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

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5664828/1/Harry-Potter-and-Future-s-Past

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20. Chapter 20

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

with Harry Potter himself

What really happened at the Ministry in his own words.

By

Rita Skeeter

Severus Snape threw down the latest copy of the Quibbler onto his desk in disgust. The image on the front cover of Potter battling the Dark Lord made his stomach churn. The article on the self-absorbed brat and his friends' success at the Ministry was nauseating to the Potions Master to say the least. Skeeter had expertly guided the reader on an adrenaline pumping ride alongside of Potter and company. From the ride upon broom and Thestrals to the final moment as Voldemort apparated away, the story gripped the readers' imagination. She took the readers along in their desperate battle as they tried to first save Harry's Godfather's life and then their own against twelve Death Eaters. Rita has praised the ingenuity of the students in preparing the trap that had sent six of You-Know-Who's servants through the veil while two others died as well. She then described Harry's pursuit of the last Death Eater, Lucius Malfoy, only to come face to face with the Dark Lord himself. She dug deep to pull the emotional strings of the readers as she described the desperate struggle between good and evil, between the Dark Lord and the Chosen One, of golden cages and rays of light that she compared to rays of hope. Skeeter finished up the tale by describing an exhausted but victorious Harry Potter standing tall as the Dark Lord fled into the night.

The Potions Master brushed aside the magazine and its hated photos and turned his attention to the front page of the Daily Prophet. Intermixed with the other stories concerning the Dark Lord's return was a picture of himself. Underneath it was a headline that read.

Severus Snape - Death Eater or just inept?

by

Rita Skeeter

The story detailed the sequence of the events at the Ministry including when Snape had known about Potter's desire to go to the Ministry and the notification of the responding party. By the time the story ended the reader was lead to believe either Snape was actually working for Voldemort or was the most inept bungler for waiting so many hours to raise the alarm concerning the safety of a student of Hogwarts. She then dug into the testimony given by Snape about Peter Pettigrew from two years previous when Pettigrew had been discovered. She raised the question on whether Snape's claims were to aid a fellow Death Eater or again was he so inept he couldn't see someone right in front of him (she didn't mention him being unconscious). The article went on to question why a known former Death Eater was even allowed to be teaching at Hogwarts.

Worst for Snape was another article very close to his own. It was an article on Sirius Black that went into detail about Black and his friendship with the Potters. In the center of that article was a photo; one that depicted a much younger Sirius Black. He was dressed in black robes and stood next to the newly married James and Lily Potter. Lily was obviously giggling at something Sirius had said. Her eyes were wide with mirth and happiness as she held her husband's hand.

"DAMN YOU POTTER!" Severus Snape snarled to his empty office as he threw the paper aside as well. Even he probably couldn't have said which Potter he was referring to.

*** E E ***

Hermione sat amongst an ever growing pile of books trying to sort them out as she took a well-deserved break from working on the Vanishing Cabinet. Even with Luna's help and Sirius using the mirror to let her compare the cabinet she was working on to the one that now was at Grimmauld Place, the work was still very tedious. In front of her were four piles of books. One was meant for the books to be returned to Hogwart's library, another was for old schoolbooks (she planned to scan them later for possible notes), a third pile contained what was most definitely dark magic books while the last were books she thought might be useful to study. Every time she placed a book marked with the seal of Hogwarts library in the appropriate pile she uttered a few non-polite words for the unknown student who would not return a library book.

She was surprised when the next book she picked up from the unsorted pile was a copy of 'Secrets of the Darkest Arts,' the same book she had summoned from Dumbledore's own study the next year following his death. It was the book that described how to create a Horcrux and how to destroy one. She showed it to the others.

"At least if we happen to mention something about Horcruxes that he hasn't told us, we have an excuse," Hermione said to the others who were sorting other objects. She looked at it more closely and saw a family crest on the inside cover. She recognized it at once. Two dogs rising against a shield with a chevron and sword, underneath it all was the words 'Toujours pur'.

"This came from the Black family library," She said excitedly. "See it has their crest," She showed it to Harry who had joined her.

"Guess we now know how Sirius knew of Horcruxes then," Harry said. "Doesn't surprise me though, as dark as his family was supposed to have been. This type of magic was probably discussed at the nightly dinner table. Wonder which of his relatives left it here?" He took the book from Hermione's hand. "We should see if he wants it back."

"But...shouldn't we give it to Dumbledore?" Hermione asked. "I mean he wants all of these things out of circulation and I can't blame him."

"How about we let Sirius decide?" Harry said. "It's his family's book anyway."

Hermione sighed. Books always rekindled the 'respect authority' that had defined her for so long. "That's fair," She said finally as she pulled out the mirror and called for Sirius.

"Thought you were taking a break," Sirius said when he appeared. He had a dab of some sauce on the corner of his mouth from something he was obviously eating.

"I am, at least from the cabinet but we came across a book that belongs to you or actually to the Black Family," Hermione explained. "We wanted to know if you wanted it."

"Which book?"

"Are you alone still?" Hermione asked and at the affirmation from Sirius she told him what is was and why it was important.

"So that's the book that told Voldemort how to make them?"

"Yes and we wanted to know if you want it back or shall we give it to Dumbledore?"

"I don't want it," Sirius replied, "But will you need it?"

Hermione wrinkled her brow as she thought of what was in the book. "I don't think so," She said. "I can skim back through it to make sure I remember what was in there."

"Then give it to Albus," Sirius said. Then with a grin he added. "It'll let him know you know everything about Horcruxes right?"

"That's what I was thinking. If we slip on something we have a reason," Hermione agreed.

"Do me a favor though," Sirius said. "See if you can eliminate my family crest from it. I don't want anything like that associated with the new House of Black."

"You're going to keep the same crest?"

"Of course, well I'm adding a second line to the text," Sirius said. " 'Toujours Pur de Coeur' is the new family motto. I figure it will keep my mother rolling in her grave."

"Always pure of heart," Hermione translated for Harry when he looked quizzically at her. "That's perfect Sirius."

"Thank you," Sirius replied with a smile as he pretended to bow. "You know how much I truly love my dear old mother," He smirked. "I don't think she really knew how apt my middle name truly was. All along she thought she was just naming me after my father Orion."

"Wha..." Hermione started but when she saw Harry start to laugh, she caught on quickly that if Sirius' middle was Orion, his initials would be SOB. "Especially for the mother of Padfoot?" She asked.

"Works that way too," Sirius laughed. "Okay kids I was eating and then planned to get back to work."

"We know," Hermione said and indicated a spot on her face where Sirius had a bit of sauce.

"Oh.." Sirius gave a quick swipe with a napkin. "Better?" When Hermione nodded he continued. "Ever since you told Kreacher the locket was destroyed he's redoubled his cleaning efforts. Now if I could just find a way to get my dear old mother off the wall, this place won't be half bad when you get here."

"I'll need you again soon with the cabinet," Hermione reminded him.

"I'll be here."

As Sirius faded from the mirror, Hermione looked at the book still in her hand. She liked the idea of the minor wording change to the Black crest and how it completely changed the entire message. As she continued to look at the Black crest, remembering Grimmauld place and all the dark magic that was in the house she thought of the rest of the pureblood families. "Do you think...think it will ever change?" Hermione asked softly.

"What change?"

"The Purebloods...the Government...everything."

"When Voldemort is really gone it should shouldn't it?" Harry asked.

"But...it didn't last time. I mean back when he tried to kill you as a baby. They thought Voldemort was truly gone and still nothing changed," Hermione explained. "After all the years of darkness the same people came back into power and pushed the same pureblood agenda. The people with money and influence didn't even get punished for their crimes."

Harry thought of Lucius Malfoy. A man who'd gladly kill muggleborns; who tried to kill them just to have a law overturned; a law that protected muggles. Though the man was now almost as good as dead, Harry knew there were plenty others just like him. "I'm not sure we can do anything about that," He said finally. "I'm not going to start killing people just because of political reasons."

"No...no I couldn't do that either," Hermione agreed. "I just wished..." She shrugged as she turned back to the books.

"Wished what?" Harry asked.

"Nothing," Hermione replied but then sighed when Harry kept looking at her, waiting. "I just wished there was something we could do...I mean after Voldemort."

"Maybe we can," Harry said. "We should have some influence after we kill Voldemort shouldn't we?"

"For a couple of years but then..." She took a deep breath and let out another sigh, "it will eventually come down to money. You saw how Lucius was always able to buy himself good press and good standings. A big donation to St. Mungos and he's in with the Minister. Dumbledore, with all of his prestige still could not get people to believe him once the smear campaign started against you in the fi...I mean this year. If it hadn't been for Luna, her father and the Quibbler, you'd never have had a voice," Hermione said as she looked over at Luna with a smile.

"But they believe me now," Harry argued.

"About Voldemort, yes they do, but once Voldemort is gone your influence will wane over time. If she survives, you can probably get Madam Bones elected while the Purebloods regroup. Your influence might even last ten years or so, but eventually they will be back. They will buy goodwill and support. They will...well you know what will happen."

"But the government isn't all bad. They did pass the muggle protection act and everything," Harry argued remembering the very law that Lucius was opposed to.

"No...of course not," Hermione replied. "But it's easily led, as are the people who elect the government. A story here or there in the Prophet can sway an opinion much faster than anything else and usually it's money that does that."

"But we still will have Mr. Lovegood and the Quibbler and of course Luna."

"Daddy will always be glad to help," Luna said brightly but then frowned. "As long as it doesn't conflict with a possible sighting of a Crumpled-Horned Snorkack."

"You still have some influence over Skeeter as well," Harry added.

Hermione smiled. "True. Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, but after all that happened just a little more than a year in the future at the Ministry..."

Harry wrapped his arms around his wife. "I know, but we can try and that's all we can ever do is try. We'll do our best and see what happens."

"Don't forget about us," Neville said. "We'll be glad to help any way we can."

"See," Harry said to Hermione. "Maybe it will be better this time. Besides we also have some money," He continued. "I mean our vault is pretty full," At the raised eyebrow from Hermione he smirked. "Are you forgetting you are my wife so it is now OUR money and OUR vault? It's not just Hedwig, everything I own is now yours as well."

"But..." Hermione started to object. She then stopped as she saw the determination in his eyes.

"He has a point Hermione," Luna said. "But I'd make sure he isn't planning on sharing any Wrackspurts he comes across with you."

Hermione looked at her husband for a couple of seconds. Finally with a shake of her head and a smile she gave him a kiss. "I'll even take your Wrackspurts if it means being with you," She said.

"I'd take your Wrackspurts too," Neville whispered to Luna as he wrapped an arm around her waist.

Luna's eyes widened as she whirled to face her boyfriend. "Are you asking me to marry you too?"

"Uh..." Neville stammered as he turned bright red. "Not...not yet but I wouldn't...I mean in the future I could... uh...I uh...I really like you and...but.." He looked at Harry and Hermione in desperation. They were too busy trying to keep a straight face to come to his aid.

"I really like you too Neville," Luna said sincerely. "But we are too young to be married," She got a thoughtful look on her face before continuing. "Though had you been ready to ask, I'd probably would have said yes," She smiled dreamily and gave him a quick kiss.

"You...you would?" Neville stammered as his blush continued.

Hermione tried to steer the conversation back to the original topic before her side split from trying to hold the laughter in. "So how much money do WE have in OUR vault?" she asked Harry. He had tears in his eyes as he fought to keep the laughter in as well.

"I really don't know," Harry replied. "This much," He projected an image what his vault looked like the last time he was there. "But Mrs. Weasley has taken some of it out to buy things."

Hermione had never seen Harry's vault. She gave a low whistle at the amount. "That's quite a bit but I don't think you're.." She stopped when Harry raised an eyebrow in question before continuing. "I mean I don't think WE'RE rich enough to change a government," She looked at her husband. "Though we are buying you new clothes as soon as we can. Since you aren't going back to the Dursleys you can dress a bit better."

"Will it be safe though? To go shopping?" Harry asked. "I don't want to put other people in jeopardy because of me."

"I know," Hermione replied as she sighed. "But I seriously doubt Death Eaters are staking out every muggle store in Britain. I really think you need to get out and have fun and do a few things you've never been able to do before."

"I'd like to do anything with you," Harry replied. "I remember somebody mentioning dinner out and dates. Romance."

Hermione felt herself wanting to get lost in those green eyes that were looking at her. In her mind she imagined them sitting across from each other at a small candlelit table in an out of the way Italian restaurant. "I'd like that," She murmured.

"Then we'll find a way. You're right. Voldemort can't be watching everywhere."

"Well I should get back to the cabinet," Hermione said finally. "I really want to have it finished before we leave just in case we want to come back for some reason."

"What would we need here?" Harry asked. "Besides we could always apparate to the Shrieking Shack. It'd be better…" Harry voice trailed off as he looked at the cabinet. "Of course…"

"What?"

"Let's send this one to your parents," Harry said excitedly. "I'm sure Dobby and Winky can get it there and then you can keep working on it. If you get it fixed you can go back and forth to Grimmauld anytime you want. Then when school starts back we bring the one from Sirius' back here," He turned to Luna and Neville. "We'll ask Dumbledore to tell you the secret to where Sirius lives so you can come visit us as well."

"Come on Luna," Hermione said as she got up and started back toward the cabinet. "Harry just gave me a very good reason to get this thing fixed."

"I thought you said beating Malfoy was the reason?" Luna said.

"Let's just say that I'd like to have a ferret to test it with when we're ready," Hermione replied with a smirk. "But now I think being able to visit Harry's bedroom every chance I get is a much better reason."

"So he can see your boobies?" Luna asked as they started looking at the cabinet again.

"Uh..." Hermione started. "I guess that's part of it."

"I was thinking of letting Neville have his reward," Luna said. "I know we don't really know how he did on his OWL, but I do know he did his best. I think that deserves the reward, don't you?"

"That...that's up to you Luna," Hermione said and ducked her head inside the cabinet quickly.

Later that afternoon when Neville and Luna came back from another part of the room where they had been searching for anything they might have significance, Harry noticed a dazed but happy smile on Neville's face. When he didn't respond to his name, Harry started to get nervous and turned to Luna. "What's with Neville? Did he touch something?"

"I don't really know," Luna replied as she looked over at her boyfriend. "He's been that way ever since I gave him his reward for the potions OWL."

"You mean you.." Hermione started to ask and then stopped as she remembered Luna saying she was going to.

"Yes he seems to think I have nice boobies," Luna replied with a shrug of her shoulders that made Neville's eyes widen as Luna's breasts moved with the motion. "But I think they'll be better when they're a bit bigger."

Neville shook his head slightly. "Perfect," He murmured as his eyes continued to be slightly glazed over.

"Well at least we know what's wrong with him," Harry said with a grin. "But I doubt he's going to be much use the rest of the day."

"Perfect," Neville muttered again as Harry started leading him away toward the table.

"What is wrong with him?" Luna asked Hermione. "As soon as I removed my blouse he became all befuddled like that," Her eyes widened. "Do you think Nargles hang around a woman's breasts? I've not noticed them, but it would explain the way he's acting."

"I don't think so Luna," Hermione said with a smirk. "It just a typical male teen's reaction to...well breasts."

"Oh...then should I stay with him?" Luna asked with concern as she looked over at her boyfriend who was now sitting at the table staring at nothing.

"No!" Hermione answered quickly. "I think you or at least your breasts need to be out of his line of sight for a while."

"But they're covered now," Luna said with a confused look.

"Yes...well he just needs to get over the shock," Hermione explained. "He'll be fine later."

"Should I not show them to him again?" Luna asked. "I thought it would make him happy."

"I think you made him very very happy," Harry said as he returned to the two girls.

"Then maybe I if I show them again it will help him recover?"

Hermione first looked at her friend thinking she was joking and then suddenly realized something. Luna had lost her mother at the age of nine. She was then raised by her father who wasn't the sanest man around and had been basically friendless since arriving at Hogwarts. Though she knew Luna was intelligent, she was extremely innocent and sometimes got ideas that weren't exactly right. "Harry will you excuse us?" She said to her husband. She then told him silently what she suspected. He shrugged and walked back over to Neville. Hermione turned back to Luna.

"Luna has anyone ever discussed boys and sex with you?" Hermione asked in a gentle voice.

"You mean how to make babies?" Luna asked. "We learned about how animals make babies in the care of magical creatures and I thought it would be similar for boys and girls, but..." Luna voiced trailed off.

"But what Luna?" Hermione asked as her concern grew.

"I sometimes listen to some of the girls in my dorm discussing boys when they think I'm asleep," Luna started explain. "But..." Luna frowned before continuing to explain what the girls had said as she listened Hermione grew angrier and angrier. She immediately knew what had happened in that dorm room.

Hermione sighed heavily when Luna finished. Her hand tightened around her wand as she thought of appropriate hexes that she'd like to perform on a few Ravenclaws. Another sigh escaped her lips. As she looked at her friend it was almost like the nine year old Luna who had lost her mother was staring back. "Luna..." She paused to gather her thoughts and then said "Those girls knew you were awake and were telling you lies. I guarantee you that you can most definitely become pregnant on any night, not just a full moon...and you don't..." She stopped and smiled at her friend who was waiting patiently for her to continue. "Let's start from the beginning, okay?"

Over the next hour Hermione explained what she knew to Luna. Often blushing at the very pointed questions that Luna asked, Hermione persevered until finally she concluded. "But even knowing all of this, don't think you need to rush into anything. I'm almost nineteen, mentally that is and still haven't made love and until Harry and I really are ready we won't. Making love to someone should be a special time with a special person, especially your first time."

Later that night in a bed surrounded by curtains away from the large room Hermione was propped up on her elbow as she slowly ran her fingers on her husband's arm. "I'm very glad I didn't end up in Ravenclaw," She said.

"Why?"

"Because some of those girls are cruel," Hermione explained softly. "You already know they take Luna's things?"

Harry nodded. "We should get the elves to find them if they can. Maybe let us know who has been doing it."

"We'll ask her tomorrow if she'd like the elves help. But those girls..." She paused, "I think they've been purposely giving Luna bad information about personal things...you know sex and boys. Some of the things she says she overheard seem to be intentionally cruel or maybe trying to get Luna to do something that would hurt her."

"I'm not sure this is something I want to hear, but I'll be glad to hex a few of the 'claws if you give me their names," He sighed. "So did you get her all straightened away?"

"I think so," Hermione replied. "I hope..." She paused before continuing. "I really hope she listens to me and decides not to rush into anything."

"Would she?"

"Don't you see? She hasn't been around people to develop the taboos or caution that normally come to us," Hermione explained. "With her inquisitive nature..." She trailed off knowing Harry would understand.

"I'll talk to Neville," Harry suggested. "He'd never take advantage of her."

"I know," Hermione replied. "I'm really happy for them; I just hope it was for the best. I still feel like they're together because of us."

"I think they're about perfect for each other," Harry remarked. "I mean they both love the outdoors, she loves animals and he loves plants," He thought about their friends. "He's shy but she's not. He'd never make fun of her..."

"You're right," Hermione agreed. "They're not too many boys who'd not take advantage of her innocence nor insult her," She smiled at Harry as her finger trailed up his arm and down onto his bare chest. "In fact I can think of only one other but I happen to know he's very much taken."

"You keep running your fingers like that and I'm not so sure of the taking advantage of part," Harry replied as he raised his eyebrows suggestively.

"Shall I stop then?" Hermione asked as she lifted her fingers off his body while displaying an innocent eyed look. "Until we are ready?"

With a quick maneuver Harry had Hermione on her back with his arm wrapped around her. "Only if you want me to stop doing this," He said as his fingers trailed over her skin, "and this," he continued huskily as his lips brushed over her neck in in the spot under her ear.

"I...I definitely don't think you need to stop doing that," Hermione gasped. "Just...we...agreed," She stammered under the nibbles he was applying to her neck. "And...in...a moment of...of weakness."

Harry stopped and propped himself up. He smiled at Hermione. "As you said, I would never take advantage of you. I'm more than happy to wait until this," he touch her head, "as well as this," He then put his hand over her heart, "agree that it's time," He pulled her into his arms. "I love you Mione and I'd never want to do something that we'd regret later."

"I love you too," She replied as she snuggled into his chest. The sense of security she always felt in his arms coming over her. "How'd I get so lucky," she murmured quietly but soon her breathing evened out. For a long while Harry held his sleeping wife as his free hand caressed her hair. Soon he followed her into the land of dreams.

***June 23rd 1996 ****

The next morning a refreshed Hermione wiggled her way out of Harry's arms. She wanted to get an early start on the Vanishing Cabinet. The idea of being able to travel between her parents' house and Grimmauld place was tantalizing, but when she'd woke up she'd thought about the reverse; Harry coming to her house and then from there being able to get out into the muggle world. "I need this fixed today since tomorrow we leave," She thought. That gave her pause as well. Ginny's potions would also be done today. She shook her head at the thought of the young redhead she'd thought had been her friend. Finally she let the thoughts go so she could concentrate on the task at hand.

"This has got to be it," Hermione said a few hours later as she climbed out of the cabinet. When everyone moved closer, she pointed at a series of Runes inside the front edge of the cabinet. "I couldn't see it too well in the dark, but finally I notice this scratch cutting through that Rune," She pointed out the almost unnoticeable very fine line that ran through a box with a semi-circle in it. "That would make this Rune set unstable," Each of the others stuck their head in and looked.

It took a couple of hours to repair the wood and recarve the Rune but finally it was complete. Dobby was sent to collect more spiders to do the next test with. When Sirius showed them the still moving spiders in the mirror a few seconds later everyone was excited.

"I'll test it now," Harry exclaimed as he put the mirror in Hermione's hands before he jumped into the cabinet and pulled the door shut.

"HARRY JAMES POTTER!" Hermione screeched into the mirror when he took it from Sirius a few seconds later. "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING? YOU COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED!"

"Or worst expelled?" Harry asked sheepishly into the glare of his wife.

The glare only lasted for a few seconds before she rolled her eyes and shook her head. "You know we should have tested it more before doing that," Hermione said. "You...you really could have been injured or killed. I... will... not... lose... you," She said defiantly.

"It would have taken all day, besides we know it works now," Harry said.

"Fine," Hermione said in a tone that let Harry know that it really wasn't. "Now let's at least test the coming back with the spiders before you attempt it."

"You beat Malfoy you know," Harry said when he climbed back out of the cabinet a few minutes after the spiders' successful journey. "What took him months you did in three days," He said. He really didn't want his wife to be angry at him.

Hermione blushed at the praise. "Luna helped. I'd never been able to finish if she hadn't been checking other possibilities at the same time."

"I only discovered what wasn't wrong," Luna said in her dreamy voice. "You're the one who found out what was broken."

"But you recognized what wasn't wrong," Neville said. "That makes you brilliant as well."

"Well I am Ravenclaw," Luna reminded her boyfriend. "Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure."

"And your wit is my greatest treasure," Neville said.

"But I thought you said my boobies were," Luna replied in a voice that was all Luna.

Neville reddened as Harry and Hermione did their best to hide their grins.

"So you're saying you like my mind and my body equally?" Luna asked unperturbed.

"We'll just go over here for a while guys," Harry said as he took Hermione's arm and led her away from Neville whose blush now was probably reaching his toes. As they walked away they could hear Neville trying to stammer out a response.

They eventually decided to have a late lunch before going to Dumbledore. As they sat around the table eating off a large platter of various types of sandwiches and drinking pumpkin juice the conversation returned to the pureblood agenda and what might happen in the future.

"Look at what was happening after the darkness we saw," Hermione said. "I'd bet that Mr. Malfoy in the future would have never been punished. Draco either."

"Surely Lucius would have went to Azkaban," Harry said. "I mean he might have fallen out of favor with Voldemort at the end, but he'd still done enough to earn a kiss."

"His money Harry," Hermione reminded him. "He'd claim the imperius again and with enough money in enough hands he'd be believed. Did you see him and his family after the battle? Sitting in the Great Hall with no one bothering them."

"He and Narcissa didn't fight."

"SO? He was a known Death Eater, someone who had supported Voldemort for years," Hermione exclaimed. "Does one night of not fighting make up for all they did?"

Do you really think it might happen again?" Harry asked. "I mean, even with Voldemort gone, we'll still have what he believes in?"

"Not immediately. His supporters who don't go to Azkaban will just lay low, but yes eventually it will probably come back," Hermione replied. "You were right you know," She said to Harry. "What you said to Dumbledore about him allowing the bigotry to happen in the school," She nibbled a bite of sandwich and followed it with a swallow of pumpkin juice before continuing. "As long as children are allowed to display their bigotry and hatred not to mention be lorded over unfairly by professors like Snape nothing will truly change."

"You really think Hogwarts can make that big of a difference?" Neville asked.

"Students spend nine months of the year inside these walls," Hermione explained. "More time than they spend with their families during their most impressionable years. If it changes here; if Slytherins are held accountable for their actions; if the Ravenclaw bullies..." She looked over at Luna and put her hand on her friend's hand, "were held accountable, yes I think it would go a long way."

"So next year that's something we can work on," Harry said. "Starting with the bullies in Ravenclaw," He also looked at Luna.

"Please don't..." Luna started suddenly withdrawn into herself. "Not because of me."

"Luna, you're stronger than that," Hermione said emphatically as she grasped Luna's hand tighter. "It's different now; you have friends who will back you up. If they try to make it worse, they will not like the fight they're in. When they bully you, they bully all of us."

Luna nodded and relaxed slightly. She seemed to relax even more when Neville put his arms around her. "I will be there," He said. "Nobody is going to bully you again."

"We thought that we'd get Dobby and Winky to find your stuff," Harry said. "They can do it discreetly, but I want to know who's had it. I won't do anything this year, but next year they'll be warned and if they try it again..."

When Luna nodded again Harry called the two elves and had them start on retrieving Luna's belongings. As they finished their lunch the topic once again came back to the wizarding world after Voldemort.

"All we can really do is be ready to deal with it," Hermione said. "I don't think there's much we can really do. Nothing from our future knowledge is going to be the same, I hope anyway," Though the words 'future knowledge' kicked off an idea in her mind. She frowned but then murmured. "No...we can't do that...it wouldn't be right."

"Do what?" Neville asked.

"Nothing...just..." Hermione said and then seeing all eyes on her she continued. "As I mentioned the biggest obstacle we are going to face in the future is the money the Purebloods control," Neville and Luna nodded, but Harry had already picked up her thoughts and was sitting back thinking. "Well we do know some things that could help us get money...but...but it's cheating."

"What is?" Luna asked looking confused.

"It's too dangerous anyway..." Hermione said but then continued. "I first thought of that since we know things like who won the Quidditch Championship and such we might make money but even if it wasn't cheating it would be too dangerous because of the butterfly effect."

"What's the butterfly effect?" Neville asked.

"Obviously it's something to do with coming out of a cocoon," Luna said. "Daddy said that.."

"Actually no, it has nothing really to do with butterflies," Hermione replied as felt she needed to explain before Luna got started. "It's a representation of something called 'sensitive dependence on initial conditions'," Now everyone looked puzzled. "It just means if something small changes in the starting conditions it can have major effects later on. The reason it's called the butterfly effect is that there is a possibility that even the flap of a butterfly wings, though originally it was described as seagull's wings, can change the weather in an entirely different part of the world."

"So...what does that have to do with this?" Neville asked cautiously.

"We KNEW who won the Quidditch Championship but what if because of something we've already done, it changes."

"But how could it?" Harry asked. "We haven't done anything that would affect Quidditch."

"Haven't we?" Hermione responded. "Do Quidditch players read the newspapers? What if one or more of the players spent more time reading the new articles about us and was late for a practice and because they were late the practice was different. Now the players are not exactly mentally or physically prepared as they were the last time. In the game itself that would affect what happens, what decisions they makes and so on. That's the whole basis of the butterfly effect, unintended consequences of actions even with very small changes."

"So there's nothing that we can do?" Harry asked.

"Not unless it happened in the next week and away from the magical wor..." Hermione started then her eyes flew open. She quickly pulled out her planner and looked. "It's June 23rd...it starts tomorrow," She murmured to herself. "Can we do it in a day?"

"Do what?"

"There is a muggle sporting event starting tomorrow called Wimbledon," Hermione explained. "It's one of the premier events in England every year in a sport called tennis. It's a sport played with a ball and racket."

"Yeah, I heard of it," Harry said. "But..."

"My mother loves tennis," Hermione explained as she cut Harry off. "And I specifically remember her saying the winner of the men's singles that ye.. I mean this year was a major upset; an unseeded player won. That would mean very large odds. I think I'd recognize the name if I saw it," She bit her lip. "But we can't do it. It wouldn't be right."

"I agree," Harry said.

"Well if it's just money we need, why don't we just use those?" Luna asked and pointed over to the buckets full of jewels they had found along with several other treasures.

"Steal them?" Hermione asked. "That'd be wrong too," She stopped and remembered what had happened to them last time. They had all been destroyed by fiendfyre. "But..."

Harry had been thinking along the same lines and beat her to the idea. "We can store them in a vault and if we do find we need to fight evil influence with money, we can use them then."

"But isn't that manipulation?" Hermione asked. "Wouldn't that make us just as bad?"

"Oh poo," Miranda said. "As long as you're not going to turn evil which is almost impossible for soul mates since it takes love to bind them, it wouldn't be that bad. Besides Death likes you remember. You give him all of Voldemort's soul pieces and you can take the Crown Jewels themselves and he'd just smile, thank you and tell you how nice the crown looks on you. If you haven't guessed, he really really dislikes Tom Riddle."

"But...are you sure?" Hermione asked. "I mean it seems wrong."

"You're not stealing them. Besides don't you think it's a fitting thing to have gemstones destroyed by junior Death Eaters be what stops them in the future," Miranda said.

"I hadn't thought of it like that," Hermione admitted.

"I do want you to have two of them though," Miranda said. "Look in the left bucket for two identical blue sapphires. Do you see them?"

Harry walked over to the bucket and after digging down just a little he found two very large blue sapphires, neither of which he could close his hand around.

"Great, now as my wedding present to you and a thank you to Neville and Luna, I want you to take those sapphires and do what you wanted to do to start with Hermione."

"What?" She asked.

"Wimbledon? Remember now?" Miranda asked.

"Oh, but wouldn't that be wrong?"

"If you were to bet all the jewels and bankrupt the Goblins, then it would be wrong...maybe anyway," Miranda replied. "But this is just a little honeymoon money."

"Are you sure?" Hermione persisted.

"A minor advantage isn't going to make you bad. Do you want me to have Death tell you so?" Miranda asked starting to sound annoyed. "Or have that newly acquired O in Defense changed back to an E? Didn't that happen in a similar way?"

"Uh maybe not," Harry said thinking of Death.

"I see your point," Hermione said as she thought of her OWL grade. "So I really got an O this time?"

Miranda giggled. "You'll find out in a couple of weeks, now go enjoy yourself. You still have a Diadem to get to the old bearded one."

Harry had one more thought. "This betting and taking advantage of things isn't going to affect me being an Auror is it?"

"An Auror?" Miranda laughed. "You're still thinking of that? Oh dear me, that's why I love you two; always good for a laugh or a cry."

"What's so funny about me being an Auror?" Harry asked. "I think I'd make a good one."

"Honestly? What would you do the first time a senior Auror told you to stay behind or do something you didn't want to? Even Dumbledore had to remind you every ten seconds to follow orders on your little locket mission. Auror indeed," Miranda continued to chuckle.

Harry was still frowning as Hermione explained the conversation to Neville and Luna. "Miranda wants us to use the sapphires as a bet for a wedding present and thank you to you two, but then she laughed at Harry's thoughts of being an Auror."

"Why would you want to be one of those?" Neville asked his friend. "Seems like you don't...well you don't follow orders very well."

Harry scowled at his friend for a few moments before the scowl turned to a grin. "Yeah you're probably right. That's what she said too."

"Miranda is so nice," Luna said dreamily. "Are you going to be rich now?" She asked.

"Not really rich I mean it's only a single gemstone," Hermione replied as she lifted the sapphire. "Though it is very large. Miranda only mentioned it would be honeymoon money. But whatever we get, you're getting the same amount."

"Thank you Miranda," Luna said to the air as she got from her chair and curtsied.

"So how do we do this?" Harry asked as he put the sapphires on the table. "Wait... she mentioned bankrupting the Goblins..of course...Bagman," When Luna and Neville looked confused Harry explained about Ludo Bagman making a bet against the Goblins. "So they must have some kind of betting system there and we can only presume they do bets on muggle sports as well."

"Is it fair to take advantage of the Goblins?" Neville asked.

Harry looked at Hermione and they both remembered Griphook betraying them in the Bellatrix's vault by grabbing the sword and yelling out that they were thieves. "I think a small payback isn't too bad," He said. "There was a reason we were on the back of that Dragon."

It was a full hour later that Sirius with the two sapphires tucked into his cloak departed for Gringotts. It had taken that long for him to go get a muggle newspaper so Hermione could remember the name of the player she'd remembered her mother speaking of. Sirius had a note in his pocket with "Wimbledon, men's singles Richard Krajicek' written on it.

The rest of the jewels were hidden in Sirius' bedroom. They didn't want to deposit them in a vault all at once, so they planned to do it over several months.

It was three in the afternoon when Harry and Hermione walked up the steps past the Gargoyle to Dumbledore's office. Twenty minutes later they all were looking at the Silver Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw. Dumbledore had sent Neville and Luna out of the room.

"Sir," Hermione said. "Is there a way to destroy the Horcrux without destroying the object?"

"Not that I know of," Dumbledore replied. "Remember it must be destroyed beyond the ability of magic to repair it."

Remembering Neville's earlier suggestion Harry asked. "What about the killing curse sir? Would that work?"

Dumbledore considered for a moment then answered. "Unfortunately no. You see when the killing curse hits solid objects such as metal or stone, it will just bounce off or destroys the object depending on what exactly it's made of. If it hits solid objects that have been alive but are soulless like wood it will cause damage such as an explosion or fire. No the killing curse separates the soul from the living body and in this case there is no living body."

"I should have thought of that," Harry said to Hermione. "In the last battle at the Ministry, Voldemort's killing curses bounced off the statue and destroyed the wooden desk."

"No.." Dumbledore was saying. "We must destroy it."

"It seems like a waste," Hermione said. "Such magic."

"Which is exactly what Riddle hoped for I believe. Even if one was discovered no one would destroy a founders' relic," Dumbledore explained. "Now I think it must be done. Stand back over there," He said as he raised the Sword of Gryffindor. "But..." He paused, "be prepared. I might need assistance again if it struggles."

The Diadem did not put up a struggle and another piece of Voldemort's soul was destroyed shortly afterwards.

"Thank you," Dumbledore said as scream's echos died away and the black ooze ran from the Diadem.

"Sir, why didn't that Horcrux put up a fight?" Hermione asked. "The diary and the locket did."

"I'm not really sure," Dumbledore replied as he looked at the Diadem. "It could be that by the time Tom had made this one, he didn't have enough soul left to fight or it could be that you must use the Horcrux for it to recognize a threat."

"What do you mean, use it?"

"A diary is meant to be written in, which is what young Miss Weasley did with the Diary Horcrux. She used it. A locket is meant to be opened and gazed into, again what we did with the Horcrux Locket," Dumbledore explained. "Whatever traps Riddle or the soul piece might have intended might not have worked unless the Diadem was placed on a person's head."

"Oh," Harry said.

"Now," Dumbledore said as he picked up the Diadem. "I think it is safe to put away," He gazed at the silver tiara for several seconds. Finally he turned to Harry and Hermione. "Miss Granger your parents' house has been warded as best I can do. It is still vulnerable to sustained attacks or if Voldemort himself were to try to breech the wards."

"Thank you sir," Hermione said.

"I was also just informed by Madam Bones that Peter's trial will be next week. Though things are very unsettled right now at the Ministry so that might change."

"Why?" Hermione asked.

Dumbledore sighed. "The Dementors have revolted as I feared they would. It is clear that they are now serving Voldemort or as Minister Fudge is addressing him, Lord Thingy. Several Aurors lost their lives before the island itself was secured."

"The Death Eaters that were captured?"

"Were still at the Ministry."

"Was anything discovered in the Death Eater's vaults or homes?" Hermione asked.

"It's been a difficult process," Dumbledore said. "Nothing, at least no Horcruxes have been found in any of the homes but the Goblins are making it difficult to get to the vaults of those who went through the veil since we have no bodies to prove their deaths," When he saw the grimace pass between Harry and Hermione he again interpreted it wrong. "I'm sorry; I can imagine that those deaths weigh heavily in your minds."

"That's alright sir," Harry replied. "We're fine."

"Very well. Now you two should go pack and be ready for the feast tonight," The Headmaster suggested. "I will let you know that due to the bias in points this year, there will be no awarding of the House Cup."

After dinner they packed their trunks and were sitting in the common room when Ginny came in. "Ready for the summer?" She asked sweetly.

Harry didn't say anything but Hermione answered. "It'll be nice to see my parents."

"Yes I'm sure it will along with all the other muggle things you like to do," Ginny replied. "Well I better go pack. See you in the morning."

"Got the antidote for Dean just in case?" Harry asked his wife once Ginny had disappeared up the steps.

Hermione slid her hand into her robes and pulled out a stoppered vial of a clear liquid.

"At least we can soon get rid of the one nuisance and be able to concentrate on Voldemort."

*** E E ***

Each day for the past week, Narcissa Malfoy sat by her husband's bedside. Only the rising and falling of his chest gave her a clue that he was still alive. Though Healers told her there was nothing they could do and it would do no good for her to stay there, there she stayed. She would always leave late each evening only to return in the early morning. Every evening Andromeda would come and sit beside her. Sometimes they never spoke but sat in silence. Sometimes the words came as natural as when they were sisters growing up together.

Finally after a week, Andromeda took Narcissa by the hand. "Come now Cissy, it's been a week. You're just killing yourself by staying here as much as you do."

Narcissa only nodded as Andromeda led her out of the ward.

"Go home and don't come tomorrow," Andromeda said softly.

Again Narcissa nodded as she started down the hall away from her sister she stopped and looked back. "Will you come tomorrow evening?"

"You're not to come here tomorrow," Andromeda reminded her sister.

"No...I mean..." Narcissa started and stopped.

"To your home?"

A nod.

"Are you sure I'm welcome?"

"Only Draco and I are there," Narcissa replied. She had noticed that Pettigrew had disappeared but she hadn't cared. She'd presumed he'd left to return to the Dark Lord's side. All the time next to her husband's bed she had not bothered to read the newspaper.

"I'll be there then," Her sister replied.

 
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