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Harry Potter and the Destiny of Prophecies - 15. Chapter 15

The weekend with his school friends passed all too quickly for Harry Malfoy-Potter. First of all, Hermione was all but locked in the library with Morag, Pansy, Blaise, and Jeremy. She was directing their research with an iron fist that Harry was all too familiar with from studying with her for so many years. The only difference now was that Neville’s play pen floated around the library where she could keep an eye on him as he happily played with the new toys Draco had bought.

Katie had gone to pick up her own son, Kenneth, from his grandparents on Sunday morning, and the two boys were now happy to have their favorite playmates back.

Harry got stuck going over reports from the Ministry and on Sunday afternoon had to make a trip to the Muggle Prime Minister’s residence. Some stupid American witch had set off the alarm wards when she attempted to accio a particularly beautiful vase from the inside of the residence. She had been on a specially invited guided tour, but had somehow not been identified as a witch. That set of a long discussion about how to figure out if tourists were wizards or witches with the whole “secrecy” thing.

Then there was another incident on Sunday evening that was oddly reminiscent for Harry. A muggle-born wizard, who was one week away from turning eleven and receiving his Hogwarts Letter and a visit by the Ministry of Magic Muggle-Born Integration Unit, had visited the London Zoo and dissolved the bars on the cages of several hungry lions. The lions had immediately pounced into the crowd, severely injuring several people until the zoo keepers had sedated some of them. The magical alarms recently installed in the area had sounded inside the Ministry, and Harry who was visiting the Aurors to discuss security at the Prime Minister’s residence before returning home apparated to the zoo with the Auror team.

They had to stun four lions themselves, and it was only the healing spells from the group of three wizards that prevented several of the severely mauled people from dying. The emergency team from the Magical Incidents squad arrived when things were secure and began to modify a few hundred memories. Fortunately, the Zoo had not been very crowded at that point. While they were working, Harry took aside the muggle-born wizard who was still white-faced, and began to explain to him what was happening. It was quite funny, he felt, to be in the reverse situation of when he had started Hogwarts all those years ago.

“So, can you tell me what happened to the bars on the lion’s display?” Harry asked the brown-haired, wide-eyed boy. His parents were staring at Harry like he was an alien. He understood their wariness. Harry was wearing an expensive designer robe in charcoal grey with gold and silver embroidery, and his long wand was sticking out through a sash of black velvet.

“I was jus’ lookin’ at them and thinkin’ I wouldna’ be happy caged liked that and then…poof! The bars were gone!” The boy managed to stutter out.

“You know how they disappeared?” Harry asked the boy, and could see the stunned parents were starting to recover and getting ready to interfere.

“I dunno.” The boy said.

“Well, what’s your name?” Harry asked politely with a broad smile. Just then one of the sedated began to growl, and got to its feet. Harry reacted quicker than the other wizards nearby and shot a stunner at it with his wand, making the muggle family jump.

“How’d you do that?” The boy asked with wide eyes as Harry returned his wand to his waist.

“Magic.” Harry answered with another smile. “The same way you made the bars disappear.”

“Magic does not exist!” The boy’s father said grumpily, grabbing his boy by the arm and pulling him away from Harry. Harry just smiled and drew his wand again, pointing it at the lion he’d just stunned.

“Wingardium Leviosa!” Harry said just loud enough for them to hear. He levitated the lion and put it back into the display without breaking a sweat, and the boy’s father started licking his dry lips at that point.

“Oh wow!” The boy shrieked with a smile as the lion floated away. “You mean I can do stuff like that too?”

“Yes, you can.” Harry replied with a smile. He looked at the boy’s parents who were both turning white. “My name is Harry Potter.”

“Thomas Jensen.” The Father replied, shaking Harry’s proffered hand. “My wife Monica Jensen, and our son Jimmy Jensen.”

“Pleased to meet you.” Harry said as the lead Auror came up to him and whispered in his ear that they were going to put the last of the lions back in the cage, conjure up some new bars, and then they’d be leaving. He motioned to Mr. Jensen towards the exit. “Why don’t I walk you out to your car?”

“Jimmy’s not in trouble is he?” Mrs. Jensen asked, speaking for the first time.

“Not at all!” Harry replied. “We know that underage wizards sometimes lose control of their magic and things happen. That’s why the Ministry of Magic has teams for this type of situation. No one died, everyone will be healed, and I bet pretty soon young Mr. Jimmy Jensen here will be receiving a letter from Hogwarts.”

“Hogwarts?” Mr. Jensen asked.

“Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.” Harry supplied the full name. “It’s a school I’ve gone to for seven years now. We teach young wizards and witches like Jimmy here how to control their magic and keep things like today from happening. If they don’t learn the control…well things could get dangerous as I’m sure you’re very aware of by now.”

“But how?” Mrs. Jensen asked. “I mean…we aren’t…like that. No one we know can do…magic! I mean I thought it was make-believe until today!”

“The basic explanation is really quite simple.” Harry said with a grin. “Some people are born with the ability to do magic like some people are born with blond hair. Probably somewhere back a few centuries, one of your ancestors married someone who had magic or who came from ancestors that were magical and the genetics just worked in your son so he could do magic. We keep ourselves hidden, but the regular government knows about us and we work together to keep situations like today from spiraling out of control.”

“Why do you stay hidden?” Mrs. Jensen asked.

“Because many people would not like finding out magic existed and they couldn’t control it.” Harry answered very seriously as they exited the Zoo and entered the parking lot.

“So, like when we read about people who were burnt at the stake a few centuries ago for witchcraft, you mean some of them were real?” Mr. Jensen asked.

“Yes, sir.” Harry said.

“I wouldn’t want people to hate Jimmy just because he can do magic.” Mrs. Jensen said, clutching her son close in worry. Jimmy just shrugged out of her grasp, blushing furiously.

“So you work for the government?” Mr. Jensen asked Harry.

“Right now I do, yes.” Harry told him.

“Aren’t you kind of young?” Mrs. Jensen asked, eying him closely.

“Not really.” Harry prevaricated. “A lot of wizards start working for the Ministry young, right out of school. Older wizards get kind of tired of the work and go do something else.”

“So, Jimmy might be able to enter this Hogwarts school?” Mrs. Jensen asked.

“How old are you Jimmy?” Harry asked him.

“Ten. I’ll be eleven next week.” Jimmy told him proudly.

“Then he should be getting his letter on his birthday.” Harry told them with a smile. “The Ministry will send some experts to talk to you tomorrow though. Normally they come by after you get the letter, but after today they will have to explain a lot of things to you.”

“This is so hard to take in!” Mrs. Jensen said nervously. “I must say though, you look like a nice young man so it can’t be all that bad. It’s not like you’re riding a broomstick or brewing a potion in a black cauldron!”

“Not today at least.” Harry said with a smile, and saw her wince. “I used to play Seeker on my House Quidditch team, but had to give that up pretty much the last few years. I haven’t been on my broomstick in at least a few months. I was brewing a potion though, just the other day.”

“You mean…you actually…” Mr. Jensen stuttered.

“Ride a broomstick?” Harry asked. “Yes. We use them in a wonderful sport called Quidditch and also for transportation sometimes. It’s really fun flying on the broom, not like flying in an aeroplane (b/n is this how they spell airplane in England?) at all. As for potions, just think of them like medicine or make-up, or any other thing that requires preparation by a chemist. They teach everyone in Hogwarts basic potions for healing minor injuries, antidotes to poisons, hair color changing potions and stuff like that. Sure, you can buy them in stores as well, but if your son wants to, when he’s done with Hogwarts, he’ll be able to make all those things for himself instead of having to buy them.”

“Amazing.” Jimmy said with wide eyes. “When does school start?”

“September the First, for you.” Harry answered with a wide smile, then pulled his wand out and summoned a book from the Black Library. The Jensens all jumped when it arrived with a pop.

“What’s that?” Jimmy asked, looking at it excitedly.

“Hogwarts: A History” Harry replied, handing it over to him. “It will give you an idea of what the school is like.”

“Thanks!” Jimmy cried out, opening the book and gasping. “The picture is MOVING!”

“Wizard pictures always move.” Harry told him, as the parents began looking at the moving pictures with gasps. By the time they reached the family’s car, the boy was totally enraptured by the book and constantly showing something to his mother. Mr. Jensen had a lot more questions for Harry, asking about costs for the school and where to buy supplies, and how to exchange money. Harry answered as best as he could before saying farewell and disapparating to and return home.

When he apparated into Black Manor, he was struck by an odd thought. He remembered how Jimmy had looked at him in wide-eyed wonder before he left and realized that the boy was probably reacting to him much like Harry had reacted to Hagrid. He missed the affable half-giant, who had been living in France for the past two years with Madame Maxine at Beauxbatons. He made a promise to write to his old friend soon and catch up with him. He really did miss the huge man.

Monday rolled around and Harry woke up nervous. Draco was nervous as well, lashing out verbally at Harry and the house elves as they served breakfast. Vincent Crabbe and Greg Goyle were gone already, preparing their ambush of Aurors Dawley and Fromburg. Kreacher was upstairs feeding Pettigrew and getting him dressed for his part in the mission today.

Harry had promised him that if he completed the mission he would be set free, allowed going his own way. Of course he’d then wiped the man’s memories of the last few weeks and placed several fake memory charms that would hold up under interrogation. He’d become quite good at them lately, much better than even Draco could have imagined.

Their first meeting of the day took place at nine a.m. sharp. They arrived at their offices shortly before eight, had a quick conversation with Chris before going over the accumulated correspondence on their desk. Harry chuckled at note from the Muggle-Born Integration Unit about a planned visit to the Jensen household later that day. They wanted to thank him for giving the family a basic introduction to magic (he had used a floo call after returning home to speak to their Department Head). Then it was time to head up to the Minster’s office and listen to him tell them the bad news.

They would be going to Belgium next Monday to take part in preparations for raids on two eastern Ministry office complexes. They hoped to nab some of Voldemort’s top agents in those raids, and the participation of Harry and Draco was not an option. In fact, it was all but demanded by their European allies in case Voldemort showed up. They reluctantly agreed, and the Minister walked with them to their next meeting, a meeting he was also attending. They had just reached the lifts when a very familiar sound happened behind them.

Harry and Draco both turned around, whipping their wands out and pointing them at the short, lumpy man that had appeared behind them. The Minister turned around a fraction of a second later, his own wand just beginning to be drawn and gasped in shock. Harry moved to stand in front of the Minister before speaking.

“What do you want, Pettigrew?” Harry demanded in a cold voice, and the man gulped visibly as he looked at Harry’s wand pointing his way.

“I…I have a message for you Potter.” Pettigrew said in a shaky voice.

“How did you get in here?” Millieu demanded from behind Harry. He wasn’t a stupid man and did not move from behind the protection Harry was offering.

“My Master has his ways.” Pettigrew snarled back, much braver in front of the Minister than in front of Harry.

“What is your message, Pettigrew?” Harry demanded sharply.

“My Master wants to warn you not to join the fools on their raids in the next week.” Pettigrew said in a menacing tone. “He is ready for them, and he doesn’t want to see you die yet.”

“Since when has Voldemort cared for Harry’s health?” Draco demanded in his own sharp tone.

“My Master wants the two of you to enjoy your married life for a while before he destroys you.” Pettigrew sneered. “That will make it all the sweeter when you watch each other die in the end.”

“Tell your master he can shove his warning up his arse!” Harry roared angrily. Pettigrew flinched, drawing out a small, silvery object that had to be a portkey. Harry reacted quickly, casting a spell that hit Pettigrew just as he started to disappear.

The result was not pretty. Pettigrew had already started to disappear with the portkey when Harry’s spell hit. The spell Harry used was intended to stop someone from Portkeying out of a location and was a very advanced Auror spell. However, the spell had not been cast absolutely correctly. If it had, it would have not have had the effect it did. As it was, half of Pettigrew had disappeared, while the other half remained, sagging to the floor in a bloody mess.

“Oh Merlin!” Harry groaned aloud. The sight before him was sickening, far more sickening that he had thought it might be.

“Oh, Harry.” Draco groaned, grabbing him in a tight hug and moving him so he couldn’t see the bloody remains, and so that the Minister could not see the expressions on either of their faces. Neither of them seemed to be able to do anything but smile at the demise of Peter Pettigrew.

“Don’t let this get to you, Harry.” Orrin Millieu said in a comforting tone as he examined the remains a little more closely.

“I…I…killed him.” Harry gasped out, sinking his face into the shoulder of Draco’s robes so the Minister would not see that there were no tears in his eyes.

“It was accidental.” Millieu said firmly. “You used the wrong inflection on the second word of the spell. It’s a mistake that happens even to experienced Aurors. Don’t blame yourself.”

“But…but…” Harry stuttered as the lift beside them opened and a team of Aurors streamed out, led by Kingsley Shacklebolt.

“Harry, I was there!” Millieu thundered seriously. “You did what any good Auror would do and tried to stop a criminal from escaping. The fact that you miscast the spell in the heat of the moment lays no blame on you! What I’m more worried about is that he was able to use a portkey through the Ministry wards! Only someone who has been granted that access could have made the portkey and that means we have a traitor in our midst!”

“How many people have such access?” Draco asked.

“Twenty in the time since I took over as Minister.” Millieu said. “But then again we didn’t change the wards after Fudge left office. He could have let anyone have access to them.”

“We should question him.” Draco said firmly.

“We’ve been looking for him since he left office.’ Shacklebolt said as the other Aurors began to clean up the mess that had been Peter Pettigrew. “He’s disappeared just like that Weasley brat.”

“We’ll need to have teams reset the wards.” Millieu said firmly. “We can’t risk Death Eaters being able to portkey anywhere in this building.”

“Potter should be on the team.” Shacklebolt said. “He set up some fairly damn good wards at the Prime Minister’s residence. None of us could dent them or even bypass them without using magic that every wizard in London would feel.”

“But we’re going to be in…” Harry protested, lifting his head off of Draco’s shoulder.

“That will have to cancelled.” Millieu said firmly. “If Voldemort knows about it, we have to figure out how he knew before we do anything. We’re not risking either of you when he’s ready for you.”

“Then I’d be happy to help if I can.” Harry said firmly. Draco was right, this was working perfectly. Since Harry would be setting the anti-apparition and anti-portkey wards, he’d have the ability to make portkeys that would bypass the wards whenever he wanted. No one expected the great Harry Potter to build his own trap doors into the wards that he made so he could access them anytime. Draco, yes, he might do such a thing, but Harry Potter?

“Set up a schedule for that to be done over the next week.” Millieu ordered Kingsley sharply. “I want the new wards in place by Sunday. Then Harry can transfer control of them to me and we can go from there on who needs portkey access. Once I have control of them, I’ll be the only one who can make portkeys except those that I give special permission. I plan to be a lot stricter on this than any other Minister has ever been!”

“Yes Minister.” Kingsley said firmly before looking at Harry. “I’ll talk to your secretary about setting up a schedule. We’ll have to do this at night after most people have left, but we should be able to get it done quickly.”

“Thank you, Shacklebolt.” Draco said, his arm still around Harry. “If you don’t mind, we’re going to go to our offices now. Harry needs a little bit of time.”

“Of course, I’ll get the information on what happened from the Minister if he doesn’t mind.” Shacklebolt said softly, a look of sympathy in his eyes. Harry just nodded and went with Draco into the lift and settled down in their offices with the door shut. Naturally word had already spread through the building and although Chris knew vaguely something was going to happen, even he hadn’t gotten the full story yet. Still, he nodded as Draco instructed him to take all incoming floo calls and leave them in privacy.

“Well, that was a little more messy than expected.” Draco said once they were sure of their privacy.

“Yeah, a little.” Harry admitted, ashamed of the sense of glee he’d felt at Pettigrew’s death and truly shaken by the gore. His feelings were on a see-saw, one moment he was happy and the next disgusted.

“Still, he felt nothing.” Draco said comfortingly, a soft smile on his face. “We also achieved our goal of getting you into the remaking of the wards on the Ministry.”

“Yeah, we did, didn’t we?” Harry said softly, a smile lifting his face a little.

“I’m horny now.” Draco murmured into his ear, then proceeded to nibble a little.

“Me too.” Harry said with a low growl in the back of his throat, and surprisingly he was. Not even the spatters of blood on his robe reduced the desire he felt for Draco at that moment, and they proceeded to make love once more in Harry’s office.


If there wasn’t so much to gain from being one of the people casting the new wards on the Ministry of Magic, Harry would have been very pissed at the job. He spent most every evening for the next week as part of the team that cast the powerful wards, and he went home exhausted every night. Draco was upset with him because he had no energy for sex, or even a decent conversation, but his blond lover calmed down by Wednesday as he remembered just how draining ward generation could be for Harry.

Still, by the time the last night came around, Harry was awfully glad that the job would be over. He still had to make several portkeys while he still held the ward keys, and he’d have to do those tomorrow night before he turned the ward keys over to the Minister of Magic. Of the team of four wizards reinstalling the wards, it was Harry who handled the final part of each spell and held the actual ability to generate anything that would bypass the new wards.

The Minister of Magic trusted only him for this job.

This last night saw Harry in a part of the Ministry that he had not entered since his fifth year at Hogwarts. The Department of Mysteries had objected to his being alone here, and an escort waited for him outside each room, checking the room before and after he cast the spells. Still, he was left alone in each room for a time, and when they entered the large room where Sirius had died, Harry felt an old grief welling in him.

“I’ll be back in twenty minutes.” Mitchell Conklin, the Department of Mysteries wizard working with him said before leaving the room. Harry just nodded as he stared intently at the Veil Sirius had fallen through. As the door shut behind him, he moved into the center of the room and began casting the spells needed to take down the old wards and establish new ones.

“Harry.” The voice was a whisper, barely audible, but it broke Harry’s attention. He knew where it was coming from, and had been working to ignore the faint sounds that could be heard from the other side of the veil.

“Harry.” The voice whispered again when Harry had finished the first spell of establishing the new wards. It was familiar, and a hitch formed in Harry’s throat as he recognized the voice. He walked towards the Veil slowly, but he refused to touch the curtains that hid the thing.

“Harry, hear me, Harry.” The voice whispered again.

“I hear you.” Harry replied flatly, keeping tears from falling down his eyes by strength of will alone. “Why are you trying to torment me?”

“Harry?” The voice sounded surprised, and seemed to be stronger. Harry felt like something was draining his magic, but the voice grew stronger for a moment. “Harry, it’s me Sirius.”

“I know that.” Harry replied. He also knew why he was being drained. If he talked for too long, he’d have no strength left, and it was only because he was so tired already that the spirit of Sirius was communicating, and draining him as it did so. “Are you enjoying feeling my powers flow into the Veil?”

“Not really.” Sirius’ voice was sharp with disapproval. “I just had to talk to you. I promise I won’t take long, not long enough to hurt you.”

“I…I’m sorry Sirius.” Harry whispered, giving voice to things he’d ignored, or thought resolved long before. “I didn’t use the mirror you gave me, I fell into the trap.”

“I’ll forgive you if you’ll forgive me.” Sirius said sharply, and Harry smiled as he imagined how Sirius’ face would look when saying that.

“Okay.” Harry agreed. It made him feel a little better.

“Harry, I’m worried about you.” Sirius continued, his voice holding a trace of that fear. “I can feel the changes in you, and I don’t like what I feel. There’s darkness in you now, darkness that wasn’t there before.”

“It’s necessary.” Harry said firmly. “Draco wouldn’t let me fall into the trap of Dark Magic. If I go overboard with it he’ll pull me back.”

“You put too much faith in a Malfoy.” Sirius said sharply, and Harry felt himself growing angry. “No matter how much is changed, the Malfoys will always be dark wizards.”

“One could say the same thing about the BLACKS.” Harry retorted angrily. “Your family was just as soaked in dark magic. You said so yourself. It was only because you refused to follow Voldemort that they kicked you out.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about!” Sirius’ reply was a shout now, and the drain on Harry increased.

“I know what I’m talking about alright!” Harry’s reply was just as angry. “You’re just jealous because I’m happy with Draco now and because it was ME that got Wormtail, not you. Well, get over it godfather! As for Dark Magic, you know this Veil was created by a dark wizard, and you know that its effects are classified as DARK, but you’re on the other side there, draining me right now. You’re not afraid of Dark Magic, are you?”

“I’m DEAD!” Sirius’ voice roared. “But if you’re not careful you’re going to become another Voldemort.”

“That’s where you are wrong.” Harry retorted. “I will never become another Voldemort.”

Harry decided he had had enough. A flick and swish of his wand, and a whispered word cut the tie that Sirius had established through the Veil. The voices receded and Harry had to kneel down for a moment to recover. Another spell prevented any further communication for the time it would take him to finish, and he pushed any thoughts of his godfather out of the way as he finished establishing and keying the new wards.

With the final section done, Harry returned home and collapsed immediately onto his bed, more unconscious than asleep. He slept so long that he was late for work the next day, and surprised that Draco hadn’t even tried to wake him. It took him longer than normal to get ready, so by the time he got into work it was nearly ten in the morning. Harry walked into his office, ignored the pile of messages that Chris had left and shut his door. He sat there for a while, staring at the fire that was always lit in his office until he heard Draco enter from the door that joined their offices.

“Bad night?” Draco asked, a slight smile tugging at his lips.

“Sirius contacted me through the veil.” Harry said softly.

“Oh.” Draco said, moving over and rubbing Harry’s clenched shoulders with his hands. Harry felt the relaxation of his lover’s touch flowing into him, and the tension of that voice from beyond the veil flowing out.

“He…he said I was becoming another Voldemort.” Harry whispered into the silence that followed Draco’s one word statement.

“And of course you believe him because it was the spirit of Sirius Black.” Draco’s statement was calm, but held something inside of it that set Harry on edge.

“I didn’t say that.” Harry snapped back, his temper rising.

“No, but you’re thinking that.” Draco said, and Harry’s temper flared. He stood and faced his blond husband.

“Oh you can read my mind now?” Harry spat at the blond, who was just staring at him with a raised eyebrow. Silence followed that statement, and something in Draco’s gaze calmed him down. “Sorry.”

“As long as all it takes to calm your temper down is me staring at you, I’m not worried about you turning into a Voldemort.” Draco said after Harry’s apology. He stood up and wrapped his arm around Draco carefully. “Voldemort, nor my father when he was at his darkest could ever be calmed down by words or a look. You’re better than them, Harry, and you will never fall into the trap of dark magic like they did. You don’t use it often, and there are always good reasons when you do.”

“Pett…Pettigrew.” Harry stuttered, remembering with horror how much he’d tortured the man.

“Deserved every second of what he got.” Draco murmured into his ear, and those words released the last of Harry’s tension. “Unless you haven’t told me about it, you’ve never been seriously tempted to torture someone who follows us, or an innocent with that curse. Voldemort uses it on his own followers. Sirius Black was overreacting, just like so many other people who are scared of any magic they don’t understand.”

“I know.” Harry sighed, leaning into the embrace, and allowing Draco to guide him back into his chair. “It’s just…I idolized him for so long. He was like the father I never had growing up, and I guess I’ve never really gotten over losing him.”

“You’re too much Gryffindor for me sometimes,.” Draco chuckled lightly. “Still, I understand. If it had been my father, it would have freaked me out.”

“So, what do you have on the schedule for today?” Harry asked, changing the topic.

“Oh, a meeting with a team from the American Aurors.” Draco sighed. “Another day of listening to them say that ‘magic doesn’t work that way.’ I’ve gotten permission this time from Minister Millieu to show them the felicus curse.”

”That should be fun.” Harry chuckled at the thought of the befuddled expressions on the Americans’ faces when Draco used that particular curse. “You’re lucky. I’ve got some of our work to take care of this morning and then I turn over the wards to the Minister later this afternoon. Then I have a meeting at the muggle Education Ministry.”

“Is that to go over the grammar school issue?” Draco asked, his interest perking up.

“Yeah.” Harry sighed in relief as Draco’s hands moved to his temples. “We have to go over funding issues for establishing the schools in the more populace communities.”

“So what did they ever decide on being a good approach?” Draco asked.

“Six schools spread through Great Britain.” Harry answered, thinking over the debates and conversations. He’d actually been little more than the go-between for the magical and muggle officials as well as the fund raiser on the magical side. He’d gotten fourteen of the richest families to contribute funds for the project. They might, in twenty years see their funds recouped, but even that was doubtful. At least it would allow most wizarding children to not be forced into muggle schools.

“How is it going to work?” Draco asked in interest. After all, unless the tide shifted in the next six or seven years, their own children would be affected by these decision.

“Four hour school days.” Harry explained with a smile. “They’ll run from half past noon to four thirty. Four fifty minute sessions with a ten minute break in between. All students will have to pass a basic test their last year and they’ll be set up to correspond with Hogwarts’ schedule. They’ll include some muggle history, but no where near as in-depth as they teach in muggle schools, and the last year will include a course in government, focusing on the Ministry of Magic and how it interacts with the muggle government. It’s been decided to connect the school sites to the floo network so kids can floo in and out each day.”

“That’s going to be a mess.” Draco murmured and Harry chuckled.

“Their talking about setting up four grates at each school to speed up the process.” Harry said. “Each family gets assigned a grate and times to use the floo network.”

“You know how wizard families are about keeping time.” Draco reminded him and Harry laughed.

“You know that, I know that, but muggles can’t just grasp the wizard lack of concept regarding time.” Harry said with a smile. “I even told them about all those times with the Weasleys and how rarely we were ever on time. Mr. Bargraves from the muggle government just said ‘That’s one of the reasons we need these schools!’ It was quite funny.”

“Draco?” Chris’ voice interrupted them. Harry looked at their secretary and smiled. Chris smiled back, and Harry could see the relief in his eyes at Harry’s better mood.

“Don’t tell me.” Draco moaned to Chris. “The Americans have arrived.”

“Yes,” Chris chuckled. “Auror Mitchells said they’re making a mess already and you better get down there and get them back under control.”

“I’ll be right down.” Draco told him. Harry spun around in his chair and grabbed Draco’s hand, bringing his love to a halt. He raised that hand to his lips and kissed it gently.

“Thanks, love.” Harry said softly, his voice husky.

“No problem.” Draco said with a smile, bending down and kissing Harry gently. After that rocky beginning, Harry’s day passed quickly. He was drained from the wards already, and creating thirty odd portkeys while he still held the wards only drained him further. He had finished the last one before going to lunch. Draco was taking the Americans to a pub in London, so he ate with Arthur Weasley.

As he listened to the man talk about a recent case of a wizard causing havoc with muggles, Harry regarded the man who had been the first regular adult wizard he’d ever known. Arthur was slightly more bald, and his trademark red hair a little more pale, but he was as jovial as ever. His recent financial gains, in part thanks to Harry, had done his wardrobe a world of good as well, and he now looked much more the image of a important person in the Ministry. He still refused to be transferred out of his department, although with recent events it was being regarded as much more important as it once had.

“So anyway,” Mr. Weasley was continuing, his mouth still partially full of food (a trait that made Harry wistful for his one-time friend Ron), “we found that old Swaggart had stayed at this muggle hotel a few weeks before. They had these key card thingies and he never could figure out how to use it, so he transfigured it into a key lock. Then he got the idea the things were nuisance so he was going around to all the hotels and changing their locks. Poor guy, we had to fine him over 300 galleons for that. I just hope he doesn’t do it again.”

“I’d hope not.” Harry said with a smile. The whole conversation reminded him that despite the world-changing things he was working on, other things continued on as they always had, and wasn’t that what he was fighting for?

“Oh, Molly was just wondering the other day when you might be coming for a visit?” Arthur asked after taking a few more bites of his sandwich.

“I’m so sorry, Arthur.” Harry said with a sad smile. “Everything’s been so hectic that I haven’t had much time, and what I do have I’ve been trying to spend with Draco. You’d think living together, and even having connecting offices we’d see more of each other, but we have so many meetings and so much work from school that we saw more of each other while we were still at Hogwarts. At least we sometimes had classes together there!”

“I can imagine.” Arthur Weasley said with a smile. “You know, Molly worked for a while when we first married, before we had Bill, and we hardly ever saw each other. After we started having children, we actually started to see more of each other.”

“I can imagine.” Harry said with a laugh of his own. “I still remember that first time I came over to the Burrow, after Ron, Fred, and George rescued me in that Ford Anglia. You’d been out all night on a raid, but you were back at breakfast time!”

“Oh my!” Arthur started laughing, turning a pale red as he did so. “I had almost forgotten about that! Reminds me though, you owe me 70 galleons for the fine I had to pay!”

“I knew I should have kept my mouth shut.” Harry said with a mock-grimaced.

“You know, I never could figure out how you and Ronnie got into so much trouble all the time.” Arthur said with a very sad smile. “Keep you two apart, and neither of you got into much trouble, but put you together, you’re stealing flying cars, breaking wands, breaking every school rule in the book, and then some!”

“I think it was me.” Harry said. “For some reason I haven’t stopped doing any of those things.”

“No, no, it was always worse when you two got together.” Arthur said, this time his smile a little less sad. “For some reason I’d always hoped the two of you would hit it off the way you did with young Draco.”

“I don’t think that would have worked out too well.” Harry was chuckling now. “Ron was always squeamish about stuff like that.”

“Ah, yes, that he was.” Arthur was actually chuckling now, no hint of sadness about his face. “When the twins first started experimenting with each other he thought it was the ghoul making noises. It was so funny to see him come down complaining about the ghoul’s new way of moaning out Fred and George’s name, and then watching them blush. Thankfully Molly’s a little dense about stuff like that as well.”

“That was NOT an image I needed in my head, Arthur.” Harry gasped as he laughed long and hard. “I’m going to have to stop by their store today and make some comments.

“They’ll enjoy that.” Arthur said, still smiling. “They haven’t seen you since the wedding. I should warn you though, they were so upset that they didn’t get any jokes in, and that the gnomes refused to go near the Malfoy Manor that they’ve been plotting their revenge ever since then.”

“Uh, maybe I’ll send Draco in first.” Harry said cautiously, and they both burst out laughing. Then something occurred to Harry and he knew he had to ask.

“Has there been any word on Ron?” Harry asked more soberly, both hoping for a positive answer, and a negative.

“Nothing.” Arthur said sadly, his good cheer evaporating at Harry’s question. “Both Molly and I are hoping to hear something, and praying we don’t. I know he hurt you, but he also hurt as bad. Coming on top of Percy I’m surprised Molly has let Ginny out of her sight. At least she’s done better than her brother and stayed close to you. Molly was absolutely happy she agreed to be the mother for your children.”

“Ginny’s a wonderful young lady.” Harry said with a smile. “I’m glad she’s part of my family.”

“We all are.” Arthur said.

“You know, it’s going to be busy the next couple of months with N.E.W.T.s and the meetings I’ve got coming up, but maybe during the summer I might be able to pop in for a visit.” Harry said, and Arthur’s face lit up, and then it darkened slightly.

“Uh, I, uh, that might be good, but then again it might not.” Mr. Weasley said in a slightly flustered voice. “You see, well, we’ve heard from Percy.”

“Percy?” Harry said, choking slightly on the pumpkin juice he’d just swallowed. He set the goblet down carefully.

“Yes, well, um, you see,” Arthur was stumbling now. “Molly went to see him in Azkaban the other week. Well, actually she was visiting Charlie but she got this idea in her head to check on Percy. The guards, well, since she’s Charlie’s mum, they let her see him. She said he didn’t look good, but that he started crying as soon as he saw her and hugged her and wouldn’t let her go. He thought he was dreaming, she said. He apologized to her and begged her to take him back, and she told him she would. He’s going to be staying with us when he gets out in June and we’ll be helping him get back on his feet.”

“Then I’d be even happier to stop by.” Harry said, smiling even more. “If Percy is truly sorry, and he’s served his time, I don’t have any problems with seeing him again. I think it’d probably do him some good to see that people can accept him back if he’s truly sorry for what he’s done. I mean, look at my husband, and who his parents are. If they can be accepted back into society, Percy most definitely can be as well.”

“You’d do that?” Arthur said excitedly. “You know Harry, you’ve changed a lot in the last few years, but it’s good to see that you’re still the same person I first met in my kitchen that morning, what was it? Five years ago?”

“About that, yes.” Harry said with another smile.

After lunch, he met with the Minister and changed over the wards, secure in his knowledge that he’d still have access through the portkeys he’d made. Part of him was inwardly pleased in that he’d managed to pull something off that Voldemort had never dreamed of accomplishing. Another part wondered if he was going too far. Nevertheless, they’d be tools he hoped never to use, but would be beyond value if he ever needed them.

By the end of the day, he was glad to get home and see Draco, and Draco was glad to see him as well.

© 1997-2022 J.K. Rowling, Bloomsbury Publishing, Scholastic Press; All Rights Reserved; Harry Potter belongs to J.K. Rowling and her fine people. This story belongs to dkstories.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction that combine worlds created by the original content owner with names, places, characters, events, and incidents that are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, organizations, companies, events or locales are entirely coincidental. Authors are responsible for properly crediting Original Content creator for their creative works. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Everything is happening a bit faster, bit confusing. Hopefully Sirus doesn't get Harry second guessing himself. I know Harry has changed but he is still the same basic kid with the Griffondor honor and courage, just has a lot more of the slytherin sneakiness and such.

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Lovely vignette with Arthur which counters the gruesome business with the Worm. Looking forward to the immediate gratification of the next chapter, thanks

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Harry is being played. He's changing for the worse and I don't like it. I wonder what it will take to get him to see the errors of his ways. Ron?

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