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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15. Chapter 15

Neville was delighted to see the smiles displayed on the faces of his friends on their return to Hogwarts, they lit up the great hall that morning. It was obvious they got the result they were looking for yesterday. Not that Neville was in any way surprised by this, he and everyone else were learning that the Potters usually got what they were after. Tonight they had an extra defence lesson from Remus Lupin and Auror Tonks, the upper years were so jealous. Everyone thought Snape and Quirrell were useless teachers, only Harry and Hermione had actually done something about it.

As the couple sat down beside him Neville couldn't help but think of the differences they'd made to his life, the Slytherin girl sitting on his other side was just one of them. Life just kept getting better for Neville Longbottom as his Hogwarts experience was outshining all his admittedly modest expectations.

-oOoOo-

Tonks left the Grangers sporting blue hair. The auror thought she was so clever springing this surprise on Sirius, he wasn't supposed to know what hit him. How was it then that she found herself standing here like a nervous schoolgirl, fretting over what she would have to do tonight.

She had been looking forward to returning to Hogwarts tonight, after probing her feelings a bit deeper Tonks was astonished to discover the reason why. As a metamorphmagus she discovered quite early that she had to be honest with herself, it was a key fact in being able to control her transformation. She had to know herself and her emotional state, otherwise she could lose herself into the myriad of changes available to her.

The revelation that she was looking forward to tonight because Remus was going to be there made what she had to ask him a hundred times more awkward. It would have been bad enough to ask him on a date as a friend, but now to find out she may actually like him as more than a friend was startling.

Tonks had no illusions of a brave knight on a white steed sweeping her off her feet. She was still surprised though to find that the kind, gentle, funny Remus Lupin had pierced her armour and managed to touch her heart. She would just have to play it cool and see where things led. It's not like this was her first crush on a teacher, she was an auror for Merlin's sake!

-oOoOo-

Remus also found himself going about his duties with a spring in his step, he though was under no illusions why that was. Just the prospect of spending some time in the company of the beautiful, funny, pink-haired girl was enough to brighten any day. Remus was enough of a realist to understand these feelings could never be returned. He wasn't bitter or ranting at the world in general for his lot in life, he was a werewolf and this was as good as it got.

In actual fact his life was currently better than at any time since leaving Hogwarts as a student. He had a job, a place to live, his best friend back in his life, the son of his friends thought he was 'cool' and he would be in the company of a beautiful woman tonight as they taught children how to defend themselves.

Yes Remus Lupin was better than he had been in many years. The feeling that fluttered deep within his chest every time he thought of Tonks would have to stay just that, deeply buried. That he could take it out on a lonely night and bask in its warmth was something beyond treasure to the marauder.

-oOoOo-

Hermione was the first to notice the tension between Tonks and Remus, even with that tension their lesson was still one of the best defence lessons given in all her years at Hogwarts. Remus had a sense of fun that was still complemented by Tonks, even though she seemed on edge about something tonight.

McGonagall had provided a large classroom yet it was jam-packed with first year students, everyone bar Draco and his crew. They were split into two groups, Remus was teaching them not to let any spell hit you and the basic shield charm for when you couldn't dodge. Tonks had her students practicing jelly-legs jinxes and stinging hexes, emphasising accuracy above all else.

After each group had mastered their tasks, mock duels were quickly arranged to allow them to practice their newly acquired skills. The groups then swapped to learn offence / defence and complete the lesson.

Remus advised them to practice as next time they would be having a duelling competition using only the spells they'd learned tonight. All the students were buzzing with excitement as they left the lesson, every single one of them thanked Remus and Tonks before filing out the room. Hermione was positive something was going on with the pair so dragged Harry away, leaving only their two teachers for the evening alone in the classroom.

The marauder decided to get straight to the point, Tonks had been hardly able to look him in the eye all evening. "Are you going to tell me what's bothering you, because if I'm supposed to know then I will have to admit to being clueless."

Even with her metamorphic abilities, Tonks was unable to totally eliminate the blush that crept from her neck to her cheeks. "Oh Remus, you haven't done anything. I was trying to be clever and it's kinda backfired on me, well on us actually."

Remus eyebrows shot up as he tried to figure out just what the hell Tonks was talking about, she on the other hand knew she was going to have to tell him the full story. Tonks wasn't sure anymore how she got herself into this position in the first place.

"I arranged a blind date for Sirius with one of my friends." Remus was instantly very attentive, judging by how nervous Tonks was and now adding Padfoot into the mix, this could be bad!

Tonks continued, "Sirius maintains he's not ready to date yet and the only way I could get him to agree was by tagging along as a double date."

Now Remus was confused, Sirius was born ready to date so that excuse was pure fiction. Also Tonks going along for a double date only made sense if she had someone as well. She couldn't mean him, could she?

Tonks knew Remus was smart, the fact that she could see from his expression he'd worked it out only emphasised this point. "He suggested you as my date. He claims that with me and his best friend there, he would be able to relax and is less likely to make an arse of himself."

The werewolf's mind was now racing. If this was a prank then it was a cruel one and Sirius wouldn't do that, not to him at least. Could he be so out of practice at hiding his feelings that Sirius had been able to read him so easily? He could see Tonks growing more and more nervous by the second, he had to act.

"Miss Tonks, would you do me the honour of accompanying me on a date this Friday?"

The relief on her face was clearly visible, Remus figured at worst he would have a very enjoyable evening. He couldn't let himself think that things might go well, those thoughts could lead to heartache. Not a good option for a werewolf.

-oOoOo-

Hermione found herself being led by Harry. Not back to their quarters, but to a totally different part of the castle altogether. "Harry, what are you up to?"

He deviously smiled at his young wife, knowing full well how much she hated not knowing something. "We have to go and speak with someone, all will be explained then."

Hermione of course wasn't happy with that answer, only the promise of an explanation soon headed off the Impending storm. For the moment anyway. She was still no wiser when the couple found themselves outside the door of professor Flitwick and Harry was asking if they could speak with him for a moment. As they entered, Hermione marvelled at the charms placed on the furniture. All the pieces except the professor's chair adjusted to the visitor's size, she wondered rather cheekily if their friend Hagrid ever visited.

The little professor was as excitable as ever and almost bounced with glee at their presence, "Well, this is a most unexpected but pleasant surprise. Does professor McGonagall know you two are here?"

Both Potters really liked the head of Ravenclaw and were never fooled by his diminutive size. Here was a charms master and a warrior of some repute, you underestimated this man at your peril. "No sir. We will of course have to approach her on this matter, though I feel we may need your help with that."

Filius was now as intrigued as Hermione, Harry thought it would be cruel to tease his wife anymore so outlined his request. "Auror Tonks let slip tonight that our visit to the ministry of magic would take place next Friday. It's an event we're all looking forward to but I couldn't help thinking something was missing. Since discovering what it was that kept niggling at my brain, I've made a few enquiries that led me to your door sir. I need your help with organising an official Hogwarts visit to Gringotts."

Filius was very glad he was sitting in his own chair, anything else and he would have slipped off onto the floor in shock. He'd paid careful attention as this couple had instigated a revolution in Hogwarts, the charms professor supported their efforts wholeheartedly. He felt though that they had just overreached themselves. Their lack of knowledge in the magical world betraying their eminently applaudable ambition.

Hermione meanwhile wanted to grab her husband and kiss his socks off for even thinking of the idea. She wasn't sure if they could pull it off but what a coup if they could. They had given their friends a small experience of muggle life, if they could also open their eyes to the treatment of other sentient species then anything was possible. Once bigotry was exposed to the harsh daylight and opened up for examination, it could no longer survive. Only through ignorance and darkness could it thrive, her husband had apparently made it his mission to deny it both. She really couldn't wait to get him back to their room, damn these young bodies that would deny her doing what she wanted to for a few years yet.

Filius tried to let the young couple down gently, "Mr and Mrs Potter, I find myself extolling your intentions and goals, I fear I must be the bearer of bad news. The chances of the goblin council accepting such a proposal are nonexistent."

Harry's smile was wide and genuine, "You misunderstood me professor, I don't need your help with the goblins. I already have their full agreement and support, it's selling this to the rest of the staff and the ministry we may need some help with."

Filius slowly rose to make them all a cup of tea. Normally he would have used his wand to accomplish this, he didn't feel he could trust his magic right at this moment. He also required the time this would take for the momentous news to penetrate his numbed mind.

Hermione meanwhile had Harry wrapped in a hug while kissing his cheek, that would have to do for now.

The professor's shaky voice came back to them from the little kitchen niche, "If you don't mind me asking, what exactly have they agreed to?"

Harry was enjoying watching the tiny professor trying to play it cool, Hermione had clearly lost that battle as he reluctantly untangled himself from her arms. "Well sir, all the muggleborn will get to open their own vault, the advantages of such will be explained before they do this. I will be covering the fees and placing an initial ten galleons in each of them before we descend in the carts to see their new vaults. We will be shown some of the security measures that protect our investments and have been promised a peek at the famous Gringotts dragons. There will obviously be more but those are the highlights."

The sound of silence coming from their professor encouraged Harry to continue, "What we would like from you is your help in convincing everyone what a wonderful opportunity this is. We could perhaps benefit from a lesson or two in goblin culture so we don't unknowingly start one of those goblin uprisings professor Binns is so fond of droning on about."

It took a feat of immense concentration to get both cups into the hands of these extraordinary young people without spilling the tea everywhere. The professor's hands were literally shaking from intense excitement. "Mr Potter, I'm not sure you understand the magnitude of what you have achieved here? I'm also more than slightly intrigued as to how you managed it?"

Harry couldn't help but notice Hermione was really looking forward to hearing this bit as well. "Sir, my wife is muggleborn, for all intents and purposes I might as well be too. As two strangers in this new world there are things that make no sense whatsoever. The goblins are a prime example of this. As I mentioned earlier, all we know about them are the rebellions from history class. If that is all there is to know then why in hell do we trust that nation with all our wealth? You would have to be completely nuts to give a so-called hostile foreign power complete and utter control of your country's wealth and economy. Why is there antagonism between goblins and wizards? This is a chance to see with our own eyes what goblins are all about, and hopefully dispel some of the nastier myths bandied about regarding them." Harry hadn't realised he'd climbed onto his soapbox but the fire in Hermione's eyes made it worth the trip.

"To answer your question professor, I wrote to them and asked! When I explained that we would be seeing muggles and magical, yet felt the picture would be incomplete without highlighting their contribution to our world, I got an immediate yes in reply. Now it could be the effect of Harry Potter asking for something, but I got the impression they were delighted just to be asked. I was left thinking that doesn't happen too often in their dealings with wizards."

Filius was beyond shocked now. Could it be as simple as that? Yes the Potter name would undoubtedly have helped but would a request from Hogwarts have met with the same response? There were resources already at the fingertips of the school that had been ignored for decades. It took two newcomers to, not only point them out but seize the opportunities they presented. Filius wondered if it was rather like the story of the emperor's new clothes, if he remembered correctly it was a child who pointed out that mistake as well. Perhaps they saw a different Albus to everyone else to, it would certainly explain their attitude toward him.

"Mr Potter you have my promise that I will do everything within my power to make this historic outing a reality. I think I can also guarantee that professor McGonagall will also give it her full support. I fear all the opposition will come from the ministry."

Harry was again smiling, "Sir, if we can keep this between ourselves and Professor McGonagall for now, I think we could possibly deal with the ministry. Minister Fudge is sure to be there next week for our visit, and you just know he'll have all the press he can muster there as well. Wouldn't that be just the perfect time to say how much we enjoyed the ministry visit and how it set the precedent for the one graciously offered by Gringotts the following week. Fudge will get his pictures and positive headlines while the goblins will get some good publicity too for a change."

Hermione so wanted to jump her husband right now, cursing this young body for the limits it imposed. She so loved it when he allowed his intelligent side out to play. There was so much more to this man than the boy who jumped on a troll's back to save her. She was the only one who got to see the real Harry Potter.

Filius Flitwick was head of the house where the supposedly intelligent students were placed and was a very hard professor to impress. Harry Potter had just blown him away! He had brilliantly circumvented the ministry and the headmaster to provide his year mates with an experience that had never been available before. The fact that he maintained his wife was the brains of the family was just downright scary!

They chatted back and forth for ages until the professor realised the time, he quickly signed them a permission slip for being out past curfew and shooed them out the door. As the pair walked around the first corner, Hermione pounced on her man. What seemed like hours later, a known voice interrupted their kissing.

"They have their own room, why do they have to be doing this in a corridor after curfew?"

It was with a chuckle that Oliver answered, "They're Gryffindors' Penny, it's the challenge that counts. Though I would hate to see my seeker get detention and miss Quidditch practice, I hope you pair have a good explanation?"

Hermione was blushing profusely but Harry kept his arm around her waist as he handed his captain the acquired permission slip.

In a sotto voice, Oliver asked his girlfriend a question, "What do you think Penny, it might even be genuine?"

Penny could only shake her head at her new boyfriend's question, "Oliver, there is more chance of you giving up Quidditch for ballet than there is of you punishing someone on your team. Besides, I'm a Ravenclaw and recognise my head of house's signature. I think the muggle phrase for these two is 'get a room' but, since they've already got one, I can only suggest they go there right now."

Harry accepted both their slip and the advice in the spirit it was offered. He then led a still blushing Hermione back to their room. Harry couldn't be sure but thought he heard Oliver and Penny laughing as they continued on their rounds.

-oOoOo-

Ron had decided to make his big play at the Gryffindor table during breakfast. He reckoned that he couldn't lose, after getting those extra defence lessons last night they would be dying to try them out. Just the phrase 'extra lesson' was enough to ensure Ron didn't attend. He would just stroll up, make a few comments, act all insulted when they answered him back and then issue the challenge to duel. What could go wrong?

He made sure the twins were not there first, he didn't need word of this making its way back to dad. "Hey Potter, I've heard you've been hanging around with my sister. It stops now. She's far too good for the likes of you!"

Harry never even turned around to face the bastard, he didn't want to know if Crabbe and Goyle had accompanied him on this little adventure. Ron's date with destiny was still a few weeks away, He couldn't afford a public confrontation that may see some awkward questions asked later. "Fair enough. I'll tell her what you said when we see her on Saturday."

Ron didn't know what to make of that so decided just to press on regardless. "So, you decided just to ignore my warning? That leaves only one way to settle this, wizard's duel! Midnight tonight in the trophy room, you may bring a second."

Harry and Hermione shared a glance, surely not again! "If you think I'll be traipsing around the school corridors after curfew while you lie in bed and set Filch on me, you must be thicker than I thought. Considering how thick I thought you were in the first place, that's no mean achievement. Looks like the hat was right to place you in Slytherin though, no Gryffindor could ever have come up with that!"

This was not proceeding anything like how Ron had imagined it.

"Now, if that was all you wanted? I would suggest you go back where you came from, before I let Hermione beat you up again."

The resulting laughter from those that heard the exchange proved too much for Ron, combined with his plan disintegrating before his eyes it was too big a blow for his already fragile pride to accept. He drew his wand and quickly fired off a curse he'd heard the twins working on.

Hermione though had her wand already in her hand and a shield charm raised before Ron got his curse off. It reflected straight back at him and everyone sat waiting to see what it would do. Unfortunately they didn't have long to wait. Ron attempted to fire off another curse but emitted an exceedingly loud belch as slugs started dripping off his bottom lip. They hit the floor with a plop at the exact same time everyone in the hall lost any appetite they had left.

McGonagall was at the scene in seconds, transfiguring a plate into a bucket before handing it to Ron so he could catch the dripping slugs. She also banished the ones that had made it to the floor and were making their break for freedom.

"Mr Weasley. As you are clearly in no condition to answer questions in your present state, I will send you to Madam Pomfrey and speak to you later on this matter. Rest assured, the firing of curses in the great hall will not go unpunished."

Ron attempted to answer the professor, the resulting plops of three slugs passing out his mouth to hit the bucket told him that would be a bad idea. The audible groans of revulsion from all around him was not what he wanted to hear either. As he left the hall Ron now had every pair of eyes on him. The problem with that as far as Ron Weasley was concerned was that he didn't want to be remembered as the boy who belched slugs into a bucket. Not nearly as cool a nickname as the boy who lived.

"That was a very nice shield charm Mrs Potter. I'm tempted to award points to Gryffindor, especially as there was no follow-on action this time." Minerva was glancing along her table, noticing Miss Bulstrode sitting beside Mr Longbottom while Miss Abbott and Miss Bones were chatting to the other two Gryffindor girls.

It was actually Lavender who answered her head of house, "There was no need for any 'follow-on action' professor. We all knew Hermione had it well in hand. Mr Lupin taught us that shield charm last night. He and Auror Tonks were brilliant and we all learned so much."

This statement was greeted by nods of agreement from all the first years. This gave Minerva a new candidate for the post, after its current occupant had fallen prey to the defence curse. She then turned her attention to Harry, "I understand from professor Flitwick that you wish to speak with me? Please come to my office after dinner."

Hermione interrupted, "Professor, Harry has Quidditch practice then. Would it be possible for you to join us for tea in our rooms after it? There is less chance of us being disturbed there." Hermione didn't want to come right out and say it, but the headmaster wouldn't be able to interrupt.

Harry thought this was a very good idea and added one of his own, "Please extend the same invitation to professor Flitwick as well. We enjoyed his hospitality last evening and would like to return the favour."

Minerva instantly agreed, here was a chance to sit and chat with these two. There would be no ulterior motive, other than trying to figure out the best way to help two of her cubs.

-oOoOo-

Sirius was waiting in a specially prepared room, deep inside Gringotts bank. Barchoke and two armed goblin guards were also present as they awaited their visitor. Sirius had been certain that they would wait until the last possible moment before making an appearance. As the walls of the room changed colour when Narcissa Malfoy entered, Sirius and Barchoke shared a grin that their trap had been well and truly sprung. He'd guessed correctly and now the marauder could put his plan into operation. Narcissa Malfoy sat across the small table from Sirius, her tight derriere had no sooner touched the seat when two goblin blades appeared either side of her neck.

"This is an outrage! The minister is a close personal friend of my husband, I shall make sure he hears of this."

Sirius was shaking his head, answering the claims as if dealing with a petulant child, "Tut, tut, tut Lucius! You of all people should know that attempting to conduct business inside Gringotts while impersonating someone else carries very severe penalties. Now you can admit this which will allow us to discuss your rather limited options, or we can sit back and wait for the polyjuice to wear off. I should point out that should you choose the second option, I will be powerless to help you. Once you change back, you will be led from here to a Gringotts dungeon and probably never see the light of day again."

Narcissa / Lucius was sweating now, "You can't do this to me Black!"

Sirius was the epitome of cool, again acting as if he was explaining the facts of the situation to a simple child. "But my dear Lucius, I'm not doing anything. You did this to yourself when you entered this building in that disguise. That dress and those heels will be mightily uncomfortable once you revert back, unless you're into that kind of thing?" Sirius raised a questioning eyebrow as his guest attempted to control their temper.

Lucius realised the hopelessness of the situation, hard not to with two razor sharp blades next to your throat. Admitting nothing yet, he decided to see what this was really about. "What is it you actually want Black?"

Time to get down to business, Sirius put his serious face on. All pretence was now gone, "I want to protect my godson from the monster who killed his parents, you are going to help me do that. You have in your possession a little black book that has T.M. Riddle printed on it. Give it to me and all your troubles can be forgotten."

Lucius was trying to think fast, no one other than his master knew he had that item. How did Black find out? More importantly, how was he going to turn the tables on the former Gryffindor?

"Very well, I'll fetch the book for you."

Sirius smiled at the figure across from him, "I knew you would see sense, but there's no reason for you to travel all the way back to Malfoy manor to collect it. The truth is if that book's not in my hands by the time that potion wears off, I will no longer be able to help you. Still, it should be easier dealing with cousin Narcissa with you out of the picture." A hard edge crept into his voice as Sirius reinforced who was in charge here, "Call your house elf and have him collect it, remember you're on the clock!"

Lucius was still trying to calculate a way out of this, until he managed to get himself out of this room though Black held all the cards. Even giving the book to Black he could always retrieve it at a later date, if the polyjuice ran out then it was all over. "Dobby!"

The downtrodden little elf appeared in an instant, Lucius then provided precise instructions on how to retrieve the item in question. Dobby returned under a minute later and couldn't put the book down onto the table fast enough. It was almost as if the thing had burned his fingers.

Sirius of course couldn't resist going for those bonus points from his godson and his wife. "Now Lucius, for having the audacity to turn up here as my cousin it will cost you. Give Dobby clothes now!"

Lucius was livid, it looked an even stranger expression on Narcissa's face. Sirius got the feeling he was seconds away from telling him he would rue the day he crossed Lucius Malfoy. Instead, he handed the astonished but delighted Dobby a glove.

The little elf was now bouncing up and down on the spot with unabashed glee. "Dobby is thanking you very much master Black. Dobby should have known that someone who was the godfather of the great Harry Potter would have to be great themselves". The happiest elf in the entire world popped out of Gringotts.

Barchoke had confirmed that the diary was the genuine article before Dobby had been given clothes, the goblin now left the room with it to see the evil thing dealt with. Lucius was so engrossed in watching the book be taken away from him that it didn't even register that the other two guards had left as well. When it finally sunk in that there were only the two of them in the room, Black already had his wand out while his was still inside Narcissa's handbag.

A calm feeling then came over his mind as all his troubles were forgotten about. He no longer had a care in the world , except to follow the instructions the voice was placing in his head.

-oOoOo-

The minister's secretary was unsure how to deal with this, Lucius Malfoy no longer had unlimited access to the minister but she hadn't been appraised of the situation regarding Mrs Malfoy. This moment of confusion was put to good use.

"Don't worry about it dear, Cornelius will want to see me. I won't take up too much of his time."

As the blond woman entered the minister's office, something about this situation was bothering the secretary. After thinking about it for a few moments, she decided to err on the side of safety. She pressed the button on her desk to summon some help.

Both the aurors who quickly arrived agreed with the secretary's assessment of the situation, they decided to enter the minister's office after he didn't answer to their knock on the door. The sight that greeted them froze both experienced officers, neither had seen anything like this. The minister was conscious but being held in a full body bind while a dress wearing Lucius Malfoy was attempting to loosen the clearly terrified Fudge's robes. Two stunners blasted Malfoy into a wall before a finite released the minister.

Cornelius drew a deep, steadying breath before kicking Lucius Malfoy as hard as he could in the face. The two aurors were now physically restraining the struggling minister for magic as he attempted to repeat the feat on the unconscious body. Cornelius was ranting, raving and swearing at the top of his voice as he swung his foot and missed again. This also had the effect of quickly drawing a crowd.

It was only after Amelia entered that Cornelius regained some of his composure. "Amelia, I want that piece of filth leaking veritaserum from every pore. Everything this bastard has ever done I want down on parchment. Destroy him and arrest anyone else he names as a death eater. I was deluding myself these bastards could ever become upstanding members of our community. Bring them all down, anything you need is yours for the asking."

Amelia could have kissed Fudge, or at least let him have a few more kicks at Lucius. Her instructions were to destroy Malfoy, pictures of him in that dress on the front of the Prophet would do that job nicely. Saying that he attempted to assault the minister and got his nose broke for his troubles would also show Cornelius in a good light, Amelia was feeling particularly generous toward the minister at the moment. She immediately cancelled all auror leave and recalled all off duty officers, the next twenty four hours would change their world forever.

-oOoOo-

Harry was at Quidditch practice when a loud 'whoop!' from Hermione sitting in the stands caught his attention. Seeing her excitingly holding a letter that Hedwig had obviously just delivered had him flying over there like a bullet. The bollocking he was sure to receive from Oliver for abandoning practice and snogging his wife senseless would be well worth it.

The note had simply said, 'Enjoy your bacon sandwiches tomorrow while reading the Prophet, strangest house elf in the world seeks employment.' The enclosed advert for a tattoo parlour left no doubt that Sirius had accomplished his mission.

They would read about it tomorrow before getting the full story from Sirius first hand tomorrow night. The couple were unaware that there were other arrangements afoot tomorrow night, Emma Granger's 'operation Teddy' had its first phase revealed.

-oOoOo-

It was later that night as the two professors were leaving the Potter's room that they had a chance to chat in private about their evening. "Well Minnie, what do you make of it?"

She didn't even have to think about her answer, "This could potentially be the biggest step forward for our community in living memory. What makes it all the more astonishing is that neither of them seem to be aware of what they've accomplished here. I can't help but smile when I see Miss Bulstrode sitting at the Gryffindor table, care to wager that the Potters will be the first to sit with their friends at the Slytherin table?"

Filius wasn't biting, "Oh I don't think you will get any takers for that bet. The news of them building another home in Australia was quite worrying though. They've been such a joy to teach I would hate to lose them."

"You and me both my friend. The impact they've had on Hogwarts has been huge, in such a short space of time too! Albus seems to think that would be an unmitigated disaster, I don't know his reasoning but I now tend to agree with that. We are witnessing something pretty amazing here, I don't know that it would continue if they left the country and I hope we don't have to find out the answer to that. Both Granger parents are closely monitoring the situation and Sirius will do whatever is necessary to protect the young couple."

Filius appeared to consider this for a moment before replying, "Things can't be allowed to return to the way they were, you know I've often wondered if the house system is divisive. The hat attaches labels to eleven year old children that follow them for the rest of their lives. I know I was a different person at sixteen than I was at eleven. I've long advocated dividing the students by yeargroup rather than houses. A junior, middle and upper house makes much more sense to me. That way we would get to know all the students over their seven years here, instead of just a quarter of them."

This was something that she and Filius had discussed on more than one occasion. "I can understand your argument Filius, but we would be losing the house cup and the Quidditch matches."

Filius had his answer prepared though, "Both of which are very divisive to the school. The Potters have shown us a vision of the future and that's the way I think we should be looking. Our current first year's are integrating, irrespective of houses or bloodlines, that is a future I have dreamed about for years. We've been granted a unique opportunity here to see how things could be, don't you prefer it?"

Her little friend's argument was more potent than at any other time because of what was happening in Hogwarts at the moment. "Of course I prefer it! What we need to ask though is should we discard a thousand years of history, because of something that may be nothing more than a passing fad?"

Filius was well aware the Potters were exposing the cracks in her argument, he pressed home his advantage. "A fad that would rid future dark lords of their ability to so easily promote hatred and recruit gullible followers. Anything that turns the spotlight onto the bigotry and lies spouted by the purebloods is all good in my book. It can be no coincidence that the only first years against this are all Slytherin purebloods, they are wrong but nothing appears to be able to convince them of that. The phrase 'blind prejudice' springs to mind."

As they had now reached Minerva's quarters she bade her friend goodnight, there was much to think on.

Neither Professor noticed the headmaster melt from the shadows, he'd been listening to every word since they left the Potters. Another home in Australia for the Potters chilled him to the bone, forcing him to curtail any and all manipulations regarding them for now. The Potters had almost nonchalantly dealt with the Weasley boy this morning, Longbottom's altercation with the Malfoy heir had defanged little blond ponce. If Harry was half as good at Quidditch as Minerva alluded to, his popularity would be unstoppable. His master plan to keep the boy ignorant of the magical world had backfired spectacularly. Instead of being filled with wonder and awe, he and his wife were questioning everything. Worse still, they were encouraging others to do the same.

They just had two heads of house to tea. Another was so afraid of what they might say, he checked with the Potters before accepting the post. Given that the missing member went into raptures every time she spoke about how the first years were behaving like Hufflepuffs, Albus thought it was safe to assume the Potters had the full set of heads of house in their camp.

With even Hagrid thinking twice before proclaiming 'great man Dumbledore'. He felt his nightmare of becoming Albus Nobody was getting closer and closer all the time. He gave a little laugh that wasn't that far removed from a sob. Albus Dumbledore was reduced to sulking along the corridors while invisible, trying to discover what was happening in HIS school. These were changed days, changed days indeed!

-oOoOo-

Back inside their room, a pair of Gryffindors were chuckling out loud. They watched as the dot labelled Dumbledore followed on behind the two professors that had just left their room. They'd noticed him on the map earlier, hanging around outside their door. They hoped either Minerva or Filius mentioned their new house going to be built in Australia. After all, that was why they brought the subject up. They needed to keep Albus off balance for at least another few weeks, that piece of news should put paid to any plans he had for them at the moment.

-oOoOo-

Molly loved her new clock, apart from Ronald's hand still pointing at mortal peril. After discussing this, they had decided it must be the fact that a Weasley was in Slytherin and the clock understood this wasn't right. With Ginny's clearly stating home, the twins pointing at school and everyone else indicating work, Molly was at least assured the rest of his family were all right.

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