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



4. Chapter 4

As Harry and Hermione ended their kiss, they turned and looked at the person they had considered their best friend. His face was distorted in a mask of confusion and disbelief.

"Now do you believe us Ron?" Harry asked as his hand slid into his pocket where he grasped the handle of his wand.

It took several seconds before recognition appeared on the face of the youngest male Weasley, "But…but it can't...I mean I gave you the perfume," Ron stammered as he looked at Hermione.

"What?" Hermione asked in obvious confusion. "Perfume?"

"For Christmas, I gave you the perfume and Ginny said you wou..." Ron started and then stopped as his eyes went wide in panic.

To say Ginny Weasley was angry would be like saying there is water in the ocean or her brother snored; it would be seriously understating the feelings of the redhead. What should have been the best weekend of her life had turned into a nightmare. She had snatched the snitch right out from under that bitch Chang's nose. That had shown Harry who the better Quidditch player was. Even the idiot Corner had played his part perfectly, he had whined about Ginny stealing the victory from Ravenclaw and Ginny had quite loudly split up with him. She had known Harry would be around and hear the break-up. Even better was that Corner had ended up comforting Chang. Everything had fallen into place perfectly. Last night should have been it, Harry was going appreciate her Quidditch skills, know she wasn't going out with anyone and there was a party to celebrate the Quidditch Cup. EVERYTHING had been perfect. When the party started she could already feel Harry's lips on hers. But during the party Harry had stayed near Hermione discussing something called Grawp. Even when she had tried to talk to HER Harry, he hadn't mentioned the snitch or Cho or her break-up. When both Harry and Hermione had left the party early to go to bed, Ginny had been extremely annoyed.

"Then this morning," Ginny reflected as she put another small bite of food in her mouth. "I put on my special perfume and he was looking at me, I saw it, but he goes to HER and kisses HER and calls HER his girlfriend. What did that bookworm do to my Harry?"

A commotion near the doors of the Great Hall snapped Ginny out of her Hermione hatred thoughts. As she looked up, she saw the end of the kiss between HER Harry and the bitch and her anger flared again. The hatred was replaced by panic as she heard her brother mention the perfume he had given her at Christmas.

"Oh crap," She thought as she raced over to her brother, thinking the whole way. "If she finds out about that perfume, Ron will tell her who gave it to him to give to her."

Hermione was trying to remember back over two years previous to that Christmas. It was the year Ron's father was bitten by the snake. "Oh, he did give me a bottle of perfume that year, horrible smelling cheap stuff," She told Harry.

"So? What does you giving me perfume have to do with me and Harry?" She asked Ron.

"Ginny said…"

"I said that it would let you know he does think of you as a girl," Ginny finished Ron's sentence as she appeared at her brother's side. Seeing HER eyebrow shoot up in question she continued, "Remember last year before the Yule Ball, Ron stuck his foot in his mouth about you being a girl."

Ron turned to Ginny, "But you said it would..." he never finished that sentence either as Ginny glare silenced him.

"I think I need to examine that bottle of perfume," Hermione said to her husband.

"Speaking of perfume, what do you think of mine this morning Harry?" Ginny said with a slight shake of her head that caused her sleek hair to move seductively. "The advertisement said after I put one of my true love's hairs in the bottle, one whiff and he would be mine and I got one of Harry's hairs last night."

Hermione's grip on Harry's arm tightened, but they both heard the voice of their favorite Goddess of Love, "Oh let him sniff," She said in a voice filled with mirth, "she got ripped off buying that stuff. Nothing even close to a love potion in the bottle. And yes Hermione, the perfume he gave you at Christmas was something similar that Ginny bought. Supposed to intoxicate you with the essence of the young man and have you fall in love with him over time. She found an ad in the back of Witch Weekly for the products. Nice advertisement but a rip off for gullible young witches."

"Essence of Ron?" Hermione thought. "No wonder it smelled horrible," And it was at that moment she realized the conflict she had felt about Ron was gone. Seeing him there with her husband, "I am really starting to like that phrase," She thought. There was no comparison between the depth of love she felt for Harry and the tolerance she might still have for Ron.

"Well dear, that's the difference between a soul mate and well Ron," Miranda said. "I'm afraid Ron might end up like Severus Snape since he can't put anyone else ahead of himself."

When Harry smiled at what Miranda had said, Ginny presumed it was the invitation to smell her perfume and she knew she had him. Harry bent closer and took a deep breath and immediately wished he hadn't. He had to choke back the tears that threaten to overwhelm him from the scent. Looking up at Ginny he said, "It's an interesting smell Ginny. It's definitely you," Then to his wife, "Well it does smell very unpleasant."

Ginny smiled knowingly. She gave a quick glance and smirk at Hermione before returning her eyes back to Harry. "Thank you Harry; would you like to have breakfast with me? We can talk all about how my ex-boyfriend is now seeing your ex-girlfriend. I mean Michael and Cho are an item now."

"Thanks for the invitation Ginny, but my girlfriend and I," Harry started as his arm slipped around Hermione's waist, "Will be having breakfast together."

Ginny's ire flared again and it took a minute to choke it back down. "It didn't work," She thought irritably. "Maybe I didn't wear enough."

Ron was still trying to figure out what had happened; yesterday he was on top of the world. He was the Gryffindor Quidditch hero and he was sure Hermione would see how important Quidditch was compared to books. "Especially since Ginny had said the perfume would make her fall for me," He thought.

"Shall we dine with Luna, love?" Harry asked as he spotted the dirty-blonde hair of his friend sitting alone at the Ravenclaw table.

"Sure," Hermione replied and the two of them turned to the Weasleys, "Ron, I am glad you're now seeing me as a girl, especially since I've been one all my life. Now if you will excuse us, we will be eating with Luna this morning."

"Looney?" Ron asked. "Why would you eat with…" his voice trailed off as Harry and Hermione had turned and started walking toward the Ravenclaw table. Ron's jealousy flared and he grabbed Harry's arm. "Just had to steal my girl didn't you Harry?"

"Your girl?" Hermione asked as she whirled back to face Ron while her eyes flashed dangerously. "Since when have I EVER been your girl?"

Ron's attention was still on Harry as he ignored Hermione, "You knew I fancied her."

Harry couldn't even bring himself to be angry at his friend. He just stared at the hand that held his arm until Ron released him. Once Ron had done so, he turned his gaze to look his old friend in the eyes. "Ron the only person you seem to fancy is yourself," With that he turned and taking Hermione's hand in his, walked away.

As Harry and Hermione walked away, they heard the two youngest Weasleys whispering heatedly, and the words "You said" and "Mine" came through loudly from Ron.

"So she had started even before the summer?" Harry thought. "Stay on your toes love."

"I will," Hermione replied. "I should have been more suspicious of that perfume, but growing up, giving cheap perfume was a joke in our house. It meant you waited until the last second and only some late night store selling cheap stuff was open. It seemed so like Ron that I didn't think he wasn't out shopping the night before," She looked back at the Weasleys and noticed the glare Ginny was giving her as she continued to argue with her brother. "Was she ever my friend, or was I just a way to get to Harry?" She wondered.

Harry and Hermione finished the trek to the Ravenclaw table and sat down on either side of their friend. The few Ravenclaws who remained at the table were all looking at the two of them curiously. As Harry sat down his eyes found the one particular person staring the hardest. The dark-haired Cho Chang had an expression written on her face that was easily understood. It was an expression that said "I knew it," Cho turned to the boy sitting on her right, whom Harry recognized as Ginny's old boyfriend and kissed him, and then she turned and looked back at Harry. Harry just shrugged his shoulders at her and turned his attention back to Luna and Hermione.

"Hello Harry, hello Hermione," Luna said in a serene voice. She was currently arranging the food on her plate into an elaborate mess that seemed to fit no pattern or reason.

"Good morning Luna," Harry said.

"Is there something you needed?" Luna asked as she positioned a slice of bacon diagonally across her plate and then put strawberries on either end of it.

"We just wanted to eat with a friend," Hermione replied smiling.

"Friends are nice, but isn't Ronald your friend? Shouldn't you be eating with him?"

"We prefer your company this morning Luna. He is having trouble accepting that Harry and I are together," Hermione replied. "He thinks I belong to him."

"Ah, well it was obvious that you two are together, why else would you have kissed earlier unless Wrackspurts have invaded your minds?" Luna said. "Daddy showed me how to make a Wrackspurt draining funnel if you need one."

"No, I'm pretty sure that we don't have Wrackspurts Luna," Hermione said remembering her promise to herself not to comment on the imaginary creatures Luna mentioned. "But thank you."

"Why would Ronald think you are his?" Luna asked. "Owning people isn't allowed."

"I mean he thinks because he fancies me; I automatically should fancy him back."

"Oh well that is silly," Luna replied. "Seems he is suffering from Wrackspurts. Maybe I should offer a funnel to him?"

"He and his sister just need to accept that we are together."

"Ginny fancies you too Hermione?" Luna asked with dreamy voice.

"Uh...no. She likes Harry," Hermione replied.

"Yes, that is more likely."

"A real friend would be happy for us," Harry said. "They would accept our relationship."

"Friends accept you for who you are Luna," Hermione said while internally grimacing at the same time as she remembered that it had taken the battle at the Department of Mysteries to start accepting Luna, and even then she hadn't appreciated the friendship as much as she should have. "And don't presume they own you."

"That's true I suppose. I've never had friends," Luna said.

"Yes you have Luna, for several months now," Hermione said, "And for a couple of years."

"If you ever need company or anything Luna," Harry started, "We're here for you. We are your friends."

Luna felt a sense of warmth overcome her as she thought of the word "Friends."

"Now I heard," Harry's voice dropped to a whisper, "That people have been taking and hiding your belongings. Is there anything we can do to help?"

"No, it'll show up before the end of school," Luna replied. "It always does."

"It still doesn't give people the right to take your belongings Luna," Hermione said.

"They just think I'm odd," Luna explained as she looked at Hermione with those misty eyes, "They call me Looney sometimes."

"Not to us they won't," Harry declared.

"Well if you need to borrow anything to wear because something you need is missing, let me know," Hermione said.

"That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me," Luna said and all through breakfast Luna's smile increased in size as she occasionally glanced at Harry and Hermione.

After breakfast, Harry and Hermione decided to spend some time under their favorite beech tree near the lake studying like normal students. Hermione brought out her study guides she had made two years or just days before and started going over what they needed for the tests and what they didn't. She trimmed the actual material that was going to be covered on the OWLs down to a much more manageable amount. For the next couple of hours, they were re-reading their old textbooks and notes. Harry sat with his back to the tree while Hermione was lying on the ground beside him. Harry kept getting distracted by looking down at his wife watching her chew on her bottom lip as she was deep in thought.

"You know you drive me nuts when you do that don't you?" Harry asked.

"Do what?"

"Chew on you lip when you're thinking."

"You don't like it?" Hermione asked looking up at Harry.

"On the contrary, it makes me want to snog you senseless," Harry replied.

"Well, what's stopping you?" Hermione asked as she started chewing on her lip intentionally while gazing into Harry's eyes. It was an invitation he couldn't refuse. With the perfect weather, the perfect location and the perfect person to be with, Harry and Hermione spent the next couple of hours just being a couple of teenagers in love. They even had Dobby bring them a basket of food for a small picnic lunch.

Their sense of serenity was interrupted when Harry felt his mirror get warm. It had taken him a few seconds to realize it was the mirror and not the closeness of Hermione that was causing the heat.

"Sirius is calling," Harry said.

"Hand me the mirror," Hermione replied as she pulled out her wand and performed the muffliato charm. Harry handed over the mirror and she put it inside of an open book and they both pretended to be studying it. Looking down, they saw the mug of Harry's godfather looking back.

"Hey pup," He said. "Been thinking about what you want me to do, and what you want me to do also Hermione. I'm going to need more information about that night at the Ministry to put together some kind of plan. It would help if you can tell me how many Death Eaters, where they were positioned when you first met them, what their reactions where, things like that. I'm planning on getting a couple of the order members involved."

"You can't..." Hermione started,

"Of course I'm not going to tell them anything," Sirius said, cutting off the objection, "but I'm going to suggest since the Order is guarding the prophecy, we should have a plan to react if Voldemort makes an attempt to take it by force. You said only a few of us showed up that night. I think I can be there with a lot more this time."

"I like that plan, but what about Dumbledore?" Harry asked. "If Voldemort shows up again, we'll need him getting there. Also don't forget to make sure you have a way out of there yourself. We need Aurors to show to see Voldemort, but I don't want you captured."

"I'll think of something," Sirius assured him.

"Okay, we'll write down what we remember and get it to you," Harry said.

"And Hermione, I just want to say thanks," Sirius said with a grin. "I really did need a kick in the butt didn't I?"

"You just needed to know you're needed Sirius," Hermione replied. "And trust me when I say we need you. Harry needs his family, plus without you, Harry had no protection from Dumbledore."

"I think you're his family now, Mrs. Potter," Sirius said with a smirk.

"And you think I can keep him in line without help?" Hermione replied smiling. She really was enjoying that title.

"Good point. He is a troublesome cub isn't he?" Sirius replied. He glanced over his shoulder and then turned back to the mirror. "I really can't believe the difference in Kreacher. The little guy has been cleaning non-stop. Well I'll leave you two to whatever you were doing."

"We…we were just studying." Hermione said. "Getting ready for our OWLs."

"From the looks of your hair and lips, I'd say your studying is getting a little too personal," Sirius said with a grin.

"Oh shut it Sirius," Harry replied. "You're just jealous."

"Well considering I'm starting to think Buckbeak is attractive, you might say that," Sirius as his grin widened. "But I really am happy for the both of you. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to help Kreacher."

Once the mirror had been stored, they started writing down the things they remembered from the Ministry. "This would be a lot easier if we just had Dumbledore's Pensieve," Harry grumbled.

Hermione's eyes shot up to his. "Of course, why didn't I think of that? We can borrow it."

"It's locked in Dumbledore's office remember," Harry said as he thought of the device he'd used to view Snape's memories just the previous day, two years in the future. "Even Umbridge can't get in there."

"But it's not Harry. Professor Snape has it. Remember your Occlumency lessons," Hermione reminded him. "Even if he has stopped giving you lessons at this time, he couldn't have returned it to Professor Dumbledore's office."

"You're right. So I just have to steal it from his office," Harry said.

"No, I have to steal it from his office, while you are in sight of him," Hermione corrected him. "You will be his primary suspect and we need you to have the perfect alibi, Professor Snape himself."

"Have I mentioned how brilliant you are?"

"You might have mentioned it once or twice along the way," Hermione replied.

"How about how beautiful you are?"

"You're a little behind with that considering we have been soul mates for so long," Hermione said.

"I better start catching up then," Harry murmured as he pulled Hermione back into his arms.

Their plan to get the Pensieve was very straight forward. At dinner that evening Harry would make sure he got close enough to Malfoy to ensure the ferret would say something about Harry and Hermione being together in a derogatory fashion. If he didn't, they were sure Ron would say something stupid. Either way Harry would make sure the argument was loud and lasted for a few minutes. In the meantime Hermione after being seen in the Great Hall, would slip away and under the invisibility cloak sneak into Snape's office and hopefully make off with the Pensieve. Since they were unsure about any tracking charms that might be on the memory device, they decided to hide it in the Room of Requirements.

Harry almost smiled when he heard a familiar sneer of a voice as he walked from the Gryffindor table to talk to Luna since the Ravenclaw table was right next to the Slytherin table. "So Potty, I never thought you would ever sink so low as to actually date the mudblood, or is she providing you with 'distractions' as a good servant should."

"It's on Hermione. Ferret boy never could keep his mouth shut," Harry thought to Hermione who was near the entrance to the Dungeons under the cloak," I will have everyone's attention shortly and Snape is at the Head Table."

"Just don't overdo it," Hermione replied. "Remember he has Umbridge on his side."

Raising his voice to make sure the people around them could hear him, "I guess your father knows all about being a servant doesn't he?" Harry replied evenly to Draco. "Tell me, does your mother kneel before the Dark Lord also?"

"Leave my mother out of this scarhead!"

"You mean she doesn't offer, what was the word you used, 'distractions' to Voldemort? Maybe it's your father then, is that the reason he spends so much time on his knees in front of Voldemort?"

All eyes were now turned toward the pair. Draco's face had turned scarlet as he bolted from his seat. His hand dove into his pocket for his wand but before he pulled it out a sneer crossed his face as he looked past Harry.

From behind him, Harry heard a sound he never wished to hear again.

"Hem hem," Came the sickly sweet cough of Professor Umbridge. "Whatever is going on here Mr. Potter?"

"Is Snape still there? His door was locked and I had to unlock it," Hermione asked. "I want to make sure he didn't have wards he can detect."

Harry glanced toward the head table where he saw Snape was still sitting there staring at him with a greasy smirk on his face. Harry could also see Professor McGonagall looking at him; her eyes clearly pleading for him to not make it worse.

"He's still here," Harry replied to Hermione before he turned to face Umbridge. His eyes locked on her beady toad eyes. "Nothing Professor."

"That is Headmistress Umbridge to you Mr. Potter," Umbridge said as she swelled in her own imagined importance. Even that effect seemed to imitate a toad breathing. "Now I clearly heard you refer to a certain Dark Wizard. Are you telling your lies again Mr. Potter?"

"I was only responding to an insult by Ferret, I mean Malfoy here to a friend of mine," Harry replied. "Unless you think someone of his," Harry mimicked the sneer Malfoy always used, "breeding, would listen to my lies, as you call them."

"That will be thirty points from Gryffindor for the insult to a member of my Inquisitorial Squad," Umbridge said quickly. "I can personal attest to young Malfoy's family, as they are good friends with the Minister and myself. Now anything further from you Mr. Potter and you will be serving detention."

"Got it," Hermione said. "And back out of his office."

Harry forced himself not to smile. His eyes flickered up to the staff table where he made certain that Professor Snape was still in his seat and then again at Professor McGonagall who seemed to be holding her breath. "Yes Professor."

With an air of superiority Umbridge said, "Very well then."

Harry strolled past Umbridge to a chair next to Luna, who again sat alone. As he took the chair to Luna's left, he allowed himself a quick look at the head table once more. When he did, he found McGonagall looking back at him. The goblet in her hand dipped slightly in his direction. Harry returned a small nod and turned to greet Luna. Five minutes later Hermione joined them, apologizing for being delayed in the bathroom so the people nearby would hear. They made sure that neither of them left the Great Hall again before Professor Snape did.

To continue providing themselves with an alibi, Harry and Hermione went to the library immediately after dinner. Hermione asked Madam Pince several questions unique enough to stand out in her memories, but not enough to seem suspicious. They then sat at a table near the Librarian's desk and studied for their OWLs.

"Do you know how to work it?" Hermione asked.

"Both Snape and Dumbledore just put their memories in it and it worked. Same as with Snape's memories," Harry explained. "The question is how to get the memories out of our minds. Any ideas on that?"

"Not really."

"Maybe Sirius knows," Harry suggested.

"Maybe," Hermione replied as she scanned the library wanting to go grab books on the subject of memories. An urge she had to battle with. "I better not get books on it yet, or it could be suspicious."

"You said I have Divinations and Defense tomorrow afternoon?" Harry asked.

Hermione looked at her planner again. "Yes."

"Well I'm not taking Divination OWL anymore, so there is no need to go to that class, and we could skive off Defense and have the whole afternoon to figure out how to work it," Harry said.

"What would Umbridge do?" Hermione asked.

"Who cares?"

History of Magic the next morning was more boring than Harry ever remembered it being. He forced himself to stay awake for Hermione's sake as Professor Binns reviewed for the OWLs. Some of it he remembered on the test from two years earlier, and some from Hermione's notes they had reviewed the previous day, but most of it he never remembered. Hermione would say things like "This isn't on the test" or "The OWL has an essay requirement on this topic," Allowing Harry to focus on what was important.

Harry had no trouble staying awake in the double Potions class that followed. Though Snape was also reviewing for OWLs his eyes rarely left Harry. Harry spent the class organizing his own thoughts about the Potions Master. The person who had been his mother's childhood friend, but had hated her heritage. Someone who would sacrifice the son of the woman he claimed to love without hesitation. Someone who promised to help protect that son, but made every day a living hell for him. He played the memories the future Snape had given him over and over in his mind. No matter how he tried, the hour of memories that kept flashing through his mind could not undo the six years Snape had tortured Harry mentally, especially knowing he did not love his mother.

Hermione could feel the emotions playing inside of Harry. "Are you alright Harry?" She asked.

"I think so. It's just Snape. I just can't bring myself to reconcile how he treated me all of these years," Harry explained. "I see him, and I still feel all the mental abuse he heaped on me just because of my father. I also see him dying in the Shrieking Shack. I see the memories he gave me. Yes he spied for Dumbledore, but as I was sitting here another thought crossed my mind. Did Snape spy for Dumbledore to help protect me or to make himself feel important?"

"What do you mean?"

"Snape is purely focused on Snape," Harry explained his thoughts. "As a Death Eater he was one of many and not even that important. But as a spy, he would consider himself the most valuable asset of a Wizard even Voldemort feared. Think of when he died. He was asking permission to come try to get to me, not making any real effort to escape from Voldemort's presence. He knew I needed that information, but he refused to openly betray Voldemort all the way to the very end. He continued to play both sides until the last instant the snake sunk his fangs into him. If Voldemort had not killed him and had won, Snape would have been safe. If I won with him still alive he would have been safe. He didn't sacrifice his life for the cause; it was taken from him because of a mistake by Voldemort concerning the Elder Wand."

"What about how he protected the students at Hogwarts?"

"Did he? Again he did just enough to play both sides. He knew I fancied Ginny so he couldn't let her be tortured but what about all of the students who did suffer the Cruciatus curses as punishments? No, I think Snape did just enough to be vindicated if I won."

Hermione thought about Harry's reasoning and looked up as the Potions Professor. "You might be…" She stopped in mid thought, "No, I believe you are right Harry."

When class was finally over, Harry had just managed to put his book and notes into his book bag when the oily voice he'd been expecting caught up to him, "I need a word Potter."

"Want me to stay with you?" Hermione asked.

"No, but don't go far just in case."

Harry turned and faced Snape. "Yes?"

The Potions Master closed the distance and looked Harry in the eyes, "I hope that Occlumency works," He thought.

"Return it Potter."

"Return what sir?" Harry asked innocently.

"You know what you took. You took the Headmaster's Pensieve. You will bring it back and you will bring it back before the end of the day. Am I clear?"

"Sir, I did not take anything. When was it taken sir?"

"You know perfectly well it was taken last evening."

"Well last evening I was at dinner and then in the library. You can check with Madam Pince if you would like. Besides why would I take the Pensieve?" and Harry felt a sensation in his mind as he stared at Snape. He knew it was a passive legilimency attack from Snape. He wanted to smile when a questioning look appear on Snape's face.

"Fight it off Harry," Miranda said. "You know how."

"What?" But Harry realized he did know how. He brought up the memory he had seen in the Pensieve two years ago and he pushed the snippet of when Snape had called his mother a Mudblood at the presence he could feel. The look of anger and astonishment that crossed the Potion Master's face was priceless, but it was only a split second later that his wand was out and the word "Legilimens!" was spoken.

It was the same sensation but a hundred times more powerful this time. Harry recoiled but then he realized memories were not popping up as they always had done before. Harry searched his own memories for ways to retaliate. He remembered his face to face encounter with the Basilisk and mentally threw that memory at the presence. He followed it closely with the face to face meeting with Aragog, and finally he found the memory of experiencing the cruicatus curse at the hands of Voldemort in the graveyard and sent followed the other two memories. Snape staggered backward. A look of bewilderment registered on his face for a split second before he quickly recovered and his normal sneer appeared.

Harry glared at Snape as he scrambled for an explanation. "Occlumency lessons work much better when I trust the person teaching me. As you can see, I no longer need your training so please refrain from perform Legilimency on me again."

Snape's black eyes were boring into Harry. It didn't take Legilimency to figure out that Snape's ideas right now bordered on unforgivables. "Now Professor, I will say this once, I am not my father. No matter how much revenge you want from him, he is dead along with my mother," Harry let the final word sink in and he saw a ghost of pain reflected in Snape's eyes. "Will there be anything else sir?" Harry asked, when no answer came from Snape, he turned and walked out the door. "Thanks Miranda," Harry thought. "I rather liked that."

Harry heard the giggling, "I thought you might. Just remember that he now has questions he's going to try to get answers to. Be careful."

"It isn't like I go looking for trouble."

"No it's more like you place a full page ad in the Daily Prophet requesting trouble be delivered to your doorstep," Miranda replied with a sigh.

Hermione was waiting outside the classroom with her wand in her hand just in case she had been needed. As Harry came out of the door, she wrapped her arms around him. "Are you alright?"

"Brilliant," Harry replied. "The first thing I want our children taught is Occlumency, well maybe riding a broom is first, but Occlumency is definitely early in their lives."

"Our children? Taking something for granted there Harry?"

Harry realized what he had said, "My apologies. Mrs. Potter, will you someday consider being the mother of my children?"

"As long as you don't see me as a Mrs. Weasley pushing out a kid a week while staying home to raise them we can discuss it."

"How does two or three sound to you? Especially an intelligent little girl who looks exactly like her mother," Harry asked with his emerald eyes locked onto hers.

Hermione smiled as she thought of a future family with Harry and two or three children. She herself imagined a small boy with messy black hair. "I think it sounds perfect."

After lunch, they made their way to the Room of Requirements where Hermione brought out a surprise for Harry. In a room she had created to hide the Pensieve she pulled a book out and handed it to Harry. It was Snape's potions book, the same book that had caused so much extra jealousy for Hermione in their sixth year.

"Here," She said handing the book to Harry. "I doubt Professor Snape will miss it as long as you're not cursing Malfoy," She gave Harry a small smile. "I know the jealousy was artificial but I really am sorry. This book is actually a valuable treasure of information. Whether it's the printed words or the hand writing in the margins, knowledge is knowledge. And if next year Slughorn is back and has his competition for the Felix Felicis, I expect my husband to win it again."

"We will both work out of this book and both do equally as well," Harry said.

They turned their attention to the Pensieve. They both had seen Snape expelling his memories right before his death and Harry explained how both Snape and Dumbledore used their wand to extract memories from their head.

"Well I'm not quite ready to aim a wand at my head and see what happens," Hermione said cautiously. "Let's see if Sirius knows how it's done."

Harry pulled out the mirror and called "Sirius Black," This time it took a minute before Sirius answered. "Sorry, but Moody is downstairs right now. I had to make an excuse to come see about Buckbeak. What's going on pup?"

"Will Moody see you using the mirror with his eye?" Hermione asked.

"If he bothers to look, yes, but he won't be able to hear anything," Sirius replied. "I have this room silenced anyway since Buckbeak can make a bit of racket from time to time."

"You remember me telling you about the memory of Snape from that time after your OWLs right?"

"Yeah, thought you were over that?" Sirius replied.

"It's not that, we just want to know if you know how to extract memories to use in the Pensieve?"


"Well we sort of stole Dumbledore's Pensieve from Snape," Harry explained.

"You what?" Sirius exploded and then he started laughing. "Oh Merlin. What's he going to do when he finds out?"

"He already suspects me," Harry said. "But he can't prove it. He tried Legilimency on me this morning."

"He did what?" Sirius growled. "Just wait until he shows his ugly mug around here. I'll rip him to pieces."

"Actually it just proves my Occlumency works perfectly," Harry replied. "He got some tasty memories of mine that he didn't find very appealing including an up close and personal visit with a Basilisk."

"He's not going to let that go you know," Sirius said suddenly very serious. "He's going to want to know how you did it."

"Yeah, I mentioned that lessons work better if the person teaching me is someone I trust. I am hoping he thinks Hermione taught me, but for now he's not a threat," Harry said. "Remind me this summer to tell you my thoughts I have about him and you can tell me if they could be right. For now though we wanted to ask if you had any ideas on how to get memories out of your head to use in the Pensieve. We thought if we could give you our memories of the Ministry you would have more to work on."

"That's an excellent idea," Sirius exclaimed. "Uh...yeah. Dumbledore showed me. He wanted my memories of the encounter with Pettigrew and a couple of other ones. It's not really easy but not extremely difficult either," Sirius explained. "Basically you have to push your magic into a memory while focusing on your wand as you have it near your head. You also have to concentrate on keeping the memory or sending it out."

"Thanks," Harry said. "Can we screw up our minds or anything doing this?"

"Try not to think of any dangerous magical spells while you have your wand pointed at your head," Sirius said only half-jokingly. "Even a disarming spell at that range can seriously hurt you. If you are going to try it, work with memories that don't mean anything to you until you are more practiced."

"If we get this to work, can we stop back there on Thursday and show them to you?" Harry asked.

"Mirror me first like last time to make sure no one has dropped by," Sirius said. "We are supposed to have an Order meeting on Wednesday, so I should be able to let you know what Dumbledore had to say about the locket."

"Thanks Sirius, you better get back to Moody," Hermione said.

"Yeah, I guess. See you two Thursday," And Sirius's image disappeared.

It took an hour before Hermione was able to get any memory to come out of her head and even then it proved to be incomplete. Another hour past that and Harry had got the hang of getting it that far. Hermione stayed one step ahead as she got better about completing the memory she was trying to obtain. After that much time working with their magic thought they were both very tired and decided to quit for the day.

After leaving the Room of Requirements, Harry and Hermione went back to the library to study some more until dinnertime. Being there again put them under the gaze of Madam Pince if Umbridge came looking for them for not going to her class.

At dinner Harry and Hermione sat with Neville. He told them that Professor Umbridge had asked everyone in the class where the two of them were when they hadn't shown up for class.

"She's going to suspect we're up to something. Either we'll be called to her office or she'll have one of the Inquisitorial Squad start following us," Hermione predicted.

"We'll keep an eye out for any followers," Harry said.

After dinner, Hermione Harry and Neville set down at one of the tables in the Gryffindor common room and studied. Hermione carefully guided Neville into working on the parts she knew he needed for the test.

Neville was getting frustrated when he couldn't get the switching spell to work properly.

"I'm lousy at this guys," He complained. "I'm going to fail everything."

"No you're not Neville," Harry said. "You're a great wizard; all you need is confidence in yourself."

"Believe in your magic," Hermione said. "Believe in your magic and believe in yourself. Harry and I believe in you."

"I wish I could," Neville sighed but picked up his wand to try again.

"And I wish we could tell him," Hermione thought to her husband.

"Maybe, Miranda are you there?" Harry called to the Goddess.

"Of course, and the answer is no, I cannot give Neville Occlumency," Miranda said. "Bonded soul mates are my dominion and I have more ability to interact with them like I do with you two. It does not mean you can't tell Neville, it's just a risk if you do. I can tell you that Neville has rudimentary Occlumency already. All the years of not believing in himself caused walls to build in his mind as he separated himself from the world. He couldn't protect himself from a full legilimency attack, but only two people you're in contact with can do that."

"Snape and Dumbledore?"


"What about Luna?" Hermione asked.

Miranda giggled "She has her own unique perspective and is in no danger of mental attacks."

"What do you mean?"

"Do you remember how Voldemort could not stand to possess you? How it caused him pain to try to do so?"

"Yes," Harry replied confused at what that might have to do with Luna's mind.

"Snape had something similar happen when he tried passive legilimency on her," Miranda replied.


"To answer your question, I'll ask one of my own. Hermione what is the natural state of the universe?"

Hermione pondered that question. It could be interpreted in a various ways, but one seemed to rise above the others. "Chaotic."

"Correct, and the mind is a reflection of that. Now there are two ways to deal with chaos. Any guesses?"

"Bring order?"

"Very good, and the other?" When Hermione didn't have the second answer she continued. "The other way to deal with chaos is to understand chaos. That is how Luna's mind works and to the well-controlled mind of Severus Snape it was painful for him."

"What do you mean she understands chaos?"

"Think about your mind Hermione. Everything has a place. Transfiguration, charms, science, all are well organized in their own little niche. Luna's mind is more like an unsorted sock drawer. Everything is jumbled together until she needs something and then she pulls out what she needs. It takes a special mind to be able to do that, and sometimes what she pulls out makes sense to her but no one else. The way her mind works can also gives her uncanny insight. Because everything is jumbled together in her mind, she can see related things no one else can. Her mother had the same gift and it's what made her such an excellent spell creator."

"So telling Luna is safe?"

"Yes, but be careful."

"What do you mean?"

"With your actions today of showing you cared about her, you two have risen to a place just under her father in importance. If you build on that by sharing this information, in actually showing her you trust her, you will actually become more important. If then in the future you were to hurt that friendship, you would all but destroy her. To her it would be like losing her mother all over again."

"Thanks Miranda."

"You're welcome."

Harry and Hermione returned to studying with Neville, and chatting mentally between the two of them weighing the pros and cons of telling Neville and Luna. Even after their goodnight kiss and reluctance to leave each other to go to their separate beds, they continued their mental conversation. Finally they decided on discussing it again tomorrow before drifting off to sleep.

*** E E ***

Ginny Weasley was still fuming about the previous day as she laid in bed scratching a rash on her neck. She had put on three times the amount of perfume today and walked slowly past Harry numerous times and nothing. Now everywhere she had put the perfume on herself had developed a nasty rash.

"I'll see Madam...uh that itches...Pomfrey tomorrow," She thought. "Then I'm going to get my Harry out of that Know-it-all's clutches."

*** E E ***

Ron Weasley was still sulking as he climbed into bed. "Harry just has to have everything," He thought bitterly. "He knew I fancied Hermione," His thoughts about his friend hadn't kept him from sleeping through History of Magic and he didn't dare look in Harry's direction in Potions, not with the glare Snape had focused on him.

"Then he skivs Divination," Ron continued to fume. Ron had actually enjoyed Divination. Lavender Brown had continually made comments about Ron and the Quidditch final while at the same time, looking at him with an expression he couldn't identify.

"And Defense as well," Ron muttered to himself. "Probably off snogging Hermione while I had to deal with Professor Umbridge," Of course, 'dealing with Professor Umbridge' consisted of answering 'I don't know ma'am' all three times she'd pestered him about where Harry and Hermione were.

Ron had noticed Harry, Hermione and Neville studying earlier as well. He'd pulled out his own books to show them he didn't need their help, but quickly grew bored and after not finding anyone to play chess with, started a game against himself.

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