Harry Potter and Future's Past

Starts out the day after the Battle of Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione meet the Goddess of Love, and she offers to let them go back in time. Strictly Harry and Hermione. Minor - well maybe major Ginny, Ron and Dumbledore Bashing. Soul Bond - Time Travel



10. Chapter 10

Hermione awoke the next morning to two very large eyes within inches of her own staring at her. The year of being on the run didn't fail her as she rolled off her bed and snatched her wand from under her pillow. She had it raised with a hex on her tongue within a second of hitting the floor.

"Winky is sorry Miss Grangy," The house-elf apologized. "Winky didn't mean to startle you."

"What is it Mione?" Harry frantically asked through the bond. Hermione knew he was already scrambling down the steps to try to get to her as he had felt her panic.

"Nothing Harry," She replied to calm him down. "Winky is here and she startled me when I woke up," Her own heartbeat was starting to slow as she got off the floor and sat on her bed.

"It's alright Winky," Hermione said to the little elf.

"Dobby said that…well Dobby said you might know of a family who would bond with a disgraced elf," Winky explained. "Winky has had no Butterbeer in two days Miss Grangy. Winky wants a family."

Hermione sighed to herself as she looked at the house-elf. She remembered how miserable the elf had looked in the cupboard and now, with just a promise of bonding…of enslaving herself she was perky and full of life again. "You're not a disgraced elf Winky," She started gently. "I was there when your old master freed you; I know the whole story of his son. I know how you followed the orders given to you even when it required you to go up high when you hated being there."

"A good house-elf always does what she is told missus," Winky said. "And Winky always tried to be a good elf."

"Let me get dressed and we'll go find Harry," Hermione said quietly. "Then we'll tell you about the family who would like for you to join them."

Winky was so excited that as soon as Hermione pulled her clothes out of her trunk, she found herself wearing them thanks to the little elf. "Missus is dressed, we can go now," She said as she took Hermione's hand and started pulling her out the door.

"Well that can definitely be a time saver in the mornings," Hermione mused. "Harry it's time to bring Winky into our family if she wants to bond. Can you meet us in the Room of Requirements soon?"

"Of course love," Harry replied. "You got ready quickly."

"I had a little help," She replied as she sent the experience of being dressed by the elf to her husband who couldn't help but chuckle. Hermione turned to Winky. "Let's go to the come and go room and discuss this further."

"Come and go room it is missus," Winky replied as she gripped Hermione's hand tighter. A second later they were outside the Room of Requirements.

"I meant we should...oh never mind," Hermione replied.

"Did Winky do something wrong missus?"

"Of course not. I was just not expecting to apparate."

"Winky is sorry missus."

"You didn't do anything wrong. I was just surprised."

Hermione paced in front of the wall several times requesting a small room to talk in and a door appeared. She and Winky entered and they found three chairs in a small circle waiting for them.

"Sit down Winky," Hermione gestured to a chair as she took another of the chairs.

"Winky should not be sitting," The little elf replied. "Winky needs to get to her new family and start working."

Hermione sighed as she realized how difficult this was going to be for her. "Your new family will want you to be their friend as well Winky," She said finally. "They are going to want you to sit with them, and eat at their table when they have dinner…" She stopped when Winky started getting a nervous look about her. Fortunately Harry slipped in the door at that time followed closely by Dobby.

"Where did Dobby come from?" Hermione asked.

"He was standing outside the door so I invited him in," Harry replied.

"Dobby was waiting for Winky," Dobby explained nervously. "Dobby has been worried about Winky and wanted to know what family Winky would bond to and hoped Dobby could…if Winky would let Dobby visit."

"Only if Winky's new family allows it," Winky replied earnestly. "But Winky will ask."

"I don't think that will be a problem," Hermione said and smiled as Dobby's nervous look brightened.

"Then Dobby will leave now," Dobby said.

"You don't have to leave," Harry said.

"Will missus tell me who my new family will be?" Winky asked impatiently. "Winky did all that missus asked."

"Yes you did Winky," Hermione agreed. "You look much better," She hesitated for a second before continuing. "Winky, would you like to bond with a young married couple who don't actually have a house yet."

"No house?" Winky asked. "What would Winky do without a house to work in?"

"What we are going to tell the both of you next is a secret," Harry interjected as he looked at both Winky and Dobby. "Winky, even if you decide not to bond with the family in question, you have to keep this a secret. Can you do that?"

"Dobby would always keep Harry Potter's and his life mate's secret," Dobby replied nodding his head so vigorously his ears flapped.

"Winky just wants to know who her family is going to be," Winky replied. "Winky will keep yous secrets."

Harry reached over and took Hermione's hand. "Dobby, Winky, Hermione is actually my wife and it's us who would like to bond with you Winky. We'd like you to be a part of our family."

Hermione couldn't help noticing a look of sadness that crossed Dobby's face for a brief moment before his normal exuberance re-emerged. It was at that moment when she realized what everything he had said the other day meant.

"Dobby wanted to be YOUR house-elf Harry," She said. "He just had a look of sadness when you told Winky it was us."

"But...he likes being free," Harry replied. "He.."

"Finish up with Winky and then we'll talk to Dobby."

"Yous are married?" Winky said. "Yous are too young to be married," The little elf had developed a remorseful look as her ears drooped. "Winky should have stayed in her cupboard."

"House-elves know about soul mates," The voice of Harry and Hermione's favorite Goddess sounded in their minds. "Elves understand bonds better than most Witches and Wizards."

"Winky, do you know what soul mates are?" Hermione asked.

"Winky of course knows what…" Winky started and then her tennis ball sized eyes lit up in understanding "Yous is soul mates? Yous is bonded?"

Hermione smiled at the small elf. "Yes Harry and I are soul mates. We just found out recently but we now know we are considered married."

Winky eyes were alight with glee now. "Winky would love to be your elf. Being elf to soul mates is considered to be special amongst house-elves," Then the fire went out of her eyes as she said. "But you wouldn't want a disgraced elf. Winky is a disgraced elf. Winky is not deserving."

Hermione couldn't help but mentally shake her head at the irony that she was actually going to have to convince a house-elf to bond with her. "Winky, you are very deserving. I will tell you one reason why I think so. Harry and I have some secrets that no one can ever find out about. We know you can keep secrets. We know you would never tell our secrets to anyone."

Winky looked at the witch hopefully. "Winky does keep her family's secrets. Winky would never tell any secrets."

"So you'll be our elf?" Harry asked.

"If Master and Mistress wants Winky, Winky will be your elf."

"We want you," Hermione replied. "But until we have our own house can you work here at Hogwarts. Once we are bonded you will find out why it's very important," Hermione couldn't help noticing Dobby's ears were now much lower than they normally were and she mentally nudged Harry.

"Are you suggesting two elves my wife?"

Hermione explained to her husband the conversation she had had with Dobby while he had been looking a Winky the past Sunday. "Dobby gave his life for us Harry. If he wants to bond to our family of course I will let him."

"Dobby," Harry started. "Can you answer a question for me?"

"Dobby will do his best Harry Potter sir."

"You are a free elf, but I would like to make you an offer," Harry said. The small elf's ears perked up hopefully. "I would like to either hire you or bond with you and have you become part of our family as well."

"Harry Potter wants...wants to bond with Dobby?"

"If you prefer to stay a free elf we'll hire you instead."

"Dobby wants to be the Great Harry Potter's elf sir," Dobby replied so quickly the words seemed to all come out at once. "Dobby has always wanted to be Harry Potter's elf."

"You want to bond with us and not be free?" Harry asked.

"Dobby does not want to be paid by Harry Potter sir. He wants to be Harry Potter's elf," The diminutive elf replied forcefully.

Harry studied the little elf for a few seconds as the visions of the elf dying in his arms once again passed through his mind. He knew he would do anything to make Dobby happy. He owed him that and a lot more. "Then you will be mine and Hermione's elf."

The happiness that Dobby felt was evident as his ears perked straight up and his eyes lit up. "Dobby will not let Harry Potter down sir. Dobby will be the best elf in the world for Harry Potter."

Harry looked at Hermione. He could feel the conflict in her. She was happy for the elves but still uneasy about actually owning them. "It's alright love. You know we are going to give those orders first."

Hermione looked at Harry and smiled. She knew he was right. She knew these elves were now happier than they had been just minutes ago. She might not understand it, but she hoped sometime in the future, the closer interaction would allow her the understanding she needed to completely feel comfortable. For now, though she would do anything to make these elves happy. She nodded and mentally agreed with her husband.

"Hermione and I don't know how to actually bond with an elf," Harry confessed to the elves as they looked on expectantly.

To Harry and Hermione's mild disgust, they found out from the two elves that the bonding was a magical blood ritual. The Witch or Wizard had to provide blood and the blood itself was subjected to two different spells that the elves taught Harry and Hermione. Then each elf was required to drink the spelled blood.

"If it's this complicated," Harry asked finally while they were waiting the required minutes before the second spell could be applied. "How did you become bonded to the Malfoy family?"

"Elves are usually bonded when they are still babies," Winky explained. "It's an honor to elves when their child is accepted by their family."

"So your parents work for the Malfoys?" Harry asked Dobby.

Dobby nodded as tears came into his eyes. "Dobby's old master's parents were not bad people. Dob.." Dobby took off one of his hats and wiped his eyes of the falling tears. "Dobby's parents were good elves and served them well. But the elder Malfoys passed on and they served Dobby's old master as well. But then they…they were killed by He-who-must-not-be-named," Dobby explained.

"Voldemort killed them?" Harry asked in surprise.

Dobby's and Winky's hands went to their ears. "Speak not his name Harry Potter sir," Dobby pleaded.

"I'm sorry, but if you're going to be my elves you'll have to get used to it," Harry explained. "I refused to be terrified of a name."

"Dobby always knew Harry Potter was brave. But he has to be brave to beat the Dark Lord," Dobby said. "Dobby will try to speak his name."

Finally the blood was spelled correctly and the elves drunk it eagerly. Dobby drunk Harry's blood while Winky drunk Hermione's. Though since Harry and Hermione were married, the bond flowed through the marriage and the two elves were effectively bonded to both of them.

"Mistress," Winky asked Hermione excitedly when the bond took effect. "What can Winky do for you?"

"We have several orders for both of you which are going to be standing orders for you as part of the Potter household," Hermione said. She looked at both elves before continuing. "First you MUST tell either of us if you EVER want to be free. Do you both understand that order?" When both elves nodded nervously she continued. "Harry and I truly want you two to be members of our family. Though you are bonded to us, we always want us to be friends. As you know we were both raised in the muggle world and in that world the idea of someone owning someone else is considered very wrong. That order was for us to know that we aren't going against the very moral code we were brought up to recognize. If you ever want to be free, we will free you, but only if you want it."

The elves looked less nervous when she finished the explanation. "Now the second order is very simple. You will never punish yourself without a direct order from Harry or me. If you think you have done something you think deserves being punished for, you will tell either Harry or me and we will decide if it is a problem and what the punishment should be. Again do you understand that order?"

Both elves again nodded they understood.

"The next order is that if we ask you to do something that you do not want to do, you will tell us," Hermione continued. "We might still need you to do it, but maybe we can find some other way for it to be done."

"Dobby will do anything for Harry Potter and mistress," Dobby replied.

Harry smiled at the elf. "I know Dobby, but maybe that last order should be phrased, if we ask you to do something you don't like to do, let us know," Harry looked at Winky. "Winky we know you don't like to go up in high places. If we ask you to do something similar where you don't like what we asked you to do, let us know."

"A good elf will still do what her Master or Mistress says to do," Winky repeated what she had told Hermione earlier. "And Winky is a good elf."

"If you really want to do it still, we'll let you. Right Hermione?" Harry asked smiling at his wife. "But we will know not to tell them to do it the next time."

"We will," Hermione agreed as she also agreed silently with her husband.

"The final order is because you have to keep our secrets," Hermione said. "We aren't letting anyone know we are married and would like to keep it a secret that we have bonded with you two," At the sudden look of distress from the elves she quickly explained. "We definitely are proud to be bonded with you, but too many questions will be asked if it becomes known until we have left Hogwarts. Though because we don't want anyone to know, we have to ask you to keep calling us what you have always called us. Though both of you now know I am really Hermione Potter, you have to keep calling me Granger until we acknowledge the marriage okay?"

Both elves nodded.

"And nothing that would acknowledge that you have bonded with us," Harry said. "To anyone including Dumbledore," Harry looked at Dobby. "You will need to still work for him for now so he doesn't get suspicious."

When the elves had nodded and agreed again, Hermione started the final thing. "It is very very important to keep the secrets we are about to share with you. The only other people who know what we are getting ready to tell you are Luna Lovegood, Neville Longbottom and Sirius Black."

At the name Sirius Black, Winky made an audible sound of dismay, "My old master said Sirius Black was an evil man."

"No Winky, he isn't," Harry sighed. "I don't want to say bad things about your old master but I think he might have been one of the people responsible for what happened to Sirius," Harry paused for a few seconds before continuing. "Sirius Black is my godfather. It was made to look like he committed all of those murders when he didn't do it. Then he was sent to Azkaban without even a trial. I don't know for sure who did it, but I do know your old master was in charging of the trials back then."

"He was innocent?"

"Yes," Harry replied. "You both will meet him soon."

"Not for a while Harry," Hermione interjected. "He is in a place under the Fidelius Charm. We have no way for them to go there and I don't think we'll be asking Dumbledore to tell them the address."

"I hadn't thought of that," Harry said. "Hopefully he'll be able to come out of there this summer sometime."

"If if goes according to plan," Hermione agreed. She then turned to the elves. "As for our big secret…" Hermione went on to tell the two elves about how they had lived two years into the future and all that had happened.

"Dobby," Harry said at the right point in the story as tears welled in his eyes. "You gave your life saving us. Bellatrix Lestrange killed you after…If I had just been a few seconds faster apparating out of there... I…I had to bury you," His words were all jumbled as he tried to explain what had happened. "I didn't know then you wanted to be my elf. I thought you had always wanted to be free."

"Dobby wanted to be free until Harry Potter had a family so Dobby could be Harry Potter's elf," The elf explained. "Dobby is glad to know he died protecting his master's life."

"I wasn't your master, I was your friend," Harry replied softly. "I will always be you a friend."

Fortunately Winky never asked what happened to her in the future and the story finally ended after explaining how they had met the Goddess of Love.

"We know how to beat Voldemort before he kills all of those people this time," Harry explained. "And we hope you two will help. Though remember the order we gave about telling us if we ask you to do something you don't want to do."

Hermione looked at her watch. "Welcome to our family, both of you. We need to get to breakfast so we can start getting ready for our Herbology exams today."

The two elves insisted that they be allowed to prepare Harry and Hermione their breakfast this morning. Each rushed out of the Room of Requirements and apparated to the kitchens. Two minutes later Winky was back with the charmed plates saying that Dobby was cooking breakfast for them and it would be on the plates very soon. Before she had even finished telling them, steaming piles of food materialized in front of them. They had barely taken two bites before Dobby reappeared eager to serve his new Master and Mistress.

As they were finishing breakfast Harry remembered something from the sixth year and quickly turned to the beaming elves who were enjoying them enjoying the food. "Dobby, Winky, we would like for you to keep an eye on Ron and Ginny Weasley without them knowing it. If they mention doing anything against Hermione or me let us know; especially if it concerns potions or threats."

"We can do that Mas…Harry Potter sir." Winky replied excitedly.

Harry and Hermione caught up with Neville and Luna and explained why they were not at breakfast. They both were excited for them and the elves.

When they left Greenhouse six after the practical examination, Harry had to thank Neville for his help. Though Harry and Hermione remembered what was on the OWL, Neville was able to show them the proper way to accomplish all the tasks needed. Even Hermione learned a couple of new approaches. Harry remembered the bite from the Fanged Geranium last time, but this time he knew that each of the fangs had to be stunned separately before he could repot it into a larger pot.

That they were summoned to the Headmaster's office that evening was not a surprise. McGonagall was sitting behind the large desk when they entered.

"Professor?" Hermione started as they entered the office.

"Hello Miss Granger, Mr. Potter. Please have a seat."

"What did you need to see us about?" Harry asked. He and Hermione were planning another evening in the Room of Requirements and his mind was already there.

"First Mr. Potter, I wish to return this to you," McGonagall reached over to a familiar broom and handed the Firebolt back to its rightful owner. "I've also rescinded the ban on you playing future Quidditch games. I expect to see you back on the house team next year."

Flashes of memory threatened to overwhelm Harry as he touched his old broomstick. In his mind he was back on the flying motorcycle with Hagrid. Killing curses were flying everywhere while the sidecar slipped from his grasp with his broom in it. He finally shook the memories away. Harry's eyes moved behind McGonagall to the blank wall where he almost expected to see Dumbledore's portrait.

A lot had been lost that night because of the Headmaster's ridiculous plan. Hedwig, his broomstick, Mad-Eye, George's ear. He continued to seethe at the Headmaster until a mental nudge returned his thoughts to the present, or the past as it may be. He looked at his Transfiguration instructor and smiled.

"Thank you Professor," He said. "I look forward to next year."

"I would also like to apologize," McGonagall said. "I should have reported Umbridge myself, but I was instructed by Albus not to. He might have been right though. It is likely that anyone close to Albus reporting Umbridge would have been ignored. It was a joint letter from Professor Marchbanks and Professor Toffy that got the fire lit under Amelia."

"What is happening with Umbridge?" Hermione asked.

"She is currently in a detention cell at the Ministry. She is to be questioned by the Wizengamot tomorrow evening."

"What does that mean? Is her trial tomorrow?"

"Sometimes I forget how little the government procedures are taught here," McGonagall replied. "No, since she is a high level government official she will be given the truth potion and asked questions by the Wizengamot. When the questioning is complete, they will vote to remove her from office or not. Once she is removed from office, she can be formally charged and tried with the serum questioning being admitted as evidence. Usually if there is enough guilt shown to remove a person from office, they will plead guilty to a lesser crime and punished. I should also say that before her questioning she will be allowed to request the reason for the questioning and argue against the evidence that is presented."

Harry and Hermione were stunned. "So it's possible she might never be convicted of her crimes?"

McGonagall shrugged. "Anything's possible, The Minister might be able to prevent her questioning, but I doubt it. Presuming it does happen and she confesses to sending those Dementors last year, I doubt she will go free. We can hope the more crimes she admits to, the greater the punishment might be," She looked at Harry. "Albus is very interested in knowing how you found out it was she who did it."

"Please let Professor Dumbledore know that we all like to have our secrets," Harry replied evenly.

"Does that message supposed to mean anything?"

"It means whatever he takes it to mean professor," Harry replied. "After a year of basically being ignored, I've realized the only person I can truly trust is sitting beside me. And Luna and Neville," He finished to his wife.

"I'm sorry you feel you can't trust me."

"Ma'am, it isn't I don't trust you, it's that I'm not sure I trust who you trust," Harry replied as he got out of his seat. "If that is all, we need to go study for Defense OWLs tomorrow."

"I do have one other thing," The Headmistress said. "As you might have guessed, the Inquisitorial squad has been disbanded. I am refusing to allow any Slytherins at the moment to have Prefect powers outside of their own dorms. Until the end of the school year, I need two additional students who I can trust to patrol the hallways and perform other Prefect duties," She held out a prefect badge to Harry. "I would like you to have it until the end of the year," She looked into his eyes. "I wanted you to have it this year, but Albus felt you already had enough things to worry about."

"Just one more thing he didn't bother asking me about before making a decision for me," Harry replied bitterly as he took the badge from her.

"I adjusted the schedule so you and Hermione will be patrolling together," McGonagall added. "Please do not make me regret doing that," She smiled at the two of them. "Remember you're trying to make sure no one is in the broom closets, not trying to find an empty one."

"Yes ma'am," Hermione replied as her cheeks turned red. She stood also and pulled Harry out of the office.

Minerva McGonagall sat in her chair and looked out the large window as she replayed the conversation she just had with Harry and Hermione. She could definitely feel hostility toward Dumbledore from Harry. She immediately grabbed a quill and parchment and started composing a letter to Albus explaining the conversation, but she had only written the opening sentence when Harry's words came back. "It isn't I don't trust you, it's that I'm not sure I trust who you trust," Her quill stopped immediately as she gave thought to those words. She remembered a small child being left on the doorstep of 'The worst type of muggles'. She remembered an irate Molly Weasley yelling at Albus about her sons having to rescue Harry from being locked in a bedroom with bars over the windows. She remembered Hagrid telling her about having sent Harry food during one summer because the muggles weren't giving him any food to eat. Her thoughts turned to events at the school over the last five years. From the Philosopher's Stone which McGonagall still felt guilty to this day for turning the children away when they had tried to tell her someone was after it, to the Basilisk, to the tournament last year, to being singled out by the Umbridge. It was almost like the poor boy was caught up in some ridiculous story plot that seemed to never end. "Oh Albus, what have you done," She whispered to herself as she set down the quill. She then remembered something else that had nothing to do with Dumbledore. She banished the ink from her parchment and started anew.

Later that evening, Harry, Hermione, Luna and Neville were enjoying a dinner in the Room of Requirements. Dobby and Winky were going all out to make it a feast for their new Master and Mistress. During dinner Hermione brought up the subject of the soul containers that Voldemort had.

"We know what they all are and where they are," Hermione was saying. "We've already made sure the Locket is in Dumbledore's possession. Harry destroyed a diary in his second year. Rowena's diadem..."

"Ravenclaw's Diadem?" Luna asked excitedly. "You know where it is? Daddy has been most interested in it for a long time."

"We know," Hermione replied with a smile. "Has he started building his model yet?"

"How..." Luna started before smiling. "Does he do it? Daddy has wanted to recreate Ravenclaw's diadem for a long time."

"He didn't get it quite right," Harry replied. "But he was trying."

"What about the real one?" Luna asked.

"We don't know of a way to destroy the soul within it without destroying the container itself," Hermione explained. "We only know they can be destroyed by the Sword of Gryffindor, Basilisk Venom or Fiendfyre. All of those would destroy the Diadem as well. If you can think of another possible way to destroy the soul, we'll be glad to listen."

"How many of these things did he make?" Neville asked.

"Seven in all, but one of those was unintentional," Hermione replied. "We've already mentioned the Diary, Locket and Diadem. There is also a ring, a gold cup, Voldemort's snake and... Harry."

"What do you mean Harry?" Luna asked as her eyes protruded out further than normal.

"When Voldemort tried to kill Harry as a baby, part of his soul fractured off and it ended up in Harry's scar," Hermione explained quietly.

"Do you remember when I woke up saying Ron's dad had been attacked by a snake?" Harry asked.

"Yeah, that was horrible," Neville agreed.

"The reason I knew it had happened was because the piece of soul in me connected to the one in Nagini or something like that and I felt like I was the snake who bit him," Harry explained.

"But how did you...I mean you said you beat Voldemort?" Luna asked.

"Part of Dumbledore's brilliant plan. He knew I had the bloody soul piece in me and never told me. He didn't even tell me when he was dying. No, he left that piece of information with Snape with instructions to only tell me when Voldemort was protecting the snake," Harry looked at Hermione. "You know, come to think of it, that was really really stupid of him. What if we'd killed Nagini in Godric's Hollow? I mean how in the world could Dumbledore know Nagini would be the last Ho...uh thing we hadn't destroyed? Would Snape never have told me?"

"We were lucky," Hermione agreed.

"Very," Harry said then continued the explanation to Luna and Neville. "As we said we were lucky. Voldemort killed Snape..." Again Harry paused as he turned back to Hermione. "Even that was lucky. I mean Voldemort kills everyone with the killing curse, but he takes this one time to actually kill someone differently? We'd never have gotten those memories if he'd died instantly."

"Maybe since he thought Snape was master of the Elder wand it might fight him?"

"Maybe," Harry shrugged then again continued. "As Snape lay dying we were able to get the memories we needed. The memory basically said I had the fragment and I needed to willingly go and let Voldemort kill me," Harry's ire was starting to rise again at just the thought of that evening. Of being led around by Dumbledore. "He didn't tell Snape that I would probably live because Voldemort took my blood. I walked into the forest expecting to die. I let snake-face kill me without raising my wand because that is WHAT DUMDLEDORE SAID I HAD TO DO!" Harry ended up yelling the last of it. He took a deep calming breath before continuing. "When I was hit with the curse, I did die...but didn't as well. I was in a sort of afterlife middle ground and Dumbledore met me there. He explained everything and I believed him. Now though after I've had time to think and I'm back in this time with knowing what he knew at this time, I can see how stupid his mistakes were."

"Like what Harry?"

"You remember the memory of the battle in the Ministry we showed you? The battle with Voldemort? Well if Dumbledore was so bloody positive I'd survive, why did he stop the killing curse from hitting me then? At first I thought it was the Elder Wand, but that couldn't have been the original plan," Harry explained. "He had meant for the power of that wand to die with him so he had no reason to suspect I would be the owner of it and it would be in Voldemort's hand at that time. No, it was purely the curse and Voldemort having my blood that saved me. I would have survived it in the Ministry."

"Why'd he do it then mate?" Neville asked.

"We don't know," Hermione responded honestly. "We have several ideas though. If Harry had survived another killing curse then Dumbledore would have had to explain how it had happened. He couldn't use the blood protection excuse again. It wasn't until he was dying that he mentioned these soul fragments to Harry. Another possibility is he suspected that if Harry survived again, the populace would have put too much focus on Harry and uncovered a lot of the issues that had happened to him over the years. A third possibility was he hoped he could exploit the link between Harry and Voldemort on additional intelligence like when Mr. Weasley was bitten. But truthfully, we really do not know."

Luna and Neville sat there digesting this revelation. Opinions of their Headmaster were dropping rapidly in both of their minds. A thought occurred to Neville and he asked. "The killing curse killed the soul fragment in you right Harry?"


"And didn't destroy your body?" Neville persisted.

"Of course not."

Hermione's smile lit up the room as she realized where Neville was guiding them. "If we can do a killing curse on the Diadem then maybe it will kill the soul piece without damaging the object," She looked at Neville. "That's excellent thinking Neville."

"Thanks," He blushed and his cheeks turned even redder, when Luna gave him another kiss on the cheek.

"The only problem is we can't do the killing curse," Harry said. "It would get us put in Azkaban even if we could do it."

"We aren't going to do it Harry, but we know people who can," Hermione replied. "If, when we are ready to find it, we give it to Dumbledore and suggest that is a way to destroy it. He could have Snape perform it. We both know he is capable of it."

A green flash from the end of Snape's wand hitting Dumbledore played again in Harry's mind. "True," He quietly agreed.

"The only fragment we are going to have trouble with getting is the Cup," Hermione said to Luna and Neville. "It's currently in Bellatrix LeStrange's vault."

"How'd you get it before?" Luna asked.

"We snuck in polyjuiced as her," Harry replied. "We had a few problems and left in an unconventional manner," Hermione snorted at the last comment.


"We rode a dragon out of the bank Neville. Destroying half of Gringotts on the way," Hermione replied. "Something I am NOT doing again," She said the last while looking at her husband.

"Yes dear," Harry replied.

After dinner, they studied for the Defense OWL that would happen the next day. Thanks to the DA and his new wand, Neville was really doing well. After a couple of hours, Neville left to escort Luna back to the Ravenclaw tower before curfew. Harry and Hermione ended up with Prefect rounds that evening.

"How seriously do you take cleaning out the closets Hermione?" Harry asked as they started walking hand in hand down the corridor.

"The last time, I was pretty serious but this time..." She stopped and gave Harry a small peck on his lips. "I now sort of know what I was breaking up."

"Would it matter who it was?"

"It shouldn't," Hermione replied, "But it does. I'd love to catch Ron in one of the closets."

"With Pansy?"

"Oh Merlin, I doubt if I'd stop laughing before the end of the OWLs tomorrow," Hermione replied.

"Let's get the map and see who's in them," Harry pulled Hermione back to the tower and he quickly retrieved the map from his trunk and sealed it back up. By habit he still carried his cloak with him where ever he went.

They started walking again and Harry watched the map. The closets they knew were occupied, they would knock on the door to get the occupants' attention and then disappear under the cloak to make sure they left the closet.

"Seamus and Pavarti?" Harry whispered.

"You never did pay attention to who was leaving the DA meetings together did you?" Hermione asked.

"Not really."

Finally they saw a name they both really didn't want to deal with but knew they had to. Turning the corner they came face to face with Draco and Pansy. They both had a couple of bandages on their body.

A sneer immediately appeared on Malfoy's face. "Potter seems to have forgotten about curfew," He said to Pansy.

Harry cut off her reply with his own. "It's actually you who has forgotten. Me, I'm a temporary prefect," He pointed to the badge attached to his robes with the P on it. "You on the on the other hand, are not allowed out of the Slytherin dorms after curfew."

"We are both prefects," Pansy hissed.

Harry pointed at their badges neither of which had a P on it. "Professor McGonagall said she is not allowing any Slytherins prefect responsibilities outside your dorms. See no P on your badge."

"Planning on making me Potter?" Malfoy said.

"Don't get mad love," Hermione said gently in her mind. "He's trying to irritate you and make you do something that he can take advantage of. Think of this as smiling at Snape."

"Since you are not Prefects in the hall tonight, I will gladly take points from you," Harry responded evenly. "Flitwick's office in right down that hall and I can summon him if necessary. If you truly want to be stubborn, I can always go see if Ron Weasley is willing to join you two. You three would make a wonderful family."

Draco's wand was barely out of his robes before he was in a body bind and Hermione's wand was under Parkinson's nose. Harry knelt down beside Draco and said quietly. "I am going to give you some advice which if I were you, I'd listen very carefully to," Harry moved slightly so he could look directly into Draco's eyes. "You and I both know Voldemort is back. You and I both know your father is one of his Death Eaters. Now sometime soon you are going to have to make a decision about your own future. Before you make that decision, you should do a little research on a half-blood who went to this school fifty years ago named Tom Marvolo Riddle. In fact ask your father what his current name is," Harry released the bind on Draco before continuing. "When you get back to your dorm and that is where you are headed right now, take a roll of parchment and write out that name. Tom Marvolo Riddle. Now, write out I am Lord Voldemort. You will find it extremely curious that they are an anagram of each other."

Draco got to his feet eying Harry wearily but he didn't reach for his wand again. He and Pansy turned and walked back toward the dungeons whispering the whole way. Harry didn't pocket his wand until the two Slytherins were out of sight.

"Well that pays my debt to his mother," Harry sighed as he and Hermione started walking down another corridor. "A debt she will never know I owed her. If he still takes the mark I will not take pity on him though. I will treat him as any other Death Eater," Harry thought of the fiendfyre consuming the Room of Requirements and saving the ferret's arse that last time. He grimaced as he remembered the aftermath and he turned to Hermione. "You know if we hadn't had to battle those goons when we went after the Diadem we could have helped the others sooner and Fred would not have been standing where he was. That's one more possible death at the feet of Malfoy."

"I won't argue with you Harry," Hermione said. "I...I want you and us and our friends to live. The lives of the people on the other side seem to mean a lot less important when we've seen our friends dead."

They ended back up in the Room of Requirements after their rounds. There was no shyness this time as they climbed into the familiar bed. Neither of them slept with a shirt on this time as they both reveled in the sensation of the skin to skin contact.

"Good night Mrs. Potter," Harry whispered into his wife's hair as he put his arm around her.

"Good night my husband," She replied as she put her own arm over his and snuggled into his body.

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