Vas Normandy Nar Ryaa of the Mass Effect games. Everyone's favourite adorable Quarian.