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'Your parents would be very proud if they could see you now Harry.' He said.

Har ry smiled softly. 'I know.' Harry grinned 'It went well didn't it?' 'How did you get them to respect you so quickly?' the older wizard asked. 'Well, to tell you the truth, I gave Draco two hundred and that seemed to work v ery well.' Harry replied mysteriously. Severus raised an eyebrow. 'You gave him two hundred galleons.' Severus looked miffed as Harry burst out la ughing. 'How did that help?' 'No, no. I gave him two hundred sit-ups' Harry snorted. Severus now just looked confused. 'How did that help?' he asked again. 'It showed the other students that disrespect won't be tolerated. Even from my c losest friends. It also showed them that I treat everyone equally.' he shrugged. Severus grinned, 'What did Draco say?' he asked trying to hide his amusement. 'Let's just say, it wasn't what he said. It was the level of sarcasm that accomp anied the words that was the problem.' 'He called you Professor Potter didn't he?' Harry nodded, dropping his eyes. 'Yo u are going to have to get used to that you know.' Again Harry sighed. 'I know. I just seems weird having people older than me, and especially my frien ds, calling me that.' Harry admitted. 'You have to get used to it. The students will learn more, try harder, and most importantly, have much more faith that what you tell them is correct, if they th ink of you as a Professor and not as an equal' Severus said. 'Your right of course' Harry smiled. 'Oh Merlin, can I have that in writing?' Severus smirked. Harry leaned over and smacked his guardian on the shoulder. 'I'll have no cheek from you. Thank you very much' Harry giggled. He got efill his glass from the bottle on the table and was carrying the scotch Severus when his scar seared with pain, making him drop both bottle and ith a crash. Pressing the heel of his hand to his forehead, he heard the f warning being repeated over and over as the darkness took him. Chapter 24 - Another Attack and Embarrassing Moments. up to r back to glass w words o

As Severus saw Harry begin to collapse to the ground he leapt up off the chair, just managing to reach him before his head hit the stone floor. Severus held on to the gasping boy as he writhed in agony. 'God damn it. When will it ever stop.' Severus muttered to himself. 'Harry' he s aid out loud, 'I'm taking you to the hospital wing.' He gathered the boy in his arms for the second time in two days. 'No' Harry hissed in pain. 'Please, no more hospital.' the tear filled, green ey es begged. Severus sighed and carried Harry into the spare bedroom, placing him carefully down on the bed. Laying him on his side, he rubbed Harry's back as the

y waited for the pain to subside. An hour and several potions later, Harry had d rifted off to sleep, pale, damp and exhausted from the experience. Severus quiet ly and carefully removed Harry's shoes, socks and robes and covered him with the blankets. He cast a charm that would tell him if Harry woke and went to find th e Headmaster and Minerva. Walking through the maze of the dungeons, Severus pondered the lot in life, that was Harry's. Without realising, he had reached the gargoyle that guarded the he admaster's office, given the password and was standing in front of the oak door with the big brass knocker. 'Come in Severus' he heard. Severus walked in to find the room full. Most of the Order seemed to have been recalled and even the Minister was there. 'What happened?' he asked. 'There has been an attack. On Beauxbatons.' Minerva told him. 'Was there no warning.' he asked Dumbledore shook his head, a thoughtful express ion on his face, 'Do we know if Harry saw anything. Is he alright?' the hHeadmaster looked at the teachers gathered around him. Sirius gasped, 'Harry' and tried to sprint from the room but was stopped when Severus grabbed h is arm. 'Harry is fine. He did experience the attack, but it has finished and he is curr ently asleep.' Severus told him. Sirius nodded his thanks to his old enemy befor e turning to the Albus. 'I'm sending twenty Aurors and two groups of Unspeakables to Beauxbatons. I'm re calling all holidays and placing a similar size group here at Hogwarts.' Sirius stopped as Asha slithered up the table leg and onto the table, hissing madly. 'I think she is trying to tell us something.' Albus said. 'I'll go get Harry.' Severus offered sweeping from the room. Quickly he made his way down to the dungeons, giving the password to his rooms and disabling the wa rds. Making his way into the other bedroom, he saw the peaceful slumber that Har ry was currently having, and was reluctant to wake him. Settling softly down on the edge of the bed he gently shook Harry's shoulder. 'Harry' he said softly. 'Harry, wake up. We need you' Harry rolled onto his back , a look of confusion in his eyes. Comprehension dawned, as the memories of the last few hours flooded his mind. 'What happened?' he whispered, almost afraid of the answer. 'Beauxbatons was attacked. That was why your scar was hurting. We are not sure w hat happened but Asha is in Albus' office. We think she is trying to tell us som ething.' Harry nodded and struggled to sit up. Severus handed him his shoes and socks before helping him into his robes. Calling Erte to him, he waited until th e golden bird was perched on his shoulder before taking Severus' hand and jumpin g up to the Headmaster's office. 'You know, you really should warn people when you are coming.' Severus chuckled at the shocked faces in the room. Whether they were shocked at their sudden appe arance, or at the pale, clammy pallor of Harry's face, he didn't know.

'Asha' Harry hissed, sitting down in front of the desk and allowing the small go lden snake to slither onto his lap. 'What is it?' What has you so upset?' Harry stroked the snake's head, calming it, completely oblivious to the winces in the room at hearing the parseltongue. 'It isss the Dark Lord, Harry. He hasss done sssomething mossst terrible. All of thossse innocent sssstudents. He ssslaughtered them all.' She hissed hysterical ly. Harry could tell that Asha was getting worse. He gathered the little one in his hand and cupping his other over the top, he closed his eyes. A soft white gl ow filled his hands as both Erte and Fawkes trilled a beautiful melody. A moment later Harry opened his eyes and gently set the snake back down on the table. 'Now' he hissed softly. 'tell me what happened from the beginning.' 'Four daysss ago the ssserpents in the foressst came and told me of the latessst rumour regarding Beauxbatonsss and I decided to go and look for myssself.' Asha hissed. 'And you didn't think to tell me?' Harry scolded. If it was possible for a snake to look ashamed, then Asha did. 'I didn't want to bother you, until I had more information. Anyway I got all of the detailsss and wasss on my way back when I 'sssaw' what had happened. I had o nly just arrived and wasss looking for you when I found Elphie and ssshe told me you might be here. You weren't, but your guardian went and got you.' she hissed sadly. Harry relayed what Asha had said to the rest of the order before he turn ed back to the snake. 'What else did you see?' Harry hissed at her. 'He'sss coming Harry. He'sss coming to get you. Not yet, not until the new year, but when he doesss it will be big. Not like the last time, much, much worssse. He was ssstanding on the remainsss of the ssschool, ssscreaming, over and over t hat thisss wasss all you fault. If you had joined him none of thisss would have happened. He said he wasss coming for you.' Harry nodded remembering the warning s he heard when his scar hurt. It was Voldemort angry, very angry and now he was coming to get him. Harry gasped as he realised how much danger he was placing e verybody in. 'Harry, what is it?' Albus asked softly. 'He's coming for me' Harry shuddered. 'Not until after the new year, but he is c oming.' There was complete silence in the room as all the occupants digested Har ry's statement. Severus placed a comforting hand on Harry's shoulder as he addre ssed the Headmaster. 'Well Albus, where do we go from here?' Dumbledore nodded his head and picked up a quill, inking it as he unrolled a fresh piece of parchment. 'First we place the Aurors and Unspeakables. Second we must reinforce the wards again. Harry?' Albus looked over at the Headmaster and nodded. 'I will do it tomorrow' he said and then looked at his watch. 'Today' Albus smil ed at him. 'Albus, should we try sending the students somewhere else?' Harry ask ed. Albus shook his head, 'No, they really are safest here. Can you ask Asha to try and find more details' 'Asha' Harry hissed. 'Can you see if you can find out when they are coming?'

'Yesss' Harry carefully placed the small snake on the ground and watched her sli ther towards the door. 'Be careful' Harry called after her. 'You too' she hissed back and disappeared. Harry sank back into the chair, Sever us' hand returning to his shoulder. A quick glance around the room and he notice d the looks of distaste crossing the face of all but his mentor and guardian at the use of parseltongue. Severus cleared his throat and they all managed to rear range their expressions and looked at Harry kindly. 'I think it is time for Harry to get some sleep' Severus said. 'His task in the morning is not an easy one.' Albus nodded, turning to Harry, 'Harry will you talk to the Founders about new wards for the school?' Albus aske d him. All but Severus looked confused. 'Founders?' Sirius echoed. 'Yes. The Founders.' Harry said as if that settled it and then yawned, standing up. 'Good night everyone' he said and jumped to his rooms as they all gave their replies. Harry crawled into bed and called to Erte who fluttered down to rest on the pill ow beside him. 'Erte, I need to talk to the Founders. It's urgent.' he said stroking her head. 'They are waiting for you, young one. Just go to sleep.' she trilled. Harry slow ly drifted off to sleep as Erte sang softly to him. A bright white light appeared in front of his eyes and Harry raised his hand to shield them. 'Hello. Rowena? Godric? Are you there?' Harry called. 'Helga?' A tall man with s ilver hair and dressed in green robes came out of the light towards Harry. 'Oh, Salazar,' Harry smiled shaking the man's hand. 'How are you, Harry, my boy' the tall man greeted him jovially. 'The others are coming, I just wanted a private word regarding that blasted heir of mine, Riddle .' Harry smiled and listened carefully. Salazar knew why he was there, Erte havi ng been to see the Founders while Harry was in Dumbledore's office, and he knew a few things regarding the wards that he didn't want the others to know. 'This is something that must never be repeated to anyone, Harry' Salazar said gr avely. 'I have never told anyone about the sections of wards around the castle, that were mine. There is one spell that would weaken him, would allow him to be in a mortal, however' he looked deep into Harry's eyes 'as you are also my heir, it would weaken you.' Harry thought for a moment. 'Would it weaken me against things like Imperius, weaken my shields or would it just weaken me against Avada Kedavra?' Harry asked slowly. 'All of them.' Salazar looked at him. 'What is the spell?' 'Harry. No. I won't let you do this' Helga shouted running up to him. They had b een so engrossed in their conversation, that they hadn't seen the others coming

towards them. 'Helga. I have to.' Harry said softly. 'No. You don't. There must be another way.' The short blond witch wrung her hand s. 'She is right Harry. You can't do this. It is much too dangerous.' Rowena placed her arm around Harry's waist, guiding him to a group of chairs that were evenly spaced around a small table. 'I have seen that this is not the correct way to defeat Tom Riddle. There are ot her spells. Different ones that will repel different types of dark creatures. Yo u will have to place them very close to the castle though, as the more distance the spells have to cover, the weaker they are. They will repel most creatures ho wever a few will still get through and remember the effects of the dementors wil l still linger when they are close to the castle even if they can't get through the ward. And remember you and the chosen ones will have to be outside the wards or you will not be able to use the Elements or the Star of Light.' Harry nodded , smiling at the dark haired Seer. 'Now you will have to give us some more time regarding Tom Riddle but when you wake you will know all that you need to regard ing the wards for the school. Harry' she said softly, laying her hand on his arm . 'please promise us that you will be patient. You are all that is left between the comfort and the chaos.' Harry smiled at her as he stood up. 'I promise.' he told the four founders as he walked back towards the light. 'Harry' the dark haired man called after him. 'Yes Godric?' 'Be careful. Not everyone is who they seem.' the man replied cryptically. Harry wanted to ask what he meant but they were fading as he heard Erte calling to him . 'Harry wake up. It is almost six.' the phoenix trilled softly. 'Urg' groaned Harry. 'What did you do that for?' Harry scowled at her. 'You'll be late for training.' she told him. 'Damn' Harry muttered leaping out of bed and into the shower. 'I really need mor e sleep before I re-ward the school. Oh well. Can't have everything you want. Es pecially if your name is Harry Potter' he mumbled to himself as he pulled on his clothes. Jumping down to the great hall on the dot of six, he sent a quick than k you to Merlin that he didn't have to walk everywhere anymore. It saved so much time. 'Good morning' he called to the students. Several good mornings and hellos were returned as Harry strode across the hall to join the chosen ones. 'Morning' he greeted them. The usual hugs for the girls and slap on the back fro m Ron. Draco was strangely silent. 'What no 'Professor Potter' Dragon?' he poute d and then laughed as the blond smacked him across the shoulder. 'Sod off" Draco growled through the mind link sending Harry and the chosen ones sniggering. 'You're especially cheerful this morning' Hermione sent. Harry had decided not t o tell the chosen ones about Beauxbatons until breakfast.

'Yep. Let's get started' Turning to the rest of the class he held up his hand fo r silence. 'Follow along for warm up while I set up the exercises.' He waved an arm, banishing the tables and began to set up the different stations. 'Hey, Draco' he called 'Give me a hand' Draco nodded, and leaving the others doi ng the warm up, jogged over to Harry and began the next station. Muttering the i ncantations with his wand and swishing and flicking to create a small set of bar s set at different heights all in a row that the students would have to jump ove r one after the other. Finished he turned and watched Harry set up the four foun der's ghost exercises. He could see the expression on Harry's face and was stunn ed. He opened his mind towards Harry and almost screamed when he felt the amount of hate, anger, guilt and sorrow that was swallowing the young man. Storming ov er to Harry, he grabbed his arm, spinning Harry to face him. 'What is wrong?' Draco hissed. Harry looked furtively at the others before dragg ing Draco into the chamber off the great hall. 'How did you know?' Harry sighed, collapsing onto the couch in front of the fire . 'Know what?' Draco quizzed. 'I don't know anything. I felt your scar burning las t night so I looked at you face when you though no one was looking, and then ope ned myself to you. What ever happened wasn't you fault you know.' Draco said sof tly, placing a hand on Harry's shoulder. Harry couldn't look at him. A single te ar made his way down his face. 'He killed them all, Draco. He killed them all, just to show me he could, and th en he stood there and screamed for all the world to hear that it was all my faul t and that he was coming for me' Harry choked back a sob as Draco wrapped his ar ms around the shaking boy. Draco had no idea what Harry was talking about althou gh he had worked out that it had to do with Voldemort and it wasn't good. 'Harry, you have to pull yourself together. I don't know what happened but you c an't possibly think it was your fault. If it wasn't for you, we would all be dea d now and Voldemort would be a bloody dictator' Draco said, forcing Harry to loo k at him. Harry nodded, stood up and took a deep breath. The shock of Draco actu ally swearing snapped him out of his depression. 'Come on' he said. 'I want to get this lot started and then I have some wards to reinforce?' Harry carefully rearranged a mask back over his face and plastered a smile over the top. They walked back into the hall as the class had just finis hed their laps of the hall and had come to a stop in the middle of the room, pan ting. Hermione looked over at Draco, a worried expression on her face but he jus t shook his head at her, indicating that he would tell her later. 'I want you all to divide into your groups and run through the stations as you d id yesterday. I have a small task to do for the Headmaster so I am leaving Draco in charge. I will return for breakfast.' Here Harry hesitated a moment. 'Train hard as if your life depended on it.' Harry said, as a dark look flickered over his face. It was only there for a moment and most of the students missed it. Wit h that Harry disappeared with a pop, leaving Draco to get them started. The whis pered started and Draco had to fire purple sparks into the air to get the studen ts attention. 'Come on now off you go. You know what to do. Blaise can you lead my group pleas e. Thank you.' Draco watched as they moved off to their stations and then called to Harry. 'Griffin, are you alright?' Draco asked. He heard a mental sigh before.

'Yes Dragon, I'm fine. I have to turn off the link now. I will see you at breakf ast.' then silence. Draco looked at Hermione and shrugged. 'I don't know, Owl.' Harry locked the front doors, walked down the steps and out across the grounds. He would have to hit the wards from six different points around the castle to ma ke sure that it covered the castle completely. He held up his hands and sent a s tream of golden light up, over and around the castle. He held it there for a few minutes, judging how far from the castle he could set the wards, before calling an incantation and dropping his hands. The golden shell stayed as a base for th e wards. Walking further away from the castle towards the quidditch pitch, he st opped, raised his arms calling to the air element. Dark clouds gathered above hi m, swirling with thunder, lightening began to crackle and hit the ground around him. Calling it to his hand he began to chant while throwing the energy at the b ase. 'Acies, prohibeo, premo, acerbus. Tutis, servo' Over and over he chanted watching as that section of the wards began to change c olour. When it reached a dark murky blue he added the names of the dark creature s. 'Acies, prohibeo, premo, acerbus, werewolves. Tutis, servo, Hogwarts' 'Acies, prohibeo, premo, acerbus, vampires. Tutis, servo, Hogwarts' 'Acies, prohibeo, premo, acerbus, trolls. Tutis, servo, Hogwarts' 'Acies, prohibeo, premo, acerbus, giants. Tutis, servo, Hogwarts' Adding every dark creature he could think of. Over and over he chanted the dark creatures, catching the bolts of lighting in his hands and throwing them at the base to give the wards strength, not stopping until they had turned a bright whi te. When that section was finished he moved onto the next. The sun was up by the time he finished and although it was still bitterly cold, Harry didn't notice t his as he continued with his task. When the last section was white he cast a fin al incantation to seal them all together before lowering his arms and dropping t o the knees. He sat back on his heels, gasping and drained. He was too tired to jump safely so he waited a few moments to let the dizziness pass before standing up and heading towards the castle. Draco had the class going along quite nicely and was just about to send up spark s to change to their second exercise when the ceiling of the hall was bathed in a golden light. All of the students stopped and stared. The gold stay but they c ould see the dark clouds gathering over head. Soon a section of the ceiling bega n to change as the from gold to dark blue, right through all the colours of the rainbow and then to white. Then the section next to it. 'Small task, my arse.' Draco muttered. 'Griffin must be doing the wards again.' Hermione sent, giving Draco a look. 'Wonder why?' sent back Ron. 'Well Dragon?' Hermione challenged him. 'I honestly don't know. He was really upset. He said something about Voldemort a nd people dying and that was it.' Draco shrugged helplessly.

'Griffin' Hermione sent. 'Griffin' a little louder. 'It's no use. He switched it off. Besides you know better than to disturb him at the moment.' Draco countered sternly and then smirked when Hermione looked suit ably embarrassed. Draco tried to get the students to continue with their trainin g but it was no use. They were enthralled by the changes in the ceiling. By the time Harry got to the fifth section Draco realised the time and had the students go quickly to shower and change before breakfast. Draco was standing their tryi ng to work out how to banish the equipment and call the tables back when Albus w alked in with Severus and Minerva. 'Good morning Draco.' the headmaster greeted him glancing at the ceiling. 'I see Harry is hard at work already.' 'Yes Sir.' Draco smiled still looking a bit confused. Dumbledore's eyes twinkled at him, immediately working out the boy's dilemma. With a few different wand mo vements and muttered incantations, he had the hall back to it's original state a nd turned to Draco. 'Better' he chuckled. Draco sighed with relief. 'Thank you Sir. Professors' he nodded quickly to Severus and Minerva before duck ing out the door and back to his rooms. 'He's awfully polite these days. Isn't he?' Severus smirked. Minerva nodded smil ing as they walked through the hall to the head table and sat down to wait for t he students. Twenty minutes later all the students had made their way to breakfast, although none were eating, just gazing at the ceiling as it changed colours. Minerva tapp ed her glass as Dumbledore rose. 'Good morning to you all. I'm afraid I have some bad news. Last night Voldemort attacked Beauxbatons Academy.' gasps were heard throughout the hall. 'Unfortunat ely only a few dozen students survived. Those students will be transferring here and will arrive shortly after Christmas.' whispers broke out among the students . 'Silence' called Professor Dumbledore. 'We have word that Voldemort will try t o attack again in the new year and as you can see' he gestured to the ceiling. ' Professor Potter is re-warding the castle as we speak. I ask you now just to try to enjoy your holiday break. The extra duelling and training lessons you are ge tting are very important. Please do not take them lightly and make sure that Har ry knows you appreciate them. Don't forget it is his holiday too, after an extre mely stressful year. Thank you' with a lift of his hand the empty plates in fron t of them filled with food. 'Now, now, Albus. You make it sound like you don't want Harry to take the extra classes.' Severus sent. 'No Severus' Albus sent back. 'I just want them to take it seriously. Harry has enough to do without spending extra time on children who just want to play aroun d.' Suddenly the whole ceiling glowed a brilliant white. The students and teachers c ould feel the warmth of power radiating from it. Then it was gone and the ceiling was back to normal, leaving the hall slightly c older. The students began chattering loudly. The chosen ones casting glances at the door, waiting to see Harry walk in.

Harry unlocked the entrance doors and pushed them open. He was cold, clammy and exhausted. There were still small crackles of lightning making their way around him but they were the only things with any energy. He staggered across the entra nce hall and took a deep breath, forcing himself to show strength. He walked thr ough the huge oak doors, which thankfully were already open, and started up the middle of the hall towards the head table. The chattering had stopped as he walk ed through the door and now all eyes were on him as he forced himself upright. T he acting worked very well as the majority of students went back to their meal. The chosen ones and Severus and Albus, the ones who knew him well, could tell th at all was not right. Harry climbed the two steps up on to the platform, came ar ound the table, and collapsed gratefully into his chair between Albus and Severu s, who both looked at him worriedly. 'Harry, are you alright?' Severus whispered. Harry closed his eyes and took a sh uddering breath. 'So cold.' he muttered, wrapping his cloak tighter around him and resting his he ad in his hands. Severus raised an eyebrow at the Headmaster who cast a warming charm and they waited for Harry to recover enough to talk to them. Several minut es past and they began to get worried. 'Harry.' Severus whispered. 'Harry.' Still no response. 'Albus, I think he's asl eep.' he whispered over Harry's head. The Headmaster sighed and gestured for Sev erus to take Harry back to his rooms. Severus stood up and gently lifted the boy in his arms. Carefully he made his way down through the hall, shaking is head a t the chosen ones when they tried to follow him. 'He's just asleep' he mouthed a t them before he walked out the doors. Automatically he walked back to his dunge on rooms and placed Harry back in the bed in the spare room, minus his robes and shoes. Harry mumbled almost unintelligible thanks before curling back up on his side and burrowing down into the pillows as if he never wanted to come out. Whi ch, Severus thought grimly, after what had happened over the last twenty four ho urs was probably not far off the truth. He sent a quick thought to Albus to tell the students that Harry was okay and settled down to watch over him as was his right and duty as the young wizards guardian. Harry slept through the rest of the day and night waking up late the next mornin g. Dumbledore and the chosen ones had taken over the duelling and training until Harry returned. Severus watched over him from a large wing chair in the corner. His sleep, while peaceful at first, soon turned restless and Harry spent the ti me calling, screaming or reaching out trying to catch something. Severus tried w aking him numerous times and while he was unsuccessful, the presence of his hand s on Harry's shoulders and the whispered words of comfort soothed the troubled b oy until the next nightmare asserted itself. Eventually the peaceful sleep retur ned but it didn't last long. A few hours later Severus could see that he was beg inning to wake. He lay down his book and crossed the room to perch on the edge o f the bed. 'Hey.' he smiled softly. 'How do you feel?' Harry slowly sat up and stretched. H e looked over at his guardian before replying, 'Thank you.' Harry's eyes told Severus exactly what he was talking about as he d rew Harry into a hug. 'It's okay. I will always be here for you. Even if it is only to calm your dream s.' Severus replied. They sat there for a while in silence, each comfortable jus t to sit. Eventually Harry thought to look at his watch. 'Oh Merlin, I'm going to be late for duelling.' he exclaimed throwing back the c overs and leaping from the bed. Severus caught him as the room spun around him a nd gently set him down on the edge of the bed.

'Harry. It's fine. Albus and the chosen ones have been taking the lessons.' 'Lessons?' Harry questioned. 'Yes. You have been asleep since yesterday.' Severus explained. 'God. Do I sleep through everything?' Harry grumbled clearly not expecting an an swer. Severus laughed and helped him out of the room and into the bathroom. 'You have a bath and I'll go and pick up some clothes for you.' Severus chuckled again as Harry swore and left closing the door behind him. Harry turned on the taps and discarded the rest of his clothes, climbing into the bubbly warm water with a sigh of pleasure. Half dozing, he let the water swirl around him. A simpl e charm, muttered under his breath, kept the water from cooling and another sent the washer gilding over him, washing away the dirt of the last day. Hearing Sev erus return, he hoisted himself slowly out of the tub and dried himself off with a towel, wrapping it round his waist and opening the door. He walked through to the spare room, throwing a smile at his guardian on the way. Severus had bought down a various items of clothing so that Harry could choose. Pulling on some warm pants and a shirt, he tossed a thick cloak over the top. He was still feeling the after effects of the last two days. 'Ready?' he asked, walking back into the main room. Severus nodded and rose from his chair. Harry took his hand and jumped them up to the entrance hall. Harry d idn't think it would be a good idea to arrive in the middle of a duel. Quietly t hey slipped into the room unnoticed, and watched as the students duelled. They h ad moved onto the Impedimentia jinx and the incantation rang through the hall. D umbledore had also set up the founders ghosts again, and the chosen ones were cu rrently engrossed in defeating their opponents separately, with the extra studen ts yelling and screaming at them. 'Why do the students make so much noise. Surely it would be easier if they staye d quiet?' Severus whispered, 'and don't just say training. That is not an answer .' he scolded. Harry grinned at him. 'Yes it is easier, but do you think that Voldemort or any of his Death Eaters ar e going to ask everybody to be quiet just so the chosen ones can concentrate. I don't think so.' Severus just looked at him. 'Makes sense.' he said with a twinkle in his eye. Just then Dumbledore asked the students to sit and had the chosen ones move into their star positions, with Dr aco facing the Head Table as the north. He cast a safety charm around the hall a nd conjured twenty founders ghosts, positioning them evenly around the star. 'Begin' called the Headmaster. Severus, Dumbledore and the students watched as t he chosen ones fought the ghosts. They had all seen the battle of course, but th en, most of the attention had been on Harry. Otherwise they had only seen them a gainst each other or a single founders ghost not as a fully formed weapon that s eemed to communicate telepathically. 'Little do they know' murmured Harry as he switched the mind link back on. Noddi ng his head as he watched them attack and heard them talk. 'Sword, your left' 'Good shot Owl.' 'Staff, on your right. No your OTHER right.' Harry snickered quietly as he heard

Ginny's shriek through the mind link. He didn't say anything just watched and l istened. Harry watched as Draco did his usual and moved forward out of position. The others kept an eye out and congratulated each other when a ghost disappeare d but no one told Draco get back. Harry could feel the power of the star beginni ng to break down from the door, and after a quick glance at Dumbledore's face Ha rry realised that he was probably not the only one. 'Get back Draco.' he mumbled to himself watching the boy carefully. 'Get back' H arry could see that the ghosts had seen the gap that Draco had left by going awa y from the star and were slowly moving towards it. Exasperated he threw up his h ands, pushing past Severus and the students. 'For gods sake, Draco. Can you stay in position or do I have to bloody well leg locker you in place?' he yelled striding across the hall. A quick flick of his w rist disabled the safety wards and banished the remaining founders ghosts and an other cast a silencing charm around Harry and Draco. Although they couldn't hear exactly what was said, the rest of the class watched as Harry paced back and fo rward in front a particularly sheepish looking Draco, his hands and mouth going a hundred miles an hour. Suddenly Harry stopped and stood with his hands on his hips, glaring at the blond haired boy as if waiting for Draco to answer. Severus moved over to where Albus was standing. 'That is one expression I don't think I have ever seen on young Mr Malfoy's face .' Albus chuckled as Severus smirked. He glanced over at the other chosen ones t o see them standing together, the amusement written on their faces. Those expres sions changed relatively quickly though, when, with another flick of his wrist t o disable the silencing charm, Harry launched in on them. 'And you three. It's no good just blistering each others ego. If you feel the st ar become unstable, find out why. Without the star there is nothing.' Harry bega n to glow. 'Harry' Severus warned. 'look at your self.' Harry looked down at his hands and arms to see them glowing and swore. 'Shit.' He said. Taking several deep breaths he pictured is griffin form and cha nged. Running towards the door, through the entrance hall and outside, he leapt of the top step and into the sky. His broad golden wings taking him higher and h igher. For several hours he flew sorting through everything in his head. He coul dn't trust himself to go back yet and darkness had fallen, so he landed on the v ery top of the north tower, transforming just before he touched down. Casting a warming charm on himself he lay down on his cloak and read the stars, looking fo r a bit of inspiration. The chosen ones had gathered in Harry's rooms after the incident in the great ha ll. Each silently berating themselves for not taking the training seriously. The re wasn't only Harry's life at stake. They all realised that after the last batt le. If something happened to Harry then all of them would be in danger. Voldemor t now new what power the four of them had when combined, and would not hesitate to use it in any way, shape or form, if he thought it could be beneficial to him . 'We have to find Harry.' Ron said resolutely. 'No one has seen him since he changed and took off.' Ginny said. 'Well why don't we split up and look for him.' Hermione reasoned. 'What about Draco?' Ginny cast a glance at him.

'I'll be fine. The Slytherins are all at home, besides everybody's at dinner.' D raco said standing up and heading towards the door. The all followed him out and split up. They spent hours looking for him. Draco was walking past the transfig uration classroom when he had the strangest feeling. He closed his eyes and let his feet guide him, finding himself at the base of the north tower, at a differe nt staircase to the one they used for Divination. This part of the tower hadn't bee used in ages as Trelawney didn't like having anything or anybody near her. 'You had better be up here Harry.' he grumbled looking at the steep stone steps in front of him. Almost at the top he heard a soft voice. It was mumbling over a nd over. Draco knew it was Harry and climbed out onto the roof, wincing at the b itter chill. He watched the boy lying flat out on the ground, eyes closed, talki ng to himself. He had both hands over his ears as if trying to shut someone or s omething out. Draco picked his way through the snow to sit down next to Harry, i mmediately noticing the warming spell Harry had placed around himself. Draco mov ed a bit closer so that the warming spell encompassed them both before placing a hand on Harry shoulder. Harry started, his eyes flicking open instantly and his hand coming up. 'No Harry. Wait. It's me, Draco.' Harry relaxed instantly and lowered his hand. 'God, I'm sorry Draco. You just scared me. And with everything that's happened I sort of strike first and ask questions later.' he shrugged sheepishly. 'We have been looking for you for hours.' 'Why didn't you just call me?' Harry asked as he sat up. 'You turned the mind link off.' Draco scolded. 'Oh yeah. Sorry.' They sat there quietly looking at the stars. 'Draco.' 'Yes.' 'What do you think will happen?' Harry asked softly. 'You're the Seer, you tell me.' 'I can't. I can't seem to see anything to do with Voldemort.' 'Harry. What's the matter. You have been so upset since yesterday.' Harry took a deep breath and turned to look at Draco. 'What did Albus tell you at breakfast yesterday?' he asked. 'Only that Beauxbatons had been attacked and that about thirty students survived and were coming here.' Draco shrugged. 'Nothing else?' 'No. Why, what else is there?' Draco looked into Harry's eyes but the dark haire d boy couldn't hold the contact and looked away in shame. 'Harry?' 'It's my fault.' Draco sighed. 'Not this again. How many times do I have to tell you. It isn't your fault.'

'No Draco. You don't understand.' Harry held back the sob that threatened to let go. 'Voldemort stood on the ruins of Beauxbatons and screamed for all the world to hear, that it was all my fault. That if I had just surrendered to him, not o ne person there would have been harmed. And that he is coming for me. Coming to Hogwarts to get me and the same thing will happen.' Harry finished so quietly Dr aco could hardly hear him. 'Oh Harry.' Draco flung his arms around his best friend as he broke down. 'All m y fault' Harry sobbed over and over. 'Harry this was not your fault. Think what could have happened if you hadn't bee n here during the first battle.' Draco said 'If I hadn't been here, there wouldn't have been a first battle.' Harry said and then stiffened and disappeared. 'Shit.' Draco swore, getting up and sprinting for the stairs. 'Harry. You really should call.' Severus scolded, waving his wand to repair the shattered glass on the floor. 'Sorry. It was a last minute jump.' he said sheepishly. 'Can I get you another?' Severus smiled as he watched Harry walk over to the cupboard and pour two glass es of scotch and handed on to his guardian and settled on the sofa with the othe r. 'Harry?' Severus raised an eyebrow. 'Oh Severus, your not my mother.' Harry groaned, downing the scotch and coughing madly. Severus chuckled. 'God, that's shocking.' Harry choked out and immediately refilled his glass. 'Try sipping it.' Severus smirked. Harry nodded and took a small sip. 'Much better' he said as Severus smiled at him. 'Was there something I can do for you?' Severus asked nonchalantly. Harry took a deep breath unsure of how to begin. 'I wanted to ask you to do something for me" Harry asked biting his lip. 'Anything Harry, you know that.' 'I wanted to talk to you aboutâ ¦' Harry hesitated. 'About,' Severus prompted. 'After what happened yesterday I think how about much safer everyone would be if I wasn't here.' Harry finished quickly, his gaze planted firmly on the floor. 'You weren't at Beauxbatons' Severus countered. 'I don't mean at Hogwarts. I mean here.' he said 'Here? Here is Hogwarts.' Severus looked confused and Harry raised his eyes to l ook at him. 'I mean alive.' Harry said it so softly that Severus had to strain to hear him. It took a few minutes for the reality of what Harry was asking to sink in, but w

hen it did, Severus didn't know what to say. For the first time in his life he s at there speechless, his mouth opening and closing of it own accord with no soun d coming forth. No witty remarks, no scathing retorts, nothing. 'It's okay. I didn't think you would, but I had to ask.' Harry said, setting his glass down and standing up. 'Can you find the chosen ones and tell them I'm oka y. I just want to get some sleep. Thanks.' Harry disappeared and Severus was sti ll speechless. He sat there for about half an hour going over the conversation i n his head. 'Shit.' he said. There was a lot of swearing going on in the castle that night. Rising quickly and throwing his cloak on he headed for the Headmaster's office. He practically ran into Ron on the way and passed on Harry's message with no men tion of the other conversation. Ron seemed to accept this and promised to pass t he message onto the other's. Severus bid him goodnight and waited until the Gryf findor had turned the corner before striding quickly up the hall. Giving the pas sword to the gargoyle he sprinted up the moving staircase and stormed into the r oom. 'Severus. What is it?' the old mage asked. Severus paced back and forward in fro nt of the desk, eventually stopping and looking straight into Dumbledore's eyes. 'He asked me.' Severus said bluntly. Dumbledore lent back in his chair. 'Oh dear.' he said stoking his beard. 'Oh dear?' Severus yelled. 'Oh dear. The one person I would give my life for has just asked me to kill him because he thinks everyone would be better off if he were dead and all you can say is, Oh dear.' Severus screamed. 'Severus. Calm down. This isn't helping.' 'Sorry' Severus huffed collapsing into the chair, his head buried in his hands. 'Oh Lily would be rolling over in her grave by now.' he moaned. Albus came aroun d the desk and placed a calming hand on Severus' shoulder just as the door burst open. Draco stood there clearly out of breath, hysterical and gesturing wildly. 'Harry' he choked out. 'Something's wrong.' Dumbledore came over to him and guid ed him to a chair. 'Now Draco, what happened.?' the young wizard took a deep breath, trying to calm himself. 'Ron called me and told me that he had seen Professor Snape and that Harry was o kay and would see us in the morning and to go to bed. We had all been looking fo r him, I had found him on top of the north tower but he had disappeared again. I was down searching the dungeons when Ron called. I got almost to the hospital w ing when I felt a pain in my arms. I knew it was Harry. I can feel him. I ran to his rooms and got into the training room but he must have warded the door to hi s rooms because I couldn't get in. I banged and kicked the door but there was no answer so I came straight here. You have to go and see.' the blond boy begged, tears streaming down his face. Albus looked over at Severus who paled. As one, t he three wizards ran for the door. 'It's no use trying the link. He's turned it off.' Draco told them as the sprint ed towards Harry's rooms. They swiftly made there way through the training room and Severus pounded on the door. 'Harry. Harry. Wake up. Harry let us in.' he yelled. He looked at Albus and nodd ed. The old mage began a series of complicated spells to try and disable the ext

ra locking charms Harry had placed on the door. It took them over half an hour a nd in the end it took the power of both older wizards to break them. Draco kept pacing up and down behind them crying, telling them to hurry. Finally they were finished and the door flew open with a bang. Draco tried to ge t through the door first but Albus held him back and let Severus go. 'Let go of me you old fool. Harry needs me.' Draco screamed and kicked. He was t o strong as he broke free and ran into the rooms after Severus. He knew where Ha rry was, he could feel it. Running straight through the bedroom to the bathroom he found the door lock again. 'In here.' he yelled 'He's in here.' Severus and Albus bolted into the room to s ee Draco yanking on the door. 'It's not warded. Just locked.' he told them. 'Out of the way.' Severus ordered. 'Reductio.' Severus yelled. The door disintegrating into millions of tiny pieces . A horrified scream tore through the castle, but this time Albus managed to gra b Draco before he ran into the room. Draco didn't kick or scream this time thoug h, he just stared at Harry lying face down on the floor, the blood flowing from his wrists. 'Stupid boy.' Severus said as he quickly knelt by Harry's side and rolled him on to his back. He cast a clotting charm but it didn't seem to work, neither when h e tried to close the large slash down each wrist. 'Not so stupid, hey Severus.' Albus whispered. 'Not now, old man.' Severus said grabbing some towels and wrapping them tightly around Harry's wrists. 'What is it, Sir?' Draco asked. 'He cast an anti-healing charm on himself.' The headmaster told him. 'Severus we must get him to the hospital wing.' 'No. Harry hates that. I'll take him to my rooms. I can keep a better eye on him there too.' Severus replied picking the dark haired boy up and pushing past the headmaster. Albus and Draco followed him all the way to the dungeons. Giving hi s passwords Severus strode into the spare room, depositing his bundle on the bed . 'Poppy.' he said to Draco, who ran from the room. Severus grabbed some more towe ls from the bathroom and discarded the blood soaked ones, cleaning the wounds th e muggle way and tying the fresh towels over the top to staunch the flow of bloo d once more. 'Severus. I will sit with him. Go and get a clotting potion. Maybe that will wor k where the spells have failed.' Severus nodded and left the room as Albus looke d down at Harry. 'Harry, how could you do this. We believe in you. We need you. How would we face Voldemort without you.' he told the dreadfully pale boy. 'I think that was the point.' came the blunt reply. Albus looked over to see Dra co standing by the door. The blond came and sat beside Harry, laying one hand on his chest, the other holding one of Harry's hands and closed his eyes.

'Come on Harry.' he whispered. 'Come on. I know you're there.' A soft glow centr ed around Harry's chest, underneath Draco's hand. 'Come on talk to me.' Draco co ntinued softly. 'Hi.' Draco smiled, his eyes still closed. 'Come on Harry, pleas e take it off.' Just then Severus and Poppy strode into the room. Albus held up his hand to stop them, shaking his head to indicate silence. 'Please Harry, take it off for me. We need you. We believe in you and we love you. Voldemort would kill us all anyway, even if you weren't here.' Draco continued in this form for some minutes. Telling Harry that it wasn't his fault, and because of him people actually had hope that the darkness would be defeated. To remember what the prop hecy said. Only Harry can do it. In other words if Harry leaves them Voldemort w ould win. 'Come on Harry, please take it off. Don't talk like that.' he told the unconscious boy. 'take it off. I can't help you with it on. Don't say that. We love you. Please take it off.' 'What does he want Harry to take off?' Poppy whispered. 'The anti-healing spell.' Severus whispered back. 'Come on Harry. Please, for me.' Draco leaned over, never letting go of Harry's hand or moving his hand from Harry's chest and placed his forehead against the d ark haired boy's, whispering all the time. The others in the room knew they were watching something special, a bond previously unheard of, as both were covered in the soft golden glow. When the glow dissipated the boys were in the same posi tion. Draco now, had his eyes open and was still whispering to him, although the y couldn't quite make out what he was saying. Suddenly Harry's eyes snapped open and he was looking straight into Draco's. Harry gasped, and tore his hand from Draco's, throwing both arms around the other boy clinging as if his life depende d on it. Draco sat up, bringing the other boy with him, rocking him softly and s troking his back. 'We won't tell anyone Harry, we promise.' he crooned looking sharply at the othe rs over Harry's shoulder. They all nodded in promise. 'See there is nothing to w orry about. No one need ever know. Come on.' he said stroking Harry's back as hi s sobs subsided. Draco continued to hold him until he could tell that Harry had fallen asleep. The professors and Madam Pomfrey just watched, speechless, at the display. Gently he lay Harry down on the bed, fondly smoothing the dark hair ba ck off his face and placing a small kiss on Harry's forehead. Nodding to Poppy he carefully rose from the bed, standing still to let the wave of dizziness pass before walking slowly over to the two professors and gesturing towards the living room. Leaving Poppy to tend to her patient, they moved out o f the room and settled themselves around the fire. Dumbledore waved his wand and a tea tray appeared in front of them. Draco sighed, rubbing his temples slowly. Severus looked at him before summoning a vial and handing it over. 'Drink.' the potions master commanded. Obediently Draco downed the potion, grate ful to feel the oncoming headache recede. 'Thanks.' he smiled at Severus, taking the offered cup of tea. He sipped it slow ly wait for the questions that would undoubtedly come. 'Draco. What the hell was that?' Dumbledore asked him with tired eyes. 'That Professor, is a Clarian Bond.' Draco replied, oblivious to the confused lo oks he was receiving. 'What is a Clarian Bond?' Severus said. Draco sighed and told them about the ali gnment of the stars, moons and sun, and their connection to the times of his and Harry's births.

'That is why I can feel Harry. Know where he is and whether he is hurt. It is ki nd of like your Circle of Light only stronger. I can't ground him though and I c an't kill him either.' he wouldn't look at Severus who stiffened. 'You can certainly save him though.' Albus said softly. 'How did you do that any way? What did you do?' 'I found him. Found where he was hiding and talked to him. I had to convince him to take off the spell. That we needed him and we loved him.' Draco finished sof tly. 'I can't believe he did that.' A single tear rolled down Draco's cheek. Alb us sighed, 'I can. The amount of pressure that Harry is under is something even I would hav e trouble carrying and I'm not fifteen years old.' the old mage said. 'When will this all be over so that Harry can live a normal life?' Severus mutte red. 'Harry wouldn't know what to do with a normal life.' Draco told him. 'What do you mean?' Severus raised his eyebrows. Draco sighed. 'We asked Harry what he wanted to do when he graduated. After Voldemort was dead . And he said,' Draco bit back a sob. 'he said he had never really thought about it because he didn't think he would live that long.' More tears streamed down D raco's face as Severus placed a comforting arm around the young boy's shoulders. The three of them sat there sipping their tea, the silence punctuated only by t he occasional hiccough from Draco. Eventually the door opened and Poppy beckoned them in. Harry was sitting up in t he bed, forearms wrapped in bandages, leaning against the pillows, his eyes down cast. He looked up and caught Draco's eye. 'Thank you' he whispered. Draco leapt onto the bed, flinging his arms around the green eyed boy. They hugged tightly before Draco pulled away, clambering over H arry and lying next to him. Harry then turned his eyes to Severus 'I'm sorry.' Harry whispered, casting his gaze at the sheets once more. Severus walked over to the bed and sat down. 'I'm sorry I put you in that position.' he mumbled. Severus tilted Harry's face up until he could look him in the eye. 'Don't ever do that again, you stupid, stupid boy.' Severus hissed before huggin g Harry tightly, wishing he never had to let go. Harry relaxed into the hug as h e realised that Severus wasn't angry with him. He quickly pulled away and looked around the room. 'You won't tell anyone. Will you.' the note of panic strong in his voice. 'No Harry, we won't tell anyone.' Dumbledore assured him. Harry closed his eyes again and settled with his head on his guardian's chest. Poppy and Albus waved g oodnight as Severus climbed onto the bed behind Harry, holding the boy carefully as he slept. He looked over at Draco, placing an arm around the boy's shoulder and they all feel asleep. Severus leaning back against the pillows, both boys sn uggled in his arms. 'HARRY' This is what jerked Draco from his sleep a several hours later.

'Oh shit.' he muttered instantly awake. 'What is it?' Severus asked him softly. Trying not to wake Harry. 'We didn't lock Harry's room. The others just found all the blood on the bathroo m floor.' 'Damn.' Severus swore, carefully extricating himself from underneath Harry. Drac o quietly rolled off the other side of the bed and managed to get out of the roo m and close the door just in time for the yelling and pounding to start on the m ain one to Severus' rooms. Crossing quickly the potions masters opened the door and glared the chosen ones into silence. The clearly horrified and distressed lo oks on their faces however softened him and, placing a finger to his lips, he be ckoned them into the room. They followed him and waited as he opened the door to Harry's room and gestured to the softly sleeping boy. He could see them calm co nsiderably at the sight of their friend sleeping soundly, and he closed the door after casting a silencing charm and told them to sit down. Ron was looking arou nd in wonder, never having seen Snape's rooms before and had to be dragged by He rmione down into the chair. Ginny walked over and climbed onto Draco's lap, kiss ing him softly. 'What happened?' she asked him. Draco shook his head indicating to her that he c ouldn't tell and threw a pleading look at Severus. 'Something happened to Harry last night.' the older man told them. 'I can't say what. It is his decision if he wants to tell you. All I will say is, you aren't to ask him about it or you will have to answer to me.' he fixed all three of the m with a glare. None of them dared to say anything. They just sat there quietly. Draco checking on Harry every so often. Severus sent to Albus to cancel the mor ning training but as it was Christmas Eve he had done it the day before anyway. The Headmaster asked after Harry and Severus told him of the morning events. 'Oh dear.' 'I told you to stop saying that.' Severus growled through the mind link, hearing a chuckle in return. Severus turned his attention back to the four students in front of him. Draco got up to check on Harry once more as Severus called for a h ouse elf to bring breakfast. 'Still asleep.' Draco said as sat down and began spreading his toast with marmal ade. Still no one spoke, just ate in silence. Not long after there was a soft cl ick and they all looked up expectantly. Harry appeared, pale and drawn. He sat b eside Severus on the sofa and began nibbling on a piece of toast. Severus offere d him a cup of tea, which he took gratefully, but his gaze stayed locked to the floor. 'You told them?' he sent to Severus , not able to keep the tremor out of his voi ce, even through the mind link. 'No Harry we didn't. We forgot to lock your rooms last night and they found all the blood in the bathroom. But we still haven't told them what happened.' Harry sighed softly and switched the link to the chosen ones back on. 'I have something to tell you. But I can't say it out loud. I'm too ashamed.' he sent. 'Griffin, what is it?' Hermione sent back. Harry sighed again, curling up as if to make a smaller target before continuing. 'I don't know if I can do this.' he muttered. Draco gently lifted Ginny off his

lap and came over to sit next to Harry, placing an arm around his shoulders. 'Harry, you don't have to if you don't want too.' Draco whispered. 'No. They have a right to know.' he said out loud before switching back to the m ind link. 'I did something terrible last night.' he told them. 'I couldn't stop all the voices. They were telling me it was all my fault. I couldn't stop them s o Iâ ¦' he trailed off. 'Griffin.' Hermione prompted and Draco glared at her. 'I tried to kill myself.' Harry finished out loud, rolling over into Draco arms, burying his head in the other boy's chest. Their reactions were varied. 'WHAT.' screamed Ron. Hermione choked on a bit of toast and Ginny burst into tea rs. 'That went well.' Severus muttered under his breath. 'Harry.' scolded Hermione. 'How could you.' Draco glared at her again. 'Hermione.' came the muffled voice. 'You don't understand what it is like. You d on't know the full story. I really thought you would be better off. I asked Seve rus to do it for me, but he wouldn't.' Snape kept his eyes firmly on the floor. 'I should bloody well hope not.' Hermione shrieked. The others all looked at her in shock, never having heard her swear before. 'That is enough Miss Granger.' Professor Dumbledore said firmly from the doorway . 'None of you can understand the amount of pressure that Harry is under. I'm su rprised that this hasn't come up already. You four are very important. We need y ou, but this whole thing rests on Harry's shoulders. It's him that Voldemort is after, not you. And it is only Harry that can save us. How do you think that mak es him feel, carrying that sort of burden around day after day. ' 'That makes me feel so much better, Albus. Thank you.' Harry mumbled sarcastical ly into Draco's chest. 'Oh Harry. I'm sorry. I didn't think.' Hermione stuttered. Harry removed his fac e and looked at them, the dark circles under his eyes all the more visible again st his now pale skin. 'It's all right guys. I just needed some sense knocked into me.' he smiled at Dr aco. 'I won't do it again, I promise.' he whispered softly. 'Harry. I think it's time you got some more sleep. You lost a lot of blood yeste rday.' Severus told him firmly. 'Yes. You're right. I'll just go back to my rooms.' Albus and Severus gave each other a look. 'No Harry. I think it's best if you stay here with me for a while.' Severus said , not looking at him and keeping his gaze locked on the crackling fire. Harry ga ve him a calculating look. 'You don't trust me. You're putting me on suicide watch, aren't you?' Harry hiss ed at him. 'Fine then.' Harry leapt of the couch and stormed into his room, slam ming the door behind him. 'Mr Malfoy. If you would.' the Headmaster gestured to the closed door. Draco ros

e, throwing both of the professors a dirty look before disappearing through the door. 'Harry come on. You know he didn't mean it.' Draco said sitting on the bed. Harr y was lying staring up at the ceiling and wouldn't acknowledge Draco's presence. 'Harry please. Don't shut me out. Severus just cares so much about you. He thou ght you had died last night. You should have seen his face.' Harry looked over a him. 'I know.' he whispered softly. 'It is just so much sometimes.' Draco laid a hand on Harry's arm. 'Can you send Severus in.' Harry asked him. Draco nodded. He wa lked out and was replaced with the potions master. 'Harry. Iâ ¦' Harry held up his hand and gestured for him to sit down. 'Severus. You don't need to apologise. I should be the one to apologise. I put y ou in a terrible position last night and I feel awful. You have every right to b e upset with me and I understand why you want me to stay down here with you.' Ha rry finished softly. 'Harry,' Severus said. 'I am not upset with you. When you asked me what you did last night I really didn't know what to say. You are the most important person i n the world to me and I couldn't stand the thought of loosing you. I haven't lov ed anybody for almost twenty years, you know and sometimes I'm not sure if I am doing it right.' Severus' eyes took on a faraway look. 'Lily.' Harry whispered. 'Yes' Severus smiled. 'Lily. When she died I really didn't think I would care ab out anyone ever again. Then when I saw you lying on that bed in July, all the pr omises I had made to your mother hit me at about a hundred miles an hour. I had promised to protect you and I had let you almost be killed by a whale of a muggl e. Not Voldemort, not even Death Eaters, a muggle. I made a vow that night as I waited to see if you would wake up. And then last night, when you asked me what you did, I realised that I had failed. I had managed to protect you from Voldemo rt but I couldn't protect you from yourself.' Severus faulted as Harry sat up an d placed his hand in his. 'You haven't failed me Sev. You being here for me has been the most wonderful th ing I have had in a long time. You could never fail me. I just hope, I never fai l you.' Harry crawled onto Severus' lap and buried his head in the older man's c hest. 'Don't say that Harry. Sometimes I feel I should Obliviate you and remove the wo rds Fault and Fail from your vocabulary.' Severus chuckled. Harry snickered and raised his head to look his guardian in the eye. 'I love you, Severus.' he whispered wrapping his arms around Severus' waist. 'I love you to, Harry.' Severus smiled and hugged him back. Chapter 25 - Emilie Lacroix 'Albus, he is only doing half of DADA and duelling. I don't care what you have t o do. Re-employ that Dirty-Plank woman, bring Moody back to help Lupin during th e full moon and get Arabella to do Animagus Studies, but he is not doing anythin g else.' Severus ranted pacing up and down in front of the Headmasters desk. 'It is Grubbly-Plank, Severus and I have already written to her this morning. So you can stop that incessant pacing, it is far too early.' Albus scolded.

'Humph' Severus growled throwing himself down in the chair, and accepting the of fered tea. 'I never thought I would say this.' Albus chuckled. 'But thank Merlin for Draco Malfoy.' 'We would have found him.' Severus said vehemently. 'Yes, we would have, but would it have been in time?' the old mage replied. 'I hope so.' Severus whispered. They sat in silence. 'Do you have anything speci al planned for tomorrow?' Albus smiled at him. His eyes were twinkling like the North Star. 'Oh yes.' the Headmaster said mysteriously. 'Well?' Severus pressed him. 'You'll see.' Dumbledore chuckled. Harry woke up close to dinnertime. 'Lumos.' he whispered and soft light filled the room. 'Tempus.' 'Damn.' he said leaping out of bed. The wave of dizziness past relatively quickl y and Harry grabbed some clothes and walked out to the bathroom. Filling the tub , he relaxed as the warm water soothed his tired muscles. Carefully he unwrapped the bandages around his arms, looking at the vivid red scars that ran from his wrist to his elbow. Madam Pomfrey had managed to close them but because of the a nti-healing spell, the scars would always be there. They would fade, but they wo uld always be there. 'To remind me not to be such an idiot.' Harry muttered wryly. Feeling the water begin to cool he hopped out and dried himself. Changing quickly he went out into the living room to find his guardian waiting for him, a concerned expression on his face. 'Severus,' Harry assured him. 'I'm fine really. You don't have to worry so much. ' 'Sorry.' Severus grinned sheepishly. 'Who would have thought a year ago, that I would be worried about a Gryffindor and Harry Potter at that.' he chuckled. 'You have always worried about me, even if you didn't realise it. Why else would you have saved me from Quirrell in first year and from Sirius in third year, ev en if you didn't realise he wasn't after me, and you wouldn't have saved me last holidays.' Harry finished softly. 'Come on. Dinner will have started.' Severus took Harry's hand and he jumped the m both to the chamber. Walking into the hall, the conversation level dropped mar ginally but obviously Albus had spun the students a story because as soon as the two professors sat down the noise had returned to its previous level. 'Good evening, Harry.' Albus smiled. 'Hi.' Harry grinned back. Reaching for the platter of chicken, his sleeve rode u p and he heard a choke next to him.

'I have a potion that should get rid of those if you want.' Severus whispered. H arry shook his head. 'No, I kind of like having them there. They make me remember.' 'What will you tell anyone who asks. I mean you can't wear long sleeves all the time?' 'I'll tell them it was a training accident. Besides they will find out one day. Draco reckons he wants to write my memoirs.' Harry giggled loudly, rolling his e yes. 'That will be a masterful work of fiction.' Severus joked as Harry, still giggli ng, swatted him on the shoulder with a chicken leg. 'Harry looks much better this evening.' Hermione commented. 'Yeah, quite jovial.' Ron snickered. 'The maniacal giggle is new.' Draco observed smirking. 'Well, I imagine living with Snape would send anyone barmy.' Ginny whispered. 'And the line between sanity and madness is very fine.' Hermione said truthfully . Her proper expression, together with this comment was too much for the other t hree who promptly burst out laughing. Harry looked over at them. 'Hey, guys are you okay?' Harry sent. 'Don't worry Griffin. There mental, that's all.' Hermione sent, smiling at him f rom across the hall. Harry chuckled and returned his attention to his dinner. A couple of hours later, feeling very bloated and content, Harry walked slowly bac k to the dungeons with Severus. Together they settled onto the couch sipping war m scotch, a large glass for Severus, and a very small one for Harry. He was gett ing more used to the taste, and he liked how it warmed him up inside. The fire d anced merrily in the grate and Harry noticed the house elves had set up a tree i n the corner, ready for the next morning. Harry waved his hand, and the gifts he had snuck into Hogsmeade to buy several weeks earlier and had hidden in his roo m, appeared around the bottom of the tree. Severus grinned and did the same, alt hough he had to get his wand out before muttering a spell. 'How come you say the incantation for some spells and not for others?' Severus a sked. Harry shrugged. 'I don't actually need to say the incantation, I just have to think it. It is ju st force of habit to say it, I suppose. Sometimes if I'm angry or scared it help s to say the incantation.' 'I wonder what Albus has planned for tomorrow.' Severus wondered idly. 'You never really know with him.' Harry chuckled. He knew that Severus had invit ed the chosen ones down in the morning so they could open presents together, aft er that he really didn't care as long as he was with the people he cared about. Finishing their drinks, Harry bid his guardian goodnight and went to his room, c losing the door softly behind him. When Harry woke the next morning he thought he was at sea, the ship rolling in t he enormous waves. Upon opening his eyes however he realised that he was still s

afely tucked up in his room and the cause of his sea sickness was actually Draco and Ron bouncing up and down unmercifully on his bed in an effort to wake him. Raising his hand he froze the two boys in place and rolled over to bury his head in the pillows as trying to return to sleep. He had been having a lovely dream about his parents and wasn't that happy about being woken. 'Go away.' he growled. 'Come on Harry. No fair.' Ron whined as the three onlookers from the door giggle d and snorted. 'Grrr.' Harry groaned into his pillow. 'Harry. It's Christmas.' Hermione teased. Harry threw back the covers and releas ed the two boys with a flick of his wrist. 'Why didn't you say so?' Harry grinned, sitting up and pulling his robe and slip pers on. Laughing the four students and two professors moved into the living roo m and sat around the tree. The chosen ones pulled out their wands to levitate th e gifts to each recipient but Harry held up his hand and all four wands jumped o ut of their owners grasp and into his. 'Uh up led ore nst uh. No magic. Not for this.' he chided, and walked over to the tree, picking a brightly wrapped gift and handing it to Ron. 'Happy Christmas Ron.' he smi at his best friend. Harry continued until he had given all his gifts out bef sitting back down on the sofa, next to Severus, his head resting softly agai his guardians shoulder.

The others followed, one after another, giving out their gifts in the same fashi on. Eventually Severus was left. He picked up four small packages and one larger one, handing the red one to Ron, the blue one to Hermione, the green one to Dra co, the white one to Ginny and the larger gold one to Harry. 'Open them last.' he instructed. Eagerly they all dived on the piles of gifts in front of them. With the sound of paper tearing and assorted oohs and ahhs the f ive friends and the potions master enjoyed their Christmas morning. Almost as if on cue they picked up the present from Severus. Grinning at each other they tor e the wrappings off. Well, all except Hermione, who carefully peeled the tape ba ck and refolded the paper, placing it neatly on the floor beside her. 'Come on Hermione.' Ron whined. Each of them held a small velvet box and Harry a lso had a book that looked as if it was almost as old as time itself. 'Ready, set, go.' Draco yelled and they each opened the lid to the box. Five esp ecially loud gasps were heard as they gazed at the contents of the box. Hermione was the first to move, carefully lifting the triangle of spun gold on the long thick chain out of the box. 'Amazing.' she breathed reverently. Each of the chosen ones had a triangle. Herm ione's was embedded with sapphires, Draco's with emeralds, Ron's with rubies and Ginny's with diamonds. Harry's was in the shape of an circle and embedded with all of the stones. Carved on the back of each was a rune depicting a different e lement, and each of these matched one on the back of Harry's. 'They all fit together to make a star. The power of the star will increase expon entially when they are all together. It's all there in that book.' Severus gestu red to the old tome in Harry's lap. 'Severus. I... I don't know what to say. Where did you find them.' Harry asked, not taking his eyes of the object in his hand.

'Oh a little birdie showed me.' Severus chuckled as Erte fluttered down on the b ack of the chair. 'Don't use them together yet until you read the book.' the phoenix trilled in wa rning. Harry nodded at her, smiling as he placed the heavy chain over his neck, and tucking the gold circle underneath his t-shirt. 'Do not take them off. Not e ven to bathe, they have protection spells on them.' Erte told him. Harry passed this information on to the others and gave Severus a hug. 'Thanks.' he whispered. 'Yes, Thank you Professor.' Hermione chimed in. The others added their thanks as well following Harry's lead and placing the chains over their heads and tucking the triangles under their robes. 'I think you should all shower and change. The Headmaster would like us all in t he great hall by eleven o'clock for a day full of, how did he put it exactly, Ch ristmas joy and yuletide cheer.' Severus snorted, rolling his eyes. The others g iggled as Harry showed them to the door, each carrying their bundle of presents. 'Call me and we'll meet you in the entrance hall.' Harry said, closing the door behind them. Severus had already disappeared into his rooms, so Harry, with a wa ve of his hand cleaned the wrapping paper from the floor and walked into the bat hroom. 'Harry. We're on the way.' Harry heard in his head as he pulled the latest jumpe r from Mrs Weasley over his head. This one was emerald green with a golden griff in on it. Molly had put a charm on it though and every so often the griffin woul d take flight, flapping it's wings and flying once Harry's body on the jumper, a nd back again. Sometimes it would stop on the back of the jumper, which looked a wfully strange, like Harry had put it on backwards. 'Coming.' he sent back as he walked into the living room. 'Ready?' he asked Severus. Grabbing his hand he jumped up to the entrance hall, landing on top of Ginny and Draco. Ron and Hermione burst out laughing as Harry, red faced, helped them up. 'I see you aim hasn't improved any.' Severus smirked. 'Sorry.' Harry mumbled sheepishly. Together the group joined the queue into the hall. As most students had stayed a t school for the break it took about twenty minutes to get to the front. 'You two are Professors, can't you just push in.' Draco pouted. 'We can Mr Malfoy, but we thought we would take pity and wait here with the rest of you,' Severus smirked, knowing that wasn't what Draco meant. 'What is taking so long.' Ginny said, jumping up and down, trying to see over th e top of the people in front of her. 'I'm staving.' Ron groaned. 'Honestly Ron. You're always staving. I can't believe you already ate twelve of those chocolate frogs Harry gave you.' Hermione admonished him. The others all s nickered at the McGonagall expression on Hermione's face.

Finally they were at the head of the queue and could see what was holding everyb ody up. They were all having to stop and put ice skates on. Dumbledore had trans figured the entire hall into a massive frozen lake, complete with trees around t he edge, logs to sit on and a clear space in the middle for skating. The snow wa s still falling as two third year, muggle born Ravenclaws were showing off to th eir friends in the middle, doing camel spins and double toe loops. Everyone's sk ates seemed to have been charmed so that you could at least stay on your feet, a lthough it didn't always work and if your friends wanted you to have a wet botto m badly enough it could be arranged with a simple falling spell, much to the del ight of numerous first and second years, who were then trying this out almost no n stop on each other before turning their sights on the older students. There was an area for building snowmen, where there was to be a competition afte r lunch for the most realistic one. The snow ball fight area was over on the far side of the hall, well away from the tables that held the food and drink. Harry and the chosen ones wished Albus a Happy Christmas and leaving Severus wit h the Headmaster, skated their way across the hall slowly, with Hermione shrieki ng the whole time and clutching Ron and Harry for grim death. Ginny giggled as D raco swooped across in front of her. Then when Hermione got sniffy at him, he la unched himself into a huge double axel almost landing on top of her. 'Draco.' she shrieked and somehow managed to topple over backwards, probably due to fear. This in itself wasn't funny. The fact that she managed to grab Ron, wh o grabbed Ginny, who grabbed Harry, who grabbed Draco, who grabbed Severus, who just happened to be skating past on his way to the food tables, and they all end ed up in a heap on the ground, was. And as they had only just turned up, nearly everyone was seeking them out to wish them Happy Christmas. Laughter rang throug hout throughout the hall as the chosen ones, Harry and Severus tried to extricat e themselves with as much dignity as possible. Draco and Harry were snorting to themselves and Ron had blushed bright red to the tips of his ears when Hermione' s skirt had flew up and they all had a flash of her knickers. Hermione herself, didn't seem to notice as getting up and off the ice was at the top of her curren t priority list. 'Shut up, you two.' Ginny hissed as she helped Hermione to her feet. Harry and D raco skated away, red faced as Ron helped his sister get his girlfriend to a log to sit down. Peals of laughter rang through the air as Ginny, a grim expression on her face, went to find the boys. 'Are you alright, Professor?' Ron asked, skating over and offering his hand to t he potions master, who was still sitting on the ice shaking his head. 'Yes, Mr Weasley.' Severus sighed, taking the proffered hand. 'I'm fine, and whi le your secret is safe with me, I can't speak for those two.' the potions master pointed to the blond student and the dark haired professor who were currently l aughing so hard at Ginny's unintentional impression of Molly Weasley, they were barely able to stand. Ron rolled his eyes and skated back over to Hermione. 'Would you like something to eat?' he said softly. 'Yes please.' she smiled at him and watched as he skated towards the tables. Dra co and Harry were herded over by Ginny and plopped themselves down on the log op posite, neither meeting Hermione's gaze. Each time they looked at each other, th ey dissolved into giggles, that at one point were so bad, they both fell backwar ds off the log. 'Oh for goodness sake. It wasn't that funny.' Ginny scolded. 'What wasn't?' Hermione asked, sending the boys off once more.

'Harry, you are a professor, get up off your butt this instant and start acting like it, instead of like a twelve year old girl.' Ginny tugged on his arm. This comment sobered the two boys up instantly, 'Did she just call me a girl?' Harry asked Draco, yanking his arm back and point ing at Ginny. 'Yep, she did. A twelve year old one.' Draco snickered at the mortified expressi on on Harry's face. Harry immediately scrambled to his feet, transfiguring his s kates with a wave of his hand to some lovely warm boots, conjuring a cushion whi ch he placed on the log, and promptly sat down on, crossing his legs and folding his hands on his knee, before turning his sombre expression on the red haired g irl. 'You were saying, Miss Weasley.' Harry said primly. This time Hermione was the o ne to start giggling, and it took her several minutes to calm down, leaving Ginn y to explain the situation to Ron, who had returned levitating plates of food. H arry helped again by conjuring a small table and they all sat down to enjoy thei r brunch. Harry finished first and thought that he should probably go and see some of the other professors and students to wish them a Happy Christmas. Rising he transfig ured his skates back and skated rather haphazardly, though swiftly, across the i ce. 'I think he thinks the faster he goes the less likely his is to fall.' snickered Ron. 'I think the expression is the faster he goes the harder he falls.' Hermione smi led. Ron looked at her oddly. 'Don't worry, it's a muggle thing.' she patted his arm 'You mean Harry got a muggle expression wrong.' chortled Draco. 'It's just nice to see him enjoying himself after the last two days.' Hermione s aid. 'Yeah.' Draco scolded Ginny. 'and you had to go and ruin it, reminding he is a t eacher and all.' 'Well it is true.' she said bluntly. 'Yeah, but you didn't have to tell him.' 'Well, someone had to stop him from making an idiot out of himself. You didn't' she huffed, turning away from him and folding her arms. Ron and Hermione just sn ickered into their food. Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall and Snape were watching Harry's rather comical progress across the hall with great amusement. 'Severus, Albus, Minerva. Happy Christmas.' Harry greeted them as he skated up a nd fell face down in the magical snow because he couldn't stop. Albus and Minerv a laughed as Severus hauled him up, rolling his eyes. Harry grinned at him. 'Quite a display, Potter?' his guardian smirked. 'I see you talents do not exten d to ice skating.' 'Well, at least I'm trying.' Harry smirked back. 'I don't see you out there.' Se

verus drew himself up to his impressive height of six foot four and looked down at Harry. 'A Snape does not do anything that may result in him landing on his bottom.' Sev erus said sternly, but Harry could see his eyes twinkling. 'Oh yeah. I seem to remember you bottom getting quite well acquainted with the g round earlier on.' Harry snickered, grinning at him wickedly. 'Yes. That was unfortunate.' Severus sniffed. 'Oh, go on. Don't try and hide behind your greasy git potions master exterior. D eep down you know you enjoyed it.' Harry snorted. 'Greasy git?' Severus arched an eyebrow. Harry held up both hands. 'Hey not my words.' he said. 'Well actually, now I think about it, they were my words. But I haven't used them in ages.' Harry said quickly. 'See ya.' Harry lef t the three snickering professors and skated almost chaotically back across the hall. 'I think we should take the skates off him before he does himself, or someone el se, a serious injury.' Severus observed. 'Now, now Severus, leave the poor boy alone.' Minerva scolded. 'Poor boy, my arse.' Severus muttered as Albus chuckled at the exchange. The festivities continued throughout the day and well into the evening. The snow ball fight round robin was won by the chosen ones, who declined the prize saying they did have a distinct advantage. No one but Harry, Severus and Albus knew wh at this was, the other students just thought they were crazy to pass up a free c rate of Butterbeer and a box of Chocolate Frogs. The second place team from Rave nclaw accepted in default. Parvati and Padma Patil and Lavender Brown won the snowman competition. Using al l sorts of magic to make the snowman move and dance, they dressed it in a pink d ressing gown and a large vulture topped hat. It had a hooked nosed, carried a ha ndbag and looked distinctly like a certain potions professor. The Gryffindor fif th years and Remus were in hysterics as they remembered the boggart from third y ear. Harry chanced a look at his guardian, who was standing very stiffly, a vein throbbing in his forehead. 'You know you three are going to pay for that in the new year don't you?' Harry whispered to them. 'Yes,' giggled Lavender. 'but we couldn't resist. It was just so funny.' 'I wish Neville was here.' Parvati said softly. Harry instantly stiffened. 'What did you say that for?' her sister scolded her . 'I'm sorry. I just thought how much Neville would have loved to have seen this.' 'It's alright Parvati.' Harry smiled. 'Your right, he would have. Happy Christma s.' Harry bid them goodbye and wandered back over to the chosen ones, who were s till giggling at the "snapeman" as Draco had nicknamed it. 'You okay Harry.' Hermione whispered on catching his wistful expression.

'Yeah, I'm fine Hermione.' he said honestly, giving her a hug. 'Hey. Stop putting the moves on my girlfriend.' joked Ron. Harry rolled his eyes , releasing Hermione to sock Ron on the shoulder. 'I'm going to bed.' he yawned. 'I'll see you all in the morning.' 'Is training back on?' Ginny asked. 'If you want.' he replied. 'We want.' Ron butted in, 'but can we want it later in the morning than six o'cl ock?' he whined. 'Sorry, take it or leave it.' 'We'll take it.' Ron grumbled as the others giggled. Harry sent Albus and Severu s a goodnight and jumped to his room down in Severus' dungeons. Crawling into be d, he sent a special thank you to whomever was watching over him for giving him such a special day. His dreams that night was once again filled with wonderful d reams of his parents. The next week passed quickly. The students training most mornings and having due lling lessons in the afternoons. The Beauxbatons students who were meant to arri ve after Christmas, were put off for a week while Harry and the other teachers w orked out new lesson plans and timetables. Unfortunately, other than one fifth y ear, all the survivors were first and second years who had apparently been havin g a flying class at the time and had managed to flyaway with their teacher to sa fety when the Death Eaters attacked. The teacher had then gone back to try and s ave more students only to loose her life to a stray curse. Harry thought he was terrible when accidentally voiced his thoughts out loud about it being a shame t hat there wasn't more older students, who had more training, that had survived a s they could've helped defending the school. 'Oh god. I can 't believe I said that.' Harry paled. 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean i t.' Harry was horrified. 'It's okay Harry, we understand.' Dumbledore smiled softly. 'You'll just have to work extra hard with the students we have.' Harry and Albus were sitting quietly in the chamber off the great hall, duelling having finished an hour before. The students from Beauxbatons would be arriving the next day with the rest of the Hogwarts students other than the Slytherins, who would arrive the day after. They spent the next twenty minutes discussing th e plans for the returning Slytherins. It was becoming quite heated when Severus burst into the door dragging a kicking and screaming Blaise Zabini. 'Headmaster, I found Mr Zabini eavesdropping outside the door. He seems to have written down almost everything you have said.' Severus told them, holding up sev eral sheets of parchment. Harry looked at Albus in concern. He couldn't believe that Blaise would be spying for Voldemort, then again he was the only Slytherin left of that year. He always seemed so unlike Pansy, Crabbe and Goyle. Harry kne w his family were not dark wizards and that their loyalties did not lie with the Dark Lord. 'I think we should continue this in my office. Harry if you would.' Albus and Se verus grabbed Harry's arm and he grabbed hold of both of Blaise' hands and jumpe d them up to Dumbledore's office. 'Whoa.' Blaise whispered.

'Sit. Mr Zabini.' Snape sneered, pushing him into a chair. 'Are you going to tel l us why you were listening to the Headmaster and Professor Potter have a privat e conversation.' 'No.' Blaise said sullenly. 'I think Headmaster, that some Veritaserum might be in order.' Severus suggested . Albus nodded. 'No.' Harry said loudly, sitting next to the defiant boy. 'Blaise, come on, what happened? You are in my class. One of my best students. You said you want to fi ght against Voldemort. Why were you spying on us?' Harry asked him softly. Sudde nly Blaise looked at Harry and broke down in tears. 'Oh Harry, I'm so sorry. You-Know-Who's kidnapped my family. When the other Slyt herins were caught, my father sent me an owl. He said I had to find out as much information as I could and send it home or the rest of my family would be killed , even my little sister.' Blaise sobbed. 'Avery Nott has them and I didn't know what else to do.' 'Shh, It's okay Blaise. We'll find them.' Harry whispered patting the crying boy on the back. He looked at Albus. 'Albus, you had better send some Auror's and Arabella and Mudungus over to Blais e' house. See if they can find anything. Actually send Rita Skeeter first, she w ill be able to go in without anyone noticing. Talk to Hermione, she can help you . Severus, can you take Blaise back to Gryffindor Tower? Find Draco and explain what has happened. I need to make up some interesting fiction for our favourite piece of filth.' The two older wizards could hear the growl through the mind lin k and just looked at Harry in shock. 'Well, what are you waiting for?' he asked them both out loud. 'Oh, sorry.' Albus muttered. 'It's good to have you back Harry.' he winked at th e boy and headed for the fireplace. 'Blaise, everything is going to be okay.' Harry promised the other boy. 'Please find them, Harry.' Blaise begged. 'I will.' he vowed. Several hours later Harry showed Albus the first of the letters for Blaise to se nd. Harry had decided not to send anything that might put the Zabini family in d anger. Once they had been rescued, it didn't matter, but until then he didn't wa nt any other innocent lives on his hands. Harry had written that the Headmaster decided it would be better for the school not to expel the Slytherins that were involved, that it would be difficult to sustain a loss like that so they were go ing to be given different punishments depending on their crime. This was almost the exact opposite of what they had planned because there were a few criminal ch arges to be laid in regard to the use of the Unforgivables and if the students f ound this out they might not come back. Harry added some information regarding t he Beauxbatons students and a few non essential bits about nothing just to make it seem more believable. Albus approved it and Harry jumped down to the Gryffind or common room the have Blaise re-write and sign it. He left the Draco in charge of making sure the letter was sent and jumped back down to his dungeon rooms. H e had a light dinner with his guardian before crawling into bed exhausted. 'Good night. Asha.' he hissed, feeling the little snake crawl off his wrist wher

e she had taken to residing permanently since the day before. Upon her return sh e only slithered off when Harry was asleep or in the shower. He was so tired he didn't even notice Erte flutter down to perch on his pillow. 'Harry. How are you?' Godric shook his hand. 'Not bad.' Harry replied grinning. 'I see you managed to solve my riddle from last time.' 'Are you always so cryptic?' Harry snorted. 'Why, didn't you want to use your Ravenclaw genes.' the older man joked. 'Well. It would have been much easier if you had just told me.' 'Ah yes, the Slytherin comes out.' 'I heard that.' Salazar scolded, punching the shorter man on the arm. 'Oh stop it you two.' Rowena said. 'Harry isn't here to hear you two bicker.' 'Hi Rowena, Helga.' Harry smiled at the two witches. The five moved back to thei r living area around the fireplace. 'Have you found out a way to defeat Voldemort? Harry asked eagerly. 'Yes Harry, We think there is a way and it is using the spell that Salazar was g oing to tell you. However.' she held up her hand to halt Harry's inevitable inte rruption. 'we can't tell you for sure yet. There is something you have to find f irst. We can't tell you what it is but when you find it you will know. 'What the hell do you mean you can't tell me?' Harry yelled, standing up and pac ing the room. 'Harry. We can't, we can't take the chance of changing anything.' Helga said sof tly. 'Great.' muttered Harry flopping down in the chair, not looking at any of them. 'I think it is time you get some sleep Harry.' Godric told him. 'We will see you tomorrow night.' Harry felt himself pulling away from the founders and drifting into a much deepe r sleep. It wasn't however very restful, as he spent the whole night dreaming of looking for something, not knowing what it was but having it disappear just whe n he found it all the same. When he woke, he found Severus watching him intently from the wing chair in the corner. 'What happened?' he asked. 'You were tossing and calling again. I just wanted to make sure you were alright .' Severus said, coming over to perch on the edge of the bed. Harry took in his guardians pale complexion and dark circles, 'Did you get any sleep?' Harry asked him. 'A little.' the older man admitted. 'You look like crap.' Severus snorted.

'Well, we make a good pair. You also look fairly crappy. Now get up and get dres sed. Breakfast is on soon and the Beauxbatons students will be arriving in an ho ur.' Severus smiled, smacking Harry on the head with a spare pillow as he stood up, and then dancing out of reach and out the door. Harry sat with the other professors while they waited for the carriages to arriv e with the Beauxbatons students. Breakfast had finished, the other students had arrived via the Ministry and everyone was still sitting waiting at their tables. Minerva had already set up the sorting hat and the stool. Harry had put the hou se tables back but still the students sat all together at three tables. Harry was arguing about duelling that afternoon with the chosen ones over the mi nd link when Minerva entered, a group of dejected looking students following. 'I know you have had a long journey but before you can be accepted into Hogwarts you must be sorted into your houses. She unrolled a scroll and began with the f irst years. 'Alberge, Phillipe.' 'Gryffindor.' 'Cortege, Delphine.' 'Ravenclaw,' 'Crosier, Charlotte.' 'Gryffindor.' Delacour, Gabrielle.' Harry's gaze shot up and he stared at the small blond hair ed girl he had rescued from the lake last year. At the time he thought she was o nly about eight but now realised she must have been closer to ten. Harry took in her broken posture and red eyes and he knew, before she locked eyes with him an d shook her head, that her sister Fleur was dead. 'Only two out of four champions left.' Harry thought sadly. 'Gryffindor.' 'Faberge, Marion.' 'Hufflepuff.' 'Merinette, Yvette.' 'Slytherin.' The majority of the hall gasped, although it was hard to hear over the cheering from the seven lone Slytherins. The sorting continued. There were thirty two new first and second years. Gryffin dor got six, Ravenclaw, nine, Hufflepuff, twelve and Slytherin, five. 'And now the last person to be sorted will be joining our fifth year. Lacroix, E milie.' Harry's gaze once more snapped up to look at a blonde haired girl approa ching the sorting hat. He didn't know why, something drew his eyes. As the girl reached the top step, she looked up and locked eyes with Harry, and stopped. In fact everything stopped. The other teachers and students watched, breath held, a s Harry rose from his chair, coming around the table to stand in front of the gi rl. Their eyes never leaving each other.

'Emilie.' Harry whispered. 'Harry.' she breathed back. Harry held out both hands palms up. 'I have been looking for you.' 'I know.' she whispered placing her palms over his. A soft golden glow descended over them and soon dissipated. 'We can do it, Harry. I know we can.' Harry nodded and gave her a hug. 'I know too. Now you had better get sorted before McGonagall has my guts for gar ters for holding up everyone's lunch.' Emilie giggled and Harry reluctantly let go and walked back to his place at the head table. 'Yes, well. Miss Lacroix if you don't mind?' Minerva gestured to the stool in fr ont of her. Blushing, Emilie sat down and Minerva settled the sorting hat on her head. 'Ah, hello there.' the sorting hat intoned in her ear. 'You are a special one, a ren't you. You want to win this war. Very badly. I should put you in Slytherin b ut your courage is far to great for that. It'll have to be, GRYFFINDOR.' the Hat screamed and Emilie jumped off the stool, handing the hat back to the professor . She threw Harry a small wink and headed towards the Gryffindor table. 'Dragon, Owl. Look after her, she's important.' Harry sent. 'Well done, Einstein. You don't think, what with your little display and all, we wouldn't have worked that out for ourselves.' Draco drawled through the mind li nk. Harry growled as he watched Hermione make room for Emilie to join them. 'Tell the others and Emilie we are going to the library after lunch.' Draco nodd ed and Harry turned to his guardian. 'So, Harry, do you always throw yourself at pretty girls you've never met?' Seve rus smirked. 'Who was that girl, Harry?' Albus leaned over to ask. 'When I went to visit the founders last night, they told me about a spell to def eat Voldemort, but until I found a particular thing, they wouldn't tell me how t o do it, they said I needed this thing otherwise it wouldn't work, I would just put myself in danger. It is just like Godric not to tell me this thing was a she . Sick sense of humour that bastard has.' Harry chuckled to himself. 'But how did you know it was her?' Severus asked. Harry shrugged. 'They said when I saw it I would know, and as soon as our eyes met we both knew. She knows why she is here.' Harry replied cryptically, helping himself to some chicken. Albus and Severus exchanged glances over Harry's head. 'What was the spell?' Albus asked. 'Don't know the full details yet.' Harry mumbled through a mouthful of chicken. Lunch finished quickly and Harry rose. 'Duelling is on at two o'clock.' He told the students before striding down the a isle towards the door. As he reached them the chosen ones and Emilie rose and fo llowed him out the door and to the library. They walked to the back of the room

taking seats around their usual table in the back. Madam Pince nodded to them an d left them in peace. 'When did you know?' Harry asked Emilie. 'When I saw you.' she replied softly. 'I always knew I had to do something. I ju st didn't know what it was until I saw you.' 'Well that's great. Now that you two know, do you mind letting us in on it?' Her mione glared at them. 'Yeah Harry. You aren't known for hugging total strangers.' Ron pointed out. Har ry laughed. 'That's exactly what Severus said.' Harry proceeded to tell them what he had tol d his mentor and guardian. 'I will find out tonight about the spell. I'm not sur e how Emilie comes into all of this though.' he admitted. 'I'm not sure either. I just know that I do.' she smiled at him and squeezed his hand. 'Emilie, I want you to make sure you are with one of the chosen ones at all time s. This maybe the only way to defeat Voldemort and I can't do it without you. Ac tually I want at least three of you all together at any one time, except in my r ooms, with me or in Gryffindor Tower. Okay.' Harry looked at each one in turn. ' Draco, I know, I know it will cramp your style, but that's how it is.' Harry tol d him as the boy opened his mouth. Silenced, Draco sat back in a huff. 'Don't worry, we can be alone in the tower.' Ginny whispered to him, making sure Ron couldn't hear her. 'Now I am still waiting for Asha to let me know when Voldemort is coming. Some s erpents from the forest are gathering information for her. I don't think he will come before the students return as he thinks all the Slytherins will be here to help him from the inside. They arrive the day after tomorrow, which means we ha ve anything from two days to two weeks. I can't see him waiting much longer then that. He's desperate. I hear him every so often.' The chosen ones just looked a t each other as Emilie squeezed Harry's hand once more. 'We had better go.' Hermione said looking at her watch and standing up. Harry no dded and they all headed out. 'Harry teaches duelling and DADA.' Hermione explained to Emilie. 'Normally we tr ain everyday but the rest of the students also wanted to as well, so Harry has b een teaching every day of the holidays.' 'Not every day.' Harry reminded her, blushing and keeping his gaze downward, whi le striding forward purposefully. Emilie looked at the chosen ones in confusion, particularly when none would meet her eye. 'Harry will tell you later.' Hermione told her, knowing that Harry would indeed do just that. Emilie nodded and followed the others to the hall. Harry open the large oak doors with a flick of his wrist. 'How did he do that?' Emilie whispered to Ginny. 'Oh there is a lot you don't know about Harry.' she giggled, her eyes twinkling. 'I'll ask Professor Dumbledore to show you.' Harry strode into the hall and the students fell quiet. The younger students wer

e once again sitting around the edges of the hall, leaving Harry's duelling clas s and the older students standing in the middle. The teachers, who seemed to enj oy watching the duelling classes, were still seated up at the head table. 'Hello. Today I want you to get into groups of four. We are going to try two on two duelling using only the curses we have learnt. Remember, if you use any othe r you will have to duel me and I will make sure that it is a painful and embarra ssing experience, Mr Finch-Fletchley, Mr Boot. I heard that.' Harry gave the two fifth years a look and smirked as both instantly froze. 'Now pair up and choose another pair to duel.' Chatter broke out as the students paired up. Harry walke d over to the chosen ones. 'I want you guys to test Emilie. See what level she is at. Okay?.' Harry told th em. 'Nothing too nasty.' he added as an afterthought upon seeing the look on Emi lie's face at having four wands pointed at her. Harry chuckled as he walked over to Albus and Severus. He cast a safety charm around the centre of the hall as w ell as on himself. 'Begin.' he called out when he saw that the class had spread out and was waiting expectantly. Different curses and hexes filled the air. Harry smiled at his men tor and guardian before moving off through the hall between the students. 'Mandy, lift you hand a little higher. A bit more. Good. Stuart, you need to wor k on your reflexes. You're still dodging to slow.' a little further on. 'Blaise, how are you doing?' Harry asked softly. 'I'm okay, Harry. I mean Professor.' the other boy smiled at him. 'We will find them. I promise.' Harry said. Blaise nodded and went back to his d uel. Ginny waited until she saw Harry engrossed trying to correct the wand movem ents of a particularly inept fourth year, before dashing over to the Headmaster. 'Professor Dumbledore?' 'Yes Miss Weasley?' the blue eyes twinkled. 'You know what I want to ask, don't you?' Ginny grinned. 'Yes, Miss Weasley. I think a short display might go down quite well. Especially in helping the new students feel safe.' 'How did you know?' the red head asked. The Headmaster, eyes still twinkling mad ly, just smiled and lay his finger along side his nose. Ginny chuckled and ran b ack to the others. 'How's she doing?' Harry asked Draco, who was watching Emilie take on Hermione a nd Ron. 'She's pretty good. Similar to us when we started with you.' 'Damn.' 'Damn?' 'Yes. Damn. We have a lot of work to do.' Harry shrugged and walked over to the others. 'Owl, Lion, Let me have a go.' he sent. Immediately the two lowered thei r wands and Harry walked in front of them, banishing his shield and facing the n ew girl. 'Emilie, Just watch me and dodge as best you can. Don't worry about sending anyt

hing back. Just watch my wrist, that will tell you when the next spell is coming .' The blond girl nodded. Harry began slowly, sending basic spells, quite soon h e found he could pick up the pace. The look of determination on her face soon ch anged to desperation and Harry found himself chuckling at the faces Emilie was p ulling. Seeing him laughing at her, she got angry and shot off an unexpected leg locker curse. Unfortunately Harry was laughing so hard by this point he could b arely see. Moments later he was on the floor, legs locked in place and tears str eaming down his face. The chosen ones rushed over, thinking something was wrong. Harry shook his head, removed the curse himself and took Ron's offered arm, sta nding gasping for breath. 'Oh Emilie, I'm so sorry but thank you.' he choked out. 'Thank you?' Emilie once again looked confused. 'Yes. I haven't laughed like that in ages. I'm just sorry it was at you expense. ' Harry pulled himself together, wiping his cheeks with the back of his hand. 'That's alright Harry. I have a feeling that this confused expression is one I s hould become accustomed to wearing around you.' she giggled 'You have no idea.' Ginny whispered to Hermione and both girls giggled. Harry ig nored them and called a halt to the other duels. 'Well done. Now I..' Harry started before he was interrupted mid speech by a voi ce in his head. 'Harry.' 'What?' he sent back. 'How long has it been since you went up against the chosen ones and Severus.' Al bus sent smiling. Harry turned around and faced his mentor. 'No.' he said out loud. 'Harry you need to practice.' 'No.' 'Harry, Voldemort is coming. You need the practice.' the Headmaster chided. Harr y rolled his eyes. 'Pulling the big guns out now, aren't you?' Harry told him sarcastically. 'It would be good for the new students to see.' Albus said. 'I take it back. You bought the bloody tanks out. Oh all right.' Harry hissed. T he Hogwarts students all cheered, mostly because it meant they could see their g reasy potions master, flat out on the floor again. 'Now you will see something worth watching.' Draco told Emilie as he found her a space to sit. 'What's happening?' she asked him. 'Harry is duelling.' Draco said, gesturing to the middle of the hall where the o ther chosen ones and Severus stood. 'What all of you?' Draco nodded grinning. 'All at once?' Again he nodded.

'I wouldn't be grinning so much if I were you, Draco, if you remember last time we did this.' Harry said walking up to them. 'Yeah but we have been training, you haven't.' Draco smirked and walked off to j oin the others. 'Don't look so worried Emilie, I will be fine.' 'It's not you I'm worried about.' she chuckled. Harry flashed her a grin before walking to the middle of the hall. Seeing that all the remaining students had fo und seats, and flinging one last glare at his mentor for good measure, he put up the wards and stood in the centre of the hall, the chosen ones and his guardian spread out around him. 'At least this is a chance to test my shields.' Harry thought optimistically, re membering his initial plan back before Christmas and casting his personal shield s. He stood facing Severus and Draco, leaving Ginny behind him as she was the we akest of the curse throwers. 'Begin.' Harry heard the Headmaster call out. Immediately Harry was hit from fiv e sides. He stood there, head lowered as the curses hit his shield. It rocked bu t held and Harry felt his magic process the curses and rebuild his shield that b it stronger. The next time the five curses hit, his shield rocked a little less. 'Severus, please send something stronger.' Harry sent through the mind link. 'Why?' 'Just do it. I'm building my shields.' Severus shrugged and sent a curse that wa s almost an Unforgivable. Harry felt the initial shock and then spent a tense fe w minutes building the resistance up against it as Severus held the curse on him . 'Thanks.' Harry sent to his guardian. This continued for almost fifteen minutes before Harry raised his head, a wicked gleam in his eyes. 'Oh shit.' he heard from both Ron and Draco. Harry immediately raised both hands and began sending the curses back. Several ricocheted off the walls high above the students and the safety wards. Harry began to move about. Dodging, spinning and twisting away from the spells. He had both Ginny and Ron taken out of play b y ducking at just the right time and they were hit by hexes sent by Draco and Se verus. They were quickly revived though and Harry chuckled, starting to send his curses back much faster now. Again he managed to full body bind two, although t his time it was Draco and Ginny. Hermione looked almost shocked that Harry had g ot to Draco, who always seemed to be in at the finish of all of their duels. Har ry took advantage of her lapse in concentration to say goodbye to her as well. H e could see her grunting in disgust as he sent her to the edge of the wards. Conjuring the staffs again, tossed one each to Ron and Severus, making Ron drop his wand, which Harry immediately sent outside the wards, when he reached to cat ch the staff. Click, clack, click. Very quickly the three opponents moved. No on e was quite sure how Harry was able to able to know when Ron was going to strike from behind, he seemed to have all of his attention focused on Severus who was in front of him, but he did. Severus' staff came up over Harry's head and as the potions master brought it down towards the other staff, Harry made an awfully u northodox move. He leant forward and grabbed Severus wand out of his right sleev e holster, ducked under the man's arm, swept his legs out from under him and ban

ished him to the edge of the wards, complete with full body bind and locking spe ll. The look on Snape's face was too much for Ron who burst out laughing. Harry stood and waited until Ron had some semblance of control of himself before raisi ng his staff. Ron, however, just shook his head, smiled and knelt before Harry. His head bowed. Placing his staff on the ground in front of him. Harry grinned a nd placed a hand on Ron's shoulder, before offering a hand to help him up. He di sabled the safety wards with a flick and revived Severus, Hermione and Ginny bef ore walking over to where Draco lay. The blonde was looking up at him in awe. 'What, the training not enough?' Draco couldn't say anything, but his eyes were pleading with Harry. Harry waved the counter curse and helped Draco up. 'What?' Harry asked again as the look of awe in Draco's eyes had not diminished. 'Do you know what that meant.' Draco whispered. 'What what meant?' Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Oh god. Sometimes I forget that you were brought up with Muggles.' Draco took a deep breath. 'By kneeling and laying down his weapon Ron showed you the greates t respect one wizard can show another. He places your life before his and will f ollow you wherever you need him, forever.' The last word was breathed with almos t reverence. 'Oh god.' Harry breathed, instantly realising that this was why the hall was sti ll silent. He turned and faced his best friend, walking slowly so he stood in fr ont of him. Just as he was about to kneel before him, Ron seemed to realise what he was about to do and grabbed his arm. 'No.' Ron whispered. 'This is the way it should be. You are a great leader Harry . We have always known it. You can do this, and we will be with you all the way. ' Ron finished softly. Harry choked back a sob and threw his arms around his fri end and hugged him fiercely. The chosen ones joined them and after kneeling befo re him each took his offered hand, standing and receiving the same fierce hug. T hey all stood in the middle of the hall, hugging and laughing. The Star of Light was back. They had been through some rough spots these last few weeks but they were back. Albus and Severus looked on, smiling fondly, as whispers filled the h all. 'Emilie.' Harry said suddenly. The five looked towards the blond girl, currently sitting on the bench. She was wide-eyed, her mouth gaping. Harry walked towards her and she rose to meet him. She to began to kneel but Harry grabbed her. 'No.' he said. 'It has to be done out of respect, not awe. You don't even know m e. Let alone respect me. When and if the time comes you will know, but I don't w ant you to think you have to because the chosen ones have.' he whispered, tuckin g a lock of hair behind her ear. 'I will just have to get to know you then.' Emilie told him, smiling. 'I hope so.' Harry smiled and gave her a hug. The rest of the afternoon Harry spent with Emilie, Hermione having bustled the o thers off to the library. 'O.W.L.s are in five months you know.' was said to a chorus of groans. Harry and Emilie just snickered and went for a walk to the lake. It was still snowing and bitterly cold but the warming charm Harry put up around them, surrounded them b oth in heat and protected them from the snow.

For three hours they talked and Harry noticed it was dark. 'It's dangerous to be out here this late.' Harry said glancing around. Clasping Emilie's hand in his he jumped to his room in the dungeons. 'Wow.' she whispered. 'I hope you aren't talking about the state of my room.' Harry joked, picking clo thes up off the floor and tossing them in the wardrobe. Emilie just blushed and settled on the bed. An hour later Harry heard his guardian calling and reluctant ly they headed to the great hall for dinner. Harry walked next to the French gir l, rolling over in his mind the things he had learnt, their shoulders occasional ly bumping as they exchanged small smiles. 'Can you do that thing with the doors again?' Emilie asked him, as they approach ed the great hall. Harry smiled and flicked his wrist slowly to the left so only one door opened. 'I have to be careful, sometimes I get carried away. Once I almost blew the door s off the hinges.' Harry snickered. Emilie giggled with him as he walked her to the Gryffindor Table. 'Hi guys.' Harry greeted the chosen ones. 'Hey, Harry. How was your afternoon?' Draco winked at him. Harry just snorted an d swiped Draco on the shoulder. 'Fine. Get much studying done?' he asked. 'Oh god. Don't even talk about it. My head is spinning.' Ron groaned, banging hi s forehead on the table. Harry just shook his head and grinning walked towards t he head table. 'Good evening Harry.' Albus greeted him. 'Evening.' Harry returned smiling at both his mentor and guardian, as he pulled out his carved chair and sat down. 'How are things going with Miss Lacroix?' Albus asked with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. Harry rolled his. 'God, you two are as bad as Draco. As much as I am drawn to Emilie, Albus. I hav e only know her for less than a day.' 'Didn't stop you this morning, Romeo.' Severus snorted into his pumpkin juice. H arry growled at him and continued filling his plate. 'Everything all set for tomorrow?' Harry asked the Headmaster, ignoring his stil l chuckling guardian. 'Yes, Sirius and the Committee will arrive by eleven o'clock. The Auror's of cou rse will come with them. The Hogwarts Express will arrive at twelve. It is leavi ng Kings Cross early. The hearing will be held here in the great hall in front o f the students as well a select members of the press.' 'Do you think that is a good idea?' Harry stopped eating and stared at the old m age who sat calmly eating his roast beef. 'The story will come out no matter what. Do you really want it to come out first from the parents of the Slytherins?' Albus raised his eyebrows and looked over

his half moon glasses. Harry sighed. 'No, you're right. Better to get it over with.' Harry turned back to his meal, c hewing, both his food and, over what he and Emilie had talked about earlier. FLASHBACK She had been born two months after Harry. She wouldn't tell him the date at firs t, but eventually she told him she was born at the end of October. Halloween, to be exact. Harry smiled, understanding why she was hesitant to tell him. 'It will be nice to have something to celebrate on Halloween.' he had smiled at her. It turns out that Emilie had been born in Marseilles, but her parents had m oved to America when she was a baby. She found out later that they had actually gone into hiding. Unfortunately her grandparents had to tell her this, as her pa rents hadn't hidden well enough and were eventually found by Death Eaters. Harry gasped when she told him, tears springing to his eyes. 'Did they tell you why you were hiding?' Harry asked her softly. She shook her h ead sadly. 'I was only six when they died and they never told my grandparents why they left in the first place. Until I came here I still didn't know. I just kept having s trange dreams.' 'What sort of dreams?' Now it was Harry's turn to be confused. 'I'm not sure. They have these funny people in them. When I wake up I usually ca n't remember much but I know that the two guys have really funny names and one o f the ladies is really smart and the other is a major worrywart.' Harry gaped at her. 'What?' she asked him. 'You dream about the Founders?' 'The who?' 'The Founders. The four Founders of Hogwarts. Helga, Rowena, Salazar and Godric. The Founders.' Harry stared. 'Yeah. That's them. Do you know them?' The confused expression had returned. 'Know them.' Harry chuckled. 'I'm related to them.' This time Emilie was gaping. 'You're kidding?' 'Nope. Fraid not. Why do you think I fight the way I do. And there is the fact t hat I don't need a wand.' 'There is a lot I need to learn about you. Isn't there?' Emilie giggled. 'You don't know the half of it.' Harry rolled his eyes. END FLASHBACK 'Harry.' Severus nudged him. 'What? Oh sorry. Did you know she dreams of the founders too?' Harry told his me ntor and guardian. 'Who?' Albus whispered.

'Emilie, of course. Who did you think I was talking about?' Harry rolled his eye s. 'Does she really?' 'Yep. Hey Albus.?' 'Hay is what horses eat, Harry.' the Headmaster reprimanded him. 'Ah. Sorry.' Harry blushed to the tips of his ears as Severus snorted quietly ne xt to him. 'Well. Do you know her story? I mean about her family.?' 'Yes Harry. I know the stories of all my students.' Albus smirked. 'You didn't know mine real well though. Did you?' Harry grinned to show he meant nothing by the comment. With everything that had happened over the last six mon ths, what had happened during the summer at the Dursley's had paled into insigni ficance. Albus smiled and shook his head in apology. 'Come on Harry. I think it's time to get some rest. We have an enormous day tomo rrow.' Harry grinned at Severus. 'Ever the mother.' he mouthed at Albus and Minerva, who both started snickering, and followed his guardian out of the hall via the Gryffindor Table. 'I'll see you lot for training in the morning. Okay?' he told them and strode qu ickly after the bat like figure of the potions master. Severus placed his arm around Harry's shoulders as they walked towards the dunge ons. 'So, Emilie is very pretty. Don't you think?' Severus said. Harry rolled his eye s. 'Yes, Severus.' he replied, not rising to the bait. 'You two seem to be very happy together.' This comment sent Harry snorting. 'You make it sound like we just got married.' Harry giggled. 'Well you never know.' Severus said stroking his chin as Harry opened the doors to their rooms. Harry smacked his guardian across the shoulder. 'Severus, for goodness sake. I have quite enough to contend with at the moment w ithout you trying to set me up. Thank you very much.' 'I just want you to be happy, Harry.' Severus looked down on the young man he th ought of as the son he never had. 'I am happy.' Harry replied sincerely, giving him a hug. 'I am happy.' Chapter 26 - Special Forces. 'Harry, have you read the book?' Godric asked him. Harry shook his head. 'I haven't really had time.' 'You need to read the book. It's all in there. It will tell you what you need to know.'

Everything faded and Harry woke with a start. Damn, he wanted to ask the Founder s about Emilie, not to mention, there was still the small matter of them not tel ling him that the thing, was a she. 'Harry. You mussst get up.' Asha hissed at him. Harry smiled and patted the snak e fondly. 'I'm up.' he hissed back, swinging his legs over the bed and standing up. Grabbi ng some clothes he showered quickly, changed and jumped up to the great hall. 'Morning.' 'Morning Harry.' the chosen ones greeted him. 'Morning Emilie.' Harry whispered softly. 'Hi Harry.' Emilie blushed. Hermione and Ginny exchanged a look as Draco winked at Ron. The rest of the students began filing into the hall. It seemed as if mos t of the new first and second years had come for a look as well. Harry invited t hem to sit down before beginning. 'Hello everyone. Today we are going to try something new. After warm up I am goi ng to pair you up again but this time we are going to practice with the staffs a gainst each other. I will charm each pair so that no one will be injured but if you aren't careful it will hurt.' Harry smiled and gestured for the chosen ones to begin the warm up. Walking around the edge of the hall he watched the student s carefully. He would have to pick a team that was capable of handling themselve s outside the castle. The new wards would keep the dark creatures away, but it w ould have no effect on Death Eaters or Voldemort himself, if he managed to get p ast Harry and the chosen ones. The remaining students could attack from the ramp arts as in the previous battle on Halloween. Most of them now were very fit. The extra training over the holidays, Harry was pleased to see, had really helped. Harry himself, deep down, was exhausted, but he had felt like that for a while n ow. The students had paired off and Harry conjured enough staffs for everybody. A bu rst of red light shot out of his hand towards the ceiling, where it exploded wit h a pop and rained down on all the students causing them all to glow red for a m oment. The safety wards. 'Now. When your staff connects with your opponent. They will glow red for a mome nt. This counts as a hit. Ten hits and you're out. When you have either won or l ost, find a new opponent to take on. Begin.' He called out. He saw that while mo st students were circling their opponents warily, Ron and Draco were going at ea ch other tooth and nail and Hermione and Ginny were not far behind. Harry smiled and took Emilie over to the corner. He conjured a staff and a founders ghost fo r her and explained the exercises. She soon got the hang of it and was up to the third one when Harry finally turned his attention back to the rest of the class . He soon realised that he shouldn't have left them for that long. All the duels h ad stopped except one and it was currently centre stage with the other students calling out for who ever they wanted to win. Screams of 'Go Ron' or 'Go Draco' w ere bouncing around the hall. Harry cast a silencing charm around Emilie so she could concentrate and walked over to stand between Hermione and Ginny. 'Will someone please tell me what is going on?' Harry whispered. 'They were taking up far too much room. Diving and twisting to get away from eac h other. And their attacks were so ferocious that the other students had to get

out of their way. So they decided to watch. I think Justin has a betting pool ha ppening down their.' Hermione pointed to a dark haired boy in the corner. Harry watched the two boys carefully. Draco was still a bit unsure and this was his weapon. Deciding to mix it up a bit Harry whispered. 'Watch this.' He pointed to the two boys and the staffs they were using suddenly became swords. A moments hesitation from both and it was back into it. Harry gr inned at the speed with which they picked up the fight once more. They looked li ke two swashbuckling hero's fighting in an old muggle movie. 'Good one Harry.' Ginny giggled. 'You ain't seen nothing yet.' Harry smiled and disappeared. Appearing instantly right in the middle of the fight, just as both Draco and Ron had lunged towards one another. Instantly both swords stopped only inches from Harry's chest and th roat. Someone screamed. 'Good reflexes.' Harry smiled at the two, now pale, faces. 'Ah Griffin, I think you could be in trouble.' Draco sent. Harry shifted his gaz e slightly to see Hermione storming across the hall towards him. He turned to fa ce her, and drawing himself up as tall as he could, he gave her a glare, worthy of Snape himself. She stopped. 'Don't do that Griffin, it's creepy.' Ron snorted over the mind link, which sent Draco and Ginny dissolving into giggles. Hermione however just glared back at h im. 'Owl. Do not question me or my methods. Not in front of the students.' Harry sen t sternly. 'But Griffin, Don't you think that was a bit dangerous.' 'Do you honestly think I would have done it if I didn't trust both Dragon and Li on implicitly. They would no more hurt me than you.' Harry growled. 'But what if there had been an accident.' Hermione was almost pleading through t he mind link by this stage. No one in the hall had moved. They were riveted by t he sight of their Duelling professor staring down one of his students. Of course , it was one of his best friends and they didn't know they were actually having a conversation. They thought they were just glaring at each other. 'There wouldn't have been. They are too well trained now.' Ron and Draco got eno rmous grins on their faces at this unintentional compliment and shook hands befo re slapping each other on the back. Harry turned his attention back to the class . 'Okay enough fun for one morning. Back to work. And you two.' he said turning to Ron and Draco, and banishing their swords. 'You can go round and help the other s. I think you have done enough.' Harry smirked at them. He spent the next two hours walking around the hall. Correcting grips and demons trating both attack and defence positions, and occasionally checking on Emilie, whom he had left in the capable hands of Hermione and Ginny.

All too soon the lesson was over, for the students anyway, and Harry sent them a ll off to change for breakfast which had been delayed until ten as it was the la st day of the holidays. He was rearranging the hall when the other Professors be gan to trickle in. 'Good morning Harry.' Albus greeted him. 'Morning.' Harry grinned. 'How was training?' Severus asked. Harry paused for a moment to try and think wh at to say. 'It was. Well let's just say it was interesting.' Harry rolled his eyes as his m entor and guardian snickered, both having obviously gotten the full story from R on or Draco. 'If you knew why did you ask.' Harry said in exasperation. 'Just to see the look on your face.' Severus snorted louder. 'Children.' Harry muttered setting the last of the table placing's with a wave o f his hand. 'Come on.' he said taking Severus' arm. 'I think your mummy is looki ng for you.' Severus snatched his arm back with a pout. 'I'll tell your godfather on you.' Once again Harry rolled his eyes as Albus con tinued to snicker quietly. 'Oh for Merlin's sake, have you been drinking a new potion this morning or somet hing. And if so can I have some. I have a feeling I might need it today.' This s obered the potions master up rather quickly and the three professors took their seats. Soon the hall was filled with chattering students. Harry, Albus and Sever us were discussing the coming day when the owls swooped in with the morning post . Hedwig landed in Severus plate causing Harry to smirk at the older man, praisi ng Hedwig for her aim as he untied the note from around her leg. Giving her a bi t of bacon and offering her his pumpkin juice, he read through the letter. 'Yes.' he said, instantly jumping up from the table and sprinting into the chamb er and jumping to the entrance hall, sending. 'Dragon, grab Blaise and meet me in the entrance hall.' Harry paced for a minute or so before being joined by the two boys. 'Harry?' Blaise said hesitantly. Harry stopped pacing and looked at the other bo y. 'It's okay Blaise. We found them.' Harry was pushed back a few steps as Blaise e nveloped him in a hug. 'Thank you Harry. Thank you so much.' Blaise sobbed, tears streaming down his fa ce. Harry patted him on the back. Draco sent Harry a grateful look. 'Go and enjoy your breakfast, and remember don't talk to anyone about this.' Bla ise nodded happily and followed Draco back into the hall. Harry jumped across to the chamber and walked back in, sitting down again. 'Harry?' Severus sent questioningly. 'They found the Zabini's.' Harry sent back. 'Thank Merlin.' Albus replied.

'Yes the Auror's are keeping the house under surveillance. They were only being watched by Avery and two others. We have three Auror's impersonating them under Polyjuice in case anybody comes by. Avery and the others are at the Ministry bei ng questioned.' 'We?' Severus arched an eyebrow. 'I have been working with Sirius on this one.' Harry sent sheepishly. 'It was im portant. I'm going to change. I'll be back.' and with that Harry disappeared. Se verus leaned over to Albus. 'We are going to lose him aren't we?' he asked the Headmaster. 'I'm afraid so Severus. I feel once Voldemort is dead and Hogwarts is safe we wi ll indeed lose him. I believe that Harry will be called to help with things far more important.' 'Bloody Gryffindor morality.' Severus muttered. 'There, there, Severus. Harry is only doing what he thinks is best.' 'I know. I just wish for once, Harry would do what he wants.' Just then the big oak doors opened and the Minister of Magic, his council and a group of twenty Aurors, who immediately stationed themselves around the room, wa lked in and up towards the head table. 'Albus.' 'Sirius.' The two men shook hands. 'Where Harry?' 'Changing.' 'Is he ready.' 'As he'll ever be.' Severus muttered, shaking Sirius' hand. 'Congratulations on finding the Zabini's so quickly.' he whispered. 'Oh that wasn't me. That was all Harry.' Sirius chuckled proudly. 'He's like a d og with a bone, when he gets onto something, that boy. I bet you didn't even kno w.' Sirius laughed as Severus raised an eyebrow. 'I kept getting all these owls at really strange times like two in the morning. They had all sorts of orders to do things on them. Very nicely worded orders mind you, but orders just the same . I think you should check here. We haven't tried this place yet. Don't you thin k it would be better to have someone Polyjuice as Avery instead of just removing them, at least until the trials.' Sirius tried to use Harry's voice for the las t three sentences, making Severus and Albus laugh. 'What's so funny.' Harry asked as he joined them. 'Ah just the man we were talking about.' Sirius grinned, giving his godson a hug . 'Can I talk to you?' Harry whispered. Sirius nodded and leaving the Headmaster t o explain what was happening, they went into the chamber. Sirius waved off the A uror that tried to follow them in. 'It's alright Scott. I don't think Harry Potter is going to try and assassinate

the Minister of Magic.' he told him, closing the door in his face. 'Not unless his name was Cornelius Fudge.' Harry muttered under his breath, caus ing his godfather to burst out laughing. 'What's the plan.' Harry asked him, still giggling. 'The Slytherins will be brought up from Hogsmeade and taken into the hall as if they were returning to school. Once they are in I ask you to seal the doors to t he hall. No one short of Voldemort or Albus could break your locking spells. We have already performed Priori Incantatem on all of the wands so we know what spe lls have been cast. It is only a matter of handing out which punishments for whi ch students. 'How many.' Harry asked him. Sirius knew what he meant. 'Twelve suspended. Sixteen expelled, and eleven to Azkaban.' Sirius finished sof tly. 'Oh my god.' Harry leaned on a chair. Eleven people had used an Unforgivable cur se on him. Eleven students had used and Unforgivable curse on him. 'And one has been sentenced to have his magic dampened.' 'Oh, no' Harry couldn't stand up, sitting quite abruptly in the chair behind him . Having your magic dampened was horrible. It was the new punishment the Ministr y had come up with to replace the Dementors Kiss. You still had you soul. You co uld live quite happily. But you could no longer do magic. Harry thought it was a lmost worse. At least with the Kiss you didn't really know you were living. 'Warrington.' he choked out. Sirius nodded sadly. 'I'm sorry kiddo. It never really seems to end for you does it.' 'You don't know the half of it.' Harry muttered trying to pull himself together. Outside in the hall things were being rearranged. Three extra tables had been co njured, one for the teachers as the Minister and his council had taken over the head table, one for Harry and Draco as the victims and one for the lawyers calle d by the Ministry to defend the Slytherins, not that they really could do anythi ng but sit there. There was too many witnesses and too much evidence. 'I hope Harry is okay.' Hermione whispered. The chosen ones had taken to talking out loud now that Emilie was there. 'Why? What's going on?' Emilie asked. The others filled her in on the events at the Yule Ball and watched as the blood drained from her face. 'You're kidding.' she whispered, her jaw dropping as the others shook their head s. 'Poor Harry. That explains the look in his eyes.' she said softly. 'What look.' Ginny asked. 'Sometimes, when he thinks no one is looking, his eyes just sort of glaze over w ith so much pain and sorrow, it's heart wrenching.' Draco nodded, agreeing with her. He had seen that look too. No one new what to say to that, so they sat in u ncomfortable silence until Harry and Sirius walked back in. 'He's very pale.' said Hermione. Ever the observant one.

It had just gone midday and the hall was silent as they waited. Four reporters a nd their photographers were waiting impatiently by the teachers table. They coul d hear the Slytherins coming up the steps outside the castle. The oak doors open ed and they filed in all chatting madly. The silence of the rest of the students filtered in to their consciousness and they stopped where they were and grew si lent. 'Tony, what's going on.' a small third year asked the bigger boy behind him. Sud denly two seventh years, upon catching sight of the Minister and his council, re alised what was going on and bolted for the door. 'Oh no you don't.' yelled Harry, standing up so suddenly his chair toppled over. He raised his palm and the huge doors slammed shout with a resounding bang. Dra co helped Harry right his chair and he sat down, his rage bubbling just below th e surface. Severus, seeing the look in Harry's eyes, walked slowly over and lay a calming hand on his charge's arm. 'Traitor.' hissed a seventh year Slytherin. 'Please sit down.' Sirius told the Slytherins, gesturing to the currently empty Slytherin table. The members of that house not involved in, The Incident, as it had been named, had arrived yesterday with the others from the Ministry and were sharing the other three tables. Warily the forty students sat down, the older s tudents arrogant, the younger ones slightly scared. 'I think you know why you are here.' Sirius began. 'You are each charged with di fferent offences under the Misuse of Magic Act. Your wands have all been checked with Priori Incantatem and it is now time to answer to your crimes.' Sirius rea d out twelve names. 'Could the students whose names I have read out stand up ple ase.' There was a scraping of chairs and two fourth years, five third years, fou r second years and one first year stood up. 'Do you have anything to say.' Looki ng at each other they shook their heads except one. 'I'm really sorry Draco, Professor Potter.' One of the second years, Graham Prit chard said coming over to the table where Harry and Draco were sitting. Only Har ry knew this boy had nothing to apologise for really. Yes he had been there, but his wand had cast nothing. He hadn't tried to stop anyone but he was only a sec ond year. He wasn't really a bad kid, he was just easily led. Very much like Nev ille had been. Sirius had been hoping he would apologise, then he would be able to just give him detention, albeit a number of them. 'It's okay Graham.' Harry said softly, hearing both Draco and Severus let out th e breaths they had been holding. 'Now.' Sirius continued before any of the others could say anything. 'It has bee n decided by the council that you are all to be suspended for a period of six mo nths. This means you will be able to return on September first, however you will be repeating the year you are currently in. Any questions?' 'Our wands.' a fourth year asked. 'Will be returned to you next year.' Sirius told them. 'Mr Pritchard, because yo u have shown remorse for your actions you will not be suspended and will be able graduate with your peers, however you will have other punishments that will be set by the Headmaster.' Graham nodded slowly, his gaze downward in shame. 'You m ay sit.' Sirius walked over and handed Albus twelve wands and a roll of parchmen t. He then read out sixteen more names. One second year, three fourth years, five f ifth years, four sixth years and three seventh years. 'Please stand.' There was

a much louder scrape of chairs this time. 'I don't know if you understand the se riousness of what you have done. While not using Unforgivable curses, as such. T he curses, hexes and spells you all did use, have shown a flagrant disregard to another person's suffering. The suffering of both of a fellow student and a teac her. For your crimes you have all been expelled from Hogwarts. At the end of thi s trial, you and your luggage will be taken back to Hogsmeade where the Hogwarts Express is waiting to take you back to Kings Cross. You also may sit.' Sirius w alked over to the table where Draco and Harry sat, placing eighteen wands in fro nt of them. One by one Harry snapped them, looking at the owner of the wand as h e did so. You could hear the groans from the Slytherin table throughout the hall . When there was a pile of broken wands on the table in front of him, he stood u p, gesturing for Draco to do the same. Casting a anti burn charm on the table, h e conjured a small flame and shot it at the pile of wands on the table. The resu lt was a very small pile of ashes after the wands had burned for several seconds . 'Well done.' Draco whispered as they both sat down. 'That was unusual.' Harry heard from Severus who was still standing behind him. Harry turned slightly and smirked at his guardian. 'Thank you Harry. Now to continue, would the following students please stand and come out to the front of the room.' Sirius read out another eleven names. Four seventh years, three sixth years, two fifth years, one fourth year and Merlin, a second year. Harry glanced over at Warrington, who was sitting back in his chai r, arms crossed as if he had not a care in the world. Sirius had to take a deep breath before continuing. 'You have all been found guilty of using the Cruciatus curse on another person. It requires an enormous amount of power and hatred as well as a blatant disregard to human life to use this curse and as all of you kn ow, the sentence for this is life in Azkaban Prison. The seven of you who are no t yet of age have each been sentenced to twenty five years which was the maximum sentence the council was able to give. Those four of you that are now of age yo u are sentenced to life in Azkaban. Thank you.' Sirius nodded to the Aurors who came forward, placing magical handcuffs on each of the students who were all ope nly glaring at Harry. 'You'll pay for this Potter. You too, Malfoy.' Millicent Bulstrode hissed across the hall. 'The Dark Lord will have his revenge.' Adrian Pucey yelled. 'You will all die.' Terence Higgs said acidly. These comments continued as Siriu s brought the eleven wands over to the table and Draco snapped them and Harry in cinerated them, one at a time, never taking his eyes off the owner of each wand. The Aurors hustled the prisoners from the hall after Harry unlocked the doors. 'Anthony Warrington, would you please come up here for a moment.' Warrington got to his feet and swaggered to the front of the hall. 'Dragon, do they teach you all how to walk like that once your sorted into that house?' Harry sent. 'Nah. Its' just a gift.' Draco replied and Harry tried to turn his snort into a cough. The Slytherin seventh year was standing in front of Sirius, who was holdi ng the last wand in his hands. Sneering, he reached out for it. 'Uh, uh, uh.' Sirius said. 'Please sit.' he gestured to a chair that had been co njured in the centre. Warrington, who knew Priori Incantatem would not work on h is wand and thought he had nothing to worry about, slouched lazily in the chair. 'You have been charged with inflicting a heinous curse on another human being.'

'Prove it.' the boy sneered. Severus feeling the heat building around Harry plac ed his hand back on the boy's shoulder. 'Mr Ollivander.' Sirius called to the small man waiting patiently by the side of the hall, who shuffled over and sat near Harry and Draco. 'Could you please tel l me what this wand is made out of?' Sirius handed him the black wand. 'Ebony, thirteen inches. Inflexible.' the wizened old man said. 'And what is at the core of this wand.' Ollivander sighed. 'A Basilisk's heart.' Gasps and whispers were heard throughout the hall. 'Is there anything special about this wand?' Sirius asked staring at Warrington who was still looking calm. 'Yes. The wand itself is classed by the Ministry as a dark object. There have on ly been two ever made.' 'This one.' Sirius pointed to it and Ollivander nodded. 'and one other?' another nod. 'And who owned that other wand?' 'Grindelwald.' Ollivander choked out. 'Does the wand have any other special characteristics?' 'Yes. It is the only wand capable of resisting Priori Incantatem and the only wa nd capable of casting a Tearing curse.' 'So you are saying that if a tearing curse had been found placed on one of the v ictims of this attack, it could only have come from this wand.' 'Yes.' the wand maker said firmly. 'There is one other thing.' 'Yes?' Sirius said. 'It is said that when the wand is destroyed you can see what was the last curse the wand was used for. Similar to Priori Incantatem but not the same, more vivid . But it will destroy the wand.' Sirius was thoughtful for a moment. 'Excuse me a moment.' Sirius moved up to the head table to discuss whether or no t to destroy the wand. Harry glanced at the Slytherin and was pleased to see him beginning to look decidedly uncomfortable. 'Harry, if you would?' Sirius asked handing him the wand. Harry cleared a space in front of the head table and cast several safety wards around it. He wasn't su re what would happen when he incinerated the wand and he didn't want any one get ting hurt. Conjuring the flame he threw it at the wand laying harmlessly on the ground. Unlike the others which just disintegrated into nothing. The ebony wand sizzled and twisted, screams echoing out of it. Suddenly two lifelike figures ap peared. One curled up on the ground, blood pooling underneath him, the other sta nding over him, grinning. Watching it Harry could remember the screaming, that w as him screaming. He could remember his skin tearing, being pulled so tight unti l it had no choice but to tear. And he could remember the pain. The agony. It wa s worse that the Cruciatus. Harry could feel it as he stood there and watched hi mself being tortured by a boy only two years older than himself. Eventually the screams stopped and the hall was deathly silent. Nothing remained of the wand, n ot even the ashes. Harry was still staring at the floor when he felt his guardia n come up behind him and guide him gently back to his seat. He could hear sobbin

g and detachedly he realised it was Emilie. 'Anthony Warrington, do you have anything to say in your defence.' 'No.' he looked very pale now. 'You have been found guilty of possessing a dark arts object and using it on ano ther human being to try and cause death. It has been decided by this council tha t you will be taking from this school to the Ministry of Magic where you will un dergo dampening by an approved medi-wizard, to be followed by a period of not le ss than twenty five years in Azkaban. Take him away.' Two Aurors came, bound him and bustled him roughly out of the hall. 'By Order of the Ministry of Magic I hereby declare these trials over.' Sirius s aid loudly and murmurings filled the hall. Emilie and the chosen ones flew acros s the hall from the Gryffindor Table, Emilie diving into Harry's arms. Ginny int o Draco's 'Oh god, Harry.' she sobbed quietly into his shoulder. Harry snapped out of his trance and wrapped his arms around her, hugging her tightly. 'It's okay. It's all over now.' Harry crooned, stroking her hair. He glanced ove r at the others, noticing their horrified expressions. 'Please?' he sent to them and they knew what he wanted. Nodding they stepped away, allowing Harry to jump somewhere else, while they answered others questions on where he had gone. Harry appeared in his old sitting rooms and settled Emilie down on the sofa, lig hting a fire in the grate. He conjured some tea, offering her a cup. 'Has it always been this bad for you Harry?' she sniffed softly. 'Not always.' he smiled sadly and preceded to tell her everything. Not the stuff written in books, the real stuff. His life with the Dursleys. Hagrid coming to get him. His first four years at Hogwarts and his run ins with Voldemort. The Tr i Wizard Tournament and what happened to Cedric. Last summer and being rescued b y Severus. Finding out about being the Heir of the four Founders and all his new abilities. The battle when they lost both Hagrid and Neville. The Yule Ball and finally his suicide attempt. The more he told her, the paler and more worried s he looked. By the time he got to the end, she had both fist bunched together pre ssed tightly to her mouth. Harry pried them away and wiped the tears from her ch eeks. 'Don't cry for me.' he told her. 'I know what I have to do. I have known since I was eleven and all this is part of it. Now that you are here, at least I have s omething to live for.' he whispered. 'I thought you didn't need all that stuff.' Emilie teased him softly. He looked confused until he remembered what he had told Hermione at the Yule Ball. 'She told you?' Harry raised his eyebrows. 'Yes. But her theory is you just tell yourself that so you don't get close enoug h to be hurt or get anyone else hurt. She thinks, that you think, if you keep te lling yourself that you don't need someone that way long enough, even you will b elieve it.' she giggled. 'Quite the psychiatrist is our little Hermione.' Harry chuckled. 'I got quite cl ose to Ginny at the beginning of the year.' 'I know she told me.'

'God, is nothing sacred.' Harry rolled his eyes. 'Not where you're concerned.' Emilie giggled. 'I thought I was falling in love with her, but I think I just needed someone to love me after all that had happened. And when I realised that it wasn't real I c ouldn't keep pretending. The feelings I felt for her a very different to the one s I have for you, more like a little sister. Even if I only met you yesterday. I trust you. I feel comfortable with you. Like I have known you forever.' 'Harry.' Emilie whispered softly. 'Do you believe in love at first sight.' 'Yes Em.' Harry kissed her softly. 'I do.' Harry and Emilie spent the rest of the afternoon in his rooms, snuggled together in front of the fire, reading through the book that Severus had given Harry for Christmas. As it was the last day before school there was no duelling that afte rnoon. 'I think this might work.' Harry told her. 'Oh. It looks very complicated.' Emilie said reading over his shoulder. 'Besides we don't have a white phoenix. Only a gold and white and a red.' Harry gave her a calculating look. 'Wait here.' Harry disappeared and reappeared moments later holding a small vial . 'Stand over there and drink this.' he said. Emilie gave him a questioning look before obediently rising and standing by the fireplace. 'I warn you. It tastes disgusting.' Emilie raised an eyebrow before downing the potion. 'Urgh.' 'Told you.' Harry snickered. 'That is so far past disgusting.' Emilie coughed. 'Shh.' Harry gestured to the shadow forming beside her. The both held their brea th, waiting until the shape formed. 'Yes.' Harry screamed, leaping off the couch and picking her up, swinging her ar ound. 'I knew it.' the shadow of the stunning white phoenix was just fading away . 'That is the spell we use the counteract the one I will get from Salazar.' 'So how does this work again?' she asked him as they sat down. 'First we do this spell. We have to do it on the full moon which is in two days and then I add the Expecto Adficio ward to the grounds. That way as soon as Vold emort steps onto the grounds he will be weakened, drained. But I won't because I will be protected by you and the others.' Harry hadn't felt so good in ages. 'C ome on we have to tell the others.' Harry grabbed her hand and ran from the room . Sprinting down the stairs, they checked Gryffindor Tower and the great hall be fore finding them in the library. Harry threw himself down in a chair next to Em ilie, gasping and panting, as the chosen ones looked at him in amusement. 'What were you saying about training yesterday Harry?' Draco drawled. 'Harry, you do remember that you have a much more convenient and much less tirin g way of travelling around the castle.' Hermione giggled.

'Oh yeah. Forgot. Sorry.' he apologised to Emilie, who was on the point of colla pse and just nodded to him in reply. 'Anyway we found it.' he put the book down open at the page and sent Emilie a small healing spell as the chosen ones crowde d around the old tome. 'But we don't have a white phoenix and none of our animagi are one either?' Herm ione argued. 'You're all Animagi?' Emilie asked. Hermione nodded and with a pop Owl appeared followed shortly thereafter by Dragon, Unicorn and Lion. They all changed back, laughing at the shocked look on her face. 'And you?' she turned to Harry. The ot hers snickered. 'I can be anything you want me to be.' Harry shrugged. 'Anything. Your a multi animagus.' 'Yep. So is Draco, He has two forms.' 'Really, what's you other form?' Draco went very red and looked down at his hand s as Harry and Ron burst out laughing. 'It's nothing.' Draco said uncomfortably. Harry gave her a wink, silently promis ing to tell her later. 'So what is you main form?' she asked Harry. 'Griffin.' and with a pop the Griffin appeared. 'Wow.' 'Harry this still doesn't solve our problem.' Hermione reminded him. 'Oh yeah. Watch.' With that he got up from his chair and gestured for Emilie to do the same. Casting a special charm around her he stood behind with a hand on e ach shoulder. 'This will hurt a bit but I will try and keep it as short as possi ble. Close your eyes.' he told Emilie. Harry sent some animagus power down throu gh his hands. 'You've got to be joking.' Hermione breathed. Harry grinned at her and shook his head as Emilie disappeared with a pop to be replaced by a magnificent white pho enix. 'My god.' Ginny squealed as Emilie changed back and collapsed, breathing hard fo r the second time in ten minutes. Harry sat down, Emilie balanced in his lap, an d wrapped his arms around her to speed up the healing. 'You weren't wrong about it hurting, were you?' Emilie whispered into Harry's sh oulder. He sent a slightly stronger burst. 'Better?' he said softly. She nodded. 'But Harry. According to this we only have two days. How is she going to learn t he change in two days. It took us weeks and we were much fitter.' Hermione waile d. 'Hermione, calm down.' Harry instructed. 'She doesn't need the change for the ri tual only at the battle. Besides there is a potion to help speed the transformat ion as well as soften the after effects. I'm going down to make it now.'

'We'll come too. ' Ron said, picking up the book, and they all followed Harry ou t of the library and down to the dungeons. Harry and Draco supporting Emilie. 'Well, well.' Severus smiled as they all filed through the door. 'What do we hav e here? What brings you all down here the day before school starts. Just couldn' t wait for your first potions class.' Severus snickered at the chosen ones rolle d their eyes. 'Hey what happened to Miss Lacroix?' Severus looked concerned, cat ching sight of the girl being carefully placed down in a chair. 'Forced Animagus transformation.' Harry told him. 'Have you got some more of tha t potion you gave me after the Yule ball.' Severus nodded and left the room. Har ry summoned a cauldron and set it up together with some scales, a knife, a ladle and pestle and mortar. Holding out his hand towards the storeroom, ingredients began to fly into his hands as he called them. He set things chopping themselves and grinding themselves. He was so engrossed in making the potion that he didn' t notice Severus come back in and go and sit with Emilie and the chosen ones. 'What's he making?' the potions master asked. Ron didn't answer just showed him the book. 'Expecto Adflicto. This is what he plans to use against Voldemort.' Ron nodded. 'But what about the white phoenix. Oh it's you.' Severus gaped at Emilie, who sq uirmed sheepishly in her chair. 'So do we know what he is making.' 'He said something that would help Emilie with the transformations.' Ginny repli ed. 'Arguo Animagus.' Severus whispered. 'We must be very quiet. The slightest distr action could be fatal.' Severus, Emilie and the chosen ones watched entranced as Harry had the ingredients preparing and adding themselves to the potion. He had the ladle stirring at the exact speed. It was beautiful to watch. Hermione thou ght it reminded her of that Walt Disney movie, Fantasia. Just before dinner he w as finished and after turning off the heat under the potion, he sank back into t he chair behind him, his head in his hands. 'Harry.' Severus sent. Harry just grunted. Severus came and knelt in front of Ha rry. 'You my son, are amazing.' Harry's head whipped up and Severus realised what he had said. 'Oh god Harry, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it, it was just a ...' Severus voice trailed off in Harry's mind and Severus noticed the disappointed look in his eyes. 'Actually I did mean it. I'm sorry. I just think of you as a son now. The son I never had. The son it was never safe for me to have.' Harry threw hims elf out of the chair and into his guardian's arms. 'Thank you,' Harry sent back. 'I think of you as the father I never had too. I j ust didn't know if you felt the same way. I love you Sev.' 'I love you too, Harry.' The chosen ones watched this display with happiness. Th ey didn't know what was said but they could tell that it had been important. Emi lie just looked confused, not knowing about the mind links Harry had with Severu s and Albus and the chosen ones. 'Come on. Let's all go to dinner.' Severus said softly, releasing Harry and helping him to stand. The concentration required ov er the last three hours had taken it's toll. Harry was pale and dishevelled. His eyes had large bags under them and his hands were shaking. However the grin on his face stretched from ear to ear. He levitated to cauldron to the sink to allo w it to cool overnight and cleaned up after himself with the others help and the n they all walked together to the hall for dinner. Harry and Severus, leaving th e others at the Gryffindor Table, joined Albus at the head of the hall.

'You two seem very happy with yourselves.' Albus said. 'Yep.' Harry grinned, helping himself to the mashed potatoes. 'I found a way to get rid of Voldemort.' Albus sucked in a breath. 'Really?' he asked hesitantly. 'Is it using the spell from Salazar.' Harry nodde d. 'The book Sev gave me for Christmas, ' Harry's eyes softened at the mention of h is guardian. Albus raised a discreet eyebrow at his potions master. ' well it ha s a spell in it to protect me from my Slytherin blood. I was looking through the book with Em,' another raised brow. 'and we found a spell but we needed a white phoenix to do it. Turns out, Em is a phoenix animagus.' 'Don't tell me, she's a white one.' Harry nodded vigorously, turning to his guar dian. 'Hey, Sev. Can Emilie sleep with me tonight.' Severus eyebrows joined his hairli ne as Harry blushed to the tips of his ears. 'Wait, that didn't come out right.' 'I'm glad you said that.' Severus said sternly. 'I mean. I want Emilie to meet the Founders properly. I think they can help her. I need to be touching her when we are asleep to take her with me. We would be f ully clothed. No funny business. I promise.' Harry held up his hand, his face so lemn, but his eyes pleading. Severus looked over Harry's shoulder at Albus who, after a moment's thought, nodded. 'Yes you can. As long as she is agreeable. But.' Severus waggled a finger at him . 'No funny business.' Harry nodded and finished his dinner happily. Harry and Emilie arrived down in his dungeon room having put up with fifteen min utes of sly winks from Ron and comments like 'don't do anything I wouldn't do' f rom Draco. To which Harry had replied that that left him with a fairly large cho ice then. He had then managed to jump them both away quickly bidding the girls g oodnight as Ron turned into Mr Overprotective Big Brother. Severus came in as they were removing their robes, shoes and socks. He lit the f ire in the room to keep it warm and gave Harry a hug goodnight. 'No locking spells. Just in case I have to come in.' Harry nodded. 'I was actually going to leave the door open.' Harry smiled. Severus gave him an other hug. 'Goodnight Harry. Night Emilie.' Severus walked from the room, leaving the door open behind him. They both climbed into bed, Emilie's head resting on Harry's shoulder. Erte flut tered down to the pillow as Asha slithered off his wrist. 'Take us to the Founders, girl.' Harry said, softly stroking her head. The beaut iful phoenix melody started, sending the to teenagers off to sleep. 'Harry, who's your friend.' Godric winked slyly at him. 'Godric, you can stop with the theatrics. You know exactly who this is.' Harry s norted, leading Emilie over to the sofas by the fireplace. 'This is Rowena, Helga and Salazar.' Harry told her as he introduced the other t

hree founders. 'Lovely to meet you all finally.' Emilie blushed as they all sat down. 'I believe you have found out what you need to make the spells work?' Rowena sai d. Harry nodded. 'When you wake up you will know the correct incantations and or der to place them on top of the Hogwarts wards. Do you have any questions.' 'Will this work?' Emilie asked hesitantly, glancing at Harry. 'We don't know for sure but we all believe that it is the only way.' Salazar tol d her. She nodded. 'It will work Em.' Harry said, placing a comforting hand on her arm. 'I know it will.' The four Founders smiled at each other. 'How are your parents, Phoenix Child.' Helga asked Emilie softly. Emilie looked at Harry with tears in her eyes. Harry wrapped his arms around her. 'Emilie's parents died when she was six.' Harry told them. 'Wait a minute, what do you mean, Phoenix Child? And how did you know her parents?' Rowena looked at the others, 'When Voldemort disappeared the first time, we all visited Emilie's parents, the same as we did when you were born Harry. It was about six months after you were born actually. We told them that Voldemort would be back and that you would be needed. We asked them to send you away. Hide you. And they agreed. We didn't rea lise they would go with you. Do you remember what happened to them?' Emilie nodd ed. Harry looked at her in confusion. 'I'm sorry. I couldn't talk about it before so I just pretended not to remember. ' she whispered. 'That's okay. I know how hard it can be.' Harry smiled at her. She sighed and re luctantly began to speak. 'I came home from school one day. It was winter and it was cold. The front door was wide open. I knew something was wrong, Mum never left the doors open. She ha d said bad people were after us. I walked in and found Mummy on the kitchen floo r. At first, I thought she was just asleep. I tried waking her. I was screaming and shaking her but she wouldn't wake up so I went to find Daddy. He was at the top of the stairs outside the back door and he too looked asleep to except his e yes were open. It was then I knew they were dead.' She took a deep breath and sh uddered and Harry tightened his arm around her. 'I looked up and saw a tall man with long white hair standing in the doorway. He was pointing his wand at me.' 'Lucius.' spat Harry. 'I didn't know what to do. He was telling me to come with him. He had bad eyes s o I ran. Coloured lights kept flashing past me but it was only a short distance to the woods and then I could dodge through the trees. I don't know how long I r an for but eventually I came to a cottage and banged on the door. It was old Mrs Jackson's house. I told her what had happened and she immediately contacted my grandparents by telephone. The floo network doesn't work over oceans. So she kep t me hidden for three days until they arrived.' Emilie faulted before continuing . 'It took years until we figured out how they found us. Daddy had gone to London

the week before to see an old friend. He hadn't been back to London since we all left when I was two. He didn't know that that friend had turned and that he tol d them where we were.' Emilie couldn't hold on anymore and burst into tears. 'What did you mean by Phoenix Child?' Harry asked softly. Godric, Salazar and He lga all looked at Rowena. 'It was written in the stars that there would be a girl child born on the eve of all hallows. Born under a distant sun that symbolized rebirth. This girl would be the child of the phoenix and she would be needed later to defeat the darkness . Emilie was the only girl born on Halloween that year. I didn't write this down as I thought that if something happened to you Harry, then the Phoenix Child ma y be the only hope we had. I didn't tell anyone. I didn't even tell the others, I only told them when we went to see Jean-Paul and Eloise.' Rowena said sadly. ' But Voldemort had a Seer of his own and I heard that she had read the stars corr ectly. That's why we went to see the Lacroixs in the first place. 'Are you alright, little one?' Helga asked softly. Emilie nodded slowly, drained from having to talk about her past. 'I think it is time to go. You both need some sleep. You have a lot to do tomorr ow.' Godric said quietly. The Founders faded and Harry and Emilie found themselv es in bed again. 'Oh Harry.' Emily sobbed. Harry wrapped both arms around the girl and pulled her to him. 'Shh Em. Everything is okay. You are safe. You are with me. I won't let anything happen to you.' Harry whispered, stroking her back. He kept up his quiet whispe rings until he could hear her breathing steady, indicating she had fallen asleep . Hugging her tightly he too drifted off to sleep. 'Amazing.' Severus whispered, and he quietly slipped away from the darkened door way and went back to his own room. Severus woke early and walked quietly into Harry's room, sitting quietly on the edge of the bed. Harry and Emilie were still cuddled up, sleeping softly. They l ooked adorable. 'God, I'm going soft in my old age.' Severus groaned softly. Harry's eyes flutte red open. 'Sev.' he whispered. 'Morning.' Severus sent. 'You have training in ten minutes.' Harry nodded his th anks and leaned down to wake Emilie but she looked so tired. So instead he caref ully pulled his arm out from under her, covering her back up with the blankets a nd kissing her lightly on the nose. 'Sleep well, little phoenix.' he whispered softly, looking up into the smirking eyes of his guardian. They crept put, closing the door behind them. 'You really like her don't you ?' Severus asked him. 'Yes. I do.' Harry admitted softly. 'I don't know why it happened so quickly. It could be that we have so much in common. I only know she has given me something to live for now. I want to look after her forever. Grow old with her, have a fa mily with her and I have only known her for two days. Is that crazy?' 'No. It isn't crazy. Unusual, but not crazy. Somewhere out there is a soul mate

for everybody and it doesn't matter if you meet them at fifteen or fifty. Some p eople go through their whole life and never meet them, some meet them as childre n. I mean, you take Arthur and Molly Weasley for example. They met on the Hogwar ts Express and Arthur reckons he knew then he would marry her.' Severus chuckled . 'You take it and run with it Harry. You deserve every happiness. Now you had b etter change, your late.' Harry gave Severus a hug before disappearing into the bathroom, where his morning shower was interrupted by a rather hysterical Asha. Harry jumped up to the great hall to find it full of activity. 'Who's responsible for this?' Harry asked Hermione. She pointed to Draco and Ron both of whom were currently running energetically around the hall. 'Power has gone to their heads.' She said sarcastically. Harry snorted and Ginny giggled. 'Good morning.' Harry called out loudly, causing all activity to cease. 'Can the following people please come over here. There is something we need to discuss. Angelina Johnson, Katie Bell, Fred and George Weasley, Seamus Finnegan, Dean Tho mas, Justin Finch- Fletchley, Cho Chang, Roger Davies, Blaise Zabini, Hannah Abb ott, Joshua Evans, David Salter and Nathan Caldwell. Thank you. The rest of you please continue with your exercises.' The students made there way over and sat o n the floor in front of Harry. He was pleased to see there were no spectators th is morning. The chosen ones came over and took their usual positions behind Harr y and he cast a silencing charm around the group. 'What I am about to tell you is to go Any one who repeats this information, is informed, will be expelled.' Harry e smiles and grins had disappeared to no farther than the people in this group. until such time as the rest of the school looked into the students eyes. Suddenly th be replaced with fear and uncertainty.

'Blank expressions.' he sent to the chosen ones, knowing they would understand. 'Voldemort is coming. He will be here on Sunday.' Blood drained from already pal e faces as jaws dropped open and hands flew to cover mouths. In fact Harry could feel the internal struggle the chosen ones were having at trying not to react a t this news. They had known he was coming, but having a date made it all the mor e real. 'I have asked you all together this morning because I need you. You are the best fighters and duellers in the school and this battle will be bigger than the last. I know I don't have a right to ask you but I'm going to anyway. I nee d volunteers to help repel the Death Eaters from the castle. The extra wards I p ut up before Christmas will repel most things such as Dementors, Vampires, Werew olves and Trolls but has no effect on anything human.' 'Ron,' Harry sent. 'remind me to tell Albus that Remus must stay in the castle d uring the full moon. Once he goes out he won't be able to get back in until I di sable the wards.' Harry glanced around and saw Ron nod imperceptibly. 'The chosen ones and I.' Harry went on, using the prophetic name for his friends out loud for the first time. 'Have a special task and will not have the capacit y to watch the castle as well.' Harry left exactly what that task was unspoken, but everyone knew what it was. 'I need you to fight outside the castle alongside the Aurors and the teachers. This is a request, not an order. If it were my cho ice, I would lock you all up safe in the castle and fight them on my own. You lo t included.' He looked fondly at his friends standing behind him. 'But I can't. I have to learn when to ask for help. And I need your help now.' Harry paced bac k and forward, the tension and worry suddenly evident on his face. 'As I said th is is a request, I only ask for volunteers as it may cost you your life. I don't expect you to answer right away. I want you to think seriously about it and giv e me your answer at dinner this evening. Thank you.' Harry dropped the silencing

charm and walked over to the head table, sitting and dropping his head into his hands. His head was pounding. He had just asked fourteen people to risks their lives. He had no illusions as to the how this battle would play out. It wasn't g oing to be easy and it went against everything he believed in to ask people to s acrifice themselves like that. 'You aren't, you know.' Ginny came and sat beside him as Draco, Ron and Hermione continued with the training. 'Aren't what?' Harry asked wearily. 'Aren't asking them to march to their deaths.' Ginny replied perceptively. Harry looked up and smiled. 'You know me too well.' he told her. 'I have to go and see Albus before breakfas t. Can you tell the boys to finish up in half an hour. That should give the stud ents enough time to change and grab breakfast before classes. Ginny nodded and H arry jumped to the Headmaster's office. 'Morning Albus,' he sighed wearily. 'Good morning Harry. I trust your trip last night was successful.' 'Yes very. Did you know that Emilie is a Phoenix Child?' 'Really. I had my suspicions after you told me about her Animagus form last nigh t but I didn't want to get my hopes up. So you have obviously come to ask me som ething?' Albus peered at him over his half moon spectacles. Harry took a deep br eath and launched into his plan and told him what Asha had said. 'Likes to attack in the dark, doesn't he.' Albus mused. Harry smiled. 'I gathered the special ops group this morning.' 'Oh.' 'I asked them for volunteers.' 'Oh.' 'Will you stop saying that. Now I understand what Severus goes on about.' Harry told him. 'I have only told those fourteen people other than the chosen ones. I have asked for their help and told them to take the day to think about it. Now I know how you felt asking people to risk their lives fifteen years ago.' Harry s aid softly. 'Harry, you are not sending them to their deaths. There is no shame in saying no . They know that. They will only agree if they really want to help.' Harry nodde d. 'I had better go and set things up for tonight. Any of the students who voluntee r will be mind linked for the battle. It just makes it easier and I want to read up on the spell and the preparation for the full moon tonight. Oh and while I r emember. You will need to keep Remus in the castle tomorrow night during the cha nge. I can ward a room for you if you want. The wards are set to repel dark crea tures and if he goes outside he won't be able to come back until I disable the w ards. If he tried to come back in, well, I don't really know what's going to hap pen.' Harry shrugged. 'Anyway, I will see you at dinner.' Albus nodded as Harry disappeared and got up, walking to the window.

'I hope this works.' he muttered to himself as he looked out across the grounds. Looking at everything but seeing nothing. Not even the fourteen people who had gathered straight after breakfast on the quidditch pitch. Harry spent the morning making sure he had everything and reading over the exact steps for the ritual. The chosen ones and Emilie joined him in Severus' rooms f or lunch and they went over what each person would have to do. Harry would have to wait to put the special wards up on the grounds until after the spell had bee n completed. The afternoon he was too tense to be any use to anybody so he spent three hours up against the founders ghosts in the great hall, trying to work of f his nervous energy. Dressing for dinner he almost lost his lunch. 'Oh god, what if they say no?' he muttered. 'They won't.' Harry's head shot up to see Severus standing in the doorway. 'That was quite a display you put on this afternoon.' 'I thought you were teaching?' Harry scolded him. 'I had a free afternoon. Come on.' Harry and Severus walked up to the great hall . He met the chosen ones outside and gave Emilie a hug. They all walked in toget her and leaving the others at the Gryffindor Table and walking up to the head ta ble with Severus. Sitting down Harry looked around wildly but couldn't see any o f the group from this morning. 'See,' he hissed to Severus. 'They don't want to and I have made them to ashamed to even come to dinner.' Harry was shaking. 'Harry calm down. I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation.' Severus placed a hand on his shoulder. Albus had just stood up to call for the food when the door s to the hall swung open. Everybody turned to watch, as fourteen students marche d into the hall, each carrying a staff, single file, right up the centre aisle, to spread out in a line in front of the head table. Harry stood up. This wasn't quite what he had meant when he told them to give him their answer at dinner. He walked around the table to stand in front of them. 'Professor Potter.' Angelina said, stepping forward. As one, the students knelt, bowing their heads and laying their staffs on the ground in front of them. Harr y was shocked. The hall was again silent. He walked to Angelina and placed his h and on her shoulder. She looked up at him. 'Are you sure?' She nodded. No hesitation. Harry offered his hand and helped her up. 'Thank you.' he said solemnly. He did the same to the whole group, finally coming to Blaise, who happened to be the last person. 'Are you sure?' he asked him. 'I have never been so sure of anything in my life.' Blaise replied. Harry once m ore held out his hand. Blaise took it and rose, looking at Harry with intense ey es. 'I'm with you Harry, until the end. Whenever that may come.' 'Thank you.' Harry choked out, giving Blaise a firm hug. The hall erupted in che ers as the 'Special Forces group' as Harry had dubbed them, took their seats. Ha rry walked back around, sitting down between Albus and Severus. 'I told you there was a reasonable explanation.' Severus sent smirking. Albus st ood up again. 'As I was about to say, let the feast begin.' The students laughed and the table s filled with food. Harry sat and stared at his plate. He was too shocked to eat

. 'Harry you must eat something.' Severus scolded. Harry obediently filled his pla te and spent twenty minutes chewing slowly before giving up and putting his knif e and fork down. 'Albus, they are going to need time off to train.' Harry told him. 'Anything you need, Harry.' the Headmaster told him. Harry nodded and smiled. 'Don't forget Remus, will you.' Albus shook his head. 'Do you need me to ward th e room.' 'I've taken care of it. You just be careful tonight.' Albus said gently. 'Do you want me to stay and watch?' Severus asked hopefully. 'Sorry, too dangerous.' Harry said. He gave his guardian a smile before walking towards the Gryffindor table to collect the others. Harry had set everything up. And he now jumped the chosen ones and Emilie up to the Astronomy Tower. 'God Harry, it's freezing up here.' Hermione exclaimed pulling out her wand to c ast a warming charm. 'No. Don't.' Harry said. 'You can't use any magic or the ritual will be ruined.' Reluctantly Hermione put her wand away and accepted the heavy cloak Harry held out to her. He handed out one each to the others and waited while the pulled it on. 'Does everyone remember what they have to do?' They all nodded. Now I think it is best if we add Emilie to the mind link so we will do that first.' Harry wa lked over and stood in the middle of the room as the chosen ones took their posi tions around him, each placing their hand on him. 'Emilie, you need to stand in front of Draco. He is the grounding point of the Star of Light and as it's Watch er you belong in front of him for this.' Obediently Emilie walked over and stood in front of Draco, her hand on his shoulder. 'Alright, don't move and don't let go.' Harry then closed his eyes and began to mutter under his breath. Just like the last time Harry began to glow. The glow seeped down their arms until it enc ompassed all of them, stretching past Draco until it covered Emilie too. The glo w increased until it was so bright they had to close their eyes and then it was gone. Harry opened his eyes. 'Phoenix?' Harry sent. 'Griffin.' Emilie sent back in wonder. Hermione had told her what the link was a ll about so she wasn't shocked, but she didn't realise how comforting it would b e, to be able to feel others there all the time. 'Phoenix.' Hermione sent happily, giving Emilie a hug. 'Good. Now everyone knows what they have to do.' Harry sent for about the tenth time that day. 'Yes.' came the five exasperated replies. Harry nodded and knelt down sitting ba ck on his heels, sleeves pulled up and arms raised, palms facing upwards. The ch osen ones waited. The moon finally rising enough to bathe the tower in light. Em ilie moved to stand directly behind Harry looking down on him, watching over him . Draco leant down and picked up the small silver dagger Harry had left beside h is position earlier in the day. He walked over to where Harry knelt and with a t wo quick arm movements he made a cut on each of Harry's forearms, allowing the b lood to pool on the floor beneath. He then raised the dagger and made a cut over his wrist.

'Adstringo, servo, tutis, cognatus, Salazar Slytherin, Harry James Potter.' he c hanted. 'Bind us to watch over and protect the one related by blood to Salazar S lytherin, Harry James Potter.' He allowed four drops of blood to fall into each of the cuts on Harry's arms, chanting the incantation each time, first in Latin and then in English. When he was finished he walked back to his position, tossin g the dagger to Ginny. She walked over and did the same, cutting just to the lef t and a bit lower. She too repeated the incantation with each drop of blood. Wal king back she then tossed the dagger to Ron, who placed his cut on Harry's arms just below Draco's. Hermione's went to the right, completing the positions of th e star. Tossing the dagger one last time to Emilie, she cut across both palms, d ropping the dagger on the floor and saying the incantation once over each cut be fore bringing her hands down over Harry's forearms to cover the wounds. Nothing happened at first and then her blood made contact with the others and sizzled ca using both her and Harry to cry out. There was a flash of light, causing everyon e to shield their eyes. When they opened them again, all that remained was the b lood. The cuts on everybody's hands, arms and wrists having healed themselves. H arry dropped his arms, sagging back against Emilie and Ron, who had darted forwa rd to help her. Harry glanced at the two large pools of blood that had collected on either side of him. 'I think I have lost enough blood over the last two weeks to fill two people.' h e said wryly. 'Come on, we need to go and do the wards now.' Harry hauled himsel f off the floor and staggered, Ron coming forward to help him. 'Come on mate. Can't it wait till morning?' 'No, I have to do it while the blood magic is still strong.' he replied walking slowly towards the door. 'Can't we just jump down there then?' Ginny asked. Harry shook his head. 'Sorry. Too tired.' Harry struggled down the steps with Ron and Draco's assistan ce. It seems as if the nervous energy from this morning had completely disappear ed. Passing by the hospital wing they ducked in and got a blood replacing potion from Poppy. She had obviously been told by Albus what was happening as the sigh t of the Harry, Emilie and the chosen ones at that time of the night, with blood stained clothes did not upset her. She checked them all over, leaving Harry to l ast. 'Be careful.' she said looking him in the eye. Harry nodded and smiled. 'I promise.' he said softly and they all headed for the entrance hall. 'Wait her e.' he told them at the top of the steps outside the door. Harry walked down across the grounds towards the quidditch pitch. Choosing his s pot carefully, he closed his eyes and raised his arms. He shut off the mind link and called to the air element. The thunder clouds rolled in, bringing with it t he lightning Harry needed for the energy to re-ward the grounds. Soon the lightn ing was crackling down around him. He called it to him, held it in his hand for a moment, savouring the tingling feeling before flinging it at the wards. 'Adflicto, cognatus, Salazar Slytherin, Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort.' Har ry yelled. 'Weaken he who is related by blood to Salazar Slytherin, Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lor d Voldemort.' Over and over he yelled the incantation whilst fortifying the ward s with the energy from the element. When he was finished he caught the lightning with both hands, bringing them together and send one final burst at the wards. Opening his eyes, he lowered his arms and thanked the air element before banishi

ng the clouds, leaving the moon shining brightly down on the grounds. He stagger ed back towards the others. Ron and Draco running down to help him once more. Em ilie was lying passed out on the ground, her head cradled in Hermione's lap. 'What happened?' Harry asked, concern clearly showing on her face. 'She was screaming when the first bolts hit you and then she just fainted. We di dn't want to try and revive her until you had finished in case she fainted again .' Hermione said softly. 'Ennervate.' Harry whispered holding his hand over her chest. Emilie's eyes flut tered open and she looked at Harry with uncertainty. Suddenly she threw herself into his arms. 'Oh Harry. I thought the lightning hit you. I thought you were dead.' she sobbed . 'It will take more than a bit of lightning to kill me.' Harry murmured in her ea r. 'I promise to let you know when I do that again.' 'You have to do that again. Why?' 'I have to take them down when this is all over.' he shrugged. 'He has done it a few times already.' Ron piped up. 'Come on.' Harry said. 'Bed. We have a lot to do tomorrow.' They all trooped bac k into the castle. Harry towards the dungeons and the others to Gryffindor Tower . Harry walked slowly, nearly all his reserves gone. When he gave the wards and walked into Severus' rooms, he found his guardian sitting patiently in a chair b y the fire, a book open in his lap. Harry sat on the arm of the sofa and grinned at him. 'It went well. I take it.' Harry nodded and yawned. 'Very.' 'You'd better get some sleep.' Severus gestured towards his room. 'On my way.' Harry said walking through the doorway and collapsing on the bed. S everus walked in minutes later to find him sprawled across the bed, fully clothe d. Sighing he carefully stripped off his shoes, socks and robes and covered him with a blanket. 'Night Harry.' he whispered. Harry woke just in time for training in the morning and after showering and chan ging, he jumped up to the great hall to meet the others. 'Morning.' he called. 'Begin warm-up while I set up the exercises.' Harry said p romptly and walked to the far end of the hall. 'Is he okay?' Emilie asked. 'You guys start. I'll go.' Draco offered and headed over to where Harry was stan ding, conjuring the exercises. 'You had visions last night didn't you.' Draco said. His tone implying that it w asn't a question.

'Is it that obvious?' Harry sighed. 'Only to me.' Draco shrugged. 'I don't know how to stop them and they are so vivid. I feel like I haven't even been asleep sometimes.' Draco placed a hand on Harry's shoulder. 'It will end, you know. They will go away eventually.' Draco said softly. 'I know Dragon. I know. Come on let's set these up and then I have to go and get the training rooms ready for the Special Forces group.' Harry and Draco spent t en minutes setting everything up and waited until the warm-up was finished. 'Good morning everyone. After today Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Draco will be takin g the training and duelling classes for one week as I have a special task to com plete for the Headmaster. I expect you to listen to them as if they were me. Cou ld the fourteen people in my special forces group please come over here.' He loo ked over the class carefully. 'The rest of you please divide into your groups an d begin.' Harry walked back over to the chosen ones, waiting to be joined by the others. 'After training I want you all to go back to your dorms, shower, change, pack en ough clothes for a week and go to breakfast. Loose clothing that is easy to move in. Bring only these clothes and your wand. Dumbledore will tell you when to go and I want you all to meet up at the right hand side, third floor corridor, the one that was out of bounds four years ago.' He waited while they all nodded the ir understanding of his instructions before giving a short, sharp nod to the cho sen ones and disappearing. Harry jumped up to his room to find Albus and Severus already hard at work. Toge ther they had magically enlarged most of the rooms, much like the Weasley's old Ford Anglia. The training room was now bigger than the great hall, and there wer e three separate duelling rooms running off one side. The other side had boys an d girls corridors with a single room for each of the fourteen members, and a boy s and a girls bathroom added. Harry walked into his own rooms to see the sitting room had been doubled in size to allow for extra sofas and armchairs. The study had grown three times the size to include a large oval table with twenty chairs and a large holographic map of Hogwarts. Off the sitting room there was five ne w rooms one each for each of the chosen ones and one for Emilie and two new bath rooms. 'My god. What time did you two get up?' Harry gaped at them. 'Well after tucking you into bed last night.' Severus smirked and ducking as Har ry tried to smack him on the arm. 'I came and found Albus. After what happened a t dinner and our conversation after it, I assumed this would be your plan and Al bus confirmed it. You looked so worn out last night that we thought we we'd surp rise you..' Harry grinned and hugged both his mentor and his guardian. 'Thanks.' he said simply, knowing he didn't need to say more. Leaving Harry to make any final changes, Severus and Albus walked down to the gr eat hall for breakfast. The training having just finished and Draco was currentl y having his usual problem of banishing anything Harry had conjured. Ron was jus t looking around scratching his head. 'That is a very becoming look for you. Mr Weasley.' Severus snickered. 'Ah Professor Dumbledore, would you mind?' Draco gestured to the remaining exerc ises that he had been able to banish. Albus chuckled and with a few wand movemen

ts returned the hall to it's original state. 'Thank you.' Draco grinned. 'Come o n guys, ' he called to the others and Emilie before turning back to his Professo rs. 'Sorry to rush but we have some packing to do.' Draco smirked before jogging out of the hall after the others. Albus and Severus sat down at the Head Table and waited as they were joined by t he other teachers. Once all that were coming had arrived, Albus cast a silencing charm around the table and rose to stand in front of them. 'I have good news for you all. The blood magic ritual Harry and the chosen ones together with Miss Lacroix performed last night was successful and the extra war ds have been added to the grounds.' Excited whispers broke out along the table a nd Albus held up his hands for quiet. 'Miss Lacroix, the chosen ones and the fou rteen students you saw pledge themselves to Harry last night will not be attendi ng classes for this week as they are going away for extra training and will retu rn on Sunday evening. I will announce this to the school during breakfast but I wanted to tell you all first as any shock, uncertainty or fear on your faces wil l upset the students. Thank you.' Albus took off the silencing charm as the stud ents began to filter in the doors. Albus waved his arms to call the food and wat ched as the students tucked in. 'You can tell which ones are Harry's, can't you.' Severus sent whilst chewing on a piece of bacon. The fourteen members comprising Harry's team were all on edge . Only the chosen ones and Emilie were calm, obviously conversing through their own mind link. 'Harry must have linked Emilie to the others.' Albus said. Severus nodded. 'Looks like it.' They watched as the students finished their breakfast and start ed to leave. Minerva tapped her fork on her glass and the students sat back down . 'If you would all just wait a moment. I believe Professor Potter is waiting for some of you. Nineteen of you to be exact. You may leave now, and all of the staf f and students of Hogwarts wish you all the best of luck.' The chosen ones, Emil e and the members of the Special Forces group all rose. Flinging bags over their shoulders, they silently left the hall, leaving a trail of confused students in their wake. 'To let you all know what is happening. The students who just left are going for a week of extra training with Professor Potter and they will retur n on Sunday evening. Duelling classes will still be held and will be taken by Mr or Miss Weasley , Mr Malfoy or Miss Granger, who will floo back to the castle f or these classes. Thank you.' Albus sat down and the silent hall was suddenly fi lled with chattering. No one seemed eager to leave now to which Albus was thankf ul for as it would give the others time to get to Harry's rooms undiscovered. While he waited for the students, Harry cast several silencing charm on the room s so nothing could be heard from outside and made sure there was enough supplies in the little kitchen he had created in the sitting room corner. Checking each and every room, as he had insisted on each member having their own. The next six days were going to be the toughest of these students lives and at sometime duri ng them each one of them would need to escape and just be by themselves. Hard to do with if your sharing a dormitory. Just then he heard Draco tell him they wer e on their way and he moved into a corner in the training room to wait. 'What are we doing here. I thought we were leaving the castle.' Angelina said as the all filed onto the training room, looking around in awe. 'Too dangerous.' Harry said, coming out of the shadows. 'Don't do that Harry.' Fred gasped.

'Or we won't make it to Sunday.' George added clutching his chest. Harry smirked and waved his hand at the door which sealed itself and disappeared. 'There is a room each through there. They have your names on them, please leave your bags in there, change out of your school clothes and into training clothes and meet me through that door.' Harry told them pointing to his own rooms. The a ll walked towards the rooms as Harry beckoned the chosen ones and Emilie. 'Morni ng.' he whispered to her. She smiled at him, blushing and placing a small kiss o n his lips. 'Morning.' she whispered back. 'Your rooms are through here.' he told them gesturing to the other doors off the living room. Go and change quickly and come back.' Harry went into his own room s to change, quickly eating some bacon and eggs that Dobby had left for him. Whe n he heard that they were all there, he left the room, closing the door softly b ehind him. They were seated in various places around the room. Some in sofas som e on the floor. By some sort of unsaid agreement, the large armchair had been le ft for Harry and he sat down. 'Hello. I think I should start off by tell you what exactly is going on. As I sa id before it is too dangerous to leave the castle so we have enlarged these room s to accommodate everybody.' 'Who's rooms are these? Who lives here?' Justin asked. 'They're mine. I do.' Harry said. 'So this is where you have been living for the past six months.' Fred said slyly . Harry nodded. 'I have nightmares and would have kept the rest of the tower awake at night. Not to mention that whole Heir thing and the safety issue. Any way they are mine, b ut for this week they are ours. As you can see by the door, we are all here for the duration. Regular classes for all of you have been cancelled.' 'All right.' yelled George. 'However,' Harry said sternly. There is a new timetable for everybody. As usual there will be fitness training in the morning from six until nine. Then breakfas t. The chosen ones,' he gestured to the four who were standing behind his chair. 'will be rotating two at a time to take the normal training in the great hall a nd the other two will stay here and help me. After breakfast you will be divided into small groups, one to do weapons training, one for wand training, one for a nimagus training and one will be at rest. These groups will rotate every hour so you will have two lessons on each subject and two rest periods per day. Free ti me between six pm and eight pm and a team meeting after that each day. There wil l be no leaving these rooms, obviously and no contact to anyone outside of this room from anyone unless it is through me. We have six days to change you from fo urteen incredibly talented student wizards, into an attack force the Ministry Au rors wouldn't tangle with.' Most of the students while looking proud at that com ment also gulped in trepidation. 'Now is there anyone who doesn't think they can handle this. Let me tell you now that I won't be disappointed in any of you. All I ask is that you let me teach you what I know. Let me show you how to become what I know you are all capable o f. And I know you are capable of it otherwise you wouldn't be here. I only ask t hat you put in one hundred percent to this. If we can do this, we will win. I pr omise.' Harry finished strongly. No one said anything. There was nothing to say,

they had all pledged themselves to Harry and trusted him beyond life itself. If he said they could do it, who were they to say they couldn't. 'Thank you.' Harry said softly. 'Okay. Let's get started. Group one will be Ange lina, Blaise, Emilie and Seamus, group two, Fred, George, Cho and Katie, group t hree, Hannah, Roger, Justin and Nathan and group four, Dean, Josh and David. Now , Hermione and Ginny will take you for Animagus studies, Draco and Ron will take turns swapping between weapons and wands. You will start with Animagus and move onto Wands and then Weapons before have your rest period. That would mean group four is currently having a rest break. There are books over in the study, games over on those shelves and the kitchen in stocked with food and drinks. But.' he warned them grinning. 'I wouldn't recommend eating to much before doing an Anim agus transformation.' 'I'll second that.' Ron added. 'Thirded and passed.' Draco pipped up making everyone laugh and breaking the ten sion that had settled on the room. 'Okay, you know where you have to be.' The teams rose and followed their instruc tors through to the training hall. 'You have one hour.' he told Dean, Josh and D avid who settled down to a game of Exploding Snap. Harry walked over to the Animagus group carrying the potions. The other two grou ps having already started and hard at work. 'Here are the revealing potions. Now we know what Blaise and Emilie are, just ne ed to work on you two.' he said handing vials to both Angelina and Seamus. 'I wasn't anything Harry, we did this in class remember.' Seamus said. 'Just try. Your stronger now. Oh and remember, it tastes terrible' Harry replied nonchalantly. Seamus smirked at him but obediently they both downed the potion, wincing at the taste before waiting to see if the cloud took a form. Angelina's changed first, twisting and bending into the elegant shape of a cheetah. They w ere all so busy staring at her form they barely noticed Seamus' cloud had turned into a bear until Ginny said something. 'But how?' Seamus asked Harry. 'Remember McGonagall said to those who didn't have a shape, they may still be ab le to produce one later when their magic had matured. I have a feeling that near ly everyone in this group will be able to produce an animal.' Harry shrugged. 'N ow, he said turning to Blaise. 'I want to try and change your Animagus from a do nkey to a horse. It will be stronger and faster. Blaise nodded, trusting Harry i mplicitly. Harry stepped up to him, looking down on the top off his head. 'Close your eyes.' he commanded. Harry placed a hand on Blaise' forehead and clo sed his eyes. A soft glow surrounded them both as Harry delved into the other bo ys innate magic. Harry could feel the it flowing around them as he sought throug h the different types. He found the Animagus magic and tweaked a few details, ad ding size and speed to the already formed shape. He wouldn't be able to change i t completely but adjust it just enough to make the animal more ideal for their p urposes. He opened his eyes and lowered his hand, looking carefully at the other boy. 'Okay?' he questioned. Blaise opened his eyes. 'That was unbelievable.' Blaise breathed. 'I could feel you. I could actually fe el you changing it.' Harry smiled.

'Okay where is the Arguo Animagus potion.' he asked. Ginny handed him four vials . 'Don't worry this isn't as bad as the other one.' he grinned at them. They all swallowed and handed the vials back to Ginny. 'Now today we will try and change our hands. I want you to close your eyes and t hink of your animal. Picture it's equivalent of our hands, So Angelina and Seamu s you need to picture your hands changing into paws, Blaise, yours into hooves a nd Emilie, yours into wings. Now it will tingle and sting, and whatever you do , do not open your eyes until I tell you. Off you go.' Harry watched as they spre ad out and closed their eyes. Emilie was the fastest, only a minute or two befor e not only had she changed her hands but her arms too. Harry grinned and touched her on the shoulder, making her open her eyes, Seeing her about to gasp, he put his hand over her mouth, indicating silence. Realising this familiarity wouldn' t be good with the others he quickly cast a silencing charm around each person a nd watched and waited. Emilie moved over to Hermione and Ginny and continued cha nging her hands and arms back and forward. Harry smiled as Angelina's hands spro uted hair and claws. He took her silencing charm off. 'Angelina,' he called out. She opened her eyes and squealed. 'Go and see Hermion e.' he told her returning his concentration to the two boys. A few minutes later he watched happily as both boys completed the task. He took both silencing char ms down and called out. Blaise and Seamus both looked terribly pleased with them selves and Harry beckoned the girls over to join them. 'Well done, all of you. I knew you could do it. Now there is fifteen minutes lef t to this lesson. Keep practicing back and forwards until it is instantaneous.' Harry flashed them all a big grin before heading over to the Ron who was taking Wands. 'How are they?' 'Great.' Ron said grinning. 'Fred and George are so good as a team you would thi nk they had a mind link all of their own.' he chuckled. 'In a way they probably do.' Harry snickered back. 'how are the girls?' 'Getting better all the time.' came the reply. 'Keep up the good work.' he smiled at his best friend. Ron nodded and diligently turned back to his four pupils. Harry walked over and watched Draco. He had Jus tin and Nathan up against each other with the swords and was taking Hannah and R oger on himself. Harry watched for a few minutes. 'Dragon.' he sent playfully. 'I will leg locker you if I have to.' Draco obedien tly moved a few paces back and waited for his opponents to get desperate and com e to him. 'Well done.' Harry sent a few minutes later when Draco had Hannah unde r a full body bind and Roger, unarmed, with a staff to his throat. Draco dropped the staff, offering Roger a hand up as Harry revived Hannah. He then sent up pu rple sparks. 'Time to change.' he yelled out. Group three walked into the sitting room as gro up four came out and headed over to Hermione and Ginny. Group one moved over to Ron and group two to Draco. Harry again walked around helping everybody. Of grou p four, only Dean managed to produce a distinct figure. That of a black bear. Jo sh and David's clouds just moved through various unfinished shapes, never pickin g one. Harry was bitterly disappointed but hid it exceedingly well. 'Don't worry.' he told them. 'One may turn up later this week with more practice .' He left them in Hermione and Ginny's care and moved over to check on the othe

rs. Things continued in this fashion for most of the day. Harry made sure that t he groups had lunch during their rest breaks, the chosen ones each substituting whilst another ate. He had already set up with Albus and Dobby to have meals bro ught up at the appropriate times. The last two lessons between four and six he j umped Hermione and Ginny down to the chamber off the great hall for the regular duelling class, promising to collect them at six and took Animagus himself. He h ad group three first and all managed to produce cloud animals. Hannah, a cat. Ro ger, a raven, Justin, a large dog who looked very similar to Padfoot and Nathan was also a horse. By the end of the hour they had each successfully changed thei r hands and Harry was heartened. Group four again and Dean was still working on changing his hands and arms. Harry had Josh and David trying to concentrate on m aking a distinct shape. It was very disappointing for them as everyone else had managed to produce their animal, in group two Fred and George turned out to be p erfectly matching eagles which, thought Harry wryly, explained their Quidditch a bilities as bullies of the sky. Cho was a tawny owl and Katie a tiger. Harry tol d them again not to worry. 'Your talents might may lay elsewhere.' he said. This seemed to cheer them up an d as everyone went to shower and change into something more comfortable before d inner. Harry jumped down and collected Hermione and Ginny. 'So,' he said to them 'How many tried to find where we were?' Hermione and Ginny looked at each other before giggling. 'What?' Harry's eyes narrowed. 'Well, after we hexed the third person that asked the questions just seemed to d ry up.' Ginny laughed. Harry just shook his head and chuckled , taking both thei r hands, appearing moments later in the sitting room. They went separate ways to change and soon all were drifting in for the evening meal. Dobby had outdone hi mself this time. Roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, four different kinds of vegetabl es and chocolate pudding and ice cream for dessert. The ate all together in the study with the large conference table. Someone, probably Hermione, Harry thought , had made a sign during their rest period and a large scroll of parchment now a dorned the wall with the words 'War Room' scrawled across it. Harry chuckled thi nking of the room with the same name in the basement of the White House in Ameri ca that he had learnt about at his muggle primary school. Hermione of course spe nt ten minutes explaining it's significance to the non muggle born students. After dinner was cleared away Harry banished the plates and turned everybody's a ttention to the centre of the table as he conjured the model of Hogwarts and the surrounding areas. He had the castle wards glowing purple and the grounds wards glowing gold. 'As you can see I have put two different tle will stop most dark creatures but as r example Death Eaters. Now I have taken he Dark Mark onto the grounds without an 'Why?' Angelina asked, confused. 'We need to kill Voldemort, once and for all. And to do that he needs to be able to get on the grounds.' Harry said simply. 'Makes sense.' Josh pipped up. 'Thank you. That is where you lot come in. Em, and the others and I will be look ing for Voldemort. Stopping anything from making it into the castle is your job. Any one have any suggestions.' David put his hand up. Harry nodded at him from his chair at the head of the table. 'We could send Fred, George, Cho and Roger out as scouts to start off with and t types of wards. The ones around the cas I said will not stop anything human, fo down the ones that stop anything with t escort.

hen... Do we know if they were on a broomstick and transformed, would the brooms tick change with them or drop to the ground and if not would it be there when th ey changed back? Sorry got off the track there. Anyway, if they can, we can send them out to scout and they can change at will whenever necessary.' 'Yeah and then the we could have the others of us spread at various groups of tw o or three's around the castle door's.' Josh added. 'Do you know if there is a spell to make it so we can communicate during the att ack. That way we would know if some one were hurt leaving a part of the castle u nguarded,' David said. The chosen ones glanced at each other. 'And what about springing some booby traps around the castle on the walls and su ch.'. Josh was getting very excited, no one else could get a word in edgewise. H arry just sat back in his chair, an enormous grin spreading across his face. 'What?' Josh and David said at the same time as the rest of the room gaped at th em. 'Well, remember earlier today when I said that you two probably had other talent s I could use.' They both nodded. 'I think we have just found them.' The two boy s looked at each other in confusion before comprehension dawned on them. 'Everyo ne, say hello to our Strategy Team. Any ideas make sure you give it to them and you two, make sure you try to include Ron in any major sessions you might have. He is the best strategist I know.' he said flashing the red head a grin. I think that's all for tonight. You can have free time now but I want everyone asleep b y ten. It is imperative that you get enough sleep.. I now have a meeting with th e Headmaster. I will see you all in the morning. And thank you. All of you.' Har ry said standing up. Everyone stood up also, showing their respect and Harry smi led before jumping to the Headmaster's office. 'Harry, good evening. How is it going?' Albus asked. 'Evening Albus. It is going very well.' Harry smiled, accepting the offered cup of tea. 'The Animagus training is going better than I expected and Mr Evans and Mr Salter have shown an amazing talent for strategy.' Just then there was a knoc k at the door and Harry tensed. Albus shook his head. 'Come in Severus.' he said. Harry relaxed, getting out of his chair to hug his g uardian. 'How you doing Harry?' Severus asked concerned. 'I'm good.' Harry smiled at him. 'I was just saying to Albus that Josh and David have come up with some excellent strategies for defending the castle. I will ha ve some booby traps to place around the castle on Sunday morning before the stud ents wake.' 'It would be Mr Salter and Mr Evans that would come up with that sort of thing. Almost as bad as the Weasley twins those two. I'm surprised you didn't get the f our of them together.' Severus groaned. 'Now, now, Severus, don't be ridiculous. I quite like my castle the way it is.' Albus said sternly, although his eyes were twinkling. 'Besides. I need Fred and George for other things.' Harry snorted. 'You mean they are useful for something other than creating mayhem.' the potions master arched an eyebrow. Harry rolled his eyes.

'Yes. Thank you they are.' 'Is Miss Lacroix going to be able to change in time?' Albus asked. 'Should be. She managed hands and arms today within minutes and I will make sure to spend extra time with her tomorrow.' 'I'm sure you will.' Severus snickered. 'Hey.' Harry said pouting. 'That was uncalled for.' 'I know. I'm sorry.' Severus said although he still couldn't stop snickering. Ha rry ignored him and turned back to the Headmaster. 'Albus, can you get Sirius and the Head Auror, together with the rest of the sta ff here same time tomorrow?' Albus nodded. 'Good, well if that's all I must go a nd try and get some sleep.' 'Nightmares?' Severus asked. Harry nodded. 'Do you want a dreamless sleep potion ?' 'No. It makes me fuzzy in the head when I wake up. Thanks anyway.' Harry stood u p to leave. 'Night Albus, night Sev.' he said. 'Night Harry.' came the reply as Harry jumped back to the sitting room. Only the chosen ones were up when Harry got back even though it was before ten. Everyone else, even Emilie, exhausted from the full days training. 'Hey, shouldn't you guys be in bed.' Harry scolded them softly as he collapsed i nto his chair. 'We just wanted to make sure you got back okay.' Hermione told him. 'Thank you all for your help today.' Harry whispered, leaning forward in the cha ir. 'I couldn't even dream of attempting this without you.' 'It's all right Harry, we know.' Ginny laid a hand on his arm. 'I just want to let you know I appreciate it. That's all.' 'We're with you Harry.' Ron smiled at him. 'To the end.' added Draco. Harry just looked at his friends, wondering what he d id to deserve such trust and loyalty. 'Go to bed.' he told them. 'Yes Sir.' Draco said, snapping to attention and making the others laugh. 'Go, go.' Harry chuckled, getting up and walking slowly to his room. He closed t he door, got undressed, crawled into bed and was asleep within seconds. Not noti cing as Asha once more slid off his hand to curl up on his pillow. Chapter 27 - He's gone. Emilie woke to hear screaming and she bolted upright in bed. Silence. There it was again. It was in her head.

Harry ! Quickly she threw off the covers and ran from the room. In the sitting room she ran onto the chosen ones. 'Did you hear that?' she asked them. Four nods were the reply. 'Do you hear it o ften?' 'Occasionally . When Harry forgets to turn the mind link off.' Hermione whispere d. Another scream reverberated in each of their minds and all ran to the door of Harry's room. Throwing it open they could see Harry tossing and turning on the bed. 'No. No don't please.' he was crying. 'Please no. Please not Emilie. No.' Anothe r scream and they all crossed the room towards the bed. 'Run Hermione, run Ginny . No don't wait for me. I have to get Emilie. I promised I wouldn't leave her.' Draco and Emilie looked at each other before climbing on either side of the bed. Emilie laid her hand on Harry's cheek and Draco put his on Harry's chest. The g low began underneath his hand as Draco closed his eyes. 'It's only a dream, Harry.' he whispered. 'You're safe. We are all safe. You're at Hogwarts. Emilie is here.' 'Harry.' Emilie intoned softly, stroking his face. 'I'm here. We're safe. You ha ven't left me. Just relax.' Hermione, Ginny and Ron looked on as Harry began to relax. His breathing evened out and they could tell he had returned to a peacefu l sleep. 'I'll stay with him.' Emilie promised. 'You can go back to sleep.' 'Are you sure?' Draco asked. Emilie nodded. The chosen ones left the room as Emi le crawled under the covers. She wrapped her arms around Harry and drifted slowl y off to sleep. When Harry woke the next morning it was to a pair of bright blue eyes watching h im intently. 'How do you feel?' Emilie sent. 'If I can wake up looking into your eyes every morning, life would be perfect.' he sent back. 'I forgot the mind link didn't I?' Emilie nodded. Harry dropped hi s gaze. 'Hey. It's okay. It doesn't matter.' 'It does. I'm supposed to be this super strong, all knowing wizard, who can do a nything. And I can't even get through the night without screaming.' he sent. 'Do you have these every night?' Harry nodded. 'Every night since the last battle.' he told her. 'You didn't have one the night we slept down in the dungeons.' Emilie pointed ou t. 'True.' admitted Harry. 'Must have something to do with you being the Phoenix Ch ild.' 'Well that's it then. I'm sleeping in here from now on.' She said.

'Oh I'm sure the Headmaster will let you do that.' Harry scoffed. 'I will explain why and if he doesn't let me. I will do it anyway.' she replied in a voice that brokered no argument from Harry and probably wouldn't from Albus either, Harry thought wryly. He snuggled further down in the bed, his head rest ing on Emilie's shoulder as she ran her fingers through his hair. 'We should get up.' she whispered. 'Just a few more minutes.' he pleaded. She smiled down at him. 'Okay.' she said. That turned out to be a mistake as a minute later the chosen o nes burst into the room. 'Come on Harry, we need. Oops sorry.' Ron blushed bright red as Hermione and Gin ny snickered and Draco just grinned lasciviously at Harry. 'Calm down you lot.' Harry groaned getting up. 'It's the only way I can sleep wi thout the nightmares.' 'Riiight.' Draco drawled. 'Tell you what Draco. I will give you a taste of them and you can tell me if you would like them every night.' Harry said coldly, walking to the bathroom and sl amming the door shut behind him. 'Well done.' Emilie snapped at the blond boy. 'You know Harry would never do any thing like that. I'm a Phoenix Child. I can soothe his nightmares. That's all.' Emilie glared at him. 'Sorry.' Draco replied sheepishly. 'I'm not the one you need to apologise to.' Emilie said smartly as she stormed f rom the room. Draco looked at the others, pleading. 'You're on your own with this one.' Hermione said. 'You made your bed, you sleep in it.' Ginny added as the two girls walked from t he room. Ron just shrugged and ducked out after them. Draco took a deep breath a nd sat on the bed, waiting for Harry to come out. When he did Draco stood. Harry looked at him coldly. 'What do you want?' he said. 'I'm sorry Harry. Really. I know you wouldn't do anything like that.' Harry's ey es softened. 'I don't care if you say it about me, but you hurt Emilie and that, I won't stan d for. I wouldn't do anything like that. We're only fifteen and are about to go into the biggest battle the Wizarding World has ever seen. I think fooling aroun d is probably the last thing on my mind at the moment.' 'I know. I just couldn't help it. It just came out. It's must be those Slytherin tendencies.' 'Those comments had nothing to do with Slytherin tendencies Dragon,' Harry chuck led. 'That is just your dirty mind. Now get out so I can get dressed.' Harry smi led walking to the closet. Draco went out into the sitting room to be met by fou r pairs of accusing eyes.

'It's fine.' he assured them. 'Yes it is.' Harry said moments later walking out of the room and pulling on his shirt. 'Who's going down to the hall?' Draco and Ginny put their hands up. Harr y held out his hands and they disappeared. Leaving them in the chamber off the g reat hall. 'I will be back for you in three hours.' he promised before jumping back up to t he training room. 'Good morning. I trust you all slept well.' Harry looked at his group, please to see them all looking so bright eyed and bushy tailed. 'Sorry about your sleep.' he sent to Ron, Hermione and Emilie. 'Don't worry about it, Griffin.' came the reply. Smiling Harry went on. 'Now everybody knows what they have to do. Mr Salter, Mr Evans, during your Anim agus lessons I want you to work in to War Room. I have decided to have you in th is room during the battle, coordinating everything. You will be linked with ever yone. I still want you to do the wand and weapons lessons just in case though. K atie and Nathan, you can change to group four with Dean, just to spread out the numbers a bit.' They nodded. 'Good, get to work.' Instant activity began as the students moved to warm up. Harry went around the room, increasing the difficulty slightly of each of the exercises. Three hours later Harry jumped down to colle ct Draco and Ginny. 'Everything okay?' 'No problem.' Draco replied. 'When is the Headmaster telling the rest of the school?' Ginny asked him. 'On Sunday.' Harry said jumping them back up to the rooms just as everyone was s itting down for breakfast. The day continued much the same as the one before. Harry spent three hours with Emilie, helping her with the change. The fighting wasn't really as important for her as she would spend the entire battle, invisible in her animagus form. By th e end of it she could change completely but needed Harry's help and could only s tay that way for about five minutes before the pain got too much and she had to change back. She was exhausted by the end so Harry made her eat and then lie dow n, saying he would wake her in a few hours. The others had progress to changing both legs and feet as well as the hands and arms from the day before. They would move onto the whole change tomorrow. 'Sev.' Harry sent. 'Hi Harry, How's it going?' 'Great, but I need more Arguo Animagus potion. Can you make a whole batch and br ing it to the meeting tonight.' 'No problem. I'll see you then. Love you.' 'Love you too.' Harry sent. Harry jumped Hermione and Ron down to the great hall at four o'clock, Albus had promised to make sure the hall was set up and put away each day so all Harry had to do was get them there and pick them up. When he got back he decided that it

was time to move on to a few different exercises. He sent the strategy team in t o the War Room and conjured twenty founders ghosts. 'In your teams of three, as Emilie is still asleep, I want you to take on and de stroy as many of the opponents as possible. The winning team gets to choose what we have for dinner.' he promised. Fred and George let out a cheer. 'You have to win first.' Angelina growled at them. Harry laughed and conjured st affs for everybody. 'We will use staffs today and move onto swords tomorrow.' Harry told them. Each of the four teams spread out around the founder's ghosts. 'Begin.' Harry called. Watching carefully he called out corrections as required, but tried to let the groups work together. Fred, George and Cho went after the ghosts with a vengeance, obviously there was something in particular they wanted for dinner, Harry smiled to himself. Angelina, Blaise and Seamus were not far b ehind. But both groups had the same problem as Draco, they didn't wait for the o pponents to come to them, they went forward and drove them back. Which certainly made the job easier for the other two teams, who found ghosts practically in th eir laps and could dispose of them with little effort. By the time all of the gh ost were gone. Angelina's team and Fred's, as he seemed to have taken over the l eadership of it, had only managed to destroy four ghosts each. Dean, Katie and N athan managed five but the clear winners were Hannah, Roger and Justin with seve n. 'Do you know where you went wrong?' he asked groups one and two. 'We didn't wait.' Angelina realised sadly. Harry nodded. 'You will use up too much energy going after them, let them come to you. Also if you move out of position, you open up the area you are trying to defend and tha t area then becomes bigger and more difficult to defend. Any questions?' There w ere none so Harry sent them all to shower and change. He had the winners write d own what they wanted for dinner and called Dobby to let the kitchen know. He the n jumped down to collect Hermione and Ron. Returning to his rooms he told them t o eat, that he really needed to practice. Nodding they joined everybody in the W ar Room as Harry changed into some loose fitting cotton trousers, foregoing a sh irt, and walked into the training room. 'Hey guys.' Harry greeted the Elphie and Erte who had appeared, Asha, of course, almost permanently on his wrist. 'Have you been watching?' 'Yes Harry.' Erte trilled. 'They are doing very well.' 'The two who are working on the strategies, have come up with some very good ide as.' Elphie said, 'They will tell you tonight.' 'Are you practicing?' Harry nodded, going over to the weapons table. He strapped a dagger on each arm, two swords in an x across his back and picked up a staff. He conjured five founders ghosts adding an extra spell that would make another appear each time he destroyed one and took a deep breath. With a quick flick of the wrist he started. Dodging and moving he attacked from different directions, never staying in the same place for more than a minute. The ghosts followed him, He need to build up his fitness to it's peak by Sunday so he kept moving. Jumpi ng, rolling and diving, he attacked with gusto. After each ghost had been defeat ed twice with the staff he tossed it aside, grabbing each sword from over his sh oulders and bringing them down to destroy the ghost directly in front of him. He continued, parry left, duck, roll, lunge right, another one down. Harry stepped up the pace. The two swords nothing but a blur by now. Another three down and t

hen he banished one of the swords, holding the other in his left hand, while gra sping both daggers in his right. Keeping the sword going, he began to throw the daggers across the room. Calling them back to him, hilt first, as each ghost dis appeared with a puff. The sweat was pouring off him by now. The muscles across h is back quivering with the effort of managing the two different weapons at once. He continued for sometime, attacking with the sword in his left hand and throwi ng and calling back the daggers with his right. When he thought he had done enou gh he took the spells of the ghosts so that once they were hit, they didn't retu rn. He banished the daggers and conjured the other sword, moving all the time. H e waved one hand over his eyes, conjuring a blindfold and continued on using his senses to feel where the ghosts were. It took him longer to defeat them this ti me. He had to wait until they were close enough, before he could sense them. 'There is none left, Harry.' Elphie trilled. Thankfully, Harry dropped both swor ds, leaning over his hands on his knees, gasping for breath. He felt someone com e up beside him and tensed before feeling Emilie's aura. Straightening up he fel t her fingers reach up and remove the blindfold from his face. Opening his eyes he saw her blue ones filled with equal parts of awe and love. Harry smiled at he r. 'That's twice in one day that I open my eyes to find you there.' he sent. 'Life is getting better all the time.' 'Eh hem.' They both heard through the link. Startled they both looked up to see everyone standing at the end of the room, watching them both in amusement. 'Well, show's over.' Draco yelled, herding everyone back into the sitting room. Harry and Emilie giggled, walking back through the hall and into the other room. Harry called out, 'Meeting in ten minutes.' before disappearing into his room. 'Did you see him without the shirt? He's built like a Greek god.' Katie whispere d excitedly to Angelina and Hannah. 'Hides it well under those robes. Doesn't he.' Angelina giggled. 'Shut up you three.' Ron scolded them. 'It isn't the time or place for that sort of talk.' The three girls looked rather embarrassed and everyone filed into the War Room to wait for Harry. He walked in minutes later, showered and changed, h is hair still wet and sticking up in every direction. Hermione immediately place d a plate of food in front of him and he looked up at her. She folded her arms, arching an eyebrow at him as if daring him not to eat it. Harry just snorted and tucked into the food, everyone sniggering at the display. Harry gestured to Dav id and Josh to begin, as he tucked into the pizza and salad group three had requ ested for dinner. 'Well we have come up with three different plans.' David began. 'We still have t o find out about the broomstick issue, but we have done the attack plans as if i t doesn't work so if it does, it is just a bonus.' 'Harry, do you mind?' Josh asked. Harry, holding the half finished pizza in one hand, waved the other making the holographic image of Hogwarts that they saw yes terday, reappear. 'Remind me to show you that spell in the morning.' he told the two boys. 'Thanks.' they replied and David launched into an awfully detailed description o f their plans, occasionally interrupted by Josh to add an important point. Event ually they finished and both looked at Harry, breaths held. Harry paused for a m

oment, he had finished eating a while back and now sat going over the plans in h is head. Slowly he started nodding. 'Good. Very good even. A few holes and small details to be attended to but, all in all, very good. Well done.' David and Josh both sat back grinning at each oth er. 'Get together with Ron tomorrow. He will help polish it. Draco.' he said to the blond boy. 'Remind me to sort out that broomstick issue.' Draco nodded. 'You also may want to include Fred and George in those discussions. Severus seemed t o think if anyone could come up with good booby traps it would be them, although he also said that you two wouldn't be far behind.' The four boys all blushed as the rest of the room laughed. 'Anyway between the four of you, you should be ab le to come up with some serious ones.' Harry rose and again every one rose with him. 'I must go the Headmaster and the Minister will be waiting for me. Remember in b ed by ten and that includes you lot.' he told the chosen ones. 'Thank you all. I will see you in the morning.' Harry flashed a smile as Emilie. 'I'll see you la ter, don't wait up for me.' he sent before disappearing. 'Sirius,' Harry grinned, giving his godfather a hug. 'David.' he greeted the Min istry's Head Auror, shaking his hand. 'Sev.' his guardian received a hug also as most of the room snickered at the nickname. 'Good evening, Harry.' the Headmaster said fondly. 'Evening Albus. Thank you all for coming.' he told the other occupants of the ro om. 'Just to let you know training is going exceptionally well. All of the stude nts are progressing well above expectations. As Albus has probably explained, we have cast extra wards around the school to which will hopefully allow for the f inal defeat of Voldemort. We don't know if they will work for sure but they are the best we have.' Harry shrugged. He began pacing back and forward across the r oom as he outlined what they had planned. The teachers, Sirius and David, as wel l as the members of the Order that Albus had also invited to the meeting, watche d as Harry paced. With each line of steps he detailed more of the plans that the strategy team had come up with. He told them what he would need them to do. Wit h each line of steps he got more and more tense until halfway through the explan ation he began to glow. Their expressions turned to wonder as the power actually began to pour off him in waves, curling around his feet and trailing along behi nd him. Once he had finished, he stopped and looked at them. 'What?' he asked, his eyes narrowed, Severus snickered. 'Harry, look at your self.' Harry looked down and swore. 'God damn it. I wish it would stop doing that.' he muttered as the rest of the r oom laughed. 'Anyway, I will have the final battle plans and the amulets and spe akers ready on Saturday. Can we meet back here then same time?' he asked. Albus glanced at Sirius and David who both nodded their assent. 'That's fine Harry.' the old mage said. Harry grinned at them. 'Sev, do you have the potions?' he asked. Severus nodded handing over a box full of vials. 'Thanks.' Harry smiled. 'See you all on Saturday. Good night.' Harry jumped back to his room. He glanced out the door into the sitting room, pleased to see no one had waited up for him. He changed into his pyjamas and crawled into bed. Emilie rolled over in her sleep and he wrapped his arms around her, smiling as she nestled her hea d into his chest. Happily he drifted off knowing that he would be able to sleep through the night.

Sure enough when Harry woke seven hours later it was only the second time in ove r six months he had managed to sleep through the night unassisted by any potion. Waking up once again to those vivid blue eyes, he smiled. 'Thank you.' he sent. She smiled at him as he hugged her close. 'We better get u p.' he said softly. Nodding sadly she pushed back the covers and they climbed ou t of bed. Harry drew her too him, looking down into her eyes. 'I love you, Phoen ix.' he whispered. 'I love you too, Griffin.' she whispered back and he pressed his lips to hers. J ust then the door opened. 'Oh for Merlin's sake. Don't you know how to knock?' Harry groaned. 'Oops. Sorry Harry.' Ron and Draco said sheepishly. 'Forget it. I think I will just have 'Oops. Sorry Harry.' tattooed on all of you r foreheads.' Harry growled. Hermione and Ginny giggled. 'And you two. You're gi rls. You should know better.' This shut them up. 'Let me get changed and I'll take you down.' Harry walked into his bathroom. Thursday Harry spent working on everybody's animagus transformation. Emilie coul d transform on her own now and sustain it for over an hour with very little afte r effects. Angelina, Blaise, Fred and George, Nathan, Cho and Katie also managed it on their own, although none could hold it very long. Justin, Hannah Dean and Seamus still needed help changing as did Roger although once he had changed for some reason he could hold it for any length of time. Harry was pleased with eve rybody. Halfway through the day he sent Ron, Fred and George into the War Room. 'I need you all to come up with the final trap ideas. I have to have some warnin g of what we need. Also I need you to see if you can charm the amulets in the bo x so we can use them to communicate with the Aurors and the members of the me kn ow if you need any help.' Nodding the three boy's went to join David and Josh. Friday passed in similar fashion to Thursday. Everybody improved. All who had An imagus shapes could transform at will. The broomstick problem was solved and eve ryone was working together. There were a few tantrums throughout the day as the pressure towards Sunday built but Harry solved them all, as only he could, with a sense patience and tact that was born of those who are destined to be a great leader. Each night he practiced against the ghosts whilst the others ate, although by th e third night the rest of the group simply brought their dinners out to watch. A nd Hermione always had a plate, and a look, ready for him when the meeting start ed. Emilie continued to cuddle him to sleep, keeping away his nightmares so that he woke refreshed in the morning. These extra hours sleep her presence guarante ed allowed Harry enough energy to do all that was required. He kept Albus up to date every evening and Severus provided several more batches of Arguo Animagus p otion on request. As Albus put it. 'Everything was going swimmingly.' Well as swimmingly as could be with the threa t of Voldemort on the horizon. After breakfast had finished on Saturday Harry called everyone together into the training room. 'This morning I am going to set up the mind link, similar to the one I have with Emilie and the chosen ones and with Albus and Severus. It will enable us to com

municate between the groups and between Josh and David in the castle. First I ne ed the four group leaders.' Angelina, Fred, Justin and Dean all walked over to w here Harry was standing. 'First I will link you four to me, Josh and David. Then I will link the three me mbers of each group together. Each of you place one hand on my shoulder two on e ach side. Now Josh put one on my chest. David, one on my back. Ready. Now whatev er you do don't let go.' Harry closed his eyes and began chanting softly and the glow soon encompassed the whole group. It got brighter and brighter and then wa s gone. Harry opened his eyes. 'Did it work?' he sent. 'Wow.' sent Angelina. 'Now you have to remember. Try not to shout in your mind or it will come out in ours. Just think of who you want to talk to and then think what you want to say. You don't need to talk out loud.' 'Is this what you meant by an advantage back at Christmas.' Justin asked the cho sen ones. 'Yes.' Hermione answered him. 'You will see. It really does give you a huge adva ntage.' 'Okay now we repeat it with group one and so on.' Harry told them as Angelina, B laise and Seamus walked over. He completed the spell with each group, finishing with Dean, Nathan and Katie. Cho having joined Justin and Hannah and Roger teami ng up with Fred and George as the flyers. He looked a little shaky by the end as Hermione and Emilie made him sit down. 'Sorry.' he smiled softly at their worried expressions. 'I've never done that sp ell five times in a row before. Just give me a minute.' He put his head in his h ands as Hermione and Ginny had the groups practice communicating amongst themsel ves and with David and Josh. Draco walked over and knelt in from of Harry. 'Take some.' he told him, prying Harry's hands from his face and placing their p alms flat together. 'No. You need it.' Harry shook his head. 'I can replace it by lunchtime. I will just take it easy this morning. They need you and they need you now. Take it.' 'Are you sure?' Draco nodded. Harry closed his eyes. He sourced out Draco's ener gy reserves and pulled some out of it, making sure to leave the other boy with p lenty. 'Thank you.' he said as the both stood up. 'Now go and lie down.' Harry told him sternly and smiled as Draco gave him a thumbs up before returning to his room. 'Okay, let's get to work.' Harry called out. They spent the day two teams agains t the other. Josh doing the strategy for one David for the other. Harry jumped D raco down on his own at two o'clock for the Saturday wands lesson in the great h all. It would be the last one until the battle was over as they didn't have trai ning or duelling on Sundays. Harry collected him again at four and then sent all four teams up against fifty founder's ghosts. Within twenty five minutes all we re gone and Harry and the chosen ones stood along the edge of the hall clapping

madly. 'Brilliant.' Harry told them. 'Bloody brilliant. All of you.' The students were in high spirits that afternoon. An hour before dinner Harry jumped everybody dow n to a clearing in the Forbidden Forest, that was unseen from the castle but sti ll on the grounds of Hogwarts. It had been weeks since he had practiced with the elements and he didn't want to go down on his own in case some thing happened. He told Severus what was happening as well and had him meet them there. 'Can never be too careful.' he told his guardian. He spent that hour working wit h each element individually before combining them. They were doing everything he asked of them, as if they were alive and understood how important tomorrow nigh t would be. Eventually he dropped his arms and banished each element after thanking it. 'That'sss why they are ssso good for you Harry,' Asha hissed at him. 'What the elements? Why?' he hissed back. 'Becaussse you ssshow them ressspect.' She told him. Harry grinned as Severus an d the others came up to him. 'Do you want a lift back.' he asked his guardian. Severus shook his head, holdin g a broom. 'No. I'll fly back.' Harry waited until Severus mounted the broom and had flown back towards the castle. 'Are you back yet?' he sent. 'Yes.' he heard a moment later. 'Okay everybody hold on.' and he waited until they each had firm hold before jum ping them back up to the training room. Dinner that evening was a lively affair. Harry had Dobby make everybody's favour ite foods. They were laughing and joking. Harry felt that it was almost surreal. By this time tomorrow they might all be dead. He must have had a very melanchol y look on his face because Emilie lent over and placed her hand on his. 'It's going to be alright Harry.' she sent. Pushing his plate away he stood up. Everyone began to rise with him but he waved them down and picked up a glass. 'I would like to say something but I'm really not sure what. You have all shown great courage and commitment over the last week. More that I could have expected of anyone. You are all now a team and together as that team we go into this wit h strong hearts, minds and bodies. You were chosen for your talents and you have shown that you are all worthy of those talents. I am honoured to go into battle with you all at my side. Thank you.' Harry raised his glass. 'To the light.' he said. 'To the light.' came nineteen voices. Harry put his glass down and excused himse lf. His barely controlled emotions were simmering beneath the surface and he nee ded to work it off. Before the speech he felt distant, detached. While speaking, looking at each of those who had pledged themselves to him, Harry felt his ange r at the injustice of these teenagers having to battle for anything, let alone t heir lives, swell up and threaten to swallow him. Without waiting to change he j ust pulled off his shirt and shoes, conjured three ghosts, picked up the two swo rds and went to work.

Two hours later he was still at it. The others had given up their dinner and wer e settled at various points around the room, watching intently. Harry was oblivi ous to everything other than the task in front of him. 'Harry.' he heard the headmaster call. 'Damn. I'll be there in a minute.' he sent back. With two last vicious thrusts o f each sword the two remaining ghosts disappeared with a puff. And Harry banishe d the swords and jogged through to the War Room. He picked up the box of amulets that they had spent yesterday covering in safety charms that would also be used for communication. Jogging back out he said. 'In bed by ten.' before jumping up to the Headmaster's office. 'Interesting attire for a meeting.' Severus snorted when Harry arrived in the He admaster's office. Harry looked down and groaned realising he was still in the c otton trousers he had trained in and nothing, else not even shoes. 'Sorry I was in the middle of something.' he said apologetically. 'Don't worry about it Harry. Some of us are enjoying the view.' Anna, one of the female Aurors piped up, causing Harry to blush all over and the others in the r oom to laugh. 'Settle down everybody.' Albus called out. He waited for the rest of the snicker s to fade before gesturing to the box Harry was carrying. 'Harry, the floor is y ours.' the old mage leaned back in his chair. 'Before you start, you might want to put this on.' Severus handed him a shirt, p ointing to the group of three female Aurors at the back of the room who were eye ing Harry appreciatively. Harry blushed again and quickly drew the shirt on over his head. Severus and Sirius snorting at the soft groans that came from the bac k of the room. 'Thanks.' he smiled at his guardian. 'Now we have enchanted these amulets for ev eryone to wear. Not only have they been charmed so that you can communicate dire ctly with me and the strategy team in the War Room who will be co-ordinating eve ryone, but they have also been charmed so that the booby traps I'll be setting u p tomorrow morning will not be activated every time you walk past. Now as these traps have been designed not only by Mr Salter and Mr Evans but by the Weasley t wins as well so you can see how valuable these amulets really are.' Harry chuckl ed and most in the room joined him. Obviously the reputations of both Fred and G eorge stretched far beyond Hogwarts. 'Now every person out side the castle will be wearing one of these. The other im portant feature they have is they are also a short distance portkey. If you get into trouble out on the grounds, just hold your hand over the amulet and say hom e. It will only work once and only one way so remember, once you are in the cast le you cannot go back outside again. I will have warded the doors and no one sho rt of Voldemort or Albus should be able to get them open again. Hopefully it won 't come to that.' Harry sat down on the edge of Albus' desk. He didn't want a re peat of the flowing torch of power from the other night. 'Now, Severus.' Harry reached into the box and handed him the invisibility cloak . 'You are going to be high in the sky, on your broomstick, covered in this.' 'But that's too far away. What if something happens?' Severus said. 'Emilie will be with you, holding the Star of Light. She will alert you if your

presence is needed below. I can't take the chance of anything happening to you i f you were lower down. What if you were hit by a stray curse or something? What it I fail? You need to be there? You are almost as important as me.' Harry added the last sentence softly but it was still heard by all. Most of the room couldn 't work out why Severus was so important. 'Why don't I just stay in the castle?' Severus asked. Harry shook his head. 'No. I might not be capable of disabling the wards on the doors and we don't eve n know whereabouts on the grounds I might be when I need you. It is much better this way. Emilie will protect you and you can tell Josh and David what is coming .' Harry eyed Severus carefully until the older man slowly nodded his acquiescen ce. 'Good.' said Harry turning back to the rest of the room. 'Why is Severus so important?' Sirius voiced everybody's thoughts. 'We are not at liberty to d Severus both shot him a Harry went round, giving nt an hour going over the say at the present time.' Albus said sternly. Harry an grateful look that, thankfully, went unnoticed by all. out the amulets before showing how they worked. He spe three main battle plans the strategy team had devised.

'Of course things may come up that we haven't thought of but this is the best we could do in such a short time.' 'They're very good, Harry.' David, the Head Auror, told him looking over the bat tle plans carefully. Harry smiled. 'The kids have been working very hard.' he said. 'Kids?' Severus arched and eyebrow. 'You know what I mean.' Harry rolled his eyes. 'Are we done here?' He asked turn ing to the Headmaster. Albus nodded. 'You will join us for dinner tomorrow?' Harry shook his head. 'At the end. I need to keep the Special Forces group focused. Goodnight everybod y and see you tomorrow.' Harry waved a hand at them all before jumping back up t o his rooms. Pulling on his pyjamas he crawled into bed, cuddling Emilie close. He kissed her softly on the nose before allowing sleep to take him. Harry woke the next morning the sun was high in the sky. He was alone in the bed , Emilie must have risen previously. He saw a note left on the bedside table. 'Harry, don't worry the traps are set. Love Em.' Smiling he rose and showered, c hanging into training clothes before walking out into the training room. Slippin g in to the shadows, he watched carefully. Draco, somehow, must have conjured a hundred founders ghosts. Fred, George and Roger were flying high above them, alt ernating back and forth between their animagus form and their regular form on a broom. The chosen ones were in their star in the middle of the hall, protecting Emilie in the middle, who was in her phoenix form. Dean, Hannah, Blaise, Seamus, Katie, Justin, Nathan, Cho and Angelina were spread at various points in teams of three guarding a set of large oak doors, conjured to represent the entrance t o Hogwarts. Harry turned the mind link on to hear David and Josh calling out instructions an d tips, as well as letting everyone know what was coming. Harry watched silently , not saying anything or moving for the entire three hours it took to destroy al l of the ghosts. They were all cheering and patting each other on the back.

'Well done, all of you.' Harry sent out. They were all looking around to see whe re he was except Draco and Emilie who could tell exactly where in the enormous h all was hiding. He walked out of the shadows, smiling. 'God it's creepy when you do that, Harry.' Ron snorted. Everybody laughed. 'Well done. I feel guilty sleeping when you are all out here working.' Harry sai d. 'We heard that you didn't get back from the Headmaster's office until sometime t his morning.' Angelina said. 'So we took a vote and decided that you needed slee p as much as you needed to watch us practice.' 'Thank you. Now I think it's time to have lunch before we have the final meeting . Go on in and I will join you soon.' The group walked into the War Room to sett le down to lunch and Harry could hear the chatter as he pick up a staff off one of the tables. 'Well, this is the last practice.' Harry whispered to himself, leaning against t he edge of the table. 'God I hope I haven't done the wrong thing. I hope they ar e all okay.' 'They'll be fine, Harry. You have trained them well.' Emilie sent walking up to him. She took the staff out of his hands and placed it on the table before wrapp ing her arms around him. 'How could I have asked children to do this.' Harry groaned, burying his head in his hands. 'Harry. You are a child. Deep down you are just a child too.' she whispered. Har ry's eyes glazed over, the emerald iris glowing. 'I am not, and have never been, a child.' He growled. 'I have been what everyone wanted and expected me to be.' 'What about me? What about what I want you to be.' she said softly. Harry sighed . 'What do you want me to be?' Emilie dropped her arms, looking him squarely in th e eye. 'Alive.' She said simply and turned to walk away. Harry reached out, grabbing he r wrist, drawing her into his arms and kissing her passionately. He wished he co uld stay like this forever. 'I love you.' he whispered in her ear. 'The promise me you will be careful.' Harry nodded his promise, sealing it with another kiss. 'That better not have been a goodbye kiss.' her eyes narrowed. 'Never.' he told her. After lunch Harry gave everybody free time before assembling them again at five o'clock. Most had spent the time relaxing, playing games or reading. A few of th e more pessimistic ones, or maybe they were just astute, Harry couldn't decide w hich, wrote letters to their friends and family, just in case. Harry helped them into the new armour they had devised. He had charmed it to not

only shield them but filter out the majority of the effects of Dementors. It wa s made of silver to repel Werewolves and had special runes carved into it design ed to send a burst of sunlight directly at any Vampire that was stupid enough to get to close. It also moved with them as though they were only in their cotton training clothes. He handed out an amulet to everyone, explaining how they worked and he had every body confirm that the mind links were all working correctly. They checked the ho lographic map of Hogwarts, Harry had added a special charm that would tell Josh and David exactly where everybody was very much live the Marauder's Map only Har ry took it one further, by having the dots flash if someone was in trouble. So at six o'clock on Sunday night, nineteen people were sitting around the table , all looking to their leader who was standing at the end. 'Well I am not going to give you a speech. You all know how I feel. I am only go ing to say one thing.' Harry held his breath. 'I expect to see you all here same time tomorrow.' and with that he walked out o f the room, rest of group scrambling to follow him. As they walked through the t raining room, they stopped to collect their weapons. Harry helped Hermione strap the quiver of arrows on her back, before strapping Gryffindor's Sword at his wa ist. 'We need to put the Star of Light together.' he told the chosen ones, pulling th e thick golden chain from around his neck. The others did the same and taking th eir positions in middle of the room, the each held their piece of spun gold high above them. Harry began muttering the incantation for the binding. The pieces e ach began to glow with the colours of their embedded stones. Harry's, glowing go ld, was by far the brightest. The five chains disappeared, leaving on the pieces which floated out of the chosen ones hands and towards the centre. Upon touchin g the circular piece in the middle, they glowed a brilliant white, spinning so f ast it was just a blur. Then slowing down and becoming a soft glow again, it flo ated through the air across the room, a thick gold chain becoming visible once m ore, before settling over Emilie's neck to rest over her heart. Harry looked up and smiled. No one seemed that surprised by this display. They h ad seen so much of Harry's power over the last week that nothing he did could su rprise them anymore. 'Everyone ready. Let's go.' He waved his hand making the door show itself again and they all marched on out and down towards the great hall, where they knew eve ryone was waiting for them. Harry stood next to Emilie, her hand tightly held in his. Behind him was Draco a nd Ron, followed by Ginny and Hermione. The strategy team next with the rest of the Special Forces group in pairs, allayed behind them. With their weapons hangi ng and their armour, they looked like and ancient Roman battle group. 'We're here, Albus,' Harry sent. 'Good timing. I have just finished.' Harry waved his hand to open the large door s. He instantly noted the presence of the extra Aurors and soon enough saw Siriu s. 'What the hell is he doing here?' Harry sent angrily. 'You try getting him to leave.' Severus sent back. Harry threw is head back and they all marched into the hall.

'My god.' He heard a few of the Aurors exclaim at the sight of them. They strode all the way up the hall, Harry glowing brighter with every step, as was the Sta r of Light that was hanging around Emilie's neck. When he reached the head table Harry let go of her hand and storming across the hall, bundling his godfather i nto the chamber, slamming the door shut behind him. 'What in Merlin's name do you think you are doing?' Harry spat at him. 'It is fa r to dangerous for you to be here.' 'I came to help.' Sirius said proudly. 'And just how much help do you think you are going to be if you die and Britain is left without a Minister, particularly if something goes wrong.' Sirius seemed to deflate under Harry's glare. 'I didn't think. I just wanted to see you.' he mumbled. 'Well, you will be seeing me tomorrow, so you might as well grab some of that fl oo powder and go straight back to the Ministry.' Harry yelled. Sirius smiled ten tatively, grabbing some powder out of the dish on the mantle. 'Good luck, Harry. I love you.' Harry's expression softened. 'I love you too. And yes, I will be careful. Albus will alert you when it is saf e to return.' Harry told him pushing him towards the fireplace. There was a flas h of green, Sirius yelled 'Ministry of Magic' before disappearing into the flame s. Harry sighed and walked back out into the hall, a triumphant expression on hi s face. 'The Minister has decided that it would be prudent to remain at the Ministry at this time.' he told the assembled Aurors, who all looked awfully relieved at the thought of not having to look after their Minister during the battle. Severus s norted and Harry flashed him a sly smirk before turning back to the Headmaster. 'Albus is everything ready?' 'Yes Harry. Everyone knows where they have to be. Remus and the other teachers a s well as the rest of the duelling club will be up on the ramparts. Severus, of course, will be in the sky with Miss Lacroix. The Aurors all know their position s.' 'What about you?' Harry's eyes narrowed. 'I will be out with the first group of Aurors.' 'Albus.' 'Harry. I need to be outside in case you need grounding.' 'You can ground me from the top of the ramparts with the other teachers.' Harry growled. 'You, like Sirius, are far to valuable to the cause if anything should happen.' Harry said, adding 'I will lock you in if I have too.' through the mind link. Albus nodded slowly. 'Good.' Harry said out loud. The doors opened again and Elphie came trotting in. 'Erte said to tell you that Voldemort's forces are on their way.' she whinnied t o him.

'Thanks.' he said, patting her on the head. 'Fred, George, Roger. Scouting. Make sure you tell Josh and David. Go.' Harry watched with pride as the three mounte d their brooms hovering a foot off the ground before transforming and flying out of the hall. 'Oh my.' Minerva breathed. Harry turned to his strategy team. 'You two. Stay focused and make sure the troops on the ground have as much infor mation as you can give.' The two sixth years nodded. 'Go.' Harry said and they r an from the hall. He then brought his attention around to the remaining Special Forces group. 'You know what you have to do.' he sent. Nodding once, they turned and marched f rom the hall to take their positions outside the doors to the castle, followed q uickly be the Aurors. Albus placed his hand on Harry's shoulder and looked up in to his eyes. 'Harry, whatever happens, we are proud of you.' the old mage sent. Harry smiled at him. 'We had better get out there.' he said out loud. Albus nodded. Harry turned to E milie. 'Ready?' he asked her. She smiled at him and transformed, fluttering down to res t on his shoulder. Severus walked over holding his broom and Harry's invisibilit y cloak. 'Be careful Harry.' he sent. 'Please.' 'I will. I don't need to make you promise, do I.' Harry sent back. Severus shook his head. 'No, I know what I have to do. I just hope I don't have to do it.' 'I'll do my best.' Harry said, hugging him quickly. 'Look after him, Phoenix.' h e sent, stroking the stunning white bird on his shoulder. 'I will.' she sent back, lifting off his shoulder and flying out through the doo r after Severus. 'Ready.' he asked the chosen ones. 'As we'll ever be.' Hermione smiled at him. 'Let's go.' Harry and the chosen ones walked out of the hall as he heard the teachers round up the younger students and send them to the dungeons, which was the safest plac e for that many people, and the duelling club following, Remus, Albus and the ot her teachers upstairs towards the ramparts. Harry stood in the twilight, his closest friends in their positions around him. He could sense his Guardian and his Watcher hovering high in the sky above him a nd he could see the Special Forces groups evenly spaced around the Entrance Door s with the Aurors spaced along the castle walls. Turning and glancing up he coul d see the teachers and students up on the ramparts using the gargoyles as shield s and high in the sky out over Hogsmeade and the Forbidden Forest he could see t wo eagles and a raven. Everything was silent.

Then Harry felt a small twinge form his scar. 'They're coming.' Everybody braced themselves, raising their wands and weapons. 'Harry.' came Josh's voice through the mind link. 'Dementors, hundreds of them.' Harry watched as the black cloaked figures drifted out of the forest and swarme d onto the grounds. Harry raised both his hands, waiting for just the right time , and then he yelled, 'EXPECTO PATRONUM.' The enormous wave of silver poured out of Harry's hands, sur rounding the castle and moving outward with great speed. As it hit the Dementors , as in the first battle, they disintegrated until only the cloaks were left, he aped in piles on the ground. 'POTTER.' They heard Voldemort scream from somewhere in the forest. 'Can you tell what is next yet?' Harry sent to David. 'Oh shit.' came the reply. 'Excuse me.' 'Oh sorry Harry. Everyone, Werewolves. They must have found a way to stop them f rom changing back after the full moon. Fred says there is at least a hundred of them.' 'Trolls.' Josh interrupted. 'George how many?' What was that. Everyone George sa y there are about forty Trolls as well.' 'Okay. Everybody ready for the second wave. Special Forces change to silver tipp ed weapons.' Harry sent, hearing Hermione and Draco transfigure their tips of th eir weapons to silver. 'Okay.' Harry said to himself and he began calling the el ements. Earth first, then Water, Fire and lastly Air. He just finished as the We rewolves burst through the trees and began hurtling towards the castle. A small group of about ten branching off and heading towards Harry and the chosen ones. Harry sent out curse after curse, as the chosen ones fought the wolves. The silv er of their armour repelling the werewolves enough that they couldn't get close enough to bite, but they weren't afraid to use their razor sharp claws. Harry be gan sending several small fire columns through the packs of Werewolves. 'Heads up. The Trolls are here with Vampires not far behind.' Came David's voice through the link. 'Special Forces. Half silver, half wood.' Harry instructed, smiling as he saw Dr aco change his staff back to full wood. Hermione left hers as silver for the mom ent. Cries of 'Lumos Solem.' filled the air as the Vampires were upon them. Albu s had the students all firing this spell as it wouldn't hurt anyone other than a Vampire if it accidentally hit them. Harry left the Vampires and Werewolves to the others and began picking up the Trolls one by one. He combined the air and t he water elements creating a spinning tunnel, which sucked them up before dumpin g them in the middle of the lake and as they couldn't swim, they drowned. He was so focused on this he started when Josh called out. 'Zombies, coming in from behind Hagrid's old place.' Harry turned to see a huge number of walking skeletons, rotting flesh hanging, walking out from behind Hagr id's hut. Calling back the fire columns he sent them over towards the Zombies. A dding more and more as he saw the Zombies pouring out of the forest. He was dire cting the air and water with his left hand and the fire with his right. Sweat wa s pouring off him with the effort. He felt the elements begin to waver, and in t

urn, the Star. 'Albus, Emilie. I need you. I can't hold it.' Harry sent out in a panicked voice . Suddenly he felt the pressure lift as Albus, through him, helped with the fire element. He heard Emilie flutter down to perch on his shoulder. She was invisib le, but the weight of her on his shoulder and the soft melody of the phoenix son g, calmed him. 'Thanks.' he sent to her, the melody staying with him even as he felt her lift o ff and return to Severus. The majority of the Zombies now gone as Albus carved g reat gaping holes in their ranks with the fire element. Harry finished off the l ast two trolls. The lake filled from end to end with their bodies before calling the two elements back into their positions. 'Thanks Albus.' He sent, as he took control back of the fire around at the grounds to see the Aurors had moved away from to separate the pack of Werewolves. He saw Angelina was torn re she was and going to help the Aurors on whom the majority and Vampires had descended. element. He glanced the Special Forces between staying whe of both Werewolves

'Don't even think about it.' Harry sent to her. Angelina looked over and locked eyes with Harry. 'They will be here any minute.' Sure enough moments later they heard. 'Death Eaters. Roger says about fifty coming from Hogsmeade. Fred and George say at least a hundred coming through the forest.' 'Sorry.' Angelina sent to Harry. 'Don't be. It's hard to watch people in trouble.' Harry shrugged at her and turn ed back to the forest. 'Josh. Tell the Aurors to take the ones from the forest.' Harry sent. 'Special F orces, the ones from Hogsmeade are your. Leave Voldemort to us.' Harry heard rep ly's from each team leader. 'This is it.' he told the chosen ones. 'It's time we sent that bastard straight to hell.' 'Hell doesn't want him.' Draco drawled. 'Yeah, too worried he'll take over.' Ron chuckled, breaking the tension. Harry's scar began to burn. 'Not long now.' Harry cast his shielding charms. 'Sev, you okay up there.' 'Yes Harry. Although a cushion would be nice.' 'Sorry.' Harry snorted. They watched as the Death Eaters materialised out throug h the trees, running towards the castle, firing curses. The students on the ramp arts were sending down stunners, and leg lockers now, although their aim was muc h more deliberate. Harry and the Special Forces watched as the main group of Dea th Eaters descended on the castle. Some took on the Aurors as other tried blasti ng through the castle walls. The smaller group from Hogsmeade arrived and headed straight for the Entrance. Harry was helping by sending stunning and locking sp ells from his place further across the grounds. 'Boom.' the ground shook as the first of the traps they had set went off, sendin g five or so Death Eaters flying halfway across the grounds to land in a mangled heap. Harry watched as Fred, George and Roger appeared on the scene, transformi

ng back to sitting on broomsticks and firing off curses at the backs of the Deat h Eaters at the doors. More explosions shook the grounds as the Death Eaters tri ed harder to get into the castle. Harry saw as a group of Death Eaters cut Dean, Katie and Nathan off from the others driving them away from the doors and towar ds the greenhouses 'Dean, you and your team, transform and get the hell out of there.' Harry sent. The three students suddenly disappeared, replaced with a bear, a tiger and a hor se, all of which took off at great speed to vanish into the forest. Harry laughe d at the expressions on the Death Eaters faces as they watched the three animals disappear among the trees. Suddenly Harry's scar seared and he ducked his head, eyes tightly shut. 'Something funny Potter.' Voldemort called out. Harry looked up, tears springing to his eyes as the pain in his head exploded. He fought to stand. 'Good evening Tom.' Harry said slowly. 'Don't call me that.' Voldemort snapped. 'What can we do for you Tom.' Harry smirked. 'You know why I am here. Didn't you get my message.' This time Voldemort was doi ng the smirking. 'I'm sure I made it big enough. ' Harry could hear Josh and Dav id shouting commands in the back of his mind. It seemed that all but the Death E aters were dead or dying. Explosions still rocked the castle but it seemed as if the remaining Special Forces with the help of the Aurors were still managing to hold on to the entrance. Voldemort stood facing Harry, wand in hand, red eyes g linting. 'You message was big enough Tom, but unnecessary. Hell would freeze over before I would join you. Face it. It will never happen. Never.' Harry spat venomously. 'Never. Now, now Harry. Never say never. What about if I killed your friends her e?' Voldemort scoffed, pointing his wand first at Draco and then at Ginny. 'What if I killed your little phoenix up there?' he cackled pointing at the sky. Harr y blanched. 'What, you didn't think I knew she was up there. I know all about he r. You aren't the only one who can see through dreams you know.' Voldemort laugh ed outright. Harry's rage began to boil inside. There was no way he was going to let Voldemort take anyone else from him. He could hear the chosen ones chanting the incantation softly. His green eyes bored into the creature in front of him. Voldemort was standing just in front and to the left of Draco. 'If you want me, you have to come and get me.' Harry yelled, tossing Gryffindor' s sword to the side. He heard Severus' gasp through the mind link. Voldemort gri nned evilly and stepped into the Star of Light, not realising once he was in he couldn't get out, and walked up to Harry. 'Love is a foolish thing, Harry. It make idiots out of all of us.' Harry could h ear the chosen ones had almost finished. He placed both hands on Voldemort's che st. 'Why, Harry, I didn't know you were like that.' the snake like face sneered. Harry just smirked and roared, 'AVADA KEDAVRA.' Harry's hands burned into Voldemort's chest. He could see the s mall group of Death Eaters trying to get past the chosen ones to their Master. V oldemort was screaming and Harry saw his eyes beginning to melt. Harry's hands w ere burning as they lay fused to the Dark Lord's chest. Voldemort's robes caught fire and he was soon consumed by flames. 'Severus. I can't let go.' Harry screamed through the link. Hearing him, Severus

flew down to help but before he could get there, the backlash from the killing curse swamped them both covering them in a bright green light before exploding a nd taking the elements out with it, throwing the chosen ones and Severus to the ground. Silence. Everything was silent. The remaining Death Eaters disapparating as they felt the wards tumble after the explosion. Everyone was looking at where Harry, and what they thought must be the remains of Voldemort, lay. 'HARRY.' Came the scream as Emilie touched down and transformed, running across the grounds to throw herself at his side. 'Oh Harry, please wake up, don't be de ad. You have to wake up. Please.' she begged, sobbing. Severus and the chosen on es had picked themselves up of the ground and, dusting themselves off, came over to the distraught girl. 'Emilie. Come on we have to get him to the castle.' Hermione and Ginny knelt, wr apping their arms around the girl, helping her to stand. Severus once again, gat hered Harry in his arms and bolted towards the castle. 'Albus, the doors.' Severus was standing, waiting outside the castle as Albus hu rled spell after spell, from the top of the ramparts, at the entrance doors tryi ng to undo Harry's locking spell. Finally after several tense minutes and with h elp from both Severus and any Aurors that were still standing, the doors burst o pen and Severus shot through with the chosen ones close behind. Upon reaching th e hospital wing, Severus placed Harry down on the bed, standing back to let Popp y do her work. Draco was cradling his arm and Ron was limping. Severus pushed th em both down on beds and gestured for Hermione and Ginny to do the same. All fou r had been injured in the blast. He took the sobbing Emilie in his arms, soothin g her, telling her that everything was going to be alright. Up on the ramparts Albus looked out over what was left of the grounds. Bits of W erewolf lay everywhere. Piles of dust from the extinguished Vampires were scatte red in hundreds of small piles. The Aurors had already started removing the bodi es of the fallen Death Eaters and a few were levitating the dead trolls from the lake. Albus gazed down on the remains of what was once, Tom Riddle. Something s himmered for a moment before it was carried away on the soft wind. 'Oh dear.' he whispered before heading down to the hospital wing. 'Poppy?' Severus whispered. The medi-witch looked at him. 'He's alive.' Severus felt the girl in his arms sag into unconsciousness. Gently he put her down on the bed next to Harry. 'How bad?' 'He's not actually badly hurt, his hands are burnt, of course, but other than th at he is just drained. He will sleep for a while and wake when his body deems it recovered enough.' 'Thank god.' Severus breathed dropping into the chair beside the bed as Poppy tu rned her attention to the chosen ones and the other injured that had made their way into the Hospital wing. Sirius rushed into the room and straight to Harry's bed, followed shortly thereafter by the Head Auror. 'Is he..' Sirius turned pleading eyes on Severus. 'No. He'll be fine.' 'Oh thank god.' Sirius breathed, stroking the hair off Harry's face. He stayed b

y the bed a moment longer before pulling himself together. He ran his fingers th rough his hair as he stood turning to the Head Auror. 'David. Tell me.' 'Sixty seven Death Eaters dead and twenty four captured. The rest managed to app arate away when the wards fell. Seventeen Auror's injured, thankfully none to We rewolf bite, but unfortunately we lost five. Harry's Special Forces only has two with injuries and no loss of life. Quite a remarkable group that one.' David mu sed. 'I can't believe we managed that onslaught with only five losses. I can't believ e it is finally over.' Sirius said as David and Severus nodded. 'It isn't.' Albus said bluntly as he joined them. The three men looked at him wi th confused expressions. The twinkle was well and truly missing as he herded the m into Poppy's office and closed the door. The chosen ones followed this scene with curiosity before looking at each other. 'I wonder what that was about?' Ron sent. 'I don't know but it didn't look good.' Hermione replied. 'Maybe they're worried about the Death Eaters that got away.' Ginny said through the mind link. 'No. A few missing Death Eaters would not take that infernal twinkle out of Dumb ledore's eyes. Whatever it is, it's bad.' Draco growled. 'I guess we'll find out soon enough.' Hermione sent before thanking Poppy as she finished mending her twisted knee. Sure enough, several hours later Emilie and the chosen ones were called into Pop py's office to face a sombre Dumbledore and several other grave faced Aurors, Se verus and Sirius. 'Professor?' Hermione asked timidly. 'What I am about to tell you goes no further than this room. I am only telling y ou because I will need your help.' 'What is wrong, Professor?' Draco said staunchly. Suddenly there was a knock on the door. 'Albus, he's awake.' Emilie shot from the room first, running straight across th e wing and into Harry's arms. 'Oh Harry. I thought you were dead. I love you so much, don't ever leave me.' sh e sobbed into his chest. 'Em, shhh, it's okay. It's all over now. I'm fine. I promise I won't leave you. It's over. It's finally over.' he said softly, stroking her hair. 'Harry?' 'Albus.' Harry grinned at him, before noting the look in his mentor's eyes, then his smile faulted. 'No. No, no It can't be. No, please tell me it isn't true.' Harry shook his head as if to banish his thoughts.

'Harry. I um.' 'No. I don't want to hear it. I just want to live in peace and I would be quite happy never to see another wand for the rest of my life.' he said firmly, buryin g his head in Emilie's shoulder. The chosen ones looked at each other in confusi on, before turning to the Headmaster. 'Oh my god. You're kidding. Please tell me you are kidding.' Hermione choked out as comprehension of what Harry was actually saying hit her. 'I'm afraid not, Miss Granger.' Hermione looked positively horrified. 'What? What is going on?' Draco yelled. 'Please Mr Malfoy, keep your voice down.' Severus admonished him. 'Sorry.' mumbled Draco. 'But would someone please tell me what is going on.' Har ry looked up then, eyes dull. 'He's not dead.' he said to Draco before turning to Albus. 'Is he.' It was not a question. 'No. He isn't. The Expecto Adflicto weakened him, but he managed to keep his spi rit intact, and when everything had died down, when the Star of Light was no lon ger in position he was free to go and I watched as he was carried away by the wi nd.' 'Oh god.' Harry cried, burying his head back into Emilie's shoulder and pulling her to lie down with him. 'All I want is a nice cosy house with a hedge out the front and no wands, not even a piece of wood, within two hundred miles, is that too much to ask.' he mumbled. 'No Harry. It isn't.' Emilie said, stroking her hair. 'You deserve all of that. We can go away from here. Go somewhere they won't find us.' She shook her head a s Severus, Sirius and Albus all opened their mouths to speak. 'No. We can't. They need me here and he would find us eventually.' he mumbled sa dly, as the tears rolled down his cheeks, soaking her shirt. She glared at the a dults. 'Leave us for a while, please.' she pleaded through the mind link. 'He needs tim e.' the chosen ones nodded and all but shoved the adults from the wing, Hermione drawing the curtains around the bed. 'Harry darling. It's going to be alright. We don't even know if he will be able to find anyone willing to take him or how long he will live. It took him thirtee n years to come back last time.' Harry shook his head and looked up. 'I have to find him. Emilie, I know I said I wouldn't leave but I have to find h im.' He said looking deep into her eyes. 'You promised.' she whispered, stricken. 'Please don't go away. Please Harry.' 'I have to. I can't let him get away. I will be back I promise but I must go.' H arry pleaded for her to understand, as he got up off the bed and walked over to the window. 'Harry no. Please don't. Harry No.' she screamed as he jumped out the window and transformed, his golden wings fading into the night.

'HARRY.' Emilie screamed running to the window as the door burst open. Severus c aught the girl for the second time that day. 'Emilie, where is Harry?' he asked her softly. 'He's gone.' she sobbed, pointing to the window with a shaking hand. 'Gone? Gone where?' Albus said, confused. 'Gone to find Voldemort.' She whispered. To say the uproar following that statement was enormous was to put it mildly. He rmione and Ginny joined Emilie in near hysteria, Ron headed for the door to go a fter him only to be restrained by Draco, Sirius immediately ordered the Aurors o ut after Harry, Severus just stood there, open mouthed in shock and Albus sat do wn heavily, clutching his chest and gasping for breath. This snapped Severus int o action and he pushed the Headmaster back down on the bed, yelling for Poppy, w ho bustled over, took one look at Albus, and shooed everybody out. Hermione and Ginny pulled themselves together and helped Draco and Ron get Emili e back to Harry's rooms. Walking into the training room, they found the rest of the Special Forces group celebrating what they thought was the downfall of the D ark Lord. One look at the chosen ones faces, and the fact that Ron and Draco wer e having to carry the almost catatonic Emilie, and they went silent. 'Hermione?' Angelina asked. Hermione shook her head mouthing that she would tell them in a minute and nodding her head at the blond girl currently being carried through into Harry's room. The older girl nodded and waited as Hermione and the others walked in and put Emilie to bed. Draco and Ginny stayed with her as Ron and Hermione went back out to the training room. 'Ron, Hermione. What is going on?' Blaise asked. 'Where's Harry?' Hermione looke d at Ron with a stricken expression. The red head wrapped an arm around her shou lders and took a deep breath. 'It seems as if we were a bit premature in our belief of Voldemort's destruction .' 'What the hell does that mean? In English this time.' Seamus snapped. 'He's not dead. The curse didn't work. His body was destroyed but his spirit is free.' Ron felt Hermione shudder and held her tighter. The students just gaped a t them, wide eyed. 'And Harry? Madame Pomfrey said he was okay.' Angelina asked. 'He is okay.' Ron replied. 'Then why is Emilie so upset?' she asked. Ron looked down at Hermione who nodded her head. 'Harry went after him.' 'After who, Voldemort?' Ron nodded. 'Oh shit.' Seamus put into words what everyone was thinking. Weeks passed and not a word was heard from Harry. No owls could find him, neithe r the best Unspeakables from the Department of Mysteries. Sirius was throwing hi

mself into the after battle clean-up. Trials for the captured Death Eaters were being drawn up. The knowledge of Voldemort's continued existence, albeit as a sp irit, was currently held under wraps in case the Death Eaters went looking for h im. Harry's disappearance was explained away as him having been taken to the Min istry until he came out of a magically induced coma, caused by the explosion. Th e chosen ones went to class everyday, feet dragging, hearts and minds still with their friend. Even Hermione's grades were slipping. Every break between and aft er classes, they spent in Harry's room, trying to get Emilie to talk. After thos e final words in the hospital wing Emilie had not spoken, nor would she leave th e room. Five weeks passed and while she would eat and drink, under threat of bei ng removed from Harry's room to the hospital wing, she wouldn't speak or acknowl edge anyone. She had grown painfully thin and her skin seemed to hang off her bo nes. Her eyes were so dull it was hard to tell they were blue, in fact the only thing with any colour on her face were the hideous circles that were a permanent fixture under her eyes. The chosen ones took turns staying with her at night, they didn't do this in the beginning until they heard her screaming for Harry in the middle of the night. Her dreams were for Harry and Harry only. She screamed, called and whispered his name many times throughout the night. She never woke during these dreams but th e softly spoken words sent through the mind link by whoever was in the room seem ed to soothe her. Albus, Severus, Remus and Sirius had all come and tried to talk to her but to no avail, she just sat at the window and stared out over the grounds. Minerva had taken over again as Gryffindor Head of House until Harry's return. 'If this keeps up, Albus, we will have to send her to St Mungo's.' Minerva whisp ered one evening. Albus nodded sadly. 'I know Minerva. I just wish we had some news of Harry. I might turn the corner for her.' The two professors left the sitting room, walking out to the training room to be met by the Special Forces group. They assembled their every evening b efore dinner to show their support for Emilie and to see if there was any news o f Harry. 'Dinner.' the Headmaster said. Angelina nodded and led them all down to towards the great hall. Albus was so proud of this small group of students. They had ral lied around Emilie and the chosen ones, trying to help the chosen ones keep up w ith their schoolwork and sitting with Emilie whenever they thought one of them n eeded a break. That night held promise of being no different than any in past five weeks. The t ables quiet, the loss, or false coma, of Harry Potter more widely felt than anyb ody ever realised. Every one had finished there meal in almost silence. The plat es had begun clearing themselves when the doors to the hall flew open with a ban g, and a filthy, bedraggled, and definitely exhausted, Harry Potter staggered in and up the centre aisle. The sight was such a shock that no one moved. Harry had almost made it to the he ad table when Severus came to his senses and bolted towards him. Grabbing the ex hausted boy in his arms, he hugged him tightly, tears pouring down his face. 'Oh Harry.' he cried. 'Sev. I couldn't find him. I looked everywhere.' Harry choked out. 'I doesn't matter. We'll find him together.' Suddenly the were set upon by the c hosen ones, minus Ginny who was sitting with Emilie, the Special Forces group an d most of the staff and students.

'Harry, how could you just up and leave.' Hermione sobbed. 'We've been so worried.' Ron told him. Harry just shook his head, then, as if in a trance, lifting his gaze and looking straight at the doors. In the doorway st ood a shaking Emilie being held up by Ginny. She had tears pouring down her face . 'Harry?' she croaked. 'Emilie.' Harry said and with a burst of energy from who knows where, broke free from Severus, pushing past the gathered students to stride quickly down the ais le. He swept the featherweight girl into his arms, planting a firm kiss on her l ips. They stayed that way for several minutes before Severus cleared his throat. Harry blushed bright red, releasing Emilie from the kiss but not letting her go . She freed one hand, reaching up and slapping him soundly across the cheek. 'Ow. What was that for.' Harry whined, bring his hand up to cradle his stinging cheek. 'Don't you ever do that to me again.' she croaked. 'I can't promise I won't have to go.' Harry said softly. 'I know you will have to go, but not like that.' she said sternly, her voice ret urning. 'I promise, not like that.' Harry swore solemnly. 'Come on you two. I think you need the bathe and then sleep. Poppy will be expec ting you by now.' Harry rolled his eyes. 'Don't fight it.' Severus told him. 'Yo u have been missing for five weeks you can't expect to return and not let Poppy look at you.' 'All right but only if Em comes too.' Harry said. 'Was there ever any doubt.' Severus smirked. Harry shook his head and with the h elp of the chosen ones, he and Emilie, together with most of the staff made thei r slow trip to the hospital wing, Harry's energy spurt of the previous minutes h aving faded fast. An hour later Harry and Emilie were curled up together in the largest hospital b ed, Hermione having explained the situation regarding Harry's dreams to both Sev erus and Albus while Harry was bathing. Severus and Albus looked down at the two sleeping teenagers, soft smiles on both their faces as Emilie borrowed deeper into Harry's arms. They had been joined b y the entire Special Forces group and the Little Ones, who were watching over Ha rry and Emilie as if on guard duty. Poppy had asked them all to leave but they h ad refused. Harry was their leader and they were staying. The dreamless sleep po tion that Poppy had given them would last all night so Severus and Albus walked back towards the Headmaster's office. 'I guess we will have to wait until tomorrow for the full story.' Albus said. 'Yes. I guess we will.' Severus answered him softly as they walked up the moving staircase. Chapter 28 - Good News and Bad News Harry sat in his large armchair in his rooms, Emilie, the chosen ones, the Speci

al Forces group and the staff spread out in various positions around them. It wa s late in the evening and all the other students had gone to bed. Harry and Emil ie had spent the day with their friends but no one dared ask Harry what had happ ened, he would tell them when he was ready. The dark circles under Emilie's eyes had all but disappeared and she was quite content just to sit and look at Harry . She had barely let go of his hand all day, lest he think of going away again. At dinner he had called a meeting through the mind link and now all the relevant parties had arrived, Harry took a deep breath before beginning. 'I'm sorry I left like I did.' Harry said softly. 'But I had to go before he got too far away.' 'Harry, that's no excuse and you know it.' Hermione admonished him. 'You're an e lemental, for gods sake, you know how fast wind travels. He was probably halfway across Europe by the time you left.' 'I know that now.' Harry mumbled. 'But I had to try.' 'Yes but you didn't -' 'Miss Granger, please can we hear what Harry has to say.' Dumbledore scolded. He rmione looked suitably abashed as she sat back in her chair. 'Thank you.' Harry said. 'Anyway I figured it would be best to follow the wind f or a while. I know that last time Voldemort was thrown out of a body, back in fi rst year he could go wherever he wanted, but I was hoping that the battle and th e explosion might have been enough of a shock that his spirit was just floating. That it didn't have the strength to do anything else.' 'Did it work?' Blaise asked. Harry shook his head. 'Unfortunately no, it didn't. The wind carried me towards Germany and after a ni ght in France, I flew on towards the Black Forest. I remembered that Voldemort s pent time in forests in Albania before he was resurrected last year and I guesse d he might be hiding there. I spent the next three weeks looking. I chased down various sources, but know one seemed to know anything. I even went to Durmstrang , to no avail. I hopped over to America for a week before I realised just how fr uitless the search really was. I didn't know how to kill him even if I found him and I knew how much Emilie and the others were hurting.' He said tightening his hold on her hand as she came and perched on the arm of his chair. 'I could feel it even over in the States and I knew I had to come back.' Harry finished, leav ing the room silent. 'What do we do now?' Ron asked. 'We wait.' the Headmaster told them. 'For any sign of him.' Harry sighed, closin g his eyes and tipping his head back and leaning it against the chair. 'Has the Ministry released anything yet.' Harry asked, his eyes still closed. Al bus shook his head before realising Harry couldn't see. 'No.' 'They had better let it get out then.' Harry replied, waiting for the storm to h it. 'Are you crazy?' 'What do you mean tell?'

'If this got out.' Harry held up his hand and the students and teachers fell ins tantly silent. He opened his eyes and studied the people in the room. 'Two reasons. The first. It will get out anyway at some point. Probably sooner r ather than later and I don't think it would reflect well on Sirius and the Minis try to have covered up something of this magnitude. Let us never forget Fudge.' Harry shuddered. 'Makes sense.' Severus said, stroking his chin thoughtfully. 'And the other reason?' Ginny asked. 'If we let it out, the Death Eaters will find him and restore him to his body an d I need him in a corporeal form to kill him. As a spirit, he is too free.' 'But he was in a human form last time?' Ron put in. 'Yes but now I know he will try and move as a spirit I can catch him. I didn't k now before.' Harry said rising from the chair, giving Emilie's hand a squeeze be fore going to stand in front of the fire. 'I have been talking to the founders a lot lately. I told them what happened and we have worked out a way to capture t he spirit after we kill the body. They told me last night.' Harry said. Severus glanced over at Albus, but couldn't gauge from his expression as to the mentor's feelings on the matter of fact way Harry seemed to be dealing with this situati on. 'But what do you do after you catch it?' Draco asked. Harry turned his back to t hem and looked deep into the fire. 'We seal it into a rune and then destroy it.' Hermione took a deep breath. 'But to destroy a rune without allowing whatever is inside to escape you would h ave to sacrifice whoever is holding it at the time.' Hermione eyed his posture c arefully. 'You're going to be the one holding the rune aren't you' It wasn't rea lly a question. Emilie gasped. Harry didn't say anything but continued to look i nto the fire, not turning to meet anyone's eyes. 'Harry.' Hermione prodded. 'I was hoping you didn't know that, Hermione.' Harry sighed. 'If you can find an other way go ahead, but otherwise this is the way it is going to be. I'm not goi ng to let anyone else die when it is up to me to end this.' Harry said softly. 'But we need you Harry.' Angelina said. 'You may need me now, but you can't honestly say that my life is more important than Justin's or Roger's or anyone else's. Who can judge who is more valuable th an anyone else. No one except God.' Harry said firmly, leaning his head forwards on the mantle. 'Besides this is what I was born to do, and once it is over you won't need me any more.' 'I need you.' Emilie whispered, a lone tear rolling down her cheek. Harry stiffe ned slightly but tried to pretend he didn't hear as he stood gazing at the fire. 'Anyway, like I said, if you find something else, tell me, otherwise....' Harry left the end of the sentence unsaid. He continued to stare into the fire as the students and teachers, realising the meeting was over, slowly made their way fro m the room, the chosen ones closing the door softly behind them. 'Harry?' Emilie whispered, tentatively. Harry dropped to his knees and buried hi

s face in his hands, his shoulders shaking. 'Oh Harry.' Emilie flew from the sof a and wrapped her arms around him as he buried his head in her lap. 'Em. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.' Harry said over and over as they sat, huddled on the floor in front of the fire. Emilie stroked his back and whispered to him as she rocked him back and forwards. 'It'll be okay Harry. We will find a way.' They sat there for hours before Harry conjured some pillows and a blanket and they curled up and fell asleep, the fir e flickering as they slept. By the time Harry and Emilie joined the rest of the school at breakfast the next morning he was back to his old self, smiling and cracking jokes, teasing his gu ardian and sending funny anecdotes out through the mind link, causing students a ll over the hall to burst into spontaneous laughter. 'So Harry, back to teaching tomorrow.' Severus smiled. 'Yup.' Harry said sipping his pumpkin juice. 'Moody's staying on to teach DADA w ith Remus so I will just take the fifth, sixth and seventh years once a week as well as duelling. Should leave me with a bit of free time to do the other stuff. ' Harry mumbled, his mouth full of eggs. 'Other stuff.' Severus arched an eyebrow. 'You'll see.' Harry grinned wickedly. Just then the big oak doors opened and Sir ius stepped into the hall flanked by two Aurors. 'Harry.' he yelled as Harry leapt up from the table and flew down the aisle and into is godfather's arms. They hugged fiercely for a moment before Sirius pulled back and looked him in the eye. 'Just what in the hell do you think you were doing? And why did I only find out this morning that you had come back, and from someone else.' Sirius scolded. Har ry laughed and looked over his shoulder at Remus. 'You again, I gather?' The werewolf blushed and nodded, hanging his head. 'It's alright Moony. I forgive you.' Harry said, laughing again. 'Harry.' Sirius said, lowering his voice. 'Can I speak with you privately for a moment.' Harry smiled and led his godfather over to the chamber. He waited as th e Aurors stationed themselves outside the door and then closed it softly. 'What's wrong?' he asked. 'Harry we need your help.' Sirius said bluntly. 'I hate to ask you this, but we have been having Death Eater cells pop up all over the place. Only small ones, b ut they are doing enormous amounts of damage to property and many muggles have b een injured or killed. We have been able to spread that gas leaks and such are t he cause of these explosions, but there is getting to be to many for us to deal with, and soon the muggle government is going to try and step in, and that could be a disaster. We send in Aurors and Unspeakables but for some reason we can ne ver catch any of the Death Eaters.' 'What does this have to do with me.' Harry said bluntly. 'We need you to go with the Aurors on some raids and try and tag the Death Eater s in some way so that we can follow them. We need you also to cast a temporary a nti-apparition ward around the areas.' Sirius explained.

'Hang on.' Harry said. 'Albus, Severus can you please come in here?' he sent and waited, hearing the scrape of two chairs and then the soft opening and closing of the door. 'What is it Harry?' Albus asked. Harry just shook his head and gestured to Siriu s as they all sat down. 'Sirius?' Severus asked. Sirius repeated what he had said to Harry and waited fo r the outburst, but it never came. Albus stroked his beard thoughtfully. 'It couldn't hurt.' he said. 'Headmaster.' Severus breathed. 'Harry can't leave Hogwarts. What if something h appened?' 'Voldemort's body is dead. He cannot hurt Harry at this time and none of the Dea th Eaters are strong enough to do any serious damage to him. If Harry wishes to do this, I see no reason why he couldn't. The chosen ones are quite capable of t aking over the duelling club while Harry is away on any missions.' Severus could n't see any holes in this argument so he just sat back in a huff. 'Sev, If you really don't want me to go, I won't.' Harry said softly, glaring an d shaking his head at Sirius who was about to interrupt. 'No Harry, I think you should do it.' Severus said resignedly. Harry smirked at Sirius. 'Well the next tip off we have is for Wednesday, in Kent so I will pick you up a fter dinner on Tuesday night. Bring enough clothes for two or three days in case we have to tail them.' Harry nodded getting up and giving his godfather a hug. 'Oh by the way, you had better release the news about Voldemort tomorrow.' Harry told him. 'Why?' 'Because it is going to come out anyway.' 'Yes but then the Death Eaters might find him.' Sirius said. 'Exactly.' Harry smiled. 'Exactly?' Sirius echoed. 'I need him human. Well, almost human, anyway.' Harry said simply. 'Why?' 'I can't kill him while his is a spirit.' 'Oh.' Sirius mouthed. 'No problem then, I will release it this afternoon.' 'Good.' Harry said, hugging his godfather once more before they all walked from the room. Sirius leaving with the Aurors and Albus, Severus and Harry sitting ba ck down to finish their breakfast. 'Griffin?' Emilie sent. Harry looked over at her, and smiled. 'Don't worry Phoenix, everything's fine. I will tell you all later.' Emilie nodd ed and smiled back at him.

An hour later Emilie, the chosen ones and the Special Forces group met up with H arry in the training rooms. Harry hadn't returned it to it's regular size yet as he thought it might be prudent to leave it as it was until the future was more certain. They were all sprawled about the floor waiting for Harry to speak. 'I know I apologised for leaving last night but I feel I owe you all more.' 'You don't owe us anything, Harry.' Blaise said. 'No I do. I told you I would see you the day after the battle and I didn't. You all fought hard and risked your lives for me and I didn't appreciate it enough t o tell you all where I was going. I just left without a thought to any of you.' 'Harry, you did what you thought was right.' Katie said softly. 'But it wasn't, was it.' 'You thought it was and that's all that matters.' Hermione said sincerely. 'I wanted to thank you all, not just for the battle, although you all were amazi ng, but also for afterwards. I know what you all did for Emilie.' he smiled at t he blond girl sitting next to him. 'and also what you did for Hermione, Ron, Gin ny and Draco. I mean you diverted a world wide disaster when you all chipped in to stop Hermione from slipping to an A- in Potions.' Harry snickered and they al l laughed. 'Anyway, I don't know if I will ever be able to repay you all for wha t you have done.' Harry finished softly. 'How did you know what we did?' David asked. Harry smiled. 'I am bonded to the chosen ones, most particularly to Draco and of course to Emi lie. My link to them will work from halfway around the world. I can't talk to th em from that far but I can feel them and their pain, I can also sometimes see wh at they are seeing if they are open enough and I use the right incantation. Emil ie was always open, I could see the others all the time.' Harry's voice lowered. 'I could see the pain they were in, but they were still functioning, and I thou ght that finding Voldemort was more important. It wasn't until Draco finally let go that I managed to see Emilie. I was horrified and knew that even though I ha dn't found him I had to come back straight away. If I didn't, I might lose her f orever.' Harry gazed wistfully at her. Hermione, Ginny and a few of the others h ad silent tears rolling down their cheeks. 'What now?' Angelina sniffed. 'This afternoon the Minister will be releasing the information regarding Voldemo rt.' Harry told them, masking his expression. Draco looked at him shrewdly. 'It took Sirius forty five minutes and both Dumbledore and Severus to tell you t his.' he asked, one eyebrow raised. 'God damn it Dragon,' Harry swore, and then sighed realising he would have to te ll them all everything. 'I'm not sure I like being bonded so close to you.' he s aid, shooting a glare at the blond. 'I have agreed to go and help the Aurors try and catch some of the remaining Death Eater cells. I leave on Tuesday and will be gone for a few days.' 'But what about, you know what?' Hermione looked worried. 'Is Severus going with you?' Harry shook his head. 'Voldemort can't hurt me until he is restored to a body.'

'But what about the others?' 'None of the Death Eaters have enough power to transfer anything.' Harry shrugge d. 'the only one who might have had enough was Draco's father and we all know wh at happened to him.' Draco had a wicked smile on his face as he relived the firs t battle. 'Best day of my life.' Draco smirked. 'Transfer?' Seamus looked confused, and he wasn't the only one. 'That is what Voldemort really wanted from me. The prophecy said that if I went to the darkness he would be invincible. He didn't want to kill me, he wanted me to join him so he could transfer my abilities to himself. That is why Severus wa s so important.' 'Why?' 'Severus is my guardian.' Harry explained. 'If, for whatever reason, I was captu red it was up to him to kill me before Voldemort could transfer anything.' Silence. 'Shit,' said Seamus, suddenly seeing his greasy potions master in a new light. ' The man has more balls than I thought.' 'Why Severus?' Roger and Hannah asked at the same time. 'Couldn't one of the Aurors have done it?' Blaise asked. Harry shook his head. 'No one on the light side can kill me. As my guardian, he is the one who guards over my life. It is part of his commitment to me, to watch over me.' Harry said simply. No one said anything for a moment before, 'Merlin, I'll never tease the man again.' Angelina said. 'He has quite enough st ress.' Everyone laughed. 'Don't let on that I told.' Harry said sternly, immediately changing to a big sm ile. 'Now, who's training today.' he looked around at the lowered gazes. 'Did an y of you do any work while I was gone?' No one said anything. 'Well, we had bett er get started then. You have to keep in shape. You've all been offered jobs wit h the Aurors straight out of school. And.' Harry grinned at them. 'you don't hav e to do the year's training.' 'Really?' Roger asked, wide eyed. Harry nodded. 'David Wittingslow was very impressed with all of you.' 'All right.' Dean yelled, giving Seamus a high five. 'But.' Harry said wagging a finger at them. 'You have to keep training, even whe n I'm not here.' Everyone laughed and began stretching. They all spent the rest of the day practicing before showering and going down to dinner. Harry groaned, his first DADA class was fifth year Gryffindors and Slytherins. W alking in, he knew he was in trouble. The entire class, with the exception of La vender and Parvati, were in his Special Forces group and the chosen ones were de finitely behind whatever was planned. Setting his books down on the desk he turn ed to face them noticing Emilie and the chosen ones sitting primly in the front

row, side by side, hands folded on the desk. 'This isn't going to be good,' he t hought to himself. 'Good morning.' he said brightly, looking around the class. 'Good morning Professor Potter.' the class chimed. Harry rolled his eyes. 'So that's how it's going to be is it?' 'We don't know what you mean Professor.' Hermione said innocently. Draco snicker ed and Ron was turning bright red as he held his laughter. Harry could hear Dean and Seamus snickering quietly in the back of the class. 'Fine. You asked for it.' groaned Harry, pulling himself up onto the desk facing them and picking up the class list. 'Lavender Brown.' Harry called out. Lavender looked up from the copy of Witch We ekly that she and Parvati were reading under the desk. 'Yes. What?' she said looking around wildly. Harry sighed and held out his hand, the rest of the class snickering, as the magazine flew towards him, changing di rection at the last moment to drop in the bin by the door. 'Are you here?' Harry asked her slowly, enunciating each word. 'Yes.' she glared. 'Good. Five points from Gryffindor. Don't read in my class.' Harry said ignoring her and the rest of the Gryffindors who were looking at him incredulously. Blai se as the lone Slytherin had an enormous grin on his face. 'Seamus Finnegan.' 'Here.' 'Hermione Granger.' 'Here Professor.' Hermione replied sweetly. Harry groaned inwardly. 'Emilie Lacroix.' 'I'm here.' she winked at him. Harry blushed as the class giggled. 'Draco Malfoy.' 'Present.' the blond drawled, slouching in his seat and grinning wickedly at Har ry. 'Parvati Patil.' 'Here.' Parvati said stiffly, still smarting over the loss over her magazine. 'Dean Thomas.' 'Here Sir.' 'Ginny Weasley.' 'Yes Professor?' 'You are here then.' Harry smirked at her.

'Oh yes Professor.' she giggled. 'Ron Weasley.' 'Here Professor.' 'Blaise Zabini.' 'Present.' 'Now today -' Ron raised his hand. 'What is it Mr Weasley?' 'Um excuse me Professor, but are you always going to call the roll.' 'For the moment.' Harry replied, arching an eyebrow. 'Do you have a problem with that?' 'No Sir.' Ron blushed. Draco began to raise his hand. 'Dragon, don't even think about it.' Harry growled thorough the mind link. Draco lowered his hand again and Harry kept his gaze on the class. 'As I was saying today we are going to work on our Patronus. I know we worked on these in first term with Professor Lupin but they still need work. I want you a ll to stand up and spread out.' Harry moved all the desks to the edge with a swe ep of his hand. 'Now remember, you must think of the happiest memory you have an d then say the incantation. Off you go.' Harry stood back and watched the class. Most of the Special Forces group and the chosen ones could produce an indistinc t shape with the mist. Draco was the only one able to produce a distinct form. 'I should have guessed, Dragon.' Harry sent affectionately as Draco's dragon Pat ronus zoomed around the room. Harry sent Prongs out after it and added a simple spell to allow the forms to stay longer. Much to the amusement of the class, the two forms staged a mock fight in the middle of the room. The Dragon eventually winning as Prongs' lost his antlers to a sudden burst of grey flame before the t wo faded away. Draco was grinning smugly at Harry who rolled his eyes. 'Come on, enough fun. Get on with it.' Emilie kept giving him sly glances and wh ispering teasing words to him every time he walked past. He was finding it awful ly difficult to keep his concentration. But by the end of the lesson half the cl ass had produced a form of sorts. Ron's, of course, was a lion as Ginny's was a Unicorn. Hermione's, surprisingly, or maybe not, was an enormous book. Lavender' s was a large bat, which made Harry wonder about her family history, and finally Seamus' for some unknown reason, and which had the entire class in hysterics, w as an enormous mug of beer, complete with the foam trailing down the side. 'All right, settle down.' Harry called out. 'Well done all of you. Next time we will try it with a Boggart. If I face it first it will become a Dementor and tho se of you with a Patronus can try them out against it.' The bell rang and the st udents began gathering their things. 'Homework.' and a collective groan went up. 'Two pages on the uses of a Patronus, who invented the spell, how and why does it take the forms that it does. Due in a week. Thank you and goodbye.' The stude nts all filed out and Harry sunk down gratefully into his chair. 'Harry.' Emilie giggled with her head around the doorway. Harry looked up. 'See you after potions?' he nodded and she disappeared just as the sixth year Ravencl aws and Hufflepuffs filed in, chattering and laughing. Once they had all sat dow n Harry moved around to the front of the desk and perched himself on it. In this

class he had Josh, David and Cho as well as four other Ravenclaws and eight Huf flepuffs. 'Hello everyone. You can all put your books away, today we are going to be worki ng on defensive shields. There are three different types of shield. Can anyone t ell me what they are?' Cho's hand shot straight up. 'Miss Chang?' 'An absorbing shield.' Harry nodded. 'A rebounding shield.' Another nod. 'and a deflective shield.' 'Very good. Ten points to Ravenclaw. Now there is also different shapes of shiel d. Anyone?' Harry looked around the room. 'You can have either a single shield l ike a wall in front of you or an all encompassing shield that goes all the way a round you. Now if, obviously, a full shield is preferable, why then do most witc hes and wizards only use a full frontal shield.' Harry looked around, as three h ands shot up. 'Yes, Mr Evans.' 'It takes too much power to keep a full shield up for very long.' 'Good another ten points.' Another hand rose. 'Yes. Miss Taylor.' 'Professor. How long can you keep a full shield up for?' she asked. 'That's not really relevant to this discussion.' Harry said firmly. 'Oh, please Professor.' Cho whined and then smiled brightly at him. 'Do not whine Miss Chang, it's not becoming of you.' Harry scolded, and she blus hed. 'In answer to your question, Miss Taylor.' Harry said turning his gaze back to Angela. 'if only to get past this little distraction, I have a shield, albei t not a very strong one, up at all times. It's just naturally there.' The class all looked a bit stunned at this revelation. 'Anyway, now, I want you to pair up , Miss Chang, you can be my partner.' Harry smiled wickedly at her. 'Today we wi ll just practice the absorbing shield against your normal curses. Nothing worse than Impedimentia or Expelliarmus, mind you.' Harry watched as the students got up and Harry moved all the desks over to the side and then Harry showed them the correct wand movement for casting an absorbing shield and had them repeat the i ncantation. Soon cries of 'Expelliarmus' 'Tarantellegra' and 'Impedimentia' filled the room. Harry watched for a few moments before turning to his partner. 'Ready?' he challenged her. She nodded casting the shield in front of her. Harry sent a jelly legs jinx followed quickly by a tickling charm. Cho's shield rocke d for a moment before becoming stable again. He sent a few more, one after the o ther, before shattering the shield with a leg locker curse. Harry walked over an d released her, offering his hand to help her up. He held up his hand, shooting purple sparks into the air for silence. 'Now with an Absorbing Shield you can have an advantage if you use it well,' he told them. 'if you can hold the shield together long enough, when the shield abs orbs the curse or spell you can re-tune it so that it becomes stronger against t hat spell.'

'Is that what you were doing at the last duel when you just stood there.' Josh a sked, remembering back to Harry's last practice duel with Severus and the chosen ones. Harry nodded and returned all the desks to their places. 'Now one at a time I will cast a shield around both of us and show you what I me an. Cho, you can go first.' Harry waited up the front until Cho came and stood b eside him. He took hold of her wrist and waved his hand, conjuring a shield. 'Mr Salter, Mr Evans. You had better both cast at the same time.' Harry told the tw o boys who nodded and raised their wands. 'Expelliarmus.' they yelled. Harry felt Cho flinch as the ball of light shot tow ards them. 'Relax.' he whispered and the ball hit the shield, spreading out with a bright g low. Harry worked quickly closing his eyes and moving the magic around, re-tunin g and rebuilding his shield back to full strength. Harry opened his eyes to look at Cho, who was gaping at him. 'Did you feel it.' he asked worriedly. She nodde d dumbly and Harry grinned and dropped the shield. Cho, still in shock, went to sit down. By the time every student had had a turn, Harry was exhausted and the students were all sitting speechless, looking at Harry as if he was some being f rom another world, even Cho, Josh and David who had seen him in action numerous times before. Finally the bell rang. 'Thank you everyone. Homework.' No groan this time. 'Two feet please on defensiv e shields, the different types, their weaknesses and their strengths for next we ek please.' Still no one moved. 'You can go.' Harry raised his eyebrows. 'Dinner .' he yelled. This snapped them back into action and they all hurriedly grabbed their bags and fled the room. Harry shook his head and chuckled to himself as he walked slowly down to the great hall. He was almost bowled over by Emilie as he stepped down the last step and into the entrance hall. She kissed him passionat ely before pulling back and grinning shyly at him. 'Missed me?' Harry raised an eyebrow. Emilie giggled as Draco and Ron whistled. 'I'll take that as a yes.' Harry said, dropping a kiss on the end of her nose. H e put his arm around her and they all walked into the hall together. Harry follo wed them over to the Gryffindor table, making sure Emilie was seated before bowi ng to her and kissing her hand. 'My lady.' he smiled before walking away to the head table. Harry didn't have to look back to know that Emilie was doing a brilliant impersonation of the Weasle y Blush. Something Harry was also familiar with. 'That will teach her to be chee ky in class.' he chuckled to himself, pulling out his chair and sitting down. 'How was class.' Severus asked reaching for the salt. 'Why, didn't they tell you?' Harry grinned and rolled his eyes. 'No, but for some reason they were all unbelievably polite, even Finnegan, almos t like they knew something I didn't, well except for the resident gossip queens anyway.' Harry choked and spat pumpkin juice all over his plate which he then cl eaned with a wave of hand. 'Maybe they respect you.' Harry said keeping his eyes on his plate. 'No Harry, they respect you. They fear me.' Severus smirked. 'Ah well. I really have no idea what you are talking about.' 'Hmmm.' Severus mused, not believing him in the slightest.

'Harry did you tell them?' Albus sent through the link. Harry's eyes shot up. 'How did you...' Harry sent back. 'Why did you tell them?' 'They asked why he was so important.' Harry mumbled out loud. 'Who was important?' Severus asked, confused. 'I think you should tell him.' put in Albus. 'All right.' growled Harry, clearly not happy. 'Severus, they do respect you bec ause I had to tell them.' 'You told them to respect me and they did it?' Severus' eyebrows had joined his hair line by now. 'No.' Harry rolled his eyes. 'They asked why you were so important and I told th em. The Special Forces group. Don't worry they won't tell.' Harry added quickly as the blood drained from Severus' face. 'You told them.' Severus breathed. 'That explains everything.' 'Yeah, I think Seamus' exact words were, and an I thought.' Severus looked at Albus for a ughing. Harry just shook his head as most of ards the head table, trying to work out what I quote, 'The man has more balls th moment before both men burst out la the students in the hall looked tow was so funny.

'I gather you just told Severus what Finnegan said.' He heard through the mind l ink. Harry looked over to a chuckling group, locking eyes with Draco. 'Dragon, do you mind read now?' 'Nope, I just know Severus.' Draco shrugged from across the hall. Harry smiled a nd continued to eat his dinner. Afterwards he collected Emilie and the chosen on es and returned to his rooms. The Special Forces had returned to their own house dormitories until they needed to train full on once more, but the chosen ones h ad decided that they would prefer to stay closer to Harry. He had changed the pa ssword to the training rooms and now it only let someone in by a palm print as w ell as the password which was in parseltongue. Harry had spent hours the day bef ore teaching it to everybody. After two hours of homework while Harry read, He a nd Emilie bid the others good night and retired to his rooms. Harry waited while Emilie used the bathroom first and then, after a quick shower and some fresh py jamas, joined her in bed. They cuddled up together, her head resting on his shou lder. 'I'm sorry I have to go away so soon.' he told her softly. 'It's okay Harry. I know you'll be back.' she replied, Tilting her head up to lo ok into his eyes. 'I will always come back.' he whispered, staring into the blue pools of light. 'Promise me you will be with me always?' she whispered tentatively. 'Promise.' he said firmly. 'and I'll prove it to you.' Harry released her for a moment, climbing out of bed and rummaging in his trunk. He stood up, a triumphan t smile on his face as he clutched something in his hand. He climbed back on the bed and handed Emilie a small velvet pouch that Albus had given him earlier in

the year. 'Open it.' She looked at him wide eyed as she sat up and undid the ties, delving into the bag and pulling out a beautiful golden ring with five diamonds in a st ar shape. 'Harry.' she squeaked. 'Marry me.' he whispered. Emilie flew across the bed and into his arms. 'Yes, yes. Of course yes.' she sobbed. Harry placed the ring on her finger, kiss ing her softly on the back of the hand before sweeping her back into his arms an d hugging her to him. 'I love you Em. I will always be back for you.' he whispered into her ear. 'I love you too, Harry.' she sniffed. Pulling away she admired the sparkling dia monds on her left hand. 'It's beautiful.' she breathed. 'It was my mother's.' Harry said, gazing at the ring wistfully. 'Oh Harry.' Emilie knew Harry didn't have many of his parents things, less than she did of hers, so it made the ring all the more special. The settled back down under the covers, Emilie once again resting her head on Harry's shoulder. 'Hermione's going to have a fit.' Emilie giggled. Harry snickered with her. They talked for ages about their plans for the wedding and the future, before they f inally drifted of to sleep, Emilie safe in Harry's embrace and Harry happier tha n he had ever been in his life. The next morning at breakfast. 'Oh my god.' squealed Hermione, over at the Gryffindor table. 'Shit,' mumbled Harry, 'here it comes.' 'What?' Severus asked. Harry just shook his head and dropped it onto the table m aking his fork clatter to the floor and pointed to Hermione across the hall. 'Harry James Potter.' Hermione shrieked across the hall. 'How could you not tell me, I mean, us, tell us.' Hermione bustled her way towards the head table dragg ing a reluctant Emilie behind her with Ron, Draco and Ginny bringing up the rear . 'Shit is about right.' Severus whispered at the sight of Hermione, in full blown bluster, bearing a quite remarkable resemblance to Molly Weasley, storming thro ugh the hall towards them. Harry sighed and raised his head. 'Yes Hermione. Did you want something?' Harry drawled. 'You've got that tone down pat now, Griffin.' Draco smirked at him. Hermione jus t glared at Harry and thrust Emilie's left hand forward. Harry heard a sharp int ake of breath to the right of him, but not to the left, and looked in that direc tion and straight into the twinkling eyes of his mentor. 'You knew, didn't you?' he said smiling. 'It was only a matter of time.' Albus replied softly. 'Matter of time. Harry what are you thinking. You aren't even sixteen yet.' Herm

ione wailed. Harry stood up and came around the table, wrapping his arms around his fiancé. 'I know what I'm doing Hermione. I love Emilie and I'm going to marry her.' Whis pers flew around the hall as Hermione glared at him. 'Harry Potter's getting married.' 'Professor Potter's getting hitched.' 'Harry and Emilie are getting married?' Harry gave Emilie a kiss before turning to his friend. 'Hermione. It's no use you won't talk me out of it. Please understand.' 'She's not pregnant is she?' Hermione sent through the mind link. Harry gave her a horrified look. 'Hermione, that was uncalled for, unfair, and not to mention, untrue. Do you rea lly think I would do something like that.' Harry said sternly. Ron nudged Draco. 'What did she say?' Draco shrugged. 'Don't know exactly but I have a fair idea by the expression on Harry's face.' D raco whispered. 'Oh.' Ron shuddered as he too, worked out what was sent. 'Well Harry. I for one, am happy for you.' Ron said proudly giving his best friend and Emilie a big hug . 'Thanks Ron.' Harry hugged his friend back. That seemed to galvanise everyone el se into action and soon Harry and Emilie were being congratulated from all sides by teachers and students alike. 'Harry.' Harry turned around to face his guardian. 'Sev.' he said softly. Severus pulled him into a warm embrace. 'God Harry. I am so happy for you.' the potions master choked out. Harry looked up to see tears forming in his guardians eyes. He beckoned Emilie over. 'Severus.' she asked softly. 'Yes.' Emilie looked at Harry who nodded. 'We, Harry and I, wanted to ask whether you would walk me down the aisle and giv e me away.' Severus gasped. 'Really?' he asked wide eyed. 'Yes.' they both said at the same time. Severus puffed up his chest with pride a nd bowed to them. 'I would be honoured to escort you.' Severus said proudly. Harry and Emilie hugg ed him again before turning to the chosen ones. 'Ron, Draco.' Harry smiled at his best friends. 'I don't think I could choose be tween you and I don't want to so I was wondering whether you would both to stand with me.' Ron and Draco looked at each other before throwing themselves at Harr y.

'Of course.' Draco yelled. 'Did you really have to ask.' added Ron. 'Hey... guys... can't... breath' Harry choked out. 'Oops, sorry about that.' Draco said sheepishly as the two boys stepped back. Ha rry grinned at them. 'Hermione, Ginny, you two are like the sisters I never had and you probably know what I am going to ask. Will you be my maids of honour?' Emilie asked softly. H ermione and Ginny squealed, Hermione's previous disapproval forgotten as they gr abbed Emilie in a hug, spinning her around and then preceding to drag her away, talking animatedly about dresses and flowers. Emilie looked back apologetically at Harry but he just laughed and waved her away. 'Who are you going to get to perform the service?' Severus asked. Harry turned t o Albus. 'We wanted to ask Albus. Would you?' Harry sent a pleading look at the Headmaste r. 'Of course I would be honoured.' Albus said, giving Harry a hug. 'When are you t hinking of having the ceremony?' 'We thought we would have it on Halloween. That's Emilie's sixteenth birthday. I t also gives her nine months to change her mind if she wants.' Harry said. 'I don't see that happening.' Draco snickered watching the adoring looks Emilie was giving Harry as she pretended to listen to Hermione, Ginny and most of the g irls in the school prattle on. Harry glanced over at Emilie, who gave him a plea ding look. 'Excuse me.' Harry grinned, striding across the hall to sweep Emilie off her cha ir and disappearing with a pop. Albus nodded to Minerva who tapped her fork agai nst her glass. The students went silent and returned to their seats. 'Now, now. I know you are all excited and happy for Harry and Emilie but you all have classes to go to. Tonight's dinner will be a celebration so dress appropri ately. We will arrange some entertainment and please no mention of it to Harry o r Emilie. Good day to you all.' Albus sat down as the students got up to head to their first classes, chattering excitedly. 'I don't think I have ever seen Harry so happy. When he picked Emilie up he was positively glowing.' Minerva sniffed, dabbing her eyes. Severus and Albus nodded their agreement. 'Remus.' the Headmaster got up from the table and looked back at the werewolf. ' Can you tell Sirius and arrange to have him here for this evening. I know he was coming anyway just ask him to come earlier.' Remus nodded and got up to floo th e Minister. 'How exciting.' Albus rubbed his hands together, his eyes twinkling madly. 'we haven't had a wedding at Hogwarts for years.' he practically sang, an d then left mumbling to himself about ceremonies and the like. Severus just shoo k his head and calling goodbye to the rest of the staff, headed down to the dung eons for his first class of the day.' 'You had better go.' Harry said kissing her softly. 'Grubbly-Plank will have my hide otherwise.' Emilie giggled.

'Will I see you for lunch.' Harry nodded. 'Of course. Go, I will see you after Healing.' he told her. After one last kiss, he sighed and dropped into his chair as she ran from the room. He had the first class free before his only class for the day, a double with seventh year Gryffi ndors and Ravenclaws. He spent the hour preparing for the class. Eventually he s ummoned his invisibility cloak with a wave of his hand and when the bell rang, c oncealed himself under it, lying in wait in the corner. He didn't have to wait t hat long before the students filed in. He did nothing until they sat down. 'I wonder where he is?' Katie asked looking around the room. 'Maybe he's still with Emilie.' Fred snickered. 'Celebrating.' added George. 'Kissing.' piped up Fred. 'Practicing.' the twins burst into laughter. Harry had had quite enough of this, so he sent a couple of 'Tarantellegra' jinxes at the twins, watching to see wha t happened. Suddenly the class was laughing at the twins who were both dancing a round the room, in no control of their limbs whatsoever. Harry sent two more cur ses off towards two of the Ravenclaws and again waited. The rest of the class wa s looking around wildly but none of them had released any of the four victims th at had already been cursed. Harry made his way slowly around the room, sending o ut various mild spells and jinxes. When he had most of the class hit by the tick ling charms or jelly leg jinxes Harry moved back up to the front of the class an d pulled off the invisibility cloak. He stood leaning against the wall, an expre ssion of mild amusement on his face as the class panicked in front of him. With a wave of his hand he released everybody from their respective predicaments and waited as they returned to their seats. It took a full two minutes for them to n otice him. 'Oh Professor.' Angelina panted. 'Some thing was just in the classroom. It jinxe d everybody.' Harry just looked at her and arched an eyebrow. Comprehension dawn ed on her and some of the others. 'That was you. Wasn't it?' she said meekly. Ha rry nodded. 'Correct Miss Johnson.' Harry began to walk slowly around the room. 'As you were all taught by Professor Moody.' Harry shuddered. 'I know you have heard the exp ression 'constant vigilance' and understand what it means. As seventh years you are about to become fully qualified wizards and yet at the first sign of the unk nown you all panic. Now I know some of fought bravely along side me just over a month ago but that was on our territory and we knew what was coming. This may be a classroom but you must always be aware that things can happen in the most une xpected places. Now.' Harry stopped again at the front of the class. 'Now in a s ituation like this what would be the first thing you should have done. Yes Miss Bell?' 'Tried to see where the curses were coming from.' 'No. A strong wizard can hide the curses and the direction. You would just waste time and probably end up dead. Anyone else. Mr Weasley?' 'Cast a shield?' George said questioningly. 'Excellent. Ten points to Gryffindor. Shield first, always. Remember you won't b e able to do anything against you attacker if you are incapacitated. Now, what n ext? Mr Davies?' Harry asked as Roger raised his hand.

'Release the people who have already been hit.' Roger said confidently. 'Very good. Ten points to Ravenclaw.' Harry began pacing again. 'Always remember there is safety in numbers. You have more of a chance of survival if there are greater numbers on your side although you must always be aware if you are not up to the task. Run. Apparate. Get away anyway you can.' Harry took a deep breath. 'What I am trying to say is if you are outnumbered or out powered you must get away so you can live to fight another day. There is no glory in a meaningless de ath.' Harry stopped in front of his desk and pulled himself up on it, facing the m. 'Forget all that crap about Gryffindor bravery and morality. Think like a Rav enclaw. If you cannot win, make a strategic withdrawal until such time as you ca n. You are no good to anybody dead.' The class looked at him in silence. Then a single hand was raised. 'Yes Miss Johnson?' Harry asked her. 'You've never run away from anything, have you.' It wasn't a question. Harry gla nced down, running his fingers over the scars on his wrists. 'Yes.' he said softly. 'Yes I have.' 'But you faced Voldemort on your own when you were eleven, and didn't run away.' Fred countered. 'Actually that was Quirrell, Voldemort was living on the back of his head. But t hat is my job. It's what I was born to do.' Harry said briskly getting back down off the desk. 'Now.' he said ignoring the stunned faces around him. 'There ende th the best lesson you will ever get on survival.' Harry grinned at them. 'Now I believe Professor Lupin has you studying Werewolves in depth. Quite the sense o f humour that man has.' Harry chuckled to himself. 'I would like to hear the ess ays he had you all write. First please Mr Davies.' Harry gestured to front of th e class and took his seat behind the desk. Roger's essay was very good. Harry sa t listening carefully, making notes on parchment before writing an A beside the young man's name on his class list. By the end of the class Harry had listened t o all but three students. He told them that Remus would hear their's in the next lesson and let them all go without homework for which they seemed ever grateful . Harry packed his things up and banished them to his rooms, taking the class li sts and leaving them in the DADA office for Remus and Alastor. Harry whistled to himself as he made his way down to great hall for lunch. He walked in, spotting Emilie immediately chatting away avidly with Hermione, Gi nny, Katie and Angelina and more than half the girls in the school. It seemed as if house tables had been abandoned in favour of discussions on dresses, shoes a nd hair. Harry looked at the almost overflowing Gryffindor table to see Fred, Ge orge, Ron and Draco were the only males sitting there, and they all looked as if they were going to do a runner at the first available opportunity. He walked ov er to stand behind her and slipped his arms around her shoulders. 'Missed me?' he murmured in her ear. 'Harry.' she said softly, turning her head to drop a kiss on his cheek. 'I'll see you after.' he whispered. She nodded and he kissed her goodbye to a ch orus of 'Awwwe' and walked over to the head table. 'Albus, Severus.' Harry grinned, sitting down and helping himself to some lasagn e and salad. Harry had no recollection of that meal at all, after greeting his m entor and guardian he mechanically ate as he sat imagining his and Emilie's life as they had talked about it last night. He had almost finished when he heard.

'Griffin. Are you okay?' and looked over to catch Emilie's eye. 'What? Oh yes, fine. Why?' Harry sent back. 'Because you just dipped that bit of cucumber in your pumpkin juice.' Emilie gig gled through the mind link. Harry looked at his fork in shock. 'Oops.' he said dropping the offending piece of cucumber back on his plate. 'Besides, If one of us should be in shock it should be me.' she giggled again. ' I mean look at this.' she gestured to the chattering girls around her. 'Sorry about that.' Harry smirked across the hall. 'Don't worry. I can handle it. Just on of the joys of marrying the Professor-Who -Lived.' Emilie sent laughing. 'Oh god.' Harry groaned. 'Who in the hell came up with that.' 'Dragon.' came the chuckled reply. 'I should have known.' Harry dropped his head in hands. After lunch Harry spent sometime in the training rooms, practicing against the f ounders ghosts before packing a light bag of clothes. He wandered down to the ki tchens, and after being accosted by Dobby, requested some provisions for the tri p. Dobby, of course, loaded him up for the trip with enough food to feed an army but, as it was spelled to stay fresh, and shrunk to make it easy to carry, he d ecided to take it all with him. By the time Emilie, Hermione, Ginny and Draco jo ined him from Arithmancy followed not long after by Ron who was still breathing heavily after his walk from Divination in the north tower he was ready to go. Th ey spent the two hours before dinner sitting quietly around the fire. Harry maki ng the chosen ones promise they would keep up with their training and take care of the duelling club while he was gone. 'Better get dressed.' he said getting up. He walked into his room to find he had been followed by Ron and Draco. 'Can I help you?' he asked them with a raised e yebrow. Draco looked at Ron before taking a deep breath. They had decided that D raco would do the talking as he was the better fibber. 'We have arranged a special dinner for you and Emilie, a romantic one in the cha mber off the great hall. We wanted you to have something before you went away. S o make sure you dress nice.' Draco told him going over to his closet and picking out a set of dark green dress robes. 'Here, wear these.' he said laying them on the bed before the two boys walked out. 'We'll meet you down there.' Draco call ed over his shoulder. Harry was touched. Little did he know that the same thing was going on in Emilie 's room. He showered and dressed carefully and then waited for Emilie in the sit ting room. His jaw dropped when she came out. She had on a set of lovely pale bl ue robes and she had piled her hair on the top of her head, leaving a few tendri ls trailing down. Her blue eyes were sparkling and her lips showed just a hint o f gloss. 'You are so beautiful.' he breathed. She reached up and stroked his cheek before standing on tiptoes to place a soft kiss on his mouth. Harry leaned down and ki ssed her properly. Her mouth opening as he deepened the kiss. Her fingers went t o tangle in his hair as he softly ran his hands down her back. 'Oh Harry.' she whispered. Harry pulled away, breathing heavily and hugged her t

o him. 'There must be a law against feeling this good.' he murmured into her ear. 'No.' she whispered. 'You're just not used to it.' 'I hope I never am.' he said softly. 'Come on.' Harry decided to walk down to th e great hall, if only to give him time to get his breathing under control. Just outside the doors Harry stopped and turned to Emilie. 'I love you.' he said, looking into her eyes. 'I love you too.' she whispered. Harry smiled and opened the doors with a wave. Just over the threshold both stopped. Expecting to see the four house tables ful l of students in black robes happily eating, the hall was filled with immaculate ly dressed students and teachers. There was a band playing up on the stage and t housands of candles floating around the room. A large quill was writing 'Congrat ulations' on the ceiling over and over and hundreds of fairies fluttered around the ceiling dropping tiny flakes of silver and gold down on the dancing students . Of course they weren't dancing anymore. No, they were all looking at Harry and Emilie standing in the doorway gaping. 'Surprise.' the chosen ones yelled from across the hall. 'Flies Griffin.' Draco smirked as Harry promptly shut his mouth. Harry and Emili e were then swept into the hall, where he came face to face with his godfather. Harry looked up to see a stern expression covering his features. Sirius looked a s if he was about to say something but then he suddenly burst out laughing. 'I'm sorry Moony. I can't do it.' Sirius laughed, grabbing Harry and Emilie in a hug. 'Harry, I am so happy for you.' he said. 'You're not angry?' Harry asked him. 'Angry? How could I be angry. Yes, you are very young, but you know what you are doing, and from what I have heard, I believe Emilie does too. I'm happy for you .' Sirius hugged them once more. 'Besides.' he added, grinning wickedly. 'the so oner you get married the sooner I get great godchildren. Just think of it Moony. Little Prongsies running around everywhere.' Sirius released Harry and Emilie a s he and Remus launched into a argument about who, would teach what, to the newe st Marauder. Harry blushed a bright crimson as the students laughed. Emilie wasn 't embarrassed in the slightest though, and laughed with them. 'Dance with me.' she whispered as the music started up once more. 'Ah Emilie. There is something you should know.' Fred piped up. 'Harry doesn't dance.' George said. 'Ever.' Fred added. 'He has-.' 'Two left feet.' 'And-.' 'No sense of timing.' Fred finished. 'Do you two mind.' Harry glared. 'I hate it when you do that. It's like watching

a tennis match.' 'Tennis?' Fred and George looked at each other in confusion. 'What's tennis?' th ey asked. 'Never mind.' Harry muttered as he was dragged onto the dance floor. A slower so ng came on and Harry breathed a sigh of relief. Even though, when the founders s ent their knowledge through to Harry it included how to dance, he had never actu ally tried it before and he doubted that it helped at all when one had, as the W easley twins had so eloquently put it, no sense of timing. He wrapped his arms a round Emilie's waist and smiled as she placed her arms around his shoulders, fin gering the hair at the nape of his neck and sending chills running up and down h is spine. He stared deep into her eyes. 'You know you are driving me crazy doing that, don't you?' He sent. 'Am I?' she whispered innocently. 'Yes and you know it.' Harry murmured. Emilie smiled and placed her head on his shoulder, Harry lowered his so his chin was resting on her head, inhaling the sm ell of her hair and closing his eyes, as they swayed softly to the music. 'They make a lovely couple, don't they.' Albus said softly to Severus, Sirius an d Remus as they watched from across the hall. The young couple completely oblivi ous to anything and everything around them. 'I'm so proud of him.' Sirius whispered 'and I know James and Lily would be too. ' 'You don't think they would think he was too young?' Severus raised an eyebrow. Sirius looked thoughtful for a moment. 'They might, but they're not here, are they? I think Harry should have as much h appiness in his life as possible. If Emilie makes him happy then why wait. I mea n we don't really know what will happen do we.' Sirius shuddered. 'I just hope nothing happens to either of them.' Albus said, not taking his eyes off the two teenagers. 'Of course, that goes without saying.' Severus answered. 'No, I mean, if we lose one, I would almost guarantee we would lose the other.' the old mage said. 'What do you mean?' Sirius said sharply. 'They are bonded. Bonded closer than any two people I have ever seen. Emilie's a phoenix child, once she finds her partner, he is hers for life. She will never have another and I don't believe Harry would ever find anyone else either, for t hat matter, because of who and what he is.' Albus said with a sense of calm that the other three were definitely not feeling at that moment. 'Remember when she first walked into the hall, when her name was called and Harry walked around the table to meet her. He was drawn to her, right from the beginning. The glow that encompassed them that day sealed the bond. I believe the founders saved her at Beauxbatons That they made sure she came to Hogwarts to find Harry.' 'My god.' Sirius breathed as he watched Harry and Emilie pull slightly away befo re kissing once more. The students around them, whistled and called but Harry an d Emilie were lost in their own world.

Two hours later, Sirius reluctantly got up and walked across the hall to tap his godson on the shoulder. 'Harry it's time to go.' Harry stiffened, stepping back from Emilie and turning to face Sirius. 'I'll just go and get my things.' he said. 'No need.' Draco interrupted coming up with Harry's backpack. They made their wa y out to the entrance hall followed by the chosen ones, the Special Forces group and the staff. 'Be careful, Harry.' Hermione said, giving him a hug. Ginny smiled at him giving him a quick kiss on the cheek. 'Come back soon.' she whispered. Harry nodded. 'Good luck mate.' Ron hugged him fiercely. 'Dragon.' Harry turned to the blond boy next to him. 'behave yourself.' 'Do I ever do anything else.' Draco smirked. 'Look after Emilie for me.' he sent. Draco nodded. He gave Remus, Albus and Minerva a quick hug before turning to his guardian. 'Sev.' he whispered. He could see the tears forming in the older man's eyes. 'If you get into trouble, get out. Don't play the hero.' Severus said sternly. ' The information about Voldemort was only released yesterday but you never know.' 'Promise.' Harry said holding his hand over his heart. Severus grabbed him rough ly, hugging him before releasing him quickly. Harry reached up and brushed a tea r off Severus cheek and then turned to face his love. 'Harry?' Emilie said in a scared voice. 'It's going to be okay, Em' Harry whispered softly, taking the girl in his arms. 'I'll be back before you know it.' He smiled at her. She nodded at him, tears r unning down her cheeks. Harry kissed them away. 'Uh, uh. We said no tears rememb er. You promised.' Harry said looking into her eyes. 'Now smile for me.' he whis pered. Emilie struggled to put a smile on her face. Harry kissed her once more b efore releasing her. 'Angelina.' he called out, from the doorway. 'Yes.' she replied. 'Don't neglect your training and.' he added softly 'look after them for me.' and with that he disappeared out the door and into the night. Emilie handled Harry's absence much better this time. She threw herself into her studies and the training with the chosen ones and the Special Forces. Each nigh t Harry would call her through the mind link and let her know that he was okay. As he was still in England he could still communicate with his friends at Hogwar ts although he was very careful to turn the link off when he had finished so the y didn't hear him scream in the night. He was gone for almost two weeks, as the first captured cell led him to another and then another and so on.

Harry was camped out with the Aurors about one hundred yards from the farmhouse. This was the base for the final cell in this area. They had managed to capture fifteen Death Eaters over the last twelve days. Harry had placed magical tracers on all of the participants of the first meeting which had then led them to the other four cells. The fire fights at each of the cell's hideouts had been fairly brutal with several muggles requiring memory charms and several Aurors needing medical attention. Harry had just finished talking to Emilie and the others, tel ling them this was the last raid and he would be coming home before switching of f the mind link, as without Emilie, his nightmares had returned with a vengeance . He looked as if he hadn't slept properly in months. 'Well David. Are we ready?' Harry asked the Head Auror who had accompanied Harry under orders from Sirius. The man nodded and the group crept towards the house. When they were about ten yards away Harry stood up, partially hidden behind a l arge bush. Holding one hand up he closed his eyes as a wave of red shot out, arc ing up and over the farmhouse, surrounding it completely. He chanted an incantat ion and the red dome glowed a brilliant white before fading away completely. 'Down Harry.' David screamed from his far left. Harry ducked down just as he fel t the curse that had been aimed at him whistle past his head. Harry opened his e yes, saw the blackened top half of the bush in front of him and thanked Merlin f or his fast reflexes. About thirty Death Eaters had swarmed out of the house by now. Most of them seemed awfully peeved about the anti-apparition ward he had ca st around the house, which, Harry thought to himself, certainly explained the fe rocity of that first curse. Harry cast his shield and made his way towards the h ouse, stunning and binding Death Eaters as he went. Just as he reached the house an enormous explosion rocked it, throwing him back almost thirty feet and shatt ering the wards he had placed. Harry faded into blackness, as the pops that sign alled the Death Eaters disapparating, sounded around him. 'Harry. Harry can you hear me?' Harry blinked a few times, watching the world co me back into focus. A man with brown hair stared down at him in concern. 'David.' Harry smiled. 'Oh thank god. Sirius would have killed me if you hadn't woken up.' The Auror si ghed. 'What happened?' Harry asked. David gestured to the smouldering remains of the f armhouse. 'We don't know yet. I've called in the Unspeakables to go over it with a fine to oth comb. We should know more in a few days. How are you feeling?' the older man asked. 'Okay.' Harry replied. 'A bit sore.' he added trying to sit up. 'How long was I out?' 'Oh. Only a few minutes. I came straight over as soon as everything was secure.' 'How many?' 'Twenty three.' David said triumphantly. 'Twenty three?' Harry repeated incredulously. David nodded grinning. 'We couldn't have done it without you.' David smiled helping Harry to stand. 'Bu t, now, I think it's time for you to go back to Hogwarts.' he said. 'You need yo ur sleep.' he added, winking. Harry rolled his eyes and grabbed the other man's arm.

'Ready?' David nodded and they disapparated to Hogsmeade. They walked just insid e the gates and Harry, who thankfully was only physically, not magically tired, was able to jump them both up to the sitting room. 'Harry.' squealed, Emilie leaping up off the sofa and flinging herself into his arms. Harry kissed her as he was surrounded on all sides by the chosen ones, the Special Forces group and the staff, all of which had obviously been alerted to his impending return and had decided to wait for him together. Most, in their ex citement, not realising just how exhausted he really was until he stumbled and a lmost fell just walking towards the sofa. Emilie, being Emilie, marched him stra ight into his bedroom, pulled off his shoes, socks and robes, pushed him down on the bed, pulling the covers up over him. 'Sleep.' she commanded, eliciting several snickers from those watching from the doorway. Harry didn't hear this as, even without the order, he had fallen asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Emilie shooed everyone away from the door, closing it softly behind her. She marched across the room to David. 'Don't worry. He will be fine.' the Auror told her, in response to her unasked q uestion. 'He was unbelievable.' the older man told them. 'Anyway I must be off. I left Wilson in charge.' Albus offered to walk the Auror out. Severus cast an e ye over the assembled students. 'You may stay here tonight if you wish.' he told them sweeping from the room. Th e Special Forces all went out through the training rooms and into their own. Emi lie and the chosen ones, all being to excited to sleep, sat around the fire talk ing. About an hour later they were woken by a crash from Harry's room. Jumping u p off the sofa, they had just made it to the door when an ear splitting scream r ipped through the mind link, causing them to clap their hands over their ears. A s the scream died they quickly pushed open the door to Harry's room, rushing ove r to the bed as the Special Forces group piled into the room. Terror shown on mo st of their faces. 'What was that?' Angelina shrieked. 'Shhh.' Hermione whispered sternly as Draco and Emilie climbed onto the bed. Har ry was tossing and turning, thrashing about in the bed. One of his arms had knoc ked the lamp next to his bed over and now his hands were balled into fists and p ressed hard against his temples. Draco placed his hand on Harry's chest and bega n whisper as the glow centred. Emilie kept stroking his face saying 'I'm here Ha rry.' over and over. 'No. No it isn't true. You lie. She's not dead. She's not. Emilie.' he screamed. 'You're a liar Tom. Ahhh.' Harry screamed again. 'Oh my god.' Angelina said turning away and herding the rest of the group out in to the sitting room, where they all sat in silence, listening to the screams and shouts from the other room. Over an hour later the chosen ones came out, Ron and Ginny supporting Draco as H ermione closed the door softly behind them. Ron and Ginny half carried Draco ove r to Harry's chair and carefully placed him down in it. Ginny going to get him s ome tea from the small kitchen as Ron and Hermione surveyed the horrified faces around them. 'Does he have them often?' Angelina asked meekly. Hermione sighed. 'Yes, he does.' she said softly. 'Although he doesn't have them when Emilie is w ith him.'

'Is that why the sleep together.' Katie asked. 'They share a bed.' Draco growled. 'They don't sleep together.' 'Sorry.' Katie said, blushing. 'Are you okay?' Draco nodded slowly, sipping his tea. 'It took a fair bit to pull him out of that. That was the worst one I've seen.' 'What do you mean?' Seamus asked. 'You've lived in the same dorm with him for four years and you have to ask what I mean.' Draco raised an eyebrow at the boy. Seamus looked suitably abashed as h e remembered back to the other times Harry had woken screaming. 'They have got much worse since the end of last year.' Hermione told them. 'Most of the time he remembers to switch off the mind link and we don't know. Before Emilie arrived he had them every night but we never knew as he usually switched off.' 'He went through that for six months.' Roger said incredulously. The chosen ones nodded sadly. 'He won't remember in the morning hopefully.' Ginny told them. 'So don't say any thing unless he brings it up.' They all nodded their agreement and rose to retur n to bed. Angelina looked questioningly at Hermione. 'Don't worry, Emilie is with him now. He won't have any more.' she told her. Thi s seemed to satisfy her and she left with the others. Hermione flopped down onto the sofa next to Ron, who was looking at Draco in con cern. 'Draco. How are you doing. Really?' Ron asked him. Draco shuddered. 'It was horrible. He has never pulled me into one before. I saw what he was seei ng.' Draco's already pale face had all but drained of blood as the memory of the nightmare flashed through his mind once more. 'I think it has built up while he has been gone so long. So much blood.' He shuddered again, burying his face in his hands. Ginny wrapped her arms around the shaking boy. 'Draco. I think you should go to bed.' Ginny said softly. 'I couldn't sleep even if I wanted to.' Draco hissed out through clenched teeth. Hermione got up and crept quietly into Harry's room, returning moments later wi th a vial filled with a bright blue potion that she handed to Ginny. 'Dreamless Sleep.' she said softly. Draco looked up at her gratefully. 'Thanks.' he croaked pushing himself up off the chair. Slowly they all returned to their rooms and tried to go to sleep. Harry slept through most of the next day and as it was Sunday Emilie stayed with him. Hermione had knocked softly on the door at lunchtime and poked her head in to see if they were okay. 'Do you want any lunch, Phoenix?' she sent. Emilie shook her head. 'No, that's fine thanks, Owl. I'll wait till dinner.' Hermione closed the door a

nd Emilie went back to watching Harry sleep. Hours later she was softly trailing her fingers over his chest, feeling the muscles through his shirt, fascinated b y the way they seemed to move under her touch. 'Enjoying yourself.' Emilie yelped and looked up to meet Harry's amused eyes. 'Harry.' she blushed. 'I thought you were asleep.' 'Obviously.' Harry chuckled. 'Lucky I woke up, any longer and I might not have b een quite so pure.' He smirked. Emilie rolled her eyes and swatted Harry over th e head with a nearby pillow. Harry grabbed her and proceeded to tickle her until she begged for mercy. Harry stopped tickling her and silenced her with a kiss. 'You know just how to shut me up, don't you.' Emilie giggled. Harry grinned wick edly. 'I have my ways.' Harry laughed, tickling her again. 'Oh Harry, stop, please.' Emilie giggled madly. 'All right.' Harry flopped down next to her sighing. 'I can't resist you anythin g when you say please.' "Oh really.' Emilie rolled onto her side and placed her hand on his chest 'What if I were to say, please can we move the wedding forward?' she whispered softly. Harry looked at her wide eyed. 'Why?' 'I know you made it Halloween so that I would have time to change my mind if I w asn't ready, but Harry, I am a Phoenix child. I will only ever have one partner, so the wait is really irrelevant.' she said simply. 'But you won't be of age before then.' he pointed out. 'No, but if you write to my Grandparents, I'm sure they would give their blessin g and you know Sirius will make sure the Ministry approve it.' 'You have this all thought out don't you.' Harry chuckled. 'Well I had to do something while you were off gallivanting around the countrysi de.' she giggled. Harry laughed. 'So when were you thinking?' 'The last day of school. I have already spoken to Albus and he has arranged a se cure place, with us under the Fidelius Charm for a honeymoon over the summer.' 'You have been busy. What made you so sure I would agree?' Harry asked, his eyes sparkling. 'Please Harry.' Emilie begged. Harry shook his head, laughing. 'Okay.' he groaned, before diving in to tickle her once more. A short while later Harry got up and sat down at the small desk in his room and picking up parchment and a quill, he began to write the most important letter of his life. One hour, and three drafts later, he was satisfied and after sealing it with the special Hogwarts seal that Albus had given him, called to Erte.

'Can you pop over to France and deliver this, wait for an answer and come back. I will be down in the hall.' the Phoenix trilled her assent and disappeared. After he had a long soak in the bath to relieve his very sore muscles, he change d, and together they walked out to meet the chosen ones and the Special Forces b efore going down to dinner. As he walked into the training room the conversation dropped and nearly all couldn't look him in the eye. 'What's wrong?' he asked. 'Nothing.' Angelina's smile, falsely bright. Harry studied them all for a moment , taking in their body language and their eyes before turning to look at Draco. What he saw in the blonde's eyes horrified him. 'I forgot the link, didn't I. Oh god, I'm so sorry. I was just so tired.' Harry paled. 'You saw this time, didn't you.' Draco nodded stiffly. 'Please can I fix it. I can take the visions away.' Harry begged. Draco raised an eyebrow. 'I'm no t going to Obliviate you. I can pull the images out selectively.' 'I trust you Harry.' Draco walked over to his friend, laying his hand on Harry's shoulder. 'But maybe it would be better if someone shared the dreams.' Harry sh ook his head. 'No.' he said sternly. 'They are too horrible.' he shuddered and then looked clo sely at Draco. 'Besides you can't take Dreamless Sleep every night, Dragon.' 'How did you?' Draco asked, 'You can't have seen what you did still have got a good nights sleep.' Harry sai d softly. Draco nodded. 'Okay.' Harry placed a hand on either side of Draco's head and closed his Mumbling softly he waited until he felt them both encompassed by the soft light before delving into the other boy's mind. He searched around until nd the images of his night mares, and one by one drew them out of Draco's flinching as each new one was revealed. eyes. golden he fou head,

'So many.' Harry mumbled to himself. The rest of the students watched in awe as the magic swirled around the two boys. The glow around Harry getting progressive ly darker as he transferred the images Draco had seen to himself. They could see Harry openly flinch every time he found another image, and he was beginning to sag under the weight of the images. Emilie walked quietly towards Harry and wrap ped both arms around his waist and began singing softly. The darkness that had b egun to swallow Harry faded, leaving a it brilliant white as Harry quickly pulle d the last of the images and sagged back against Emilie, turning to hug her prop erly and burying his head in her neck, tears streaming down his face. No one sai d anything. Ginny walked up to Draco and touched him hesitantly on the arm. 'Draco.' she whispered. Draco jumped and then a grin crossed his face. 'Ginny. I don't remember anything, not one image.' Draco said happily. Ginny smi led softly and gestured to Harry and Emilie. 'Oh Harry.' Draco paled at the sigh t. He walked the few steps over to his friend. 'Griffin.' Draco sent timidly. Harry looked up, his face wet and Draco gasped at the look in his eyes. 'Oh Griffin, I'm sorry.' Harry reached out and laid a han d on the other boy's shoulder. 'Dragon, don't be.' he said. 'I'm just glad you were there for me yesterday.' Ha rry smiled, and dropping a kiss on Emilie's forehead, led the way down to dinner

. Towards the end of the meal Erte appeared with a pop and flew down to perch on H arry's shoulder. 'I didn't think animals could apparate.' Minerva said. 'Technically, she isn't really an animal.' Harry muttered and then yelped when E rte nipped his ear. 'Hey, what was that for.' he asked rubbing the now sore ear. 'I meant it in a go od way.' he scolded. 'Now are you going to give me my letter?' 'I don't know if I should.' she trilled. 'Erte.' he said sternly. 'Um, Harry?' Severus snickered. 'Are you two having an argument?' 'Sod off.' Harry growled before turning his attention back to his Phoenix, who h ad moved down onto the table. He held out his hand, glaring at the bird. The sta ff and any students near enough to see were laughing at this Mexican standoff be tween Harry and his Phoenix. 'Oh jussst give it to him, you big golden prat.' Asha hissed from under his robe s. Harry burst out laughing as Erte ruffled her feathers. 'Be quiet, you impertinent little serpent.' she trilled. 'Big bossssy parrot.' Asha hissed back. 'Dirty slimy lizard.' 'Galah.' 'Turtle.' 'Pigeon.' By this time Harry was laughing so hard, he was holding his sides, his face bright red with tears streaming down it. He didn't notice Erte taking grea t offence at Asha's last insult and flying away, letter and all. 'Excuse me Griffin darling, but where is the letter.' Emilie sent from the Gryff indor table. 'Oops.' Harry sent back, still laughing. 'Don't worry, I'll get it.' he winked a t her and disappeared, returning a few minutes later directly behind Emilie, a t riumphant grin on his face, waving the letter high above her head. 'Well, what does it say?' she shrieked. Harry just continued grinning. Emilie ju mped up and stood on her chair, wrenching the letter out of his hands and scanni ng it quickly. 'What does it say? Who's it from?' Hermione asked. Emilie passed it to her and t hen leapt off the chair and into Harry's arms. Hermione read the letter aloud. 'Dear Harry, Thank you for your letter and for having the manners to ask for her hand in the first place. I have heard a lot about you both from my granddaughter and from ot hers. I know what Emilie is and I know about your bond. My wife and I are so ver

y pleased and of course you have our blessing. It is about time Emilie had some joy in her life, as you should too. We both wish you every happiness and of cour se we accept your invitation and will see you on the 28th of June. Sincerest regards, Phillipe and Monique Lacroix' 'They said yes.' Emilie squealed. Harry smiled at her. 'June?' Ginny smirked, raising an eyebrow. Harry laughed. 'Gin, you must stop hanging around with Dragon so much.' Draco looked miffed. 'O nly joking, Dragon.' Harry said affectionately. 'Harry, you're ducking the question.' Hermione said sternly. 'Why are Emilie's g randparents coming in June?' Hermione eyed him. Harry looked at Emilie. 'It was your idea. You tell them.' He said raising his hands in innocence. Emili e squirmed. 'We have-' 'We?' Harry interrupted, raising an eyebrow. Emilie smacked him playfully on the shoulder. 'Don't be like that. You agreed didn't you.' she giggled before turning back to their friends. 'We, yes we, have decided to move the wedding forward. It was jus t easier than interrupting the school year and everything. This way we have it o n the last day of school.' 'and Albus has arranged a special place for us over t he summer under the Fidelius charm.' she added through the mind link. The chosen ones looked surprised at this but recovered quickly. 'Oh Emilie, that only gives us four months to plan everything.' Hermione squeale d. 'I mean we need dresses and flowers and invitations, a lot of people will be expecting invitations you know.' she said ticking things off on her fingers. 'an d then there's the guest list and the seating plan and ....' Hermione trailed of f, having looked up and noticed Harry and Emilie had both disappeared. 'Oh bother.' she huffed. 'I hate when he does that.' This was too much for the o thers who all dissolved into fits of laughter. February flowed through into March and March into April as Harry and Emilie got closer and closer. The Special Forces got back to peak fitness and David began t o invite them in groups of three to go on the raids with Harry. Harry had been a warded the Order of Merlin, First Class for rescuing four Aurors and capturing t he Lestranges during one of the raids. Emilie and the chosen ones spent hours in the library, as Harry had expressly forbidden any of them to leave Hogwarts unt il Voldemort was killed. 'I need you all for the Star of Light. I'm sorry but you are too important.' and that was the final word on the matter. Harry took over again as Gryffindor Head of House and made it a point of pride t o watch the team quidditch practice if he was at Hogwarts. The fourth Sunday in March, Emilie and Hermione were sitting in the Library sear ching intently through more large tomes for someway to destroy the rune without sacrificing whoever was holding it. They had spent hours here over the last two months and Hermione was taking the library's lack of information as a personal a

ffront. Ron and Draco had quidditch practice and Harry had taken Fred, George an d Roger out on a mission to seek out a cell that was creating havoc down in Dove r. 'Oh my god. I found it.' squealed Emilie, quickly thrusting the book in front of Hermione. Hermione quickly scanned the pages. 'No. No, no, no. Emilie. This is far too dangerous. We don't even know if it wil l work. There is no way Harry will agree to this.' Hermione said forcefully. 'Which is why we won't tell him.' Emilie replied smartly. 'I most certainly will.' Hermione countered. 'No Hermione, please don't. I know it will work. You have to swear. Swear that y ou won't tell.' Emilie begged, clasping Hermione's hands in her own. Hermione lo oked at her carefully. 'I swear I won't tell him for the moment, but we will research this further. If we find out it won't work, I won't hesitate to tell him. Fair?' 'Fair?' the blond answered dashing over to pull even more books off the shelves from a different section much to the disapproval of Madame Pince. Putting the un wanted books back, the two girls settled down to study some more. Emilie and the chosen ones were sitting in the noisy great hall having dinner. B oth Draco and Emilie had had a terrible feeling flood through them a few hours e arlier and as Harry was due back that night, all were in agony with the wait. Su ddenly the doors to the hall flew open and Fred and George rushed in, both so pa le you could have counted their freckles from across the hall. One sprinted up t he centre aisle to speak to the Headmaster, who immediately rose, together with Severus and left the hall, and the other over to the Gryffindor table, where he placed a hand on Emilie's arm. 'You had better come.' he told her and the chosen ones. Without waiting he ran o ff again, the others struggling to catch up. Emilie was almost hyperventilating by the time they reached the hospital wing and stopped at the doorway. 'What is it Em?' Ginny asked. 'I... I can't.' she choked, holding onto the doorway. 'I... I can't.' she sobbed . Severus came over and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. 'It's all right. You don't have to if you don't want to.' he said softly. 'No. I mean I want to.' she whispered. 'I just can't.' Severus smiled at her and picked her up, carrying her across the room and placing her in the chair beside Harry's bed. She looked up to see Albus conversing in soft, urgent tones with t he Head Auror and Fred and George helping Ron and Draco console the girls, who w ere both crying hysterically. She looked eyes with Severus again, unable to brin g herself to look at the bed. 'I'm sorry. I can't.' she sobbed and leapt off the chair and bolted from the roo m. Severus sighed. 'You had better go after her.' he told the others. The chosen ones dashed from t he room as Poppy made Fred and George lie down so she could check them over. Sev erus walked over to the Headmaster. 'We had better tell the others.' Albus said. 'I'm sure they will all be together

.' Severus nodded and the three men made their way towards the third floor and H arry's rooms. Sure enough they found the Special Forces group waiting in the sitting room. Sev erus went into Harry's rooms to find the chosen ones all sitting on Harry's bed arms around each other. 'Excuse me.' Severus said softly. 'The Headmaster wishes to speak with you all.' Reluctantly the group rose and, still clutching each others hands moved into th e other room, all squashing onto the sofa the others had left for them. 'David. If you would.' the Headmaster gestured to the assembled group. The Head Auror ran a hand through his hair as he tried to rearrange the haggard look on h is face to one of strength. 'I won't bore you with the small details, you can find that out from your friend s later, but the main part is that Harry and the boys together with myself and f ive Aurors were down in Dover. We had information of a tunnel system in the clif fs that a Death Eater cell was using as a base. Harry couldn't cast his normal a nti- apparition ward from outside and so insisted on going in with us.' David to ok a deep breath. 'They knew we were coming. I don't know how they knew, but the y did. They had rigged the tunnels to collapse once we were inside. The mouth of the entrance caved in first and we were trapped. Harry was the only one with en ough power to apparate us through solid rock so he had everybody hold on and we left as the tunnels continued to fall around us. When we got outside we realised that Roger wasn't with us. He must have been hit by something and let go just a s we left.' David's voice trembled as he struggled to continue. 'Harry immediate ly went back in to get him, we expected him to reappear straight a way but after a few minutes we realised something must be wrong and we went in after him. As we couldn't apparate, we had to dig. It took us over two hours to get to them, e ven with magic.' David shook his head, blinking back the tears that threatened t o fall. 'We found Roger first, but we were too late.' David hung his head as gas ps were heard throughout the room. 'Once we had removed his body we found Harry under him. It seemed as if her was in the process of lifting Roger when the ceil ing fell on them.' The Auror finally lost control and fled the room. 'We don't know the full extent of Harry's injuries at the moment but we do know that his back was broken and he had injured both eyes.' Albus told them 'Now Mad am Pomfrey has repaired all his broken bones but we will have to wait for the sw elling to go down before we know if he will be able to walk. Unfortunately the s pinal cord is something that magic cannot fix. As for his eye's, well, we just d on't know. ' The Headmaster told them. 'We will just have to hope and pray. You are all excused from classes tomorrow if you wish. I know you will want to stay with Harry.' and with that the two professors left the room. 'I have to see him.' Emilie whispered. Hermione nodded and helped the other girl up off the sofa and out of the room. It was a sombre group that filed silently into the hospital wing to see David si tting nervously on a bed near Harry and Severus and Remus comforting a distraugh t Sirius in the corner. Albus shook his head sternly at Poppy as she opened her mouth to protest at the number of visitors. The blood drained from Emilie's face as she stood at the end of the bed and looked down at Harry, completely covered with a sheet other than his head. His eyes and his black hair hidden in a swath of bandages. 'Madam Pomfrey?' Emilie asked, a single tear escaping to run down her cheek. 'He's resting dear.' the medi-witch said calmly. 'I can't tell you anything yet other than he is in no pain.'

'Will he... Will he' she couldn't finish the sentence. 'I don't know.' Poppy said sadly. Emilie walked around to perch on the edge of t he bed and placed her hand on Harry's cheek. 'Harry, darling, can you hear me?' she asked. Harry's head shifted slightly in h er direction. 'Emilie, I can't see anything.' he whimpered. 'And my legs. Why can't I feel my legs, Phoenix?' Disclaimer - I only own the plot plus Emilie, Asha, Erte and Elphie. Chapter 29 - Expectations 'Emilie, I can't see anything.' he whimpered. 'And my legs. Why can't I feel my legs, Phoenix?' 'You had an accident darling. Do you remember? You went back into the cave to ge t Roger.' As soon as she said it, Emilie realised it was the wrong thing to say. Harry's face screwed up in agony and tears began to leak out from under the ban dages, falling onto the clean pillow under his head. 'Roger.' he moaned, and his sobs were echoed around the room, as the finality of Roger's death hit home. 'Harry.' Sirius said, placing a hand on his chest. 'Come on kiddo.' Harry ignore d him and continued to sob quietly. In fact, Harry ignored everybody. They took turns that night, watching over Harry as he slept, and trying to talk to him whe n he was awake, but he was mute. The next morning Poppy hustled everybody off to breakfast, bar Albus, Severus, Sirius and Emilie as she gave him another examin ation. She tested the reflexes on his legs, shaking her head sadly in the Headma ster's direction before casting a spell to see if it was safe to take off the ba ndages around his eyes. 'Not yet.' she told them. 'Maybe tomorrow. You should really go and have breakfa st. Sirius can stay until you return.' Emilie nodded solemnly and gave Harry a k iss goodbye, although she couldn't tell if he was awake or not and Severus walke d with her to the great hall guiding her gently to the Gryffindor table before w alking up to the head table and sitting down. 'Any change?' Angelina asked softly. Emilie looked up and shook her head. 'No. Not yet.' she whispered. Two bites of toast later she got up and returned t o the hospital wing, the chosen ones in pursuit. 'Did you eat?' Sirius said sternly. Emilie ignored him and perched on the edge o f the bed. 'He won't talk.' Sirius told her. 'It's like he has retreated into a shell.' he said softly. 'Griffin, can you hear me?' Emilie sent. Nothing. 'I know you can hear me. Talk to me.' Still nothing. 'Please.' she pleaded.

Not a murmur. 'Fine.' Emilie spat, getting up and storming from the room. 'Draco, please go after her?' Ginny begged. Draco sighed and ducked out of the r oom. 'Em. Emilie wait up.' Draco called after her. She didn't listen, just kept runni ng. Draco sprinted after her, grabbing her arm and spinning her around. He was a bout to have a go at her for talking to Harry that way, but one look at her face , the look of utter devastation that was etched on it and Draco said nothing, si mply wrapping his arms around her and allowing her to cry. 'Finished?" he asked her a few minutes later, handing her a tissue. 'Don't worry . It's clean.' Emilie smiled at him, wiping her eyes and blowing her nose. Draco guided her over to a stone bench and they sat down. 'I'm sorry. I... It's just so much. To see him lying there not able to move or t o see.' she whispered. 'You have to try and put yourself in Harry's shoes. He doesn't know what's happe ning. All he knows is that he can't see, and he can't feel his legs and another person has died because of him.' 'That isn't true.' Emilie glared at him. 'I know that, and you know that, but knowing Harry as well as you do, do you rea lly think he believes any different.' 'No you're right. He has a guilt complex that would swamp a large African countr y.' Emilie giggled softly. 'Do you love him any less?' Draco asked suddenly. 'Pardon?' 'If he couldn't walk, or he couldn't see, would you love him any less?' 'Of course not.' Emilie said shocked. 'Well than what are you doing here? He needs to know you love him no matter what . Come on we'll wake him up together.' Draco took her hand and dragged her back in the direction of the hospital wing. They rushed back into the wing and over to the bed. 'Move.' Draco commanded as he and Emilie sat on each side of the bed. He once ag ain placed his hand on Harry's chest and began to whisper softly. 'I love it when he does this.' Hermione whispered as the glow began under Draco' s hand. 'Griffin.' he whispered. 'Griffin. I know you are there. Talk to me. Don't make me come in there and get you because you know I will.' Draco scolded softly. 'Yo u can't possibly believe it was your fault. We've talked about this before. He w as an adult and he made the decision to go. You were not to blame.' he said quit e loudly and forcefully. Your hurting everyone you love by not talking you know. Emilie, Sirius, Severus, Us.' Draco was silent for several minutes. 'You are an absolute bloody idiot, you know that.' he burst out. Of course she still loves you and no, you are not holding her back. She is a Phoenix child remember. She w

ould love you whether or not you could walk, talk, see, or dance the bloody tara ntella.' the others were very surprised to hear Draco swear twice in as many min utes. 'Stop being such a dork, you great prat, and open up.' Draco slowly lifted his hand and allowed the glow to fade. Harry moved his head up slightly as if t o try and see under the bandages. 'Emilie.' he croaked. 'Oh Harry.' she sobbed. Harry lifted a hand towards the sound and she clasped it in hers, kissing it and pressing it to her cheek. 'I love you Harry and I'm her e for you no matter what. We will get through this.' she vowed before leaning do wn to kiss him properly. 'Eh hem.' Sirius cleared his throat and chuckled as Emilie and Harry both blushe d. 'I think we should leave you to rest.' 'I'm not leaving.' Emilie said stubbornly, not letting go of Harry's hand. 'Well you, for one, are.' he said sternly pointing at Draco. 'I want you to walk with me and explain exactly what in the hell that was.' Harry and the others sn ickered as Draco rolled his eyes and dutifully followed Sirius from the room. 'Hey Em.' Harry whispered. 'Yes?' 'Did they.... Did they find Roger?' he asked in a small voice. 'Yes. They did.' 'Good.' Harry replied, smiling softly. 'Now go to sleep.' Emilie commanded. 'You're getting good at that.' Harry smiled again. Three more days past before Madam Pomfrey started to get a reaction to the refle x tests. Celebrations were long and loud as Harry began to get tingling in his t oes and feet. As the days past, Harry got more and more feeling back in his legs and was soon able to sit up in bed. Unfortunately his eyes had not made the rap id recovery that his spinal cord had, and they still had yet to be able to remov e the bandages. There was at least one person with Harry at all times. Madam Pom frey had shown them how to help Harry by moving his legs up and down and back an d forth while bending the knee and Harry's friends were more than eager to help him onto the road to recovery in anyway they could. 'Dragon, Voldemort would die laughing if he could see this.' Harry chuckled one evening with Draco as they did his exercises. 'Can you imagine it. The Boy-Who-L ived, the great saviour of the Wizarding world can't walk, can't even see.' he a dded sarcastically. They had taken to calling each other by their Animagus names . It was a gesture of the affection they felt for each other. 'Griffin, you will get through this just like you have got through everything el se life had thrown at you.' Draco smiled. 'I know Dragon. I just wish she would stop throwing things at me. It's starting to hurt.' Harry joked. 'I think I am ready to try standing. Will you help?' Harr y asked. 'Of course, but are you sure?'

'Yes.' Harry said firmly, sitting himself up and carefully lifting each leg off the bed and placing them on the floor. Draco came around and placed an arm aroun d Harry's waist and waited as Harry put his over his shoulder. 'Now when your ready.' Draco said. 'Let me know and I will help you.' Harry nodd ed. 'Okay. Let's go. Harry leaned slightly forward and pushed up. A few moments late r he was up. It was agony and his muscles and his lower back screamed but he sta yed standing. 'All right there Griffin?' Draco asked softly. Harry nodded smiling. 'Okay down. ' Draco told him. They repeated this several times before Harry was too tired to continue. 'Emilie will be so happy.' Draco grinned. 'Don't tell anyone, not even Em.' Harry said quickly. 'Why?' 'I want to surprise her. Can you come back and help me some more. I want to surp rise them all.' Harry said softly. 'Of course.' Draco replied, giving Harry a hug. 'I'll do whatever you want.' A week later Emilie and the chosen ones, except for Draco who was sitting with H arry, were enjoying their dinner when the doors opened slowly. Everyone looked t owards the door waiting to see who opened it and they were kept waiting for almo st a minute before a figure in a black cloak with the hood up walked slowly in. There were amazed and horrified expressions found all over the hall. What Death Eater would have the gall to come here, to Hogwarts. He stopped partway up the a isle in the near silent hall and raised both his hands to drop the hood. 'Harry.' Emilie screamed, leaping off her chair and running quickly across the h all. Harry grinned at her, bandages and all, and soon he was surrounded by well wishers from all sides. 'Hey mate.' Ron said touching Harry on the arm and watching with slight sadness as Harry whipped his head around to where he heard Ron's voice come from. 'Hey Ron.' Harry grinned. 'You really like to make an entrance these days, don't you.' came an amused voic e to Harry's right. 'Sev.' Harry smiled. 'Well, you know how it is. Me being a celebrity and all. Ca n't have them forgetting me.' Harry smirked. 'No one could forget you, Harry.' Hermione laughed. 'You're in a good mood.' Severus commented. 'Yeah well, Dragon has been helping me with a lot of stuff.' Harry grinned at wh ere he knew Draco was standing, having felt his aura as he had subtlety joined t he group. Severus flashed the former Slytherin a grateful look. Draco smiled bac k. Harry sat at the Gryffindor table for dinner that night surrounded by his fri ends. Emilie would lean over surreptitiously every few minutes to cut up things on Harry's plate. 'Stop doing that.' Harry scolded her.

'Sorry.' she muttered. What she didn't know, was that Draco was telling Harry ex actly what he was eating, and how big each piece was, through the mind link. Har ry joined in all of the jokes and the laughter. Emilie was thankful for the fact that Harry couldn't see the looks of pity that were occasionally shot his way. She knew he would not be happy. 'So has Madam Pomfrey released you yet?' Hermione asked. Harry shook his head. 'Nope. The bandages come off tomorrow and then she said she would see.' Harry sh rugged turning to Emilie. 'Sorry you have to put up with that uncomfortable bed for a bit longer.' he said apologetically. 'Don't worry.' she sent. 'I would sleep on the floor with you.' Harry smiled. Su ddenly the door was flung open again, and an irate medi-witch stormed in, scanni ng the room before striding over to the Gryffindor table. 'Harry James Potter. Just what in the name of Merlin do you think you are doing out of bed. And you.' she shrieked turning on Draco. 'What possessed you to brin g him here.' Draco raised an eyebrow. 'I didn't bring him.' Draco shrugged. 'What do you mean you didn't bring him? How in the hell else would he get here?' she sneered. 'He walked.' Draco said simply. 'Walked. What do you mean he walked?' She shrieked. Draco didn't answer, just po inted to Harry, who had been listening to the exchange with mild amusement and w ho was now standing beside the medi-witch. Poppy looked over at him, and after h aving her eyes almost pop out of her head in shock, and her mouth open and close for a few moments like a fish out of water, her eyes rolled back in her head an d she promptly fainted. 'Not quite the reaction we were looking for.' Draco sniffed, causing those aroun d them to dissolve into giggles as Severus and Albus came to enervate the prone woman. 'Harry, I think it is time you returned to the hospital wing.' Severus said ster nly, all the while trying to stop his mouth from twitching. Harry nodded and all owed Draco to walk in front of him so that he could grasp the back of the other boy's shirt and follow him. The hall still filled with laughter as they all file d out. The next morning Albus, Severus, Sirius, Remus, Minerva, the chosen ones and Emi lie all gathered in the office in the hospital wing. Poppy had already cast the spell and said that his eyes had repaired as much as they were going to with the bandages on and there was no reason not to remove them. She had told them that she didn't know exactly how much damage had been done and whether or not Harry c ould see but that they must be strong for him just in case. They all filed over to the bed where Harry was playing with a wooden puzzle, feeling the different s hapes with his fingers as he tried to piece it together. 'Hey guys.' he said brightly as he heard them coming. 'Griffin, what are you doing?' Draco giggled. 'Just fiddling.' Harry grinned as he put the puzzle aside. 'Are we ready?' Poppy nodded and raised her wand.

'May I?' Emilie gestured to the bandages. Poppy looked at Albus, who nodded and Emilie sat down on the bed next to Harry. Carefully she unwound the bandages and lay them down on the bed before removing the pads that covered each eye. 'Harry.' she whispered, a small gasp escaping as she took in the scars around hi s eyes. Tears began to roll down her cheeks. She couldn't stop them. Harry opene d his eyes. 'Stop crying.' he said sternly. 'Harry. You can see.' she said in wonder. Harry shook her head, shattering her h opes. 'Sadly no, I just knew you would be.' he whispered before closing his eyes and h anging his head. 'Harry, can you see anything?' Severus asked softly. 'No.' he sighed, lying down and turning his back to them. 'Nothing at all? Are you sure?' Sirius asked again. 'Yes, of course I'm sure.' Harry groaned sitting up. 'How many times do I have t o say it. I can't see anything, nought, nothing, diddley squat, bugger all. Now will you all just sod off and leave me alone for a while.' Harry returned to his previous position. 'Oh no you don't.' Emilie yelled at him, grabbing his shoulder roughly and forci ng him to face them. 'You are not going to lie there and sulk. You are not going to ignore us again. So you can't see, so what. A lot of people are blind, you w ill learn to live with it just like they did, and we will all be here to help yo u whether you like it or not.' Harry blinked a few times as if trying to clear h is vision. 'You know, you are damn scary when you are angry, even if I can't see your face. ' Harry said. Draco and Ron snorted and Emilie glared at them as most of the oth ers snickered quietly behind their hands. 'Madam Pomfrey, does Harry really need to stay here?' Emilie pleaded. 'Yes.' the medi-witch insisted. 'Now Poppy. I believe that Mr Potter would be fine returning to his rooms. I kno w the chosen ones would look after him.' Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Draco all nodd ed quickly. 'I don't need looking after.' Harry said pointedly, turning quickly to get out o f bed, and knocking off the glass of water that was on his bedside in the proces s. 'Oh well, maybe just a little.' Harry grinned sheepishly. 'but not for long.' he added determinedly. Poppy, realising she was outnumbered, sighed and nodded. 'One condition.' she said eyeing him beadily. 'You must come in for a check up e very morning after breakfast until I say otherwise.' Harry nodded reluctantly an d quickly left with Emilie and the others before she could change her mind. As it was Sunday, Harry and the others spent the day down by the lake. Tomorrow would be the 1st of May and Hermione insisted that they get to work on the guest list for the wedding. Harry and the other boys lay flat on their backs, soaking up the sun as the girls sat together discussing who would sit where during the

reception. The Special Forces group came and joined them at lunchtime bearing tr ays of food and they all tucked in hungrily. Emilie and Draco helping Harry, but making it seem like they weren't, as they strategically placed sandwiches and g oblets within his reach. It was a very happy group that finally made their way b ack to the training room by mid afternoon. Harry had insisted that they keep up with their training. He told them he could still watch them through Draco's eyes just as he had done from America. This wasn't a safe thing to do if Harry was m oving around but he could sit or stand next to Draco and see what was happening. He watched carefully as they trained for two hours before he took off his shirt , shoes and socks and stood up. 'Draco, take me to the middle of the hall.' He said confidently. 'Don't you think it is a bit soon?' Harry shook his head. 'No. Voldemort wards where he e students sat d handed Harry could come back any day now.' Harry insisted and began to walk to thought the middle was. Draco hurried after him as the rest of th down around the hall to watch. Draco conjured a founders ghost an a staff.

'Can you feel the ghost in front of you.' Harry nodded. 'It doesn't have an aura, but I can feel a loss of space.' he said. 'You will have to try and hear or sense when the attack is coming and from which direction.' Harry nodded again and took his fighting stance. Unlike Harry's pre vious duels which were like pure poetry in motion, this one was awkward and pain ful for the others to watch. Draco softly sent corrections through the mind link , but every time Harry stumbled and fell, Emilie tried to rush towards him only to find herself restrained by Ron and Hermione. 'No Phoenix. He must learn.' Draco warned. Emilie sat back down and watched, her heart in her throat. An hour later and Harry finally banished the ghost, droppi ng to the floor, gasping for breath. He rolled over until he was flat on his bac k, eyes screwed up in pain as Emilie and the others sprinted across the hall. 'Harry, are you okay?' she said urgently, dropping to her knees beside him. 'My back.' Harry grimaced. 'Can you get me to bed.' Draco quickly levitated him up through the room and into his bedroom everyone else following. 'Dragon.' Harry groaned, pointing to the others. Draco spun round to face them. 'Not a word. To any one.' he commanded them. 'Now out all of you. Go and shower and change for dinner.' Draco closed the door after them and quickly went to hel p Emilie and the others. Carefully they lifted Harry and removed his trousers, l eaving him in just his underwear before Draco rolled him over onto his stomach. Hermione cast a mild healing spell. 'Is that any better?' she asked softly. 'Thank you Hermione.' Harry breathed. 'You stay here Harry. We'll bring you some dinner.' Ron said. 'Well you had better bring me some then because I 'm not leaving.' Emilie said f irmly, sitting beside Harry and softly rubbing his back. 'Was there any doubt.' Draco agreed, smirking at her. 'We will see you in a whil e.' The chosen ones got up and left as Emilie returned her attention to making H

arry more comfortable. Using her healing energy she gently massaged his lower ba ck until she felt him fall asleep and then pulled the covers over him. She went into the bathroom and had a shower before pulling on her pyjamas and climbing in to bed. Harry had turned onto his back and Emilie snuggled in behind him, cradli ng his head and shoulders in her arms and slowly stroked his hair off his face, tracing his scar softly with her fingers. A short while later the door opened an d Hermione and Ginny crept in with two plates of food. 'He's asleep.' she sent to the others. They quietly left the food on his desk an d came over to the edge of the bed. 'Is he okay.' Hermione sent. Emilie nodded. 'He's so cute when he's asleep.' Ginny snickered. Emilie shushed them but couldn 't help grinning. She summoned a sandwich from the plate and ate quietly as the three girls discussed the wedding via the mind link. About two weeks later Emilie woke up to find herself alone in bed, which hadn't happened in a while. It was still early with the sun just peeking up over the ho rizon. She could hear the Little Ones making an enormous racket out in the train ing room and rose quickly, pulling on her dressing gown and walking out to see w hat was the matter. Two steps into the room she stood transfixed. Harry was in t he middle of the hall going all out with the two swords against six of the found ers ghosts. She stood still, gaping in awe as the chosen ones and the special fo rces, who had stayed last night after a particularly gruelling practice, all beg an to filter into the room, awoken by the noise the three little animals were ma king from the corner. Upon catching sight of Harry, blades slashing so quickly t hrough the air they were just a blur, they to just stopped and stared. For and h our and a half he battled the ghosts, no one moved or no one spoke, until eventu ally the last one disappeared with a pop and Harry dropped the swords and fell t o his knees, hands reaching behind him to clutch his lower back in agony. Emilie rushed over and quickly moved his hands placing hers on top of his spine. Gentl y massaging where she knew the pain was until Harry's breathing settled and he s lowly stood up and turned to her. 'Thank you.' he whispered. 'Well someone's been practicing, when he should have been teaching.' Draco drawl ed coming up to them. 'What are you complaining about. I thought Remus gave you less homework than I d id.' Harry smirked at him, using Ron's offered arm to help him to stand. 'He does, but Moody gives more, and last week was the full moon.' Ginny sighed. 'I love Professor Lupin.' Draco raised an elegant eyebrow. 'Oh really!' he said. Ginny blushed to the tips of her ears, as the others aroun d them giggled. 'I mean I love having him as a teacher.' she mumbled. 'Well you don't have to worry. I'm coming back today.' Harry smiled. 'Oh Harry. Are you ready?' Emilie asked softly. Harry nodded. 'Yes. My eyes are as good as they are going to get so I might as well get used t o it. I can see shadows and things now so I should be able to tell where I am go ing.' He told them. 'I thought you couldn't see anything.' Angelina said.

'I couldn't before.' he shrugged. 'They are only vague shadows. You know, I will see something before I run into it. That's all. They haven't improved at all ov er the last week so I guess this is as good as it gets.' he said matter of factl y. 'Besides I can't hide away for every. I haven't been out of these rooms for t wo weeks other than to the hospital wing. I need join in again.' Emilie nodded. 'You should probably shower before breakfast Harry.' she giggled. Harry smirked at her and walked slowly towards his room. 'That was amazing.' Seamus whispered to Dean. 'Nothing evil will ever triumph wi th him around. He's a machine. He just keeps coming back. Nothing will ever stop him.' Emilie turned on them, eyes blazing. 'Yes, there is something that can stop him.' she spat. 'Expectations.' and with that she marched back into the sitting room, slamming the door behind her. Harry walked nervously down to the hall with the others. After he had showered a nd joined them, Hermione had showed him two very useful spells that would help h im move around the school. One created a map in his mind that showed him exactly where he was and where he needed to go and the other was sort of like a shield which would make sure he didn't run into anything. 'It works sort of like the canes that blind muggles use.' she told him. Both spe lls had seemed to work well so far, as Harry led the group down to breakfast wit h out getting lost or running into anything or anyone. He walked into the hall, waiting as his teams sat down, before striding up the hall to the head table. He walked around to the back and, seeing the tall dark shape that could only have been his guardian, pulled out the chair next to him and sat down. 'Good morning Harry.' Albus said, hiding his surprise extremely well. 'It's good to see you up and around again.' 'I have been up and around for the last two weeks Albus.' Harry chuckled. 'Yes, but we haven't seen you.' the Headmaster countered. 'True. True.' Harry nodded, hearing. 'You have eggs, bacon to your left and saus ages to your right.' through the mind link. 'Thanks Dragon.' Harry sent back. Although he could see the shape of the plates, he had no idea what was actually on them. 'Hey Harry.' Severus whispered. 'Sev. I've missed you. Why didn't you come and see me.' Harry asked. 'I don't know.' Severus admitted. 'I guess I just wanted to give you some space. I knew you would find me when you were ready.' Harry nodded, helping himself to some bacon. 'I did need some for a while but then I just got so angry with myself for being such a prat, that I began training like a demon. I decided that nothing is going to stop me from killing Voldemort. Eyes or no eyes.' 'You have been training?' Severus raised an eyebrow. Harry smirked. 'Yep. But I'm not as good as I was.' he admitted. 'Well that is quite understandable.' Albus said.

'But I will be.' Harry said emphatically, his eyes alight with determination, ev en if he couldn't see through them. Severus and Albus exchanged a worried glance over his head. Harry, perched on the end of the desk as he waited for his first class of the da y to file in. He waited patiently as they took their seats before he grinned at them. 'Lavender Brown.' he called out. 'Yes Professor.' Harry noted the general direction of her voice down on paper. 'Seamus Finnegan.' 'Here.' Again Harry noted his position in the class room. He did this for the wh ole class before committing the seating plan to memory. 'If you could all do me the favour of sitting in these seats for each class you have with me I would appreciate it. Now I hear your Patronus' are coming along v ery well. Professor Lupin has said that all of you can produce a mist and just o ver half, a distinct form.' Harry stood up and began to walk slowly around the r oom. 'As promised I have arranged for a boggart.' he indicated a rattling box in the corner. 'so if you would all stand up I will move the desks over to the sid e.' Harry waited and then cleared the middle of the room before levitating the b ox over from the corner. 'Now. I will face the boggart first and once it has sho wn itself, one at a time, you can try out your Patronus. If you do not succeed i n driving the dementor back use the Riddikulus charm. And make sure you allow me enough time to face it so that it becomes a dementor again. Ready? Good.' Harry walked over to the box and tapped it with his shoe before stepping back. The lid flipped open and then the long black cloak rose out of the box, the scal y hand disappearing under the robes. 'Go.' Harry called out and the first person jumped in front of him. 'Expecto Patronum.' Draco yelled, and watched in pride as Dragon flew across the room knocking the dementor back a few steps. 'Next.' Harry called again. 'Expecto Patronum.' Hermione yelled and a large book shot out of her wand and pu shed the dementor back, it's pages flapping wildly. One at a time they faced the dementor. Seamus went last, and the sight of his enormous mug of beer, trailing it's foam across the floor, before tipping itself over the dementor, produced s o much laughter that it destroyed the boggart with a huge crack, probably more e asily than if they'd used the Riddikulus charm. 'Well done all of you. I am not giving you any homework tonight.' the class chee red. 'However I will be testing you on the Patronus charm next week so make sure you study. Good bye.' Harry added as the bell rang. Emilie grabbed her bag and walked over to Harry. 'See you at lunch?' she asked. Harry nodded. 'Why didn't you tell me you could do your Patronus?' he asked. 'Didn't really seem like the time.' she answered simply. 'Any way I had better g o.' she gave him a quick kiss and headed for the door.

'What is it, by the way? Your Patronus, I mean?' she stopped in the doorway, loo king back over her shoulder. 'A griffin.' she said softly, 'with a lightning bolt on it's head.' and disappea red out the door. Later that evening Harry, Emilie and the chosen ones were all in various places around the room, the two girls studying and the three boys playing chess. Harry had found out that with Severus' conjured chess set he could still play as the p ieces would tell him where they were standing and would help him with where they should go next. 'So I hear Emilie told you what her Patronus was.' Ron said. Harry nodded. 'It's times like this I wish I could see.' He said sadly. 'What about using the spell you use to watch practice.' Draco suggested. 'I never thought of that.' Harry breathed. 'Em, come here quick.' he called exci tedly. She rushed over. 'Harry what is it? Is your back sore.' 'No. Nothing like that. I want you to do the Patronus charm for me.' 'What? Why?' 'So I can see it.' Emilie looked at him in confusion. 'Draco is going to show me .' he said by way of explanation, after he correctly deduced the silence as a la ck of understanding. 'Oh.' she said smiling. 'Okay.' She walked over to the far corner, grabbing her wand off the desk. Harry muttered the incantation and smiled as he saw her stand ing there, wand raised. The sight of her made all the more special as he didn't see it every day. Harry held his breath as she yelled out the incantation and wa tched, stunned, as a bright silver griffin with a distinct lightening bolt marki ng just above it's right eye, shot out of the end of her wand and stretched it's wings to soar around the room before fading away. 'Griffin?' Draco said tentatively, shutting off the spell. 'Are you okay.' Harry looked as he didn't know whether to nod or shake his head. His mouth opened and closed as he struggled to put his feelings into words. 'Breathe Harry.' Hermione instructed, rubbing him softly on the shoulder. Harry just shook his head and rising quickly crossed the room to sweep Emilie into his arms. 'That was so beautiful.' he cried, burying his head in the crook of her neck.. ' I promise I will always protect you.' 'I love you Harry.' 'Love you too.' he whispered and with a wave to the others carried her into thei r room. He laid her gently down on the bed and cuddled her close. 'Are you sure you're okay Harry.' she asked softly. 'Yeah. I just don't want to talk at the moment. I am so overwhelmed that I can't even begin to say what I want to say. I just want to hold you.' He whispered, s miling softly.

'Okay.' she mumbled into his chest and soon they fell asleep. 'Good morning.' Emilie whispered as Harry opened his eyes. Harry sighed. 'I really miss seeing your blue eyes in the morning.' He told her sadly. 'You could always get Draco to show you.' Harry snorted. 'There is no way I am sharing this with Dragon.' he said emphatically. Emilie gi ggled. Harry leaned over and placed his lips on hers, allowing his fingers to da nce softly over her stomach. 'Oh.' Emilie groaned softly as he moved his mouth down her neck and onto her sho ulder leaving feather light kisses in it's wake. 'Come on Harry.' Ron sang opening the door. 'You'll be late.' added Draco as they waltzed into the room. 'Oops, sorry Harry.' they both chimed out. Harry, never taking his mouth away fr om Emilie's neck, raised his hand in their direction and muttered an incantation before going back to the task at hand. Well, trying to anyway, until Emilie, ca tching sight of the two boys, burst into hysterical laughter. With tears streaming down her face, and Harry looking on in amusement, she rushe d out of the room to get Hermione and Ginny. Dragging them back in after her wit h cries of 'you just have to see this.' Hermione and Ginny soon followed Emilie into the land of laughter. Finally Draco and Ron looked at each other in confusi on which very quickly turned to horror as they caught sight of the tattoo on the others forehead and knew, without looking, that they had an identical one plast ered across theirs. 'Oh Harry. Please you have to take it off.' Draco begged. 'Harry mate, you can't make us walk around all day with this.' Ron pleaded. 'Can't I?' Harry smirked and got up and disappeared into the bathroom. 'Emilie, Emilie please. You have to talk to him.' Draco and Ron pleaded with her . 'I don't think so.' she giggled, wiping the tears from her eyes. 'Besides maybe it will teach the two of you to knock.' she replied waltzing brazenly into the b athroom after Harry. The chosen ones stared at the bathroom door in shock, think ing that the two must have taken their relationship a lot further then they had first thought, until they heard the peals of laughter burst through from under t he door. This continued for a few minutes, with Ron and Draco fuming silently in the one corner and Ginny and Hermione dissolving into giggles at the sight of t hem in another. Harry walked out five minutes later, hair wet and sticking up in all directions and a towel wrapped around his waist. 'What?' he asked, taking in their stunned expressions. 'There is two bathrooms i n there, thank you very much.' All four blushed in embarrassment as Harry disapp eared again into his wardrobe reappearing minutes later in his robes just as Emi lie joined them. 'Ready?' he asked her. She nodded still giggling and Harry led them down to brea kfast. Ginny and Hermione also giggling and Draco and Ron sullenly bringing up t he rear.

The tattoos certainly caused much amusement over breakfast. While Harry couldn't see anything, he could hear the whispers and jokes and feel the buzz going arou nd the hall. Harry left the others at the Gryffindor table and walked through the hall to the head table. 'What did you do?' Severus asked. Harry smirked at his guardian. 'Just a little lesson in manners.' Harry replied, grinning wickedly. 'You'll see .' Harry tucked into his breakfast which Dobby had thought fully provided already o n his plate and cut into bite sized pieces. 'Thank goodness.' Harry thought. He didn't think Draco was going to be quite so helpful this morning. After breakfas t Harry returned to the DADA classroom and prepared for his first and only class for the day, seventh year Ravenclaws and Gryffindors. With only six classes a w eek to teach Harry sometimes thought that he might be sponging a little bit off the generosity of Albus and the others, but then some sense knocked into him and reminded him of how much he had been through, and how much he had lost, for tho se same people. 'It all evens out in the end.' he muttered to himself as he gazed around at the shadowy room. He thought back on how much his life had changed over just the las t ten months and shook his head in wonder. 'How on earth did I manage to have so many loyal friends.' he said thinking abou t the chosen ones and the Special Forces group. 'and what in the hell did I do s o right to have ended up with Emilie. Wonders will never really cease.' he mused out loud. 'Ah Professor. Are you all right?' came a quiet voice from the door. Harry's hea d came up and he tried to discern out who's shadowy figure it was at the door. 'Angelina?' Harry asked, squinting as if to try and see. 'Yes. May I come in?' Harry gestured to the chair in front of the desk. 'What can I do for you?' he asked kindly. 'Professor, I.' Harry held up his hand. 'We aren't in class Angelina. I think it would be fine to call me Harry.' she bl ushed. 'Okay Harry. I keep thinking back to the offer that David Wittingslow made after the last battle. 'The one about joining the Auror's?' Angelina nodded. 'I was wondering if you could put in a good word for me with the Department of M ysteries. I would really like to become an Unspeakable.' she said softly. Harry studied her outline carefully. It was really annoying not being able to see othe rs expressions at times like this. 'You understand what is involved by becoming an Unspeakable.' she nodded firmly. 'you know about the commitment required. Cutting ties with you family and frien ds for years at a time whilst you are undercover, painstaking research that can take years, little or no holidays year in, year out. And although it does pay ve

ry well, you don't really get a chance to spend it. Also, if you ever want to re sign, they have to Obliviate you. Are you sure this is what you want to do? Real ly sure?' Harry asked her. 'Yes.' she said firmly. 'Please will you talk to them for me.' Harry thought for a moment longer. 'You certainly have the brains and talent for it.' he mused. ' All right I will talk to David this evening. I'm sure he will want to talk to yo u himself. I will let you know.' Angelina stood up quickly and kissed him on the cheek. 'Thank you Harry.' she whispered before finding her seat in the classroom and wa iting for the others. Harry wondered idly why anyone would want to become an Unspeakable as he thought over the conversation. Making a mental note he stood up and came around the des k , pulling himself up on the front as the rest of class filed in. After calling the roll, he again made the request that they remain in the same s eats for his classes. The only problem he had in this class was telling Fred and George apart, whose voices sounded exactly the same, but Harry figured if he st uck to calling them both 'Mr Weasley.' it might just solve the problem. 'Now onto the last species of dark creatures before we start reviewing for your N.E.W.T.s. Has everyone read the last chapter in your books that Professor Moody set you.' A hand was raised in second row on the left side of the room. 'Yes Mr Weasley. What is it?' Harry sighed. Fred, at least Harry thought it was Fred but it could have easily been George, stood up. 'We, the seventh year Gryffindors and Ravenclaws, would like to welcome you back Professor with a little gift.' he came around to the front of the room and hand ed Harry a parcel. Harry's face bore a sceptical expression. 'Beware of wise guys bearing gifts.' Harry muttered, changing the muggle express ion to suit his needs. 'Oh Professor, you wound us.' George, or was it Fred, well, anyway, the other We asley Twin said standing up and coming to join his twin. 'We just wanted you to have something to remember us by.' 'You two,' Harry said pointing to them, 'are something a ninety year old woman i n the severest throes of Alzheimer's would have no trouble remembering.' Harry c huckled as they whispered 'Alzheimer's?' to each other. He sighed and began to t ear off the wrapping around the gift to find that he had been given a toilet sea t. 'I, um, I don't really know what to say.' Harry stuttered. 'We have tried to give you one every year.' George said. 'Remember in first year, after Quirrell.' Fred added. 'And in second year after Lockhart divested you of all the bones in your arm.' G eorge snickered. 'Then in third year after the Dementors almost got you.' Fred chimed in. 'And in fourth year after. Well, you know.' George muttered.

'Well, finally we have done it. After being foiled r Mum or Madam Pomfrey, we have done it.' Fred and y with themselves as they returned to their seats, g and snickering madly at the perplexed expression

at every opportunity by eithe George seemed especially happ the rest of the class snortin on Harry's face.

'Um thanks?' Harry said, laying the toilet seat on the desk and turning back to face the class. He was praying that he wasn't as red as he felt, but if the heat in his face was anything to go by, he thought he probably looked something like a very brightly lit Christmas tree. Struggling through the rest of the lesson h e then set them a three foot essay on Vampires, much to the class's disgust. By the sound of the complaints, they obviously had also thought that with his retur n, the homework situation would be much better. 'No such luck.' Harry chuckled. 'I had to do it, so you can too.' He picked up his toilet seat and made his way down to the great hall for lunch. 'Don't ask.' he growled at Severus who was snorting madly as he put the toilet s eat down on the floor behind him. 'Let me guess.' Severus snickered. 'The Weasley twins.' Harry just nodded and dr opped his head into his hands. 'Did you see Ron and Draco?' Harry mumbled. 'Ah yes. What did they do?' Severus asked, a wry grin on his face. Harry snicker ed and looked up. 'Let's just say, that not only hasn't anybody taught them about the rules of eti quette in regard to knocking, on top of that, some higher power saw fit to exclu de them receiving the gift of timing.' Harry said primly. 'They didn't? You weren't?' Severus was flabbergasted. Harry looked horrified. 'Of course not. We were only kissing, but they always burst in without knocking. I warned them last time and they took no notice.' Harry shrugged. 'You are bad Potter.' Severus snorted and Harry grinned at him wickedly. 'How ar e the wedding plans coming along?' Severus asked changing the subject. 'Good.' Harry replied sipping his pumpkin juice. 'We need to go to Diagon Alley and get fitted for proper wedding dress robes. Hermione is going spare that they won't be ready in time.' 'I would be happy to take you all on Saturday if you like and I 'm sure Minerva and Remus would love to come.' 'Really!' Harry asked. 'Sure.' 'Thank Sev. I can't wait to tell Hermione. She might stop bugging me about it.' Harry snickered. 'No problem. I'll set it up with Minerva and Remus.' Harry smiled happily and tu cked into his lunch. The rest of the day passed quickly, Harry spending most of it training in his rooms. Emilie and the chosen ones joining him as soon as clas ses had finished so that Emilie could massage his back again. 'You know you really should have your back checked out.' she said. Harry grimace d.

'I have. She said that some of the bones were so badly shattered by the falling rocks that when she repaired them, small bits were missing, and now the bones in my spinal column aren't complete, that's why I get pain. Hopefully it will get better eventually, but Poppy did tell me not to hold my breath.' Harry grimaced again as Emilie hit a sore spot. 'You might need to cut down on the training a bit.' Hermione suggested. 'No, not until Voldemort's gone.' He said , standing stiffly. 'I do have some go od news however. Severus, Remus and Minerva have agreed to escort us to Diagon A lley on Saturday.' 'Serious.' Hermione's eyes were almost bugging out of her head. 'No. He will meet us there.' Harry snickered at her. 'Now come on. You lot have training and you have to concentrate on it and not on new dresses.' Harry smirke d at them. The next few days past quickly and Saturday dawned clear and bright, the weather surprisingly warm for Scotland. Harry and the others were walking down to Hogsm eade. Harry with Emilie on one side and Draco on the other. Ginny had her arm in Draco's with Hermione and Ron walking next to Emilie. In front and behind the g roup were four Aurors, there under Sirius' orders. The three professors followin g behind. The youngsters were laughing and joking, all obviously very excited by the upcoming excursion, especially as other than Harry, none of them had been a llowed off the grounds since last September. 'To look at them, you wouldn't even imagine what they have done and what they ha ve been through in the last year, would you?' Remus said as they watched the six teenagers skip down towards the gates of the school. 'Have you found out anything about the runes, Severus?' Minerva asked him. Sever us shook his head. 'Unfortunately no. Miss Granger is right. I have been searching everywhere to no avail.' he said sadly. 'I believe Emilie has found something.' Remus said. Severus' eyebrows shot up to his hairline. 'Really?' he asked. 'Yes, I overheard her telling Hermione in the library on the day of Harry's acci dent.' 'That wasn't an accident, that was attempted murder.' Minerva growled, surprisin g the other two professors with her ferocity. 'Ah, yes, well.' the werewolf mumbled. 'Anyway, Hermione told Emilie that it was far too dangerous but Emilie made her swear not to tell Harry. That's all I hea rd.' Remus shrugged. Severus 'eyes returned to the group in front of him, inward ly wondering what the two girls had found. The large group flooed from the Three Broomsticks to the Leaky Cauldron, where a nother group of Aurors and Sirius waited for them. 'Sirius.' Harry yelled, hearing his godfather's voice as he stepped out of the f ireplace. Sirius came over and swept him into a hug. 'Hey kiddo.' he said softly.

'You're really going to have to stop calling me that.' Harry snickered. 'I'll be a married man soon.' Sirius held up his hands in protest. 'I'm sorry, but you will always be kiddo to me.' Harry just snorted and dragged him over to where the others were standing. 'Now what is the plan?' he asked them. 'Emilie, Hermione and Ginny will go with Minerva to the bridal shop and you thre e will come with us to Madam Malkin's. We will meet back here in three hours for lunch. Is that okay?' Severus asked. The others nodded. 'By the way.' Sirius warned them. 'We have hushed this up so far, but you do kno w the minute you both go into these shops, this wedding will become public knowl edge don't you. Every newspaper in the world is going to want a piece of you.' E milie looked at Harry uncertainly. 'I'm sorry.' he whispered, and she slapped him on the arm. 'Ow, what the hell wa s that for?' he asked rubbing the offending limb. 'That was for apologising when you didn't have to. I know who you are Harry, I k now what being with you involves and I knew what I was getting myself into when I agreed to marry you, well, maybe not straight away but certainly the next morn ing.' she told him, and they both grinned remembering the reaction to the news a t breakfast that day. 'So don't you go saying sorry for things you can't change, you great prat.' she said pointedly. Sirius nudged Harry. 'Quite a live one you got there Harry.' he joked. 'I quite prefer them that way.' Harry admitted honestly and grabbed Emilie, kiss ing her passionately before walking towards the back of the pub, as she stared a fter him in shock. Out in the back courtyard he waited for the others to catch u p before opening the brick wall to Diagon Alley. Three Aurors followed by Harry and Severus chatting animatedly, Ron, Draco, Remus and Sirius behind them and an other three Aurors bringing up the rear. People stopped and stared as they walke d down the street. It was not often you saw the Minister for Magic strolling dow n Diagon Alley together with reformed Death Eater Severus Snape, and Harry Potte r, the most powerful wizard in the world. Harry seemed oblivious to everything o ther than the topic he was discussing with his guardian, but then again, that co uld have been because he couldn't see all the stares coming their way. When they reached Madam Malkin's the Aurors swept in first to secure the everything befor e allowing them all to crowd inside and flipping over the sign on the door to cl osed and locking it. 'Mr Potter. What a pleasure.' Madame Malkin glided over. 'The Minister has told us of your requirements and would be happy to help you in anyway that we can.' S he then glided over to a rack on the far side of the store. 'I have taken the li berty of selecting some styles and colours I think would suit you very nicely.' she said, pulling out a set of dark green robes and gliding back over. 'Don't yo u think these are a lovely colour and the embroidered runes on them are just exq uisite.' she held them up as the others looked at Harry uncomfortably. 'Very nice.' Harry said, his mouth twitching. 'Did you tell her?' he heard Severus ask Sirius. 'Forgot.' Sirius replied. 'If you don't like these would you prefer blue. What about this colour?' she hel

d up another set. 'Or this red.' It was all too much for Harry, who burst out la ughing. Draco and Ron snorting in the background as Madame Malkin looked at him as if he was crazy. 'I'm sorry Madame, I'm sure the robes are wonderful, really, it's just,' Harry w as trying desperately to smother his giggles. 'It's just, that I can't see them. ' 'Oh, do you want me to take them out into the daylight.' she asked innocently. D raco and Ron snorted again and Harry growled at them through the mind link, whic h unfortunately did not have the desired effect and only succeeded in dissolving them both into fits of giggles. 'No Madame, you don't understand.' Harry explained patiently, getting a hold of himself. 'I can't see them. I can't see anything I'm afraid. I'm blind.' 'Oh. Oh my.' she exclaimed, dropping the robe as both her hands flew to her mout h. Sirius stepped forward. 'That is classified information and we would appreciate it if you didn't spread it around.' he told her sternly. Madame Malkin just nodded dumbly, staring at Ha rry. 'Don't stare.' he scolded, knowing, even without being able to see, that she was and walking over and sitting down. 'Dragon.' he whispered. Draco came over and sat beside him with Ron on the other side both clasping one of his hands in thei r's. 'It's okay Griffin. I'll show you.' Draco whispered and muttered the spell to al low Harry to see through his eyes. 'Stop that you two.' Harry scolded as Draco had looked at Severus and Sirius to see tears in their eyes. Madame Malkin, overcoming her initial shock dived into action like a whirlwind, showing the three boys various designs and colours. Har ry picked out what he wanted and Draco and Ron picked the same style in contrast ing colours and soon all three boys were up on pedestals being measured and adju sted to within an inch of their lives. Severus, Sirius and Remus looking on like proud parents. 'You need them too Severus.' Harry gestured to the pedestal. 'and you two might as well.' he pointed to Sirius and Remus. 'You can't just wear anything to my we dding.' He snickered. Harry and the boys sat giggling as the two professors and the Minister stood fidgeting and sighing as they too were measured and altered. Soon they were finished and they all got up to leave, after thanking Madame Malk in profusely as she promised to have the robes brought to the school for a final fitting, a few days before the wedding. The Aurors unlocked the door and they all walked out into the bright sunlight. 'Where now?' Sirius asked them. 'Jewellers.' Harry replied and as one they moved back up the alley, towards the Leaky Cauldron and into 'Diamond Dreams - Jewels for all occasions.' Again the A urors went in first and then locked the door behind him. 'Minister. What a pleasure.' stammered the small man behind the counter. 'What m ay I do for you.' 'My godson is getting married and we have come to choose the wedding bands.' Sir ius puffed out his chest, doing such an unbelievable impersonation of Percy Weas

ley that both Harry and Ron snorted. 'Oh of course, Minister. Right away, certainly Minister.' Harry and Ron continue d snorting as Severus rolled his eyes. The man brought out a display tray lined with velvet and placed it in front of Harry. Draco began to say the spell but Ha rry held up his hand. 'Don't worry Dragon. They will tell me.' Harry closed his eyes and held his hand out in front of him. Using his mind, he called out softly to the magic within t he shop. The shopkeeper and the Aurors, unused to such a display of power looked on in awe, as rings, necklaces, brooches and bracelets all glowed a soft white as the magic passed over them. It branched out, encompassing the whole room and then spreading out to the work room in the back. Soon it narrowed to a single be am which led Harry around the counter into the back room, returning a few moment s later with a small silver box. 'Flies, Padfoot, flies.' Remus whispered, snickering quietly as Sirius promptly shut his mouth. 'These please.' he smiled at the small man. 'What. How did.. ' the man stuttered, trailing off and looking at Harry wide eye d. 'I'm not even sure these are for sale and if they were they would be very exp ensive.' 'Everything is for sale and I don't care what they cost.' Harry said simply. 'Wr ap them please.' he handed the man the box. 'You can take the cost directly from my vault.' 'Don't you even want to know how much they are?' Harry shook his head. 'No. Thank you very much for your time.' Harry marched towards the door, tucking the little wrapped box inside his robes. 'Thank you Mr Potter, Minister.' the short man tipped his hat, his eyes sparklin g. 'Don't take advantage of my godson.' Sirius warned and the man who paled conside rably before nodding. Sirius glared at him once before sweeping from the shop. 'Harry, aren't you going to look at them.' Harry shook his head. 'I don't need to Ron.' Harry told him. 'But Griffin, how do you know there is even rings in that box. I could be empty for all you know.' Draco said. 'I just know.' Harry said simply, striding quickly towards the Leaky Cauldron. 'But Griffin, can't we see them please.' Draco whined. 'Would you like some cheese to go with that whine, Dragon?' Harry said, still wa lking as Draco stopped and stared open mouthed, before running to catch up with Harry, and a still snorting Ron. Severus, Remus and Sirius snickering quietly be hind them. When they reached the Leaky Cauldron they moved to a private room tha t held a table big enough to seat all ten of them. Draco sat down in a mock huff opposite Harry as Ginny sat quickly beside him. Emilie gave Harry a quick kiss before quickly taking a seat next to him as Severus seated himself on Harry's ot her side.

The table filled with dishes and everybody began to help themselves as bottles o f Butterbeer and glasses of wine appeared in front of them. Harry squinted as if trying to see what each platter contained. 'Directly in front of you is roast lamb, on the left of that is vegetables and o n the right is some sort of soup.' came a drawling voice through the mind link. 'Thanks Dragon.' Harry sent, smiling in the blonde's general direction. Now know ledgeable in what he was about to eat, he filled his plate. Everyone was chattin g and laughing, he could hear Hermione, Ginny and Emilie telling the others abou t the gorgeous dresses they found in the shops. He listened as Severus and Siriu s quietly discussed Voldemort and the latest news regarding any sightings and he heard Remus and Minerva chatted happily about the wedding and how beautiful Emi lie was going to be and he suddenly felt very alone. Before he realised it a sin gle tear rolled down his cheek. He stared at his plate, suddenly not very hungry . 'Sev.' he sent through the mind link. 'Sev, please can we go home.' Severus turn ed away from Sirius and looked at Harry. 'Harry, are you okay?' 'Please just take me back.' he sent again, the tremor in his voice betraying him . 'What about the others?' 'They can stay here and come later. Please, can we just go.' he begged as anothe r tear made it's way down his cheek. Severus stood up abruptly, helping Harry st and. 'We're going back. Please stay here and enjoy yourselves. We will see you back a t Hogwarts.' he bundled his charge out of the room. Emilie rose to go after them but Draco grabbed her arm. 'No Phoenix. Let him go. Severus will look after him.' he told her and she sat b ack down. The cheerfulness that had encompassed the group before Harry's abrupt departure having now been lost and it was an uncertain cavalcade that returned t o Hogwarts two hours later. Severus and Harry arrived back at Hogsmeade walking quickly down to the school g ates where Harry then jumped them to Severus rooms. Harry sat down quickly on th e sofa, gulping huge breaths of air to try and control his emotions, his head bu ried in his hands. 'Harry, are you okay? What's wrong?" Severus said calmingly as he rubbed his bac k. Harry looked up at him, and Severus sucked in a breath at the sorrow that sho ne in those sightless green eyes that were brimming with tears. 'I won't be able to see her.' Harry whimpered, as the enormity of going through life without ever really seeing his new wife or his future children or anything that was important to him, finally sunk in. 'Sev, I won't ever see her. She will be so beautiful and I won't ever see her.' Harry finally lost it as the tears r olled down his cheeks. 'I thought you were handling this all just a little too well.' Severus muttered, cradling the boy in his arms. He waited till he felt the sobs subside before ri sing and going over to the little kitchen. He poured two glasses of scotch, walk ing over and handing one to Harry.

'Here, drink.' Harry downed it in one gulp, coughing and spluttering. 'I'm sure I told you to sip it last time.' Severus muttered handing him the other glass be fore refilling the first one for himself and sitting back down next to Harry. 'You know she loves you whether you can see or not, don't you?' he said. Harry n odded. 'This isn't about her. It's about me. I never really realised what I had lost be fore, and then today, hearing the girls talking about the dresses and Remus and Minerva say how beautiful the wedding would be and how gorgeous Emilie would loo k. I just felt so alone. All the plans Emilie and I had. The places we would go, the things we would see. I'll never be able to do that now.' he whispered. 'You can still do all that Harry.' Severus said softly. 'I can't see any of it, Severus and there is no way I am taking Dragon everywher e with me.' Harry snorted quietly. 'Emilie wanted to show me all of Paris, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Monmartre. The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Some vi ew it will be.' Harry said sarcastically. 'Harry, for once I don't know what to say.' Severus admitted. 'Maybe you should have talked to your godfather.' Harry shook his head. 'No. He is so busy with the Ministry besides, he really only sees me as a little kid. I mean he tries and everything, but to him I am his best friend's son. I n eed to be coddled and wrapped up for my own protection. I mean, I love him dearl y, but I just can't talk to him the way I can talk to you. You are like the fath er I never had and I..' Harry hesitated. 'I trust you.' another tear rolled down his cheek as Severus put his arms around him. 'It will be okay Harry. I promise.' Severus whispered rocking him slowly. 'I pro mise.' he whispered again. Severus met the solemn group as they returned from Hogsmeade. 'Harry is fine.' he told them. 'He is resting and will join you all for dinner. Now could I please see Emilie and Hermione.' he said walking away. The two girls shrugged at the others confused expressions and ran after their potions master. Of the group, only Remus had an inkling as to what it might be about. 'Emilie. Hermione.' Severus gestured to the two chairs in front of his desk. 'Do n't look so worried. You are not in trouble.' he said sitting down. 'It has come to my attention that you two may have discovered a way of destroying the rune w ithout a sacrifice being made.' Hermione and Emilie looked at each other and Her mione nodded. 'I'll get the book.' she said, sprinting out the door. 'It does require a sacrifice Professor.' Emilie replied softly. 'But not on Harr y's part.' Severus looked at her in confusion. 'Pardon?' he asked. 'If you wait for the book, I will show you.' They sat there for a few tense minu tes before Hermione returned thrusting, the book at Emilie, who found the correc t page and handed it to Severus. He scanned it quickly as Emilie sat calmly and Hermione nervously fiddled with the hem of her shirt. Severus was staring at the page. 'He'll never let you do this. You know that don't you?' Severus breathed.

'Told you.' Hermione said triumphantly. Severus looked up and straight into Emil ie's calm blue eyes. 'You weren't going to tell him, were you?' 'No. I know it will work, but I also know he won't let me try, and I can't live without him.' she shrugged. 'How can you be so sure it will work.' Emilie shrugged again. 'I don't know. I just know it will.' Severus looked at her shrewdly. 'Hermione can you please leave us for a moment?' Severus asked, still looking at Emilie. Hermione looked at the other girl, who nodded, before sighing and walki ng to the door, closing it softly behind her. 'How are you going to get the rune away from him?' Severus asked her. She didn't say anything for a moment. 'I was hoping you would help me.' she replied. Hermione waited outside the door for more than half an hour before Emilie came o ut, an anguished expression on her face. 'I hope Emilie that you will not think of doing something quite so stupid in fut ure. Do you know what would happen to Harry if he lost you.' Severus admonished her. 'Of course not Professor.' Emilie whispered, smirking quickly and winking at him before turning to Hermione looking sad. 'I hope Professor Snape has knocked some sense into you.' Hermione said primly. 'Yes.' Emilie said sadly, trying her hardest to suppress the enormous grin that threatened to break out on her face. 'We will just have to keep looking I suppos e.' she snorted and quickly coughed to try and cover it up. Hermione looked at h er strangely before deciding that it was probably just the stress getting to her . They walked slowly back to their rooms for training. Draco had started the Special Forces he had spent most of the last three y. Draco and Ron were still going at cial Forces had stopped to watch and l. off and then set himself up against Ron. As weeks as Harry's eyes, he was a little rust it when the girls returned. Most of the Spe were sitting quietly by the side of the hal

'What's going on?' Hermione asked Ginny. 'Draco wanted to practice.' she replied. Previously Draco had always had the upp er hand in their duels, being the slightly stronger and more powerful wizard of the two, but now Draco was really struggling against the red head as their staff s clashed against each other. Eventually Ron cracked Draco on the arm hard enoug h to make him drop the staff before sweeping his feet out from under him and dro pping him flat on his back. 'Oof.' Draco gasped as the wind rushed out of him. Ron held the staff over his c hest, grinning madly. 'Don't get use to it.' Draco growled, accepting the offered hand and vowing to h imself to practice more.

'Time to get ready for dinner.' Hermione called out walking swiftly over to Ron and Draco. 'Did you see Harry?' They asked her and Emilie. 'No. But Professor Snape said he would be at dinner.' Emilie said as they walked towards their rooms. 'I hope his is all right. I tried talking to him but he has turned the link off. ' Draco muttered. 'I guess we'll see at dinner.' Ginny shrugged as they all went to change. Severus caught them in the entrance hall. 'Where's Harry?' Ron asked. 'He's resting. He found the day a little, shall we say, overwhelming.' 'Is he okay?' Hermione said softly. 'He will be.' Severus replied. 'Why did he leave like that?' Emilie asked. Severus sighed. 'I think the full force of what has happened has finally hit him. He didn't real ise it until he got out of Hogwarts, and then he remembered that there is a very big world out there, and he can no longer see it.' Severus had a pained look on his face. 'I told you he wasn't right.' Hermione hissed at Ron who looked at her blankly. 'He was listening to all the discussions over lunch, regarding dresses and how b eautiful a person would look on their wedding day.' Severus smiled at Emilie who blushed. ' and then he realised he would never know exactly what she looked lik e. Never see properly. I know he can look through the Clarion Bond Draco, but ac cording to Harry, it just fills in blanks, it's not really three dimensional and it is not quite at the same angle.' Severus explained. 'He was devastated.' 'Oh god.' Emilie muttered. 'I have to see him.' she said urgently. Severus shook his head. 'He just needs a bit of time. Give him until tomorrow. I'm sure he will snap out of it.' 'But what about the nightmares?' she whispered. 'I've given him a dreamless sleep potion. He should be fine. I'm going back down to stay with him.' he gave a soft smile. 'He will be alright. I promise.' Harry didn't return the next day as Emilie and the others all crowded into the l ibrary to study for their O.W.L.s which had completely snuck up on them and were now only four weeks away. After lunch they walked down to the dungeons and knoc ked on Severus' door. 'Excuse me Professor, is Harry here.' Emilie asked softly. 'No. I thought he was with you.' Severus said in a concerned voice. 'He left jus t after lunch.' Just then Angelina came running up.

'You have to come. Harry. He's flying.' she spluttered and took off again with t he five students and one professor in hot pursuit. Sprinting, they followed Ange lina down the front steps of the castle and across the grounds to the quidditch pitch where they all stopped and stared in wonder as an enormous golden griffin soared over them, banking to the left and flying up to the Astronomy tower and b ack down again to land softly in front of them. It looked at Emilie and stretche d it's enormous wings. 'I think he wants you to get on.' Severus told her. 'Is it...' 'I'm sure it's safe. I don't think he would ask if it wasn't.' Emilie nodded and climbed on the griffin's back, grasping hold of the fur around it's neck and cl amping her knees firmly around the front of it's wings. She gasped in delight as it took off, rocketing skyward before banking out over the forbidden forest. Th ey spent an hour in the sky, soaring over the castle and it's grounds, most of t he students having come out to watch. It wasn't often one saw a golden griffin i n the flesh, even if it was an animagus. Eventually they touched down and Emilie jumped off, an expression of sheer exhilaration on her face. Harry transformed with a pop to stand in front of her. 'I love you, Phoenix.' he whispered. 'I love you too, Griffin.' she replied, throwing her arms around him. Chapter 30 - Dudley Harry sat at the Gryffindor Table again that night, no one minded really where h e sat as long as he actually ate something. After dinner the special forces join ed the others in the sitting room. Harry was helping them with homework for the next day as well as study for their respective exams. The fifth and the seventh years had their exams in a month and Harry had made a promise to himself to make sure they all passed with flying colours. About fifteen minutes before curfew H arry told everyone to pack up so they would have time to return to their respect ive towers and Harry and the others also retired to their rooms. Harry and Emili e changed and crawled into bed, both quickly falling asleep as the stress of the day left them. The next four weeks passed quickly for everybody. Between the duelling club, whi ch Harry had cut down to three times a week, the extra training with the Special Forces, and helping plan the wedding Harry was run off his feet. Thankfully qui dditch had finished for the year with Gryffindor winning all three games and the final by a landslide. Harry wondered idly, if this trend would continue next ye ar when they lost four of their seven players. Sirius and David had not asked Ha rry on any more raids, for which Harry was also quite thankful for. He spent a c onsiderable amount of time training and working with the chosen ones on the Star of Light for when Voldemort returned, as Harry knew he would. One evening, a we ek before the wedding, as Harry again sat with his friends, Sirius and his group of six accompanying Aurors came rushing into the great hall. 'Headmaster, I must speak with you.' The Minister said urgently. Albus nodded an d stood up, quickly ushering Sirius into the chamber off the hall. 'What do you think that's about.' Draco hissed. Harry shrugged. He didn't know, but he knew it wouldn't be long till he found out. Sure enough, no more than fiv e minutes passed before he heard Albus through the mind link requesting his pres ence in the chamber. Harry rolled his eyes and put down his knife and fork. He q uickly rose and made his way towards the chamber, ignoring the looks he received on the way. Severus waited for him at the door and they went in together.

'Sirius.' Harry greeted his godfather with a hug. 'Hey kiddo.' Sirius replied without enthusiasm. Harry tried looking at him, 'What's wrong?' he asked. Albus and Sirius glanced at each other. 'He's back Harry.' Sirius said softly. Harry just stared at their shadows, mouth agape. 'So quickly?' he whispered eventually. Sirius nodded sadly. 'Are you sure?' Anot her sad nod. 'Yes. He has been seen. By more than one person.' Harry let out the breath he ha d been holding and sat down abruptly. 'Merlin.' he whimpered. Severus knelt down in front of him. 'Harry?' Harry grabbed his guardian hands. 'Sev, I'm not ready yet. I'm not ready. What if he comes now? How will I stop hi m? He will hurt everyone. I'm not ready yet. I haven't found the spell. What if he comes for me. I can't even see him, how will I stop him.' Harry's sightless e yes darted wildly around the room. 'Harry, calm down.' Severus said, grasping Harry's shoulders and shaking him sof tly. 'It took months for Voldemort to get to full strength last time. We have ag es before you have to be ready. We will all help you.' Severus promised. Harry n odded, gulping great breaths of air as he struggled to calm down. 'I promise.' S everus said again. They all watched carefully as Harry got his emotions under control and pulled a mask down over his face. With his unfocused eyes, the look on his face was alarm ing to say the least. The whispers flew around the hall as the Minister left, an d they returned to their seats. 'Meeting, after dinner. Don't be late.' he snapped, before disappearing. 'I wonder what that was about?' Hermione said. 'Voldemort.' Draco said knowledgeably. 'How do you know that?' Hermione scoffed. 'That is the only thing that would get Griffin so upset.' he shrugged. 'Besides, look at Dumbledore and Snape,' he gestured to the two professors, 'do you think anything else would rattle them that much.' Emilie and the chosen ones glanced over at the head table to see Albus and Severus in a heated discussion, both obl ivious to the staring students and other members of staff, as they kept their he ads bent together and their voices low. Five minutes later they rose and swept f rom the hall, never once looking up or stopping their discussion. 'Well. I'm full.' Ron said standing up. Seventeen people rose with him and filed out of the hall and towards the third floor where they found Harry pacing up an d down in front of the fireplace having a heated discussion of his own with the Little Ones. 'But Harry, there isss plenty of time.' Asha hissed from under his sleeves. 'What happens if he has learnt from the last time? What if he can do it quicker

this time?' Harry hissed back. 'Harry, you will train for this and you will be ready.' Erte trilled at him. 'But Erte, I'm not ready to die yet.' Harry whimpered, throwing himself into his chair. 'I thought I might have another ten years with Emilie before I had to do this. I knew it was a long shot but I had hope.' Harry closed his eyes and ran his hands through his hair, before leaning forward and rubbing his lower back. H e didn't notice the others move silently into the room and take their seats. 'Griffin?' Draco said softly as Emilie perched on the arm of his chair and gentl y moved his hands, replacing them with her own. No one said anything as they all watched Harry relax under Emilie soothing hands. Eventually Harry raised his he ad and turned towards her. 'Thank you.' he whispered, smiling at her. She was happy he couldn't see the tea rs in her eyes. Turning to face the others in the room he grimaced. 'I'm afraid I have some bad news.' Harry told them. 'Voldemort has returned.' Ga sps were heard throughout the room. 'Told you.' Draco said nonchalantly, a smug grin on his face. 'That's enough Dragon.' Harry scolded. 'You are all back on full alert again. I understand some of you still have two exams left to complete on Monday and Tuesd ay but I would ask if you could set aside half of each day this weekend for trai ning. And, of course, we will have to keep it up over the next week.' 'What about over the summer and next year?' Angelina asked. Harry shrugged. 'I haven't worked that out yet.' he answered truthfully. 'Anyway, I want everyon e early to bed please and up for training at seven tomorrow morning. Thank you.' He waited as they all nodded their agreement before standing up. 'Thank you.' h e said again. Late that evening Harry was fast asleep. Emilie was slowly tracing his scar as h e slept. A gesture that Harry obviously found very soothing if the little sighin g noises he was making were anything to go by. She leaned over and kissed him so ftly holding herself nose to nose with him as her tears fell. Harry obviously di dn't realise that, as a Phoenix Child, she could understand everything Erte said and, in turn everything he said to her. 'I love you Harry. I won't let anything happen to you.' she whispered softly bef ore kissing him on each eyelid and then his nose and returning to his mouth, her tears covering his face in great streaks. Harry didn't stir as she settled her head on his chest, only subconsciously pulling her closer to him as she too, dri fted off to sleep. For only the second time in as many months, Emilie woke the next morning to find herself in an empty bed. Knowing that Harry would have gotten up early to pract ice, she took a long shower and got dressed, making her way into the training ro om a little after seven. What she saw as she walked in, blew her away. Harry was in the middle of the hall, going at a speed previously unseen, against a group of twenty founders ghosts with both the Gryffindor sword and the daggers. The Sp ecial Forces, who had turned up for training, and the chosen ones were standing around the hall gaping. It was like the old Harry was back, he was twisting and diving, leaping and ducking. Throwing the daggers and calling them back from for ty feet across the hall. Finally he banished them all and dropped the weapons to reach with both hands and support his back. Emilie and the others rushed quickl y across the hall and Emilie placed her hands on Harry's back, gently massaging

the pain away. Straightening up, he turned to face her and looked deep into her eyes. 'I love that colour on you. It brings out your eyes.' he sent. Emilie gasped, as her hands flew to cover her mouth. She looked deep into his eyes before saying anything. 'Really?' she whispered. Harry grinned at her and nodded. 'But how?' 'I don't know.' he admitted. 'Is this a private conversation or can anyone join?' Draco drawled. Harry, still grinning madly, turned to stare at him. This time it was Draco's turn to gasp. 'You.... You.....You.' 'Cough it up Draco.' Ron said, patting him on the back. 'You can see.' Draco said in wonder. And Harry continued to nod and grin. 'What? How?' shrieked Hermione. 'Oh, it doesn't matter.' she cried, throwing her arms around him. The others quickly followed and soon Harry found himself at th e centre of a very rowdy group hug. 'But how?' Hermione finally asked. Harry shrugged. 'I really don't know. When I went to sleep I couldn't see and when I woke up I c ould. There was some slightly sticky stuff on my face. I don't know what from.' 'Ah, that was me, sorry. I was watching you sleep.' Emilie said, blushing 'I was kissing you and I was crying. I must have forgotten to wipe the tears off.' 'Of course, why didn't I think of it before.' Hermione cried, smacking her foreh ead with the heel of her hand. 'Phoenix tears have healing powers. Some of Emili e's tears must have slipped into your eyes.' Harry turned to look at his fiancé . 'You healed me. You made me see again.' he whispered incredulously before sweepi ng her into his arms and swinging her around. 'Come on everyone. We're going out side.' Harry held out his arm and they all held on as he jumped them down to the quidditch pitch. 'This morning we have fun. Transform and let's play some games .' Suddenly there was a large group of animals that took off across the grounds in a playful run. On the ground they were led by the three big cats. The lion, the cheetah and the tiger. Then came the unicorn, two horses, two bears, the dog and the cat. Up in the air Josh and David were riding the griffin and the dragon re spectively. Both were yelling at the top of their lungs as the two animals swoop ed and dived around each other. Two owls, two eagles and a Phoenix soared after them. Harry set up ground games and air games on the quidditch pitch and divided them into teams. Four hours they spent playing around and soon most of the school had come down to the pitch to watch and cheer on the two teams. Harry had them all cheering after Draco challenged him to a race. Just before each obstacle Harry w ould change into a different form, and he had Draco so enthralled that he forgot the race, and the obstacles and was disqualified. 'Griffin. That's cheating.' Draco pouted. 'Come now Dragon, You know you have to use every advantage you have.' Harry smir

ked at him. The next hour, both he and Draco spent taking anyone who wanted a ride for a fli ght around the grounds. Draco could comfortably carry three and Harry enlarged h is griffin form until it was the size of a small bus, conjured saddles and took eight at a time. Eventually they set back down. The others who were able to carr y anyone, were also galloping or running around the grounds. Harry called them b ack through the mind link and they all gathered around him, changing back with b right happy faces and shining eyes. 'Lunch.' Harry called and the group moved as one towards the castle. There was a n enormous amount of noise as the students all filed into the great hall chatter ing happily and sat down for lunch. Harry kissed Emilie goodbye and waved to the others before heading up to the head table. Albus and Severus were sitting quie tly and both looked as if they hadn't slept. Harry took his seat between them, w aiting until both had just taken a sip of their pumpkin juice. 'Severus, you really should get more sleep you know, you look like crap and Albu s you don't look much better, although, I must say, maroon is definitely your co lour, but I think the blue stars are probably a little much.' Harry smirked star ing straight ahead as both men spat pumpkin juice across the table. Severus drop ped his goblet and grabbed Harry's shoulders roughly, turning him to face his gu ardian, looking deep into the boy's twinkling eyes. 'Oh my god. You can. You can see.' Severus cried, leaping off his chair and grab bing Harry in a fierce hug. Harry nodded, smiling. 'But how?' the older wizard a sked, releasing him. 'Emilie.' Harry replied. 'Phoenix tears.' 'But Poppy tried that, before she put the bandages on.' 'But Phoenix tears must be fresh and willingly given, Severus for them to heal a nything. Particularly with the amount of damage that was done to Harry's eyes. T he collected ones Poppy keeps are only really for use in potions.' Albus told th em, his eyes twinkling. 'I can't believe it.' Severus said, hugging him again before rushing across the hall to sweep Emilie into his arms and hugging her too. 'You clever, clever girl.' Severus cried, hugging her tightly. 'Ah Sev. She needs to breath.' Harry snickered, coming up behind him and gesturi ng to the slightly gasping girl in his arms. Severus released her instantly, apo logising profusely. 'I didn't do anything really.' she said, smiling shyly. 'Didn't do anything.' Severus looked at her incredulously before turning to Harr y. 'She doesn't realise what she's done. Oh Emilie.' he said turning back to her . 'You must understand....' 'Sev, it's okay. I'll explain it to her.' Harry put a hand on his guardians arm. Albus came up then and herded his potions master back to the head table. 'I'll see you after lunch.' Harry promised, dropping a kiss on her nose. Smiling she n odded and sat down as Harry, still grinning wildly, followed his mentor and guar dian back to the far end of the hall. Lunch returned to it's normal pace althoug h the rumours of how Harry's eyes had made their miraculous recovery were rampan t.

After lunch Harry and the others all returned to the training room for practice. 'Did you hear the one from the Hufflepuff table about how Harry has a guardian a ngel and she was the one who made him see again.' Seamus laughed. Harry glanced over at Emilie. 'Not far from the truth.' Harry sent smiling 'What about the one about the mysterious potion that blew up in his face and his sight suddenly returned.' Even Harry laughed at that one. 'I haven't been near a potion in months.' he exclaimed. 'I like the one from the Slytherin table best.' Draco snickered. 'Which one was that.' Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Blaise, you tell him.' The Slytherin boy shot a glare a Draco before sighing. 'Someone at our table, not me mind you, said you made a deal with Voldemort that if he gave you your sight back you would give him your.... your' he trailed off . 'Yes?' Harry asked intrigued. 'You would give him your first born child.' Harry stared at the boy incredulousl y before bursting into laughter. He was holding his sides, tears streaming down his face as he thumped the table in front of him with his fists. 'Only a Slytherin could come up with that.' Harry choked out, as the others bega n snickering and snorting. 'Voldemort could have no more repaired my sight than he could have won a beauty contest.' The laughter continued for sometime before Harry could pull himself together. 'Oh, Merlin, well, come one. We must get to w ork.' Harry, still snickering loudly, walked around the room setting up the foun ders ghost exercises together with some strength and stamina exercises and every body got to work. Harry walked through the room giving advice and setting off sm all duels to keep everyone on their toes. Every few minutes he would pass by Emi lie who was working with Ginny and Hermione. He couldn't keep his eyes off her. Every time he went past she would lock eyes with him and smile softly. It felt l ike years since he had seen her. Mid way through the afternoon he banished the exercises and had the four groups go against each other again. 'But Harry, what about group three. It only has two people?' Emilie asked. The o thers looked on, as the expression on Harry's face flit quickly between sorrow, anger and guilt, before the mask came down. 'Yes. We will need to decide if we want to repl....' Harry couldn't say it. 'If we want another person.' 'I think we should.' Angelina said firmly. 'this opportunity and the advantages that Harry has given us are too good not to share it with anyone willing to be a part of this.' Harry looked at the girl, eyebrow raised and arms folded over hi s chest. 'You obviously have someone in mind.' he said slowly. Angelina glanced over at D raco, who sighed. 'A seventh year Ravenclaw. Joined the duelling club after the last battle back i

n January. Works exceptionally hard, very intelligent and quite talented.' Draco told him. 'Why haven't I noticed him?' 'Her.' corrected Draco. 'She's very quiet and tends to blend in with the backgro und. Also she is tiny.' 'Tiny? What do you mean by tiny?' 'About that big.' Draco held up a hand level with his chest. 'The little blonde one? The one like a doll?' Harry's description. Draco nodded. 'She's in rgasted. 'I thought she was a fourth year who red to himself. He looked up at Angelina. 'Go wo girls nodded and ran from the room. Several of the others snickered at seventh year?' Harry looked flabbe had skipped a couple.' Harry mutte get her. Take Cho with you.' The t

'What is her name anyway?' Harry asked Draco softly. 'Patience. Patience Quiet.' 'You're kidding me.' Harry snorted. Draco shook his head. 'Nope.' the blond boy smirked. Harry just snickered softly. While they waited fo r the girls to come back Harry teamed up the groups so they were two on one. Bla ise and Seamus against Fred. Hannah and Justin against George. Nathan and Dean a gainst Ron and Josh and David against Katie. As there was an extra person he sen t Emilie, Hermione and Ginny up against Draco. Ten minutes later the three girls returned. 'What took you so long?' Harry asked. 'Sorry. We couldn't find her.' Angelina blushed. 'Why not?' Harry sent to the dark haired Gryffindor through the link. 'She was in the library and it was the last place we looked.' she sent back squi rming. Harry laughed out loud. 'The last place you thought to look for a Ravenclaw was the library.' Harry chuc kled. 'Sometimes I worry about you Johnson.' Harry continued snickering as he tu rned to face the new recruit. 'Hello Patience.' Harry said softly. ' Hello Professor Potter.' she whispered in reply. 'Just call me Harry. We don't worry about that here. I understand that you have expressed a wish to join our group.' The little girl nodded. 'I have heard very good things about you but I would like to see for myself.' Harry conjured a staf f and handed it to her. 'Would you mind? Angelina?' Harry tossed her a staff as well and the two girls took up a fighting stance in the middle of the room as th e others settled themselves along the edge. 'Begin.' Harry called. It was obvious right from the start that Angelina had an enormous advantage in size and she used it, but instead of giving up, Patience b egan to turn that advantage into a disadvantage. Every time Angelina lunged out of her defensive position, Patience's staff would shoot out and strike the offen ding limb. Patience kept her attacks short and quick. And she was fast. Very fas

t. In fact the only reason Angelina won the fight was because she was the fitter of the two and in the end that was all that separated them. After that Harry ha d group one and three go up against group two and four with Josh and David coord inating a team each. The idea was to steal the other teams flag that was positio ned at the opposite end of the hall. 'What do you think?' Harry asked the chosen ones. 'She's quick enough Griffin. But will her size go against her?' Ron sent. Harry glanced over at the two teams. 'Watch.' Harry said knowingly. Sure enough, Angelina's group were keeping the ot hers occupied as Patience slowly bided her time, almost fading into the wall lik e a chameleon until she had a clear path before shooting across the hall, so qui etly that no one even noticed or heard, and grabbing the flag waving it triumpha ntly over her head. The others in her group all cheered madly as groups two and four as well as Harry and the chosen ones clapped in appreciation. 'Very well done.' Harry called out. Angelina tossed her staff to Patience who wa lked over to Harry and knelt before him, placing the staff on the floor at his f eet. Harry held out his hand. 'Are you sure?' he asked her solemnly. Nothing moved Harry quite as much as this particular ritual. Ron had started it and each time it had been done, Harry had found his chest tightening as each particular person pledged their loyalty to H arry, and what he stood for and believed in. 'Yes.' she replied firmly and took his hand. Everyone cheered as Patience was we lcomed into the group. 'I want you to be in Angelina's group. Seamus you will move to group three. We m ight as well complete the mind link spell now. Angelina, Blaise, Patience, come over here. Now Patience, I want you to place a hand on my shoulder. What ever yo u do, don't let go.' Harry told her. Angelina nodded encouragingly at her and sh e placed her hand on Harry's shoulder. She was so tiny she almost had to stand o n tiptoes to reach. He waited until Blaise and Angelina placed a hand on him bef ore closing his eyes and beginning to chant under his breath. A golden glow enco mpassed Harry spreading to the others. Patience gaped, wide eyed as the golden g low covered her. Angelina must have sensed that Patience was about to move for s he lifted her other hand and clamped it down on top of the other girl's and shoo k her head. A few minutes later the glow dissipated and Harry opened his eyes. 'Welcome.' he sent to Patience causing the smaller girl to yelp in fright. 'Don' t worry. It's just a mind link. You can now communicate directly with Angelina a nd Blaise and to David, Josh and me through Angelina.' he smiled at her and she returned it tentatively. Harry then repeated the spell with Seamus, Justin and Hannah. When they had fini shed he called them all into the sitting room. 'As we have spent all day training I want you all to spend tomorrow studying. Th ose of you who do not have exams can have the rest day off but I do want you all out on the quidditch pitch at seven for three hours of fitness training, other then that the day is yours for study. If you want my help feel free to study up here. What exams are left?' Harry asked. 'Ancient Runes, History of Magic, Potions and Arithmancy.' Draco groaned. 'Well I can help with everything other than History of Magic. I never took that one.'

'You never took History of Magic?' Katie asked incredulously. 'I thought that wa s a mandatory subject, like Potions or Transfiguration.' Harry squirmed a little under their gazes. 'Yes, well, I took everything else, so Albus said I didn't have too.' Harry said briskly. A little to briskly. 'That wasn't all, was it.' Draco snorted. 'I'm sure I heard something from Sever us about making history not studying it.' Harry blushed to the tips of his ears. 'Damn it Dragon. There are some things that don't need to be told to everybody.' Harry hissed. 'Besides you keep letting all my secrets out you won't have anyth ing to put in your book.' Harry smirked at his friend. Draco pretended to zip hi s mouth, lock it and throw away the key. 'Where on earth did you learn something so muggle.' Harry asked him. The blonde glanced pointedly at Hermione as the re st of the room snickered. Harry rolled his eyes and stood up. 'Okay, that's it f or today. I will see you all in the morning.' 'You're not coming to dinner?' Emilie asked. Harry shook his head. 'I have something I have to do.' He told her. Emilie didn't ask any questions bu t she did cast him a worried glance. 'Don't worry. It's nothing bad. I will be b ack in a few hours.' She smiled tentatively at him and after a kiss left to chan ge for dinner. Harry jumped to the Headmaster's office to talk to Albus and then down to the school gates before apparating away. Harry stood in front of the large wrought iron gates and looked at the ornate le ttering carved into the stone pillars 'Smeltings' and knew he was in the right p lace. He pushed open the gate and walked in closing it softly behind him. He hea ded towards the castle that enclosed the school. It was much more modern than Ho gwarts and bigger. Harry asked a dark haired boy the way to the office. Once the re he asked where the students in fifth year would be at this time. The secretar y looked it up. 'They should all be out on the rugby pitch. Who are you?' she asked. 'My name is Harry Potter. I'm Dudley Dursley's cousin.' he said, before thanking her and going to find the pitch. Standing at the edge of the field he watched a s hundreds of boys yelled and screamed for the two teams currently playing a rug by game. Harry spotted Dudley playing on the red team and waited until the game was over before making his way towards the pitch. 'Hey Duds, isn't that your weird cousin?' Dudley friend, Piers asked him. Dudley looked up and a huge grin appeared on his face. 'Harry.' he yelled out, waving madly. 'Hey Dudley.' Harry called, jogging over. 'Cor, you've changed.' Dudley said, eyes wide as he took in the new Harry. When Harry had left Privet Drive he had been a skinny weedy five foot six. Now he was a toned, broad shouldered six foot who carried himself with an aristocratic air and had an aura of power that surrounded him like a cloak. Harry just smiled. 'Is there somewhere we can talk.' he glanced at the rat faced boy who was blatan tly staring at him. 'In private.' he added. 'Just give me ten minutes to change and I will meet you over there. ' Dudley poi nted to some tables and chairs that had been placed under a large oak tree. Harr

y nodded and walked slowly over to the tables and sat down to wait for Dudley. A short time later Harry saw him jogging down from the school and across the pitc h towards him. The last ten months had changed Dudley to by the looks of it. Whi le still quite large he was nowhere near whale size and instead of the arrogant spoilt look he used to have on his face, it was now covered in a genuine smile o f happiness. 'So Harry. What brings you down here?' Dudley, asked offering him an orange juic e. Harry smiled and took a sip, wincing at the taste. It had been almost a year since he had had orange juice and it was much more tart than pumpkin. 'I came to ask you if you would come to my wedding? To ask if you would stand up for me with my two best friends Ron and Draco?' Harry said softly. Dudley just stared at him. 'Your getting married?' Harry nodded. 'An awful lot has happened since I left last year. Things have changed a lot.' H arry then preceded to tell him everything. 'You were blind and couldn't walk?' Dudley asked incredulously. Harry nodded. 'In fact I was blind until this morning. Emilie healed me.' 'So who is this Emilie your marrying?' 'She's wonderful. She is my soul mate.' Harry said wistfully. Dudley chuckled. 'I still can't believe you're a teacher.' Dudley snorted and Harry punched him p layfully on the shoulder. 'So will you come?' Harry asked pleadingly. 'Why?' Dudley asked. 'Dudley you saved my life. You are the only blood relative I have. Well, the onl y one I trust anyway. I would really like you to come.' Harry said softly. 'How would I get there and what would I tell Mum and Dad?' 'You finish school on Wednesday, right.' Dudley nodded. 'Thank goodness. I hate it here. Home is just as bad. Ever since you left things haven't been so good. If it wasn't for rugby I would go nuts.' Dudley admitted. 'Can you tell Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon that you are staying at school for a couple of days for rugby or something and that you will be home on Friday night .' Dudley thought for a moment. Harry almost snorted at the look of sheer concen tration on his cousin's face. 'Yeah. That would work. But again, how do I get there? I don't even know where y our school is.' Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold Galleon and handed it to Dudley. 'That is a Portkey. It has been set to activate at seven o'clock on Wednesday ni ght and will bring you to my rooms at Hogwarts. Don't worry it is safe.' Harry a dded seeing the look on Dudley's face. 'Just pack your things and make sure you have a hold of them when you pick the coin up at seven and you will come straigh t to me. I promise.' Harry stood up. 'I should be getting back. I will see you o n Wednesday?' Harry asked. Dudley smiled and nodded.

'I'll see you on Wednesday.' The gave each other a brief hug before Harry walked behind the large tree and disapparated back to Hogsmeade. It had gotten dark wh ile he had been gone and he walked quickly in the gates before jumping up to his rooms. He found Emilie and the chosen ones studying diligently and stood quietl y for a moment in the shadows watching them. 'Shouldn't you lot be in bed?' Harry asked, stepping forward, eyebrow raised. 'We just wanted to make sure you got back alright.' Emilie said softly. Harry sm iled. 'I'm fine. Now go to bed. Remember you have training in the morning.' He said, w alking into his rooms. When Harry woke the next morning to once again find bright blue eyes gazing pier cingly into his. 'God I missed that.' Harry whispered, a stray tear finding it's way down his che ek as the blue eyes softened and twinkled. Harry reached up and drew her down fo r a kiss. 'You only have six days left to change your mind, you know.' Harry said teasingl y. 'You wish.' she said giggling and kissed him again. 'We had better get down to t he pitch.' Emilie said sitting up and climbing out of bed. Harry groaned in spit e of himself and rose with her Twenty minutes later Harry, Emilie and the chosen ones jumped down to the quiddi tch pitch to meet the others. 'Good morning everyone.' Harry called out loudly. Smiling as he heard their bris k replies. 'You know what to do. Get to work.' Everybody warmed up and then took off around the running track. Harry was pleased to see that Angelina and Blaise had taken Patience under their wing and were pacing her well. After five laps t hey moved onto the pitch and ran drills up and down the pitch, each one designed to work on a different muscle group. At ten Harry called everyone to a halt. 'Well done. All of you. You may all now go to breakfast. I have asked the house elves to keep some for you.' Harry walked over to group one. 'How are you Patience?' Harry asked the small girl. Looking at her he couldn't b elieve she could fight anything. She wasn't even five foot and would be lucky to weigh seventy pounds dripping wet. 'I'm good thanks Harry.' she said softly. Harry nodded and sent them on their wa y. He turned to the chosen ones. 'I think now would be as good a time as any to tell you all of the spell for destroying the rune, when and if the time comes.' 'But Harry...' Hermione started. Harry held up his hand. 'No. We have been through this. You haven't found anything else so this is how i t will be.' Hermione glanced over at Emilie who glared and looked back at Harry. 'This time the Star of Light will be much bigger, about twice the size, and the incantation you will use is 'Adstringo attero', bind and destroy. Once this has been repeated four times it will set off a magic reaction which will bind his s oul into the rune and destroy it. You will all need to close your eyes and feel each others magic to make it strong enough. We will work on exercises this week and over the summer and we will keep doing them until he is dead.' The fire that

had sprung up in Harry's eyes was alarming. Emilie walked over and laid a hand on his arm. 'Harry?' she said softly. Harry looked at her, the fire quickly dimming in his e yes. 'Come on let's go to breakfast.' Emilie whispered. Harry nodded and sighed. 'Yeah. Sorry guys.' he said sadly. 'It's okay Griffin, we understand.' Draco said, flinging an arm over Harry's sho ulder. 'Don't we?' 'Sure do.' Ron chuckled throwing one over Emilie's shoulder and the other over H ermione's. Draco put and arm around Ginny and the six teenagers walked slowly up to the castle. Harry spent the rest of the day helping everyone who wanted it, with their studi es. Emilie disappeared for about an hour, late in the afternoon, Ginny said she went to ask Professor Snape something about the exam. 'Why didn't she just ask me?' Harry said. Ginny shrugged. 'She said she had to ask Snape.' Harry made a note to ask her later and returned to the seventh year Arithmancy group. The next two days passed in a flurry of activity. Harry organised an enormous en d of exam party for the fifth and seventh years up in the training room. The six th and fourth years came too of course but they certainly were not letting off t he steam the way the others were. On Wednesday morning Madame Malkin and her entourage turned up again for the fin al fittings for the wedding robes. Emilie was extremely nervous that they weren' t going to be ready on time. From the minute her exams finished she spent hours with Hermione and Ginny, Minerva and the house elves deciding on the cake, the f lowers, the decorations, the seating for the reception and of course, her vows. Harry spent his time training with the special forces and Ron and Draco, and tak ing his DADA classes as school was still going on until Thursday. The entire sch ool had been invited to the nuptials in the Great Hall, however it was invitatio n only to the reception in the enormous dome tent that Harry, Severus and Dumble dore had conjured over the entire quidditch pitch last Sunday evening. Harry had the special forces just finishing their training for the evening when he rushed through to the sitting room in time to catch Dudley as the Portkey dro pped him into the room. 'Dudley.' Harry grinned at him. Dudley looked at him wide eyed. 'Whoa Harry. That was unbelievable.' Dudley whispered. Harry laughed. 'You haven't seen anything yet.' Emilie and the chosen ones walked in then and H arry introduced them to his cousin. 'Harry told me what happened last summer. Thank you for what you did for him.' E milie said softly. Dudley blushed. 'It didn't nearly make up for everything else.' Dudley sighed. Harry clapped an arm around Dudley's shoulders. 'In the past Dudley. All in the past. Come on you might as well meet the others before we go down for dinner.' Harry smiled. 'Just leave your things there. They 'll be fine.' and they all walked into the training room together. Harry had gro

ups one and three up against two and four again. 'Fred, watch your left and Blaise, if I see you drop that left shoulder one more time, you will have to duel you know who.' Harry bellowed, leaving the others a nd striding across the hall. They watched as Blaise visibly shuddered as Harry g ot closer. 'Who's you know who?' Dudley whispered. Draco snorted. 'Usually it would be Voldemort but in this case it means Harry.' 'Harry fights these people.' Dudley said incredulously. 'But they're really good .' He gestured to the students currently duelling with staffs and swords through out the room. The chosen ones all snickered. 'You should see Harry.' Ginny chuckled. 'He trained them all.' Dudley just stare d at her like she was crazy as Harry returned from lecturing Blaise about leavin g an entire side open to attack by holding his weapon incorrectly. 'Guys, stop scaring Dudley. Come on. Dinner everyone.' Harry yelled and the four teen students rushed to change. Now exams were over all of the special forces ha d decided to move back into the training rooms until school finished. As they re turned Harry introduced Dudley to each of them before they all trooped down to t he great hall for dinner. 'Look after Dudley for me?' he asked Ron and Draco and walked up to the head tab le. 'Where's Harry going?' Dudley asked. 'He has to sit up with the other professors.' Ron told him. Dudley snickered. 'I t is funny, isn't it.' All three boys snorted softly. 'Ah Harry. I see your cousin arrived all right.' Albus smiled at him as Harry to ok his seat between his mentor and guardian. 'Yep. The Portkey really spun him out.' Harry giggled. 'Wait till tomorrow.' Severus snorted. 'When do Emilie's grandparents arrive?' Albus asked. 'Friday morning.' Harry mumbled through a mouthful of salad. 'Early, about seven . I have arranged for Dobby to meet them at the Three Broomsticks and bring them here.' 'What time is the final rehearsal for the ceremony tomorrow?' Severus said. 'Eleven and then we have to finish decorating for the reception. It is so big I' m not sure even the elves will get it done in time.' 'True.' Albus replied thoughtfully. 'I don't see why we had to invite so many people. I don't even know half of them .' Harry said sullenly. 'They are very important people in the wizarding world, Harry.' Albus scolded. ' Heads of State and Ministers from all over the world are coming. You are bringin g our world together again.'

'Great. Just use me a bit more. I don't care.' Harry sighed. 'This is only the m ost important day of my life. Might as well use it as a political tool if we can .' 'Harry. I think that was uncalled for.' Severus snorted. 'You are the most well known person in the wizarding world. This is an enormous event. The most powerfu l wizard in the world, the youngest Professor in the history of Hogwarts and the Heir of the four founders of Hogwarts is getting married. And he is only fiftee n.' 'All right, all right, I get the point.' Harry snickered. 'I really don't care a s long as everyone I love is there. Sirius is coming tomorrow, isn't he.' Harry said suddenly. Severus nodded. 'He will be here in the morning.' Harry nodded and happily went back to his dinn er. Afterwards Harry and others returned to his room. They showed Dudley all sor ts of things and had him enthralled as he joined them in games of wizards chess and exploding snap. Eventually Harry had to call an end to everything as it was getting late and send everyone to bed. He showed Dudley to his room, which was o riginally Emilie's, and they all retired for the night. The next morning after two hours of fitness training Harry had everyone stop for breakfast before coming back to work on weapon and wand duelling. He was concen trating particularly on the seventh years as they would all be moving over to th e Aurors by the end of the summer. Angelina had been accepted into the Unspeakab les and was working very hard. Harry had noticed that the tall dark haired Angel ina and the tiny fair haired Patience made an unbelievable team. While Angelina would draw most of the attention, Patience would wait until just the right momen t before striking, usually quite destructively, and then creep quietly back to h er position to wait once more. 'Angelina, Patience. Can you come over here for a minute please?' Harry sent thr ough the mind link. The others took a quick break as the two girls made their wa y over to where Harry was standing. He cast a silencing charm around them. 'Patience. Have you decided what you want to do after you graduate?' Harry asked the girl. She glanced at the taller girl. 'I was thinking of going into the Aurors with Angelina and the others.' Harry lo oked at Angelina, who nodded. 'Have you ever considered being an Unspeakable?' The girls jaw dropped. 'You're kidding.' she stammered. Harry smiled and shook his head. 'That would be brilliant, but I thought they had an enormous waiting list.' 'They do have a long list, but most of the applicants do not have what it takes to be an Unspeakable. I think you two make a very good team. One that we should try to keep together. I would be happy to talk to David for you if you wish. I h ave already done so for Angelina.' Harry said. 'Really?' she whispered, wide eyed. 'Oh Harry. That would be great. Thank you so much.' she gushed, throwing her arms around him. Harry blushed as Patience rele ased him and turned beet red herself. He sent the two girl away and dropped the silencing charm. 'Griffin. Why do all the girl throw themselves at you? You're soon to be a marri ed man. You should be discouraging such displays of affection.' he heard Draco d rawl through the link and glanced over to the Emilie and the chosen ones all sni ckering loudly in the corner. He walked over and gathered Emilie in his arms, ki

ssing her soundly on the mouth. 'Were those the displays you were talking about?' Harry smirked at Draco. Dudley just watched the interaction of Harry and his friends with a smile. 'So Harry, when do I get to see you fight? Everyone's been telling me you are so me sort of god.' Dudley snorted. Harry glared at the others who all found out th at the floor had suddenly become fascinating. 'I don't think that would be very interesting Dudley. You're better off watching the others.' Harry sniffed. 'Are you kidding.' Ron yelled. 'You're bloody brilliant.' Harry drew himself up for his Snape death glare which he now directed at the red head. 'Please don't do that Harry. It's so creepy.' Ron said meekly as the others snic kered. 'Please Harry. I really would like to see.' Dudley begged. Harry looked at his c ousin and his resolve softened. 'All right.' he said softly. The special forces group, who had been watching the conversation in the backgrou nd, and the chosen ones cheered. Everyone loved watching Harry fight. It was lik e an art form. Harry walked into the middle of the room as everyone else took a seat around the edge. 'How many?' he asked Draco. 'How many?' Dudley whispered to Ginny. 'How many opponents.' Ginny replied. 'He fights more than one?' Ginny nodded and giggled. 'Watch.' 'Twenty five.' Draco called out and Harry waved his arm. Dudley yelped in shock as twenty five founders ghosts appeared around Harry. 'Weapon?' this time to Hermione. 'Swords.' she called out. Harry summoned the two swords and took his stance. The sudden movement shocked Dudley, who jumped about three feet. Harry moved with t he consummate ease of a highly trained athlete as he dived and twisted, rolled a nd leaped around the hall. It was almost like watching a ballet as he moved thro ughout the ghosts, swords moving so fast they were a blur, playing with the ghos ts for a while before dispatching them with a puff. 'Daggers.' Ginny yelled out. Harry banished one of the swords and called the dag gers to him. 'I'll never get tired of watching this.' Hermione whispered. One handed he wield ed the sword, as he threw the daggers across the room. Not once did he miss as h e sent them out and called them back. It wasn't long until all the ghosts were g one, Harry had dropped the weapons on the floor and was once again clutching his back. Emilie and the others rushed over and Emilie again soothed his pain. 'Thanks.' he said slowly straightening up and placing a kiss on her nose.

'Well.' Harry said turning to Dudley. 'What did you think?' Dudley just stared a t Harry in awe opening and closing his mouth. 'That's a first for you Dudley. I don't think I've never seen you at a loss for words.' Harry grinned. 'That was amazing Harry.' Dudley choked out. 'but what's wrong with your back?' he said looking concerned. Harry grimaced. 'When the roof of that cave fell on me it shattered my back. Poppy was able to r epair it enough so that I could walk but it still gives me a lot of pain when I overdo it.' Emilie placed her hand over Harry's lower back and gently rubbed. Ha rry smiled at her and squeezed her hand. 'Come on, we should all get ready for the rehearsal.' he said. Turning to the sp ecial forces. 'Thank you all for this morning. You are welcome to stay if you wi sh to practice. Sixth years, you had better make sure you get to your afternoon classes or Albus will have my head.' Dudley snorted. 'What?' 'Sorry. It's just so weird to see you ordering people around.' Dudley snorted ag ain. 'I don't order.' Harry sniffed and walked into his room to change. The others la ughed as they waited for him to return. 'Albus, Severus, Sirius. I believe you all remember my cousin Dudley.' Harry gre eted his mentor, guardian and godfather. They all nodded, enthusiastically shaki ng Dudley's hand. 'Welcome to Hogwarts, Dudley.' Albus said heartily. 'What do you think of the pl ace.' Dudley just looked around the great hall in wonder. 'I think it's wonderful.' Dudley grinned. 'It makes me wish I was magical.' he s aid wistfully. 'Everyone's magical Dudley.' the Headmaster told him. 'Some just have more than others.' Dudley laughed. 'Yeah, like Harry here.' Harry blushed bright red and shifted nervously. 'Yes. Well. We really should get started.' Harry stammered. 'Still uncomfortable with your power, Harry.' Severus smirked. Harry smirked bac k at him. 'No Sev, not uncomfortable. Just feel that sometimes things aren't quite as fair as they should be.' 'I don't think so Harry. After what you have bly wouldn't be here. The fairness of things own all of you and Albus will go through the lie's hand and they all sat down over at the been through. A lesser wizard proba is all relative. Now come and sit d sequence once more.' Harry took Emi Gryffindor table.

'Now first, Dudley as the ring bearer, you will walk down the middle of the hall and wait to my left.' Albus gestured to the altar at the far end of the hall. ' Then Ron and Draco, as the best men you will come up next and stand next to Dudl ey. Harry, then you and your godfather.' Albus glanced at Sirius who was staring at Harry and Emilie, smiling broadly. 'You will both come next. Sirius once you have brought Harry up, you will sit on the left side in the seat closest to the aisle. Once that part is over then Severus will escort Emilie down the aisle, f ollowed by Hermione and Ginny who will obviously stand on the right. I will then

welcome everybody with the standard greeting. Harry, Emile have you come up wit h your vows?' Albus asked them. They glanced at each other, smiling softly. 'Yes.' they said firmly. Albus smiled, eyes twinkling. 'Good. After that I will ask you to recite your vows, Harry you'll go first. The n I call for the rings and Dudley you will pass the box with the rings to Ron wh o will then pass then to Draco who will then pass them to me. You exchange the r ings and then I pronounce you and that's it.' Albus finished smiling. 'I'm sure there's a bit after that.' Ron snickered. Draco snorted. Harry just ra ised an eyebrow and waved his hand, causing both of their chairs to tip over bac kwards and deposit both boys rather unceremoniously on the ground. Every one lau ghed as Draco and Ron disentangled themselves from their chairs and stood up. 'Sorry Griffin.' they said sheepishly. 'Any questions?' The Headmaster looked around the group. 'All right. Let's go do wn and check on the house elves.' Albus led the way out of the castle and down o nto the quidditch pitch. 'Albus.' Harry said tentatively. 'Do you think we should ward the pitch. I mean, just in case.' Albus looked thoughtful for a moment. 'Probably a good idea. It's almost lunchtime. Why don't we check on the elves an d then while the rest of the school is at lunch you can ward the pitch .' Harry nodded and they all made their way into the enormous marquee that covered the pi tch. Everyone stopped and stared at the transformation that had come over the pl ace in four short days. The elves had certainly outdone themselves. They had bew itched the ceiling to look like the sky, just as in the great hall and Harry wat ched as fluffy clouds drifted by. There was a large stage with a huge dance floo r in front of it. Opposite the stage was the head table for the bridal party and surrounding the dance floor on either side were dozens and dozens of round tabl es decorated with white table cloths and ornate silverware. In the middle of eac h table, surrounding the dance floor and scattered throughout the whole area was thousands of rose bushes, both big and small. Harry walked over to one, trying to figure out what was twinkling and started as he realised each bush contained live fairies. 'Hey. No blowing up the roses this time Sev.' Harry chuckled, remembering the Yu le Ball in fourth year. Severus had the grace to blush. 'Um Albus. Just how many people are coming.' the Headmaster shifted slightly. 'About eight hundred at last count.' Albus said brightly. Harry groaned as the o thers snickered. They all wandered around the room looking at everything. Harry wandered over to the head table. He noticed with fondness that instead of the ro se bushes the table had arrangements of lilies. He sensed his guardian come up b ehind him. 'You did this, didn't you?' Harry said softly, stroking the white flower before looking up. Severus looked into Harry's eyes. 'I just thought it would be a way to have a small bit of your parents with you.' Severus whispered. 'They'll be watching me. I know they will.' 'Yes. They will.' Severus carefully put his arms around the young man in front o f him and hugged him close.

'Thank you.' he heard Harry whisper into his shoulder. A few moment's later they released each other and joined the others. 'Is there anything else you can think of Harry?' Albus asked quietly. Harry shoo k his head. 'No. It all looks wonderful.' Harry replied smiling. 'Well all the elves are up in the castle now preparing lunch. I will ward the do ors on the way in and see you all for lunch when you have finished.' Harry nodde d and they all walked back towards the castle. Harry stopped about fifty feet fr om the large marquee. Dudley stopped with him, but was dragged up to the castle steps by Ron and Draco. 'Just watch.' they told him sternly. Albus went inside and warded the door as they others focused on the dark haired figure standing, arms raised, down on the grass. A large shot of gold burst from Harry's hand, arcing up and over and surrounding the large marquee. Dudley watched, wide eyed as a large column of spinning air appeared next to Har ry and dark clouds blew in from the north. They hovered over Harry before lightn ing began to hit the ground around him. An enormous bolt shot down into Harry's hand and he threw it at the gold dome causing it to glow. 'Harry.' Dudley whimpered. Hermione put a soothing hand on his arms. 'Don't worry. Harry does this all the time.' Harry was yelling something but Dudley couldn't work out what it was. He just wa tched, terrified as lightning continued to shoot down to Harry, who then threw i t at the dome. Dudley didn't know how long he sat there, his heart in his throat , but eventually the golden arc surrounding the marquee glowed a brilliant white before fading away completely. He stood shaking, as Harry lowered his arms. The clouds moved away and the spinning column of air disappeared. Harry walked up t o them, panting slightly, his brow slightly wet. 'Dudley, are you okay?' Harry asked concerned, when he noticed his cousin shakin g. 'Harry.' Dudley stammered. 'You're...you're crackling.' Dudley pointed to the sm all bits of energy flitting across Harry's shoulders. 'Don't worry. It will go away soon.' Harry snickered. 'What was that?' Dudley asked. 'They're called wards.' Hermione explained. 'We use them to keep out muggles and people we don't want. People who would do us harm.' 'Why did Harry have to do that thing with the lightning?' 'Normally it takes at least four strong wizards almost a day to set any wards ar ound the school or it's grounds, but because Harry is what they call an Elementa l, he can use the elements, in this case the air element to speed up the process . He can pull down and reset the wards for the entire school in as little as fou r hours. ' Dudley looked confused. 'I'll explain it better over lunch.' Hermione promised him as Harry took the ward down and they all moved inside. 'Albus, is there anyway to increase someone's magical power?' Harry asked idly o

ver lunch. 'Do you have anyone in mind?' Albus' eyes were twinkling so brightly they were a lmost blinding. 'Maybe.' Harry smiled innocently. 'Is it possible?' 'If you are talking about a wizard, then it is possible but the person will usua lly lose something in the transformation if it isn't natural as in Voldemort's c ase. If you are talking about a squib then no it isn't. 'What about a muggle?' Harry said softly. 'Remember when I told you about how everyone has magic inside them.' Harry nodde d, flashing a grin at his guardian and his godfather, both of whom were listenin g to the discussion intently. 'With a wizard, the magic is free and able to be t apped into easily, A squib's magic is also free but it is in such small amounts that they are just not strong enough to do even the simplest of spells. Now a mu ggle is different. Muggles have magic inside them but it is trapped. It might oc casionally escape in times of enormous stress but it is extremely rare. I don't know if you would be able to break through that barrier that holds it in though. No one has ever done it before.' 'Are you thinking of Dudley?' Severus asked him. Harry nodded slowly. 'I really owe him, almost like a wizards debt. He really seems to like it here a nd he told me he isn't happy at Smeltings.' Harry gestured to his cousin, who wa s laughing and joking with his friends at the Gryffindor table. 'I don't know if it would work but I thought I might make the offer.' Harry shrugged. 'Do you think he would accept?' Albus said. Harry shrugged again. 'I really don't know.' Harry admitted. 'But something is telling me to ask? Is t here any law against it?' Harry asked Sirius. His godfather shook his head. 'Nope. It's never been done before.' Sirius said. Harry smiled to himself and co ntinued with his dinner. Harry, Emilie, Dudley and the chosen ones were all sprawled in various positions around the sitting room. The special forces had all gone to bed after promising to meet Harry for training in the morning. 'So Dudley, what do you think of our world?' Ron asked. 'It's brilliant.' Dudley grinned happily. 'The most amazing thing I have ever se en. Hogwarts makes Smeltings look dead boring. I kind of wish I didn't have to g o home tomorrow night.' Dudley admitted. Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Do you mean it?' Dudley looked at him. 'What?' 'Do you mean it? Would you like to stay here and learn magic or would you rather go back home for the summer and then back to Smeltings. Think very carefully be fore you answer because if it works I can't change it back.' Harry looked at him intently. Dudley's jaw dropped and the others in the room looked at Harry as if he were crazy. 'You could do that? How?' Dudley asked incredulously. Harry smiled.

'You have magic in you. Everyone does. It is just trapped but I might be able to let it out. No promises of course but I can try if you want.' Harry told him. 'Really.' Dudley just looked as if all his Christmases had come at once. 'Yes, but remember, this will change everything. Think of how Uncle Vernon and A unt Petunia will react. Remember what they thought of me.' Dudley hesitated, but it was only for a moment. 'I'm sure. I want to try.' Harry raised another eyebrow. 'Really.' Dudley insist ed. Harry eye's pierced into him for a moment before standing up from his chair and moving across the room to kneel in front of Dudley. 'Now I don't know exactly how to do this so make sure you let me know if it star ts to hurt. I imagine it will be quite uncomfortable but you will have to try an d ignore it for as long as possible and it is very important that you don't bloc k me. Just keep breathing deeply and relax.' Dudley nodded and Harry had him sit on the floor in front of him. Emilie and the chosen ones held their breath as Harry closed his eyes and placed a hand on either side of Dudley's face. A golden glow encompassed both of them. The others could see Dudley breathing deeply and trying to stay relaxed as Harr y began to search for the wall that surrounded the other boy's magic. It took hi m a long time to find it as it was buried deeply within. Harry then began the de licate task of disabling and destroying the wall bit by bit. It wasn't long befo re Harry, his brow furrowed, had sweat streaming down his face with the concentr ation it was taking. Dudley was starting to shift slightly as the magic began to leak through the broken walls making him uncomfortable. Hours later, Harry fina lly finished the last part of the wall and dropped the net he had placed over th e core to let the magic flow freely. There was a blinding flash of light as Dudl ey's aura shot out and around him before fading. Harry opened his eyes, wiping the sweat from his forehead with the back of his h and. Harry stood, a little unsteadily, and summoned Ginny's wand from of the des k. It wasn't a really powerful one, unlike Ron's or Draco's so Harry thought it was probably okay for Dudley to try. He helped Dudley up and handed him the wand . Dudley looked at it sceptically. 'Give it a wave.' Harry told him. Dudley waved it once at the bookshelf causing all the books to fly off onto the floor. 'Oh god. I'm sorry.' Dudley stammered but the others didn't hear him. They were all to busy jumping up and down , clapping Harry on the back and cheering. Dudle y looked at them, then at the empty bookshelf, at the books on the floor and bac k at Harry with a look of confusion. 'Ah Harry. Why are you all so excited?' Har ry shushed the others and turned to Dudley. 'It worked.' Harry said, eye's shining. Dudley just continued to look confused. 'How can you say it worked?' Dudley said, pointing at the floor. 'If it hadn't worked, nothing would have happened when you waved the wand. A wan d is just a pretty stick in the hands of a muggle. A wand isn't magic itself, it just focuses the magic of the wizard and each wand must be matched to a wizard. That's why it knocked all the books off the shelf. We will have to get you your own wand.' Harry said simply. 'I'm a wizard.' Dudley whispered. Harry nodded, smiling. 'I'm a wizard.' he repe ated to himself. 'Oh, Mum and Dad are going to freak.' Dudley laughed. Harry and the others joined him.

'What should I tell them?' Dudley asked. 'I will ask Severus to go and see them.' Harry smirked. 'That should keep them q uiet.' 'What about over the summer. You aren't staying here at Hogwarts, are you?' Harr y shook his head. 'Not for the first four weeks anyway.' 'You can come and stay with us.' Ron volunteered. 'Mum's already adopted Harry a nd Draco, I'm sure she would love another now Percy has moved out.' Ginny giggle d. 'Yeah and Hermione's staying for the summer too, so we can all help you to catch up.' she offered. 'Are you sure she won't mind?' Harry looked at his friend. 'Harry. This is Mum we're talking about.' Ron drawled. Harry snickered. 'Okay. That would be great. I will check with Albus and see if you can all come back once we return.' 'Where are you going Harry?' Dudley asked. 'Don't rightly know.' Harry admitted, wrapping his arms around Emilie. 'Albus ha s arranged it. He is the only one who knows. Anyway look at the time, we better all get to bed. I believe Severus has arranged rooms for you three.' he pointed to the three girls. 'down near him. Bad luck and all that.' he said jokingly. Th e girls nodded and quickly went to get their things. Ginny and Hermione said their goodbyes as Harry walked Emilie through the door t o the training room. 'Only twelve hours.' he teased, wrapping his arms around her. 'Not much time lef t to change your mind.' 'Sometimes I think you say that because you want to change your mind.' Emilie re turned the tease. 'Never.' Harry whispered and softly kissed her. 'Love you.' she whispered. 'Love you too.' Harry whispered back, before kissing her again. 'Uh hem.' Hermione cleared her throat. 'Sod off.' Harry growled through the mind link, causing the others, including Em ilie, to burst out laughing, leaving Dudley with yet another confused expression plastered on his face. Harry groaned and released Emilie. 'Go go.' he said. 'before I change my mind and drag you back to our room and war d the door.' Emilie giggled and kissed him on the nose. 'Don't forget the dreamless sleep potion.' Emilie reminded him as they three gir ls walked out the door closing it softly behind them. Chapter 31 - I didn't need to see, to know that you are beautiful.

'Harry, it is so good to see you.' Rowena cried, spotting Harry from a distance. The other founders quickly walked up, welcoming Harry like a long lost son. 'Haven't seen you for weeks, my boy.' Godric said, clapping Harry on the shoulde r. Harry smiled sheepishly. 'Sorry, I meant to come sooner. It has just been so busy.' The founders laughed. 'So,' Salazar said, his eyes glinting. 'I hear your getting married tomorrow.' H arry blushed. 'Yes.' 'To the Phoenix Child.' Harry nodded. 'Yes.' he whispered. 'Why so soon Harry? You are both so young.' Rowena asked. Harry sighed. 'A few reasons really. One, To show Emilie that I would never leave her. Two, Em ilie will only ever have one partner so the wait won't change anything and three .' his voice lowered. 'I really don't know how much time I have left.' 'Harry, don't say such things.' Helga said. 'Sorry. Also Emilie has been sleeping with me. Not like that.' he said quickly, seeing the shocked looks on his ancestor's faces. 'Her presence calms my nightma res.' Harry explained and all four founders let out the breaths they'd been hold ing. 'If you thought that we were, you know, you can imagine what would be said around the school if it ever got out, can't you. Only the special forces and the chosen ones and a few teachers know, but if it did get out, the rumours would r un rampant. I love Emilie and by marrying her it makes it all right and everythi ng. 'You making an honest woman of her, Harry.' Godric snorted. 'Something like that.' Harry muttered. They all moved over to the couches and sa t down. 'Did you have anymore success with ways of destroying the rune?' he aske d. The founders all glanced at each other. 'There is one way.' Rowena started. 'Really?' Harry smiled, a glimmer of hope sparking in his eyes. 'It involves Emilie.' Harry's eyes narrowed in suspicion. 'How?' 'It involves a sacrifice.' Rowena said slowly. 'No.' Harry said vehemently, leaping up off the chair. 'No. No one is going to s acrifice themselves.' he spat pacing around the room. 'Except you.' Rowena said evenly. Harry whirled to face her. 'It's my job, Rowena.' he yelled. 'Remember.' 'Harry?' Helga said timidly. 'Won't you please come and sit down and talk about this. You don't even know the full details yet' Harry shook his head.

'No. I don't want to know. I have to be getting back now. Goodbye.' Harry strode away from the founders and towards the light. 'Oh dear.' Helga said. 'If only he had waited to hear the whole story.' Rowena said sadly. Harry woke early the next morning and decided to go with Dobby to Hogsmeade to m eet Emilie's grandparents. At seven o'clock Harry was waiting nervously near the fireplace at the Three Broomsticks. Madame Rosemerta had opened up early that d ay at Dumbledore's request. Suddenly the fire flared and two elderly people shot out of the hearth one after another. Harry caught both of them before they fell and made sure they were ste ady on their feet before relinquishing his hold on them. 'Good morning.' Harry said politely. A short blonde woman with kind blue eyes lo oked up at him. 'You must be Harry.' Monique Lacroix smiled at him. Harry nodded. 'A pleasure to meet you Mrs Lacroix.' Harry smiled back offering his hand. 'Oh, please, call me Monique.' she chuckled grasping him firmly by both arms and pulling him down to her height before kissing him heartily on both cheeks. 'And I'm Phillipe.' A tall skinny man with a cane shook Harry's hand. Harry smil ed at them. 'Thank you both so much for coming. I know how much it means to Emilie.' Harry s aid softly. Dobby disappeared together with their luggage as Harry gestured to t he door. A carriage was waiting outside and after helping them both inside, Harr y climbed in and it made it's way to Hogwarts. 'Oh my, isn't it beautiful.' Monique exclaimed, as they drew up to the main entr ance. Harry looked up at the castle. 'Yes it is.' he said softly. He helped them both out of the carriage and up the steps where they were met by Dobby. 'This is Dobby. He will show you to your gue st rooms. They are just next to Emilie's so you understand why it would be best for me to leave you here.' Monique and Phillipe both laughed and after a round o f goodbyes he jumped down to the quidditch pitch to find Ron and Draco had start ed the special forces warm up. Harry warmed up as well and took off around the r unning track. Three hours later they finished and Harry jumped everyone back up to the trainin g rooms. 'So Harry, are you nervous?' Angelina asked as Katie and Hannah looked on. Harry just grinned and went through to the rooms. An hour and a half later Harry met Dudley, Ron and Draco in the sitting room. 'You'll do.' Harry joked, catching sight of their robes. Harry had on stunning g olden robes made of silk. They were done in folds and between each fold you coul d see glints of silver. Draco and Ron had the opposite, is silver robes with hin ts of gold. Dudley was just in plain silver robes as there hadn't been enough ti me to get his made, but he didn't seem to care, just looked overjoyed to be ther e. Harry held up his hand and a small ball of light appeared. When it faded, in

it's place was a small gold box which he handed to Dudley. 'The rings.' Harry said softly. Dudley stared reverently at the ornately carved box. 'May I?' he whispered. Harry looked at the other's eager faces and nodded. Dudle y carefully pried the box open and the three boys gasped. Inside were two of the most stunning rings any of them had ever seen. They were made of a spun gold, s imilar to the five pieces of the Star of Light that Harry and the chosen ones ha d received for Christmas from Severus. Surrounding each ring were runes that cha nged and moved and both rings were softly glowing. 'My god.' Draco breathed. 'I have seen a lot of things in my time but nothing as beautiful as these.' Dudley nodded his agreement and Ron just stood there, spee chless. 'How did you know what was in there.' Ron stammered. Harry shrugged. 'I just did. They were calling me from the minute we went into the shop.' 'What was calling?" Dudley looked confused. 'Don't worry I will tell you later.' Draco promised him. 'We really should go.' Ron said softly. Harry nodded and took a deep breath. 'Ready?' he asked. Receiving three nods in reply, Harry led the way out of the r ooms and down to the entrance hall. It was ten to twelve by the time they reached the hall. Hermione and Severus wer e waiting for them. 'Hermione, you look gorgeous.' Harry said softly, admiring her silver dress that seemed to fit in all the right places. Ron almost had his jaw on the floor and Harry could see Draco looking around desperately for any sign of Ginny. 'Flies Lion, flies.' Harry sent through the link, causing Ron to snap his mouth shut so quickly you could hear his teeth rattling and Draco to snort softly. 'Are you ready Harry?' Severus put an arm around his shoulders. Harry nodded and smiled. 'Definitely.' Harry could hear the rumble of hundreds of people in the hall. Eve ryone was there, they were just waiting for the main cast. Sirius bounded up the n and grabbed Harry in a hug. 'Hey kiddo.' he whispered. Harry laughed. 'You know you really shouldn't 'bound' now you are Minister.' Harry told him. 'I t's unbecoming of someone of your stature.' Sirius just laughed and hugged him a gain. 'We'll leave you now and see you in there, okay Harry.' Hermione gave him one la st hug. Harry grinned. 'Tell her I love her.' he sent. Hermione smiled. 'You can tell her yourself in just a few minutes.' she whispered. Harry smiled a gain as Hermione and Severus went into the room off the entrance hall.

'Okay Dudley, your on.' Draco grinned. Dudley puffed out his chest and holding t he ring box in his hands, waited until he heard Dumbledore call everybody to att ention before walking through the large oak doors and down the middle of the hal l. Harry could hear the whispered questions regarding just who Dudley was exactl y and how he knew Harry. Once Dudley had reached Dumbledore, he moved over to th e side and turned to wait for the others. Draco and Ron went next, striding up t he hall. Harry could see Ron beam at his mother, who was clutching a tissue, bef ore both boys joined Dudley. Just then Harry was joined by the entire special fo rces group, decked out in full battle gear. 'Shouldn't you lot be in there?' Harry growled, pointing into the hall. 'We wanted to give you a guard of honour.' Angelina replied simply. 'Why?' 'Because you should have one.' 'Why?' 'Harry.' Sirius interrupted. 'There isn't time for this, just let them go.' Harr y rolled his eyes and groaned as Angelina flashed a grin at Sirius, and the grou p lined up in twos outside the door. On her signal they marched into the hall. T heir staffs clacking as they hit the ground. They walked all the way up the hall with Sirius and a reluctant Harry following. 'This is like a three ring circus. ' Harry thought to himself. The special forces divided, half to Harry's side and half to Emilie's and moved to stand at attention on either side of the hall. Harry upon reaching his mentor smiled at him before turning to face the hall. Harry saw, with some amusement, that most of the hall was staring open mouthed at the special forces. He spotted the Weasleys in the front row and smiled, nodding his head in greeting. Just th en Emilie and Severus appeared at the door and Harry's heart skipped a beat. She looked stunning. Her hair had again been piled onto her head nestled there i n soft curls. Someone, probably Hermione, had convinced her to wear a little mug gle crown that was set with small diamonds and pearls. A few tendrils hung down in soft ringlets that framed her face and she had a very light dusting of makeup . She also wore gold but her dress was made of some material that Harry had neve r seen. It just floated around her giving her an almost surreal look and there h anging around her neck was the Star of Light. They walked slowly up the aisle as the guests all looked at Emilie in wonder. Harry could see Molly Weasley crying out of the corner of his eye. 'You two should really call each other in the morning.' Harry heard Draco drawl softly in his ear. Harry threw a smirk over his shoulder before turning his atte ntion back to Emilie. She stopped and gave each of her grandparents a kiss, and then joined Harry in front of Dumbledore, as Severus moved to stand with Ginny a nd Hermione who had followed Emilie up the aisle. Harry looked deep into Emilie's eyes. 'Are you are glad you can see now?' Emilie said softly. 'I didn't need to see, to know that you are beautiful.' he replied, causing both Molly and Monique to burst into fresh waves of tears. Emilie smiled at him, a l one tear running down her cheek which Harry brushed away as Albus began the cere mony. 'Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this most joyous occasion. We are all ga

thered here to witness the joining of two people and the bonding of their souls. This is something that should not be entered into lightly, but I feel these two young people are ready to make this commitment to each other. Harry and Emilie have chosen to intertwine their souls as a way of showing their true commitment to one another. Harry if you would?' Harry and Emilie continued to look at each other, oblivious to everyone around them. 'Griffin.' Draco whispered. 'What? Sorry.' Harry looked up at Albus, as those nearby twittered. 'Your vows.' Albus chuckled. 'Yes, sorry.' Harry turned and clasped both of Emilie's hands in his. 'Emilie,' he said softly, but as the hall was silent, everybody heard. 'I love you with al l of my heart. You are my light, my love and my soul. With you I am complete. I will honour you, protect you and care for you with every fibre of my being and I promise to love you for forever and a day.' Harry finished. Emilie's eyes were filled with tears and Harry heard Draco mutter 'wow' from behind him. 'Emilie?' Albus prompted. Emilie took a deep breath. 'Harry.' she whispered. 'I too love you, with all of my heart. You are my saviou r. I would trust you with my heart, with my soul, with my life. I need you to ma ke me whole and I vow to always be by your side. I promise to honour you and tre asure you, for you are a treasure. My treasure, and I found you. I will love you from here to eternity.' she finished. Harry could hear nearly everybody near by sniffling and a glance over a Severus showed that even his guardian wasn't dry eyed. 'The rings.' Albus said. Dudley snapped into action and handed the box to Ron, w ho handed it to Draco, who handed it to Albus. The Headmaster opened the box and sucked in a breath. 'Where did you fine these, Harry?' Albus sent through the mind link. Harry glanc ed over at him. 'I didn't. They found me.' he sent back. Albus took a deep breath and waved his wand over the rings. They rose, still glowing softly, out of the box to hover ov er Harry and Emilie's heads. Several more gasps were heard as the rings began to glow brighter. 'Please accept this ring as a symbol of my undying love and my wish to bind my s oul to yours for all eternity.' Harry whispered. 'I accept.' Emilie said softly. 'Please accept this ring as a symbol of my undyi ng love and my wish to bind my soul to yours for all eternity.' 'I accept.' Harry whispered. The two rings glowed brighter still and separated. Between them appeared a long thin golden ribbon, which proceeded to wrap itself around the them both, before the rings floated down and onto their fingers. 'Adstringo.' They both said firmly. The was a large flash and they both glowed a brilliant white before it faded, taking the golden ribbon with it. Albus smiled broadly. 'I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your new bride, Harry.' The old mage announced. Harry reached over and drew Emilie to him. Everyone in the r oom seemed to hold their breath, as Harry leaned down to place his lips softly o ver hers, before they erupted into cheers. Harry kissed her once more before hug

ging her to him. 'I love you so much.' he whispered. 'I love you to Harry.' she replied, pulling away and kissing him once more. Harr y looked up to see his friends and family all clapping and cheering. Their faces were covered in tears of joy and happiness and suddenly he had an almost painfu l ache in his chest that his parents weren't here to see this. 'They're here.' he heard through the link and looked to his guardian who was smi ling softly. Harry smiled at him wistfully as the special forces moved past them then, marching down the aisle and stopping before the door. There were two loud cracks as they pounded their staffs once on the ground, and then once against e ach other over their heads forming an archway. 'I think that's your cue.' Draco snickered. Harry rolled his eyes. 'What a circus.' he muttered as Emilie giggled. Taking her arm in his, they walk ed slowly down the aisle, under the arch and out the door. Photographers and rep orters were running around them as they made their way out of the castle and acr oss the grounds snapping photos and shouting questions. The chosen ones walking along side them. They all stopped over by the lake for some photos while the gue sts made their way down to the marquee. They had photos with all six, just the g irls, just the boys, just Harry and Emilie. Harry called Dudley over and had som e taken with him and was wickedly planning on having one sent straight to the Du rsleys.. 'I didn't realise just how well known you were. I thought all that Boy-Who-Lived stuff was a crock.' Dudley snickered. 'I wish.' Harry said softly. Eventually the photographers had enough and they we re all able to make their way down to the quidditch pitch. Only three photograph ers had invitations, one of which was Colin Creevey. Ron and Draco had taken the young Gryffindor aside and told him exactly what Harry wanted him to take and t o be unobtrusive. They knew that Harry would not want flash bulbs going off in h is face every few minutes and Colin had a tendency to over do it when he was exc ited. Harry and Emilie walked in last, to see everyone standing and clapping for them. Harry smiled brightly as he guided Emilie over to the head table and gestured f or everyone to sit down. Harry had Ron and Hermione sitting to his right and Emi lie had Ginny and Draco to her left. The table closest to the right of them held all of the Weasley's, Dudley, who Molly was making a fuss over, Emilie's grandp arents and Severus. The table on the left held Albus and Sirius as well as the m ost influential Minister's of Magic from around the world. Harry saw one table w as filled with all of the Hogwarts staff and two others were occupied by the spe cial forces who had tucked all their weapons under the table. Quite a few tables were filled by the students but Harry really had no idea who the people were fi lling the rest. Harry stood and waited for everyone to quieten down. 'Emilie and I would just like to say thank you to you all for coming and sharing the most important day of our lives. We hope that you all enjoy your selves.' H arry sat down again as platters of delicious food appeared on all of the tables. Soft music began playing and everyone was making enthusiastic comments on the f ood, the marquee, the decorations and all manner of other things as they helped themselves. The meal itself was brilliant, the house elves pulling out all the stops. Harry glanced over at Dudley and laughed at his cousin's wide eyed expression. Dudley looked over at Harry then and waved. Harry grinned back. When they were finished

Ron and Draco got up and walked across the dance floor and up onto the stage. W ith the band stopping for them and the guests giving them their attention, both boy cast a Sonorus charm so they could be heard right to the edges of the hall. 'We would like to thank you all for coming too.' Ron smiled broadly. 'As Harry's best friends it is our duty to welcome you all and tell you all about Harry. I mean the stuff you can't read about in books.' he added quickly. Harry rolled hi s eyes as Emilie giggled. 'Every little thing.' Draco said loudly. 'All his likes and dislikes.' 'Oh, and about Emilie to.' Harry growled through the mind link causing Albus Sev erus, the chosen ones and the special forces all to start snickering. 'Of course Harry doesn't like anyone saying anything about Emilie.' Ron added qu ickly. 'So we will just tell you about Harry.' Draco smirked. 'Oh brother.' Harry groaned loudly and buried his head in his hands, as all thos e at nearby tables laughed. 'Now Harry is like a brother to me.' Ron smiled. 'To us.' Draco sniffed. 'Sorry dear Dragon, to us. We have all been through a lot together. Some of it g ood and some of it bad.' 'Hey Lion, do you remember that time he threatened to hex us so bad our grandchi ldren would feel it, just because we were taking too long in the shower.' 'Yeah, that was bad.' Ron shuddered and a few people laughed. 'What was taking you both so long anyway?' Harry called out, causing most of the room to start laughing and both Ron and Draco to blush red to the tips of their ears. 'Two can play at this.' Harry whispered to Emilie who giggled again. 'Yes. Well, where was I?' Ron stammered. 'I never had a best friend before I cam e to Hogwarts.' 'And I never had anybody that cared about me before I came either.' Draco admitt ed. 'Harry has done so much for everybody and not just fighting Voldemort.' Ron said proudly as large numbers of people gasped or shuddered around the hall. Harry c ould feel his face heating up. He hated it when people talked about him like thi s. 'There isn't a person here who doesn't owe Harry something, even if it is just t he freedom we currently take for granted.' Draco said softly. 'But Harry never a sks for anything in return. He's battled dark wizards, basilisks, vampires, trol ls, werewolves, dementors and many other things, including himself.' Emilie felt Harry stiffen and squeezed his hand under the table. 'to make our world a bette r place to live, and he has done all of this without being asked because that is who he is.' 'Griffin, we are all so happy that you have found someone to love. We are glad t

hat ery 'We ses

you have found your special place in life and we all love you, and Emilie, v much' Ron said and conjured two glasses of champagne, handing one to Draco. salute you. You, and your lovely new bride.' Ron and Draco raised their clas towards Harry.

'To Harry and Emilie.' Rang throughout the room. Harry stood and raised his glas s in response to his friends and Emilie joined him to thank everyone else. 'And now I believe that a dance is in order. Mr and Mrs Potter, if you would?' D raco gestured to the dance floor. Harry stood and offered Emilie his arm. They w alked around the table and onto the dance floor where a slow waltz began to play . Emilie gazed up at Harry adoringly as they moved slowly around the floor. 'So how does it feel to be called Mrs Potter.' Harry whispered. 'Better than I ever imagined.' Emilie replied truthfully. Harry smiled and pulle d her close, closing his eyes as he rest his cheek against her temple. Everyone watched as they continued to move softly with the music, both with their eyes cl osed, as they stood safely and comfortably in each others embrace. 'Look at that.' The Minister from America whispered, pointing at the young newly weds. Harry and Emilie were currently surrounded by a soft golden glow and were floating about four inches off the ground. The song ended and the glow faded as Harry and Emilie touched back down, completely oblivious to the fact that they had just been dancing without touching the floor. The chosen ones joined them on the dance floor then followed quickly by the special forces and over half of th e guests. Harry escorted Emilie to the edge of the dance floor so that she could ask her Grandfather to dance, as Harry went to found Molly Weasley. 'Mrs Weasley, you are the closest thing I have to a mother, please would you dan ce with me?' he asked, bowing softly. Molly smiled gently. 'Of course Harry. I would be honoured.' Harry held out his arm and escorted Moll y onto the dance floor. As the music sped up Harry sent a quiet word of thanks t o Dragon through the link for all those extra little dancing lessons the blonde had given him when no one else was around. 'It's lovely to see you so happy Harry.' Molly said quietly. 'Thank you.' Harry smiled at her before glancing over at Emilie who was now danc ing with Severus. 'Thank you as well for everything you have done for me. You al lowed me to know what it is like to have a mother and for that I can never repay you.' Molly didn't say anything just sniffed softly and hugged him tight. 'We are always here for you Harry, no matter what.' she said firmly. 'May I cut in.' Arthur Weasley said tapping on his shoulder. Harry grinned and s hook his hand. 'Of course. Please enjoy yourselves.' Harry walked around the floor to find que. Spying her dancing rather energetically for someone of her years, with us, he left them to it. The chosen ones were still out there, even Ron, and y's heart gave a small jolt of happiness as he watched his friends. Minerva Albus were rapidly making their way around the dance floor to stop right in t of him. 'Harry, there are a few people you really should meet.' Albus told him. 'Just a minute I'll get Emilie.' Moni Siri Harr and fron

'No leave her to dance. She has a queue waiting to dance with her.' Albus gestur ed to the small knots of people waiting to cut in on Emilie and whoever she was dancing with at the time, in this case Seamus. 'Em, are you okay?' Harry sent. Emilie glanced over to him and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine. You go and do your political stuff and then come and find me.' 'How did you know it was political stuff?' 'The look on your face.' Emilie chuckled. He rearranged his expression and turne d back to his mentor. 'Okay lead the way.' he groaned. 'This is very important Harry.' Minerva scolded. 'These people could help you.' 'I don't need any help Minerva. I have Emilie and I have enough money to get a n ice house with a little hedge and for us to live for the rest of our lives. Anyt hing else is secondary. I don't need these people, they need me.' Harry replied, getting straight to the point. 'Harry this is the Minister from America, Daniel Johnson.' Albus introduced a ta ll heavy set man with dark hair. 'Very nice to meet you Minister.' Harry said politely, shaking the other man's h and. 'Congratulations Mr Potter.' Daniel Johnson boomed. 'Thank you.' Harry murmured. 'David here,' he said, gesturing to David Wittingslow, who took the opportunity to add his congratulations. 'tells me that you are responsible for that battle g roup. Quite impressive, he tells me.' Harry smiled and glanced over at the speci al forces, who were all dancing together. 'Yes, they are.' Harry said proudly, turning his attention back to the tall man in front of him. 'We would like to extend an invitation for you and your wife to visit us in the States.' 'Thank you very much, that is very kind of you, but I'm sure you have another re ason for this invitation.' Harry said boldly. Daniel laughed and turned to Albus . 'You did say not much gets past him.' Albus smiled. 'We would like you to take a look at out Auror and Unspeakable Training. David tells me that you have overha uled the British Ministry's training and were wondering if you would do the same for us.' Daniel's voice was almost pleading. 'I will have to ask my wife, but I see no reason why not.' Harry assured the man , who breathed a visible sigh of relief. Albus then moved them on and Harry was introduced to every Minister of Magic from around the world and had received the same, almost pleading, invitations from every one of them. Now Harry Albus and Severus were standing back just watching Emilie, who was dan cing with Draco. Ginny was dancing with her father and Hermione was watching, he lpless with laughter as Fred and George were trying to teach Ron some type of ji

g. 'Why all the invitations Albus?' Harry asked softly. 'News of your talents has spread, my boy. And with nearly every Ministry, partic ularly the Auror divisions, having been rampant with Death Eaters, they are all now very vulnerable. The talent and skill of your special forces group has been lauded across the world, especially after the last battle.' 'They can't possibly expect me to turn their Auror Divisions into a group like m ine. Those children, yes children, pledged their loyalty to me, their very lives . That I would teach them exactly what they needed to know to be able to follow me into war. They were uncut, unpolished diamonds and they rose to the task beca use they had no inhibitions and no previous training, just an unswerving loyalty . The Aurors are men, trained men. How do you think they are going to take being told what to do by a fifteen year old?' Harry whispered incredulously. Severus placed a hand on Harry's arm. 'Harry, relax it will be okay. Now, why don't you go and dance with Emilie.' Har ry nodded, his mood instantly lifting as he walked across the room towards his w ife. 'Good one Albus,' Severus growled. 'As if he didn't have enough to worry about.' Harry walked over and tapped Draco on the shoulder. 'Do you mind?' he asked softly. Draco smiled and bowed to Emilie, who giggled. 'Politics all done?' she asked softly as he wrapped his arms around her waist. H arry nodded. 'We have invitations to almost every magical country in the world.' he snorted. 'Why?' 'I'll tell you later.' he whispered, kissing her softly. Harry swayed with the s low music, hugging Emilie tightly. Every so often he opened his eyes and leaned down to kiss her softly before pulling her close again. Two songs later someone tapped on his shoulder. 'Harry, it's time to cut the cake.' Hermione whispered. Harry reluctantly opened his eyes and parted, keeping Emilie's hand firmly clasped in his and walked ove r to the head table. On it had appeared an enormous cake. Harry counted the tier s, there were seven of them. On top were the moving figures of a golden griffin and a phoenix. A large knife was passed to them and together they sliced through the lowest layer. Harry kissed her as everybody clapped and cheered. The music started up once more and everyone returned to the dance floor. 'I'd better have a dance with Hermione and Ginny or they will have my head.' Har ry chuckled. Emilie nodded. 'Can't have that, can we. I've grown rather attached to your head and I quite li ke it on top of your neck.' Emilie giggled. Harry snorted and walked over to the chosen ones. 'Hey guys.' Harry grinned. 'Griffin.' They chorused. It seemed that the two girls and Ron had taken to call ing him by his animagus name as well.

'I haven't had a dance with the two most gorgeous girls here. Other than my wife , of course.' Harry added. 'Hermione would you mind.' Harry gestured to the danc e floor. 'Love to.' she said and took his proffered arm. They danced a song and then Harr y asked Ginny to dance. Twirling her around the floor he noticed Dudley dancing with Hannah Abbott. 'Hannah and Dudley seem to be getting on well.' Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Yeah.' agreed Ginny. 'They've been dancing together almost all afternoon. Dudle y growls whenever anyone asked to dance with Hannah and Hannah glares when anyon e asks to dance with Dudley. It's hysterical.' she snickered. 'The twins are hav ing an absolute ball teasing them.' 'Hey, speaking of the twins, where's Angelina?' Harry asked. Ginny pointed to a small group in the corner. The five people were talking in urgent hushed tones a nd gesturing madly. 'What are they talking about?' Ginny shrugged. 'Don't tience for a raised rightly know. First it was just Emilie and Snape and then Angelina and Pa joined in after a bit Dumbledore came over too but he has only been there minute. The others have been at it for about fifteen minutes now.' Harry an eyebrow.

'I'd better check everything's alright.' he said. 'Thank you Ginny.' Harry kisse d her cheek. 'Anytime Harry.' she smiled back at him. Harry released her and walked across th e dance floor fielding congratulations and fending off invitations to dance from all sides till he reached the corner.' 'Everything alright?' he asked. Four people jumped as if startled but Albus smil ed at him broadly. 'Harry, just the man we were talking about.' Harry raised an eyebrow at him. 'Oh yes. Why?' 'Just organising everything for your honeymoon. Now here is your portkey.' he ha nded Harry a necklace with a little gold medallion hanging from it. 'You must ke ep it on at all times. Emilie has one too. If for any reason you get into troubl e, just hold it in your hand and say Hogwarts. Emilie, you'll need to tap yours with your wand or it you don't have it, you'll have to hold onto Harry. It will bring you back to my office. Now I have arranged for Severus to be nearby.' Albu s lowered his voice. 'There is actually two cottages on the grounds and Severus will be staying in the other together with Miss Johnson and Miss Quiet, just in case. You will be able to call them through the link and they can be there by br oom in under thirty seconds. I will also give the chosen ones portkeys, so if yo u need them for any reason you can call them through the link. ' Harry grimaced. 'Don't worry.' Albus said, mistaking his expression. 'Everyone will be far enou gh away to ensure you and Emilie have plenty of privacy.' Harry blushed and Emil ie giggled. It was a sign of just how embarrassing that statement was as Angelin a, Patience and even Severus blushed as well. Albus continued as if nothing had happened. 'Dobby and Winky will be accompanying you. You will leave in about hal f an hour so you had better go and say your goodbyes.' Albus looked around the r oom. 'I have a very bad feeling at the moment and I will be happier when all of these dignitaries are safely back in their own Ministry's.'

'Surely Voldemort wouldn't attack today. He couldn't be strong enough yet?' Harr y whispered fearfully as Emilie wrapped her arm around his waist. 'Probably not, but knowing Tom as well as I do, I'm not sure whether he could re sist this type of target. I mean could you imagine it. Wiping out every Minister of Magic in one day. It would throw the entire wizarding world into chaos.' Dum bledore mused. 'How in the hell can you be so calm.' Harry yelled. 'Harry.' Severus warned. 'You invited them all here and now you're telling me that Voldemort might be com ing.' Harry hissed. 'You have to send them back. Now. Get rid of them before he gets here. Ah, ow.' Harry hissed as his scar seared so painfully he fell to his knees. 'Too late.' he croaked. Just then a large eagle soared in and over the da nce floor, before it spotted Harry, flew down and transformed. 'Harry, Voldemort's coming, up the road from Hogsmeade with about fifty Death Ea ters and hundreds of dementors.' Fred gasped out. 'I know.' Harry hissed from his kneeling position on the floor. He struggled to stand, the heel of his hand pressed hard against his forehead, he looked at the red head through tears of pain. 'Get everyone inside the marquee. It's warded. Get the special forces together a nd make sure they are fully armed.' he told Angelina. 'You, George and Cho need to recon from the sky and make sure you get Josh and David set up with the map o n one of the tables so they can see what's going on.' Harry looked over at Emili e who had tears in her eyes. 'I'm sorry.' he choked out turning from her and sum moning the rune from his desk drawer and dropping it in his pocket. Knowing he w ould have to be strong and also knowing if he looked at her again, he might not be able to do what he had to, he took off across the floor towards the entrance, telling himself that the tears in his eyes were from the pain in his scar. 'Ron, Draco, Ginny, Hermione. Get to the entrance now.' he sent out through the link. He met up with them at the doors. 'What is it? What's wrong?' Hermione asked worriedly. Harry removed his hand fro m his head, his scar a vivid red and dripping blood. 'No. No way.' Ron breathed. 'Afraid so.' Harry whispered. 'Let just do this.' 'Harry, I thin....' Hermione started to get hysterical and Harry held up a hand to stop her. 'No Hermione. We went through this. We are doing it, and we are doing it now. We might not get another chance. You all swore you would do it.' Harry glared at t hem and slowly they all nodded their agreement. 'Good. Summon your weapons and g et ready.' Harry walked over to the entrance where Albus and Severus were waitin g. 'Is everyone inside?' Harry asked. 'All except the chosen ones, the special forces and Emilie.' Severus told him. 'Emilie. What is she doing? She should be inside where it is safe.' Harry looked around wildly.' Where is she?' Severus pointed to a white phoenix currently cir

cling over the forbidden forest. 'Bloody hell.' he growled. 'She wanted to help. Let her.' his guardian said sternly. Harry glared at him fo r a moment before his gaze softened. 'What about the Ministers. Can you portkey them out of here?' Albus shook his he ad. 'Not from inside the marquee. Not with the wards up. They will just have to stay in there until this is over, one way or the other.' Harry nodded and summoned h is invisibility cloak and Firebolt, handing them to Severus. 'Hopefully you won't be needed, but you never know.' Harry said sadly. 'Albus, y ou had better get inside so I can ward the door.' The Headmaster nodded and hesi tated, before giving Harry a firm hug and hurrying inside before Harry could see the tears running down the old mage's face. 'Harry.' Severus whispered. Harry shook his head. 'Don't say it. Please.' Harry begged and walked over to the chosen ones. 'David, Josh, you guys all set?' Harry sent. 'Yep Harry. According to the sky watchers there is only the one wave, just the d ementors, really don't know why he bothers with those, he knows they are worth n othing to you. Anyway there is only forty five Death Eaters, not fifty and Volde mort himself, who according to Cho, looks awfully pissed about something.' Harry heard the reply. Normally he would have laughed at the joke but he was too high ly strung. 'You all heard that.' The four nodded in response. 'Good.' Harry turned and rais ed his hand firing the strongest locking spell he could at the doors, which glow ed for almost thirty seconds before they walked over to where the special forces were standing. 'I will take care of the dementors. I want you all to concentrate on the Death E aters so the chosen ones have time to complete the spell.' The special forces al l looked at Harry, sorrow the most common expression. He ignored it and turned t o the chosen ones. 'You know the spell, just remember to keep your eyes closed. You have to feel for each others magic and it will help you to concentrate.' The y really didn't need to keep their eyes closed, but Harry didn't want them looki ng at him when the rune exploded. Harry took a deep breath and led the way acros s the grounds. The chosen ones took their positions as the special forces spread out around them. Fred, George and Cho joining them. Soon they felt the cold begin to creep into them as the dementors filtered throu gh the gate. 'Thank you.' Harry sent out to everybody through the mind link before he raised his hand. 'EXPECTO PATRONUM.' Harry roared. The enormous wave of silver shot out of Harry' s hand and swarmed around them and outwards reducing all of the dementors to dus t. Harry heard a wave of cheers from inside the marquee. 'Albus, turn off those portals.' Harry sent through the link. 'Harry they want to watch. It stops them from panicking.' 'It's not going to be pretty.' Harry growled.

'I know Harry.' he heard the sad voice. Harry thought of something. 'My god, what about the other students?' Harry panicked. 'It's okay. I sent the Aurors up to the school earlier. They will make sure the other students are okay.' Albus assured him. 'Thank Merlin.' he whispered. Harry watched, his heart in his throat, as the Dea th Eaters moved onto the ground and surrounded them. Voldemort glided through th e gates and moved towards them. No one moved no one said anything as Voldemort c ame to stand in front of Harry. 'Obviously didn't remember the Star of Light.' H arry sent to the chosen ones, who took the cue and began to chant very softly un der their breath. 'I was very disappointed that I didn't receive an invitation to your wedding, Ha rry.' Voldemort hissed. Harry smirked. 'What, in the name of Merlin, made you think you would get one, Tom?' Harry snor ted. Voldemort sneered. 'I've told you not to call me that.' he hissed. 'What do you want Tom.' Harry said dryly. 'I came to offer you a truce.' Harry gaped at him. 'You're kidding.' 'No.' Voldemort sniffed. 'I realise there is now room for both of us in this wor ld. It is a big world and we can rule it together.' 'I don't want to rule it.' Harry spat. 'I just want to live in it.' he muttered under his breath. 'Well, what the hell are you doing here then? You and your lovely Phoenix can go . I swear I will leave you in peace.' The snakelike eyes gleamed. 'Like I would believe anything you said. Besides, I might not want to rule it my self, but I certainly don't want a murdering bastard like you doing it.' Harry s pat. 'Enough of this crap. Begin.' he sent to the chosen ones, who closed their eyes and began the incantation. 'Adstringo attero.' they all chanted as Harry pulled the rune out of his pocket and held it in front of him. 'Adstringo attero.' Voldemort looked at the stone in Harry's hands and his eyes widened. 'Stop them.' he screamed as he realised that he couldn't move. 'Adstringo attero.' Harry held tight to the rune which had begun to vibrate as t he Death Eaters took on the special forces. Harry could hear David and Josh in t he back of his head telling the special forces what to do but he just concentrat ed on pulling Voldemort's spirit out of his body and into the rune. He didn't ne ed to kill the body, it would die when the spirit left it. Voldemort was screami ng at him. 'Adstringo attero.' the chosen ones yelled the last incantation. An agonised scr eam filled the air as Voldemort's spirit ripped from his body and was sucked int

o the rune. The last remaining Death Eaters stopped and stared at Voldemort's cr umpled form, allowing the special forces enough time to take them all down. Harr y could see the special forces holding their breath as they watched him struggle . He was trying desperately to hold onto the rune, as it was searing hot. He cou ld feel the spirit enclosed trying to escape. Suddenly he saw Patience dart up a nd grab the rune from his hand. 'Patience. No.' he screamed, but too late, as she tossed the stone to the waitin g phoenix that was hovering above them. Harry raised his hand to summon the rune back, but before he could get it more than a foot from his side, he found his a rms pinned and himself, knocked to the ground. 'GET OFF ME.' he screamed his eyes riveted on the phoenix form that had flown pa rtway across the grounds, landed and wrapped it's wings around the rune, and its elf, tightly. Harry was struggling and screaming, desperately trying to get his arms back from the vice like grip that was holding them. 'NO. NO. LET GO OF ME. EMILIE.' he screamed. The chosen ones opened their eyes a s they felt the spell complete, and watched in horror, as the white phoenix burs t into flames and disappeared. 'EMILIE.' Harry's scream echoed around the grounds. 'EMILIE.' he screamed again. The chosen ones turned their attention from the pile of ashes to see Harry on h is stomach on the ground, held down, his arms pinned behind him by Severus and A ngelina. 'My god. What have you done?" Hermione yelled hurrying over to Harry. 'Let go of him. Do you have any idea of what you have done? I said GET OFF HIM.' Hermione yelled, pointing her wand at them. Draco, Ron and Ginny joining her. Reluctantly Severus and Angelina released him, as Draco gathered the distraught young man i n his arms. The rest of the special forces began to help the Aurors, who had com e down for the castle, to send the captured Death Eaters to the Ministry. Voldem ort's body was collected and several Aurors were hurling spell after spell at th e doors to the marquee, eventually opening them with the help of Albus and sever al others from inside. All the while Draco held onto Harry, who had his head bur ied in the other boy's chest, sobbing hysterically. Hermione, Ginny and Ron glar ing at Severus, Angelina and Patience with hatred. Harry raised his head and loo ked at the pile of ashes. His eyes began to glow, his body shaking. Draco helped him to stand and he whirled on his guardian. 'You.' he hissed vehemently. 'You did this. How could you?' Severus didn't say a nything but took a step back as he saw the look in his young charge's eyes. 'Why ? How could you do that to me?' he screamed as he stepped closer to Severus. 'Wh o's idea was this?' Severus took a deep breath. 'It was Emilie's.' he said softly. Harry's eyes narrowed. 'I don't believe you.' he hissed, raising his hand. 'It's true.' Hermione said quickly. Harry spun to face her. 'You knew?' he gasped. Hermione nodded sadly. 'She told me about it a couple of months ago. I told her it wouldn't work, and t hat if she didn't forget about it I would tell you. Professor Snape spoke to us a while ago, we showed him the book and he told her to forget it too. Said it wa s too dangerous. Obviously he didn't mean it.' She glared at the potions master, who paled slightly. Harry took in Angelina and Patience standing off to one sid e.

'What in the hell did you two think you were doing? You are supposed to answer t o me, not Emilie, what made you think this was a good idea?' Angelina shuddered at the look in Harry's eyes. 'She said it would work. She promised us it would. We didn't want you to die, an d she asked us to help save you. She said it would work.' The tall girl babbled helplessly as Patience just nodded. Harry pointed to the pile of ashes. 'Does it look like it worked to you.' he screamed. 'It didn't work.' he moaned. Severus stepped forwards and grabbed him, and Harry beat his fists against his g uardian's chest. 'Didn't work. Didn't work.' he continued to sob as Severus held him tightly. At this point Albus, Sirius, Dudley and the rest of the staff join ed them after making sure the various dignitaries had portkeyed to the British M inistry, all of them wearing horrified expressions. Harry suddenly realised who was holding him and shoved him away violently. 'Don't touch me.' he spat. The chosen ones came up behind him and put their arms around him. 'Please let's go.' he pleaded. They formed a tight group and moved as one towards the castle with Dudley trailing close behind. Albus turned to his potions master and his two seventh year students, his face like thunder. 'You three, in my office now.' his voice a deadly whisper. Severus and the two g irls nodded and turned to follow the Headmaster as they rest of the staff and th e special forces just looked at the ground, no one wanting to look at the pile o f ashes left by the burning phoenix. * * * * * * * * * * 'How could they? How could they?' Harry sobbed, face down on his bed as the chos en ones tried to comfort him. 'How could Severus do that? He knew how much I lov ed her. What am I going to do now?' A fresh wave of tears broke. 'I don't know why he did it.' Hermione admitted. 'I don't think he wanted to loo se you and he just grasped at any straw.' Harry turned over and looked at her. S he winced at the dull, desolate look in his eyes. 'How did he think I was going to live without Emilie?' Harry whispered. Hermione didn't know what to say she just leaned over and hugged her friend. Over his sh oulder she caught Draco's eye. 'Dragon, can you make him sleep?' she sent. Draco nodded and hugged Harry from b ehind, slipping his hand up so that it rested on Harry's chest. He closed his ey es as Harry continued to sob on Hermione's shoulder and called to the Clarian bo nd. His hand glowed softly and soon Hermione felt Harry's breathing even out. Sh e carefully lay him back against the pillows. 'I'd better stay with him.' Draco whispered. 'I'll stay too.' Ginny volunteered. Hermione nodded. 'Ron and I should go and see Dumbledore. We will lock the door and don't let any one in. It might just upset him.' They nodded quickly and settled down to watch over Harry as Ron and Hermione got up off the bed and left the room. Draco and G inny heard the door lock and glanced at each other sadly. Draco leaned over and placed his hand over Ginny's and they both looked back at their friend's tear st reaked face and knew nothing would ever be the same. The loss of Emilie far outw eighing the joy of finally defeating Voldemort. 'Oh god Ron, what are we going to do?' Hermione whispered desperately as they st ood just outside the door. Ron wrapped his arms around her.

'We will help him get through this Hermione. I promise.' he said soothingly. 'What were they thinking?' 'I don't know.' he admitted. 'but I think we should go and find out.' Ron releas ed her and took her hand, kissing her softly. 'It'll be okay.' he squeezed her h and and they walked through to the training room. 'Is Harry okay?' Seamus asked meekly. They had been so intent on getting to the Headmaster's office that they hadn't noticed the special forces, minus Angelina and Patience, sitting dejectedly in the corner. All still in their battle gear a nd all filthy. 'We don't know.' Ron said honestly. 'The shock, it's hard. He's asleep at the mo ment. Draco and Ginny are with him.' 'Why don't you all shower and change.' Hermione said softly. 'We are just going to see Professor Dumbledore and we'll tell you everything when we get back.' The re were a few murmurs of approval and the group headed towards their rooms as Ro n and Hermione walked out the door and down to Dumbledore's office. The gargoyle moved obligingly for them and then they could hear the shouts from the bottom of the stairs. 'I will ask you one more time. What, in the name of Merlin, possessed you three to do such a thing?' The Headmaster yelled. Ron and Hermione looked at each othe r shock. They had only heard Dumbledore yell once, back in first year when the t roll had been let in that Halloween. 'By allowing Emilie to do this, you know yo u have killed Harry, don't you?' 'But Harry is alive Professor Dumbledore. That's why we did it.' Angelina replie d meekly. 'And just how long do you think Harry will survive without her? You know about h is nightmares. You've seen what happens when Emilie isn't there. How long do you think it will be until he tries to kill himself again?' Albus stopped abruptly, realising he had said to much. 'Again?' Angelina whispered. Ron and Hermione knocked briskly and barged into th e room. 'Do not repeat that to anybody.' Ron hissed threateningly at the two girls. 'Thank you Mr Weasley. That is enough.' Albus turned back to Angelina and Patien ce. 'Miss Johnson, Miss Quiet. I think you should go and join your classmates. I'm s ure they will have some awfully difficult questions for you.' The two girls nodd ed and walked to the door. 'And do not repeat what has been said in this office to anyone.' The old mage positively growled. Ron and Hermione looked over at Sev erus who was sitting limply in chair, face a ghostly white, hands shaking. 'How is Harry?" Albus asked softly. Ron and Hermione sat down and looked at the Headmaster. He looked as though he had aged a hundred years. Twice as many lines had appeared on his face, his normally vibrant white hair hung limp and dull an d the most disturbing sign of stress was the lack of that ever present twinkle i n his eye. 'Draco put him to sleep. He and Ginny are watching over him.' Hermione said soft

ly. 'He's inconsolable, Professor. I don't think I've ever seen him like this. Y ou look into his eyes and it's like he's dead. Like he has no soul.' she sniffed as a tear trailed down her cheek. A small sob escaped Severus' mouth. 'I hope your happy.' Ron spat at the potions master. 'Mr Weasley. Happiness is possibly as far away from what I am currently feeling as anyone could get.' Severus whispered. 'Mr Weasley, perhaps you and Miss Granger should return to Harry.' Albus said so ftly but firmly. Just then a frantic pounding hit the door and it flew open, Sir ius stood there, a look of wonder on his face. 'Albus, come quickly.' he stuttered and took off back down the staircase. The fo ur occupants of the room looked at each other before leaping up and running afte r the Minister. They bolted down the halls, chasing the royal blue robes in front of them. They shot out of the castle and across the grounds to where a large group of Aurors a nd students were staring at the pile of ashes. Ashes, that were moving. Severus quickly ran over to kneel in front of the large pile and began shoving l arge armfuls of ash of the top of the pile. 'Help me.' he yelled and several Aurors ran over to lend a hand. Several coughs were heard and Hermione and Ron held their breath, peering intently at the pile. Severus delved into the pile and felt around, firmly grabbing hold of what felt like two arms and pulling until the person was free. 'Emilie.' Severus cried hugging her too him. 'Emilie?' Hermione stammered. 'Emilie?' The blond girl raised her ash covered fa ce from Severus' shoulder and nodded. 'Emilie.' screamed Hermione as she and Ron flung themselves on the other girl, s obbing openly. 'How could you do that?' Hermione sobbed. Emilie stiffened. 'Harry.' she whispered. 'I have to see Harry.' Quickly she stood up, only to swa y so strongly she almost fell down again. Hermione and Ron grabbed an arm each a nd helped her to stand. 'Give it a minute,' Ron warned her as Hermione helped brush the ash from her rob es and hair. 'Ready?' he asked. She nodded and they walked as quickly as possibl e towards the castle. Albus, Severus and Sirius following, as the others who had watched the rebirth of the white phoenix just stood and stared. 'Emilie.' Several voices said incredulously as they marched through the training room. Emilie, Hermione and Ron ignored them as they made their way to Harry's r ooms. 'It's us.' Hermione sent as she unlocked the door and walked through. Draco and Ginny just stared at Emilie open mouthed, as she quickly made her way over to th e bed. Sitting gently on the edge of it, she placed her hand on Harry's chest. 'Harry. Harry darling wake up.' she said softly as Albus and the others made the ir way into the room. She leaned over and kissed him. 'Harry.' Harry's eyes flic kered open.

'Emilie?' he croaked. Emilie's heart dropped as she looked at his dull eyes. 'Yes, it's me.' she smiled softly. Harry shook his head and rolled away from her , tears rolling down his cheeks. 'No. It isn't you.' He buried his head in the pillow. 'Yes. It is.' she insisted. 'No.' he moaned. 'It can't be you. It's just a trick.' His voice muffled through the pillow. Emilie sighed and grabbed his shoulder and rolled him back to face her. 'It is me. Don't you turn away from me when I am talking to you. You know I hate that.' she hissed. Harry looked at her, his eyes wide. 'That's her alright.' Sirius muttered. 'Emilie? It is you.' Harry sat up quickly. 'How?' Emilie smiled before grabbing her cheek when Harry slapped her. 'What was that for?' she whined. 'Don't you ever do that again.' Harry growled before wrapping her tightly in his arms and kissing her passionately. 'Out. Everybody out.' Draco yelled. 'Show's over. Get out the lot of you.' The c hosen ones herded everybody out and closed the door softly behind them, standing guard outside the door. Harry finally pulled away and looked at her. 'How?' he whispered. 'I'm a Phoenix Child remember, As long as I burnt like a phoenix. I would be reb orn like a phoenix.' Harry's eyes narrowed. 'How did you know it would work?' 'I didn't know for sure.' she admitted. 'But somehow I just knew it would work.' Harry shook his head. 'Emilie, what made you take a risk like that? What if it hadn't worked?' 'It had to work. I couldn't stand the thought of loosing you.' she whispered. 'And what if it hadn't. I would have lost you.' he said accusingly. 'But it did and we are both here together and Voldemort is dead.' she said brisk ly. Harry couldn't help but snort. 'Oh Mrs Potter, you are going to pay for your deception.' Harry snickered before pouncing on her, tickling mercilessly. Eyes widened out in the sitting room, as Emilie's shrieks filtered under the door. 'You don't think he is killing her, do you?' Ron whispered. Draco snorted and ra ised his wand as both Sirius and Severus took a step towards the door. 'Uh huh.' Draco told them as the shrieks continued. 'Harry stop, please.' Emilie begged. Harry sighed, stopped tickling her and drew her close.

'I love you, Mrs Potter.' 'I love you too.' Emilie whispered and kissed him. Harry moved his mouth down ov er her throat and sucked softly. Emilie reached up and softly tickled the hair a t the nape of Harry's neck making him gasp. 'I really want to spend some serious private time with you.' he whispered. 'But making love to you for the first time with our nearest and dearest standing outs ide the door, waiting for the mother of all explanations, is not quite what I ha d in mind.' Emilie giggled. 'What about a shower?' she gestured to their filthy robes. Harry raised an eyebr ow. 'What, together?' Harry replied in a mock shocked voice. Emilie smirked. 'You br azen hussy.' Harry snickered, grabbing her in his arms and carrying her through to the bathroom, kicking the door closed with his foot. When they emerged half an hour later, pink skinned and damp haired the people wa iting outside were to the point of mutiny, getting ready to take on the chosen o nes just to find out what was going on. The door clicked open and Harry and Emil ie walked out, Harry smiling his thanks to his friends before walking across the room, sitting down in his chair and pulling Emilie down on to his lap. 'Questions?' Harry smirked. 'How?' Ginny breathed. 'I think that's one for you darling.' Harry murmured. Emilie took a deep breath. 'As a Phoenix Child I knew that if I burnt like a phoenix, I would be reborn lik e a phoenix.' she replied, repeating what she had said to Harry. 'Knew?' Hermione folded her arms and raised an eyebrow. 'Well, hoped, is probably a better word.' Emilie said sheepishly. 'But a phoenix is born as a baby, How come you're the same as you were?' Cho ask ed. 'Only a Ravenclaw.' Harry snickered. 'I was born as a baby again but for some reason, I don't know why, I aged very r apidly when buried in the ash. When I regained consciousness I just lay as still as I could. I understood what was happening and I tried not to use any energy b ut I couldn't hold my breath any longer so I transformed and started to try and dig my way out. That's when I heard Severus.' Emilie shrugged and leaned back ag ainst Harry's chest as he wrapped his arms more firmly around her waist. Severus stepped forward and knelt in front of Harry. 'Harry.' he started, but Harry held up a hand to stop him. 'Severus, don't say anything.' Harry whispered, his eyes closed. 'I can't speak to you at the moment and I can't forgive you for what you did. Emilie, I can und erstand. But you, you took a chance that wasn't yours to take, Yours or their's. ' Harry's eyes opened and his gaze fell on Angelina and Patience, who were half hiding in the shadows. Severus gasped at the look in Harry's eyes and quickly fl ed the room, Albus following.

'Harry, that wasn't really fair.' Emilie scolded softly. 'I don't care. It was the truth.' Harry spat. Emilie kissed him softly. 'You have to at least forgive Angelina and Patience. It wasn't their fault. I to ld them it would work. I told them I had tested it.' she said meekly. Harry turn ed to look at them. 'Is this true?' The two girls nodded. 'We didn't want anything to happen to you and Emilie said this was the only way. ' Harry eyed them piercingly for moment before his gaze softened and he nodded s lowly. Those in the room could hear the two girls exhale softly. 'Alright, I will forgive you this time, but don't every do it again.' Harry grow led. 'Severus?' Emilie begged, but Harry shook his head. 'No. He didn't know it would work and he still went along with you. He deliberat ely misled Hermione. I can't forgive him.' 'But Harry, he only did it because he couldn't stand the thought of loosing you. ' 'No.' Harry spat, lifting her off his lap. 'If it hadn't worked, he would have l ost me anyway.' He stood up and stormed into the bedroom, slamming the door behi nd him. 'Leave him Emilie.' Sirius said softly. 'Harry has never been betrayed like this before. He doesn't understand. To him, it was okay for him to sacrifice himself but not for anyone else to. And particularly not for his guardian to help the o ne person who means more than anything to him, to do it especially when he didn' t know whether it would work. I feel it could take a long time before Harry can forgive Severus.' 'You two should probably go soon. Dobby and Winkie will be wondering where you a re.' Albus said coming back into the room. Emilie nodded. 'Don't pressure him in this. Just be there for him.' the Headmaster told her. 'I'll get him.' Draco volunteered going into Harry's room and closing the door s oftly behind him. 'Griffin?' Draco said softly. 'Yes.' Harry sighed. 'It's time to go.' Harry looked at him in confusion. 'Your honeymoon.' Draco rai sed an eyebrow. 'Oh Merlin. I forgot.' Harry grinned sheepishly. 'Come on, everyone wants to say goodbye.' Draco grabbed Harry's arm and dragged him back through to the sitting room. He met Emilie's pleading eyes. 'Sorry.' he sent. She didn't say anything just stood on tiptoes and kissed him. Harry smiled. They walked over to where the special forces were standing. 'Thank you all for today. We couldn't have done it without you. Now maybe we can all have some piece.' Harry and Emilie hug, shook hands or kissed, depending on

who it was, each member of the team. 'Make sure you keep training over the holi days. Even with Voldemort gone, the Aurors will still need you.' Harry told them . 'I will be in touch when we come back.' They moved over to Albus and Minerva h ugging each of them tightly. 'Albus.' Harry smiled at his mentor. 'Thank you.' he said softly. Albus smiled a nd hugged him again. 'Enjoy yourself, my boy. You will still be under the Fideli us for the moment but it shouldn't curb your fun.' The Headmaster winked and Har ry blushed. 'Harry, Emilie.' Minerva sniffed. 'I'm just so happy for you both.' 'Thank you Professor.' Emilie smiled. 'Thank you for all your advice.' 'Advice?' Harry raised an eyebrow. Emilie blushed. 'Advice.' She nodded primly as the others giggled. They turned to Sirius who gra bbed them both in a fierce bear hug. 'Sirius, breathe.' Harry choked, gasping as his godfather released him. Emilie l ooked positively blue. 'Take care, kiddo.' Sirius whispered and Harry rolled his eyes. He gave his gods on one last hug before turning to Emilie and hugging her too. 'Give him time.' he whispered in her ear. 'Everything won't sink in for a few da ys.' She nodded and hands clasped they walked over to Dudley and the chosen ones . They hugged Dudley first. 'Have a good time at the Weasley's Dudley and make sure you take a few photo's o f your mum and dad when you tell them you're a wizard.' Harry snickered. 'I pay to see those. Tell Severus.' Harry winced. 'Tell him to take the money from my v ault for anything you need.' Dudley nodded his thanks. Hermione and Ginny had te ars streaming down their cheeks as Harry hugged them both. 'You lot look after each other.' he said sternly. 'and make sure you practice.' 'Ron. Take care of the girls, and try not to let Dudley set fire to anything. Yo u know how these first years are.' Harry snorted. As Emilie said her goodbyes to the others, Harry turned to Draco. 'Dragon,' he whispered, Draco didn't say anything but hugged his brother, for th at was what they really were. 'Keep an eye on everybody for me, don't let them n eglect their training.' Draco nodded. 'Oh, and behave yourself.' Harry warned. 'Define behave.' Draco smirked, as Harry rolled his eyes causing the others to g iggle. Harry put his arms around Emilie and hugged her close, pulling the chain out from under his robes. 'Goodbye, see you all in a month.' they called, as Harry wrapped his hand around the medallion and they felt the familiar tug from behind their navel. In the fe w seconds before they disappeared, they saw everyone crying and smiling and wavi ng and finally, Harry knew he could be happy. There you have it folks. Just the Epilogue to go and then I might decide to writ e a sequel set say ten years later. I don't know. It depends how much you want i t. My husband wants me to get back to my original novel that I had only written three chapters of and put aside in favour of this as it was just too hard to wri te both at once.

We'll see. Please review and let me know what you liked and what you didn't as well as anyt hing you want tied up in the Epilogue. Thanks again for being so faithful. Yours, Mione. Epilogue - No Regrets and New Beginnings Draco and Ron decided to accompany Dudley and Severus to the Dursleys. Purely fo r entertainment value, of course. Draco went down to the dungeons early to fetch Severus as Ron and Dudley finished their breakfast. They had stayed up quite la te last night. Dumbledore throwing an impromptu party to celebrate the downfall of the Dark Lord. Angelina and Patience had been reluctant to join in at first, but soon Fred and George had them laughing along with everybody else. No one, ba r Dumbledore had seen Severus however, since he had fled Harry's rooms. Draco floated a tray of tea and toast in front of him as he descended into the d ungeons, a place he hadn't been, other than for potions, since before Christmas. He knocked on Severus' door and gave the password before levitating the tray in and placing down on the desk. He found Severus in the sitting room, slumped in a chair, books and parchment scattered haphazardly around him. Draco picked up o ne of the many empty bottles lying on the floor and sniffed. 'Brandy.' he murmured. 'Not good.' He reached over to shake Severus' shoulder. 'Sev. Hey Sev, wake up.' Draco said softly. Severus grunted and opened his eyes slowly, groaning as the light assaulted him. 'Oh, god.' he groaned. 'Go away and leave me in peace.' 'I don't think so.' Draco sighed. 'Get up. You promised to talk to the Dursleys. ' 'Go away.' Severus growled. 'No.' Draco said petulantly. Severus drew himself up out of the chair and gave t he ex-Slytherin his best death glare. Draco just laughed. 'It doesn't work on me Sev. I know you too well.' he chuckled. Severus sighed an d dropped back down in his chair. 'Why, Draco? Why did I do it? I only wanted to save him and now I've lost him fo r ever.' Severus' voice trembled. 'He was like a son to me and now he can't even look at me. What am I going to do?' Severus buried his face in his hands as Dra co patted him reassuringly on the shoulder. 'He'll come around Severus. Emilie will see to it. She will make him see sense.' Draco said softly. Severus looked up at him. 'Really.' he said pleadingly. 'Sure.' Draco said with a conviction he certainly wasn't feeling. 'Now hurry up and get changed, and for gods sake, do something about your breath. You won't ne ed to scare the fat muggle, you will just have to breath on him and he will pass out from alcohol fumes.' Draco yanked the man out of the chair and pushed him t owards the bathroom. 'We will meet you in the entrance hall in fifteen minutes.'

he yelled over his shoulder as he waltzed out of the room. 'How is he?' Ron asked Draco when he got back to the great hall. 'Crap.' Draco said truthfully, taking a sip of pumpkin juice. 'I honestly don't know who to feel more sorry for.' Ron admitted. 'Severus.' Draco said firmly. Ron raised and eyebrow. 'Yes. What he did was wron g, but he had a very good reason to do it and now he has lost everything. Harry has Emilie and they are together. That is all Severus wanted. For Harry to be ha ppy. I think Harry was probably a bit hard on him.' Draco's voice lowered. 'If E milie had told me about the spell, I probably would have done it too.' Ron and D udley stared at him. Draco just shrugged. 'I would have tried anything to save H arry.' 'Me too.' Ron admitted. 'Me as well.' Dudley piped up. The other two looked at him. 'I would. There is j ust something about him that makes you want to help him. Want to follow him. Don 't know what it is. Why do you think I sent that letter to Professor Dumbledore last summer? Something told me I had too.' This time it was Dudley's turn to shr ug. They all continued eating as their individual thoughts whirled around in their h eads. The other students had left early this morning and Hermione and Ginny had gone home yesterday with Molly and Arthur. Both girls a bit emotional after the events of the day. Emilie's grandparents had been forgotten in all of the emotio ns and had flooed home after the battle, too distressed to stay. Minerva had had to floo to France to let them know that their granddaughter was in fact alive a nd would be back in a month. She still hadn't returned and Draco imagined that s he was having a hard time convincing them that she wasn't completely mad. Snape strode in to the hall them, back ramrod straight and fists tightly clenche d. Draco looked at him carefully. He could see the older man struggling internal ly even though his face held the same glare it always did. As with Harry, it was all in the eyes. 'Ready.' Severus snapped. The three boys nodded and grabbed their bags. The Weas leys had taken all of the belongings home with them leaving the boys with just a small back pack to carry. 'Yes Sir.' Ron said quickly and they followed the billowing black robes from the hall. Down at the school gates, Severus pulled out a copy of the Daily Prophet. 'Portkey.' he told them and they all grabbed hold. Severus tapped it once with h is wand and they all disappeared. 'That really is so cool.' Dudley grinned, as Draco and Ron's breakfasts threaten ed to make a reappearance. 'You are one twisted soul, Dudley.' Ron groaned, clutching his stomach as Draco tried to hide the slightly green pallor he knew his face had turned. Severus ign ored them all and began to walk down the alley, the three boys following him qui ckly. 'Do you think we should take off our robes?' Draco said quickly. Severus grunted and stopped, spinning to face the three boys, wand poised. Four muttered incant ations later, they were dressed in jeans and shirts and quickly continued on the ir way.

When they got to number four, Dudley went in first, depositing his bag on the ta ble in the hall. 'Oh Dudders, is that you?' they heard the whiney voice of Petunia Dursley filter in from the kitchen. 'We were getting worried about you last night, but then a lady called from your school to say that practice had run late and you would be home in the morning.' Ron looked over at Draco and smirked. 'Hermione.' both boys said at once and Dudley giggled. Petunia came through the door from the kitchen, carrying a tray of tea and biscuits. Upon catching sight of Severus, standing there in all his menacing glory, the tray hit the ground wi th a crash, and that was followed quickly by a horrified scream. 'You.' Petunia stammered pointing to Severus. Just then Vernon barrelled through the back door. 'You.' Vernon spat, catching sight of the tall man in black. 'Now that my identity has been established.' Severus said dryly, causing all thr ee boys to snicker. 'We have come for Dudley's things.' 'What do you mean, his things?' Vernon yelled. 'You aren't taking his things any where. They belong to him.' Severus just sighed and stared piercingly at the fat man in front of him. 'Yes, they do. That's why we are here. Otherwise he will have nothing to wear ov er the summer.' 'Summer.' blustered Vernon as Petunia continued to shake on the spot. 'He's stay ing here for the summer. Do you really think I would let him go with you?' 'Dudley is going to stay with Ron and Draco at the Burrow for the summer, so tha t he can catch up to the others before the new school year at Hogwarts.' Severus kept his voice deadly calm. 'Hog... Hogwarts. Dudders can't go there. Only freaks go there.' Petunia stammer ed. 'Mum.' Dudley interrupted, a look of glee on his face. 'I would appreciate it if you didn't refer to me as a freak.' he said politely, causing Ron and Draco to start snickering again. 'What?' she stammered, as Vernon turned an alarming shade of purple. 'I'm a wizard now.' Dudley said proudly. 'I haven't been at school for the last few days. I've been at Hogwarts. I was part of Harry's wedding. 'Do not mention that freak's name in this house.' Vernon roared. 'Shit.' Draco said as Severus whipped out his wand. 'Don't you dare call him that,' Severus snarled, glaring with undisguised hatred at the fat man in front of him. 'Why not? He is a freak. A lazy, good for nothing, bastard, freak.' 'Cruc....' 'No.' Draco yelled grabbing Severus' shoulders and spinning the man to face him.

'Severus, calm down. You don't want to do this.' The fire in the older man's ey es wasn't going away, and the hand on his wand was so tightly clenched that Drac o thought it might snap. 'Think of Harry.' Draco whispered. The fire died and Severus' shoulders slumped. 'Ron why don't you go and help Dudley pack his things.' Draco said quietly. The two boys nodded and bounded for the stairs. Draco turned to the Dursleys. 'Now listen here,' Draco hissed. 'Dudley is coming home with us. He asked to be a wizard and he wants to go to Hogwarts. You will see him next summer if, and th at is a big if, you accept him for what he now is. Otherwise he will stay with u s. Do not worry about money, Harry will see to it that he has everything he need s.' Ron and Dudley joined them then and they all headed towards the door. 'By Mum, Dad. I will write to you.' Dudley promised, giving each of his speechle ss, unresponsive parents a hug. 'Oh, and you had better get used to owls if you want to write to your son.' Drac o yelled over his shoulder as they all walked out of the house and closed the do or behind them. Severus shrunk Dudley's things and they all put them in pockets before walking back up the street towards the alley. Ron and Dudley were running happily up the street, whooping and hollering. 'Are you okay, Sev?' Draco asked softly. Severus didn't say anything, just kept walking, his eyes ahead. Back in the alley, Severus transfigured them back into robes and pulled out another portkey. This time a copy of Witch Weekly. A few moments later they landed in Diagon Alley and walked down towards Flourish and Blotts. There were people laughing and singing, celebrating Voldemort's def eat. Everyone seemed overly happy which just seemed to send Severus into a more depressed state. They called and waved to Ron and Draco, some running up to shak e their hands and thank them. Dudley's jaw was almost on the ground as he stared at everything around him. Three times, Ron or Draco had to run back, and pry hi m away from a shop window and drag him back to the others. In Flourish and Blott s Severus ordered him a full set of both fourth and fifth year books, as well as some of the ones from the lower years that he thought he might need. At the cou nter, the assistant rang up the total. 'That will be one hundred and eighty two galleons and forty sickles.' she said p rimly. 'Please charge it to Mr Harry Potter's account.' Severus replied. The sales assi stant just looked at him and then sneered. 'Do you have authorisation?' she asked nastily. Dudley reached into her pocket a nd handed her a piece of parchment Harry had kindly sent with Erte that morning. She sniffed and snatched the parchment from his hand, unrolling it and scanning down the page, her eyes widening. All four of them smirked at her but she recov ered quickly. 'His cousin, you say.' An eyebrow was raised as she eyed Dudley appreciatively. Draco and Ron snorted and Dudley bushed to the tips of his ears. She packed up t he books, which Severus again shrunk and they headed for the door. 'Oh, and well done for yesterday, Mr Malfoy, Mr Weasley.' She smiled coyly. This time it was Draco and Ron's turn to blush Severus just snorted and walked out of the shop. N ext they went to the Apocathary for potions ingredients and a cauldron, but even Severus' favourite shop failed to lift his spirits. When they all arrived at Ma dame Malkin's she glided over as soon as she saw them, leaving the customer she was currently serving to one of her assistants.

'Mr Malfoy, Mr Weasley, what an absolute pleasure.' she cried, completely ignori ng Severus but making sure to draw the attention of every single person in the s tore. 'What can we do for you today?' she asked sweetly. 'Nothing for us today but Dudley needs some everyday robes.' Draco told her. 'Dudley?' she said. 'Dudley Dursley. This is Harry's cousin.' Draco smiled. 'Oh my, Mr Potter's cousin.' Madame Malkin was fanning herself with her hand. Sh e was so excited to meet a blood relative of Harry's that she looked as if she m ight faint at any moment. Draco and Ron snorted as Dudley rolled his eyes. 'What an absolute pleasure. So where is Mr Potter at the moment? Is he here?' she sca nned the entrance to see if Harry was hiding. 'He's on his honeymoon.' Severus growled. Madame Malkin jumped. 'Oh, Professor Snape. I didn't see you standing there in the shadows.' she stutt ered. Severus just growled again and leant further into the corner. 'Right. Well . Robes. Come over here Mr Dursley and stand on the box and let me measure you.' Dudley did as he was told glaring at Draco and Ron, who continued to snicker qu ietly in the corner. Half an hour later they left complete with three new sets o f robes. Madame Malkin not even blinking at the letter from Harry. 'What else?' Dudley asked. 'A wand.' Severus snapped, striding briskly up the alley. They all piled into Ol livander's. Dudley looked around at all the wands on display. 'Cool.' Dudley whispered. Just then there was a creak up one of the aisles and a very old and knarled man shuffled up to the counter. He looked at Severus and t hen at the three boys. 'Can I help you?' he asked softly. 'Dudley needs a wand please Mr Ollivander.' Draco told him. Mr Ollivander looked piercingly at Dudley, who shifted nervously. 'Dudley?' Mr Ollivander whispered. 'Dudley Dursley.' Ron offered. Mr Ollivander seemed to think for a moment. 'I don't remember any Dursley on any of the Hogwarts lists.' 'He's Harry's cousin. Harry did it.' Draco said by way of explanation. Mr Olliva nder's eyes flew open so wide, the boys thought they might fall out of his head. 'Mr Potter's cousin you say. Curious. Very curious.' Mr Ollivander looked Dudley up and down once more before disappearing down one of the dusty aisles. 'That is one creepy guy.' Dudley whispered to Ron and Draco who nodded their agr eement. They heard shuffling and the old man appeared. He lay a box down on the counter and handed Dudley a wand. 'Eleven inches, flexible, dragon heartstring.' he told them. Dudley just looked at him stupidly. 'Well, give it a wave.' Dudley still looked at him in confusion but then shrugged and waved his arm once. Causing the window to shatter. Dudley yelped and almost threw the wand down on the desk. Severus pointed his wand at the broken window.

'Reparo.' he said listlessly. Mr Ollivander came back with another wand and agai n handed it to Dudley. This pattern continued for some time. Dudley broke things , Severus repaired them and Mr Ollivander went and fetched yet another wand. Ron and Draco just snickered softly in the corner. Well they did, until Dudley acci dentally turned both of their hair green and Severus, who finally found a small amount of amusement in something, refused to turn it back. After that, they just sulked in the corner. Finally, when the counter was almost bending under the we ight of so many wands, Mr Ollivander seemed to think very carefully for a moment . Then he ran his little moving ladder right to the end of it's rails and climbe d right to the top rung and reached far in to the corner of the top shelf, pulli ng out a box so dusty you couldn't even tell what colour it was. He climbed back down and opened the box. 'Twelve and a quarter inches. Willow, very flexible. Hair from the tail of a gol den griffin.' he said, eyes twinkling as he handed Dudley the wand. Draco and Ro n had stopped sulking at this revelation and were watching Dudley intently. Even Severus seemed to come a bit out of his depression. Dudley, his hand shaking , reached out and took the wand. Instantly Dudley felt a warmth shoot up his arm a nd red sparks flew out the end of the wand. Draco and Ron leapt up off their cha irs, whooping and hollering. 'Very curious.' Mr Ollivander whispered. 'Sorry Mr Ollivander, but what's curious?' Draco asked. 'There have only been two known golden griffin animagus and only two sightings o f actual creatures ever. No one could ever get near a wild one so this wand core was given by an animagus. By Godric Gryffindor, in fact. How exactly are you re lated to Mr Potter?' Mr Ollivander said. 'My mother is Harry's mother's sister.' Dudley replied. 'So you also have the blood of both Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, and now, with this wand, you also carry around a piece of Gryffindor.' Mr Ollivander seemed to con template something for a moment. 'I will be very interesting to see how you turn out, Mr Dursley. Very interesting indeed.' No one said anything for a moment as Mr Ollivander waved his wand, making the piles on the counter leap back into th eir boxes and onto the shelves. 'Eight galleons please.' Mr Ollivander whispered. 'Please charge it to Mr Potter's account.' Severus said softly. Mr Ollivander ju st nodded, not needing to see the note from Harry. He handed Dudley the box cont aining his new wand and disappeared back down a dusty aisle. Severus was waiting at the door. 'I'm not going out there like this.' Draco hissed, pointing to his hair. Severus just sighed and pointed his wand, returning Draco and Ron's hair back to their normal shades. 'Let's go.' Severus said gruffly, striding quickly towards the Leaky Cauldron. T he three boys hurrying after him. From the pub they flooed to the Burrow, tumbli ng out of the fireplace one after the other. Severus, of course, stepped neatly from the grate, looking down at the three laughing and soot covered boys with a grimace. 'Good afternoon Molly.' Severus said politely, as the short red head came into t he kitchen to greet them.

'Severus.' she replied warmly. 'Won't you stay for tea.' Severus shook his head. 'No. Sorry. I have things that I must attend to.' he said stiffly before turning to face the boys. 'You three, as well as Miss Granger and Miss Weasley have spe cial dispensation from the Minister to practice magic over the summer, but.' he added at the boys gleeful expressions. 'it is limited to what you need to teach to Mr Dursley..' he pointed a finger at them. 'Don't make Sirius regret this.' T he three boys shuddered visibly and shook their heads. 'Have a good summer.' he said as he walked outside to apparate. Draco ran after him. 'Sev. Sev, wait.' he yelled. Severus stopped walking but didn't turn around. 'Ar e you going to be okay?' Draco asked. 'I'll be fine.' he said gruffly, trying very hard to hide the tremor in his voic e. Without another word he apparated away , leaving Draco standing there, lookin g at nothing, but vowing to send Dumbledore an owl the minute he got inside. 'Oh Harry, this is so beautiful. I wish we didn't have to go home.' Emilie sighe d as she played with the buttons on his shirt. They were lying under an enormous oak tree, a picnic spread out around them. They had been at the cottage for ove r three weeks now and only had a few days before they returned to Hogwarts. 'We don't if you don't want to.' he murmured into her hair. 'Good try Harry. But we have to go back.' she scolded softly. Harry scowled. 'Why? Voldemort is gone. Albus doesn't really need me to teach. No one needs me now.' 'Severus needs you.' Emilie said softly. Harry stiffened. 'I told you I don't want to talk about it.' 'But Harry, you have to talk about it. It isn't good for you to bottle it up.' H arry sighed. 'Em, I just don't..... I can't get past.....' Harry whispered. 'You want to know why he did it?' Emilie said. Harry nodded. 'Well just imagine this for me. Imagine you are Severus. A man who has definitely not had a good li fe. At forty you find out you are guardian to a boy, and not just any boy, by th e only person you ever cared about. It doesn't take long before you love that bo y as if he was your own.' Emilie placed a finger on his lips as he opened his mo uth to speak. 'No let me finish. One day, you find out that the boy is dying. No t by a desiese, but by a sacrifice that he must make. The boy won't let anybody else make this sacrifice because he says it is his job. You spend months trying to find a way to save this boy that you love so much, and then one day someone c omes to you, and hands you a way to do it on a silver platter.' Again Emilie pla ced a finger on his lips and shook her head. 'This way involves some risk, but t he person says it will work and it is the only way to save that boy that you lov e so much, You know the boy will never agree, so together you figure out a plan so that that boy you love doesn't have to die.' Emilie finished softly. Harry lo oked intently at her. 'You said I loved that boy four times.' Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Yes.' Emilie said simply. 'If I loved the boy that much, I would never have done what I did.' Harry growle d.

'It was because you loved the boy that much, that you did what you did.' Emilie said softly. Harry seemed to be deep in thought for a moment before sighing. 'My god, I've been such an idiot, haven't I.' he groaned, burying his head in he r hair. 'Yes darling, I'm afraid you have. But hopefully it isn't to late.' Harry's head shot up. 'Too late?' Harry asked. Emilie nodded sadly, and pulled a letter from her pocke t. 'Erte bought this four days ago.' she said, handing him the letter. Harry opened the letter and scanned it, visibly paling. 'Oh my god, Em. What have I done?' Harry whispered, staring at the letter. It wa s from Albus and he was begging, yes begging Emilie to talk to Harry about Sever us. Harry couldn't remember ever hearing his mentor beg for anything. Apparently , after what happened, Severus had retreated into himself, never coming out of h is dungeons or seeing anybody. He refused to eat or sleep and if anyone managed to get into his rooms and talk to him, he just said that he was sorry before wal king out of the room. Earlier in the week, at the urging of a trembling house el f, Dumbledore had gone to see his potions master, and after disabling the wards to his rooms, walked in to see the younger man out cold on the floor. Levitating the potions master, Dumbledore quickly rushed him up to the hospital wing, call ing for Poppy. Severus had been their ever since. He had yet to wake up. 'Why didn't you show me this before?' Harry said accusingly. 'Because I didn't want you to go and see him out of guilt. I wanted you to go ba ck out of love.' she said softly. 'Em, I know we have a few days left but please, can we go back? Today. Now?' Har ry begged. Emilie smiled. 'I was hoping you would say that.' She kissed him softly. 'Dobby and Winky have already packed so all you have to do use the portkey.' Harry gazed at her with u ndisguised love and wrapped both arms around her. 'I Love you.' he murmured, as he pulled the portkey out from under his shirt. 'H ogwarts.' he said and they disappeared. Landing in Dumbledore's office, they noted it was empty. 'Must be in the hospital wing.' Harry said, grabbing Emilie's hand and dragging her down the stairs and through the halls towards the hospital wing. 'Harry.' Emilie panted. 'Couldn't we have just jumped down here.' 'Sorry. I forgot.' Harry snickered, as the door to the wing came into sight. Whi le Harry had still trained every day, Emilie had just been content to sit and wa tch him. Harry and Emilie hurried through it quickly and spotted Albus, Minerva and Remus talking softly outside one of the private rooms. 'Harry. Emilie.' Minerva cried. 'Thank god you've come.' Harry embraced Albus an

d then Remus as Emilie and Minerva greeted each other. 'Albus. Is he.....?' Harry couldn't finish the question. The twinkle that had be en in the Headmaster's eye when he had seen them, died. 'Not yet. Poppy doesn't know what is wrong. She has given him replacement potion s and said there is no reason why he won't wake up, except that he doesn't seem to want to. Thank you for coming back.' Albus added, whispering softly. Harry no dded and hesitantly placed a hand on the door knob. Taking a deep breath he push ed it open, and gasped. Severus was laying completely still. He was so pale that Harry silently thanked Merlin that he had spoken to Albus first, or he might ha ve thought his guardian was dead. His guardian. Harry hadn't thought of Severus like that in almost a month. He walked quietly o ver to the bed and perched on the edge. He felt Emilie place her hand on his sho ulder as he took in the grey pallor and dark circles on the figure in front of h im. Harry sighed and placed his hand on Severus' chest. 'Severus.' he whispered. 'Severus, please wake up.' Severus shifted slightly and Harry tried again. 'Severus, please wake up. It's me, Harry. I need you to wake up. Please.' Harry begged. Severus shifted once more before his eyes flickered a few times and finally opened. 'Harry.' Severus croaked. 'Yes. It's me.' Severus shrank back in the bed. Harry grabbed his wrist. 'Severu s, it's okay. I understand now. I forgive you.' 'Really?' The look of pure joy on his guardian's face touched Harry in a way tha t hadn't happened before, and he now realised how wrong he had been. 'Yes Sev. I love you, and I was wrong to say what I did.' Harry said softly. 'No Harry. You were right. You trusted me and I betrayed you.' Severus whispered . 'I understand why you did it, Severus. It doesn't matter now.' Harry smiled. Sev erus awkwardly sat himself up and they both wrapped their arms around each other , tears rolling down both their cheeks. Harry could hear both Minerva and Emilie sniffling softly behind them. 'Now, I think it is time you got out of that bed and joined the rest of us for dinner.' Harry snickered, sending a healing burst of energy down through his hands. Severus instantly perked up and practically sp rang from the bed and out of the room, yelling over his shoulder that he was jus t going to get changed and would see them shortly. 'You do that on purpose, don't you Harry?' Albus chuckled, eyes twinkling. Harry just looked wide eyed at his mentor. 'Do what, Albus?' Harry said innocently, standing and drawing Emilie to him. Alb us snorted. 'You know exactly what I mean.' he said firmly. 'Come on.' he called from the do orway. 'Let's go to dinner.' They all slowly filed out of the hospital wing, Min erva stopping to let Poppy know what had happened, and headed towards the great hall. Dudley and the chosen ones were spread out around the backyard of the Burrow. Fr ed and George had ensconced themselves in Arthur's garage and every so often a l

oud bang would go off causing the walls to shake and smoke to billow out form der the door. Draco and Ron were currently trying to duel with the two swords ke Harry did, but with out much success and with a lot of accidents. Hermione d to keep rushing over from where she and Ginny were going through the fourth ar Transfiguration text with Dudley, to heal their latest gashes and scrapes.

un li ha ye

'That's it. That is enough.' she yelled when she saw Draco nearly take Ron's arm off. 'Face it. You can't do it. You will just have to wait for Harry to teach y ou properly.' she said sternly. 'But Harry can do it so easily.' Ron whined. Hermione just raised an eyebrow at him. Draco snorted and punched Ron in the shoulder. 'Come and help.' Ginny yelled at them. Sighing the two boys dropped the swords o n the pile of weapons and went over to collapse under the large tree where Dudle y and the girls were sitting. 'Now we need to practice DADA. Dumbledore will be coming to test you on the four th year stuff tomorrow.' Hermione said, opening a book. Dumbledore had been comi ng once a week to test Dudley on what he had learnt. With the undivided help of the chosen ones as well as the blood of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff running through his veins, he was learning quickly. The fact that he didn't have to spend hours doing homework and writing essays helped. The first three years had been easy, fourth year was much harder and Dudley really didn't think he was ready to be te sted yet. 'Couldn't we put him off for another week?' Dudley asked quietly. Hermione shook her head. 'Don't worry, he will just pass the things you can do and retest you on the othe rs again in a week.' she said kindly. This seemed to perk Dudley up a bit and th ey got stuck back into the text. Remus had come over the week before and brought with him some Grindylows and other dark creatures. Dudley's eyes had almost fel l out of his head at the sight of them but he had bravely faced them, trying des perately to remember all that had been pounded into his head over the last month , and eventually he succeeded. They spent two hours on curses and counter curses. Hermione again showing Dudley the correct wand movement as he tried to get through Draco's shield. Another ho ur, spent dodging and trying counter curses, most of which Dudley spent falling on his backside, and they were finished. 'When do I get to try one of those shield things?' Dudley groaned, as Ron helped him up for at least the twentieth time. 'Fifth year.' Draco snickered. Hermione smiled at him. 'Come on. Let's go inside and work on Potions.' She said briskly. Dudley sighed and dutifully followed the others back in to the kitchen. Molly had set up a sma ll table, off to one side, where Dudley could work his way through the potions. His last fourth year potion was a delicate healing potion for burns, and Dudley had spent most of the evening before, curled on the couch, reading over the ingr edients and preparation. The chosen ones sat at the kitchen table to watch as Du dley began to chop the nettles. 'Do you think Griffin will every forgive Severus?' Ginny whispered. The others l ooked downcast. 'I hope so.' Hermione said softly. 'I think Griffin needs him just as much as Se verus needs Griffin.'

'I hope Emilie can make him see sense.' Ron whispered back. 'Not likely.' Draco snorted. Dudley looked up then. 'Don't worry.' Hermione told him. 'You're doing fine.' Dudley smiled and turned back to his potion. 'Draco, what do you think will happen now? Now that Voldemort is gone, I mean.' Ginny whispered. Draco shrugged. 'I honestly don't know. I know Griffin had lots of requests to sort out the Auro rs and Unspeakables around the world but I can't see him leaving Emilie for very long, if at all, and she still has two years to go at Hogwarts.' 'I can't believe he is finally gone.' Hermione said, a lone tear trickling down her cheek. This was the first time any of them had spoken about Voldemort and wh at had happened at Harry and Emilie's wedding. It had all been a bit to painful. 'Come on now. We are supposed to be happy about this.' Ron said softly, drawing her into a hug. 'I know, but it all feels so final.' 'It is final, now we can go back to living our own lives again.' Ron insisted. 'God knows how Harry is dealing with this.' Draco wondered aloud. 'What do you mean?' Dudley asked, overhearing the conversation as he carefully s tirred his potion. 'Voldemort has always been Harry's job. Well, maybe destiny is a better word. Du ring all of the battles and over the years, Harry hasn't worried about what he w ould do after school, because he didn't think he would be around to worry about it. Right up until Patience stole the rune and gave it to Emilie, Harry knew he was going to die.' Ginny, Hermione and Ron all stared at Draco as he spoke so ma tter of factly. 'He never made any plans really, beyond Voldemort. I know he mad e plans with Emilie, but he thought the final battle would be many years from no w. I don't think he thought that Voldemort would come for him as soon as he got a body back. I don't think he thought that he would be that stupid. Apparently h e didn't have a choice though, according to a few of the captured Death Eaters. They said that Voldemort had to try and get to Harry immediately, it was the onl y way to get his power back.' Draco told them. 'I just wonder' he continued soft ly. 'whether Harry will be able to sit back and watch the world go by. I know he said he wanted nothing more than to live in peace with Emilie and have a family , but I just wonder whether he will be able to relax like that. For so long he h as been focused on one purpose. His whole life has built to that one moment. Tal k about an anti-climax, and we know that Harry is not one to sit back and watch. Not with that guilt complex of his. I just ....' Draco trailed off, unable to f inish. 'I just don't know.' Draco whispered. None of the others said anything. J ust sat there in the uncomfortable silence as Dudley poured the potion into a vi al and packed away his cauldron. All of them now worried about their friend, and all wishing the days would go faster. The next morning the Weasleys, Hermione and Dudley, who had been named as an hon ourary one by Fred and George after he helped them set a prank on Ron and Draco, were sitting down to a very late breakfast, thanks largely in part to Fred and George, who accidentally set of a box of Filibusters Fireworks off as they carri ed it through the kitchen and out to the garage. Suddenly the fireplace roared g reen and Dumbledore stepped out of the grate.

'Albus.' Molly greeted him, quickly thrusting a cup of tea in his hand. The fire roared again and this time Severus appeared. 'Good morning.' he said jovially. The chosen ones all looked at each other, eyeb rows raised. Dumbledore had kept them all up to date with the potions master's c ondition over the last weeks. The explanation for Severus' exceptionally good mo od was explained shortly thereafter as Harry and Emilie, one after the other, tu mbled out of the fireplace. 'Griffin, Emilie.' the chosen ones screamed in unison as they all leapt of their chairs and dropped in a pile on the floor on top of their friends. 'Get off.' Harry hissed loudly from under the pile. Sheepishly the four stood an d helped Emilie up. Ron offered Harry his hand but Harry shook his head. His eye s glanced over at Emilie from his prone position on the floor and she nodded, re alising what was wrong. She dropped to kneel next to him, sliding her hand under neath his lower back and massaging gently. A few tense minutes later Harry's fac e began to rearrange itself from it's previous grimace into a soft smile. 'Thanks.' he whispered, leaning over to place a soft kiss on her lips. She smile d and helped him up slowly. 'Sorry Griffin, we forgot.' Draco said sheepishly. 'It's okay Dragon. I understand. I was happy to see you lot too.' Harry grinned. Noticing his cousin he waved. 'Hey Dudley. Fred, George.' the twins received a quick nod. 'Molly, Arthur.' Harry gave Molly a hug and shook Arthur's hand. 'It' s great to see you all again.' he said genuinely as he wrapped his arms around E milie's waist and she rested her head back on Harry's chest. The chosen ones exc hanged a glance. Silent communication on the level of closeness and familiarity that Harry and Emilie now showed. 'Hi Harry.' Dudley said getting up from the table. 'How've you been.' Harry smil ed and squeezed Emilie tightly. 'Pretty good, Dudley. Thanks for asking. How's the studying going?' Harry laughe d as Dudley rolled his eyes. 'Hermione still the task master then?' Draco and Ro n snorted as Hermione blushed. 'Uh yeah.' Dudley snickered. 'We're here to test you for fourth year, Albus tells me.' Harry said, smiling wi ckedly. Dudley paled. 'You're testing me.' he stammered. 'Yep.' Harry snickered. 'Ow.' he whined, rubbing his side after Emilie elbowed h im. 'What was that for?' 'Stop teasing him.' she said sternly. 'Sorry.' Harry said hastily. Ron and Draco looked at each other and both ground their thumb into the palm of their other hand causing Hermione, Ginny and Severu s, all of whom saw the action, to burst out laughing. 'Come on everyone. Dudley have you finished your breakfast.' Albus asked. Dudley nodded, breakfast suddenly not sounding like such a good idea. 'Then lets get s tarted. How about we begin with Charms.' Dumbledore walked out to the back yard and everyone followed. 'We will do all of the practical work this morning and th

en this afternoon you can sit the written portions for each subject.' Dudley nod ded wordlessly, and walked over to stand in the middle of the yard. 'Come on you lot.' Molly said, grabbing arms and backs of shirts. 'Dudley doesn' t need you watching.' Molly pushed the chosen ones and Fred and George back in t he house. 'You can go and de-gnome the front yard.' 'I'll go with them and leave you in peace.' Emilie whispered, standing on tiptoe s to give Harry a kiss. 'Don't go too far away.' Harry said softly. Emilie shook her head and smiled. 'Never.' she whispered, kissing him again. * * * * * * * * * * Emilie and the others had just sat down to lunch when Albus, Severus, Harry and an extremely exhausted but happy looking Dudley joined them from the back yard. Draco raised an eyebrow at Harry who grinned and nodded his head. The other thre e saw the exchange and all sighed with relief. After lunch Albus and Severus ret urned to Hogwarts, leaving Harry and Emilie with the chosen ones and Fred and Ge orge while Molly supervised Dudley's written exams. They were all sitting outsid e, back under that large oak tree. Harry was leaning back against the trunk, Emi lie curled in his arms. 'I'm glad you and Professor Snape are talking again.' Ginny said softly. Harry n odded and smiled. 'Yes, I am too.' he said softly. 'How's the first half of summer been anyway?' 'Busy.' said Hermione. 'You all seemed to have done a great job with Dudley.' Harry said, eyes shining. 'Have you tried duelling with him yet?' Draco blushed bright red and suddenly f ound the ground very interesting. 'What happened?' Harry asked intrigued. 'It's very hard to fight someone who isn't trained, and not accidentally kill th em.' Draco whined in his defence. Harry raised an eyebrow. 'Draco and Ron were trying to teach him to use the sword and Draco almost took h is head off.' Hermione giggled. 'Dudley won't go anywhere near either of them an ymore, not when they have weapons in their hands anyway.' Harry and Emilie snick ered quietly. 'Well Dudley is not the most athletic of people.' Harry admitted. 'Maybe you sho uld just work on his fitness first. Has he been on a broom yet?' This time the c hosen ones burst out laughing. 'What?' 'I have two words for you Griffin.' Ron said gasping for breath. 'Neville Longbo ttom.' Harry looked sad and confused for a moment before he realised what they m eant. 'That bad?' Harry joined in the laughter this time, as he thought fondly of his classmate who had fought so bravely that Halloween night. 'Anyway, Em and I shou ld be getting back. We are going to France tomorrow.' 'Really?' Hermione asked. Emilie nodded. 'I haven't seen my grandparents since the wedding, and apparently they still don 't believe I'm alive. Minerva spent four days there trying to convince them befo

re realising the only way they would believe it was if they saw me. Also Harry h as an meeting with Minister Heubert.' 'A meeting with the Minister, Harry. My, my. The circles we travel in these days .' Draco drawled. Harry snorted and rolled his eyes, tossing a stone at the blon d boy. 'I'm just going to look at their Auror program, that's all. I will send you a po stcard. Erte and Asha are coming with us.' he promised. 'When will you be back?' Ron asked. 'Not until the week before school starts.' 'Your going for to France for almost four weeks?' Harry shook his head. 'No, we're only in France for a week before we go to Spain, then Germany, Switze rland, Russia, Italy, Canada and the States.' he said ticking the countries of o n his fingers. The chosen ones all stared at him wide eyed. 'I'll be bringing th e special forces back to school the week I get back, even the seventh years. I h ave to take the mind link off everybody.' The chosen ones looked stricken. 'Can't we keep it?' Ginny asked hesitantly. 'Yes. For the moment you guys can. I'm only taking it off the special forces.' T hey all breathed a visible sigh of relief. 'Come on.' Harry said shifting Emilie off his lap and standing up. 'Dudley should be finished that Potions exam now a nd we really do have to go.' They all rose and walked towards the house and into the kitchen. Dudley had just set down his quill and handed Molly the parchment. 'Thank god.' he said, standing up. 'Only History of Magic and DADA to go.' Harry grinned at him. 'No regrets then?' Dudley shook his head adamantly. 'Good.' Harry hugged his cou sin firmly. 'Make sure you get all this done over the next four weeks or you mig ht end up in fourth year and I don't think Hannah would be happy.' Harry teased. Dudley blushed bright red as the chosen ones giggled. Harry hugged each of them , and promised again that they would write. He tucked the four finished exams Mo lly handed him into his cloak and grabbed a handful of Floo Powder. 'The Potter's at Hogwarts.' he hissed in Parseltongue and, grabbing Emilie firml y around the waist, stepped into the fire. The rest of the summer passed quickly and Harry and Emilie saw the world. All of the places they had planned to see. All of the places that Harry didn't think h e would be able to see. The view from the Eiffel Tower, Monmatre, the Louvre and everything else. Harry spent days helping overhaul all of the Auror programs. He met Heads of Sta te and Muggle Prime Ministers and Presidents. In secret, of course. The new prog rams he instituted were praised long and loud. They also visited the rebuilding of Beauxbatons, where Harry unveiled a special memorial, dedicated to all who ha d died that fateful December day. The week before school started the special forces returned, all very happy to se e both Emilie and Harry. There was much teasing as everything they had done had been widely reported in the wizarding newspapers, but overall everyone was just happy to be back together. Harry removed the mind link from everyone other than Angelina and Patience, who he thought it might still come in handy for, and they spent that week training hard but having fun.

'Can't have you going to the Ministry not up to scratch now can we? They might t hink I'm losing my touch.' Harry joked. They day before the rest of students ret urned, Harry held a party in the training rooms. The seventh years were going ba ck to London that evening on the Hogwarts Express and straight to the Ministry. They were losing almost half the force and Harry was glad that Voldemort was gon e as it would take a fair while to build it up again. The school just didn't hav e the talent. The students arrived and were sorted. Harry keeping Emilie and the others entert ained with little anecdotes during the feast. Emilie, as a student, still sat at the Gryffindor table. Dudley passed nearly all of his exams and Albus let him i nto sixth year anyway as Severus was going to tutor him. He was sorted in Huffle puff of all places, much to Harry and the other's dismay. The only one who didn' t seem to mind was Dudley, himself, as he sat happily down next to Hannah Abbott . The days moved into weeks and the weeks into months. Harry was still teaching th e upper three years DADA, the duelling club was back in full swing and he had th e Gryffindor quidditch team training hard. Reporters came almost daily to Hogwar ts, trying to talk to Harry and Emilie, and each morning the papers were full of how Harry would be the next Minister of Magic and the Supreme Mugwump. Harry wo uld just roll his eyes, ignore it and go back to his breakfast. Each night Harry would curl up next to Emilie and sleep the peaceful dreams of o ne who is blissfully happy. Early in March as Harry was teaching his seventh year Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw c lass there was a sharp knock at the door and it was flung open. 'Griffin, it's time.' Draco hissed. Harry looked up, eyes wide. 'Really?' he stammered. Draco nodded, grinning. 'Class dismissed.' he yelled bolting from the room. When he reached the hospital wing he found the chosen ones, Dudley, Severus, Albus, Minerva. In fact half th e school seemed to be milling about outside. Harry, a worried look on his face, moved quietly through the crowd and into the wing, closing the door softly behin d him. Three hours later the others were let in and quickly rushed over to the bed. Har ry had his arm around Emilie's shoulders, an enormous grin plastered across his face. Emilie lay under the covers, flushed but beautiful, and in her arms swathe d in blankets lay two of the most gorgeous babies any of them had ever seen. 'We'd like you all to meet Jean-Paul and Lily Eloise Potter.' Harry said proudly . There you have it. I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have enjoye d writing it. Now that I have finished I can get back to my own novel and hopefu lly it will flow as well as this has. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of you kind and helpful reviews. I may someday write a sequel to this but I must get mine finished first. If anyone would like to try and writ e the sequel I would be happy to beta read it for you. Thank you again. Kindest regards, Mione.

Chapter 1 - The Past and the Present. Harry walked out of the Ministry building and apparated to Hogwarts. As he walke d up the drive to the castle, surrounded by his Aurors, he thought back on the l ast twelve years. Harry couldn't believe how quickly it had passed. Emilie and t he chosen ones had all graduated and made their way out into the big wide world, not that they went far anyway. All of them had joined the Aurors and distinguis hed themselves highly, before returning to Hogwarts three years ago, when some o f the teachers decided that had had enough and wished to retire. Harry had conti nued to teach for almost two years after Voldemort had finally been destroyed bu t found that by the end of the second year he was in demand more an more through out the world. By the time the last of the original special forces finished thei r days at Hogwarts, Harry was a rare sight around the corridors of the school. Albus had been the first to go, a little over three years ago. He had retired wi th little fanfare to the south of France with Minerva. Severus had taken over as Headmaster and Emilie as Transfiguration Professor. Emilie had also taken over as Head of Gryffindor house, and loved each and every one of her students as if they were her own, which in turn left her with any number of babysitters when sh e really needed to see Harry. Hermione had returned as Professor of Ancient Rune s, Ginny taught Muggle Studies, of all things and Draco, of course, had Severus' old job. And Ron, well let's just say he said the best day of his life, other t han marrying Hermione, had been when Madame Hooch had decided to spend three or four years trekking around South America. The Potter's still lived at Hogwarts, in those special rooms that Harry had been given all those years before, and alt hough Harry had been given a large house in London, he very rarely stayed there, preferring to return to Emilie and the children. The children, Harry thought to himself. One minute Lily and Jean-Paul were babie s in nappies, the next they were having their first birthday, and now they were both on the Gryffindor quidditch team. JP as a Beater and Lily as Seeker. Harry shook his head as he thought of his two children. Both had Harry sparkling green eyes but whereas JP had inherited Emilie's fair hair and colouring, Spitfire Li ly as she was fondly referred to, took after her dad. Jet black hair that cascad ed down her back in waves, and it didn't matter if it was long or short, it was always messy. And she certainly did have her mother's temper when it was let loo se. Harry had hoped they would be able to grow up without fear and without war, but it was not to be. Two years ago the Ministry of Magic had been attacked in a well planned raid by someone who called themselves Count Krutormvik. Sirius had died in the attack al ong with Percy and Arthur Weasley. It had been a disastrous blow to the wizardin g world. Minister Black had been popular and fair. No one had been prepared for it and there had been no rumours of any uprising, let alone something of this ma gnitude. It had been over ten years since Voldemort and everyone was relaxed. Se curity had been taken for granted and Sirius had paid for it with his life. It h ad taken Harry a good six months to recover from the shock. In fact the only thi ng that had pulled him out of his shell had been a visit from the entire cabinet of the Ministry begging for him to take over as Minister. At first he had refus ed but the cabinet had kept asking, soon they had the papers requesting and in t urn Harry began to received hundreds of letters all telling him that they needed a leader in this time of war and he was the best they had. Emilie pleaded with him not to take it, but in the end, his 'Gryffindor morality' as Emilie called i t, had hit home, and he accepted. Emilie didn't speak to him for a week after that. It was their first real fight, Emilie screaming at him about the dangers and abo ut not being able to say no to anybody. In fact, it only ended when Harry was at tacked one evening as he apparated into Hogsmeade. Harry was okay but they lost

one of the Aurors that had been accompanying him. Emilie had come racing down fr om the castle, crying hysterically to throw herself into his arms. She never fou ght with him again after that. Now Harry had no fewer than six Aurors with him w here ever he went, under orders of the Ministry cabinet. There was no way they w anted to loose this Minister. Currently the six consisted of almost half of his original special forces team. Fred and George, Blaise, Seamus, David and Nathan all had volunteered quite loudly and firmly when Harry had become Minister. Kati e, Justin, Josh, Dean and Cho were on the morning shift with David Wittingslow, who was still extremely loyal to Harry, and would be ready at seven am to go bac k to London with him. They all had rooms at the school. When they apparated in f or the Ministry they landed in a specially warded circle just outside the gates that Harry had set up and they could step directly onto the grounds from it. Har ry could have jumped them all up to the castle, but he enjoyed this quiet walk o f an evening to try and clear his thoughts. And today they needed some clearing. Wizarding towns in both England and Germany had been attacked the day before, l eaving over eighty people dead and Harry had been distressed to find out that Co unt Krutormvik was actually Viktor Krum. That information had yet to be released to the public, but when it was, Harry knew the storm would hit. Voldemort had h ad no trouble finding followers willing to do his bidding and he hadn't been an internationally renowned quidditch player. Sure Krum didn't have Voldemort's cha risma, well, in his early days, and he wasn't much to look at, but then neither was Voldemort at the end. Deep down Harry knew they were in for what could be th e biggest war of all time. Finally Harry reached the entrance doors and waved them open, crossing into the entrance hall. Fred looked worriedly at him as he held open the door to the grea t hall. Harry nodded his thanks and tried to smile but it wouldn't come. He walk ed through the doors and up the aisle towards the head table as the Aurors stati oned themselves around the room. Two covering the doors, one either side of the hall and two following Harry to stand behind the table. Harry smiled as he heard 'Daddy.' screamed across the hall and felt his small twelve year old daughter b arrel in to him. He stopped and looked down to see his eyes reflected in matchin g green ones. However while Lily's were sparkling at the joy of seeing her fathe r again, Harry were dull and tired and lined with worry. 'Hey Princess.' he said softly, stroking her hair. 'It's good to see you too.' 'Daddy, we won against Slytherin.' she said proudly. Harry felt a pang in his he art. He had forgotten that the first quidditch game of the season had been last Saturday. 'I'm sorry I missed it, Baby.' Just then he felt a hand on his sleeve and turned to see his son standing there. JP was a spitting image of his mother, other tha n having his eyes, and it always gave Harry's heart a small leap to see him. 'He y Jean-Paul. I hear you did well against Slytherin?' Harry said giving his son a hug. JP nodded, smiling brightly. They were such happy kids, Harry just hoped t hat they would never know the pain that their parents had. 'You two had better f inish your dinner. I think your mother's getting antsy.' Harry smiled as they bo th giggled and hugged him once more before returning to the Gryffindor Table. Th e students were used to the Minister turning up during their dinner and paid Har ry no mind as he continued on towards the head table. He could see Emilie, smili ng softly, tears shining in her eyes as he walked around the table to greet her. He pulled her to him, kissing her softly before tucking her head under his chin and hugging her tightly. He had been gone for almost a two weeks. The longest h e could go on the Dreamless Sleep potion before he would have to return to Emili e. The nightmares had gone away for a few years but had returned with a vengeanc e when Sirius died. 'That bad?' Emilie whispered.

'You don't know the half of it.' he whispered back, releasing her. 'Harry.' Severus greeted him also giving him a quick hug. 'After dinner?' Harry nodded. 'Griffin.' the chosen ones chorused. Harry laughed. 'I don't know if leaving you lot linked all those years ago was such a good idea .' he chuckled. 'Is it that bad, Griffin?' Draco said softly, taking in the worried expression i n Harry's eyes despite his laughter. Harry sighed, his smile leaving him quickly . 'Yeah. I'll tell you all after dinner.' he said taking his place next to Emilie. Severus, Emilie and the chosen ones kept glancing at Harry in concern as he pus hed his food idly around his plate for the rest of the meal. Harry waited until all of the students had left for their dormitories before nod ding to the Aurors and holding his arm out. When everybody was holding on he jum ped them all up to the Headmaster's office. 'Hey Fawkes.' he trilled, catching sight of the vibrant red plumage of Albus' ol d phoenix. 'How are you?' Harry said, softly stroking the birds chest. Fawkes ti lted his head and let out a soft melody before nipping Harry gently on the finge rs in affection. Harry spent a few minutes talking with Fawkes as the others all found seats and looked at him expectantly. Harry finally turned to face them, l ooking at his nearest and dearest with sorrow. 'Eighty people died today. Twenty seven on Orion Bay in Devon and fifty three in Dusselwith in Germany.' Harry said softly. Everyone just stared at him. 'We can 't seem to find out where Krutormvik is hiding but we did find one important fac t.' Harry looked straight a Hermione. 'What is it, Griffin.' Hermione's voice trembled. 'Krutormvik is Victor Krum.' Harry whispered. 'Oh my god.' Hermione covered her mouth with her hands, her face draining of blo od. 'But I've been writing to him. Telling him all sorts of things. About Hogwar ts and you and Emilie. Oh my god.' she said again. 'What have I done?' Ron wrapp ed an arm around his wife's waist. 'It's okay Hermione. You didn't know. His letters were always so nice.' Ron said softly. Harry raised an eyebrow in wonder and glanced at Emilie. 'Who is that and where is Ron?' he sent. Emilie shook her head. 'Ron has grown up a lot over the last few years, you just haven't been here to s ee it.' she sent back in an accusing tone. Harry nodded slowly in agreement. She was right, he hadn't been around much over the last few years, particularly the last two. 'What now?' Draco asked. Harry shrugged. 'Dragon, to be honest. I really don't know.' Harry admitted. 'Harry, you can't say that.' Severus scolded. 'Not out loud. You are the Ministe r for Magic, it is your job to know.' Harry sighed loudly and ran his hand throu gh his hair as he paced back and forward in front of Severus' desk. The others c

ould all see how tense Harry was, the slight limp caused by his broken back twel ve years ago became more pronounced the more stressed and tired Harry became. It hadn't been noticeable for the first few years but as time went on it got worse . Most of the time, you would have to know him well to notice it, as the occupan ts of the room did. But tonight it was there for all to see. 'You are a leader a nd as such you have to show leadership, even when you have know idea at what is going on.' 'Your right.' Harry said, continuing to pace, his hand coming around to rest on his lower back. 'I mean remember Fudge. He never knew anything that was happenin g and yet he carried on as it nothing was going on. I can't do that Sev.' Harry stopped and looked at his guardian imploringly. 'I can't lie to people like that .' Severus came around the desk to wrap his arm around the man in front of him, giving him a firm hug. 'You don't have to Harry. You don't have to lie to them. Tell them what you know , but don't ever tell them you don't know something. They have faith in you, tru st in you Harry. We all do.' Severus gestured to the others in the room who were nodding. Just then a knock sounded at the door. 'Come in.' Severus called. 'Still can't do the door thing, hey Sev?' Harry snorted, referring to the way Al bus always used to know who was behind the door. Severus ignored him and went to take the proffered envelope from the Auror. 'It's for Minister Potter.' The young Auror said. Hogwarts had a group of twenty Aurors stationed there at all times. Harry took the envelope and thanked the Au ror. Leaning back on the desk he placed his palm over the seal on the back and m uttered the incantation. Emilie held her breath, waiting. She had seen Harry ope n a few of these special purple envelopes over the last two years and they were never good news. Sure enough, right on cue, Harry face paled as the blood draine d and he grasped hold of the edge of the desk taking several deep breaths. 'Harry?' Emilie said hesitantly, standing up and going to put her arms around hi m. 'Krutormvik. He's hit the German Ministry. It's wiped out. The Minister is dead. ' Harry whispered. 'I have to go. Sweetheart, I'm sorry but I have to get back t o London.' Harry said sadly. Emilie nodded. 'When will you be back?' she said softly. 'As soon as I can, I promise.' Harry kissed her passionately. 'Tell the children for me.' she nodded. 'I love you.' Harry gave each of the others a quick goodbye hug. 'I'll send Hedwig or Erte with any news, in the morning.' he promised. 'Oh, and can one of you let Dudley know I won't have time to see him and Hannah tomorrow. ' Harry said remembering he had promised his cousin he would have lunch with him and his wife the next day. 'No problem Griffin.' Draco said shoving him out the door. 'Go. They need you.' Harry smiled. 'Thanks Dragon.' he whispered before disappearing down the stairs. Twenty eight year old Harry Potter, Britain's current Minister for Magic, found his Aurors an d jumped them all down to the gates, where they quickly stepped into the circle and all apparated away to London. The six Professors watching from the Headmaste r's office as they disappeared. Emilie looking longingly at the spot her husband had stood for not more than a second.

There you go. Just a little teaser of the sequel which I will write one day.