Right, SEQUEL of A wise man once said so, if you didn't read that story than this one will make very little sense to you so I suggest you go back and read it if you haven't already...yeah, now, on with this story; it's relatively short, I almost wanted to just add it to the other but figured I might as well post it separately. Some twisties and turnies a bit depressing, but I promise you- well no I can't promise you anything because I hate spoilers hehe, so you lot will just have to read and review. Let me know what you think I'll post frequently because this story is complete so no worries about long stretches where you don't get anything. Ah, and if you are looking for steamy- you won't find it here, this story is all fluff and emotions though there will be one scene later on, very short though, I didn't really want this story to be about sex and nothing else... Any way here you go do review!






right, I think that about covers it, love you all!

Mistress Slytherin


"Harry?" Charlie's soft entreaty was like silk to his ears, gentle, warm, perfect. He loved Charlie, he really did but…

"Sorry, I thought I saw…" He trailed off frowning as he looked around him. He shook his head suddenly annoyed with himself. "Damn." He hissed clenching his fists. Larger warmer ones surrounded his and Charlie smiled at him gently.

"Harry don't worry so much." He said reaching up and cupping his cheek.

"It's been two years damn it!" Harry snapped turning his glare to the side. Charlie didn't deserve his glare, not ever.

"The healer said that there would be side effects luv." Charlie repeated. It seemed like Charlie would always be repeating these words to him. Harry pulled his hand away and absently rubbed at the ache in his chest. Two years ago he'd woken from a five month long healing coma, what he faced was a world that didn't quite make sense.

Ginny…Ginny was gone and somehow the Weasleys had found it in them to accept him anyway, to accept the fact that it was his fault that she was little more than a drooling body. And there was an ache, a constant nagging ache that sat in his very bones and settled in his chest flaring to life every so often, usually after one of those moments, where he'd find himself distracted. He supposed it had something to do with Ginny; after all they had been married for ten years, the blow from her Demantor's kiss…

"I'm sorry Charlie." He said softly. He felt awful, he was such a screw up! Seeing things that weren't there, hearing things that he couldn't describe

"Hey, no Harry, never be sorry." Charlie came around the desk and Harry sank into his arms. He loved Charlie so much that it hurt, though he never knew why it hurt.

"I love you." He said softly. Charlie's breath hitched, the way it always did when Harry told him that he loved him.

"Harry…" Charlie always seemed in pain when Harry said this though he couldn't tell why. Did loving Harry hurt Charlie the way it hurt him? Well he supposed he couldn't blame the other man. "I love you Hare bear." Charlie said smiling slightly before pecking him on the cheek and pulling away. Harry smiled at his lover and accepted the offered hand as his other hand reached for his cane. During his battle with Ginny his left side had been destroyed, the damage had been too extensive to heal properly the first time and Harry's treatments had to be scheduled so that at least three months had passed between each one so that the lingering traces of previous potions could be cleared from his system. It was agony, and he was pretty sure he could say that fixing the damage done hurt worse than when it had happened- though he couldn't actually remember it happening. Still, only a few more treatments and he would be able to walk without the cane though he was certain there would always be a limp in his left leg.

"How were the brats?" Harry said with a half grin. After he'd woken from his coma Harry had found himself facing Minerva McGonagall of all people, the headmistress had stated quite plainly that she was retiring and that he would take her place. There was no argument, no discussion; Harry couldn't fathom a reason not to. He was a cripple, he had quit his job as head Auror with honors, and he had no idea what to do with himself otherwise. Of course, as soon as Charlie heard he was taking the position he decided to take on a part time job as an elective course Professor who focused on training students who were interested in becoming Dragon keepers.

"Rowdy." Charlie said with a fond smile. "I made the mistake of telling them that I would be bringing a real dragon for them to interact with at the beginning of the lesson, they couldn't settle down after that." He said shaking his head. Harry smiled faintly as they approached the old gargoyle.

"They were just distracted by your good looks." Harry said with a wink. Charlie smiled widely and pretended to look morose.

"Oh Harry but you've ruined me! I couldn't even tell!" He said with a gasp as they halted outside of the statue.

"Wormwood." Harry said easily causing the statue to turn. Charlie's smile faltered briefly but Harry missed it as he climbed onto the first step which carried them up. "I'll have to have you try those new lemon cookies the elves make Charlie." Harry said absently as they reached the top and he pushed the door open. "Their almost as good as your-"

Charlie watched as Harry's eyes glossed over his voice cutting off mid-sentence. His heart lurched and gut wrenching pain sat in the lining of his stomach. It was happening more frequently. He swallowed as he glanced across the room where the empty portrait was hung. For a while just after the war Snape's portrait would flicker into and out of existence, he'd found out later through Hermione that Harry would at times stake out in the headmaster's office, just sitting there and waiting for Snape's portrait to arrive.

"S-Sssss" Harry's mouth opened and closed his green eyes haunted with longing and Charlie knew that he couldn't take much more of this. He loved Harry, more than anyone else in the world, and it was killing him to see Harry like this. Even if it meant giving Harry up to another man, if Harry could just be happy…But times were tough. Charlie didn't even begin to know where to start to find Snape, there was a dark lord on the rise and Harry was too broken to fight him. He was the headmaster of Hogwarts now, not the destroyer of dark lords, and Charlie could see how much it was breaking Harry. The wizarding world had hardly glanced at Harry's crippled leg before bemoaning a horrible loss to come. Now the only good Harry was to them was as the headmaster, no one would be willing to attack Hogwarts with the destroyer of dark lords watching over her.

"Snape." Charlie said watching with a broken heart as tears streamed down Harry's cheeks. A sob escaped Harry before all at once it was gone and Harry was left blinking in confusion his hand coming up to rub that spot on his chest.

"Charlie?" Harry whispered his eyes suddenly very, very lost. Charlie enveloped his lover and held him tightly. "Sad…so sad…why am I sad Charlie? We were talking about lemon cookies…" He sobbed uncontrollably and Charlie knew he had to do something. They had tried, he had done everything to give Harry what he now knew Harry would only find in Snape, but it was killing him.

"Harry? Harry hush love, Harry look at me-" Harry's head shot up then and Charlie had a fleeting hope when he saw that Harry's eyes were crystal clear for a moment.

"Draco, go to Draco he knows, he always knows where to find him-" Harry choked and his eyes turned glassy again. Charlie couldn't believe what he'd just seen but then Harry was slumping in his arms cane falling to the floor with a clatter and Charlie could swear he felt his heart shatter with the sound. Charlie pulled Harry into his arms and whimpered quietly into the slumbering body.

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"And just where do you think you're going?" Draco Malfoy stood by the door eyebrows raised as he examined his father who was cursing under his breath as the wards prevented him from leaving his own home. Draco Malfoy had grown during the last several years, he was a father, he had a family to protect and with the dark lord on the loose he'd finally given in and put his home on lock down only leaving it very occasionally when society demanded his presence. He'd nearly lost his father to this dark lord, and then his wife and daughter when he refused to join when offered, so he'd done what every good Slytherin does when threatened. He struck back violently before securing his home and hiding within the impressive walls.

"Damn it Draco let me free!" Lucius cursed. House arrest did not bode well for Lucius Malfoy; house arrest while presumed legally dead was like spitting on the grave he hadn't even filled yet.

"No." Draco said evenly. "You can't leave the wards father, if you do, all of our lives will be destroyed." Draco said pursing his lips. "Is that what you want?" Draco said unforgiving. "I've tried doing this the nice way with you father, but instead of honoring your word to your own son you turned to the new dark lord. I'm done being nice father, especially when the lives of my wife and child are at stake." He said coldly.

"Draco I just want to fish for information, I'll take a cloak, disguise myself and sit in a pub that is all, now put me down." He bit out. Draco pursed his lips and shook his head.

"You don't even give a damn about us." He said quietly. Lucius' anger fell away.


"No." Draco said softly. "You don't. You didn't care during the war with you-know-who when our family honor was dragged through the mud and you don't care now after all I've done to secure it and erase what you've destroyed!" Draco spat. "The second I let you out you'll go begging and scraping to the next dark lord you'll meet!" He was furious now old hurts mixing with stress and forming a volatile anger.

"Draco darling?" Daphne said slipping into the room. He didn't bother turning to look at her.

"Not now." He said sharply before turning his attention back to his father. "I nearly died because of you and mother-" he choked on the words.

"I'll not join Draco this isn't-"

"How the hell am I supposed to believe that?!" Draco roared.

"Draco-" Daphne said sounding bored.

"I SAID NOT NOW!" Draco roared at her spinning on his heel to face her. Ooops. Her eyes narrowed and her face hardened.

"Then I suppose I'll just tell Charles Weasley that you are unavailable and send him away shall I?" She said dangerously. Draco had half a second to regret his actions before he was cursing and rushing from the room. There was only one reason the bastard would have contacted him and that reason was Harry. He strode into the drawing room and noted the brief flicker of agony in the man's eyes before fearing the worst.

"Where is he? Is he alright? Has he been hurt? Fuck it was the dark lord wasn't it?!" Draco said in alarm. The redhead looked up at him tiredly and fidgeted with his tea cup before shaking his head slowly and settling it down.

"Harry's…fine for the most part. I didn't come for that." He said softly. Draco let out a sigh and felt relief flood him before curiosity and concern.

"What is it then?" He demanded. The redhead seemed to choke for a moment before closing his eyes.

"I love him." He whispered. Draco felt jealousy rise.

"Congratulations." He spat hatefully. Weasley smiled thinly.

"I love him so much that I can't do this any more, I need to find Snape Draco." He said softly but firmly. Draco felt the air escape his lungs and he carefully sat down so as to refrain from toppling over.

"Has he remembered?" Draco whispered. The redhead shook his head.

"No, but the memory charms won't hold up much longer, I didn't think it was possible for someone to throw off a memory charm like that, but then Harry has always been one to beat impossible odds." Charlie said shaking his head. Draco frowned.

"Throwing off a memory charm?" He said incredulously.

"It was little things at first. His sudden interest in Potions, restlessness, I almost expected Harry to take up a hobby or two after having to leave such a busy lifestyle and the restlessness was expected but…" He trailed off and sighed. "It's like his fighting his own mind Malfoy, he gets these moments where he just stops and stares ahead or he becomes completely distracted by something that isn't there." He shook his head.

"Or someone." Draco whispered. Charlie nodded. "How did you know to come here?" Draco said quietly. Charlie paled and Draco's eyes widened. "He told you." He guessed. Charlie nodded and buried his face in his hands.

"I'm sure I don't have to tell you this Draco, but Harry loves him, on a far deeper level than anything I have ever witnessed before and I've worked with creatures that mate for life." He said sighing. "It's not right, what we're doing isn't right! It isn't making him happy like we thought it would it's tearing him apart!" Charlie was suddenly standing and pacing his expression torn. "He thinks he's going mad and hell maybe he is! Who knows what kind of strain this could be having on his mind?! I need to get to Snape Malfoy, before Harry damages himself trying to find a man that for him doesn't exist!" He said passionately. Draco hadn't seen Weasley act like this since Harry had been in a coma, the man was nearly unshakable; he had to be after working with dragons for so long, more than anything, this was what convinced Draco of the seriousness of the situation.

Severus would kill him though.

But what Weasley didn't know was that Severus was killing himself by not contacting Potter. Draco hadn't seen the man smile once since he had parted ways with Potter.

"Okay Weasley I'll bite, but I warn you now, it's going to hurt you. Probably worse than anything you've ever felt to let him go." He warned softly. Weasley looked at him with half mad tormented eyes.

"It already does Malfoy, but I knew what I was getting into when I started this." He whispered brokenly. Draco smiled wryly and nodded his own ache building in his chest even as he nodded.

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Harry stared at the invitation in his hands. He'd been afraid of this. Due to his health he hadn't been able to defend their world from the dark lord, the bastard, whomever he was had been clever enough to close down Harry's channels while he was in a coma. Harry had done what he could with the resources that he had but it wasn't enough, all he could hope to do was protect Hogwarts. He sighed heavily as the heavy paper slipped from his fingers and landed on his desk.

The dark lord had laid claim to the ministry.

The smug bastard was inviting him to the celebration too. Harry grit his teeth and stood leaning heavily on his cane as he moved towards the window staring down at the grounds below.

Going could quite possibly be suicide.

Ignoring the invitation could endanger Hogwarts. Sighing heavily he leaned his forehead against the window allowing the cool glass to calm him. Children had no place in war. Briefly he thought of the little girl, Celia who's only fault had been that she had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, the little girl with wide blue eyes- he wondered idly whatever happened to the girl he'd risked his life to protect. Pursing his lips he lifted his chin and stared out the window, a new light in his eyes. If going tonight meant death than so be it, even if it made him a martyr-

-suddenly he was in the dungeons. Harry frowned and looked around at the old abandoned potions classroom. Blast it he'd done it again! He swallowed in fright and lifted his hand to cover his mouth as nausea threatened to overwhelm him only to thwap himself in the face with a book he'd apparently been holding.

"What the devil?!" He sneered clutching his nose as it throbbed before glaring down at the offending book. It was…a text book, but it was more than just that wasn't it? He stared at the book for a long moment before opening the front cover. "Property of the half-blood Prince." He whispered to himself. Suddenly he found himself certain that this was his book. But what was it doing down here? This room hadn't been used since he had been a student and he would certainly have remembered such a unique book! He frowned down at it for a moment longer before shaking his head and tucking it under his arm and checking the time. Oh dear nearly half the day was gone! He had to get ready for the party.

He halted briefly and his eyes dimmed again. His very own death day party, Charlie was going to kill him!

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Charlie cursed as he put the pieces together. "Damn you." He cursed under his breath. "Damn you Harry Potter!" He shouted before snagging his coat and the note Harry had left him and striding through the floo without care towards his own life.

Harry stared about him casually and noticed the looks he was receiving, there were many people that hadn't been brave enough (or perhaps foolish enough) to have attended this event. For all he knew it could be a massacre, but he doubted it. He knew dark lords well enough to know when one was rubbing salt into fresh wounds a mile away. After all he was here wasn't he? Perhaps he would finally get a look at this dark lord- though he doubted this as well; a dark lord like this one would be clever enough to hide behind the face of another, like he did with Ginny. It helped him pick off his enemies before they even knew what he looked like. It was a brilliant yet underhanded tactic and Harry found himself acknowledging that he could do nothing to stop it except duck his head and wait for a better time to strike-

That is if he survived tonight.

He smiled faintly as others seemed to steer well away from him where normally they would be climbing over each other to get to him.

"Mind if I join you?" Neville said smiling faintly at him his expression slightly nervous. Harry smiled slightly.

"It might get you killed." He warned frankly. Neville let out a nervous laugh before coming to stand beside him in a show of true Gryffindor brashness.

"Well I guess we'll just be pariahs together then." He said bravely. Harry snorted.

"Funny that you say that." He said leaning heavily on his cane. "I was just beginning to enjoy the pariah thing; I've never felt so comfortable at a party before." He said swiping two glasses of wine from a tray and handing one to Neville.

"Always being fawned over huh?" Neville said gazing into his wine with a hesitant smile on his lips. Harry's smile grew.

"Fawned over? More like groped, did you know I invented a spell to prevent being groped?" He said just as Neville was about to take a sip of wine. Neville barely saved himself from spitting it all out in one go as he laughed heartily.

"Oi! You did that on purpose!" Neville accused. Harry grinned.

"Of course I did, someone has to keep you on your toes." He said sipping his wine. A hush fell over the room and Harry glanced up to see robed figures stride through the room lining the walls their wands drawn.

"Presenting the dark lord bringer of a new and glorious era!" A man said loudly. There were a few excited mutters and whispers, a few fearful gasps, it was all very dramatic. Harry watched idly as the tall man stepped through the doors and slid his hood down revealing his face for the first time. Harry raised his eyebrows. The man certainly had the looks of a dark lord, but one look at his eyes proved that the man was a fake. Harry sipped his wine thoughtfully as the dark haired blue eyed man gazed around calmly playing his part to a T before his gaze landed on Harry and a smirk tilted across his lips. Harry tilted his head in salute well aware of the murmurs that shifted through the room as the man climbed gracefully down the steps.

"Headmaster Potter, well, this is a surprise." The man said silkily. Pureblood then, his stature and grace lent its self to early training, the cut of his hair and robes to old money, the way he held his wand…curse breaker, and a good one too. This was a scholar, but deep down he was a coward and Harry knew it.

"Really?" Harry said mildly tilting his head to the side. "I was invited." He said pointedly. "Unless this is the wrong party…if that's the case do forgive me for intruding, I find my mind wanders quite often these days, curse damage you see." He said casually. The man twitched. He was good, but he was no dark lord. If that twitch was anything to go by the man was they type who hated being undermined. He was probably the sort that got very little if any recognition on a day to day basis. Harry kept his gaze neutral.

"I half expected to see you here with an army Potter, instead- an Herbolagist? Potter and the plant head, how quaint." Harry smiled faintly as a smattering of false laughter filled the air. That wasn't supposed to happen, the man was showing through his resentment and it was going to cost him. Harry smiled thinly and visibly sized the man up playing on his insecurities and his rage with a single look. Now all he needed was a trigger. He leaned closer to the man and made sure his voice was low enough that no matter how the others strained they wouldn't hear what he was saying.

"Such a failure, you can't even pretend to be the dark lord, if I were you I would run little boy, because while it's obvious that you have never killed and don't in fact have to balls to kill, I do, and I will." He said softly before pulling back and offering the white lipped man a beaming smile. Blue eyes grew terrified and Harry smiled grimly as they darted to the one place he'd been hoping that they wouldn't go before the man breathed deeply.

"This isn't over Potter." He grit out before turning and walking away.

"You know Neville." Harry said calmly as he shifted his leg and adjusted his cuff. "I've thought often of taking up Herbology." He said idly.

"Oh yeah?" Neville said quietly.

"It's quite an admirable subject really; it takes an abnormal amount of patience and perseverance, and intelligence too! Merlin does it take intelligence, I can't tell you how many times I screwed up the chemical composition of the soil! I studied for weeks without fail and still couldn't get the algorisms correct." He said shaking his head. "Plants are such subtle things too, you hardly notice them growing and strengthening until they seem to have taken over- the devils snare for example! I tried to grow some once, I thought it would be a good idea to use it to protect my office when I was still in the ministry but it just got everywhere!" he said chuckling slightly though his voice was tight.

"Harry, you don't have to try to make me feel better." Neville said thinly. Harry glanced up and snorted.

"I wasn't actually Nev, I was trying to make a point." He said smiling thinly.

"What point?" Neville said with a slight frown. Harry blinked at him and cocked his head to the side.

"Merlin I must be speaking riddles- my point was that I could never be an Herbologist." He said smiling slightly. Neville raised his eyebrows.

"Why not?" He asked curiously. Harry winced slightly.

"I have a frightening tendency to kill plants no matter how tenacious or stubborn." He said snorting lightly.

"HARRY!" Harry turned idly and winced.

"Oh dear I've upset the misus." He said with a frown.

"Harry you do sound like Dumbledore." Neville said amused.

"I do spend a great deal of my time talking to him." Harry admitted mildly. "Can't quite get him to shut up actually-"

"Harry James Potter." Charlie hissed his gold eyes flashing.

"Hi Charlie." Neville greeted shyly.

"Hey Nev." Charlie greeted absently before turning his furious gaze towards Harry. "You were going to get yourself killed like an idiot weren't you?" He accused. Harry lifted his chin.

"Of course not I knew exactly what I was doing, I was going to get my self killed knowing that I was going to get myself killed if I had to get myself killed, fortunately it looks as though I won't be getting myself killed." He said with a nod. Charlie stared at him for a moment before shaking his head.

"I'm seriously taking Dumbledore off the wall of your office." He said shaking his head. "Harry it's all everyone's talking about right now! I got condolences for my loss on my way up here!" He hissed.

"Really? What did you lose?" Harry said dryly.

"Harry…" Charlie said furiously. "You pissed off the bloody dark lord, why did you do that Harry? You're in no shape to fight him, haven't I told you to stop trying to piss off dark lords Hart?" Charlie pleaded. Harry raised his eyebrows.

"But I didn't piss off any dark lords Charlie, I pissed off an imposter." He said with a nod. Charlie stared at him for a moment.

"What?" Charlie said softly.

"Huh?" Neville said beside him.

"Of course, why would I piss off the dark lord? I have no intention of fighting him; I'm a headmaster for Merlins' sake! My only focus is in keeping my students safe- pshaw! Fight a dark lord? With this bum leg of mine? Hmph!" He said snorting slightly. Charlie frowned suspiciously.

"So you weren't antagonizing the dark lord?" He said crossing his arms. Harry raised both eyebrows.

"No of course not! In fact I was just telling him about my horrid black thumb wasn't I Neville." He said turning to Neville with calm clear eyes. Neville was suddenly quite different from the slightly shy man he'd been moments before. His hunched shoulders were pulled back and his nervous gaze was cold and hooded, assessing him lips drawn into a thin smirk.

"N-Noooo…" Charlie whispered in disbelief.

"I'm going to kill that idiot." Neville said pleasantly before taking a sip of his wine. Harry smiled faintly.

"Funny thing about dark lords is that they choose spineless lackeys as their main supporters, and spineless lackeys have the tendency to look at their masters when they know they've done something wrong- like say, insulting them to their face." He said lifting his own flute of wine in salute. "I almost couldn't believe it though, when you came up to talk to me I felt sure there had to be some mistake." He said shaking his head slowly.

"Oh?" Neville said calmly.

"You made it personal when you turned Ginny, I knew you were testing me, but I ignored it for the most part." He said with a nod. "But you would have been on to me if I had done anything then and I knew it was about time for me to hang my hat any way, my profile of you told me that there would be no use fighting you, after all you'd been preparing for this for years, throwing in odd dark lords to keep me off your scent, tearing my family apart bit by bit while secretly gathering allies. You saw that I was your biggest threat and disabled me before I even had the chance to fight you. Bravo Neville." He said with a tilt of his head. Neville smiled serenely.

"And now?" Neville said with a sly tilt of his head. Harry rose his eyebrows.

"Now? Well that depends Neville, because I really don't want to fight you, I'm tired of fighting battles for people who don't give a damn that I've sacrificed nearly everything for them. I'm a headmaster; you and I both know what it's like to be a child in a war that adults won't fight. This time, this time I don't want these children to fight and this time I don't want to lose anyone. I know you aren't a control freak it doesn't fit your profile, you want acknowledgement so here I am giving it to you. I don't want this war to touch my students Neville, I don't want there to be more orphans like we were and I don't want to have to stand at the graves of children." He said firmly. Neville gazed at him for a moment.

"You want me to leave Hogwarts alone." He said with a nod. "And if I do that we don't have to fight." He said calmly. Harry nodded.

"Precisely." He said just as calmly. "I don't want to fight you Nev, not when I fought beside you once, not when I counted you as a friend." He said shaking his head.

"You've changed…" Neville said suspiciously. "Nothing could change that part of you Harry…everyone has their price but I've taken measures to ensure that what is most precious to you is protected, hasn't been touched so why…?" Harry watched as intelligence crossed his old friend's eyes and became alarmed by the smile that suddenly split across Neville's lips before laughter escaped him. Deep full bodied laughter that filled the air and sent shivers down his spine. What the devil?

"Tell me what would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood Harry?" He said laughing loudly. Harry frowned in confusion as Charlie wound his arm tightly around his middle. "Oh this is rich…no wonder! Ha!" Neville shook his head in mirth. "No Potter I won't touch your precious school!"

"You won't?" Harry said in confusion. He'd been expecting a fight, a battle, something.

"No, no! Of course not, it's hardly worth it after all!" He said shaking his head.

"It is?" Harry said still confused. Neville looked at him eyes glittering with mirth.

"Tell me Harry who is it that you love most in the world?" He asked grinning. Harry blushed mildly.

"Charlie of course." He said uncomfortably.

"Aha but you don't or rather you can't." Neville said knowingly. Harry paled. How did Neville know? How could he know Harry's darkest sins?

"W-What?"" Harry whispered.

"You see Harry I learned a great deal from those other dark lords but one fact remained true no matter what; if Harry Potter knew how to love completely and without regret or judgment than there was no chance for any dark lord to succeed. Tell me Harry that you love Charlie completely and utterly without regret and that you don't get that feeling, as though something isn't quite right in the world but you can't tell what it is." Neville said smirking. Harry stared at Neville in shock and horror.

"Ginny…" Neville snorted.

"No Harry, but it doesn't matter, you don't matter not when you're just as greedy and self serving as any other human being. Go back to your precious school Harry, live out your days in peace and protect your children I won't stop you!" Neville said before turning with a swirl of robes and striding away. Harry stared after him for several long moments.

"What the hell?" He whispered.

"Harry, luv, there's someone I need you to meet." Charlie said quietly his arms wrapped tightly around Harry's waist.

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