End of Year 5
Severus and Cedric sat talking quietly in Dumbledore's study, waiting for him to return, their voices washing over David as he dozed. The clock was chiming five-thirty when David began to stir.
"How are you, Small One?" asked Severus.
"Okay, I think, apart from having lost my glasses," said David yawning as he conjured up a new pair now that he thought about it. "Glad to be out of that ward! Oh, Frank and Alice Longbottom know… and so does Lord Hapstaff. I couldn't help it…" said David.
"Frank and Alice? But they're…"
"Insane, well, yes, they were… but you see… I kind of cured them," mumbled David.
"Oh Small One," said Severus, "I don't know whether to congratulate you on your success or punish you for the dangers you ran. But Neville Longbottom is going to be ecstatic."
"So, Lord Hapstaff knows too," said Cedric. "I suppose you 'cured' his spouse... that's how he found out? You have been busy. Well, he is a powerful friend to have."
"Yes he is," said a voice from the fireplace as Lord Hapstaff arrived. Professor Dumbledore followed him out of the floo.
Severus and Cedric stood up politely. David made it to his feet, eventually, and leaned against Cedric. Lord Hapstaff walked over and took a seat and they all sat down with him.
"First," said Lord Hapstaff, "Sirius is doing well and has been moved to St Mungo's for the next few days."
"He'll recover?" asked David, needing confirmation. His eyes were suddenly very wet.
"The indications are that he will," said Professor Dumbledore.
"I thought I'd lost him," said David.
"Master Crimson," said Professor Dumbledore after giving David a moment to compose himself. "Would you like to explain what happened earlier this morning? Why Voldemort suddenly stopped duelling and shouted 'Potter?'"
All eyes went to David. He knew he was going to get a long essay from this one. "I sort of sent him a vision," said David. "I felt a bit of tit for tat was due."
"I hope you understand the dangers you ran," said Professor Dumbledore slowly, "I expect your family will ensure you do, but I can't fault you on the results."
"You mean he's really gone?" asked Cedric. "I thought we hadn't got to the stage where we could kill him."
"No, he's not dead," said Professor Dumbledore. "But he's no longer got a body. Master Crimson's efforts were foolhardy, but we do now have a breathing space in which to prepare for the coming battle."
"I will be taking over direction of my cousin's studies," said Hapstaff. "He has much to learn before he is of age and takes his vows. Now, I hope, he has time to study."
"Thank you, my lord," said David.
"No thank you, little cousin," said Lord Hapstaff. "Your incarceration in St Mungo's might have been unfortunate but its side effects will be far reaching. Those who have taught you, taught you well. You have great potential. I will see that you achieve it." He walked back over to the fire. "Raven Towers!" he said throwing in some floo powder.
"Henry?" said a voice in the fire. "You found him?"
"He's safe," said Lord Hapstaff. "And Voldemort has been thwarted for a time. You had better come through."
The fire whooshed and Sire Hapstaff appeared.
"So," said Lord Hapstaff, looking at Professor Dumbledore, "what do we do now? I assume you would rather not bring attention to young Master Crimson's exploits in St Mungo's?"
"You are right, my lord," said Professor Dumbledore. "But I think that were they to recover spontaneously over the next few weeks then that might not be connected with Master Crimson."
"I was of the same opinion," said Sire Hapstaff. "When we called the press and the Ministry I made sure they only saw me. Mr and Mrs Longbottom are back in St Mungo's. They will spontaneously recover over the next few days."
The door of the study was flung open and Professor Umbridge ran into the room. "So, Dumbledore, you have returned!" she shouted.
"Oh yes, Dolores," said Professor Dumbledore pleasantly. "Now I have it somewhere, let me see," he reached in his pockets and pulled out a piece of parchment. "Educational Decree 30: 'The headmastership of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry reverts to Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who returns without a stain on his character.' So that is the end of that, I believe."
"But, but…" began Professor Umbridge. Then her eye fell on David. "Potter, don't you have somewhere else you should be?" she said pointedly.
"I'll take him to the Hospital Wing, Madam Umbridge" said Cedric, assuming the air of a put upon Ministry official.
They left the study, David leaning on Cedric. Once outside, David turned towards Gryffindor Tower.
"Where you going?" asked Cedric. "Hospital Wing's this way, this year, isn't it?"
"Gryffindor Tower," said David. "I thought you'd just said that because of Umbridge."
"No," said Cedric, "That's where we're going." He drew his wand and sent out a patronus message. "Now Madam Pomfrey will be expecting us, so come along."
Madam Pomfrey was indeed waiting for them when David shuffled into the Hospital Wing, Cedric half carrying him. She pointed them to the nearest chair and Cedric helped David sit down. He waited patiently while she healed a few cuts and bruises that David had got during his adventure.
"I don't want to stay here," said David to Cedric.
"Madam Pomfrey," said Cedric. "I think the smell is upsetting him, after his recent experience."
Pomfrey looked between them quickly. "Here, Mr Potter, you may return to Gryffindor Tower," she said, handing him a walking stick after checking him over thoroughly. "In case you need it." David looked at Cedric. "Mr Diggory is going to have to return to the Ministry now," said Madam Pomfrey. "Don't be so stubborn. Take the stick and get back to your common room."
David took it from her. Madam Pomfrey turned to Cedric.
"I'd better leave too," said Cedric. "I really do have to get back to the Ministry. Thank you Madam Pomfrey. I realise I never said that when I was at school, all those times you healed me after Quidditch injuries."
"Those in the school just want to get out of here as soon as they can, well, most of them do," said Madam Pomfrey. "I never gossip," she added as they left. "You have nothing to worry about on that score."
"Thank you," said Cedric. "I wouldn't wish any more press coverage on him."
David left the hospital wing and made his way up to Gryffindor Tower. He reached his dormitory and fell into bed. He was asleep before he had a chance to undress. An hour later he gave his friends a shock by emerging from the shower just as they got out of bed.
"Harry?" said Dean. "That really you?"
"It's me, Dean," said David.
"So you weren't, you know… mad?" asked Seamus.
"No, I was drugged," said David, rummaging in his truck for a spare pair of glasses. The ones he had conjured had lost cohesion a while back. "I'm sure it will all be in the Daily Prophet."
David was one of the first students in the Great Hall for breakfast. As the other students came in they spotted him and most came across to welcome him back.
The letters started to arrive. Everyone seemed to have read the article in the Daily Prophet that Voldemort was indeed back and had been thwarted for now. David was being heralded as the 'Chosen One' since Voldemort had died with the name 'Potter' on his breath. Everyone was sending David letters of thanks and congratulations. It felt strange since everyone had been willing to believe he was deranged only the previous day. After this one breakfast of being bombarded by owls, David spelled himself so that the only owl who could find him was Hedwig.
The Slytherin table were very quiet for the rest of term. Several of their more prominent members had parents facing trail and sentences in Azkaban after the events at the Ministry. Nobody was quite sure whether to tease them or acknowledge that people like the Malfoys usually ended up on top in the end and gloating when they were down was not wise.
Angelina came in, exchanged a few words with Ginny Weasley and then walked up to David. "We have the Quidditch final on Saturday," she said. "Us versus Ravenclaw. Now that Umbridge is gone, would you like to come back on the team? We need to win by two hundred points and we agree that you're our best hope for that."
"Watch me fly first," said David. "I haven't been on a broom since the Easter holidays."
Angelina grinned at him. "Very well," she said. "I'm just off to the owlery to ask Fred and George to return too. With Umbridge gone they can come back and also play for the team."
David turned to Ron and Hermione. "That's a point, why aren't Fred and George here?" he asked. He got no reply since both his friends had their heads buried in their History of Magic notes.
David had missed the OWL exams. Well, there was one left, History of Magic, but McGonagall caught him as he walked towards the Great Hall and led him up to her office.
"How are you doing, Master Crimson?" asked Professor McGonagall.
"Okay, I guess," said David. "But… shouldn't I be taking the OWL?"
"Not much point," said Professor McGonagall. "The anti-cheating quills will not let you sign a false name. I had been trying to work out a way for you to sit the OWLs without everyone finding out… I was going to enter you as a 'home schooled' student and have you sit them in disguise, but in a way it was fortuitous that you missed them."
"Well, I suppose I don't really need qualifications for my future job," said David. "But Hermione's going to be annoyed she couldn't compete with me."
"Perhaps that is just as well."
"I was wondering, Professor," said David, "whether you would teach me to become an animagus? As I understand it my father was one and it would be a useful disguise if I get near Voldemort again."
"It could be," agreed Professor McGonagall, "depending on what you turn into. I will discuss your request with the headmaster. Now I suggest you get in some flying practice before the Quidditch final."
Saturday dawned bright and sunny; perfect Quidditch weather. David collected his Firebolt, and joined the team outside going through a final strategy meeting.
"Very good," said Angelina as they all arrived. "Welcome back Harry, Fred, George. Today we need to win by 200 points, so Harry – wait until we are at least 50 points up. Chasers! This one is up to you. Harry can only help so much. We have to get the score up to 50 points in our favour. Beaters – keep their keeper off his guard, then help Harry distract their seeker."
"We'll do it, Angelina," said George.
"Yes, and we will win," agreed Fred.
The team went to change into their Quidditch robes. Afterwards, Madam Hooch was waiting for them on the pitch. Angelina and the Ravenclaw captain shook hands and they were all in the air. Madam Hooch released the quaffle and the game began.
David was marking Cho Chang, the Ravenclaw seeker and a member of the defence study group. He kept spotting the snitch but had to lead Cho off in the wrong direction. The score was slowly increasing in Gryffindor's favour and David just had to hold Cho off long enough for them to get that crucial 50 point lead.
"Harry, it's over to you," shouted George as the score went to 80-30 in Gryffindor's favour. David scanned the pitch for the snitch. He spotted it, but Cho was nearer. Keeping his magical senses on the snitch, David faked an intent look at a spot opposite him and flew off, Cho following him. Abruptly David changed direction, came up from under Cho and was about to catch the snitch when Fred screamed.
David looked at the score board. Ravenclaw had scored and the difference was only 40 points. He dived again taking Cho with him and losing the snitch. The score crept up Gryffindor's way again and David flew off after the snitch. He caught it from just behind her Cho's ear. He flew down to the pitch to be engulfed by the rest of the team. They had won, just.
The team walked up to the staff box and Dumbledore handed Angelina the Quidditch cup. She raised it high in the air and then passed it to the rest of the team. David was the last one and a huge cheer greeted him as he raised the cup in the air.
Looking around the stadium David saw Mr and Mrs Weasley with Remus in the parent's section and next to them were Alice and Frank Longbottom with Neville standing between them. Sirius was there too, looking a bit pale, but otherwise fully recovered. David grinned down at them all.
The team headed back to the changing room and were accompanied by most of Gryffindor house. Angelina took the cup from David and held it aloft as a beacon for the students to follow. David did not go with the rest. He headed for the stands.
"Sirius!" shouted David as he reached them. "It's good to see you." He hugged Sirius and then turned to Remus. "Good to see you too Remus," he said.
Remus ruffled David's hair. "Good to see you too, Small One," he said. "Congratulations!"
"Harry!" said Neville. "These are my parents. They've unwell for a while, but now they're better."
"Harry Potter," said Frank Longbottom quietly. "It is good to see you in more pleasant surroundings. Alice and I owe you a debt we can never pay back."
"I did what anyone else would have done," said David. "Anyway, I hear you saved me that night too."
"I too must thank you," said Mr Weasley. "If you hadn't got that message across before they took you I wouldn't have survived."
"Don't mention it," said David. "I'm just glad I saw it." He was wondering why Voldemort had taken that moment to attack Mr Weasley and in the Hall of Prophesy too. Thinking back he could recognise the corridor as being an aisle between prophesy shelves. Voldemort was obviously after a prophesy, and the Order were trying to prevent him getting it. The prophesy must have something to do with David too, but what was it, and more importantly, how could he find it out?
"Come on Harry," said Neville when David went quiet. "Don't want to miss the victory party do you?"
"Be with you in a minute, Neville," said David, turning back to Sirius and Remus.
"Go on," said Sirius. "We'll see you at Kings Cross at the end of the week. You go celebrate. Maybe make it a double celebration, I heard that Madam Umbridge was up in front of the Wizengamot this morning, something about a blood quill? Don't know how that came to light, but she'll be seeing a lot of the dementors for the next three years."
One glorious celebration later and the end of term was quickly upon them. David, Ron and Hermione managed to get a compartment to themselves on the train home and were finally able to catch up on what had happened during David's imprisonment in St Mungo's. They had been too focused on the OWLs and Sirius's near death to talk about it before.
"So Filch is standing there waving an 'Approval for Whipping" form," said Ron, "and Fred says, 'I think we've outgrown full-time education,' and George says, 'Yeah, I've been feeling that way myself.' And then they summon their broomsticks and fly out of the castle, over the swamp they had created in the entrance hall."
"I was wondering where that came from," said David.
"Yeah, Flitwick wouldn't get rid of it all. It had covered the whole floor. He said it was one of the best pieces of charm work he had seen," said Ron.
"And the best part," said Hermione, "was that the twins left those fireworks of theirs around. Every time Umbridge tried to banish one it would turn into two or three new ones. The other teachers didn't help her; unsure of whether they had the 'authority' to tackle them. It was great."
"What happened to trigger the twins' departure?" asked David. "It was bad before but they didn't try to leave."
"Well, it was that night after you were sent to St Mungo's." said Ron. "And we heard that Dad had been hurt and Umbridge would not let us leave school to visit him. The twins flew straight to London when they left and went to St M – they looked around for you too, but couldn't get in to see you."
"So what happens now?" asked Hermione.
"We continue as usual, I suppose," said David. "The only difference from last year is that the Ministry are now on our side. Dumbledore has a plan for finally killing Voldemort off. I think he will use our help."
"The press may be on our side, but that might make things worse," said Hermione. "Haven't you seen the Daily Prophet this week? They're calling David 'The Chosen One.' They are going to expect you to finally finish Voldemort off single-handed."
"They seem to assume that it was I who killed him this time. It was Dumbledore who cast the killing curse," said David.
"Yeah," said Ron. "But I think shouting 'Potter' before he died is all most people care about. What did you do?"
"So you're assuming it was me too?"
"Come on, 'David' we know you had a hand in it," said Hermione. "You've been keeping secrets all year, surely you can tell us now?"
"Well," said David. "You know how I've been having visions of Voldemort? I thought that it was my turn to send a vision. Given how they incapacitate me, I thought it might distract him long enough for Dumbledore to get the upper hand."
"So it really was you?" said Hermione. "Do you have any idea how dangerous it was to try to enter Voldemort's head?"
"Yes I do," said David. "My father made me write a four foot essay on my 'folly.'"
"Your father?" asked Ron.
"Yeah, you remember the aura turning yellow? Well, I'm still seeing him in the holidays sometimes," said David. "But he is in hiding like I am until I turn seventeen."
"How's it feel David, to have a blood family member?" asked Hermione.
"Great!" said David. "Except of course being punished for things like entering Voldemort's head or challenging a hippogriff or such."
"I'm so happy for you," said Ron.
"Thanks," said David. "I need another year of study at least before I face Voldemort. I need to be fully in control of my magic and Lord Hapstaff is going to help me."
"He turned up at the Ministry that night didn't he?"
"Yeah, and he and Dumbledore duelled Voldemort. They were amazing. I need to learn how to do that if I am to survive."
"Isn't that what your special tutorials have been about?" asked Hermione.
"Not exactly," said David. "They were mainly to help me keep Voldemort out of my head. Didn't really work out that way, but I did turn the tables on him."
"There's something else you're not telling us," said Hermione shrewdly. "Something's been going on this year… but I can't put my finger on it."
"Hermione," said David. "I am keeping so many secrets that aren't mine to tell. I can't suddenly work out which one you are talking about. I'll tell you what I can, when I can."
"I suppose we will have to settle for that," said Hermione. "But only for now. Once you turn seventeen I expect to hear it all!"
"Ditto!" said Ron.
So there ends Year 5, there will now be a break in posting once again while I write year 6. I doubt I'll get it up much before Easter, but I'll do it as soon as I can. Thanks for reading and commenting, I hope you are enjoying the journey so far.