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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32. Chapter 32

July 3rd 1996

"How are your parents?" Harry asked Hermione the next morning when he knew she was at the Grangers' breakfast table.

"Dad's hung over and Mum doesn't look so well herself," Hermione replied. "I doubt either slept a wink last night."

"Anything we can do?"

"Not really," Hermione replied as she glanced at her parents. "They've got to work through what they saw themselves."

"Are you talking to Harry?" Hermione's mother asked in a tired voice that reflected in her weary eyes.

Hermione nodded. "He was asking about both of you. He wanted to make sure you were okay."

"I presume you told him we're not?"

"I told him it looks like you didn't sleep a wink."

"How could we?" Richard asked as he bloodshot eyes moved from the cup of tea he just sipped toward his daughter. "After what we saw?"

Hermione shrugged. "You wanted us to be honest with you."

Richard groaned as he took another sip of his tea. "My head's going to explode."

"Check the cabinet," Harry said. "Sirius had some hangover relief potion that might help your father. I also tossed in a couple of pepper up potions the Order has stashed here just in case they need it."

"Thank you," Hermione replied then she continued to her parents. "I'll be right back," as she ducked out into the garage. She returned in thirty seconds and handed her father the small vial of thick bubbling yellow liquid. "Drink this dad."

Richard blearily eyed the vial with trepidation. "What is it?" He asked as he lifted it to the light and tilted it. The yellow liquid oozed slowly to the other end of the vial.

"Hangover potion," Hermione replied. "Harry was thoughtful enough to ask Sirius for it."

"Is...is it safe?" Richard asked as he tilted the vial again.

"Yes, now drink it," Hermione instructed her father.

Richard continued to eye the vial with hesitancy but finally he pulled the stopper and poured the content into his mouth. "Uh…that's disgusting," He sputtered. "How long…" He started to ask but the words stopped as his eyelids flew open wide and his eyeballs seemed to bulge out. The red blood vessels that crisscrossed the whites of Richard's eyes started to disappear as if someone were erasing them. At the same time the hair on his head seemed to rise and fall as if something was crawling under his scalp but finally after a final burst of steam from Richard's ears everything stopped.

"Richard?" Jean asked as she rose to her feet and moved toward her husband in concern. "Are you alright?"

Richard tilted his head slowly to the left and then to the right. He then shook it side to side as if he was clearing his vision before finally turning toward his wife. "I'm fine," He said and then seeing the concern in his wife's eyes he continued. "Really, I'm fine. In fact I feel perfect," He turned to Hermione. "What was that?"

"As I said, a hangover potion," Hermione replied.

"How does it work?"

"Magic."

Richard opened his mouth to continue the line of questions but then remembering some of what he saw the previous night, he decided sometimes not knowing was better. With a nod, he closed his mouth and returned to his breakfast.

"And do you know how to make them?" Her mother asked.

"It's not something they teach teenagers, but judging by the fact they don't cost that much at the apothecary, it's probably not a difficult potion to make," Hermione answered with a shrug. "I've got to make a couple of other potions this summer," she gave a significant glance at her mother, "I'm sure I can make these as well, but we can also just buy some at Diagon Alley."

Jean looked at her husband and shook her head. "No; maybe it's better if Richard doesn't get an easy fix when he's drunk a bit too much."

Richard wanted to protest, but as he eyed his wife who still had bloodshot eyes, he knew there was no right way to express his objections. He returned his attention to his plate.

"Harry also included these," Hermione added as she set the two pepper-up potions on the table. "They're called pepper-up potions."

Jean hesitantly lifted one and eyed it carefully. "What do they do?"

"Gives you energy, cures the common cold, basically an all-around pick me up for when you're not well."

"Cures a cold?" Jean asked in disbelief.

"Our medical treatments are different," Hermione replied. As she thought of medical treatments, she remembered that in the previous timeline, she had had a similar conversation with her parents, but it concerned the ten different potions she had to take to treat the curse she'd suffered at the Ministry. Her hand went instinctively to her chest where the scar had been. "Go on, it'll make you feel better," Hermione said indicating the bottle in her mother's hand.

Twenty minutes later a much revived Jean Granger and her husband climbed into their Mercedes and backed out of the garage into the chilly morning air.

Hermione was about to push the button to lower the garage as she watched her parents car turn out of the driveway when she felt Harry's arms encircle her waist.

"What do we have planned for today?" He asked as he kissed the back of his wife's neck.

"Studying," Hermione replied as she leaned her head back on his shoulder a she tilted her neck invitingly to give Harry's lips easier access.

"With proper," Harry kissed several spots that led to the area under Hermione's ear, "breaks?"

"I sure hope so," Hermione responded as she turned and kissed her husband. "We need Sirius to get those potion ingredients today," She continued when their kiss ended.

"We could get Dobby and Winky to get them from Hogwarts," Harry suggested.

"No. I'm sure missing polyjuice potion ingredients would raise alarms from Snape and that would lead to Dumbledore," Hermione said. "Remember we are only one year removed from Crouch Jr. now."

"True," Harry replied. "We'll ask Sirius when we get back. What all do we need?"

"I have the list for the Polyjuice potion and I'll add the ingredients for some pepper-up potion as well as…." Hermione looked at Harry whose eyes had grown wide as he'd picked up the last potion she was going to prepare.

"But…are you sure?"

"That I am your wife and you are the man that I love?" Hermione asked as she gazed into her husband's eyes. "Without a doubt. I'm not sure when we'll take that step, but I just want to be ready."

"I love you Hermione Jean Potter," Harry whispered as he reached past Hermione and pushed the garage button. As he door slowly descended, he caught her lips with his and proceeded to show just how much he loved her.

**** E E ***

"He is planning an attack," Snape announced to the Headmaster. "He's specifically targeting the Order this time."

"How?"

"I am not certain, but I can offer a guess," Snape answered. "He asked me on Sunday how the Order responds to Dementor attacks; whether they worked in teams or individual."

"And you believe he will attempt to isolate a member of the Order during an attack?"

"That would be most likely," Snape agreed.

"When?"

"I do not know," Snape replied. "But I suspect it will be soon. He knows the latest losses have diminished the fear people have for him."

"What about young Draco? Have you heard anything further?"

"He will undoubtedly take the mark," Snape replied.

"But he is too young," Dumbledore argued but a sigh escaped from his lips as Harry Potter's words reappeared in his mind. "They are not innocent children. They are old enough to become Death Eaters themselves and unless you do something that's what will eventually happen. Maybe sooner than you think."

"Nevertheless he will take the mark. Also the Dark Lord has dropped hints that Draco will play an important part in some future plan," Snape said.

"What kind of plan could he have that would include a child?" Dumbledore asked.

"It is a distinct possibility that he will be attempting to force you to kill a student," Snape replied. "If you do, what would the public do?"

"Yes, that is very likely," Albus agreed. "You mentioned that Tom said Draco will return to Hogwarts?"

"Yes," Snape agreed.

"Then at least we'll have a chance to turn him from the path he is choosing," Dumbledore said. "Do your best to discern the nature of the plan. As for the possible attack on the Order, I'll change our tactics at the next meeting. We'll make sure none of the Order work alone."

"That would be most…unwise," Snape objected. "If you suddenly change the way the Order responds, the Dark Lord will become suspicious that you were tipped of his plans."

"What would you suggest then?" Dumbledore asked. "That we don't respond to Dementors?"

"No…but…" Severus paused and leaned forward a bit in his chair as his voice lowered, "but…if a lesser member of the Order were allowed to be separated, say Black for example;" Snape explained, "it would satisfy the Dark Lord while protecting me."

Dumbledore first impulse was to object, but he knew Snape had a point. As he held his Potion Master's dark black eyes with his own blue ones he considered that option. He knew Snape was far more important to the Order than several of the lesser members combined. Such an action would further prove his loyalty to Voldemort and allow for more secrets to be shared. Dumbledore then considered what the loss of Sirius Black would do to the cause. "Before Harry and Hermione bonded, it might have led to Harry further isolating himself and allowing me to lead him to the correct path, but now I believe it would be disastrous," He returned his attention to Severus and replied. "I will give your suggestion some thought, though it definitely will not be Sirius. I believe he still has much to offer, more than some anyway. Emmaline Vance or Hestia Jones would be less of a loss."*

"Of course Headmaster," Snape replied with a nod of his head.

"Now I have much to do," Dumbledore said. "Please keep me informed of any further developments."

A sneer appeared on the lips of the Potion Master as he descended the steps from the Headmaster's office. He now just needed a way to make sure Black or the werewolf became separated from the Order. The Headmaster would definitely understand their recklessness led them to defy any measures that were meant to protect them. "And since I have warned Dumbledore, he could never blame me."

*** E E ***

It was near lunchtime when Harry and Hermione heard a 'THUD' and then 'Ow…who put the bloody wards up on a bedroom?" A familiar voice asked with an identical voice replying. "Harry of course…or at least Sirius."

Harry opened the door to find the Weasley twins climbing to their feet. Fred was rubbing the back of his head while George was holding his knee. "Sorry guys," Harry said. "We don't like surprise visitors."

"Yeah," George said as he took a gingerly step testing his knee. "We noticed."

"At least you didn't suffer what Sirius wanted to do," Harry smirked.

"What was that?" Fred asked as he continued to rub the sore spot on his head.

"Vanishing clothes," Hermione explained.

"Why didn't he?" George asked as he and his brother started checking their articles of clothing for possible changes or disappearance. "Seems like something he would do."

"We reminded him that it was possible that your mother might trip the wards."

George glanced at Fred as they both turned a bit pale at the thought. "Good call," Fred agreed as he swallowed the small amount of bile that he came up his throat.

"Come in and have a seat," Hermione offered as she opened the bedroom door further.

"Thanks." Fred replied as he and George moved into the bedroom.

"Hey that looks a lot like that old cabinet that used to be at Hogwarts," George said as he nodded toward the cabinet.

"What?" Harry turned and glanced at the Vanishing cabinet as he shrugged. "Sirius bought it in Diagon Alley. Probably several of them about."

"Sure," George replied in a voice that wasn't as sure as he glanced at his brother. He sat down in the chair at the desk while Fred leaned against the dresser.

"So what brings you about?" Harry finally asked as he and Hermione sat down on the bed.

"We've been waiting for that story you promised us."

"Oh, so you didn't want to know about Ginny and Ron?" Hermione asked.

"What about them?" Fred asked. "Where are they anyway? I mean that's why we were apparating up here so that mum wouldn't see us."

"She's been trying to floo the shop every few hours," George explained. "We got tired of her complaining about our business so we've had Verity tell everyone we can't be disturbed."

"You…you haven't heard?" Harry asked in surprise as he glanced at his wife. "About any of it?"

"We've been busy ever since you took on You-Know-Who," Fred explained. "That lady who runs Magical Law, Bones, came by the shop the day after that and after asking us a few questions about what had happened, she wanted to see the stuff you used."

"We have huge orders for Shield hats and other stuff," George continued. "We were even promised a bonus to have it ready by the end of this week."

"We wanted to come meet you at the train," Fred said, "but…" both twins shrugged before continuing. "The galleons are substantial."

"We understand," Hermione replied as she glanced at Harry. "Without your products we're probably dead…"

"So…what happened?" Fred asked. "I mean we told them what you told us to tell them."

"But you can't leave it like that," George pleaded. "I mean you knew You-Know-Who was there and that Sirius wasn't captured…so what's going on?"

Harry and Hermione knew they would have to answer these questions someday but also weren't positive the twins were ready for the truth especially after the issues with Ron and Ginny. After a quick mental conversation Hermione started. "Before we tell you about that night, maybe we should tell you about what else has happened. Especially with Ginny and Ron."

"What did they do?"

Harry and Hermione gave a quick rundown of what had happened both at Hogwarts and the past Sunday. As they told the story, Fred and George's eyes grew wider and wider.

"No wonder mum wanted to talk to us," Fred finally said. "As we said we didn't know."

"Wait…Ginny," George said. "She…she asked us for some stewed lacewings near the end of the year."

"She said it was for an end of year potions project and she'd lost what Snape had given her," Fred added guiltily.

"At least that explains how she got some of those ingredients," Hermione said. Seeing the look of guilt on the twins' face, she quickly added. "We don't blame you. She was quite brilliant in some of her plans, but we are concerned for her," Hermione and Harry detailed their suspicions about what they believed happened after Ginny's first year.

"…and now Dumbledore has convinced your parents that Ginny is just someone with a serious infatuation," Harry finished.

"Well she did have a considerable crush on you, but this is a bit more serious than that," George agreed.

"We'll talk to Bill and see what he thinks," Fred added.

"Thanks guys," Harry replied.

"So you and Hermione are married?" George asked returning to something revealed in the explanation.

"We are in the magical world, but we're not…" Hermione tried to explain. "We still consider ourselves just boyfriend and girlfriend, but…I mean we're not…"

"It's complicated," Harry finished for her as he took Hermione's hand in his. "I promised her father that we wouldn't really consider ourselves married until…well until we're married in the muggle world. Though…as each day passes, I see less and less of Hermione Granger when I look at her, and more and more of Hermione Potter…if you can understand that."

"Maybe someday," George grinned, "but we have a ways to go before that."

"A whole life to live before we settle down, if you know what we mean," Fred added with a wink.

Harry and Hermione both swallowed as they remembered Fred's body lying among the rest of the dead. Harry finally squeezed Hermione's hand as he said "Not this time."

"Now before we head to the Burrow and get our heads handed to us by our mother, you have to tell us about You-Know-Who," George said.

"As long as you can keep it to yourselves, no one but Sirius or Madam Bones can know what we are about to tell you," Harry said.

"Madam Bones? But you told us to tell the…"

"We know but she caught us in a bit of the fib and we had to tell her everything but she's keeping it to herself," Hermione explained.

"You can trust us," George said as Fred nodded his agreement.

"We know…it's just that we definitely don't want Dumbledore to know about it," Harry explained.

"Why not?" Fred asked. "If it's a way to beat You-Know-Who then shouldn't Dumbledore know?"

"We've come to discover a lot of things about what's going on," Hermione said. "A lot of bad is happening because of Dumbledore. Take for example his Pensieve; if he'd taken it to the Ministry or the press and shown Harry's memories would Harry have had to deal with the ridicule this past year? Or the Ministry keeping their head buried?"

"And think about Sirius," Harry added. "With Snape being a spy for the Order, was there no way to get to Pettigrew?"

"Also, did you know that Dumbledore never told the Ministry that it was a Basilisk going around the school petrifying people?" Hermione continued. "I could have died when Dumbledore KNEW all along it was a Basilisk."

"What do you mean he knew?" Fred asked.

"You remember when Colin got petrified?" Harry asked and when the twins nodded curiously he continued. "I was in the hospital that night they brought him to Madam Pomprey because it was the same time Lockhart deboned my arm."

"Yeah, we remember," George replied.

"Well when Dumbledore opened Colin's camera the film was melted you see," Harry explained. "When McGonagall asked him what it meant, he replied something like 'it means the Chamber has indeed been opened again'."

"So if he didn't know the creature was a Basilisk, then how would he know what it would do the film?" Hermione asked.

Fred and George both looked astonished as their features turned somewhat ashen. "He really did know didn't he?" Fred finally whispered.

"He let us walk around that bloody castle when he knew there was a Basilisk on the loose?" George added.

"I hope you can now see why we don't trust him and neither does Madam Bones."

"Okay you have our word not to tell anyone," Fred said after a quick glance at his brother.

"You remember how I knew your father had been attacked?" Harry asked but before the twins could respond he continued. "It's some kind of connection to Voldemort. He's been using it to try to lure me to the Department of Mysteries to get the prophecy."

"So there is a prophecy? About you?" George asked. "Do you know what it says?"

"Something that is best left unsaid," Hermione interjected. "At least for now."

"I will tell you that it was that prophecy that got my parents killed," Harry said.

"Oh…" The twins said in unison.

"As I said, Voldemort had been trying to lure me and that night he added a new twist to the visions he'd been sending me. He tried to make me believe that Sirius had been captured," Harry continued with the altered story. "By now I had remembered the mirrors Sirius had given me and we quickly knew that he didn't. We decided that maybe we could use the opportunity to expose the fact that Voldemort was back."

"You just walked into the Ministry expecting to duel You-Know-Who?" Fred asked incredulously. "And we let you do it?"

"I knew that thing with our wands would happen," Harry explained. "It's the same thing that happened in the fo…last year. Dumbledore explained it to me then."

"Still that took some serious guts," George said.

"We weren't expecting twelve Death Eaters though," Hermione lied. "But everything worked out. It worked out mostly because of your products so we can say it was your work that made it possible."

"Tell mum that," Fred said.

"If she'd listen I'd be glad to," Hermione replied. "You've done more in your joke shop to fight Voldemort than the entire Order has done so far. You are doing exactly what you should be doing."

"Is this the same Hermione Granger who went off on us for recruiting firsties?" George asked in fake astonishment.

"No…actually it's Hermione Potter now," Fred replied with a smirk and a wink at Hermione.

"Did you know we can legally do magic?" Hermione asked as she lifted her wand.

"But the trace?"

"Madam Bones took care of that…after the attack that injured your…" Harry paused. "Did you hear about that? About your father being injured when Death Eaters attacked us?"

"WHAT?" George asked. "When did this happen?"

"The day after we got back from Hogwarts," Hermione explained. Harry and she quickly explained what had happened. "…and Harry…well he killed Goyle's father."

"I wasn't trying to," Harry interjected. "But he was about to curse Hermione and…and I hit him with a cutting curse."

"Sliced the bastard into two pieces," A voice said from the doorway. When everyone turned, Sirius moved into the room and shut the door. "Just glad Harry knew that Yaxley was a Death Eater or it might have been really bad."

"Two pieces?"

Sirius used his finger to draw a diagonal line across his body. "Three if you count his arm."

"Brother…remind me never to try to curse Hermione," Fred said to his twin.

"True...we're already two, no need for three or four," George replied trying to sound jovial, but it ranged hollow as he thought of what the sight must have been like.

"She can take care of herself," Harry replied. "She bloodied Ginny's nose."

"Just wished it was Dumbledore's nose," Hermione muttered.

"Now that would be a sight to charge admission for," George smirked.

"Definitely," Fred agreed. "We could charge triple if you could take out both Dumbledore's and Snape's at the same time."

"Triple?" George replied. "You are seriously undervaluing such a once in a lifetime experience."

"Possibly. Hermione would you mind breaking both Snape's and Dumbledore's nose so we can determine what price we could charge?" Fred asked. "Market research and all of that you know."

"Maybe just a sample of either of them so we can judge the combined effect?"

"That's enough guys..." Sirius replied as he tried to not laugh at the images the twins were creating.

Fred nodded as his voice turned more serious. "But really; How did you know he, I mean Yaxley was a Death Eater?"

"Well…" Harry hesitated as he glanced at Hermione who quickly came up with a plausible explanation. "His visions from Voldemort," She explained. "He saw Yaxley in one of them."

"Well, we better move along to the Burrow," George said. "See what pranks we can pull on our younger siblings."

"Don't forget to talk to Bill," Harry reminded them. "Ginny needs help."

"We will," Fred replied. "Oh by the way, how did you get to our shop that night? You said they thought you were coming on Thestrals and a broom but obviously you weren't."

Harry grinned at Hermione as he rose from the bed. With a turn and a small crack he disappeared. A second later he walked back in the door of the room.

"You…you can apparate?" George asked open-jawed.

"Another one of our secrets we'd appreciate you keeping to yourselves," Hermione said. "We both can."

"Being married to the smartest witch around is not a bad thing," Harry added to give an explanation to their new abilities.

"So that's how you're getting past it?" Fred asked.

"Getting past what?" Harry queried.

"The notification spell on the door," Fred explained. "We checked to see what detection spells were on it so we could sneak past mum but it didn't do anything when we came in so it must be…"

"DUMBLEDORE keeping me locked up," Harry snarled.

"You didn't know?" George asked as he looked from Harry to Hermione and then Sirius whose grey eyes had turned very dark.

"No but we do now," Harry replied. With a glance at his godfather and then at Hermione he continued. "I think it's time to prank Dumbledore as well."

Hermione raised an eyebrow in question but Harry quickly gave her his ideas over there mental link. "Yes, I think we should at that."

"Can we help?" Fred asked.

"Don't let anyone know you told us, or even that you know about," Harry replied.

Fred grinned at his brother before they both gave a mock salute to Harry.

"Seriously guys, be careful around Dumbledore," Hermione added in a more sober tone. "He means well but his methods leave a lot to be desired."

"We will," George replied. "And if you two need anything, let us know. We'll be glad to help anyway we can."

"Thanks guys," Harry replied as he held out a hand.

*** E E ***

Minerva McGonagall stood in front of a gate on an old country lane late in the afternoon. The gate was the entrance to the high crooked home of the Weasleys, the Burrow. With a determined sigh, she pushed the gate open and strolled toward the door of the rickety looking structure.

"What are you doing here Minerva?" Molly Weasley asked as she ushered the Hogwarts Professor into the Burrow and led her to the kitchen. "Would you like a cup of tea? I'm just starting dinner now. You'll stay of course?"

"No thank you," McGonagall replied.

"Well have a seat," Molly insisted as she glanced around for her wand. "I'm a bit distracted. Fred and George were here a bit earlier and those boys…"

"Molly," McGonagall interrupted the red-haired witch knowing if she got off onto the antics of her sons, it would be a while before it ended. "This is not a social visit. I need to speak to you about Ronald."

"What about him?" Molly asked as she glanced through the window where her two youngest were de-gnoming and weeding the vegetable garden.

"I'm sorry to say that I'm going to have to remove him as a Prefect at Hogwarts," Minerva replied.

"WHAT?" Molly retorted as her face turned slightly red.

"As you know, Prefects are held to a very high standard and this latest matter with him and Ginevre concerning Mr. Potter and…and his wife isn't something that I can ignore."

"That's preposterous," Mrs. Weasley exclaimed. "He was just a love sick young man who made a single bad decision. I'm sure in a few more days Harry and he will be best of friends again."

"Molly," McGonagall started. "You may believe what you will, but my decision stands and has the full support of the Headmaster. Ronald must surrender his Prefect's badge."

Molly's face turned several shades darker as her lips pursed. "I will discuss the matter with Dumbledore," She muttered as she started toward the fireplace in an obvious attempt to use the floo.

"Feel free to discuss anything you wish with the Headmaster," McGonagall replied. "I have already informed him that if he were to try to overrule me in this matter, I will take the matter to the school board which will require a public acknowledgement of what your children did. Do you really wish Ron and Ginny to face that? Ginny could even have her wand snapped."

Molly stopped with her hand in the flower pot that held the floo powder as the red quickly evaporated from her face. She turned to Minerva and exclaimed. "You can't do that!"

"I am set on my decision," Professor McGonagall replied in a firm voice. "If you and Dumbledore wish to force my hand, I will do what I must. Ronald will not return to Hogwarts as a Gryffindor Prefect."

"But…" It was just a whisper now as Molly returned the flowerpot back to the mantelpiece before glancing through the window once more.

"I do come with something of an offer as well," McGonagall added in a consoling tone. "I am willing to make Ronald Quidditch Captain for the coming year. We can say he chose to switch from prefect to Quidditch captain to save face. I will of course have to make sure he'd be interested and let him know that the appointment requires him to apply himself academically, but I believe all in all it is something he'd prefer anyway. Would you like to call him in, or would you prefer I do this another time?"

Molly could only stare numbly at the Transfiguration professor. Finally she moved to the back door. "Ronald…Ronald…wash up and come in to the kitchen. Professor McGonagall is here and needs to speak to you."

*** E E ***

Ginny Weasley and her brother had spent the last three hours in the garden and that was after having to scrub the kitchen and bathroom floors. Though it was a cool day, she was still sweaty, miserable and tired. "It's all that know-it-all's fault," She thought as she yanked a weed hard enough to pull up a significant amount of dirt as well. She tossed the weed into her growing pile as she continued her internal rant. "Harry's wife..MY HARRY!" She yanked another weed from the ground and before she toss it aside, a bead of sweat dribbled down her cheek. She used the gloved hand with the weed still in it to wipe the sweat away.

"Better be careful," Ron said to his sister as he snared another Gnome and after rotating it over his head, he tossed it over the fence. "I think that's hemlock in your hand. You definitely don't want to get that in your mouth."

"Of course it's not…" Ginny started but then looked at the weed in her hand. The leaves were definitely more shiny than normal and had the right shape. She quickly tossed it into the basket. "Thanks."

Ron shrugged as he grabbed another of the potato looking creatures that promptly bit him on the hand. "Ow…you…" He hurled it as far as he could from his frustrations. Then turned back to his sister. "I almost ate some when I was much younger. If it hadn't been for Charlie I probably would have. He told mum and she made sure I knew exactly what it looked like."

Ginny remembered her mum showing it to her as well and explaining how poisonous it was.

"Ronald…Ronald…wash up and come in to the kitchen. Professor McGonagall is here and needs to speak to you," Came their mother's voice.

"Wonder what she wants," Ron grumbled as he glanced toward the kitchen. "It's summer. She better not expect me to do homework or anything," He ignored the gnome that had just poked its head out of the hole to see what had happened to his friend as he stood up and brushed dirt from his clothes. With a feeling of dread, he started toward the house.

Ginny watched her brother disappear into the house before she returned to her weeding. Soon she started a common mental ranting that seemed to always occur when she was alone. "MY HARRY!" She repeated to herself for the hundredth time. "MARRIED…. married…it should be me. It should have been me…" She continued her silent diatribe as more weeds met their demise as she pulled at them more and more frantically. She stopped as her mind turned to the wedding she'd envisioned for them. She even glanced toward the apple orchard and could imagine what it would have been like. "I would have loved you Harry much more than that bitch. It should be me bonded to you for life; me who will love you until the day I die…" Ginny paused at those words and then repeated them, this time out loud. "The day I die…" She glanced at the basket of weeds where the hemlock was still quite visible. "Not me…but…well if it takes death to separate them…so be it." Ginny glanced around quickly and not seeing anyone, quickly slipped the hemlock from the basket into one of her pockets. "Hermione likes salads and an extra few chopped up green leaves in one…" As Ginny started pulling weeds once more, she had the first smile on her face since the day she had found out about Harry's marriage to Hermione.

*** E E ***

"What?" Ron asked as he entered the kitchen a few minutes later.

"Ron, manners," Molly exclaimed as she glared at her son. No matter the situation, she was not going to allow her child to be disrespectful.

"Uh…what can I do for you professor?" Ron said in response to the glare from his mother.

"Mr. Weasley, I have come to inform you that you are no longer a Gryffindor Prefect," McGonagall said. "I will ask for the return of the badge please."

"WHAT?" Ron exclaimed. "Why? What did I do wrong?"

"Though I am sure you know, I will inform you that I have been in contact with the Potters and know all about yours and your sister's plans," Minerva replied. "Such actions are unbecoming of Gryffindor, much less a Gryffindor Prefect," McGonagall's eyes flashed.

"Harry…he did this didn't he?" Ron blurted out. "He wants it…he wants everything."

"Yes Mr. Potter will be your replacement, but the decision obviously did not rest with him," McGonagall replied. "It comes from your antics, your lack of responsibility and your inability to perform the responsibilities required of a Prefect."

"Fine…" Ron muttered and turned to leave the kitchen. "I never wanted it anyway."

"Ronald, you stop this moment," His mother said angrily. "Professor McGonagall had something else to tell you."

"What now?" Ron snarled. "I'm going to need Harry's permission to use the loo?"

"I was going to make you an offer, but your disrespect leaves me wondering if doing such would be a mistake," McGonagall explained. "I was going to offer you the position of Quidditch Captain of the Gryffindor team."

"Quidd…Quidditch Captain?" Ron replied as he swallowed hard. "Me?"

"Yes, you," Minerva acknowledged. "With your full understanding that it is conditional upon keeping reasonable grades in your classes. You start trying to use Quidditch as a reason to miss classes or fail to turn in assignments, and not only will you not be the captain of the team, you won't even be on the team."

"Me…Quidditch captain?" Ron repeated as if he didn't even hear McGonagall.

"So I can presume you are interested and agree to my conditions?" The Transfiguration professor asked.

"Uh…yeah," Ron replied as he turned and started out of the kitchen.

"Where are you going?" Molly Weasley asked.

"Where else…I need to start making plans for the season," Ron replied as he looked back. "We're going to need chasers…" He started mumbling as he turned again.

"Mr. Weasley," McGonagall said. "I think it's only fair you know that you were suggested by someone else for that position. Someone who thought you'd do a good job."

"Who?" Ron asked.

"Harry Potter," Minerva replied.

"Harry?"

*** E E ***

"It must be done Dumbledore," Amelia Bones said as she sat across the desk from the Headmaster in his office at Hogwarts.

"You do not have that authority," Dumbledore argued. "The Forbidden Forest has always been considered a part of Hogwarts and under my jurisdiction."

"You are wrong," Amelia replied as she pulled out a roll of parchment. "This is an agreement between the government and Dilys Derwent from 1765. In allowing parts of the Forest to be used to study Magical Creatures, she promised the staff of Hogwarts would provide protection for all students who entered the Forest. An agreement that has basically become a 'Don't enter the Forest' lecture each year."

"And we do protect our students," Dumbledore argued.

"Allowing a colony of Acromantulas to grow unchecked in that Forest is not protecting them," Bones shot back. "I have it under good authority that those Acromantulas did attack and almost kill two students three years ago."

"That was at a time when I was not in the castle," Dumbledore retorted.

"Even when you were in the castle that year, you showed no interest in protecting the students," Bones knew she had the Headmaster now. "You knew there was a Basilisk roaming the castle and yet did virtually nothing to protect the students."

"You make accusations without proof," Dumbledore replied. "I had no way to know what the threat was."

Amelia was tempted to reveal what she knew but decided to wait until all the evidence she could muster was ready. The Headmaster of Hogwarts would answer for many things when the threat of Voldemort was gone. "We'll see," She replied. "But since students almost died, this agreement is null and void. The Forest is once again Ministry jurisdiction. Agents from Magical Creatures will be here within a week to remove the colony."

"Amelia, I believe..." Dumbledore started but Amelia had already rose from her seat.

"Within the week," Bones repeated. "If you give them any trouble, I will return with Aurors. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes Madam Bones," Albus nodded.

When the head of the DMLE left his office, Dumbledore sighed. He rose to his feet and went to the Floo. "Hagrid," He said when the flames turned green. "Come to my office, I have news that you're not going to like."

A/N At the beginning of Book 6, Snape tells Bellatrix that he betrayed Emmaline Vance to Voldemort. There is no way he couldn't expect Bellatrix to verify that information with subtle questions to Voldemort since she didn't trust Snape. So he must have truly betrayed her.

 
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