Sparks of the Tempest

Sequel to Child of Innocence. With Harry's fifth year comes the return of Voldemort: ominous news for both Harry and Severus. Coupled with the oppression of the Ministry of Magic, Harry's fifth year is not shaping up to be much better than his last. With Severus's help, can he manage to defy the Ministry and convince the Wizarding world of Voldemort's return?

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32. Chapter 32

 

    Christmas passed all too quickly. It was wonderful, and Harry enjoyed himself immensely. What he enjoyed the most, however, was the change in Severus. It was subtle, but to Harry’s trained eye, he could see that Severus had lightened up ever so slightly. There wasn’t a single complaint about going to the Weasleys’ for Christmas dinner, and Severus even offered Spinner’s End for dinner on Boxing day.

    “Is everything ready?” Severus asked, sitting back with a glass of fire whiskey. 

    “Yes, sir,” Midgy squeaked. 

    “Good. Take a break then, Midgy.”

    “M-master?”

    Severus looked at her. “Go on, take a break until the guests arrive.” Midgy hesitated before awkwardly going to sit on a stool near the kitchen. Harry gave a slight smile, and Severus turned towards him. “Are the Malfoys coming? And Ms. Granger?”

    Harry shook his head. “Hermione’s gone back home for the rest of break. Draco and his mom are coming, though.”

    Severus nodded. “Sirius should be showing up soon as well.” He glanced at the time. “The meeting must have run over.”

    Slumping onto the couch across from Severus, Harry asked, “How is the Order going? Still not going to let me join?”

    Giving him a look, Severus replied, “You’re still not of age.”

    “So, no?”

    “So, no.”

    Harry sighed.

    “In all other respects, though, it is going as fine as a society dedicated to fighting the most evil dark wizard of all time to its very last breath can be going,” Severus said dryly. 

    “So, fine?”

    “So, fine.”

    Harry shook his head. “This would be so much easier if you’d let me join. And the others in the DA. They’re doing great; we could really help you.”

    “And how would their parents feel if we put them in the line of danger?” Severus asked.

    “You tell me.”

    “I did tell you. I told you no.”

    Rolling his eyes, Harry said, “Alright, we’ll just keep training on our own since it seems like no one will teach us or let us use our skills,” he said snidely. Moving on before Severus could say anything, he said, “So, why aren’t you at the meeting?”

    Severus gave a half shrug. “They don’t need me. Not today, anyway. I’ll go to one before Christmas break is over. Until then, Sirius can stand for the both of us.”

    Harry eyed him. “You’re sure that’s a good idea?”

    With a half smile, Severus replied, “He can only do so much damage in a few hours.” After a pause, he continued, “And how is the DA progressing, then? Other than your admittance of Mr. Zabini…?”

    “It’s going really well. Everyone’s coming along nicely; I think they’re learning a lot. We’re going to try the Patronus charm after Christmas.” Harry looked away, and a frown stole over his face.

    “What is it?”

    “I can’t help but wonder if letting Blaise in was a bad idea. I mean, it seems like it is on the surface, just because we don’t get along, but…What if he turns us in to Umbridge or something?” Harry asked. 

    Severus swirled the dark liquid in his glass. “That could be the case, but I sense it isn’t. As much as I personally dislike Mr. Zabini, I don’t see him double crossing you.”

    With interest, Harry asked, “Really? Why?”

    “For a while now, I have noticed that he doesn’t really seem to have many friends within Slytherin, or otherwise,” Severus said. “Even back in your third year, I got the sense that his little stunt was partially out of hatred for you, and partially out of need for attention. There is a good possibility that he simply wants somewhere to belong, and he is trying to find it in your DA.”

    Harry frowned. He had never considered that Blaise, of all people, would try to make friends with them. “I’m still not sure. I mean, wouldn’t he want to make friends with people in Slytherin, not his enemies?”

    Before Severus could reply, the Floo flared and the Weasleys streamed in one by one. “Professor,” the twins said with salutes in unison. Severus didn’t even bother to glare at them. His mood had improved.

    Severus stood and shook hands with Mr. Weasley. “Glad you could make it,” he said politely. Mr Weasley smiled back, looking around the dark room a bit uncertainly. 

    “I’m not sure if I’ve ever been here,” he commented idly. 

    “In that case, shall I show you and Molly around?”

    Mr. Weasley glanced at his wife who gave a casual shrug. “Certainly.” 

    The adults moved off, leaving Harry with his friends. And Percy. “So, anything interesting happen in the last day?” Harry asked conversationally.

    They all looked at each other. “Hermione left,” Ron said. With a shrug, he added, “That’s about it.”    

    “Percy blew up the toilet this morning,” Fred pointed out.

    “Oh, I forgot about that,” Ron muttered. 

    Percy turned bright red. “That was not my-“

    George patted him on the shoulder, saying helpfully, “Of course it wasn’t, of course.”

    Fuming, Percy protested, “You two,” he said, glaring at the twins, “had it rigged to explode when flushed.”

    “Oh, so you mean it wasn’t empty?” Harry said, his eyes widening. He laughed. Percy was furious. He crossed his arms and stood there, glaring about the room. 

    Ginny changed the subject, much to Percy’s relief. “I see you aren’t wearing your sweater, Harry,” she teased.

    Harry looked around shiftily. “Midgy didn’t wash it from yesterday.”

    “Oh, and boys never wear the same clothes two days in a row,” she said, rolling her eyes.

    Scratching his neck awkwardly, Harry said, “Yeah, well-“

    Midgy appeared. “Midgy was called, sir? Would Master like Midgy to wash the sweater, sir?”

    The twins burst out laughing. Ron added with a grin, “Yeah, you want her to wash your sweater?”

    It was Harry’s turn to blush. “No, no. It’s fine, Midgy. Thanks.”

    Midgy bowed and disappeared. The twins looked at Harry and were near to laughing again. “Don’t even,” Harry warned.

    “That’s what you get for blaming stuff on a house elf,” George said with a grin.

    Fred added, “And I guess if it just mysteriously catches on fire, that’ll be Midgy’s fault for putting it too close to the candles?”

    Harry rolled his eyes. “No, I’ll just say it was your fault, and it won’t be much of a mystery at all.”

    As they laughed, the adults returned, and everyone migrated to the table. It was set, and had a cluster of candles towards each end. Fred and George whispered to each other for a moment before one of them elbowed Percy and said something to him. Percy scowled at them. George made a motion like he was demonstrating something, and raised a finger to the flame, as if he were going to touch it. 

    “Stop that,” Mrs. Weasley snapped from further down the table. 

    “Percy told me to,” George protested quickly.

    “Right,” she replied skeptically.

    Sirius came striding into the room at that moment. “Oh, are we doing things which we shouldn’t be?” he asked, settling into a chair across from the twins and in between Severus and Harry. 

    “Nope,” George said.

    “Following the rules like always,” Fred replied.

    Sirius winked at them, and they grinned. He turned to Severus. “Narcissa and Draco are on their way.”

    Severus nodded once. 

    “So, Severus, how have you been?” Mrs. Weasley asked conversationally. “Everything was so hectic yesterday that I didn’t get to hear much from you.”

    “I have been surprisingly well, thank you for asking,” Severus said, shooting Harry a knowing look. Harry grinned. 

    He didn’t care about the number of gifts he had gotten this Christmas; what mattered most was this - sitting here with his friends and family. The look on Severus’s face eased Harry’s trepidation dramatically. If something so good could come out of such a terrible thing as being possessed by Voldemort, surely there was still hope.

    When Draco and his mother arrived, Midgy served the meal. Harry looked around the table, feeling completely content.

    He didn’t realize that the next time they gathered, they would be missing a member.

 

---{}-{}-{}---

 

    It wasn’t until he was back at school that Harry felt the old dread settle upon him once more. Of course Severus said that everything was under control, but Harry couldn’t help but think he wasn’t telling the whole truth. Voldemort was getting stronger by the day. There was no way that everything was okay.

    Harry got his proof in mid January. Dean came bursting into the common room waving a paper and shouting, “Breaking News, guys! Look at this!” He tossed the paper down upon the table and Harry leaned forward to look. Draco crowed in by Harry’s elbow and one of the twins jumped up on the back of the couch to get a look.

    At the headline, Harry’s stomach plummeted. 

 

    MASS BREAKOUT FROM AZKABAN

 

    The newspaper was snatched by greedy hands before Harry could read the article, but someone read the names aloud. “Bellatrix Lestrange, Antonin Dolohov, Augustus Rookwood and,” she faltered slightly, “Lucius Malfoy.”

    Every head in the room suddenly swiveled towards Draco, who paled. Abruptly, he stood and left the room, a trail of mutterings following in his wake. Harry watched him go, then turned to the others. Using every ounce of authority and respect that he had gathered during the DA sessions, Harry said, “Don’t say a word to him about this. Please.”

    Everyone blinked at him, but Harry didn’t wait for their reactions. In a few seconds, he was out of the door after Draco. Running down the corridors and wondering where Draco had gone, Harry ran into Severus. 

    “Severus!” he said, out of breath. “Have you heard the news? About the breakout?”

    Severus’s face was grim. “I have.”

    Harry asked hesitantly, “Is…Is it very bad? I mean, I know it’s bad but…”

    “Bellatrix Lestrange was one of the Dark Lord’s most stringent followers. She was utterly insane, and took almost as much delight in causing pain and death as he. Possibly even more. If it was only her, the situation would be bad enough, but, with the others, it is terrible. How is Draco?”

    Harry glanced down the corridor. “I don’t know. I’m looking for him now.”

    Severus nodded. “Make sure he’s alright. Come to my office if you need me.”

    “Will do.” Harry headed off, hoping Draco would be alright. He sighed. It was only a matter of time until the rumors started, and that definitely wouldn’t be fun for him, or for anyone. The bigger issue was the fact that Draco, Ron, and Harry were directly responsible for Lucius’s imprisonment.

    As if Harry needed another enemy on the loose.

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