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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20. Chapter 20

The few weeks leading up to Halloween were some of the happiest Harry and Hermione had spent in any timeline. Both loved their new house and living with mum, dad and Sirius just made it better. Luna was emerging more and more from her self-spun cocoon with Ginny becoming the friend they originally thought she was. Both girls were good for each other and certainly brightened up the Potters' weekends as they practically lived there from Friday evenings until Sunday afternoons.

At Hogwarts, things were better inside the school than at any time in living memory. Both blood and house barriers were beginning to crumble with Harry, Hermione and Neville joining their Slytherin friends at their table for a few meals a week. Not one person raised an objection, though Ron and Draco made certain they sat well away from them.

With no tension in the first year's classes, house points were becoming almost irrelevant. They would all have a party at the end of term no matter which house won the trophy.

In potions, the Potters had Slughorn hovering around them like a vulture eyeing up its next meal. He constantly reminisced over his 'slug club', claiming he and Harry were alike as Horace had always included other houses.

This was so far from the truth of the matter that Harry was quickly losing his patience, Slughorn conveniently forgot that all he cared about was influence when choosing who he wished to attend. Hermione was struggling to help Harry retain control while the rest of the class were busy sniggering at the professor being oblivious to how his intended victim was really feeling.

When they eventually saw how uncomfortable this attention was making their friends, the class started running interference for the Potters. When Slughorn began to hover around Harry, suddenly someone would need the professor's attention at the other side of the class. Hermione made sure to let their friends know how much both of them appreciated it.

Defence was also quickly becoming a nightmare as Harry wanted to attack the professor, knowing what was behind that turban and that Tom was now mortal made restraining this impulse almost impossible to ignore. Only the threat of revealing their knowledge stayed Harry's hand. Their friends just assumed that the Potters were mad because Quirrell was so bad a teacher. Having lessons with Tonks and Remus just emphasised how terrible a teacher Quirrell actually was.

The only person who appeared unhappy with how well things were running at Hogwarts was Albus Dumbledore. More and more he found himself pushed to the sidelines as the staff and students now looked toward Minerva for leadership.

-oOoOo-

The weekend before Halloween was tense in the Potter / Granger / Black household, all had their own thoughts on the rapidly approaching day. Luna picked up on this tension and waited until she had Harry alone before having a quick word with him about this.

"Harry, is there something wrong? Ginny and I can return home if you need some time alone as a family."

Harry was now angry with himself for making Luna feel uncomfortable, he should have known she would soon discover they were worried about something. The Luna Lovegood they had known before would always understand how people were feeling, she just didn't posses the social skills or confidence to do anything about it. This Luna wouldn't suffer from those problems if he and Hermione had anything to say about it.

"I'm sorry Luna, this has nothing to do with you being here and I definitely want you to stay. It's just the entire school is gearing up for a big celebration on Thursday yet I only discovered from Hagrid this summer that was the night my parents were murdered. It will be ten years since they died trying to save me and I really don't want to remember that event by sitting down to a feast!"

Harry had tried not to lie to Luna though he found himself getting caught up in the emotions of the moment. There were now unshed tears in his eyes along with a determination that this Halloween would be memorable for all the right reasons. He suddenly found his arms full of the little blond witch.

"Oh Harry, it's me who should be sorry. I, like everyone else, forgot what Halloween would mean for you. It's fourteen months and eight days since my mother died, I think about her every single day. On the anniversary of the accident I cried non stop. Nothing that anyone says can make it hurt any less, I find it best just to hold someone and let it all out. My dad took time from work to be with me and that really helped a lot." Both children now had eyes full of tears as they thought about the loved ones they had lost.

"I'd better go and hug Hermione, so should you. It will make you feel a lot better."

Hermione and Ginny had actually caught the end of their conversation and hadn't wanted to interrupt. It was a smiling Mrs Potter who approached the pair. "I think we can relax the rules for this weekend Luna, Harry needs all the hugs he can get just now." She took her husband into her arms and added a kiss to the equation.

Harry buried his head into her neck, inhaling her sent. "I so love smart girls! You are definitely right Luna, hugging Hermione makes me feel much, much better."

Hermione held him tighter as she heard both girls sighing at the tender emotions expressed in his voice, she couldn't help but play along with him. "Well, a certain other smart girl that you love has suggested that we all go out to see a movie."

Harry could instantly see that this excited Luna and Ginny, neither of whom had ever been to a cinema before.

"Ok, I agree with mum. But it has to be something cheerful, not some 'chic flick'. Ghost is a definite no-no."

This had Hermione giggling, more at Ginny and Luna's expressions as they hadn't a clue what Harry had just said. "Mum suggested 'Beauty and the Beast', what do you think?"

Harry appeared to think for a moment as all three girls now focused on him. "Well you my Hermione are certainly a beauty, so that means I'll have to be beastly!" He started tickling Hermione and her shrieks could be heard all over the house.

-oOoOo-

It was a tearful Monday morning as Emma had to fight every instinct she possessed in order to let her children return to that bloody school. She currently had Harry gripped in a hug that was starting to affect his vision. "Mum, we'll be fine. I promise we'll come straight home as soon as it's all over."

These words of comfort from her son didn't appear to help as the tears began to flow, she was sending her children into battle and Emma's heart was breaking. Hermione could offer no aid as she was currently being held in a similar grip by her father, Sirius was in the queue awaiting his opportunity to do the same. It really rankled with the adults that they were supposed to sit here while the kids walked into danger to do the fighting.

Their plan had sounded good in theory but now it was upon them, theory could bugger off! There wouldn't be much sleep to be had inside that house as they waited on Thursday night coming around.

Sirius had begged for the chance to be there, he was supposed to protect these children and there was still a lot that could go wrong. He didn't want them in there with only each other as back-up. Neither Harry nor Hermione would hear of it.

The most they would allow was a note to his fellow marauder asking Remus to keep an eye on Harry because he now understood the significance of Halloween. Those bastards who had the chance to raise Harry hadn't even told him that much. He gave a small grin at the thought of Hermione's revenge on them. Both Granger girls could easily have been marauders, they were very sneaky which turned into utter ruthlessness if their family was being adversely affected. Sirius finally got to hug Hermione goodbye as Dan now had his arms around Harry.

To Dan this was like that horrible day all over again, he could only repeat the words he said then. "Bring her home to us son, that's all I ask. I know she'll have your back covered so you just bring her home. No heroics and no taking chances, do what you need to do and get the hell out of there. We'll be waiting on you both." Dan was now trying to comfort his crying wife as Sirius pulled Harry into the hug with Hermione.

"You let Remus know if you need a hand, if I can think of a good enough excuse I'll be there as well."

Harry was about to argue but could see it would do no good. Sirius wouldn't balls-up the plan on a whim but would spend the rest of the week trying to figure some plausible excuse.

Harry now had both arms around Hermione as she activated the portkey that took them away.

Emma broke down as soon as they left, Dan was holding his wife but her gaze was fixed on Sirius. "You're supposed to be a marauder, I want your word you'll be there in that hall. I don't care what age they are, those are our children and they need you in that hall. We can't do it so it has to be you, I want your word Sirius."

The smile that graced his face never quite reached his eyes. Dan immediately felt a lot better while Emma's tears stopped as her mouth dropped open at what the smile meant.

"Did you honestly think I was going to let those two face that evil bastard alone? I didn't say anything sooner because I want them both to react naturally when I arrive. The only way we can walk away from this is if no one finds out about their knowledge of the future."

Emma slowly approached him, "Sirius, I'm not sure whether to kiss you or introduce my knee to your groin!" Emma kissed the now worried marauder on the cheek, "You could have at least told us?"

"Sorry folks, again I didn't want anyone giving the game away. I have it figured so Remus and I will have their backs, not that Remus will know anything about it."

Emma left to freshen up, Sirius watched her leave before turning to Dan with a wide smile on his face, "She called them our children!" That particular thought would keep the smile on the marauder's face all day.

Dan was happy to see his reaction to being considered family, Sirius and Harry were actually so alike in that respect. Dan couldn't bring himself to smile though, like his wife he felt as if they'd just sent their children into battle. Nothing in his life had prepared him for that, the laws of nature dictate it should be the other way around.

For the first time ever he appreciated Hermione wiping their memories and sending them to Australia. Having to wait until Thursday night to discover how things went was terrible and already eating away at him. Knowing his daughter had been in mortal peril for a year with no way to receive information, even if she was alive or dead, would have been his worst nightmare. He just hoped he got the chance to thank her for it on Thursday evening.

-oOoOo-

Harry and Hermione took a few moments to embrace and get their game faces on before heading toward Hogwarts and beginning their week, a week that would change everything.

Monday evening after dinner found most of the first years crammed into Harry and Hermione's quarters, this had become the norm since they were busy the other three nights and left on Fridays. It was quite crushed but a chance to catch up with what they had missed since Friday while setting everyone up for the rest of the week.

When they all left for curfew, Harry ignored the now empty space and kept Hermione on his lap, where she'd been perched for most of the evening. She snuggled in and gave him a small kiss before speaking. "You sir, are not as good an actor as you think. Lavender and Parvati pulled me aside earlier to ask what was wrong with you."

Harry couldn't quite believe it, "Well those two have certainly changed, before it was all gossip, fashion and boys! What did you tell them?"

"I stuck pretty much to what you said to Luna, there's enough truth in there to explain why we're a bit off this week."

Harry nodded in agreement, "Do you think anyone else will notice."

Hermione smiled at her husband's naivety, "Those two girls haven't changed that much, the entire school will know by breakfast."

Hermione wasn't far wrong with her prediction, they found their friends sticking even closer than usual. Neville especially appeared determined not to let them out of his sight and be there for them. Oliver Wood almost had a fit when a Slytherin appeared at their Quidditch practice, Where Neville went, Millie followed! The rest of the team had no problem with her being there so Oliver was forced to backtrack. She was clearly there to offer support to her friend, not spy for Slytherin. The three Gryffindor chasers thought it was so sweet and the twins backed Harry on principle.

Harry had a lump in his throat as he found all their friends waiting on them to escort them back to their room, he wasn't the only one. A certain feline animagus felt her heart fill with pride at the caring actions of these children as they rallied around their friends. She was in her cat form to ensure there wasn't a repeat of any attacks though really she just wanted to keep an eye on them, the gossip about Harry feeling down had also reached the staff. Minerva had wept at the death of Lily and James, raged at the placing of Harry with those dammed muggles but he would have made his parents so proud.

Remus and Tonks also noticed the slight change in behaviour at the Wednesday extra defence class, it was hard to put your finger on it but it was definitely there. The entire class had become one large group of friends who appeared determined to be there for one of their own who was hurting. Both adults felt quite humble while witnessing this unconscious display of caring.

A very happy Professor Flitwick was distributing points like confetti as his classroom began to resemble an explosion in a pillow factory. There were feathers flying about everywhere as the first years swished and flicked and laughed while their feathers rose into the air. The group had covered this in the Potters room on Monday night so everyone was prepared to perform the charm and had managed it before the period was even half way through.

Ron sat with Crabbe, Goyle and Draco, waving his wand about like he was shovelling coal. The draft caused by all that waving might eventually move his feather but it certainly wasn't going to be moved by his magic. He didn't once consider insulting anyone and would sooner have snogged his former head of house than tell Mrs Potter she was an insufferable know-it-all with no friends. Snogging Snape would be survivable, verbally attacking either Potter probably wasn't. Ron reckoned that the third helping of lunch might have been a pie too far as they left the classroom, he felt his stomach cramp and headed at speed toward the nearest toilet.

-oOoOo-

Draco didn't think anyone else had noticed Ron was missing from the feast, he didn't report this as he revelled in the pleasure of enjoying a meal without having to watch Ron eat.

Harry and Hermione had also noticed that Slytherin was missing a first year, that wandless bowel loosening hex Harry had performed should keep Ron occupied for another hour at least! The equivalent of Troll Chanel number five sprayed on the toilet door should make sure his date arrived, after that it was up to fate. He had the same chance as Hermione did in her first year, except Harry wasn't going to be racing to his rescue.

Harry and Hermione had other things on their minds, He was like a coiled spring ready to leap into action. Hermione was every bit as nervous as her husband though managed to hide it better. Both were desperately trying not to stare at the doors. When the doors did crash open, they were not the only ones to jump, they were the only ones to think Quirrell was early. They certainly weren't the only ones who wondered what the hell was going on here. Harry swore that if this ruined everything, there would still be a murder committed here tonight.

-oOoOo-

Remus couldn't believe who was walking toward him. "What are you doing here?"

"And hello to you to love! Here was me thinking you would be pleased to see me."

Remus was sure she was joking but welcomed his girlfriend with a kiss anyway. He also wasn't sure if you were supposed to kiss an auror in uniform, Tonks just looked so hot in it. She had roared with laughter when he had said he didn't want her to change into anyone else for him, though she could change into her uniform anytime she wanted.

When she had calmed down and figured out that Remus only wanted her for herself, being an auror was a big part of who she was, Tonks started to think that this one might actually be a keeper.

Sirius couldn't contain his smile as he watched both of them, he might not be so adept at reading Tonks yet but Moony was head over heels for the girl. He'd never seen his fellow marauder happier.

"When you two are quite finished, Auror Tonks and Lord Black have official business in Hogwarts castle tonight."

Remus gave both a quick glance over. Tonks was now blushing beautifully in her uniform while Sirius was dressed in robes befitting a lord. This was clearly no social call. "You do know the feast is just about to start inside the great hall? What am I saying, of course you do! Can I see the paperwork? Just because my girlfriend works doesn't mean I desire to become a kept man. I need my job."

Both had official sealed documents, the second Remus saw who they were addressed to he understood what was going on here. He was delighted to escort them to the great hall. The letters covered his job though, now that he knew what was afoot, nothing would have kept him away.

When the trio made their dramatic entrance into the great hall, all eyes were immediately upon them. Most of the hall's occupants figured that the evening's entertainment had just arrived. Sirius gave a large wink toward Harry and Hermione as he passed, it didn't settle their nerves one iota.

Dumbledore rose to his feet, clearly angry. "What is the meaning of this interruption? Mr Lupin, I was under the impression that it was your job to prevent these type of interruptions occurring?"

Remus came straight back at him. "Both Auror Tonks and Lord Black are here on official business. I am well aware of my remit headmaster, which is why I escorted them here." The last was said in such a way as to imply Dumbledore should do his own job before telling others how to do theirs.

Sirius had actually been looking forward to this bit. "Albus Dumbledore, ten years ago almost to the hour, you took it upon yourself to ruin two lives. It is now time for you to be judged for those crimes. You are hereby given notice in front of witnesses that a trial has been set for Monday the fourth of November at nine am." Sirius made a great show of presenting Dumbledore with the official scroll.

When he had agreed the trial date with the ministry, Sirius then asked if a member of his family could present the ministry documents. Amelia Bones had readily agreed, it didn't matter to her which ministry employee took them as long as they got delivered.

Tonks now spoke, "Albus Dumbledore, the ministry of magic are holding a combined investigation pertaining to your part in the crimes committed against Lord Sirius Orion Black and Lord Harry James Potter. Your presence is required at courtroom ten at nine on Monday the fourth of November. Failure to appear will see a warrant issued for your arrest while the evidence will be presented without a defence."

Albus shakily accepted his second notice of the evening. On one level he'd been aware both would be coming but had been so confident in his ability to get himself out of this situation this was now most definitely a shock to the system. He was just about to experience one of a far greater magnitude.

Quirrell found the doors were already open with all eyes focused on the headmaster as he theatrically staggered into the hall. Had he been forewarned this was going to happen, he wouldn't have needed this bloody distraction. Ah well, he thought, too late to worry about that now.

In order to attract everyone's attention, he shouted at the top of his voice. "TROLL! There's a troll lose in the dungeons, I just thought you should know." He then proceeded to faint in a manner that would make anyone who performed in amateur dramatics cringe in horror.

This was the moment Harry had been waiting for, he'd been dreading it all week but now the confidence was flowing through him. Originally there would only have been Hermione's wand that he could have counted on. Although Sirius had almost given them a heart attack when he entered, there was now another three people inside the hall who would instantly fight by his side if needed.

He leapt from his seat and was at the imposter's side before anyone had time to register what was happening, far less that there was a monster hopefully heading toward a certain toilet door. He pressed two fingers hard against the carotid artery in Quirrell's neck. The supposedly unconscious man was instantly awake and screaming blue murder. As Harry jumped back in feigned fright, he made sure to disturb that ridiculous turban the professor wore.

Harry didn't know if the decay had already spread to Quirrell's vocal cords yet, the possessed professor was suddenly quiet as he thrashed about. Quirrell was now on his feet with both hands clamped against his neck, obscuring the damage from anyone's view.

McGonagall's voice though rang out loud and clear. "Mr Potter, what did you do to Professor Quirrell?"

"Professor, all I did was check his pulse!" Harry quickly scanned the hall, "Aw C'mon, didn't anyone else thing he was overacting just a tad? He fell down like a big fairy, is he another special friend of the headmaster's? And this is what Hogwarts employs to teach us about defence?"

As Harry had been talking, he'd watched as Tom's turban disguise unravelled before his eyes, the back of Quirrell's head became visible to some of the hall. Now the screaming started.

Quirrell turned until Voldemort was directly facing Harry. When it began to speak, the entire hall was frozen into silence. "Potter, what kind of magic is this? It doesn't matter, I am invincible, I will defeat you in the end!"

"Hermione love, you were right as usual. I will never pick another spot again if that's what can happen."

"Impudent child, I am Lord Voldemort, you will all bow down before me or die!"

The words were hardly out of Voldemort's mouth when Quirrell was hit by an expelliarmus from Hermione. Quirrell's wand had still been inside his robes but now flew into her hand.

"Thanks for that love, I already snapped ugly's wand. You should know that Potters bow to no one, especially the likes of you!"

There were now a few genuine faintings taking place around the hall as the reality of the situation began to sink in. Harry Potter was facing Lord Voldemort – and appeared to be winning! This was probably the only reason the place hadn't descended into mass panic.

It was also helped by seeing Quirrell was in obvious distress and there was now five wands pointed at Voldemort's face.

Harry found the group of five being joined by Neville and a shaking Millie. "You never told us he was this ugly Harry." He could see something in Neville's eyes and was proud of his friend for having the courage to face his fears. That was not it though, having friends and respect had done wonders for the boy. This was nearly the Neville who had the courage to charge Voldemort and his death eaters. Neville screamed at the monster standing shakily before them.

"You are the reason my parents are the way they are!" Neville fired the first curse at Voldemort. This opened the floodgates as curses rained down from every part of the hall. Quirrell's body was already dying from lack of oxygen to the brain. When his hands were knocked from his neck by the curses, it was instantly apparent that a large portion of his neck had rotted away. It could only have been Voldemort's magic that was keeping the professor on his feet, the multitude of various curses had seriously disrupted that magic. Professor Quirrell now genuinely fell to the floor, only this time he wouldn't be getting back up.

After a few seconds of stunned silence when the dark lord fell, the hall exploded into cheering that almost took the roof off. There were people on top of the tables, dancing in celebration. Harry, Hermione and Sirius never took their eyes off the now still body. They had now been joined by staff from the top table, Dumbledore was demanding answers but found himself being ignored. When a white mist began leaving Quirrell's body, silence once more spread through the hall. As the mist began taking the now recognisable form of lord Voldemort, there were gasps and cries heard from every corner of the large room.

These gasps and cries seriously escalated as the spirit of Voldemort spoke, "Your victory is a hollow thing Potter, I am immortal and will return stronger than ever."

Harry's voice was strong and steady as he answered the spirit. "You do that! We'll all be waiting for you and kick your arse however many times it takes. No one here is afraid of you. To be honest, if this is the best you can do, it's hardly worth your bother returning."

The look of terror that was suddenly on the spirit's face was soon explained, "What have you done with my anchors? They're gone!"

"What do you mean gone?" interrupted Dumbledore.

"Excuse me headmaster, I believe he was talking to me! Does this mean we won't be seeing you again? That's such a shame." Harry's voice was dripping with sarcasm against the two people who had ruined his life.

The spirit of Voldemort acted quicker than anyone thought possible, it dove directly into Harry's body and caused the biggest wave of panic yet to surge through the hall. Harry's eyes rolled in his head and only Sirius grabbing him from behind and getting his arms around the boy's chest prevented his godson from falling to the floor.

"Oh shit no!" Came loudly from Sirius, only to find Hermione rounding on him.

"Oh Shit, is that all you got?" Before he could answer, she grabbed Harry's head and began kissing him for all she was worth. Hermione poured every ounce of feeling she had for her husband into that kiss, she knew they were fighting a battle for his very soul. If a dementor couldn't take her Harry away from her, Hermione sure as hell wasn't going to stand back and let the spirit of some dark lord have him without a fight.

Harry's body was undergoing convulsions and it was taking her and Sirius all their time to keep him standing upright before Remus and Neville grabbed an arm each. Hermione didn't know how long she'd been kissing her husband but when she felt Harry starting to respond to her ministrations, the feelings of love that surged through her young body were strong enough to destroy every dementor on the planet. A piddling dark lord's spirit didn't stand an earthly.

Shortly after that, Voldemort's spirit was forced out of Harry's body, screeching in pain as the amount of love rushing through Harry burned him like sulphuric acid. The unholy cries soon died as Voldemort faded before disappearing for the final time.

Neville and Remus thought it was now safe to release Harry's arms, both appendages were soon wrapped around his wife as they continued the life-saving kiss. After they had finished, the once again near silent hall heard Harry's words. "I thought I was in trouble there until I remembered who I was married to. Best decision I ever made!"

Hermione still held his face in her hands as she gazed into his eyes, "In this world and the next love, don't you ever doubt it." She then gently brushed her lips across Harry's before his eyes once more rolled in his head. Harry had passed out from the exhaustion of repelling Voldemort though he had a beautiful smile still visible on his face.

Sirius still had a hold of him and lifted his godson toward the nearest table, their friends quickly had a portion cleared for him to lie on. Dumbledore was about to poke his nose in once more when Hermione verbally cut it off. "How could you be so bloody stupid as to hire Voldemort to teach children? How many more death eaters have you got stashed away around the castle? Speaking of stashed away, if we discover this incident had anything to do with whatever you're hiding in the 'painful death' third floor corridor, I will personally ask that you receive the dementor's kiss for endangering the lives of children placed in your care. We're here to learn about magic, not to become lab rats for whatever experiment you happen to be running."

Albus didn't get a chance to answer as a blood curling scream of fear was clearly heard through the still open great hall doors.

Hermione merely stated the obvious, "It would appear that Quirrell wasn't lying about there being a troll lose in the school, and yet again the headmaster sat there and did nothing!"

Remus, Minerva, Charity and Filius were already racing out the door to try and discover the source of the scream. Albus meanwhile cast a sonorus on himself. "Prefects, escort the students back to their houses."

Tonks had also cast a sonorus on herself, "Ignore that order, no-one leaves this hall."

Albus couldn't hide his disappointment that his standing with the students was so low they immediately obeyed this chit of a girl over him, "Miss Tonks, I am the headmaster here!"

"It's AUROR Tonks headmaster. We have no idea if there is a troll or where it could be yet you intend to send your students through the school unaccompanied? Can any of your prefects take down a troll?" Not waiting on an answer, Tonks took out her auror shield and tapped three specific points in order, thus sending out the auror emergency distress signal. She'd never used it before but another scream from outside the hall and a body that had contained Voldemort lying dead on the floor should be enough justification for bringing every available auror to Hogwarts.

The rot was slowly spreading from the neck of the dead body but Voldemort's face was still clearly visible protruding from the back of its head. Tonks had almost pissed herself with fright when she'd first seen that disgusting sight but she'd drawn her wand and stood her ground, watching children she had taught doing the same before firing curses at the dark lord was the proudest moment of her life.

Tonks was still doing her job, she then directed Pomona, Horace and Aurora to stand guard at the doors leading into the great hall, ensuring the troll could not gain entry. Having done everything she could and with the students now sitting awaiting their next instructions, Tonks once more directed her ire at Dumbledore. "Do you even have any idea who that is doing the screaming?"

Albus was forced to sit down while his body felt every one of its many years as the shocks kept coming. First was the impending court case that would ruin him, that paled into insignificance against the fact he'd had Voldemort walking around Hogwarts as a professor. The wizengamot might reintroduce being hung, drawn and quartered just for him after that became public knowledge. Watching as students from all four houses of Hogwarts stood together and attacked Voldemort was something that would live with him for the rest of his life.

The screams of that unknown student were like a wooden stake against his chest, seeing the staff and students obey that young auror instead of Albus Dumbledore drove that stake right through his heart.

Poppy was checking Harry as an anxious Hermione refused to relinquish her grip on his hand, the Hogwarts healer couldn't put her mind at ease. "Mrs Potter, your husband is magically exhausted. He needs plenty of rest and shouldn't be performing any magic for at least a few days."

Another scream was heard and Hermione couldn't take any more. "Sirius, we need to get out of here, NOW!"

Albus again tried to interrupt, he didn't want the Potters going anywhere before he could ask some questions. "I don't think that would be a good idea…"

Hermione's nerves were stretched so tight she was ready to snap at the slightest provocation, Dumbledore's very presence was more than enough. "Listen old man, it may have escaped your notice but nobody really gives a shit what you think anymore. Just sit there and do nothing, at least that's something you're good at!"

Hagrid came forward and gently lifted Harry off the table, "I'll take him Hermione, no troll will come anywhere near us. This time I'll make sure he ends up with the right family!" His glare at Dumbledore as he said this left no doubt who his dig was aimed at, Hagrid did not do subtlety.

Seeing an unconscious Harry cradled in Hagrid's arms brought that whole night flooding back with such force that Hermione collapsed in a heap, sobbing uncontrollably. Sirius had to take the distraught girl in his arms and carry her.

Tonks wasn't to certain this was a good idea but Sirius was very convincing, "Tonks, I need to get these kids home. If I don't get out of here, I might end up back in Azkaban for killing a stupid old man who's entirely responsible for this whole fiasco."

They left the great hall with both Potters having to be carried and most of their friends in tears, they barely made it out the castle when they were met by a horde of aurors racing toward Hogwarts. Amelia Bones's voice was clearly distinguishable as it emerged from the group.

"Sirius Black, only you could turn a simple document handover into a full scale emergency."

"Madam Bones, I'm flattered you think I'm so talented but this had nothing to do with me. The old fool had apparently hired Voldemort to teach our children defence. My godson just defeated him again in front of the entire great hall during the feast. Oh, and there's apparently a troll running lose somewhere in the school. I'm taking my two away from this madness, I would advise everyone to grab their children and do the same."

Amelia and her aurors were so stunned at the news that Voldemort had been amongst their children, they increased their speed toward Hogwarts. The group made it outside the wards before anyone could react against them leaving. A still sobbing Hermione took Harry into her arms and portkeyed home.

Sirius faced his large friend, "Hagrid, I never once blamed you. Had the positions been reversed, I would have done exactly the same. We all trusted the wrong man." Sirius quickly apparated away to avoid Hagrid's bear-hug, though with Emma Granger waiting at the other end, it might be a case of out the frying pan, into the fire.

-oOoOo-

The three Weasleys in Cairo were all asleep when the shouting from their fireplace woke them, all rushed there after instantly recognising Charlie's voice. If the urgency his voice contained didn't inform them this was serious, the astronomical cost of an international floo call should have.

"Mum, dad, you need to get to St. Mungo's as fast as possible. Ron has been seriously injured and is currently fighting for his life. That's all the details I have at the moment and I'm leaving for London right away, I'll see you there."

Molly raced directly for her clock, Ron's hand was still unwaveringly pointing directly at Mortal Peril. She knew that as long as the hand stayed on the clock then her boy was still alive. While Arthur and bill discussed the practicalities of how to handle this and the quickest way for both parents to get to London, Molly's gaze never left the clock. For the first time since receiving her new clock, she didn't want Ron's hand to move a millimetre.

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