In this World and the Next

Not for Weasley fans, dark beginning and rating is for safety. A Re-do with payback on the menu H/Hr Complete

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5627314/1/In-this-World-and-the-Next

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10. Chapter 10

Remus hadn't spent an evening like this since before those fateful events on Halloween almost a decade ago, great food and even better company had been in extremely short supply for the werewolf. What made the evening extra special was the conversation his abilities allowed Remus to overhear as Sirius was saying goodnight to the Tonks family.

"Thanks for accepting Remus they way you did tonight, his furry little problem usually leads to people judging before they take the time to get to know him."

Nymphadora smiled at Sirius, this was the caring man she remembered and not the monster he'd been portrayed as. Someone who thought of others before themselves could never betray his best friends and his godson, this was the reason she'd agreed to help Emma in her quest. It was a damming indictment of wizarding law and politics though when a first year Hufflepuff could determine that fact yet they couldn't.

"Sirius I was in first year when the Potters were murdered. Because of who my family was, most of the school thought I must be dark due to you and aunt Bella. The rest of them called me a blood traitor as the Tonks family will never support blood supremacy. Add to that me being a Metamorphmagus which I was still learning to control and you can see my time at Hogwarts was anything but pleasant. I could write a book on prejudice so there is no chance of me practicing that which I hate most. Your friend Remus is charming if a little quiet, then again, next to you most people would appear quiet."

Sirius was left to shake his head, "I keep forgetting that everyone has grown up while I was away. You would think that spending time with those two in there would cure me of that."

This caused Nymphadora to laugh, a sound that was almost musical to the listening ears. "Those two are something else, I feel as if I've just been conned into this event on Saturday yet I'm looking forward to it. Weird or what?"

Sirius gave a half-hearted laugh that was filled with nerves, Harry was right again, she was very sharp. "You got off lightly, before you arrived they double teamed Remus into giving them and their friends some defence lessons. It appears that their professor is hopeless and stutters so much he would be dead in a fight before he could say a curse."

This made Nymphadora laugh harder, "I know I'll probably regret this but tell them I'll help as well."

Sirius couldn't believe how well that went, wisely kissing both Nymphadora and her mother goodbye on the cheek before he could say anything to spoil it. He would make his godson eat those subtle comments and enjoy watching the little bugger choke on them.

Remus was drawn from his daydreaming where a beautiful young woman thought he was charming by another beautiful woman.

"We have an empty spare room Remus, why don't you spend the night?"

There was no reason not to accept though Remus had gotten out of the habit of people treating him with kindness. "Thanks for the offer Emma but I really couldn't impose on your hospitality anymore, I've had a wonderful evening."

"Nonsense Remus, it wouldn't be in anyway an imposition, actually it would be doing us a favour. You could then accompany both kids back to Scotland in the morning."

Decision made, Remus relaxed and enjoyed the reminiscing with his best friend.

-oOoOo-

When they arrived at the Three Broomsticks there was a reception committee awaiting them. McGonagall, Slughorn and Amelia Bones were all sitting chatting, clearly just passing the time until they arrived.

Harry picked himself off the floor after his usual graceful exit from the floo and was dusting himself down as he spoke, "Professors, Madam Bones, to what do we owe the pleasure?"

Amelia jumped in first, "Lord Potter, Severus Snape has been questioned under truth serum and there is more than enough revelations there to make him stand trial for the crimes he's committed. He also overhear a prophecy pertaining to you and you-know-who, this is the reason why you were attacked as a toddler."

Remus was barely controlling his inner wolf at this news while both Harry and Hermione appeared unperturbed.

This lack of reaction bothered Amelia greatly until Harry offered an explanation, "My dad told Sirius there was a prophesy about me and Voldemort, not the wording as such, just that it existed. They also knew one of Voldemort's spies had reported that fact to him, this was the reason my family went into hiding. We collected the prophecy from the hall of mysteries yesterday morning. Turns out it was made by Sybyll Trelawney to a certain Albus Dumbledore, I understand she's never left the castle since. What punishment is Snape likely to receive if found guilty of these crimes?"

"As you are one of the main parties he committed crimes against, the Wizengamot would take into consideration any pleas of clemency or demands for revenge you would make. That is the main reason I decided to meet you here, I suspect Dumbledore will try to influence you toward clemency."

Hermione's grin was frightening, "He tried to have a quick word with us on Friday before we left, we just sped past him. If we need any advice then we are not afraid to ask for it, unsolicited opinions from people who clearly have their own agendas will be ignored."

Amelia was pleased but not in the least surprised to hear that, "We set the trial date for Wednesday, originally to allow you time to collect the prophecy before it became public knowledge. Do you wish to attend the trial?"

Harry didn't need to think before shaking his head, "Wednesday is my wife's birthday, I have no intention of spoiling her day by allowing Snape to intrude. I wonder though if I could suggest a couple of questions though that could be asked during his trial?"

Amelia noncommittally raised her eyebrows at this so Harry continued, "What did you do to earn your dark mark and is it possible to be forced to receive one while under the Imperius curse?"

Amelia could see why Harry would want the second question asked but not the first.

Hermione then proceeded to tell everyone something they didn't know. "We think the dark mark is a perversion of the protean charm that Voldemort uses to tie his followers directly to him forever. To bind the charm each recipient must commit a murder, these are not mere tattoos, rather a way of tying their very souls to their master."

Under the combined stares of amazement Hermione didn't wilt, "It's called 'know thy enemy' and we gathered all the available information before arriving at a theory of how it could be carried out. There is a chance we could be wrong but I doubt it, asking Snape will either confirm or deny our theory."

Amelia was awestruck, "I think it's a safe bet we will be asking those two questions, it would appear Lord Potter your claim that your wife's a genius is well justified."

Harry kissed his wife on the cheek, he was so proud of her. "Madam Bones, you have no idea! Could you please hang on for five minutes? I need a discussion with Professor McGonagall that might require your signature." It was an intrigued Amelia who nodded her compliance.

"Professor, as I said earlier, it is my wife's birthday this week and we require your permission for a little something I've got planned. My intention is to speak with the muggle studies professor concerning a field trip to a muggle theme park this Saturday for most of first year, and a few others. Your security advisor here has already agreed to accompany us, as has auror Tonks. When you include Sirius, our parents and a professor, that should be more than enough adult support to cover the trip."

Harry could see the questions queuing up in the professor's frown so tried to answer most of them before she needed to ask. "All arrangements and expenses will be dealt with by us, all we would ask of Hogwarts is to transport the students to and from the three broomsticks. They will floo to the Leaky Cauldron where muggle transport will be waiting outside to take them for the rest of the journey. Each envelope contains an invitation and a parental permission slip, that's why I asked Madam Bones if she would consider waiting a few moments. If it's a yes, then Susan's form could be signed here and now,"

Minerva proceeded cautiously, "When you say the most of first year, could you be a bit more specific?"

"Well it really is everyone except Malfoy and his cronies, I don't see why he should be given the chance to spoil my wife's, or anyone else's day. Do you really think he would want to sit on a bus travelling towards a muggle theme park? His father would probably suffer a heart attack if he received a permission slip, honey maybe we should reconsider and invite Draco?"

Minerva wasn't only smiling at the joke, she clearly recognised this was a fabulous opportunity for her students. An opportunity that Hogwarts couldn't afford, far less posses the skill or knowledge required to organise the event. Having met them Minerva was certain that the Granger parents would have this organised to the N'th degree, they took no chances where their children were involved. She could perfectly understand their decision regarding Mister Malfoy, it really would be a shame to deny the others this wonderful opportunity because the blond waster couldn't keep a civil tongue in his head.

"I can understand why you require a quick answer to this as all those invited will need to write home for permission. So, providing Professor Burbage agrees, it's a yes! The permission slips need to be handed to their head of house by Friday. No slip – no trip!"

It was a happy Hermione who took Susan's envelope out her bag so her aunt could sign the all important slip.

Minerva was thinking that this couldn't have come about at a more opportune moment, "Lord Potter, I am trying to persuade Professor Slughorn here to not only teach potions but assume the head of Slytherin mantle. Unfortunately he seems to be of the opinion that this would adversely affect his relationship with you."

Harry stated his position very clearly, "Professor Slughorn has a contract obliging him to teach us potions at specific times until June. Whatever he does outside that time is no concern of mine. I have no axe to grind with Slytherin house, certain members would still be arses no matter what house they were in."

Minerva was aware she should be reprimanding the lad for his language but it was taking all her efforts not to laugh at his jibe concerning Mr Malfoy. The fact that she agreed with his assessment of the blond Slytherin and it also freed Horace to become Head of the little shit's house earned Harry a break. Even if Severus should somehow manage to escape a visit to Azkaban, being found guilty would end his teaching career at Hogwarts, regardless of sentence.

Amelia flooed back to the ministry as the Potters had quite the escort back to the castle. When they spied Dumbledore waiting on them, both were glad of their escort's company and stayed close to McGonagall.

-oOoOo-

Sirius was on his feet before remembering he wasn't going to do this anymore. Getting his temper back under control before sitting down and taking a deep breath. It was time to discuss that last statement calmly and rationally, "You did what?"

Emma was unconcerned, "I asked Tonks to set you up on a date."

Sirius required a few more deep breaths, that's what he thought she'd said the first time but had to be sure. Calmly discussing remember! "Why the bloody hell would you do that?"

Emma was using her 'explaining to thick parent' voice, this should be good thought Dan who was enjoying the show. Especially since he wasn't the target of his wife's ire.

"Well quite simply, after spending the last ten years in that awful place, all your self-confidence is gone. You're going to wear your best 'puppy dog eyes' expression and say you don't know if you can go through with an actual date. It really is too soon and perhaps you should start with a double date first. It would be a good idea to have some friendly faces there to offer you support and stop you making a total arse of yourself."

Dan could already see where his wife was heading with this, it only confirmed in his mind that Hermione hadn't just inherited her beauty from her mother.

"We will then suggest that Tonks should go with you, she was the one who got you into this mess in the first place. So the poor girl doesn't feel like a spare wheel, Remus can be asked to accompany her. Just as friends of course, on 'your' double date. There is even a chance you might get lucky and actually like who Tonks sets you up with, as far as I can see this is a win-win situation for Sirius Black."

The 'shy' wizard in question had almost to pick his jaw back off the floor as realisation dawned of just what the scheme was. "Oh Emma, that's worthy of a marauder! All the time Moony and Tonks think they are helping me while really we're pushing them to spend time together. With Emma Granger on the case I better start writing my best man speech now."

-oOoOo-

Dumbledore was currently so angry the power of speech had temporarily deserted him. Here was the perfect opportunity to wrangle some concessions out of Harry Potter and earn his gratitude when Albus eventually allowed his request. Only to learn the chance had been snatched from his hand by Minerva, this was after physically snatching him before dragging Albus to his office. He wouldn't be surprised if there was steam emitting from his ears yet Minerva appeared unconcerned.

"As Deputy, school outings are my responsibility. The Granger's are a pair of very respectable and responsible muggle parents who are handling all the arrangements. Each student will have a signed parental permission slip with not one Knut coming out of the Hogwarts budget for the whole event. A professor, our own security advisor and an auror amongst others will accompany them, they even intend to invite a few prefects. The head of the DMLE thought it was a brilliant idea, which gives us ministerial approval, I really fail to see your problem here Albus?"

Minerva was well aware Albus didn't have any problem with the actual trip, his problem was being denied access and influence of the Potters. This proved to be a very accurate assumption.

It was indeed the chance to negotiate with the lad that had Albus seething. He was certain he could have managed at least an endorsement for Severus before granting approval for the trip. He was resigned that Snape's days at Hogwarts were over but had no desire to see the man behind the walls of Azkaban. It was only now beginning to emerge how much he relied on Minerva for the everyday life of Hogwarts, Albus may be the headmaster but his deputy actually ran the school.

-oOoOo-

As McGonagall had herded Dumbledore away, the Potters made directly for the great hall. Professor Burbage was still sitting at the staff table so they both made a beeline straight to her. A quick explanation, followed by a glance at the arrangements had her excitingly agreeing in less than five minutes as she poured over the pamphlet for Thorpe Park.

Hermione then made her way to the Ravenclaw table while Harry thought it would be better to get the Slytherins over with first.

Tracy was delighted for another opportunity to call him Harry and intrigued by the envelope she now held in her hands. When Daphne, Millie, Theo and Blaise also received one, it was time to open it and quench her curiosity. The envelope contained an invitation to a muggle theme park for this Saturday. Along with a permission slip it also contained a colour brochure, displaying pictures of lots of kids their ages having fun. Half of Slytherin had been invited and none of them could fault the Potters for excluding Draco's contingent. The uninvited Slytherins would receive no sympathy from Tracy, she was too busy trying to figure out if she had time to make the owlery before her first class.

Hermione had invited all the Ravenclaw first years before approaching one of their house prefects, "Miss Clearwater, we're organising an official school outing for this Saturday, would you be interested in attending as a prefect?" A quick explanation had Penny excitedly looking forward to Saturday.

Hermione then moved on to the Hufflepuff table, handing them out and needing only to let Susan know why her envelope was already open. Slip in hand, Susan headed immediately for her head of house and Professor Sprout took possession of the first permission slip for the trip.

At the Gryffindor table, Dean Thomas had actually visited Thorpe Park with his parents and couldn't wait to tell everyone how great it was. Excitement was running near fever pitch in Hogwarts, with the Potters at the centre of it once more.

Harry approached the twins with two envelopes, "I'm taking a big chance here with you guys, don't let me down. Padfoot and Moony will be there and your sister says you haven't written once!" Harry was very pleased to hear their first question was about their sister.

"When did you see Ginny?"

"How is she?"

"Hermione and I spent Saturday along with her and Luna, both were fine and will be spending the weekend with us, you'll see her on Saturday." The twins were ecstatic and appeared to radiate happiness, a sight that worried a few of their professors. A day out of Hogwarts, meet their heroes and see their little sis again. It didn't get much better than that.

It was another Weasley that Harry had his eye on though, especially as Hermione had just approached Oliver Wood.

"Hey Oliver, would you like to go as a prefect on a trip out of school this Saturday? Penelope has already said yes."

Harry wasn't certain how the rest of Percy's organs continued to operate as all the blood in his body appeared to rush straight to his head. You could have fried an egg on his forehead as the rage overtook his features. When Oliver quickly accepted the invitation, Percy stormed out the hall like a man possessed. Neither Potter could quite hide their satisfied smirks, Percy's future contained a lot more pain than losing a badge and a girl. There was no Mrs Penelope Weasley in his future, quite simply he didn't have a future. Both he and his brother Ron were dead men walking.

Draco had treated the whole event with disdain, berating his housemates for going all muggle. Internally he was consumed with rage, first the brooms and now this. Potter was undermining his position in Slytherin house, Crabb, Goyle and Weasley could hardly be considered the cream of the crop. The less said about Pansy the better. It was starting to appear though that this was all that was going to be available to him, the rest of his year group couldn't wait for Saturday. There was no way this situation could be allowed to continue, wait until his father heard about this.

-oOoOo-

The Potters found themselves repeatedly being bombarded with questions about Saturday, so much so that they approached McGonagall about using her classroom for a meeting after dinner tonight.

They arrived that evening to find that not only was the room full of students but the muggle studies professor, three heads of house and Albus Dumbledore were all waiting on them.

Since Hermione had visited the park before in their other timeline, she took the lead. "On Saturday morning the horseless coaches will ferry everyone from the castle to Hogsmead, allowing you to floo from the Three Broomsticks to the Leaky Cauldron. A muggle private coach will then be waiting outside to take everyone directly to the park. The maps on your brochures tell you where each of the attractions are, they're all free once you are inside the park."

The excitement inside the room was palpable as Hermione continued, "Some of the rides have height restrictions, this is in no way detrimental to smaller people," as Hermione was looking directly at professor Flitwick as she made this remark it caused some laughter. "The safety harnesses on some of the rides could fail if the person using them was too small. Muggle medicine is a lot slower than Madam Pomfrey, the injuries that Malfoy received on Friday would have seen him confined to a muggle hospital for at least a month."

Harry couldn't resist a jibe, "There is a lot to be said for muggle medicine though, just imagine a whole month without Malfoy!"

Hermione laughed along with everyone else before finishing, "Lunch is being booked at one of the restaurants and we'll stop on the way home for fish and chips or burgers. Mum and dad will have everything booked by now and Hedwig will probably bring us the final details in the morning."

Millicent Bulstrode had to ask what most of them were thinking, "What do your parents do that they can afford all this? It must be costing them a small fortune?"

Hermione was trying not to blush but answered anyway, "They're a type of healer though both are technically unemployed at the moment, they sold their business when we were getting ready to move to Australia. It's actually my husband who's paying for this as part of my birthday celebrations."

Millicent apologised for any embarrassment, "Sorry I didn't mean to pry, I'm just so excited that I probably won't sleep for the rest of the week."

Professor Burbage felt she should really say something here, "This will be the first ever field trip from Hogwarts into the muggle world, the first of many I hope. If anyone needs information about how to behave or even what to wear, I'll be available all week. You can also ask one of your muggle born friends." Bertha would place gold on her getting visits from the Slytherins before the week was out, there were no muggle born Slytherins.

After answering more questions and explaining that the ghost train was probably best avoided, a ghost train without ghosts? The Potters were hoping to make a quick escape but Dumbledore was there for a reason.

"Mr Potter, I really must speak with you!"

Minerva immediately stood beside the pair, visibly offering her support. Harry smiled at their head of house, "What appears to be the problem headmaster?"

Albus knew this was his moment, he had the young man's undivided attention as everyone else had since left. "As you are probably aware by now, Professor Snape is undergoing a trial on Wednesday. I was wondering if you had thought of speaking on his behalf?"

Harry apparently liked his one word answers, "No"

The headmaster didn't attempt to mask his disappointment, "Mr Potter it really is imperative that you learn to forgive your enemies."

"Oh forgive me headmaster, I meant that I hadn't thought about it. Now that you've said professor Snape is my enemy, I suppose I really should say something."

This boy possessed the ability to infuriate Albus like no one since his brother Abe, "That was just a figure of speech Mr Potter, professor Snape is a valued member of Hogwarts staff and a very good friend of mine."

Harry just stood quietly as Albus stared at him expectantly, it was eventually the old wizard who broke the silence, "Well, what do you think?"

"I think sir that you wish me to use my influence to save your good friend, what I fail to understand is why? Surely sir, as head of the Wizengamot, you are not suggesting I use my fame to benefit you and your friend." Harry then became extremely serious, "I have to say I'm very disappointed in you sir, who did you contact to speak on my godfather's behalf? Oh I forgot, he never even got a trial, far less anyone trying to help him."

Hermione's arm snaked around his waist in an attempt to reign in his temper, it helped a little. "I have already informed Madam Bones I will not be attending the trial, neither speaking for nor against the man. There are far too many people pedalling influence to the highest bidder, the Potters are not for sale at any price."

Dumbledore was losing his cool, how dare this little shit tell him how to behave, Albus would be the one doing the telling. "Not even if it meant your little excursion this Saturday was in danger of being cancelled?"

McGonagall was actually growling at this remark but Hermione answered the headmaster, "Since everyone we invited has already written home and the head of the DMLE signed the permission slip of her niece, I would like to hear your proposed excuse to the students and parents. This is, after all an educational establishment and you would be denying your students this experience. All because my husband won't do as you suggest?"

Dumbledore just smirked "A detention cancels your weekend privileges, those are the rules Mrs Potter. You wouldn't like to get a detention now, would you?"

Harry wiped the smirk off his face and took the breath from the old wizard. "The one with the power to vanquish the dark lord approaches. It may have escaped your notice sir but the dark lord of the prophecy is never actually mentioned by name. Trying to force a couple of children under your care to do your bidding is pretty dark. Then again quite a few of your actions are emerging from the shadows to show you in a different light."

Harry deliberately turned his back on Dumbledore to speak with a McGonagall who was angrier than he'd ever seen her. "Professor, my wife and I will of course abide by school rules. Any fair punishments received will be served. Should we feel the current headmaster manipulated the situation, we will leave this school and these shores never to return."

McGonagall appeared ready to decapitate Dumbledore and seemed only to be waiting on the Potters leaving her classroom before carrying out the deed.

Harry though had parting words for them, "I'm well aware that I could use my position and fame to ensure Snape never sees daylight as a free man again, I choose not to. I am also aware of the prophecy and what it would mean should I leave Britain for good, at the moment we choose not to. Attempting to manipulate us or our friends could make that decision harder to defend against two parents and a godfather who think we should get our arses on the first available plane."

Hermione couldn't resist the opportunity to verbally kick Dumbledore in the stones. "We respond to threats the same way as attacks, we fight back. For a headmaster to be a bully is unforgivable. Is it any wonder people like Malfoy believe they can get away with anything, they're just following your example."

As they left Minerva realised she no longer needed to strike Albus, the Potters parting words had smacked into him like a brace of bludgers. That didn't mean she wasn't going to tear the face off him verbally. "Albus, I worked very hard to get those two back into the castle yet you seem determined to drive them away. Make no mistake, should they leave again that will be it! Can I assume from the expression on your face that scenario would be worse than even I think it would be?"

Dumbledore's voice was barely audible, "Minerva, it would be the end of us all!"

At this point Minerva totally lost it and her Scottish brogue was as broad as it was colourful, "Then why the fuck would you deliberately antagonises them over that miserable bastard Snape? Even without your carefully hidden knowledge I know that the Potters are far more important to our world than that useless arsehole Severus is or ever will be."

Albus faced up to his deputy, "Mr Potter needs to work with me to fulfil his destiny, there is no other option."

Minerva was beginning to think she was going to have to stick her wand up his nose to get his head out his arse. "In your eyes that may be true but you listen to me you old fool. Those kids have plenty of options that don't include worshiping the great Albus Dumbledore and rushing to comply with his every suggestion. Your tunnel vision only sees one outcome regarding the Potters but you have no idea what you're dealing with here."

She reckoned it might take a beater bat to divert Dumbledore from his chosen course, Minerva was considering transfiguring one to use on his stubborn head. "The Grangers would have those kids out the country quicker than you can list your titles, they've sold their business and are ready to leave at a moment's notice. The Potters are bringing a court case against you yet you try to use blackmail to get them doing something against their will."

Albus actually winced at that 'technically correct' term, Minerva wasn't finished yet though.

"They are uniting the houses and have the ear of the minister, Rita Skeeter would probably kill for a chance to talk with them and you pull a stunt like that! My professional opinion is you should pay Poppy a visit for a complete check-up. I would prefer to think you were ill rather than a manipulative old bastard with an unhealthy interest in an eleven year old boy."

She stormed out of her classroom to check on the Potters, leaving a despondent Dumbledore wondering why no one was paying him the respect he deserved.

-oOoOo-

Percy Weasley couldn't get his anger under control, the main reason being that he didn't really want to. All those carefully planned dreams that he worked so hard for were now nothing more than that, dreams. He had been exactly on his determined course, made prefect and would have asked Penelope to accompany him for the first Hogsmead weekend. After becoming head boy and then securing a position at the ministry would be the correct time to ask for Penelope's hand. All this lay in tiny pieces thanks to the Potters. The person who got his badge was now spending all day Saturday with his Penelope outside Hogwarts.

Percy had been trying to gather up the courage and ask Penelope to Hogsmead regardless of being badgeless only for the Potters to practically throw her and Wood together. The slights against his family also forced their way into his thoughts and added fuel to what was already a considerable blaze. This was why he was standing in a dark alcove, in sight of the entrance to the Potters accommodation, his wand gripped tightly in his hand.

His intended targets strolled casually into his field of vision, unaware or uncaring about the devastation they had visited upon him. His wand was held steady in the darkness while a curse graced his lips when two things stopped him. A suit of armour stepped out in front of them, blocking his shot and McGonagall's voice ringing down the corridor introduced a modicum of sense into his mind.

"Mr and Mrs Potter, may I speak with you for a moment?"

Percy looked on as his head of house was invited into their accommodation, a shiver of dread passed down his spine at what he'd almost done.

Firing a curse from the darkness wasn't good enough, he wanted them to suffer like he had. He also wanted them to know who was responsible for their pain. Percy melted back into the shadows, making his way back to the Gryffindor portrait by a circular route. He was going to have to give this some serious thought, a quick curse in the back was too good for them. They needed to learn what it meant to cross Percy Weasley.

-oOoOo-

After promising to speak to Wood about Quidditch, Harry and Hermione said goodnight to their head of house at the door. They surreptitiously confirmed Percy was no longer lying in wait. Harry was intending to curse the prat as Charles moved and provided cover, only for McGonagall's appearance to save Percy's life – for now.

He had lifted his wand against Hermione for the last time, it might affect their plans for Ronald but that couldn't be helped. Percy Weasley had just elevated himself straight to the top of their to-do list, he would be lucky to see the weekend.

-oOoOo-

Next morning saw the flood of owls being rapidly followed by a steady stream of students taking their signed permission slips to the staff table. Hermione was forced to concede that Sirius had been correct, she had raised doubts that some of the pureblood parents wouldn't allow their children to attend.

He had just laughed at that suggestion, "Hermione, the magical words for pureblood parents are influence and free, this venture supplies both! Their children get to mingle with the Potters and it doesn't cost them a Knut, they will be falling over themselves to sign those slips."

The entire hall was caught up in the excitement, all except five first year Slytherins and a fifth year Gryffindor. Dumbledore was conspicuous by his absence.

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