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A Second Chance
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15/05/2010

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A Second Chance

Prologue:
Rick Greens and his young partner Kyle Drake were studying Stonehenge, one of the most
magical places in all of Britain. Of course, not everyone knew that it was literally a magical
place. The world of wizards and witches has been hiding from the non-magical world for
centuries, and it was supposed to stay that way. The two researchers were dressed in muggle,
or non-magical, clothing, discreetly using their wands and other devices to take readings of
certain magical energies.

"Hey Rick, over here!" Kyle called out, crouched in front of the altar stone. Rick stood up from
his spot and walked the twenty yards to his partner. Rick Greens was widely known for his
research in magical sights around the world. He had cracked many cases, and had studied
Stonehenge once before, but it had baffled him then.

"What is it?" he asked. Kyle merely pointed at an extremely small symbol at the very base of
the stone that he knew wasn't there last time he was here. Rick got on his knees and looked
closely at the symbol. It was a triangle with a circle inside it, a vertical line crossing them both
through the middle. His eyes widened. He of course knew that symbol, but those artifacts
were supposed to be a myth. "The Deathly Hallows," he whispered to himself. He didn't know
if it was possible, but decided to call in people who would know if it was. He had a friend in the
Department of Mysteries, and if this information was given, he was sure to have an
Unspeakable here very quickly. He whistled, and a hawk landed on his shoulder. He conjured
some parchment and pulled a muggle pen from his pocket. He scribbled a quick note and sent
his hawk off.

"Who was that for?" Kyle asked. Rick merely shook his head.

"If that symbol means what I think it does, we are going to need some help," he said, before
walking toward where they set up a small camp. Two hours later, they heard several cracks.
Rick spun with his wand ready. Six imposing figures stood there, all wearing jet black cloaks
trimmed with silver, except for the leader's, which was trimmed in gold. They wore their hoods
up, giving them an air of mystery. He could feel their power, and knew they weren't people to
trifle with. They quickly walked up to him.

"Rick Greens?" the apparent leader asked. Rick noticed his voice was changed by a
Concealment Charm. Rick nodded. "I am Master Unspeakable Raven." Rick's eyes widened. A
Master Unspeakable? He had not been expecting that. With what little was known of them,
they were only seen for extremely dangerous missions or mind boggling discoveries. They
were supposedly some of the most powerful men and women in the world. "This is Hound,
Blade, Hawk, Firefly, and Moonlight. We will relieve you of your research." It was said in a no
nonsense way. Rick was angered, but knew he had little choice. As much as he wanted to
continue, he knew he would be forced out if he resisted. And no one resisted a Master
Unspeakable.

"Yes sir, right away." Rick waved toward Kyle and they quickly packed up and left. When they
did, Hawk walked around and erected spells that would keep muggles away and allow them to
see Stonehenge, but not what they were doing. When that was finished, they lowered their
A Second Chance

hoods. Raven turned his sparkling emerald green eyes on Firefly, who was the only one not to
lower her hood.

"Well Gin, what do you think?" Harry Potter asked. He was a solid six feet tall, well toned, and
radiated confidence and power. It had been five years since he defeated Voldemort, a year
after his seventh year in Hogwarts. He was now twenty three years old. Ginny Potter turned to
him.

"I'm not sure. There was never any reference to Stonehenge in the legends of the Deathly
Hallows," his wife said. He had married her right out of Hogwarts. She had been turned by a
Vampire during the war, not that this mattered to Harry. She was quite pale, with longer fangs
and a cold touch. It was because of the sun that she didn't lower her hood.

"I don't remember reading anything about them either," Hawk said, pushing her bushy brown
hair out of her face. Hound looked to her and smiled.

"Well Hermione, if you can't remember, none of us will," Ron said with a laugh to his wife of
nearly a year. Hermione merely turned a little pink.

"Come on you two, we are here for work, not flirting," Blade said with a smirk from his spot
next to Moonlight. Moonlight merely had a dreamy look on her face.

"Neville, come here," Harry said to Blade. Neville moved over to him, pulling his wand out with
practiced ease. "Set up a barrier around me and the altar stone." A shimmering dome
appeared around Harry and the stone. "Good, now Luna," he said to Moonlight, "reinforce
that." Her own magic jumped from her wand, adding to Neville's. "Good. Now let's see." Harry
bent down to see the markings. There it was, the very small Deathly Hallows symbol. Only
deep and tedious observation would have ever seen it. Even then, the person would have had
to know what it meant, as well as be assured it wasn't just a crack in the rock.

"Reveal your secrets," he murmured, waving his hand in front of it. It glowed purple for an
instant, before small writing spiraled out from it.

"What does it say Harry?" Neville asked, noticing the writing with his enhanced eyesight. Being
a werewolf had its advantages. Harry quickly read the Latin.

"It says, 'Only with the conquer of Death, can Death be cheated again.' I'm not sure what it
means," he said, a look of thought coming over his face. He brushed his fingers over the
marking again, seeing it start to glow. He looked at his hand, noticing the ring he was wearing.
The Resurrection Stone. He pulled his hand back, and the glow stopped. He made a fist, and
pushed the stone against the symbol. The rock flared in a wave of light, before disappearing,
leaving a small staircase.

"So it reacts to the Deathly Hallows," he muttered. He wore the ring for sentimental value
more than anything. He had the other two as well, however preferred to use his holly wand
over the elder wand. The cloak was used almost daily. He turned back to the other five. The
dome was lowered, and they got ready to follow him.
A Second Chance

"Be on alert, stun first, kill if necessary," he said, before standing and entering the stairs. He
had his holly wand out, and lit it with a quick charm. The others did as well. This was quite
routine, as they had been a team for three years now, and of those that knew them, they were
the best. He led them down dark stairs, dust and cobwebs everywhere due to lack of use. They
had all walked in when the stone reappeared over them, blocking all natural light. Harry
merely shrugged before continuing. After a few minutes, the stairs ended, opening up into a
large room. As he took his first step, torches flared to life around the room, bathing them in
orange light.

The room was a large oval, the Deathly Hallows symbol engraved in the stone floor. Ancient
hieroglyphics coated the walls, and there was a small earth table at the end of the room, a
small object on it. Harry waved his wand a few times, determining no traps. He hesitantly
walked forward, his wand at the ready. The others branched out, scanning the room for any
threats. He came up to the table, noticing the object on it. It was an hourglass, expertly
created. It was small, the glass holding finely grained white sand. The glass was held in an
intricately carved gold and silver piece, which circled around it.

"All of these symbols involve time, rebirth, or chance," Hermione said, looking at all the
markings around them. Harry picked up the hourglass, being careful not to touch the silver
portion. Neville wasn't the only werewolf in their group. He remembered bitterly how
Voldemort had managed to arrange for Remus to bite him on a full moon. The grief and guilt
nearly consumed his honorary uncle, and Harry had barely been able to stop Remus from
killing himself. He had long accepted his condition, and the enhanced speed, strength, and
stamina had been a help. Before Snape was discovered and killed, he had improved the
Wolfsbane Potion, which eliminated most of the pain and strain of the transformation.

"What is that Harry?" Ron asked, coming over to him. Harry just shook his head.

"I don't know," he said.

"Looks like an advanced Time-Turner," Luna said, her big blue eyes focusing on the object.

Harry looked over at her, and without realizing what he did, turned it over in his hand. There
was a flash of light in the room, and the large Deathly Hallows symbol started to glow a deep
purple. "What's happening?" Neville asked, several spells on the tip of his tongue.

"Chosen ones, gatherers of the Deathly Hallows," said a deep and powerful voice, which
seemed to come from everywhere. "Fate has been cruel, and a second chance you shall
receive. Use it wisely." They looked at each other as the purple glow turned golden. It
increased in intensity, almost blinding. Suddenly, everything went dark.

He was floating. He couldn't see anything, and suddenly he felt something. It hurt. His head felt
like a bludger was just let loose inside of it. His body was aching. Harry struggled to strengthen
his Occlumency, noticing that his barriers were nearly nonexistent. That worried him, and he
threw up some simple barriers, allowing him to block out some pain. He slowly opened his
eyes, realizing he wasn't under Stonehenge anymore. He sat up, and realized he was in a
familiar place. He was on the Hogwarts' Express. He glanced around the compartment,
noticing a small, red-haired and freckled eleven year old boy looking back at him.
A Second Chance

"Harry?" Ron asked, looking as shocked as Harry felt.

"Oh shit," was all Harry could say.


A Second Chance

Chapter 1:

How to Continue
"Oh shit," was all Harry could say. Ron was staring at his small hands. "Ok, so that hourglass I
was holding was a bit more than just a pretty object," Harry said, gaining him the
understatement of the century award.

"I can't believe this. Are we seriously being given a second chance? Or is this just some cruel
twist of that room," Ron said. His head then jerked up. "What about the others?" As if on cue,
a small brown haired missile launched through the door and attached itself to Ron. A very
young version of Neville followed, albeit a much slower pace.

"Ron! Oh Merlin, can you believe this? Is this real? Are we being given a second chance?"
Hermione said extremely fast. Ron quickly put a hand over her mouth.

"Hermione, relax, and we will figure this out. I guess that answers my question," Ron said to
Harry. Harry wasn't looking at him though. His eyes were staring at a fat brown rat sitting next
to Ron. His wand was out in a flash, and a red jet of light flew from it, striking the rat.

"Pettigrew," Harry growled, standing up. Neville jumped up and pushed Harry back into his
seat.

"Harry control yourself," he said, his voice taking a controlling and powerful edge, which
sounded odd coming from an eleven year old. "We will erase his memories of the last few
minutes right before we get off the train. For now, we will let him be and figure out what to do
with him later." Harry looked mutinous but finally relented, putting his wand away. Hermione
and Ron let out a breath of relief, knowing Neville was one of the few that could stop Harry
when Harry got extremely angry.

"What we have to do is figure out if everything else is the same," Neville continued. "That, and
what we should change should this actually turn out to be a second chance."

"What about Ginny and Luna?" Hermione asked quickly. Harry's eyes widened.

"Oh boy. Let me try our bond," Harry said, his past anger forgotten. He had a soul bond with
Ginny in his… well past life. The only thing that he could think of was that their souls had been
sent back through time and took over these bodies. However, his soul and Ginny's were one.
He quickly found the connection in his mind, although it wasn't nearly as strong as before.

"Ginny! Can you hear me?" he called out.

Molly Weasley was driving her way home from the train station in her husband's Ford Anglia.
She wasn't the greatest driver, but she did well enough. She had just dropped off four of her
six boys for the Hogwarts express, hoping they wouldn't get into too much trouble, although
that was mostly wishful thinking when applied to Fred and George. She thought back to the
A Second Chance

little boy she helped back in the station. There was something oddly familiar about him, and he
was so shy.

She looked in her rear view mirror to see her youngest had fallen asleep in the back seat.
Ginny was her only girl, and quite an outgoing and spirited one she was. She sighed, thinking
how alone Ginny was going to be this year, with no brothers to play with. She heard a groan,
and looked in the mirror again to see Ginny wake up, holding her head.

'Oh, that hurt,' Ginny thought as she groaned and sat up. She grabbed her head as she tried to
put her Occlumency to use, only to find no shields at all. Alarmed, she built what she could
quickly and opened her eyes. The sight that greeted her was a shock to say the least. No longer
was she in the hidden room under Stonehenge. She was in the back seat of a car. Even more
shocking was that her dead mother was quite alive and looking in the rear view mirror at her,
which brought the memory of her death to the front of her mind.

Burning. It was all burning. Bodies littered the ground as others kept fighting. Ginny dodged a
spell from a Death Eater, before hitting the man in the neck with a cutting curse. They had long
passed the use of stunners. She turned away from the dying man and ran towards Zonkos,
where several Death Eaters were fighting with Harry, Neville, and her mother. It was a
Hogsmeade weekend, and Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville had come to meet her and Luna
there. The Death Eaters had attacked around noon, killing some students before Aurors and
Hogwarts' Staff could enter the fight. She had already seen Colin Creevey on the ground, lying
in a pool of his own blood. She hit one of the Death Eaters in the back with a reductor curse,
breaking his spine. After that, Harry and Neville quickly finished the other two.

"Are you alright?" Harry asked as he ran up to her. She nodded giving him a quick hug. "Let's
go, Ron, Hermione, and Luna are with Kingsley and Aberforth at the Hog's Head, and I heard
that a bunch of Death Eaters were headed that way." They all ran off toward the pub, hearing
the sounds of battle going on all around Hogsmeade.

They ran forward to see twelve Death Eaters firing at Ron, Hermione, Luna, Kingsley, and
Aberforth. The four were hidden behind some conjured brick walls, which looked ready to fall
apart soon. They wasted no time jumping into the fray, shooting several lethal spells, evening
the odds when three Death Eaters were taken out. Ginny was fighting with a fat Death Eater,
no doubt Crabbe or Goyle Sr. She ducked a bone-breaking hex aimed for her skull and hit the
man with the same hex, breaking his wand hand. She banished him into the side of the Hogs
Head, which with its reinforcement charms on the wall, made it like running into a steel wall.
The man fell to the ground in a heap, not moving. She spun back to the others, only to see a jet
of sickly green light headed straight for her.

"Ginny!" she heard Harry yell, physically and mentally, before being knocked over and hearing
a body hit the ground next to her. She looked over to see her mother, looking back at her with
lifeless eyes.
A Second Chance

"Are you alright Ginny dear?" she asked, having seen her shock. Ginny looked around
frantically. How did she get here? Wherever here was. She looked down at her hands to see
instead of the elegant hands of a woman to see the small hands of a child. Then she thought
back to the hieroglyphics in that room. Time… rebirth… chance. She couldn't believe it.

"I'm fine Mum, just a weird dream," she lied, trying to put on an innocent look. Her mother
fortunately bought it. She went back to her thoughts. Was she the only one back? Did the
others come as well? Her eyes lit up and she put two fingers against her neck. There, a pulse.
She was no longer a vampire. Tears of happiness sprung to her eyes. Harry didn't have a
problem with it, but she did. She liked the enhanced senses and strength, but the downsides
were not worth it. She had always loved being in the sun, and she had wanted children which
couldn't happen as a vampire. The sun was possible, but for only short bursts.

"Ginny! Can you hear me?" she heard a distant voice call into her mind. She recognized it
immediately. She concentrated on that link.

"Harry? Is this possible? Are we back in time?" she asked, hope lacing her voice. She
just felt his mental grin.

"I think so Gin, and I am so glad you are back as well. Ron, Hermione, and
Neville are here with me on the train. And to hazard a guess, I would say Luna
is back as well," he said. Ginny grinned at hearing this. A second chance to change all that
had happened in the war.

"Do you think you can sneak into Hogwarts tonight?" he asked her.

"Who do you think I am?" she asked indignantly, feeling his challenge. "I will meet you
in the Room of Requirement at midnight," she said. "Is it just me, or is the
connection not as strong?" she asked.

"I think it's because we have yet to initiate a physical relationship with these
bodies. We always did have a connection, but it didn't truly begin until we
kissed for the first time. Remember, we had it all along, we just didn't know. I'm
sure that would allow the connection to reconnect fully," Harry explained.

"Alright. I'll see you at midnight, and I expect a kiss!" she said, feeling his laughter.

"Are you sure you are alright Ginny?" her mother asked again. Ginny flashed a large smile to
her.

"I'm brilliant Mum."

"Alright, Ginny is in. She will meet us at the Room of Requirement at midnight," Harry said.
"We need to get a hold of Luna. Hermione, you have the smallest patronus, send her a
message," he said, hearing a squawk. He looked up to see Hedwig sitting in her cage, obviously
having heard they were sending a message without her. He had forgotten he had her now. She
had died when the Order had escorted him away from Privet Drive on his birthday. They had
A Second Chance

been ambushed by Death Eaters. "I'm sorry Hedwig, but I need this message delivered as fast
as possible." He gave her a quick treat, which seemed to satisfy her. Hermione waved her
wand quickly, causing her silver otter to appear. It shot out of the compartment.

"I sent a vague message, just in case she didn't come back with us," Hermione said, trying to
regain her breath. "We are going to really have to exercise our magic. That patronus took a lot
out of me." Just then, their compartment opened, admitting the annoying and much younger
Draco Malfoy, followed just as they remembered by Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle.

"Is it true?" he said. "They're saying all down the train that Harry Potter's in this compartment.
So it's you, is it?" Harry quickly thought back to this day before they were sent back. It was
odd, reliving a memory. He raised an eyebrow at the boy and didn't respond.

"This is Crabbe and Goyle," he said in a bored tone, pointing to the two bigger boys on either
side of him. "And I am Malfoy, Draco Malfoy." The others rolled their eyes at this. Draco
sneered at them when he saw that.

"Don't need to guess who you are. Red hair and freckles, a Weasley." He looked over at
Hermione. "A mudblood." He then turned his eyes to Neville. "And Longbottom, the boy with
parents yet is still an orphan." Harry sensed the magic of his friends start to bubble inside
them, and was surprised at how much smaller it was compared to when they were sent back.
He knew they wouldn't do anything unless provoked, and they weren't even really angry. They
had heard it so much that it didn't faze them anymore. It was more a natural reaction to the
war, to ready themselves for a fight.

"You'll soon find out some wizarding families are much better than others, Potter. You don't
want to go making friends with the wrong sort. I can help you there." He then held out his
hand. Harry stood up in front of the boy and took his hand, before pulling him closer in a quick
motion.

"I will be watching you, and I will be waiting. If you try to harm my friends in any way, what I
did to the Dark Lord will be nothing compared to what I do to you," he whispered harshly into
Draco's ear. "Try thinking for yourself for once, instead of blindly following your father." He
then released Draco's hand, and sat down. Draco looked even more pale than normal, and
with as much dignity as he could muster, swept his eyes over all four of them and left, Crabbe
and Goyle following.

"That felt good," Harry said with a grin. The others just shook their heads at him.

Luna sat up from where she had been standing not a moment ago. She shook off a headache
and looked at her surroundings. She was lying on a couch in her old living room, which was
odd, as she lived with Neville now. She looked down to see her small feet poking out from a
blanket. Surprise entered her face, which was something of a rarity for her.

"This is odd," she said to herself. Just then her father walked into the room and noticed her
expression.
A Second Chance

"Well hello Luna. Something wrong?" he asked, putting his wand down on the small table at
the end of the couch.

"No, the nargles are just trying to play tricks on me," she said, smiling at him. He nodded
before entering the bathroom. Just then, a glowing silver otter entered through a wall.

"Unspeakable Moonlight, report your status," the otter said in Hermione's voice before
disappearing. Luna looked over to her father's wand. She held out her hand and it flew to her.
She felt the drain on her magic, knowing wandless magic probably wasn't a good idea until she
was able to build up stronger reserves. With a wave of the wand, a silver hare jumped from it
and shot out of the room. She physically put the wand back before lying down on the couch
again. Her body wasn't built for that kind of magic yet. She was asleep before her father even
walked out of the bathroom.

As the train pulled into the station, Hermione quickly obliviated Pettigrew, and revived him.
Ron put him in his cage and subtly laced the cage with reinforcement and locking charms.
Harry then led the other three off the train. They had received Luna's response, and sent back
the time to meet them with Hedwig. It was an odd feeling, being so much smaller and younger
and walking through the crowd towards school. They saw many faces which didn't survive the
war, and while they kept up their excited appearance, it brought back depressing and harsh
memories from the first timeline.

"Firs' years! Firs' years over here!" came a very familiar and welcome voice. They all spun to
see Hagrid walking down the platform, a lamp bobbing around in his hand. With big grins on
their faces, they walked toward the half giant. He had died in their seventh year, on one of the
many attacks on Hogwarts. Hagrid had been surrounded by Death Eaters, but managed to take
down ten before they managed to take his life. He had died a hero.

"All right there Harry?" he called, catching sight of Harry.

"I'm great Hagrid!" he called. They followed Hagrid to the boats, where they climbed in
together, unknowingly sitting in the same positions as before. Even though they knew the
castle like the back of their hands, seeing it lit up in the darkness from the lake in all of its glory
still took their breath away. Soon they were climbing the steps to the main doors of the castle.
Hagrid handed the first years over to Professor McGonagall who then lectured them about the
houses and the point system. The four of them hid their grins as some of the other first years
debated on how they would be sorted, which ranged from doing certain spells to fighting
dozens of magical creatures. They were then led out into the Great Hall, where the other
students sat at the tables waiting. The Sorting Hat sung its song and the sorting began, starting
with Hannah Abbott.

Names were called and students stepped forward to be sorted. Harry couldn't help but think
about what happened to each person. Susan Bones died defending her aunt from Death
Eaters, who had become the new Minister of Magic. Justin Finch-Fletchley had been killed by
A Second Chance

Death Eaters who had attacked his home on the sole reason that he was muggleborn. Seamus
Finnigan had been in Auror training, and had died when a routine training session was turned
into a trap. So many had died.

"Granger, Hermione!" Professor McGonagall called out. Hermione smiled and walked up to the
hat. Harry swore he heard the hat gasp, when it was put on her head.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat yelled out after a couple minutes, causing the table on the far left to
burst into applause for their new house member. 'Good," Harry thought. They had decided
that they should all be in Gryffindor this time around, even Luna. They had changed much over
the years, and while Ron and Neville were still decidedly Gryffindors, Luna and Hermione were
pure Ravenclaws and Harry and Ginny tended toward the Slytherin side of things. Soon Neville
was called, and was sent to Gryffindor as well. Harry knew he was next. Soon enough, Sally-
Anne Perks was sent to Hufflepuff.

"Potter, Harry!" McGonagall called, causing whispers to break out among the tables.

"Potter, did she say?"

"The Harry Potter?" Harry barely resisted rolling his eyes and responding, "No, the other one!"
He walked up to the stool and put the hat on his head.

"Well hello again Potter," the hat whispered in his ear. Harry grinned.

"Hello Gideon," Harry sent mentally. The old hat just laughed.

"Ah, someone who knows my name! I haven't been addressed like that in years. Now I assume
you have some crazy plan for your second time through the timeline then?" Gideon asked.
"Ah, there it is. Very well. I guess I can't really stop you."

"I trust this will remain secret?" Harry asked with amusement.

"You think I tell anyone what I find?" the hat asked in mock-insult. "Even Albus has been
unable to find out any information about students from me, and he tries nearly every near."
Harry filed this information away for later. He knew that the Headmaster was quite
manipulative, however well he meant. "That is right. Albus does mean well, but he has had
power too long, and is too used to people expecting him to do everything."

"I know, but I won't put up with his manipulations this time around," Harry said. After
Dumbledore had died, many things about him came out, and Harry was not happy to say the
least.

"Good. Now I would like to put you in Slytherin, but I know you will protest that to the point of
setting me on fire." Harry just mentally nodded. "Very well. Go back to GRYFFINDOR!" he
yelled out for the students. The Gryffindor table when crazy as he took off the hat and walked
over to the table, sitting down next to Hermione and the Weasley Twins, who were yelling,
"We got Potter!" He grinned at Hermione before looking back toward the sorting hat. Ron was
soon sorted into Gryffindor once again and the feast started.
A Second Chance

"I forgot how well the Hogwarts house elves could cook," Harry said quietly to the others as
they made their way to Gryffindor Tower. Ron nodded enthusiastically in agreement while
Hermione rolled her eyes, this being a sore spot with her. Several laws had been passed, due
to Hermione with the help of Harry, to make the lives of house elves better. Percy soon
ushered them to their rooms, where Harry, Neville, and Ron nodded to each other before
climbing into their beds.

Two hours later, the three boys quietly exited their beds. They slowly made their way into the
common room to find Hermione waiting. She nodded to them before tapping herself on the
head with her wand, causing herself to disappear. They boys disappeared as well, before
silencing their feet and leaving through the portrait whole. They quickly made their way to the
familiar hallway, where a door was already waiting. They opened it to find Ginny and Luna
waiting for them, talking on very squishy chairs in front of a large fire. They both jumped up
with wands out when the door opened, but lowered them when the charms were dropped.

"Harry!" Ginny squealed before running to him and jumping into his waiting arms. Their lips
met, and they felt the connection snap together in their minds. Energy swirled around them as
they connected, nearly blowing the other four off their feet. They felt the emotions string
together, amplifying them. They quickly became one again, and basked in the feeling. It was
bliss. They pulled back before resting their forehead against the other's, just looking into each
other's eyes.

Harry couldn't explain it. He had liked Ginny for so long, and he wasn't complaining that they
were finally together. What he didn't understand was how he seemed to know what she was
feeling and where she was at all times, even when they weren't near each other. He was sitting
in the Head Boy's room in Gryffindor Tower, doing a Charms essay. He could tell that Ginny was
sitting in front of the fireplace of the Gryffindor common room, working on Potions. They had
decided to get their homework done separately, so there were fewer distractions.

He slammed his quill down on the table in frustration. 'I wish you were here Ginny,' he thought
to himself. It was only a minute later that Ginny entered the room, a wide eyed look on her
face. He jumped up to meet her.

"Ginny? What's wrong?" he asked, concern laced in his voice.

"Did you just say 'I wish you were here Ginny'?" she asked. A surprised look came over him.

"No I just… thought it," he said, gaping at her. She looked equally stunned. 'Ginny, can you hear
me?' he asked in his head. Ginny jumped at his voice.

'Harry?' her voice said nervously.

It had taken them awhile, but they had finally gotten used to it. It was comforting for them
now, knowing they were never alone, only a thought away from the one they loved the most.
A loud cough broke them out of their mind.
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"Oh sorry," Harry said with a slight blush as he turned to his friends. They just laughed.

"That's fine Harry. We know what that bond does to you and Ginny, and know that we won't
ever truly understand," Hermione said, leading them over to Luna. A coffee table appeared
with an assortment of drinks for them.

"Before we start, we need to take the Ministry tracking charms off our wands," Harry said. As
Unspeakables, they knew the charms and securities placed on the wands to track underage
magic. He held out his hand to Ginny, who placed her father's wand in his hand. He pointed it
as his wand, and muttered a long and complicated string of Latin under his breath. There was a
small flash of yellow light and he was finished. He threw Mr. Weasley's wand to the left and
Ginny caught it lazily. With a wave of his now free holly wand, he had Neville's, Ron's, and
Hermione's wands. He quickly broke the charms and handed them back.

"Alright, I think we need to figure out what we can and should change on a year by year basis,"
Hermione said, picking up the notebook and muggle pen that appeared on the table. "We have
to make sure that we keep the timeline relatively intact, so that our knowledge isn't
completely useless," she said.

"I don't know if we can change much this year. I mean, besides training our bodies to handle
magic faster," Harry said.

"What about Pettigrew?" Ron asked. "Should we turn him in now? Or wait until third year?"
Harry's face turned stony.

"I would like to tear him to shreds, but he is needed to revive Voldemort," Harry said, obvious
hate in his voice. "His soul is bound here, so I will need to kill him. We will have to take care of
his Horcruxes before the end of the Triwizard Tournament. As for Pettigrew, we should wait
until third year, as much as I would like to free Sirius from that hellhole," he said. A grin spread
over his face. "However, I think I can make Sirius' life there a bit easier." They all nodded as
Hermione quickly wrote it all down.

"I suggest we hold off the training for a week or two. We have to make it look like we became
friends, or it will look suspicious," Neville said.

"Good idea Neville," Ginny said. "I suggest we take the time to reinforce our Occlumency
shields and work on the Animagus transformation. That will work and stretch our cores as well
as get our forms quicker. We don't need the potion as we already know what we are."

"Agreed. Let's just let this year flow as it did the last time through. We can't let Voldemort or
Dumbledore know what is truly happening, at least not yet," Harry said firmly.
A Second Chance

Chapter 2:

Haven't I Done This Before?


It was odd for the four "new" students. They walked down the marble staircase to the Great
Hall with some of their fellow Gryffindors, who were talking about the past few days of school.
They four nodded and added their two knuts here and there, but they decided to let the other
students keep their own conversations. It had been hard for the four of them to hold back a
little and not make it look too easy for them, but they still managed to do everything quickly
and efficiently, which made McGonagall quite happy. They worked on their Occlumency
shields the past few nights, working back to what they were before the time leap. They were
all masters at the mind art. Only a full attack from Snape could possibly break through now,
not that they would let him get that far. Besides, Snape wouldn't dare draw his wand on a
student, at least not yet.

It was Friday, and they had their first Potion's lesson this morning. Harry in particular was
looking forward to it, as he was quite proficient in Potions now. With all of Snape's hostility
and no teaching ability, Harry had not been able to truly like or learn Potions. He had become
quite adept at it, with the help of Hermione and several useful books. Neville never did get the
hang of it, although he could hold his own now. They were on their way to the dungeons when
Harry felt a familiar presence in his mind.

"Hello Ginny," he said mentally, a smile coming to his face. He heard her giggle into his
mind.

"Sorry, but I couldn't miss this," she said with amusement. He kept a straight face but
laughed in his head. If they focused, they could see through each other's eyes. It had been bad
when they first were bonded, as it would sometimes happen by itself, and at the worst times,
like when one of them were in the shower.

"I'm glad I can amuse you love," he sent back, before focusing back on himself and
walking into Snape's classroom. They took their customary seats in the back and pulled out
their supplies. After all the students had taken their places, Snape made his usual entry,
slamming the door closed and stalking up to the front of the room, his robes billowing around
him. Harry resisted rolling his eyes.

"Ah, yes, Harry Potter. Our new… celebrity," he said, sneering in Harry's direction. Harry
merely stared back, ignoring the sniggering from some of the Slytherins. Harry felt Snape's
light Legilimency probe, letting him know that he did go through their minds during school.

"Bastard," he heard Ginny echo in his mind. Harry just mentally grinned, his face an
expressionless mask. Snape quirked an eyebrow in surprise at feeling Harry's shields before
addressing the class. It was the same speech as last time, about the art of potion making and
how there is little wand-waving and ensnaring the senses.

"Potter!" Snape yelled after his monologue. 'Here we go,' Harry thought, feeling Ginny's
anticipation. "What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of
wormwood?"
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"Draught of Living Death, sir," Harry answered immediately. Snape actually looked taken aback
for a second before a sneer settled over his face again. The Slytherins were looking at him with
open mouths, having been expecting him to have no idea. The Gryffindors looked ready to
laugh.

"So, you read a little to try and show off did you?" he said with arrogance. "Let's try again.
Where would I find a bezoar?" Snape asked, a smug look gracing his features.

"Stomach of a goat, sir," Harry promptly answered again. He tried not to show it, and did a
very good job, but Harry could see the very small signs that told him Snape was seriously
angry. Harry felt a strong push against his mind, and wanted to laugh out loud when the probe
bounced away from his shields.

"What is the difference between monkshood and wolfsbane?" Snape nearly snarled.

"Nothing sir. It's the same plant, also called aconite," Harry said. He could hear Ginny laughing
in the back of his mind as Snape had to visually calm down. Not knowing what he should do,
Snape turned to the rest of the class.

"Well? Write that down!" he yelled, causing everyone to pull out quills. "Stay after class
Potter!" he yelled after that. After making the potion to cure boils, which involved no mess up
this time from Neville, they were dismissed. Harry lagged back, knowing Snape was going to try
and bully him a bit more.

"Well Potter, it would seem you managed to not be a carbon copy of your father after all,"
Snape said, with less of a sneer than usual. Harry's eyes widened at that. This was not the
behavior he had expected from the Slytherin Head of House. He expected a rant, detention,
and a point deduction, not a civil conversation.

"What do you mean sir?" Harry asked politely, wondering where this conversation was going.
Snape walked around his desk and sat down.

"It would seem that you have your mother's talent in potions and the mind arts," he said,
scrutinizing Harry from across the room with his obsidian eyes. Harry nodded, knowing his
mother was a master at both. She was the only one who could compete with Snape in Potions,
and she was a natural Occlumens. Harry was as well, however his first teacher wasn't exactly
teaching him. Harry also knew that Snape was putting aside his hate for James Potter because
they were on the topic of his first and only love, Lily Evans.

"Was she good at them? I didn't know," Harry said, going with the innocent and lonely orphan
look. Harry wanted revenge for Dumbledore after Snape had killed him, but that had changed
when Snape had saved his life from Voldemort during a battle. His spy role was up after that,
and he came back to the castle, after swearing an Unbreakable Oath that he would always
fight against Voldemort. He had then revealed Dumbledore's plan for Snape to kill him.
Needless to say, Harry was stunned. They had worked together quite well, realizing many
similar qualities between them, before Snape's untimely death a month prior to Voldemort's
defeat. Snape's face seemed to softe
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"She was the best," he said quietly, seemingly forgetting Harry Potter was in the room. He
shook his head and his face became expressionless. "I expect to see strong results from you in
my classroom Potter." Taking his cue, Harry left quietly. He was in a daze. He didn't think
simply answering these questions and knowing Occlumency would change so much.

"It reminded him of his true love Harry. Love is a very powerful emotion. You
should know this," Ginny's voice said quietly. Harry nodded mentally, knowing what love
did between them. The bond was based completely off of love.

"I do know it Gin, it was just a surprise," he responded, racing up to the Great Hall for
lunch.

"Stick out your right hand over your broom and say 'Up!'" Madam Hooch instructed. It was the
first flying lesson of the year. Harry had been looking forward to it. He hadn't been able to fly
in a long time, and while they wouldn't be flying much right now, it was better than nothing.
Harry didn't even say up, but the broom jumped to his hand anyway, feeling his wish to fly. He
smirked at Malfoy, who was silently fuming when it took two tries for his broom to jump to his
hand.

"Now, when I blow my whistle, you kick off the ground hard. Keep your brooms steady, rise a
few feet, and then come back down," Madam Hooch told everyone. They had decided that
since Neville wouldn't be losing his Remembrall, he wouldn't be able to play Quidditch this
year. Harry wished he could, but it was just easier this way. They all rose a few feet before
there was a cry and a thud. They all looked over to see Lavender on the ground holding her leg,
tears in her eyes. Madam Hooch quickly moved to her side.

"Oh dear, broken leg," she muttered. She turned back to the class. "Everyone lean forward
slightly and touch down. You will stay on the ground or be expelled." With that, she conjured a
stretcher and levitated Lavender on it. As they entered the castle, Malfoy bent over and picked
up a slim piece of wood. Harry groaned.

"Give me Lavender's wand Malfoy," he said, walking forward and holding out his hand. Malfoy
merely sneered and mounted his broom.

"I don't think so Potter. I think on the roof is a good place for it, don't you think?" he asked
smugly, before leaving the ground. Harry quickly mounted before rocketing off the ground
faster than the broom he was using should have been able to. He came to an abrupt halt in
front of a stunned Draco Malfoy.

"I said, give me her wand," Harry said in a dangerous voice. This was all too familiar. It seemed
as if fate wanted him to get caught flying. Malfoy seemed to hear his tone and quickly spun
and threw the wand before quickly retreating to the ground. Harry watched the wand fly
through the air and noticed what it was headed toward. The Whomping Willow. Harry's eyes
widened before he shot after it. The wand would be torn to pieces.
A Second Chance

He came within range of the tree, rolling to avoid a swinging branch, before dropping straight
down into a dive. He grabbed the wand and pulling up on the broom, launching across the
ground only a few inches over it.

"HARRY POTTER!" rang Professor McGonagall's voice. Harry lazily flew over to her and landed,
holding out Lavender's wand.

"Lavender is in the hospital wing Professor. This is hers," he said. She took the wand and put it
in one of her pockets.

"Follow me Potter."

"I don't know guys. It was completely different, yet the exact same thing happened," Harry
said. All six of the time travelers were in the Room of Requirement that night, going over
recent events. "There was no Remembrall, no Neville falling," he said with a grin toward his
friend, "yet somehow I still had to chase something down and get onto the Quidditch team."

"Yes, and this disappoints you so much," Ginny said with a roll of her eyes. Harry gave her an
annoyed look, to which Ginny flashed a brilliant smile. Harry just sighed, is annoyance at her
forgotten.

"No fair, I can't stay mad at you," he said mentally, to which she giggled.

"Yes I'm glad I'm on the team, but I want to know why it still happened," Harry said to the rest
of them in a frustrated tone.

"Maybe that's what will happen. The end results may be the same, but we can change the
specifics," Luna said. Hermione nodded in understanding.

"It makes sense. But if everything still happens the same way, what is the point of a second
chance?" she asked out loud, not really expecting an answer.

"Come in Severus," Albus called from behind his desk. The mentioned Potions Master walked
through the door before sitting in the offered chair. "Lemon Drop?" Albus asked, knowing full
well that Severus wouldn't take one.

"Enough with the idle chatting Albus," he said with an annoyed tone, getting a small chuckle
from the older man. "I had Potter in my class a couple days ago. He managed to answer
material my fifth years wouldn't know," he said, recalling the questions he asked.

"And why may I ask was a first year asked these questions Severus?" Albus asked as he took
another lemon drop from the bowl on his desk.

"That is not the point," Severus said, skipping over the question. "While he was answering the
questions, I tried to probe his mind." This made Albus' eyes shoot up to meet Severus'. "Only a
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full Legilimency attack has a possibility to get into his mind. He's a natural Occlumens," he said
in annoyance, his typical sneer spreading over his face. A slight frown marred Albus' face.

"He is certainly a talented individual. All the rest of the staff has nothing but praise for him and
his friends," he said. It was all so similar. "Keep an eye on him Severus. Check his friends as
well. We cannot let him follow the wrong path."

It was dark. It was horrible. It was always horrible. The constant nightmares. The constant
reminder that you are the reason two of your best friends were dead. He was thrown in this
hellhole for a crime he didn't commit, so why did he feel so guilty? He quickly changed into a
large shaggy black dog, feeling relief as the darkness and evil magic of Azkaban didn't get to
him so much.

It was then he smelt the most heavenly thing. Food. Not the gruel they serve him here. Real
food. He swung his head off of the wooden bed and looked at the cold stone floor, which sat a
large plastic plate covered in food. He launched himself off the bed and quickly changed,
before devouring it. He didn't realize there was a note attached to the plate. When he finished,
he held his stomach in pain, realizing he should have eaten it much slower. His stomach really
wasn't ready for that kind of intake. He didn't care. It was then he noticed the letter.

Sirius Black,

You do not know who I am, but I do know you. Self-righteous Gryffindor from a dark
pure-blood family, dog Animagus, Marauder, best friend of James and Lily Potter,
and Godfather of Harry Potter. I know what happened, all those years ago. I know you
are innocent.

I cannot reveal myself, but I assure you, I can be trusted. I hope you can understand
that I cannot free you, not yet. That will happen all in due time. These meals will come
in regular intervals, in hopes that it makes your stay there that much easier.

Raven
A Second Chance

Chapter 3:

Halloween
Harry woke with a start. He quickly looked around the room, his wand out and ready for
action. He sighed, realizing it was just a nightmare. They were rare now, mainly because of his
Occlumency but whenever he had one, it left him jumpy. He looked over at the calendar and
realized today was Halloween. He hated Halloween.

It seemed as if something always happened on Halloween. His parents were murdered and he
received his scar. First year was when Quirrell let the troll into the school, nearly killing
Hermione, Ron, and himself. Second year, Ginny was controlled and attacked Mrs. Norris, not
that this was necessarily so bad. Third year, "mass murderer" Sirius Black tried to break in and
kill him. Fourth year his name came out of the Goblet of Fire and so on. He woke Ron and
Neville and quickly dressed before heading down to the common room with them. Hermione
was waiting for them. She gave them a quick smile and led them out of the portrait hole.

They walked out in the cold air on the Quidditch pitch and started to stretch. They had started
exercising two weeks into the school year. So far, no one had really noticed their morning
workouts, although Harry was sure Dumbledore knew. They would jog around the pitch, then
do some sit-ups and push-ups, before sparring, both physically and magically. Harry could
already feel the difference this did for his body. He remembered how he would be tired after a
day of classes due to walking all over the castle and doing magic. He barely felt fatigued
anymore.

He was jogging around the pitch when he felt Ginny's own heart rate start to increase. He
smiled, knowing she was jogging around the Burrow's property as well.

"Good morning Gin," he said, sending some affection through the bond. He felt her smile.

"Good morning to you too Harry. You ready for today? " she asked calmly, although
he could sense that she was nervous. He grinned at her protectiveness.

"If I can't handle a mountain troll, then I deserve any injury I might sustain,"
he told her cheerfully, getting a roll of the eyes for his comment.

"Well at least your confident," she muttered more to herself, but he heard it anyway.

"Oi Harry! Time to spar," Ron said, a smirk on his face. A feral grin spread over Harry's face as
he jogged over to Ron and dropped in a fighting position, which Ron did promptly after he did.
Harry took the first move, throwing a punch at Ron's head, but the redhead had already
moved. He grinned, knowing Ron was very good at Martial Arts. It was only a couple minutes
into the duel when they were interrupted.

"Weasley! Potter! What are you doing?" called out an angry voice. Ron made the mistake of
looking to his left at the owner of the voice, one which Harry capitalized on by kicking him in
the stomach, sending Ron to the ground.
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"Hello Professor McGonagall," Harry said, looking over to her and holding out a hand for Ron,
who gladly took it. Ron stood, holding his stomach.

"That was unfair Potter," he said mock anger, but the grin on his face belittled it. Harry grinned
back before looking back to McGonagall, who was looking at her Gryffindors in confusion.

"May I ask what is going on here?" she asked, her lips pressed tightly together.

"They were sparring Professor. We come out here every morning to run and spar. Keeps us in
shape and helps with our magic in school," Hermione said, who had walked up to them with
Neville. They had been dueling farther down the pitch, and had not been noticed. McGonagall
looked suitably impressed by the four students.

"I see. Very well, however, do be careful," she said, a small smile on her face before returning
to the castle. Harry looked at the others, shrugged, and kicked Ron's leg out, causing him to fall
to the ground again.

"Constant Vigilance!" Harry yelled with a laugh.

The feast had finally arrived. The three first years felt a little nervous, even though they had
faced much more difficult things before. Hermione was in the bathroom, having gone there
under the excuse of not feeling well. They would then "rescue her" from the troll. While he
knew Hermione could defend herself better than most, he was still a little scared something
was going to go wrong. They wanted to preserve the timeline as much as possible, as they
didn't really need to change anything until Harry's third year. They had all just begun the feast
when Professor Quirrell ran into the hall.

"Troll – in the dungeons – thought you ought to know," he said before fainting. As usual, the
hall went crazy until Professor Dumbledore took control of the situation, however Harry, Ron,
and Neville were already gone.

They ran down an empty corridor and towards the girls bathroom, which sounded like a war
zone already.

"This isn't right, it's too early," Harry muttered under his breath as he ran faster. The three
boys ran into the bathroom to find Hermione down on one knee, her wand over her head. A
transparent green dome surrounded her, and the troll was pounding on the dome with its
club. The dome was sinking slightly into the ground, causing large grooves in the stone floor.
By the look on Hermione's face, she was tiring fast.

"Get Hermione!" he yelled to Ron and Neville. Neville quickly jumped to the left, flicking his
wand at the club, which shattered into a thousand pieces. Ron had pointed his wand at
Hermione at the same time, causing her to fly to him. Harry stood in front of the troll, which
had turned to him when his club was destroyed. With a roar, it started to charge, but Harry
merely pointed his wand at it. Power swirled around him before a large bolt of magic flew
from his wand, impacting the troll in the chest, lifting it off the ground and slamming it into the
A Second Chance

far wall. It didn't get up. Harry knew with the noise they made, the teachers should be here
any minute.

"Are you ok Hermione?" he asked, walking over to her. She was currently sitting on the ground
her arms around Ron.

"Yes, I am," she said breathlessly. "The troll came earlier this time, I wasn't expecting it. I
barely had enough time to set up that shield," she continued. Ron helped her stand just as the
teachers walked in. Professor McGonagall looked completely shocked, while Snape looked
merely thoughtful. A hateful look passed through Quirrell's face before a scared look replaced
it. Harry wouldn't have noticed it if he wasn't looking for it.

"How… how did this happen?" she asked, speechless. Harry could see the anger in her face.

"They were coming to look for me Professor," Hermione said, doing a great impression of a
scared and intimidated first year. "I wasn't feeling too well, so I came to the bathroom before
the feast. Harry, Ron, and Neville came to get me when they heard of the troll. They came in
and saved me just before it killed me." Which was the truth. She couldn't have held that shield
much longer. It was quite advanced, and usually Aurors have trouble with it. They were going
to have a hell of a time explaining how Harry, Ron, and Neville were able to do what they did
though.

"Miss Granger, go back to the common room if you are not injured," she said, her voice barely
louder than a whisper. Hermione quickly left. McGonagall quickly turned to the three boys.

"I do not know where you learned these spells, but I am glad you had," she said, looking at the
troll and the remains of the shattered club. "Five points to each of you. I will inform Professor
Dumbledore. Go."

"Come in Minerva, Severus," Albus called out from behind his desk. He had been informed the
troll had been dealt with, but didn't know how yet. He also knew the wards had been
disturbed by the Sorcerer's Stone. The two professors stepped into the office and sat down in
front of the desk. Minerva seemed almost far away, as if thinking hard about something, while
Severus look merely annoyed. He turned to Severus.

"I take it Quirinus was the one to let the troll inside," he said wearily, receiving a sharp nod
from Severus.

"He was nearing the door when I turned the corner. No spells were thrown, but it very
tempting," Severus said with a disgusted sneer. Albus turned to Minerva.

"And the troll?" he asked. Minerva didn't respond, still with that faraway look. "Minerva!"
Albus said, his voice a little stronger. Minerva blinked rapidly for a second before her usual
stern appearance appeared on her face.

"Sorry Albus," she said. "What was your question?" Albus merely smiled, a little twinkle
entering his eyes.
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"Who dealt with the troll?" he asked, expecting her or Filius.

"It was three first years," she said, still sounding amazed by it. The only indication that Albus
was surprised was a rise in his eyebrows. "Miss Granger had been in the girl's washroom,
apparently not feeling well. The troll entered the bathroom, where she managed to defend
herself until Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Mr. Longbottom were able to come to her rescue."

"Yet you seem troubled," Albus stated. Minerva nodded.

"I didn't check their wands, but the spells they used must have been very advanced for their
ages. The troll's club was in pieces, obviously hit was a concentrated blasting hex. The troll had
large amounts of damage to its chest. Broken ribs, popped lungs, and heart failure. It was
slammed into a wall! Only a very powerful Reductor Curse or something similar. Only you
could have done that Albus," she said, looking tired.

"Anything else?" Albus asked, looking a little disturbed.

"There was a large groove in the floor, in a circle. My guess is that Miss Granger used the
Dome Shield, which was pounded down by the troll that made it. But that's impossible. No first
year should have ever heard of that spell, much less use it," Minerva said frustrated.

"I would also like to point out that the other three, like Potter, seem to be natural Occlumens.
We would be hard pressed to break into their minds," Severus said. Albus wearily rubbed his
eyes.

"This is turning out to be much more difficult. He is too powerful. We must have some
measure of control," Albus said.

"I have told you before Albus, you are going the wrong way about this. Trying to control him
will only lead to disaster. Let the boy be just that, a boy," she said with a stern edge. With that
last statement, she stood and left the room. Dumbledore gestured to toward the door, and
Severus nodded before leaving himself. Albus sighed, looking out his window.

"The last time I did that, we went to war," he said to no one.

The days continued on quickly for the four time travelers at Hogwarts. Since they were not
trying to find out the mystery of the Sorcerer's Stone or learning new material in class, they
had much more time on their hands. They had employed the Room of Requirement for their
workouts now, seeing as it had become too cold to be outside.

School was quite easy, as they had all graduated before. Their teachers, even Snape though he
would never admit it, were impressed with them. Snape was even tolerant to them, not being
his usual greasy self around them, which was a vast improvement, although he still sent the
occasional insult at them.

Their training was going very well. Their magic had increased exponentially due to their
constant use and strengthening of it. They were now at the level of power they were at in their
fourth year of school from their first time through. Since they knew the procedure and their
A Second Chance

animal, it didn't take long for them to finish their transformations, finishing just before the
winter holidays. Harry had learned from Ginny that she and Luna were nearly done as well. It
was the first day of break that found them running or flying around in their forms in the Room
of Requirement.

The room was set up as a forest, with green grass underfoot, large trees, and a river running
down the center. A hawk flew overhead, looking down at the other animals playing on the
ground. It was brown, with white tipped feathers. Hermione had changed when she first
learned to transform, and flying became almost natural to her. She wasn't as good as Harry, or
even Ginny for that matter, but she was very confident on a broom now. She didn't play
Quidditch often, preferring to just fly, but wouldn't mind some friendly competition for the
snitch from time to time. Down below a large red-brown Husky bolted out of the trees, an
even larger lion chasing after it. Ron jumped over the small river, taking off into the other
trees, Neville doing the same right behind him. A magnificent Griffin was watching them from
its spot next to the river. Its golden beak and emerald eyes were followed by its black feathers.
The black feathers changed into golden fur. Harry turned his head when he heard a small pop
next to him. He quickly changed back when he saw the little elf faint. With a light chuckle, he
bent over and revived the elf.

"Hi there," Harry said with a smile. The elf looked surprised to see him.

"You is a animal-wizard," she said with awe. Harry grinned and nodded. The elf shook its head
and continued. "Bippy was told to get Harry Potter sir. Headmaster Dumbledore sir wants to
see you. Headmaster says password is chocolate cupcake." Harry frowned, wondering what
Dumbledore wanted.

"Thank you Bippy. Oh and please don't talk about me being an animal-wizard," he said with a
smile. The elf looked like it would burst into tears with another thank you, and with a snap of
its fingers, disappeared. Harry turned to see Hermione land next to him and change back, a
questioning look on her face. "Dumbledore wants to see me," he explained, before walking to
the door sitting in the middle of a clearing.

A few minutes later found Harry walking up to the gargoyle in front of Dumbledore's office. He
waved his hand, causing it to jump aside and he quickly climbed the stairs. He knocked and
walked in without waiting for Dumbledore to answer.

"You wanted to see me Headmaster?" Harry asked, his face expressionless. Dumbledore
looked up from his desk, surprise showing on his face for a split second before the usual smile
and twinkling eyes came. Harry wanted to smirk, knowing that since the password wasn't said,
he didn't receive a message on who was coming up the stairs.

"Ah, Harry, come in and sit down." Harry did so, and looked up at the Headmaster while
betraying no emotion. "Lemon Drop?" Dumbledore asked, holding out the bowl. Harry raised
an eyebrow.

"Are these the ones laced with Calming Draught?" he asked with amusement. A flash of
surprise went through Dumbledore's eyes.
A Second Chance

"Yes they are. You see, not many people come here, and while trying to sound modest, many
people seem intimidated by me. It is a mild draught," Dumbledore admitted.

"No thank you Headmaster. What is it you needed to speak to me about?" Harry asked.

"I merely wished to know how your first term here at Hogwarts went. From what I hear, all of
your Professors are properly impressed," Dumbledore said. There it was. Harry felt the feather
light touch of Legilimency against his mind. He quickly shrugged it off.

"I would suggest you stayed out of my mind Professor, as I do not take kindly to people trying
to break my privacy," Harry said civilly; however there was a tone of warning in his voice.
Although he didn't show it, he knew Dumbledore was surprised at his tone, wondering why an
eleven year old was nearly threatening the Headmaster of Hogwarts. Dumbledore had the
decency to look sheepish.

"I apologize my boy. Old habits die hard as they say," Dumbledore said, growing alarmed. He
was very strong, to have such shields and control at his age. "May I ask why you didn't elect to
go home to be with your family for the holidays?" Harry felt his anger rise. He had always
thought the old man had never bothered to check on him, and now he knew for sure.

"Excuse me when I say I would rather never see them again sir," Harry said, letting a little
bitterness enter his voice. Dumbledore took on the look of a caring grandfather.

"And why is that Harry?" he asked

"When your aunt and uncle make you live in a cupboard under the stairs and work like a
house-elf all your life, you tend to dislike them," Harry said. Dumbledore was unable to keep
the surprise off his face at this information. Harry inwardly smirked.

"One more thing Harry. I never was able to speak with you about the incident on Halloween,"
he said, looking at the younger boy. "From what was described to me, it sounded like several
high ranking Aurors attacked that troll. Where did you learn such spells?"

"I study a lot sir. I know that the Wizarding world isn't the safest place, and my friends and I
decided it was best to be prepared," Harry lied smoothly, keeping his emotions on a tight leash
with his Occlumency. Dumbledore was very good at picking up lies. He nearly sighed in relief
when Dumbledore nodded his head and didn't pursue the questioning, however he didn't look
like he believed it.

"Very well Harry. You may go." Harry quickly got up and left. Dumbledore sighed and took off
his glasses. He rubbed his eyes with his hands, feeling every one of his one hundred and fifty
years. He heard something chirp a somber note and looked up to see Fawkes on his perch
looking at him with a piercing look. "That is the safest place for him, I can't let him go
anywhere else." Fawkes chirped again, this time more sharply. "I will not let that happen.
Voldemort was not this powerful at this age. I fear if Harry falls into darkness, he will be
stronger and more terrible than Voldemort ever was."
A Second Chance

"Gryffindor scores!" yelled Lee Jordan, who was announcing the current Quidditch game. Harry
grinned as he flew around the pitch at break neck speed, really putting his Nimbus and
Terence Higgs, the Slytherin Seeker, through their paces. He dropped into a dive, getting the
customary scream from Lee wondering if they had seen the snitch. Harry pulled up at the last
second, performing a Wronski Feint, causing Higgs to smash into the ground.

"Did you just see that! And Potter beautifully executes a Wronski Feint, causing Higgs to be
taken out of this game! Slytherin is now down a seeker!" The Gryffindor stands were going
wild, as now Slytherin had a very slim chance at winning this game. Harry was gliding lazily
around the pitch in search of the snitch when he saw Slytherin getting ready for a run at the
hoops. He was going to fly through them to try and disrupt them when his broom lurched, just
like he had been expecting. He turned his head and looked at Quirrell, who fell to the ground
unconscious, courtesy of a stunning spell from Hermione. Harry grinned before looking around
the pitch and seeing the snitch. Ten seconds later, he held it up for the crowd.

"You just couldn't resist showing off could you?" They were in the Room of Requirement.
Hermione was shaking her head while the others merely laughed.

"It's not my fault I can play at a professional level at the age of eleven," Harry said, puffing out
his chest with superiority. Ginny merely smacked him over the head. "It was great to be back in
the air though," he said, rubbing his head.

"As amusing as it is to watch you beat the Slytherins to a pulp in Quidditch, and believe me it
is," Ginny said with amusement. She had been at the match, under her animagus form of a red
fox. Luna was watching as a brown eagle. "What was this meeting with Dumbledore about?"

"He just wanted to snoop in my mind, figure out what I was up too," Harry said in annoyance.
He sighed. "I think I gave him a scare though. I acted a bit bitter when my relatives where
brought up. That and I had a cold attitude toward him. He probably thinks I'm the next Dark
Lord in training," he said, shaking his head.

"Well then convince him you aren't. I think you know a way you can," Luna said, a dreamy
smile on her face. Harry looked confused for a second before it hit him.

"Good idea Luna. Good idea."


A Second Chance

Chapter 4:

Tonight
"Presents!" someone yelled in their dorm. Harry groaned from his four-poster bed and looked
over to see Ron jump off his, a look of excitement on his face.

"You never will grow up will you Ron?" Harry asked, as he slowly rose. Neville chuckled lightly
as he got up. Harry quickly looked through his pile, which was larger this time through, and
found the one he was looking for. With a quick grin, he opened the wrapping to find a silver
and silky cloak fall out of it.

"I didn't realize how much I missed this," Harry said, holding the cloak in his hands.

"One down," Neville said with a grin of his own. Harry threw the cloak around him, causing his
body to disappear and his head to float by itself before his hands suddenly appeared to open
his other presents. He smiled softly at the usual Weasley sweater, happy Ron and Ginny were
able to get Mrs. Weasley to send him one again. They always had been one of his favorite gifts.

"Merry Christmas love," Ginny's sleepy voice said into his mind.

"You too Gin," he said. She could feel his happiness at the sweater, and smiled softly. She
knew that it would make him happy.

It was hours later that found Harry wandering the hallways under his cloak. He had loved
exploring the castle, as it had a calming effect on him, allowing him to sort his thoughts. He
was thinking about what he and his friends needed to do next when his feet carried him into a
familiar room. He looked over to see a large, ornate mirror standing in the corner. He knew
what it was of course. Out of curiosity, he walked over to it, wondering if his heart's desire had
changed. He dropped the cloak to his feet and looked into the Mirror of Erised.

He saw himself, staring back at him, his emerald eyes alight with happiness. His mirror self
pulled up his left arm and settled it onto the shoulders of Ginny, who appeared as his arm
started to lift. She looked up at his mirror self and flashed him a beautiful smile. They changed,
obviously aging many years. Three kids appeared around them, two boys and a girl, all clinging
to one of their parents, smiles on their faces as well. The family of five waved to him, and the
real Harry smiled softly at the picture. He sensed a presence behind him.

"Hello Professor Dumbledore," he said quietly. He turned to see Dumbledore drop his
invisibility charm. Harry could do the charm as well, however the Deathly Hallow was much
better at concealing him. The older man had a look of slight surprise on his face, however his
eyes were twinkling.

"I see you have discovered the delights of the Mirror of Erised," he said, walking over to Harry.
Harry nodded his head, looking back at his family.

"I did sir. I know it might not come true, but my desire certainly is possible," he said.
Dumbledore looked at Harry carefully, noting the hope shining in his eyes. "A family of my
A Second Chance

own, with a woman I love. That is what I want most." Dumbledore was mentally relieved. He
had misread Harry in his office.

"You are correct Harry. That is certainly possible. However, I must ask you do not go looking
for this mirror again. It will be moved to a new home soon," Dumbledore explained.

"I want to apologize for my behavior in your office the other day Professor. I might not have
had a good childhood, but I shouldn't take it out on you," Harry said truthfully. He felt bad
after that meeting. He had never hated his old mentor. He was merely disappointed, however
he did understand his reasons and the fact that even he could make mistakes.

"That is quite alright Harry. It is quite late, and I must advise you to put on the exquisite cloak
and head back to Gryffindor tower," Dumbledore said, the twinkle in his eyes coming back in
full force. Harry grinned and picked it up.

"Of course Professor, not that I need it." With that, Harry flicked his wand, and disappeared.
Shock registered on Dumbledore's face before he chuckled lightly. The wonders of youth
always did amuse him.

"One other thing Professor," came Harry's voice, however it seemed to come from all around
him. Dumbledore was suitably impressed by Harry's spellwork, as this combination was rather
difficult to master. "I would watch Quirrell if I were you." Dumbledore's eyes widened. He
knew Quirinus was being controlled, but how did Harry? He furrowed his brow. Even when one
question was answered, two more appeared. Harry Potter was a riddle, one that didn't seem
likely to be figured out for a long time.

"I can't believe we didn't think of this last time," Hermione whispered, as they levitated
Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback Dragon up to the top of the Astronomy Tower. "We knew
the spell."

"I know, it would have made it so much easier," Harry responded as he directed the crate with
his wand. They were both invisible, as was the crate. A silencing spell was around them so that
they can talk with each other, but not be heard outside of the spell. They were soon on the
Astronomy tower, handing Norbert over to the Charlie's friends.

"Alright, head down to the chamber. I'll meet you down there." Hermione nodded and
disappeared again, going down the steps. "Fawkes!" Harry said loudly and confidently. With a
flash of fire, the red and gold phoenix appeared and landed on his shoulder, chirping a few
notes. "Hi Fawkes. Can you get me the Sorting Hat please?" The phoenix bobbed its head
before flashing away, coming back not a minute later with the Sorting Hat. Harry quickly put it
on.

"What is it that you want this time Potter?" the hat asked.

"Merely my birthright," Harry said. The hat chuckled.


A Second Chance

"You are a cheeky one Potter, however I do know you are the Heir of Gryffindor. Therefore,
you are the sword's rightful owner. You might want to take the hat off, or this will hurt." Harry
laughed before removing the hat and pulling out a glittering ruby encrusted silver sword. Harry
admired the sword for a minute before connecting his magic with it. With a quick flash of
crimson light, the sword disappeared, waiting to be called. Harry nodded to Fawkes, who
grabbed the hat and disappeared. Five minutes later found Harry walking into the second floor
girl's bathroom.

"Hey guys," Harry said quietly as he walked up to the sink. Hermione, Neville, and Ron were
there waiting. "You ready for this?" They all nodded. Harry walked over to a sink.

"Open," Harry hissed in Parseltongue. The sink quickly sank out of sight, leaving the large pipe.
He looked over to the others, before shrugging and jumping into the pipe. After landing at the
bottom, he quickly stood, pulling out his wand. The others quickly followed as they hit the
ground as well.

"This place always did disgust me," Harry said, before he started swinging his wand around,
casting cleaning charms. Soon all of the dirt, grime, and bones disappeared. "Light," Harry
hissed, causing torches to flare to life along the tunnel. It was something they discovered back
in the first timeline. The Chamber of Secrets responded in many ways to Parseltongue.

"Keep your eyes squinted and stay on alert. I don't know if the basilisk ever moved from its
resting place." They walked down the now lit tunnel until they came to the door with the
entwined serpents. "Open," he hissed again. They were soon in the Chamber, the torches
burning on the serpent columns. The large statue of Salazar Slytherin loomed into view. Harry
walked up to the statue. The other three took positions behind pillars, wands out and ready for
a fight. Hermione prepared to transfigure a rock into a rooster, which could kill the Basilisk in
seconds.

"Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four," Harry hissed loudly to the statue.
Slytherin's mouth opened, leaving room for the basilisk to slither out. With a loud thump, the
snake hit the floor and turned its eyes on Harry, who looked back defiantly.

"You are a speaker young one. Only a speaker could survive my gaze," the basilisk said to him,
sounding mildly annoyed it wouldn't be having dinner. The fact that it didn't attack instantly
and was talking coherent sentences told Harry that it was being controlled in the chamber last
time. "Who are you?"

"My name is Harry Potter. May I ask what is yours?" Harry asked. A stuttered hissing came out
of its mouth, which Harry thought was laughter.

"My name is Salashra, Harry Potter. It has been a long time since I have talked with a human.
He didn't bother asking my name," Salashra said.

"I was wondering why Salazar Slytherin put you here, all those years ago," Harry asked."My old
master put me here to help guard the school." Harry's mouth dropped open. Guard the school?
"He was afraid someone would attack. Hogwarts holds many secrets," she explained.
A Second Chance

"I was wondering if you would like a new master," Harry said gently. "Someone who can count
on you to help guard the school again." The snake considered him for a minute.

"I have gone a long time without a master and friend. You seem worthy Harry Potter. You must
come visit however," she said. Harry grinned up at the large snake.

"Of course. How do we bond?" he asked.

"Hold out your hand," she said, which he immediately did. She opened her large mouth just a
little and pricked his finger with a fang. Instead of horrible pain and a quick death from the
venom, he felt magic flow from the fang through his body.

"Wow," he said, feeling almost giddy at the power. He received another hissing laugh from
Salashra.

"YOU DID WHAT?" Ginny screamed into his mind the next day, making him wince. He
quickly showed her the memory in her mind. "Harry, I can't believe you did that," she
said. "What if it had just attacked?"

"I had the Sword of Gryffindor ready and Ron, Neville, and Hermione were
hidden in the chamber. Besides, it isn't that hard to transfigure a rock into a
rooster," he said with a grin. He felt her shake her head.

"We will talk about this later," she said, having heard Mrs. Weasley call for her. Harry
winced again, knowing he wasn't off the hook.

"What's wrong Harry?" Hermione asked. He just grinned sheepishly.

"Ginny knows about last night," he said, getting laughter from her, Neville, and Ron. They had
managed to get around the school yesterday without being caught, so they wouldn't have to
go to the forest. Not that it mattered, they knew what would happen. Ginny and Luna were
now scouting the grounds in their animagus forms so that they would know when Dumbledore
was called to the Ministry, in case it didn't happen on the same day.

So they waited. It was all they could do. Exams were beyond easy, and they passed with flying
colors. They were just walking outside after their final exam when a familiar eagle swooped
down and landed in front of them. It held out a talon and dropped a message before flying off.
Harry quickly grabbed it. It only had one word on it.

Tonight.

Quirrell ran up the staircase to the third floor. It would be tonight. Dumbledore was out of the
castle. No one would stop him from getting the stone and reviving his master. He opened the
door to the third floor corridor, and entered, closing the door behind him. He looked down the
hallway to the door of the Stone's chamber. He began to walk when a dark mist enveloped the
area in front of the door, about ten yards away from him. He quickly pulled out his wand. As
A Second Chance

the mist disappeared, he noticed a figure standing in front of the door. He had robes of the
darkest black, lined in gold, with golden runes scattered along the edges. His gloves were
similarly colored, and his wand was out, pointed at the ground. His hood was up, shrouding his
head in darkness.

"Who are you," Quirrell hissed, pointing his wand at the figure.

"Quirinus Quirrell, I advise you to stop your quest for the stone or I will be forced to take
action against you," the figure said, its voice disguised by a charm.

"Kill him," a voice sounded from behind Quirrell.

"Avada Kedavra!" Quirrell yelled, obeying the command. The man merely stepped to the side,
letting the curse slam into the wall. Quirrell turned his wand on the man but before he could
get another curse off, a bone-shattering curse hit his wand arm, tearing all the bones in it
apart. Quirrell fell to the ground in pain. A quick cutting curse shot through Quirrell's wand,
cutting it in half. The figure flicked his wand, vanishing the turban on his head, showing the
face coming out of Quirrell's head.

"Lord Voldemort. I can't say I am happy to see you," the man said, striding around Quirrell.
"However, I must finish this." With that, the man grabbed Quirrell with his hands, causing the
man to burn. Quirrell screamed out in pain until the man put a hand on Quirrell's face. Quirrell
quickly blistered and burned to death, causing the shade of Voldemort to scream and fly off.
The man quickly lowered his hood.

"Shit that hurt," Harry panted, forcing the pain behind his Occlumency shields. He waved his
wand, causing his cloths to change back into his Gryffindor robes. He concentrated, reaching
into his magical core. It was severely depleted, however he had enough left. That was why he
passed out last time. He didn't have enough reserves. He turned when he heard the doorway
to the corridor open. Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall rushed in and gasped at what they
saw.

"Harry, are you alright?" Dumbledore asked, rushing up to him. Harry stood, albeit with a little
trouble.

"Yes sir. I had discovered the stone, and that someone was going to steal it. I found out that
you left the school, and figured they would come for it tonight," he explained. He smiled
ruefully. "I thought it was you Professor," he said, pointing to Snape, "and was surprised when
Quirrell came in."

"Come Mr. Potter, to the hospital wing," McGonagall said, ushering him out of the hallway.
Harry decided to follow. Dumbledore looked over to Snape after they left, sighing.

"The boy knew. I do wonder where he receives his information. It almost seems as if he knows
future events, but that would be impossible," Dumbledore mused out loud. Snape was equally
perplexed.
A Second Chance

"I too wonder how Potter was able to take on Quirrell and the Dark Lord, even if one was a
complete idiot and the other was a spirit," Snape said, looking at the ashes which were the
remains of Quirrell.

"It matters not. The stone is safe, and we have Harry to thank. Once again, I have yet more
questions and no answers," Dumbledore said, however, his eyes were twinkling.

Harry walked into the Room of Requirement that night. He had been released from the
hospital wing on the condition he didn't do any magic for two days, to let his magical core
recover. Harry knew he would be fine doing everyday magic in a couple hours, but didn't say
anything to the overbearing matron. He barely made it into the room before Ginny pounced
on him, kissing him all over his face.

"Are you alright? I felt the pain through the bond. Get over there and lay down!" she
demanded. Harry just grinned and did as he was told, his head in her lap.

"What did Dumbledore ask you in the Hospital Wing?" Hermione asked him.

"He wanted to know more specific details on how I knew about the Stone and the fight," Harry
explained, his eyes closed as Ginny ran her fingers through his hair. "I don't think he really
believes me, but I didn't expect him to. He is Dumbledore. The man is too clever for his own
good," he said with amusement.

School quickly ended. Gryffindor had won the House cup by a large margin, not having lost all
those points when they took the dragon to the Astronomy Tower. They had also won the
Quidditch Cup, due to Harry not being unconscious. Oliver Wood had nearly died with joy
when they won. They were soon packed and on the train. The eventually pulled into King's
Cross.

"Don't worry, I will stop by eventually," Harry told Ron, as they walked up to Mr. and Mrs.
Weasley and Ginny. He winked at Ginny who smiled and then looked up to her parents.

"Did you have a good year?" Mrs. Weasley asked the four of them. They just grinned.

"Yes we did, Mrs. Weasley," Harry laughed.

Sirius reached under his bed, moving his hand side to side until it met something solid.
Grabbing onto it, he pulled it out. To anyone else, it looked like he wasn't pulling anything. He
looked out of his cell to make sure no Aurors were walking along before he felt for a latch. He
found it and flipped open the invisible box. Inside were rows after rows of potions. He quickly
grabbed a purple potion, which had white swirls throughout it. He quickly drank it, feeling
intense relief as his mind was quickly shielded with the potion. He thought back to the note he
had received with his last meal, which also came with the box of potions.
A Second Chance
A Second Chance

Chapter 5

Phase One
"BOY! GET DOWN HERE!" Harry groaned in annoyance. It was the first day of summer. He
forgot he was a virtual slave in this house. He sat up from his lumpy bed and looked around his
room. He sighed.

"GET DOWN HERE NOW!" He got up and quickly changed, shrinking the cloths to fit him. He
opened the door and took his time walking downstairs. In the kitchen were a purple-faced
Vernon Dursley, an annoyed Petunia Dursley, and an oblivious Dudley Dursley, who was staring
at the TV.

"You called Uncle Vernon?" Harry asked calmly while leaning against the door frame. Vernon
looked like he was about to have a seizure with that tone.

"Don't take that tone with me boy. Make our breakfast!" Vernon spat at him before
disappearing behind the paper. Harry shrugged before pulling out his wand. He waved it and a
couple pots and pans flew to the stove.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Petunia shrieked. Harry looked over to her with an innocent
expression on his face.

"Making breakfast," he said with a smirk, making a jabbing motion with his wand at the
refrigerator. Several eggs and a lot of bacon flew from it before settling next to the pots. Harry
flicked his wand, causing the stove to start and the pans to heat up. A couple more flicks, and
the eggs flew over the pot, before the shell disappeared, letting the egg fall onto the hot pot.
He sent a grin over at his relatives, only to see that his aunt had fainted, Dudley looked ready
to follow his mother, and Vernon was now an even darker shade of purple.

"How dare you use your freakiness inside my house," Vernon growled, before standing and
walking toward Harry. Harry merely lifted his wand and Vernon stopped, unable to move.

"I wouldn't do that if I were you Uncle Vernon," Harry said happily. After that, he continued
making breakfast, humming a tune the whole way. Soon he sat down with a hearty plate of
eggs, bacon, and toast. When he was done eating, he released his uncle, and with a wave of
his wand, set up three more plates of food.

"Enjoy," he said, before leaving the kitchen.

"You enjoyed that way too much," Ginny said in his mind, getting a light chuckle from
him.

"Quite right you are Ginny," he replied merrily, before going back to his room. He looked
around it with a frown on his face.

"This won't do," he said. He held out his wand and pointed it at each of the four walls, before
spinning it over his head. The walls jumped back, doubling the space in the room. He then
flicked it at the bed, causing it to change into a four-poster bed, which was very similar to the
A Second Chance

one at Hogwarts. The small desk was soon a grand study area. The room was covered in
crimson and gold for Gryffindor. A perch was conjured for Hedwig, and he vanished all the
broken toys of Dudley's. All in all, it looked much nicer.

"Not half bad," came Ginny's voice as she observed through his eyes.

"You going shopping with me?" Harry asked. "We can't have the Boy-Who-Lived
wearing these cloths," he said with a grin. He received her mental giggle.

"Of course! How could I refuse?" He grinned before flicking his wand at the door and
locking it before changing his cloths back to the black and gold robes and cloak. He then
vanished without a sound.

"Mum! Ron and I are going into town!" Ginny yelled from the back door of the Burrow.

"Be careful you two!" she yelled back. Ginny merely grinned before running back outside to
where Ron was standing.

"Let's go. I need to meet up with Harry," she said as they walked down the familiar path to the
small town of Ottery St. Catchpole.

"What are you two going to do?" Ron asked curiously.

"Shopping. You remember those horrid cloths he has right?" He nodded. "Well he has the
money, I don't know why he didn't go buy cloths the first time through," she said. Ron just
shrugged and pulled out his wand.

"Here, you will need it more than I will," he said. She grinned before taking it and changing her
robes into ones like her Unspeakable robes. She saw Ron grin as well before she disappeared
without a sound.

"Well, might as well have some fun," Ron said, before changing into a husky and running into
town to play the lovable stray for a few hours.

Harry appeared at the apparation point in Diagon Alley. He walked over to the Apothecary and
waited for Ginny. He felt her presence appear at the apparation point and looked over to see a
figure in black and silver robes walk up to him.

"Hello Firefly," he said, holding out a hand, which Ginny gracefully took.

"Hello to you too Raven," she responded as they began walking down the alley to Gringotts
hand in hand. They looked all around them, at all the happy faces. They hadn't seen Diagon
Alley like this in years. Even years after Voldemort's defeat, it was still not near the joyful place
it used to be.
A Second Chance

Harry slapped a curse away with his wand before a whip made of emerald green fire sprouted
from it. It shot out at any Death Eater stupid enough to come close. Ginny was back to back
with him, curses flying from her wand. Hogwarts was to begin in a week and Harry had come
to Diagon Alley with Ginny to help her buy supplies for her seventh year. Ron and Hermione
were a little ways down the alley, fighting in a similar fashion. Harry flicked the whip one more
time before it disappeared and he spun, pulling Ginny down with him, letting a killing curse fly
over their heads. The sprinted to the relatively undamaged Quidditch shop.

"They always have to make it exciting don't they?" Harry asked sarcastically before a purple
light shot from his wand, severing the hand off of a Death Eater. Ginny soon stunned him.

"Good to see you two on this fine August morning," came a familiar voice to their left. They
turned to see Fred and George under the other window of the shop, one throwing up shields
while the other fired curses.

"Oh no, Remus!" Ginny yelled when she looked back outside. They all turned to see the
werewolf in question being dragged away from the fight, obviously unconscious. The man
dragging him had a silver hand.

"WORMTAIL!" Harry roared, before launching himself out of the shop, quickly followed by
Ginny. Fred and George looked at each other before rushing toward their shop, sending cover
fire for the other two. Other Death Eaters noticed Harry run out of the shop, but Harry would
not be delayed. He was too angry, and his magic reflected that. He swiped his wand
horizontally, causing a shockwave to emanate from him, blasting the eight Death Eaters from
their feet. Wormtail looked up to him, and with a cocky grin, disappeared with a portkey,
Remus in tow. It was the last time Harry would ever see him alive.

"NO!" Harry yelled in anguish before someone grabbed him from behind. He turned to see Bill
holding his arm. Behind them Fleur disappeared with Ginny, before in a whirlwind of color, they
disappeared as well. The fighting was still underway, however it was obvious the light side was
losing, and they were retreating. The Death Eaters started to swarm forward, sensing their
victory. They surrounded Weasley Wizard Wheezes, knowing the two redheads were still inside.

"Well Fred?" George said, looking to his twin. Fred nodded solemnly.

"Let's give them hell George," he said, before they both made large sweeping motions with
their wands. All the products in the shop activated, creating a massive blast of magic. The
Death Eaters didn't have a chance, as the shop exploded in a multitude of colors, taking nearly
thirty Death Eaters and the infamous Weasley Twins with it.

"I don't think Diagon Alley will ever be the same for me," Ginny said with a sniff as she held
back tears. Harry felt the same, and combined with the emotions he felt from Ginny over their
bond, he had to employ Occlumency to keep his emotions in check. They quickly made their
way to Gringotts, giving a respective bow back to the Goblin at the front doors. The Goblin
looked surprised, but took it in stride.
A Second Chance

"Hello, I would like to talk to a manager please," Harry said as he walked up to one of the
Goblins. The Goblin looked down at him with a sneer and was about to respond when Harry
lifted his hood just enough for the Goblin to see him and his scar. The sneer was dropped and
the Goblin quickly got up and went to get a manager. Harry just shook his head as he replaced
his hood, while Ginny giggled.

"Hello sir, if you will come with me," an important looking Goblin said, coming out of one of
the side doors. Harry and Ginny quickly followed him into a rich looking office. "I am sorry Mr.
Potter. We did not know it was you and your soul mate. My name is Thrall. How may I help
you?" Harry and Ginny both lowered their hoods, not looking at all surprised that the Goblins
knew of their soul bond. They seemed to know almost everything.

"Yes, as you probably know, the Potters are quite wealthy and I know that the vault I took
money from last year was only a small portion." Thrall nodded, knowing this. "With our soul
bond, it is quite within our right to declare independence and take adult status," Harry said.
Thrall nodded, a smirk coming over his face.

"I can and will gladly do this for you." Thrall pushed a button and another Goblin walked in.
"Retrieve emancipation papers and the current records of the Potter Family Fortune." The
Goblin quickly left the room. Thrall turned back to Harry and Ginny. "I am sure you want
emancipation so that you can visit and use what is in the Family Vaults?" Harry merely nodded.
The documents Thrall had asked for appeared on his desk. "If you would Mr. and Mrs. Potter,"
he said, motioning toward the two papers in front of them. Harry conjured a knife before
pricking his finger and handing it to Ginny, who did the same. They both let a drop of blood fall
onto the papers before they disappeared.

"Very well. Here are your current holdings. Merely state that you want to go to your vault and
a Goblin will come to escort you." Thrall then took his leave. Harry quickly scanned the
documents, noticing everything was there. They were soon flying through the caves under the
bank. The cart stopped in front of Vault 79. Carved into the door was a Griffin in flight. Harry
walked up to it and rested his hand on the door, which glowed a brilliant crimson before
disappearing altogether.

"You think having already seen this would make it less breathtaking," Ginny said, staring in awe
at the vault. There was gold. A lot of gold. That wasn't all though, as there were weapons and
armor on the walls, bookcases in the back, and jewelry on several tables in a corner. Harry
quickly walked over to the gold, before pulling out a small sack. He pointed his wand into the
sack, casting a bottomless charm on it. With a quick flick of his wand, thousands of galleons
flew from the floor and into the sack. Harry looked back at the pile, noticing it didn't make
much of a difference at all. As he did this, Ginny held out her hands, causing two daggers to fly
from the left wall and into her hands, which she spun expertly around in her hands. They were
the sister blades of the Sword of Gryffindor. They were ruby encrusted and silver as well,
perfectly balanced and always sharp. Normally, they could only be used by an Heir of
Gryffindor, but with her soul bond to Harry, she was able to wield them. She turned to see
Harry smirking at her.
A Second Chance

"Having fun dear?" he said in amusement. She nodded merrily before the two daggers
disappeared, ready to be called by her. Harry walked over to the tables holding the jewelry. He
grabbed a familiar case and opened it, showing several wedding rings. He smiled softly as he
grabbed a platinum wedding ring, which had a diamond in the middle, small rubies and
emeralds along the band. It had been his grandmother's ring. He grinned as he spun and took
Ginny's hand. He slid it onto her finger, where it quickly adjusted to her size, before kissing her
hand.

"I'm happy to see that back on your finger Ginny," he said. She smiled as well before grabbing
his wedding band from the box as well. She slid it onto his hand.

"I agree," she said before giving him a soft kiss. Harry waved his hand over the rings, causing
them to disappear to everyone but themselves. They entwined their fingers before walking
back toward the door. They quickly made their way back to the front desks of Gringotts,
getting several hundred galleons changed into pounds. Several hours and several shrinking
charms later, Harry and Ginny walked back into Diagon Alley.

"Come on, we need to get you a wand that actually works," Harry said, pulling Ginny toward
Ollivanders.

"Hello Mr. Potter, eleven inches, holly, phoenix feather correct?" Harry nodded to the odd
man. "And you are?" he said, turning his wide pale eyes on Ginny.

"Ginny Weasley sir," she said. He smiled at her in a knowing way.

"Well Mrs. Potter, let's get you a wand shall we?" Harry and Ginny were unable to hold in their
shock. Ollivander merely let out a small chuckle. "You two are tied together quite strongly.
Soul bond I presume?" At their dumbfounded nods, he continued. "Yes, I can see magic rather
well, a gift I suppose," he rambled, as he walked along the rows of wands. "Soul bonds are
exceedingly rare, happening maybe once every couple centuries, and very little knowledge is
known about them. Very few people know what they are," he said, pulling a box from the
shelf. Thirty two wands later, Ginny grabbed a wand and a shower of sparks flew from it, as a
small wind blew through the shop.

"Ten inches, ebony, and dragon heartstring. Very well. That will be seven galleons." Harry
quickly paid.

"I trust our bond will remain secret Mr. Ollivander?" Harry asked. Mr. Ollivander looked
insulted.

"A soul bond between two people is a sacred thing. Just because I know, gives me no right to
tell," he said seriously. Harry nodded before leading Ginny out of the shop.

Draco Malfoy paced in his room at Malfoy Manor. He was angry, frustrated, and confused. He
didn't know what to believe anymore. He had been brought up to believe that purebloods
were the strongest, the only ones worthy to walk this Earth. Muggles, Muggle-borns, and half
bloods were inferior. His ideology was shattered during this year at Hogwarts.
A Second Chance

It all started with Harry Potter. He had walked into the compartment ready to have him join his
side. When Potter put him down and even threatened him, he couldn't believe it had
happened. He had thought it must have to do with him being a half blood, and figured he was
inferior. That was not true. Potter was powerful and skilled. He and his friends excelled at
everything they did, whether it was charms or Quidditch. Even the mudblood Granger was
better than him at everything. Mudbloods were supposed to be the worst sort, barely magical,
but Granger was anything but.

To make it even worse, none of them were afraid of the Dark Lord. His father had said how the
Dark Lord would return and cleanse the world. He said how Potter won by a fluke, a lucky
survival. But how could that be lucky? Potter deflected a killing curse as a baby! Deflecting that
curse is supposed to be impossible, and to do it as a baby is inconceivable.

Try thinking for yourself for once, instead of blindly following your father. That is what Potter
had said to him. While he hated taking Potter's advice, he was going to. He would still act as a
pampered Slytherin prince, but he would get to the bottom of this. He would understand, and
he would make a choice off of his own opinion.

"As you know, today is a very important day." Harry rolled his eyes. It was the day Dobby paid
him a visit. After going through the plan for the Masons with his uncle, Harry quickly left for his
room. He was just finishing his Potions summer work when there was a crack behind him.

"Hello Dobby," Harry said in a neutral tone as he turned in his seat. He had already cast
silencing charms on the walls. Dobby's eyes widened.

"Harry Potter sir knows Dobby?" the elf asked.

"I have heard of you yes. I know that you must obey the rules of the house that you are
currently in. I have some." Dobby nodded his head, his ears flopping with it. "There will be no
punishments and you will be treated as an equal. Is that understood?" Dobby burst into tears,
just like Harry expected.

"Treated… as an equal? Harry Potter is a great wizard," Dobby sobbed. Harry just shook his
head.

"Please sit Dobby. I know why you are here," he started. Dobby looked astonished. "Your
master plans to give someone a very dangerous enchanted diary, am I correct?" Dobby merely
nodded. "Do not worry Dobby, I know and have plans in which to eliminate this threat. I have
no need for your help at this time."

"How did Harry Potter sir get so wise?" Dobby asked with awe. Harry just laughed.

"I'm not that wise Dobby. Now, return to your house, and tell no one what you have learned,"
Harry said seriously. Dobby nodded enthusiastically.
A Second Chance

"Dobby will keep Harry Potter's secrets." With that, the little elf snapped his fingers and
disappeared. Harry smiled affectionately at where the excitable elf was sitting before going
back to his summer work.

"Phase one for year two, complete," he said with a mental grin, getting mental grin from
Ginny.

Albus Dumbledore paced in his office, a common site to anyone who knew the Headmaster.
He always walked around the room when he thought about puzzles or brooded on information
he received. This time, it was a puzzle. A puzzle he had frequently been thinking of ever since
September first last year. That puzzle was Harry Potter.

The boy was very magically gifted. Top scores for the first years, along with Miss Granger, Mr.
Weasley, and Mr. Longbottom. They all had powerful Occlumency shields. They also seemed to
disappear from time to time. The one instance that really astounded him was the last
Halloween with the troll. Miss Granger had used an extremely powerful shield, a shield that he
finally mastered at the age of twenty four, at the age of eleven. From the sound of it, Mr.
Longbottom used the Blasting Hex, which isn't taught until sixth year defense. Mr. Weasley
used a very strong summoning charm, which is a fourth year charm. Harry used a Reductor
curse, fourth year material again, with astounding power.

The four students stumped him. He always was good at figuring things out, but he had to
admit that even he could not figure out how they seemed to be at the right place at the right
time, every time. Flying lessons, the troll, and the stopping of Quirrell. They seemed to
anticipate what happened, although none of them appeared to be seers. That and they were
too powerful and knowledgeable for first years. There was only one thing he could think of,
but that was preposterous. Time travel to this magnitude is merely a myth. It wasn't possible.
A Second Chance

Chapter 6

Summer Fun
"Ginny! Wake up! It's time for breakfast!" came the voice of Molly Weasley up the stairs of the
crooked house named the Burrow. Ginny sat up with a groan, having had pleasant dreams
about Harry. She got out of bed and was in the process of putting on an old pair of jeans when
she felt a familiar presence in the house. She grinned.

"When did you get home dear?" she asked. She heard his mental laugh.

"I was wondering when you would notice," Harry said with amusement. "Hurry up,
breakfast is ready, and don't run out of the room when you see me this time, " he
teased. She merely laughed before finishing getting dressed and rushing down the stairs. She
walked into the kitchen and her chocolate eyes immediately found Harry's emerald ones.

"Hi! I'm Ginny," she said with a radiant smile. Harry and Ron fought to keep the grins off their
faces at her acting. Fred and George were gaping at her, wondering why she wasn't hiding
behind their mum. Harry Potter had been her hero for as long as they could remember. Percy
merely seemed uninterested.

"Nice to meet you Ginny. I'm Harry," Harry replied in kind. Mrs. Weasley looked on with a soft
smile on her face. She barely knew the boy and already she loved him as her own. She couldn't
help it.

"So Harry, how did you get here?" Fred asked while stuffing a sausage into his mouth.

"The Knight Bus," Harry answered with a shrug. "I heard about it from one of the older
students. It was easy enough," he said, noticing the disapproving look Mrs. Weasley had on
when he mentioned he traveled alone. In reality, he just apparated, but he couldn't tell them
that.

The day continued with the simple chores, which Harry was more than willing to help out on.
Harry and Ginny decided to act a little shy around each other for a couple days to maintain the
illusion that they became friends. Mrs. Weasley gave them the afternoon off, which Ron
decided would be dedicated to Quidditch.

"Oi, let's go!" he yelled out to Fred and George, while grabbing Charlie's old broom. Harry
turned to Ron with a wink before looking over at Ginny, who was sitting on a bench in the
garden watching them.

"Hey Ginny, aren't you going to play?" he called out. A grin quickly spread across her face
before she jumped up and ran over to them.

"She's never flown before," Fred said as he walked over to them. Ginny threw an annoyed look
at him before grabbing his broom and soaring into the air. Harry chuckled at Fred's
dumbfounded look.
A Second Chance

"I think you broke him love," Harry sent. After that, they played two against two, with
Harry just searching for the snitch. Ginny and Ron were against Fred and George, with one
keeper and one chaser. The game was over when Harry caught the snitch.

"Are you sure this is fair?" Fred asked George after Ginny scored her eighth goal. They had only
scored once, and that was because Ron was laughing too hard to stop the quaffle. Harry
quickly caught the snitch after that, ending their misery.

The summer continued in much the same way. Hermione, Neville, and Luna were invited
often. It soon came time for their trip to Diagon Alley. Harry wasn't really looking forward to
this, as Lockhart would be there, and he hated that man. They soon were spat out of the
fireplace in the Leaky Cauldron. Harry managed to get it right this time.

"Harry, Ron!" a voice yelled out. They turned to see Hermione walk up to them, a beaming
smile on her face. Her parents were behind her, looking a bit out of place but smiles on
nonetheless. Their smiles widened when Hermione hugged them both. She had always been a
lonely girl before magic came into their lives.

"Hello Mr. and Mrs. Granger, I'm Harry," he said, holding out his hand, which Mr. Granger
took.

"It's nice to meet you Harry. Hermione has told us a lot about you," he said. Harry smiled back
at the older man. It was good to see them alive.

Harry, Neville, Ron, Hermione, and many other Order members stumbled into Grimmauld
Place, covered in dirt and blood. Voldemort had targeted St. Mungos, where many Aurors were
recuperating due to the hard fight they had only two weeks prior in Diagon Alley. Voldemort
himself was there, as well as several key Death Eaters. Harry and his friends went to help, as
they were becoming some of the most powerful fighters on the side of the light. Harry
especially had come to his own, his powers quickly rising to the top. He had quickly jumped into
the fight, taking over the battle with Voldemort. While Harry took him on, the other three were
covering his back, beating the Death Eaters down. They didn't go without casualties however,
and had lost several members, such as Hestia Jones and Cho Chang. Harry fell unceremoniously
onto a couch, his left arm and right hip screaming in pain. The people were right when they
said Voldemort was the best at what he did. His arm was mangled and his hip was surly
broken. He knew he had several cracked ribs as well, however those didn't hurt nearly as much.
He was lucky he was a werewolf, or some of those wounds would be much worse. Hermione
quickly healed the long cut on her right leg before making her way to him.

"Oh Harry, what did he do to you?" she asked, before she started moving her wand all around
him, mending bones and healing cuts. He handed him several potions for him to drink, which he
did without complaint. She was the best out of the four of them with healing spells, although
Ginny was the truly gifted healer.

"I wish I could be there Harry, some of those wounds look nasty," he heard Ginny say into his
mind. He smiled grimly.
A Second Chance

"Don't worry Ginny. It's nothing Hermione can't handle," he answered, sending reassurance
through the bond. He looked over to Ron and Neville, who were healing each other. They only
had minor wounds.

"You alright guys?" he asked looking at them. Neville shook his head at Harry.

"Coming from the one who just got his arse kicked by Voldemort, yeah, compared to you I feel
brand new," he said. Neville had turned into quite the warrior after his sixth year. His magic
quickly grew, and his skills became much more polished. He had discovered he had a natural
talent with swords, which he trained with constantly. Judging by the blood covering the
Japanese Katana strapped to his back, it was put into use. They had all been forced to kill, and
while it still made them want to throw up their dinner at the thought of it, they did so without
hesitation to the Death Eaters. Many would say they are dropping to their level, but they would
prefer to see them dead then breaking out of prison and killing someone else.

"There Harry, all done. Just take it easy for a little while. With your condition, you should be
fine in a few hours," she said, standing up. Harry got up with a groan.

"I hate this, constantly having to heal and get ready," he said before walking toward the
kitchen. Inside were several others, including Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Charlie, Fleur, Tonks,
Kingsley, and Madam Pomfrey, who was running around and healing the minor wounds around
the room. Harry was about to speak when he felt a buzzing on his watch. He looked down at it
and swore, before running out of the kitchen, his friends and family right behind him.

"The Granger's now!" he yelled before disappearing without a sound. The others quickly
disappeared as they passed the wards. They appeared to see the entire house ablaze,
Voldemort standing in front of it. Voldemort looked tired yet still had an ugly smile on his face.
He had taken a few hits from Harry during their duel not an hour before, yet not enough to
Harry's liking. Harry just wasn't strong enough yet. Harry had his wand out and was stalking
toward the man that had made his life a so hard.

"What have you done," Harry hissed, pure hate and venom laced in his words. Voldemort
merely sneered, before waving a hand at the house.

"This is for your continued defiance Harry. I hope you do enjoy it," he said.

"Damn you! Avada Kedavra!" Harry screamed, pointing his wand at him. Voldemort merely
disappeared before it reached him. The spell slammed into the side of the burning house,
exploding the wall. Harry turned to see the Order members there rush forward to put out the
fire. He saw Hermione on the ground, sobbing in Ron's arms.

It had been a tough day for all of them. They had lost too many people that day. Harry shook
his head to rid himself of those dark thoughts. Mr. Weasley led them all to the back, where he
created the archway into Diagon Alley. They quickly grabbed gold from Gringotts and went
back out into the alley before breaking into groups, getting all of their necessary supplies.
When they went to Flourish and Blotts however, Harry turned to the four parents.
A Second Chance

"Do we have to go in there?" he asked, putting on a mock pout. Mr. Weasley just smiled in
amusement.

"We do need our books Harry," Hermione said with a smirk. Harry sighed dramatically.

"Well I refuse to buy his books," Harry declared as they walked in. The store was packed with
shoppers wanting to get a look at the Golden Idiot himself. They quickly got their books,
however Harry and Hermione didn't pick up Lockhart's books. Mrs. Weasley however, deemed
it necessary to get them. Ron was trying to tell her they wouldn't need them, but she wouldn't
take no for an answer.

"Where are all of your books Harry?" she asked, walking up to him.

"I'm not getting Lockhart's books Mrs. Weasley." She gave him a disapproving look. Harry
rolled his eyes before taking two of the books from her stack for Ginny. "Look Mrs. Weasley,
Year of the Yeti, it says he fights the Yeti on December 12th, 1987 in Siberia, however here in
Voyages with Vampires, it says he is in Scandinavia from November 3rd to December 17th of
the same year. How could he do both at the same time?" he asked. She looked a little shocked,
and couldn't get a word out of her mouth. Mr. Weasley however had heard the whole thing as
well.

"Good point Harry," he said with a cheery smile. "I'm sure someone will buy them and they can
share with their classmates, right Molly?" he said, looking over to her. She nodded before
going back to the stacks and putting them back. Mr. Weasley looked at him and winked before
walking after his wife.

"You just saved Mum twelve galleons," Ginny echoed in his head. He looked over to her
and winked. "Aren't you going to make a scene?" she said in a teasing tone. He sighed.

"Well here goes nothing," he said before deliberately walking into Lockhart's vision.

"It can't be Harry Potter?" Lockhart yelled out before jumping forward. Harry merely spun
slightly and Lockhart's hand shot right by him. He gave Harry a big smile before trying to pull
him closer for a photo but Harry moved again.

"Hello Mr. Lockhart," he said in a neutral voice.

"Well Mr. Potter what a surprise. Ladies and Gentlemen," he called out, getting everyone to
quiet down. "Harry here had no idea when he walked in this store to pick up my
autobiography, Magical Me, that he would be walking home with it, free of charge," he said
getting applause, "but would also be receiving real magical me. Yes, I have the pleasure of
announcing that I will be taking the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at
Hogwarts this year!" Everyone in the store burst into applause while the time-travelers shook
their heads. Cameras were flashing and Harry made a discreet motion of the hand, making
sure that none of the film would develop correctly. He then moved away quickly toward Ginny
while Lockhart soaked in the attention.

"That man is an idiot," he murmured to her. She just giggled and nodded.
A Second Chance

"Bet you loved that, didn't you, Potter?" came a drawling voice he recognized as Draco Malfoy.
He turned to see Malfoy, who to his internal surprise, wasn't sneering at him. It was almost a
curious look.

"Use your eyes Malfoy, Harry didn't want that," Ginny snapped at him, while Hermione and
Ron came over to them. The usual sneer spread across his face. Before Draco could retort a
hand dropped onto his shoulder.

"Now now Draco, we are in public." He turned his eyes onto Harry. "Mr. Potter. Young Draco
here has told me everything about you," he said, a small sneer on his face.

"I certainly hope not," Harry said with a sneer of his own.

"Lucius, may I ask what you are doing with my children?" came a cold voice. They all turned to
see Mr. Weasley walk up to them. Harry just watched as the two adults threw insults at each
other. Mr. Malfoy eventually picked up one of Ginny's books, made several rude remarks,
before throwing it back in, a little thicker than before. The two Malfoys then quickly left. Harry
looked back to Ginny's cauldron, seeing her pull the diary out and put it in her robe pocket.
'One down,' he thought.

It was dark in the corridor. No torches gave off light. Even without the cover of darkness, it
wasn't that hard to not be seen with magic. An invisible figure quickly made his way down the
hall, his steps masked by a silencing charm. He came to a door, which he quickly opened. He
stepped inside to find a circular room, doors all around him. The walls started to spin.

"The Room of Time," the figure intoned in a clear deep voice. The wall spun until a door was
directly in front of the figure. The walls stopped and the door opened to let him in. The figure
smirked. It was quite easy to navigate here, as all you need to do is say where you want to go.
Most wizards wouldn't think of such a simple solution. He quickly walked through into a room
filled with hundreds of clocks. He walked down to the back of the room, past a large crystal
bell. On a shelf there were several golden hourglasses, all connected to a thin golden chain.
The figure smirked before grabbing one and putting it in his pocket before taking another and
putting the chain around his neck. He then quickly made his way back out of the Department
of Mysteries. He disappeared at the apparation point and appeared in his room at the Burrow
without a sound.

He took the time turner from under his robes and turned it once, before disappearing in a
whirlwind of color. He appeared in the same room, only an hour earlier to see Harry Potter
disappear. With a grin, he flicked his wand, changing his robes back to the muggle clothes he
wore. Harry Potter stepped out onto the landing and walked down the steps and into the
kitchen.

"About time you woke up Harry dear, I was about to send Ron up after you," Mrs. Weasley said
while loading his plate with eggs and sausage.
A Second Chance

"Sorry Mrs. Weasley," he said with a smile. He turned and winked to Ron and Ginny, who
stifled grins and went back to their breakfast.

"We are leaving soon for the station so eat quickly and make sure all of your stuff is packed,"
she said, before dropping more food onto Ron's plate before he could even ask for more.
Several hours later and three back tracks to the Burrow they arrived at King's Cross. They
quickly made their way onto the platform and said their goodbyes. They found a compartment
toward the back of the train and sat down together. Neville, Hermione, and Luna soon walked
in and sat with them.

"I can't believe I'm going back to Hogwarts," Ginny said, a soft smile on her face as the train
made its way. Harry grinned as he looked over to Ron.

"At least we took the train this year," he said with a laugh.

"I don't know Harry, the car was fun," Ron said. Hermione merely rolled her eyes at their
antics. Before anyone could respond though, the compartment opened, allowing Draco Malfoy
to walk in. What surprised the six was that Draco didn't bring his normal bodyguards.

"Malfoy," Harry said neutrally, looking straight into Draco's eyes. The others took his lead,
holding judgment until Draco spoke. He looked at Harry in surprise, expecting some anger or
hate laced with his name. The surprise soon disappeared behind his usual mask of
indifference.

"I merely came to assure myself that you came to school this year. It is sure to be an
interesting one. Watch yourself Potter," he said before leaving. Harry quirked an eyebrow and
looked to the others.

"He was sincere. He was warning me," Harry said. He was of course doing Legilimency on
Draco as he talked. Draco was obviously being taught Occlumency by his father, however he
was still too much of a novice at it to feel a master's probing. Harry had excelled at
Legilimency, along with Luna. That was how Luna seemed to know things about people.

"Maybe your warning last year on the train is working," Ginny said. Harry merely nodded. He
flicked his hand at the door, casting several privacy wards. He grinned at his new ease with
wandless magic. Ever since his bonding with Salashra, his core magic had increased, as well as
his control. He only needed his wand for the most complex spells, and if he wanted a much
more powerful affect.

"Ok, what are we going to do this year?" he asked, looking over toward the others. Hermione
of course was the first to answer.

"We need to start collecting Horcruxes, as well as have the Chamber of Secrets opened," she
started. "We have to keep the timeline intact, even if that means petrifying some students,"
she said quietly.

"I agree. We will just set it up like last time. Mrs. Norris first, then Colin, Justin, and finally you
and Penelope," Harry said. Hermione just nodded, a determined look on her face. Ron looked
ready to protest, but Hermione shut him up with a look.
A Second Chance

"We can just finish the diary at the end of the year when Ginny is 'taken' into the Chamber,"
Neville said. Then he grinned. "You can also use that as your excuse for the soul bond," he
pointed out.

"Good idea mate," Harry said with a grin of his own. The train eventually made it to the
Hogsmeade station. The six of them quickly exited the train. Ginny and Luna made their way
over to Hagrid while the other four walked up to a carriage. Harry smiled and gave the
thestrals pulling the carriages an affectionate pat before getting in. They were very intelligent,
and he had grown fond of them after his flight to London on the back of one.

They soon made it into the Great Hall and took their usual spots at the Gryffindor table. The
first years walked in several minutes later, looking scared and intimidated, with the exception
of Ginny and Luna, who merely looked bored. One by one they were called up until Luna was
called. She smiled and skipped up to the hat. The four had to stifle their laughter at her
behavior.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the Sorting Hat called out after a minute. The Gryffindor table burst into
applause as Luna put the hat back on the stool, patted the top of it, and skipped to the table.
She sat next to Neville who merely grinned before looking back to the sorting. Ginny was the
last to be sorted, and walked up when her name was called.

"GRYFFINDOR!" the hat yelled out after a couple seconds of being on her head. She grinned
before finding her way next to Harry. At that same time, a door appeared on the seventh floor,
across from the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy. It opened and the closed, before
disappearing. Inside the room, Harry and Ginny Potter took off the invisibility cloak. They were
in a cathedral like room, filled with rows and rows of objects left by generations of Hogwarts
students. Harry quickly brought up his memory of the day he hid Snape's potion's book.
Watching it quickly, he found his way to where he hid it. He looked over at an old crate to see
a tarnished tiara sitting on it. He grinned before conjuring a small iron box with no lid. He put
the tiara in it and transfigured the top onto the box so that it was completely sealed. With a
quick feather light charm, he put the box into his robes.

"Two down," he told Ginny.

"Let's get back to the unused classroom. We will be using the Time-Turner in a
few minutes," she responded, pulling on his hand.
A Second Chance

Chapter 7

Secrets Revealed
School started normally. Well, as normal as Hogwarts ever was. First years got lost, Peeves
pranked students, students learned magic, and Lockhart made a fool of himself. The four
second years made their way to the Defense classroom for their first lesson. They walked in to
see pictures all over the room of Lockhart smiling back at them. They shook their heads in
disgust before taking seats in the back of the room.

"At least you didn't outline all of Lockhart's lessons on your schedule with little hearts this
time," Ron said with a grin to Hermione. She promptly smacked him on the arm as other
students walked in. Soon everyone was seated and the Great Fake himself walked in. He had
his usual charming smile on as he walked up the row. After his usual rant about how good of a
wizard he was, he handed out the quizzes, which the four didn't bother to even touch. Instead,
Hermione raised her hand.

"Yes, miss…" he said, looking to her.

"Granger sir. I was just wondering. I read all of your books, and it clearly states in Gadding with
Ghouls that you were in Turkey from July 29th to August 7th of 1986. However, in Break with a
Banshee, it states that you were in the United States from July 15th to August 3rd of the same
year. How is that possible?" she asked, a smug look on her face. Lockhart paled at the question
but smiled anyway.

"Really? I will have to have a talk with my publisher," he said, waving the question off.
Hermione looked mildly annoyed before raising her hand again. Lockhart looked hesitant but
called on her again.

"In Wanderings with Werewolves, you wrote how you wrestled the werewolf to the ground
with your bare hands. However, werewolves are known for many things, including their
enhanced physical strength. The strongest man in the world would have trouble wrestling the
weakest of werewolves. How did you do that?" she asked. Lockhart turned white and looked
around the room at all the curious faces before walking back to his desk.

"We all have our secrets Miss Granger. I cannot divulge them all," he said, regaining some of
his confidence. Hermione merely smiled sweetly, which seemed to scare Lockhart even more.
He shook his head before pulling out a cage covered with a cloth covering it. Harry rolled his
eyes at seeing his dramatic pose. "It is my job to arm you against the foulest creatures known
to wizardkind. You may face your worst fears in the room. Know that no harm will come to you
while I am here. Please remain calm. Do not scream, it might provoke them!" he yelled before
pulling the cover. The electric blue pixies zoomed around the cage, giving Lockhart rude hand
gestures. Harry smirked before discreetly waving his hand at the cage.

"Right, let's see what you make of them!" he yelled before pulling on the cage. The door didn't
open. He looked back at the students, some of which were holding back their laughter. He
gave a weak smile before pulling on the door again. The pixies were now making faces at
Lockhart as he struggled with the cage. Some students were openly laughing now.
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"Well, it appears to be stuck, but no matter," Lockhart said, pulling out his wand. He tapped
the cage door. "Almora!" he said, causing his wand to launch from his hand, causing Seamus to
duck. Harry caught it in his hand, before throwing back at the front of the class. Lockhart
picked it up before laughing weakly.

"Um, class dismissed," he said, before running to the back of the room where his office was.
The students laughed as they exited the room. Hermione turned to the other three before
giggling.

"That was fun," she said, before leading them out of the room.

School continued much the same way. The six time-travelers made it their mission to humiliate
Lockhart as much as possible. By the third week, very few students took the man seriously
anymore. Harry, Ron, and Neville also kept tabs on him to make sure he didn't do anything
underhanded. They knew he was gifted with Memory Charms, and didn't want to think about
what he would do to some of the more star-struck girls in the school.

Halloween had quickly approached, and Harry and his friends were sitting in the Great Hall,
enjoying the feast that the elves had prepared. Only Ginny was missing, and was hidden in the
Room of Requirement. They had to leave the clues of her "guilt" at opening the chamber. They
tried not to think about what they were going to have to do later that night. The feast ended
and the students made their way to their houses. Harry and the others made their way to the
second floor, outside of Myrtle's bathroom. The floor was flooded, and in front of them and
the rest of the students, was Mrs. Norris, obviously petrified, hanging from one of the torch
brackets. 'THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS HAS BEEN OPENED, ENEMIES OF THE HEIR, BEWARE,'
was written in red on the wall. Many students gasped, and a few even screamed.

"My cat! What happened to Mrs. Norris!" Filch yelled as he arrived, looking wildly around for
someone to blame. His eyes landed on Harry, who was standing in the front of the group of
students. "You! You killed my cat!" he roared. Harry merely quirked an eyebrow at the
accusation.

"Argus!" Dumbledore's voice echoed through the hall. Everyone turned to see him and several
other teachers stride into the hall. Dumbledore flicked his hand, causing Mrs. Norris to float off
the bracket and into his hand. He turned to the students. "Back to your common rooms. Mr.
Potter, stay here." Harry shrugged at his friends who left for the common room. When the
students were all gone, he turned to Filch. "She is not dead Argus," he said softly. Filch looked
at his cat with disbelief. "She is merely petrified. How, I do not know."

"Ask him!" Filch yelled, pointing at Harry. "He did it!"

"I was at the feast the whole night. I could not be in two places at once. That's not possible,"
Harry said with confidence. He wouldn't back down to Filch. Snape spoke up then.

"He is speaking the truth Headmaster. Potter, as much as I loath to admit it, was in the Great
Hall the whole time and could not have done this," he said, a sneer settling on his face. Harry
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looked at his Potion's Professor. Snape gave him an almost imperceptible nod, one that Harry
returned. Dumbledore nodded, not noticing the silent communication between the two.

"You may go Harry," he said, turning back to Filch, who looked red with rage at Harry getting
off free of punishment. Harry quickly left and walked up a flight of stairs to a classroom he
knew was never used. He looked around, and seeing nothing, pulled out a Time-Turner from
under his robes. He turned it twice, before the world around him spun in a whirlwind of color.
He hid the necklace again before transfiguring his robes back to his Unspeakable colors. He
lifted his hood, and waved a hand at the door, releasing all the wards he erected on it that
morning to ensure no person, animal, or ghost was in here when he came back through time.
He used an invisibility charm and a silencing charm and left the room. He went down a floor
and into the girl's bathroom. Opening the chamber, he slid down the pipe. He made his way
into the chamber and smiled. Salashra was curled up in a rather large pile in front of the
statue. Since their bonding, he grew very fond of the large reptile. She knew much about
Hogwarts, such as history or secret areas. She was his familiar, and he was quite proud of it.
They grew with each other. Their magic influenced each other's, strengthening it. She was
stronger physically, as well as being more spell resistant while Harry was stronger magically
and even more agile.

"Hello Salashra," he hissed to her. She lifted her large head to see him.

"Hello Harry. I take it our task is now?" she asked. Harry nodded. "I dislike this. I was not meant
to harm the inhabitants of this castle," she said to him. He rubbed her nose gently. They had
spent many nights talking. He knew she was here as a defender. This went against her duty.
However, she understood the need to keep the timeline straight. He had told her about that.
The large snake slithered to him and he climbed onto her back. She quickly made her way to
the entrance of the chamber, which opened when she hissed at it. He slid off her and onto the
floor with a little splash. The toilets were overflowing. He turned invisible again and creeped
out the door. He could see Mrs. Norris, walking down the hallway toward the door, looking at
the water. He backed into the bathroom and canceled his spell. He nodded to Salashra, who
slithered out of the door. He now understood why basilisks were feared not only for their
strength but their ability to hunt. She was completely silent as she moved, and Harry could
sense her magic keeping the little noise she made at bay. She loomed over Mrs. Norris and
opened her eyes. The cat looked down into the water, and suddenly became still, and fell over,
as stiff as a board.

"Thank you Salashra," Harry hissed quietly. She quickly made her way back to the chamber as
Harry waved his hand, causing the petrified cat to float and get stuck on the bracket. Harry
sighed and made his way back into the chamber. He still had to wait for the right time to go
back to the classroom. As much as he disliked that cat, he hated what he had to do, and what
he had to make his friend do.

Severus Snape stepped into his personal rooms later that night. He took off his cloak,
carelessly tossing it onto the sofa in front of the fireplace. A quick flick of his wand, and the
fireplace lit. Another flick of his wand at a cabinet and a bottle of firewhiskey and a glass
A Second Chance

floated to him. He poured himself a large measure and downed it quickly. He poured another
before sitting in front of the fire, staring into its depths.

Harry Potter. As much as he tried, he couldn't understand him. It was infuriating. When they
arrived on the scene just a couple hours earlier, it only fueled that fact. Filch had quickly
dropped blame on the boy. Nearly every twelve year old would have instantly gotten angry
and repeatedly denied it, without dropping very plausible and obvious evidence against it.
Potter did the exact opposite. He kept a calm demeanor, almost seeming bored. He
confidently denied the charge, and offered the evidence of being in the Great Hall. He didn't
seem overly surprised at what had happened either.

He also wondered why Potter chose to pass through that hallway to Gryffindor Tower. There
were quicker ways to the tower. It was almost as if he wanted to be seen. Snape took another
small sip of his firewhiskey before he furrowed his brow in determination.

"I will figure out what you are hiding Potter, one way or another," he thought out loud.

Harry walked out onto the pitch, ready for the start of the game. They were playing Slytherin,
and it was going to be a challenging game again. Malfoy Sr. had bought Draco's way onto the
team again, although the blonde Slytherin didn't seem to flaunt his position that much. The
two teams walked up to each other, and Marcus Flint and Oliver Wood shook hands. Harry
looked over to Malfoy, who looked back, and gave a small nod. Harry was surprised by the
gesture, and returned it with a nod and slight grin.

"And there off! Johnson grabs the Quaffle first, over to Bell," Lee yelled over the microphone.
Harry shot around the pitch, causing Malfoy to streak after him. Harry looked at the Weasley
Twins as the two smashed the bludgers. He grinned, knowing Dobby didn't charm one to chase
him. He started searching for the Snitch in earnest.

"Spinnet scores! Forty to twenty, with Slytherin in the lead," Lee called out. The game was
closer this time through, as Fred and George didn't have to focus so much on the rogue
bludger. The Slytherins however were very overbearing with their Nimbus 2001's. Harry looked
around the snitch a foot over the ground next to the Gryffindor goal posts. The Slytherin
chasers were also making a run at the hoops, so Harry shot forward, Malfoy trailing behind
him. He flew through the small formation, causing them to scatter. George was then able to
knock the Quaffle free which Angelina caught. Harry then dove, grabbing the snitch as he
pulled out. The crowd, minus the Slytherins, roared their approval as he landed.

The party in Gryffindor Tower was going strong several hours later. Fred and George as usual
visited the kitchens for food and drinks for everyone, which the house elves happily provided.
Harry was sitting with Ginny and Luna on the coach when McGonagall walked in. The students
went silent when she did. She merely quirked an eyebrow at the silence.

"Continue," she said briskly before walking up to Harry. Most of the students were staring at
her with incredulous looks. They expected her to scold them and tell them to stop. "Mr. Potter,
I have this for you," she said, holding out a small note for him. Harry took it with a grin.
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"Thanks professor. Why don't you grab something to drink?" Harry said, pointing to the table
at the other side of the room. McGonagall's lips turned slightly, just hiding a smile.

"No thank you, I must get back to my quarters," she said, walking back out of the portrait hole,
but not before flicking her wand, causing a radio to appear and start playing music. The older
students cheered as she left. Harry laughed as he opened the note. His eyebrows rose a little
when he read the message. He got up and nodded to Ginny before quickly leaving the room.
She saw what was written through their bond and explained to Luna.

Harry quickly exited the portrait hole and made his way down the marble staircase. He walked
into the Entrance Hall and down the stairs to the dungeons. He stopped in front of a familiar
office door. He knocked.

"Enter," he heard Snape bark. Harry opened the door and took a step into the room, only to
have the door snap shut behind him. He ducked and rolled, just in time for a stunner to shoot
over him and hit the door. He came out of the roll on his feet, his wand in his hand. A shield
snapped into place around him, causing two more stunners to splash harmlessly against his
shield in a flash of color. He looked up into the eyes of his attacker.

"Is there a reason you are attacking me Professor?" Harry snarled dangerously, his burning
emerald gaze looking into Snape's cold obsidian eyes. Snape sneered.

"Who are you?" Snape asked quietly, his voice cold and his wand still pointed at Harry. "You
are not Harry Potter, you are too strong, too knowledgeable. No twelve year old would have
been able to stop that ambush, nor know this shield. No eleven year old would be able to blast
a mountain troll of its feet. No, that is impossible. Who are you?" he repeated. Harry narrowed
his eyes before his shield dropped. His wand was still at the ready, but it seemed Snape was
willing to let him talk. Besides, he could already sense Ginny on her way, and knew the others
were right behind her.

"That's rich, coming from the Death Eater turned spy," Harry said mockingly. Snape was unable
to reign in the surprise that statement caused. "Oh yes, I know much about you Severus.
Joined the Death Eaters right out of Hogwarts. Heard half of a prophecy telling of Voldemort's
end. Turned spy for Dumbledore when your only love was marked for death." Snape fell back
into his chair, unable to comprehend how Harry knew all this information.

"How… how do you know this?" he gasped out. Harry smiled grimly as he lowered his wand.

"We have much in common Severus, whether you want to admit it or not. We both had hard
childhoods, both talented in the dark arts, potions, and mind magic, and are in love with
beautiful redheads," he said with a smile. Just then the door blew off its hinges, flying clear
across the room, slamming into a bookcase. Ginny stormed in, her face a mask of fury. The
others were arrayed behind her, wands out and ready. Snape was surprised again that a first
year blasted his door, which had numerous charms and wards, across the room. He looked at
Ginny, seeing her expression rapidly losing its anger. She looked to Harry, nodded, and
lowered her wand. What he didn't know was that Harry talked her down.

"Please, explain," he said quietly, looking pleadingly back to Harry. Harry sighed.
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"I had planned on telling you eventually, just not this early. However, I know you are worthy of
my trust," Harry stated. Snape's eyes snapped up to his.

"Why? Why do you trust me so much?" he asked. Harry had never seen Snape so vulnerable.
Most of his life secrets were just brought out in the open, by the son of his most hated rival
and only love nonetheless. It was enough to shake up anyone.

"There are many things I need to tell you Professor, and I am willing to make an oath to their
truthfulness, as much of what I am going to say is quite unbelievable," Harry said. Snape
nodded. Harry looked at Ginny. "Ginny, go to the chamber. You know what to do." Ginny
nodded and quickly left. Snape looked on, wondering what went between the two of them.
Harry waved his hand, conjuring a glass and summoning some firewhiskey. "I suggest you take
some, as you are going to need it." Snape poured himself some before looking back to the five
students in front of him. Neville and Hermione were walking around the room, casting privacy
charms as Luna and Ron left to put notice-me-not charms on the door and alarms on the
hallways. They could not let this get out to anyone else. Harry started after they finished.

"Professor Snape, my name is Harry Potter. The one who just left is Ginny Potter, my wife. This
is Ron and Hermione Weasley, and Neville and Luna Longbottom. We have come back through
time in order to change the past for a better future."

Ginny quickly made her way up to the second floor. She was invisible and silent, and had to
move around several teachers on her way. She finally reached the bathroom. She dropped her
charms and walked up to one of the sinks. She opened her bond with Harry before looking at
the sink. "Open," she hissed in Parseltongue. She then jumped down the pipe that emerged.

It was an added benefit of their bond. Ginny was able to use Harry's mind to influence her and
vice versa. Parseltongue was a mind gift, a magical ability that allowed you to change the way
you spoke to the hissing of serpents. Ginny was able to tap into that ability. She soon walked
into the chamber.

"Salashra?" she called, keeping her eyes closed. Salashra slithered out of Slytherin's mouth,
and looked down at the little girl.

"Hello Ginny. Harry has told me much about you. You speak, why do you not open your eyes?"
she asked curiously. Ginny smiled.

"I may speak, but only through Harry. I do not contain the gift myself, so I would still die if I
opened my eyes," Ginny explained. "We have to continue with what we started before," Ginny
said sadly.

"I understand. Harry told me of where it would be. I will close my eyes. Please get on my back,"
the large snake hissed. Ginny opened her eyes to see the giant basilisk sitting perfectly still
with its eyes closed as promised. Ginny still couldn't believe this is what Harry fought for her,
all those years ago. She quickly climbed on Salashra's back, who then quickly made her way
through a pipe off on the side of the chamber.
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Chapter 8

The Chamber Explained

The battle was raging. Men, women, and magical creatures alike fought, killed, and died. Spells
and weapons flew through the air, cutting flesh, creating wounds, causing chaos. Harry moved
in a frenzy, attacking everyone with his wand and the Sword of Gryffindor. The sword gleamed
in the moonlight with each slash, spraying blood with each hit he made. His wand flew around
him, colors and power emanating from it. His speed was matched only by the other
werewolves, and even then, they were hard pressed to keep up. Harry finished another man in
a white mask when he spun, only to do a back bend to dodge a killing curse. It missed by an
inch. He straightened to see Voldemort standing before him, his snake-lake face alight with
excitement.

"Harry, I am glad you are still alive," he said causally, sending a miscellaneous curse into a
crowd, not caring who it killed. "I was beginning to think one of my Death Eaters did the job for
me." He sent another random curse. "I would have been most displeased," he sneered.

"Kick his arse sweetie," Ginny said in his mind in a bored and matter-of-fact tone as she threw
one of her daggers at a Death Eater. She was fighting just behind him, watching his back. Harry
mentally grinned.

"Yes dear," Harry said absentmindedly. Harry grinned at Voldemort, who merely looked
puzzled. "I've been looking forward to this Tom. It ends tonight," he said, punctuating his last
word with a blood-boiling curse. Voldemort pulled a nasty grin and slapped the spell away with
his wand before they started to duel. Spells flew from each of them, and most were deadly.
Fiendfyre flew from Voldemort's wand, taking the usual form of a large serpent. Harry jumped
back as it lunged at him, swiping his wand in an upward motion like Dumbledore did several
years prior. The snake hissed in pain before turning into a large ball of flame, which Harry
threw into a group of Death Eaters, torching them. He then spun, shooting several steel arrows
from his wand at incredible speed. Voldemort conjured a steel wall, which they slammed into.
He then banished the wall at Harry. Harry blew the wall apart with a good reductor curse
before flicking his wand, sending the pieces at Voldemort. Voldemort calmly swung his wand,
sending them off into another direction before responding with a killing curse. Harry rolled to
his left and flicked his hand, causing vines to sprout from the ground, grabbing Voldemort's
ankles and holding him in place. Harry then fired three quick curses. Voldemort blocked the first
two but a bone-breaking hex got through, breaking his left arm.

Voldemort roared with pain but Harry didn't hear it. It was then that he heard Ginny scream
into his mind and out loud. He turned to see a dark figure using his arms to hold her in place,
his mouth on her neck. The pained scream died in her throat as her eyes started to fog over.

"GINNY!" he roared.
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Harry sat up quickly on his bed, sweat dripping off of him. He put his head in his hands. He
hated that particular nightmare. It was the final battle, and Ginny had just been bitten by a
vampire. She had been turned right there. It had been one of the scariest moments in his life.
He had thought he lost her that day. He heard the door open slowly and he turned his head to
see Ginny walk into his dorm room, a concerned look on her face. She silently padded over to
his bed and climbed in, wrapping her arms around him.

"You're still having that nightmare?" she asked, although it was more of a statement.
He nodded into her hair. They stayed like that for a few more minutes, not speaking but just
letting their bond take full effect. Harry was soon quite relaxed in Ginny's embrace.

"Come on and get dressed, it's almost morning, and we aren't going to sleep
anymore," she said, getting up. She saw him about to protest, and silenced him with a look.
"I'm not going to leave you alone. You forget Harry, we are one, and if you
cannot sleep, than I won't be able to either, because I know of your discomfort, "
she said before silently leaving the room.

They soon met in the common room, and walked over to the Room of Requirement. After
pacing, the door appeared, and a field house appeared. They stretched before starting their
morning run. About half way through the run, they were joined by the other four.

"Why are you two here so early?" Ron asked as he ran next to Harry.

"Nightmares," was all Harry said. Ron understood. He himself still had nightmares occasionally,
and knew that Harry had them the worst.

They soon walked down the marble staircase for breakfast, however when they walked into
the Entrance Hall, they found a group surrounding a poster on the wall. They looked at each
other and grinned, knowing it was the dueling club. It seemed Lockhart was trying to make
himself look good again. Many students were interested, as they were scared. The news about
Colin had spread like wildfire, and students were beginning to move in groups, never wanting
to be alone. Learning to duel sounded good, although it wouldn't do anything against a
basilisk.

"An excellent idea to show them that Professor Snape, but if you don't mind my saying so, it
was very obvious what you were about to do. If I had wanted to stop you, it would have been
only too easy," Lockhart boasted on the dueling stage. Snape gave him a murderous glare and
Lockhart paled before turning back to the students. Snape wore a satisfied smirk behind him.

Harry could only laugh. Snape had taken their story rather well, as it explained nearly
everything; their powers, knowledge, and almost seer like qualities. Snape had agreed to help
by spying on Dumbledore and later Voldemort and reporting their actions to Harry. Harry knew
the Headmaster was a very intelligent and somewhat manipulative man, and needed an extra
edge over him. Harry hated having to do this to his old mentor, but it was necessary.
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"How about a volunteer pair, Potter, Weasley perhaps?" Lockhart called out. Harry sent a quick
picture through Legilimency to Snape. A slight upturn on Snape's mouth was the only
indication he received it.

"Don't let Gryffindor have all the fun Professor. May I suggest Potter and someone from a
different house, Malfoy perhaps?" Snape suggested, before spinning and pointing at the
blonde haired boy. Malfoy got onto the stage, pulling his wand out his pocket. Harry smirked
at his friends before walking to the end of the table, moving up the stairs and onto the
platform with elegance born from years of fighting and constant movement. His wand just
appeared in his hand, surprising many of the students, and he walked to the middle of the
platform. Malfoy bowed slightly, and Harry made a graceful bow back, before spinning with a
flourish and walking his ten paces. The students were staring at Harry surprise at his
composure and poise. He had an unreadable expression on his face.

"Your incorrigible Harry," Ginny said in his mind, stifling her giggles.

"And you love me anyways," He replied playfully as he spun back to face Malfoy. He
dropped into a dueling stance used only by Master Duelers. Snape cocked an eyebrow and a
couple of the pure-blooded seventh years recognized it and gaped. It was very difficult to use,
as it left you with no room to cast defensive spells, focusing mainly on offensive spells and
physical dodging. Malfoy recognized it as well, and paled before dropping into a basic and
balanced stance.

"Cast your charms on three. 1… 2… 3!" Lockhart yelled. Draco actually waited until three,
which Harry noticed. Harry was ready to defend at two.

"Tarantallegra!" Draco called, causing the orange hex to launch from his wand. Harry merely
stepped aside, letting it fly by him. Draco looked indignant before trying again. "Expelliarmus!"
Harry tilted his head to the side, causing the light blue spell to miss by an inch. Malfoy looked
angry at this. "Damn you Potter," he muttered. "Rictusempra!" The silver light shot at Harry,
who quickly moved aside before flicking his wand at Draco.

"Fununculus," Harry intoned lazily, the yellow hex slamming into Draco, causing him to be
covered in boils. Draco had a face of fury now. The students watching were speechless. Harry
had only used one spell, and landed a hit, while Draco used three and missed every time. Harry
made it look easy.

"Impedimenta!" Draco roared. Harry slapped it away with his wand, not even using a spell. The
seventh years were impressed now, as that was a difficult skill to use. It was only taught in
seventh year DADA, and most couldn't do it. Draco couldn't take it anymore. "Serpensortia!"
The students gasped as a large black cobra shot from Draco's wand, landing with a thud on the
ground. Harry merely looked bored as it showed its fangs and prepared to strike.

"Stop," Harry hissed. The snake instantly dropped its threatening stance. "Come to me," he
commanded, holding out a hand. It slithered over to him and up his arm, curling around it and
resting its head on his shoulder. He turned to the other students and quirked an eyebrow.
Many were staring at him in horror. Draco looked completely shocked.
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"What are you all staring at?" he asked lazily.

"You're a Parselmouth!" yelled a fourth year Hufflepuff. Harry sighed, shaking his head. He
jumped off the platform and walked out of the room, his friends right behind him and the
cobra still on his arm.

It had spread like wildfire. Harry was now feared throughout the whole school as a dark
wizard. It didn't help that Justin was petrified just a few days later. Many speculated that he
was the one opening the Chamber of Secrets. Harry knew that for once, they were right. While
he felt bad for petrifying Justin, he started to actually have fun with the reputation. He kept
the cobra, talking to it in crowded hallways and the Great Hall until the spell wore off and it
disappeared. Except for his five friends and a select few in Gryffindor, many people stayed
away from him. Another thing that changed was Malfoy. He didn't have a single harsh
comment for Harry or his friends since the duel. Malfoy now knew that Harry was better,
period.

Harry sat on his bed, thinking about what he was about to do. It was the day he would have to
petrify Hermione. He felt horrible for petrifying Mrs. Norris, he couldn't imagine how he was
going to feel after this.

"Harry, know what you're thinking. You have nothing to worry about, she will
be perfectly fine," came Ginny's voice through their bond. She was in the common room,
working her way through a Potion's essay. "I have already brewed some potion to
revive her in the unlikely event they don't have any."

"I know Ginny, I just feel horrible for having to do this, " he said morosely. Ginny
sent calming thoughts through their bond.

"Come on, we need to get ready with Salashra," she said a few minutes later. Harry
nodded before getting off his bed and disappearing with a wave of his hand. He walked down
to the common room to sense Ginny hidden by the portrait. They waited a minute and walked
out when Lee Jordan came through the portrait. Harry went to the chamber while Ginny went
to the library. Ginny walked in to see Hermione by a table looking through a book. She was
extremely tense, which Ginny understood completely. She was about to be willingly petrified
after all. She saw Penelope Clearwater looking through a shelf of books as well. She tapped
Hermione on the shoulder. Hermione nodded as if she understood something in the book,
although Ginny knew better. Ginny then walked back out. She turned to see a section of the
wall around the corner open, revealing Harry and Salashra, who had her eyes closed.

"She will be out any minute," Ginny said. Harry nodded and hissed to Salashra. Just then they
heard footsteps. Ginny turned her face away from the great snake. Salashra looked down the
corridor and opened her eyes. Just then, they saw a mirror turn around the corner. It then fell,
followed by two thumps. Ginny felt Harry's anguish at that and quickly hugged him. "Come
on, back to the chamber," she hissed, so that Harry and Salashra both understood.
A Second Chance

The school was getting more panicked by the day. With a prefect being petrified, the students
were even less confident. There were rumors of Hogwarts closing, which the Heads of House
soon explained were a possibility. Hagrid was taken to Azkaban and Dumbledore was asked to
step down as Headmaster. Harry felt horrible for being the cause of the chaos, but his hands
were tied. It was coming time to finish it anyway. The only good thing was that they no longer
suspected Harry, as they didn't think he would ever attack Hermione.

They were in the common room, as were most of the students. He felt Ginny walking down the
stairs, but when he looked up, there was no one there. He felt her invisible hand brush his
shoulder as she walked by and exited the portrait hole. No one noticed it open. Harry nodded
to the others before leaving. Everyone was so tense and worried they didn't notice him leave
either. Outside the common room, he became invisible and made his way to the second floor
corridor. He flicked his hand a few times and soon a paint brush was writing 'HER SKELETON
WILL LIE IN THE CHAMBER FOREVER' on the wall in blood red paint. When it was finished, he
vanished the remaining paint and brush and walked into the bathroom. He heard it half an
hour later.

"All students are to return to their dormitories at once. All teachers return to the staff room
immediately," came McGonagall's voice throughout the castle. Harry nodded to himself before
opening the chamber and sliding down the pipe. He walked into the chamber to see Ginny
petting Salashra, who was hissing in content, her eyes closed. Harry smiled at the image. Ginny
turned to him, feeling his amusement.

"Are you ready to be rescued m'lady?" Harry asked in a deep voice, bowing slightly and calling
the Sword of Gryffindor to his hand. He swung it around expertly with a grin. Ginny couldn't
help but giggle while she pretended to swoon under his charm.

"You're so gallant Sir Potter," she said, batting her eyelashes. Harry just laughed before
walking up to Salashra.

"Can I borrow some poison Salashra?" he asked, holding out the blade. She opened her mouth,
letting some poison to drip off her fangs. It fell onto the blade, and was quickly absorbed into
it. It glowed a soft green for a second before it stopped, looking unchanged. Harry grinned,
knowing it was now infused with the poison of a basilisk and able to destroy Horcruxes. He
pulled out Tom Riddle's diary from his robes and threw it to the ground. It seemed to sense the
danger, because not a couple seconds later, Harry felt its presence slam against his
Occlumency shields, trying to control him. Harry merely smirked evilly.

"Oh yes Tom, you should be afraid," he said out loud while spinning the sword in his hand. He
calmly walked up to the diary. He felt the attacks on his shields get more frantic, but it would
take much more than that to get through them. "This is the end of you. Goodbye Tom," Harry
said before spinning it and slamming it into the diary, puncturing it through the middle. There
was a loud unearthly scream as ink seeped out of it. When it stopped, Harry drew his wand
and waved it over the book. A white light showed, indicating the Horcrux was indeed gone.
Putting his wand away and banishing the sword, he picked up the diary and stuffed it in his
robes. He waved his hand slowly down his robes, causing them to cut and rip in certain places.
He rubbed some muck into them as well, adding to the effect.
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"Does it look like I battled for you Gin?" he asked, looking over to her. She grinned and nodded
in appreciation. "Well then shall we?" he asked, holding out his arm. She took his arm and they
walked toward the entrance, calling goodbye to Salashra. He changed into a griffin and flew
them both up to the top. Ginny opened the entrance and they landed in the bathroom, Harry
changing back. They walked out of the bathroom up a floor. As they continued on their way,
they crossed paths with Lockhart.

"Harry!" he said jovially. He then noticed Harry's appearance and the fact that Ginny was
standing next to him. "I see you have saved the day," he said, his smile faltering for a second.
Harry had a feeling he knew what was about to happen.

"Yes professor, I managed to save her," he said. "We were just on our way to Professor
McGonagall's office," he continued.

"Wait my boy. I'm sure it was a wonderful adventure," he said, slowly pulling out his wand.
"However, no one wants to know how a twelve year old stumbled his way through a rescue of
this magnitude," he said to himself. "No, they want to hear how Gilderoy Lockhart came to
save the day, and how Harry lost his mind battling the monster in the chamber." He turned
back to Harry. "Don't take it personal young Harry, but I am doing what must be." He then
brandished his wand at Harry, who merely rolled his eyes. "Obliviate!" Lockhart yelled. Harry
waved his hand, causing a shield to appear. The spell impacted the shield before shooting
back. Lockhart's eyes widened comically before the spell hit him straight in the face. He shot
backwards and was knocked unconscious against the wall.

Harry looked at Ginny who just shrugged and took his hand, pulling him away. They continued
to the door of McGonagall's office. Harry looked at Ginny who nodded. Taking a deep breath,
they knocked. The door was opened instantly by none other than Molly Weasley.

"Ginny!" she gasped, before grabbing her into a tight hug. "Air, air," Ginny gasped in their
mind causing Harry to grin at the sight. He didn't have much time before Mrs. Weasley did the
same to him.

"You saved her!" she cried, squeezing the life from him. Harry looked up to see McGonagall
and Dumbledore looking at him with happy smiles. "How did you do it?" she asked him.

"I think we would all like to know this," Mr. Weasley said, a happy twinkle in his eyes.

"I just put the clues together," Harry said with a shrug. "Slytherin's monster, which would most
likely be a snake, was petrifying people. It was a basilisk," he said, getting gasps from Mrs.
Weasley and McGonagall. "I kept hearing a voice, and because I'm a Parselmouth, no one else
did. I found the entrance in Myrtle's bathroom, and went down. The basilisk and Ginny were
being controlled by this," Harry said, pulling out the diary. Dumbledore took it and observed it
carefully. He nodded before motioning Harry to go on.

"Well, I went down into the chamber. Ginny was there, unconscious, with Tom Riddle standing
near her. He had the basilisk attack. I knew I couldn't win, and I called for help. A sword just
appeared in my hand." Dumbledore looked curiously at him.
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"How so Harry?" he asked. Harry shrugged again.

"Like this," Harry said, holding out his hand and calling the sword. It appeared, and the adults
gasped at it.

"The Sword of Godric Gryffindor," McGonagall breathed. "It was thought to be lost," she said
weakly. Dumbledore merely grinned.

"It seems to have bonded with you Harry. You are its rightful owner now," he said. Harry
nodded, before banishing it.

"I stabbed the diary and Riddle disappeared and the basilisk regained its mind. I told it to stand
down," Harry said. Dumbledore chuckled while the others looked awe-struck. "It wasn't meant
to harm the students, only to protect," he said, further stunning them. "After that, I brought
Ginny back," he said with a smile. Dumbledore looked back to the others.

"Minerva, if you would escort the Weasleys to the hospital wing. Ginevra needs to be checked
on by Poppy." She nodded before leading the Weasleys away. Mrs. Weasley gave Harry one
last hug before following. Harry then turned back to Dumbledore.

"I assume there is more to the story Harry?" Dumbledore asked him, a twinkle in his eye. Harry
just sighed.

"You have no idea professor," he said. He took a seat in front of the desk as Dumbledore sat
behind it. "Unfortunately, I cannot reveal it." Dumbledore furrowed his brow at that. "Some is
Ginny's to tell, and others are just very personal," he said. He could tell Dumbledore was
itching to use Legilimency and was happy he restrained himself.

"I understand Harry. The diary you encountered was a very powerful piece of magic, and I am
proud you were able to stand strong against it," he said warmly. "I believe two hundred points
and special awards for services to the school are in order." Harry just nodded.

"Also Professor, we were walking here and we passed Professor Lockhart on the ground
unconscious," Harry said with a barely concealed grin. "We don't know what happened to
him," Harry said, and innocent expression on his face. The twinkle in Dumbledore's eyes
intensified.

"I will take care of it Harry," he said before the door slammed open. Mr. Malfoy walked in with
Dobby on his heels.

"Why are you back Dumbledore?" he snarled. Dumbledore looked unfazed by his tone and
responded kindly and cheerfully.

"The other governors heard of Miss Weasley's abduction and thought it best to call me back.
They seemed under the impression that you threatened their families if they didn't sign the
forms," he said, looking into the younger man's eyes. Lucius merely got angrier.

"So then you caught the culprit of the attacks?" he asked.


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"I did sir. I managed to destroy the enchanted diary that was controlling Ginny Weasley," Harry
injected. Malfoy sneered at him.

"Very well Mr. Potter. Let's hope you can always save the day," he spat.

"Oh I will be sir, just make sure you don't drop anymore of Voldemort's school things in
anymore cauldrons," Harry said cheerfully, but there was an underlying threat to his words,
which Lucius caught. This only deepened the sneer on his face.

"Come Dobby," he said, spinning away and walking out the door, kicking the house-elf along
the way. Harry quickly conjured a sock and stuffed it into the diary. He looked at Dumbledore
and grinned, receiving a wink from the older man and ran out after Malfoy Sr.
A Second Chance

Chapter 9

Let the Hunt Begin


"Dobby has your cloths Harry Potter sir," the little excitable elf said, laying fresh cloths on his
bed. Harry just nodded from his spot at his desk.

"Thank you Dobby," he said. Dobby smiled and disappeared. Harry had to grin at the little elf's
enthusiasm. It had taken him two weeks to get him to stop calling him 'Master Harry Potter sir'
and even then he only dropped the master part. He thought back to the day he had gotten
Dobby as his house-elf.

"Mr. Malfoy!" Harry called, running out of Dumbledore's office. The man in question stopped
and turned, a heavy sneer over his aristocratic face.

"What do you want Potter?" he practically growled. Harry merely shoved the diary into his
hands, a smirk on his face.

"This is yours I believe right? Give it back to your master with my best wishes," Harry said. It
was then Malfoy noticed the sock. He ripped it out of the diary and threw it backwards.

"Watch yourself Potter. You don't know who you are playing games with," Lucius said softly
and dangerously, his hand resting on top of his cane where his wand was located. He turned to
walk away but noticed Dobby wasn't moving.

"Come Dobby," he said in annoyance. Dobby still didn't move.

"Master gave a sock," Dobby whispered. "I caught it, it was given, I am free," he said, his voice
getting louder and happier with each word. Lucius looked at the sock then Harry.

"You lost me my servant!" he bellowed, pulling out his wand. "Avada…" he started but didn't
have time to say more before he was blasted off his feet. Dobby stood in front of Harry, his
small arm and hand extended in front of him.

"You shall not harm Harry Potter," he said, his face angry at his former master. Lucius stood
and looked ready to fight the elf as well, but then thought better of it. Dumbledore was just
inside the room and it wouldn't do to get into a fight with that man. He hated the fool, but
even he had to admit that Dumbledore was one of the best. Harry smirked, seeing the man's
indecision.

"Leave Mr. Malfoy, before I submit several memories to the Wizengamot and use my influence
to get them to put you under Veritiserum," Harry threatened, his voice suddenly cold. "It
wouldn't do for one of the most prominent and respected pure-blood families to be Death Eater
attacking the Boy-Who-Lived now would it?" Harry asked. Malfoy quickly put his wand away.

"When my master returns, you will wish you would have let me kill you here and now," he said,
before turning and leaving with a swish of his cloak. Harry looked down at Dobby with a grin.
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"Good shot Dobby," he said cheerfully, getting the little elf to blush at the praise.

"Harry Potter sir freed Dobby. Dobby want to help Harry Potter sir," he said with conviction.

"How about you become my elf Dobby?" he asked with a smile. Dobby's eyes went wide.

"Dobby would love to be Harry Potter's elf!" he cried, hugging Harry around the middle. Harry
laughed at his enthusiasm.

He had been helping Harry ever since. He remembered Aunt Petunia's reaction to finding
Dobby cleaning the house the other day. He was pretty sure that even the slightest more shock
at that moment would have caused a heart attack. Harry stood from his desk and pulled on a
cloak, which was transfigured into his unspeakable cloak. He disappeared in silence and
appeared in Diagon Alley. His hood was up, and a quick charm made sure his face was
shrouded in darkness. He let his aura expand; making sure the people around him felt his
magic. It was quite intimidating for the average wizard, and everyone basically made a path for
him as he walked down the alley. He quickly made his way into Gringotts and up to a teller.

"My vault please," Harry said, the usual charm obscuring his voice. The Goblin sneered at him
and was going to respond but Harry continued. "Vault 79." That stopped the Goblin very
quickly. He knew that it had to be Harry Potter, and even if it wasn't, any other person stood
no chance getting into that vault.

"Right away sir," the Goblin said, calling another one to take Harry to the vault. Harry followed
the Goblin to a cart and after a long roller coaster ride, was at the vault. Like last time, he put
his hand on the door, which glowed crimson and opened. He told the Goblin he would no
longer be needed and walked into the vault. He went over to one of the tables. On it were a
few files. He grabbed one that said 'Potter Manor' on it. He opened it to see the descriptions,
location, and defenses on the building. It was a large home, two stories, with several
bedrooms, a library, formal and informal dining halls, and even a Quidditch pitch in the back.
He smiled at the thought of his ancestral home. He had been living there after the war with
Ginny. He knew however that since it was unplottable and had many other wards on it, the
only way he could get there for the first time is through the portkey here in his vault. Behind
the file was large key, inscribed with the Potter Crest. He grabbed it and felt the pull behind his
naval.

He soon landed in the entrance hall of the manor. It was elegant and yet not gaudy, showing
his ancestors had good taste. It was done in traditional Gryffindor colors, and had a warm and
inviting feeling to it.

"Dobby!" Harry called. The elf in question appeared in front of him with a crack. "Dobby,
welcome to our new home," he said with a smile. Dobby's eyes widened before he looked
around the hall.

"Dobby like this house Harry Potter sir," he said. Harry chuckled.
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"So do I Dobby. Now, I will not be able to stay here all the time, but I will be here frequently.
All I ask is that you keep it running," Harry asked. Dobby nodded vigorously before
disappearing, no doubt trying to find something to clean. Harry grinned before walking up to
the second floor and to the master bedroom. It was a large room, a king size bed in the middle,
dressers and a desk off to the sides, and a bathroom connected as well. He walked to the desk
opened the first drawer. Inside was a small book. He smiled softly before opening it, knowing it
was his mother's diary. He had found it here last time, and it was how he knew so much about
his parents. They had lived here before going into hiding and she had left it. He conjured a
muggle pen and scribbled a few notes on some parchment he found there. With a quick few
spells on them, he muttered, "Activate," and they disappeared. Not a few minutes later, Ginny
and Ron appeared in the room, holding one of the notes in their hands. Ginny looked around
and grinned, realizing where they were.

"I was wondering when we would start using this place," she said, giving him a hug.

"I thought it was time. We need a place to do things over the summer," Harry said. Just then,
another flash and Neville was standing there, a note in his hand.

"Hey mate," Harry said, getting a smile from the other boy. A minute later, and Luna and
Hermione flashed in as well, notes in their hands.

"Alright now you guys can enter the house at anytime. Just apparate into the entrance hall. I'll
key you into the wards," Harry explained. They just nodded. "Alright time for some fun. Let's
go," he said with a grin before changing into a griffin and charging out the door of the room.
He was quickly followed by several other animals.

Sirius Black sat in his cell. Thank you to the meals and potions from Raven and Firefly, he was
much stronger and in better shape than he was before. With the mind protection potion, he
was able to keep normal thoughts and started to do push-ups and sit-ups, trying to regain
some of his former muscle. Not only that, he was also given nutritional potions. He had long
lost the gaunt and haunted look, and if anyone looked at him, they would say he was just put
into Azkaban, not there for twelve years. He was lying on his bed, if you could call it a bed, and
was thinking trying to think of who Raven could be when he heard footsteps. He sat up and
looked out the bars to see Cornelius Fudge and four Aurors walking down the hallway. He
knew Fudge came once a year to the prison to get updates on the inmates.

"Hello Black," the Minister spat at him. Sirius merely cocked an eyebrow at him. It was then
that Fudge noticed how Sirius looked. He seemed well fed, and even looked like he put on
muscle. There was no longer the haunted look on his body. Sirius merely grinned.

"Hello Minister. Lovely day," he said lightly. The group was gaping at him. "Can I borrow your
newspaper?" he asked, pointing at the Daily Prophet in the Minister's hands. "I do miss the
crossword." Fudge just threw it through the bars before walking away. Sirius grabbed the
newspaper and flipped it open, noticing one of the headlines. It read 'Ministry of Magic
Employee Scoops Grand Prize' and he noticed it was the Weasley family. He smiled,
remembering Molly and Arthur from the Order. While they weren't members, he was good
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friends with Molly's brothers, Gideon and Fabian. He had met them often. They were a nice
yet very poor family, and they deserved the money. He looked at the picture, and noticed the
rat sitting on one of the boy's shoulders. He could spot that rat from anywhere.

"Wormtail," he growled. Anger spilled out of him in waves. The traitor was having fun on
vacation while he was sitting in Azkaban for a crime he didn't commit. Without the constant
torment of the Dementors, he was able to come to terms with his role in that fateful night. He
knew now it was all Peter's fault. He looked around his cell, thinking of a way to get out. He
had thought about that since he received his case of potions. He looked at the bars before a
thought went through his head. He quickly transformed into a large shaggy dog and tried to
squeeze through the bars, but couldn't. With all the meals, he regained his normal physique
and wasn't skinny enough. He changed back and cursed Raven and Firefly. It was then he saw a
flash of light behind him. He turned to see a small note. He picked it up.

"Hold on tight?" he read out loud, before he felt a pulling sensation behind his naval. In a flash,
he disappeared from Azkaban, and slammed into the ground of a familiar hallway. He smiled
softly in remembrance of all the fun times he had here with James.

"Sirius Black," a voice said. Sirius turned to see a lone figure in the hallway in robes of the
darkest black. Its robes were lined in gold, small runes stitched along the edges. "I am glad you
received my letter," the voice said with obvious amusement.

"Raven I presume?" Sirius asked, getting a nod from the person in front of him. He was not
very tall, but he could feel Raven's power. He wasn't someone to mess with. "What do you
want with me?" he asked.

"To free you Sirius. That is what I want," Harry said, dropping his hood and showing Sirius his
face. Sirius just gaped at the boy.

"Harry?" he gasped, not quite believing what he was seeing. He looked almost exactly like
James. Harry just grinned and nodded. Sirius whooped and ran up to him, pulling him into a
tight hug. "How did you do all that stuff? Where did Raven come from? Who is Firefly?" he
asked quickly after putting Harry down.

"Slow down Sirius, we will get to that in due time," he said, getting a smile from the older man.

"Harry, I don't know how to thank you for all of this," he said, looking at his godson. Harry just
grinned.

"How about you just listen to my story? I assume you know Occlumency?" Harry asked. Sirius
just nodded.

"Coming from the family I did, Dumbledore wanted me to know it for when I went home. He
didn't want our secrets to be given away so freely. Besides, as an Auror, I am required to at
least attempt it," he said, curious as to why Harry even knew what Occlumency was.

"Good. Now if you would come with me, I suggest we find a comfortable spot to sit and be
stunned, for you are going to need it," Harry said with a laugh. It took a while, but Harry finally
told the whole story. Sirius took it very well, deeming it the best prank he had ever heard of.
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"I know you hate it Sirius, but you are going to have to stay here until I can get you freed,"
Harry said. He held up a hand to stop the protest he saw coming. "You have no choice. Stay
here, practice magic, and get stronger. We will need you in the coming years," he said.

"Stronger? With those potions, I'm nearly as strong as I was when they threw me into
Azkaban," Sirius tried. Harry shook his head.

"How about this? A simple arm-wrestling contest between us. If you win, you can do some
missions in which I need done. If not, you stay here, train, and leave after you are innocent,"
Harry said, holding his hand out over the table between them. Sirius grinned, and grasped
Harry's hand, knowing there was no way a thirteen year old would beat him here, recent
escapee from Azkaban or not.

"Alright. Ready? 1…2…3," Harry counted. Sirius put all the muscle he had into pushing Harry's
hand down, but it didn't budge. He looked shocked at Harry's strength, and looked up to see
Harry grinning at him before the boy slammed his hand down on the table.

"I win," Harry stated unnecessarily. Sirius just glared at him while rubbing his hand.

"How are you so strong?" he asked. Harry smirked.

"You of all people should know that an animagus form does more than change you into an
animal," Harry said. "I know for a fact that your form gave you enhanced hearing and
smelling." Sirius nodded in agreement.

"What's your form?" Sirius asked with excitement.

"A griffin," Harry said, shocking Sirius. "I'm much stronger physically than I look and have
better than twenty-twenty vision."

"Why do you still wear your glasses then?" Sirius asked.

"They are just frames with a piece of glass in them. It's like looking out a window really. The
more my enemies underestimate me the better," Harry stated simply. Sirius just grinned
before looking around and sighing.

"It is better than my old home. At least here I can fly," he commented. Harry left him with the
house and went back to Privet Drive. It wouldn't do to let Dumbledore know he was leaving for
long periods at a time, at least not yet. The blood wards Dumbledore had erected didn't even
exist anymore. The little gadget in his office that showed him if they did work was charmed by
Harry himself to keep moving, acting like they were still there. They had dropped shortly after
Harry declared emancipation. He had snuck into the Headmaster's office before they dropped
and charmed it. He had a close call as the Dumbledore walked in as he left, but managed to get
out without the old man noticing.

Once back, he quickly made a portkey to Sirius' old cell and transported himself there. He
landed in a small and dreary cell, and reached under the bed. Grabbing the box of potions, he
activated the portkey again, reappearing in his room. He couldn't let the Aurors find it, as they
were sure to when they searched the cell after discovering Sirius' absence.
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Harry opened the door of Number Four Privet Drive to see none other than Severus Snape
standing there, his black robes around him, shrouding him in shadow. He shook his head at the
man, before stepping aside and letting him in. The Dursleys were hiding in the kitchen, being
warned that Harry was going to have someone over. Without a word, Harry led Snape up the
stairs and into his magically enhanced room. Snape took one look at all of the Gryffindor colors
and a look of disgust came over his features.

"Oh come on Severus, you should have expected that. I am the Heir of Gryffindor remember?"
Harry said with a chuckle. Snape sneered and took one of the seats by the desk.

"I still find it hard to believe the Potter's are the last line of Gryffindor although they do act like
hard-headed fools with their hearts on their sleeves," he drawled. Harry cocked an eyebrow.

"Better than being a dirty and slimy snake and only caring about yourself," he responded,
effectively shutting Snape up. "Anyway, I didn't call you here to trade insults, as much fun as
that is," he said with a grin. Snape's lips turned up a little at that but he remained silent. "I
have a proposition for you," Harry started. He pulled out a piece of parchment. "You recognize
this potion yes?" he asked. Snape took one look.

"The Wolfsbane Potion," Snape said. Harry grinned.

"Take these two ingredients and switch them." Snape looked at it before something clicked in
his mind.

"The lacewing flies would mix much better with the boomslang skin, allowing the potion to be
made much more quickly," he murmured. "It would also let the dandelion juice and unicorn
hair stand stronger to help eliminate stress to the body," he almost whispered. "The fluxweed
would in turn strengthen the powdered horn of bicorn in protecting the mind from the curse."
He turned to Harry. "Who came up with this?" he asked.

"You did," he said with a smirk. Snape gaped at this before a smug look came over his face.

"I always did think there was a way to make it better," he said triumphantly.

"Yes very good. Now I want you to brew this version for Remus Lupin this year," he said, a look
of loathing coming over Snape's face.

"Lupin? Well, at least he was at least tolerable sometimes," Snape said. "I made the potion for
him anyways didn't I?" he asked. Harry nodded. "Do you understand how weird it is being told
I will do something in the future?" Snape asked Harry. Harry just laughed.

"Dumb question Snape," Harry said, thinking to the prophecy.

Two figures walked into Gringotts. They both wore black cloaks trimmed in silver. They made
their way up to a teller. "Vault number ninety-two," the taller figure said in a deep and
modified voice. The Goblin recognized the vault and sent them to the carts, knowing that if
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they weren't the right people, they wouldn't be able to enter and would be grievously injured.
As they two got into the cart with the Goblin, the taller figure pulled out his wand.

"Imperio," the man intoned. The Goblin's eyes clouded over and waited for a command. "Take
us to the Lestrange Vault." The Goblin started the cart and they zoomed away. The cart
eventually stopped and they exited. The man had the Goblin follow them before heading down
the corridor with the other cloaked figure. They came around a corner and heard a loud roar. A
dragon was sitting there, tethered to the ground with massive chains. Its normally brilliant
colored scales were pale and its eyes were a milky pink. Its head turned toward their footsteps.
The two people lifted their wands. Two huge jets of red light rocketed out of them, slamming
into the dragon's eyes. It roared before falling over, struggling to get over the large amount of
magic. It shot a fireball out of its mouth, and the two figures used a flame-freezing charm,
making the usually deadly fire feel like a warm breeze. The two fired another overpowered
stunner at the dragon, where it finally succumbed to them and fell to the ground motionless.

The two walked up to the Lestrange Vault and the man ordered the Goblin to open the vault.
He did, and they walked in. The second and smaller figure held her wand aloft and started
chanting in Latin, her rhythmic voice sounding from underneath her cloak. Her wand started to
glow a deep purple, before the objects did as well. There was a flash of light and she put her
wand down.

"The Germino and Flagrante Curses have been dispelled," she said, panting a little. That was
very difficult magic. The man nodded before reaching up and grabbing a beautifully crafted
golden cup off a shelf. The front had a badger on it. He grinned before conjuring an iron box
and putting the cup in it. He transfigured a lid onto it and put a feather-light charm on it and
put it into his pocket. They quickly exited the vault, having the Goblin close the vault and take
them back to the surface. He wiped the Goblin's memory of the curse and they quickly exited
the bank hand in hand.

"Good job Mrs. Longbottom," the man said with amusement. Luna turned to him and smiled.

"You too Mr. Longbottom." Neville just grinned.

"And just a day before Hogwarts as well," he said, leading her to the apparation point.

Two figures walked down a deserted country lane bordered by high, tangled hedgerows, the
sun shining brightly overhead. They passed a sign, which pointed in two directions, one saying
Great Hangleton and the other saying Little Hangleton. They took the path toward Little
Hangleton. They walked down the path, seeing it open to find a valley and small village
sprawled out before them. That wasn't their destination however, and they soon took a quick
right through a gap in the hedges. As they started walking down the path, the felt a feeling
creep up into their consciousness. It was fear.

Regardless, they continued, employing Occlumency to keep that fear in check. As they
continued through the wilder hedgerows, the feeling came more intensely. They knew the fear
was irrational, and knew the cause, but that didn't stop them from feeling it. The slammed
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their Occlumency to the maximum, keeping the feelings at bay. They noticed a small and
dilapidated building covered in ivy and bushes. The fear intensified when they saw it, and
when they got within fifty feet of the door, it suddenly stopped. The two figures sighed,
knowing the ward they just walked through was designed to give irrational fear, and make you
leave. They shook their heads and walked up to the front door, drawing wands.

The smaller figure pointed a wand at the door and murmured a few Latin words. The wand
glowed blood red for a couple seconds. The smaller figure turned to the taller one. "Shield
me," a feminine voice said from under the hood. The taller one nodded before a transparent
blue shield surrounded them both. The woman then pointed her wand at the door, and started
to chant in Latin. The wand started to glow white, and the door started to glow a sickly green.
It was obvious the door was resisting. A discharge of magic shot from the door, slamming into
the shield. The shield managed to stand strong. The woman flicked her wand and the door
disappeared. The shield dropped and they walked into the small shack.

"Do you have any idea where it could be?" the taller asked in a masculine voice. The woman
shook her head. The man held his wand aloft and slowly waved it around him, and was
rewarded when a couple floorboards glowed blood red for a few seconds. He walked over and
heard a click as he passed the small table. The woman reacted instantly, throwing up a shield
over him as several arrows shot from the walls, bouncing off the dome.

"Muggle traps?" the woman said, sounding astonished. The man just shrugged before walking
the last remaining steps to the floorboards. He bent down and studied it. He nodded before
pulling out a small knife and cutting his finger, allowing a couple drops to fall onto the boards.
The blood seeped into the wood, causing the planks to disappear. The man healed his finger
before reaching in and pulling out a small box. He opened it to find an ugly, black-stoned ring
within it. It was strange, because as he looked at it, he felt as if he must try it on. He reached
for it with his other hand only to have the box slammed shut by the woman. He shook his head
as the feeling vanished. He grinned sheepishly at the woman.

"Thanks Hermione," he said. Hermione just smiled.

"You're welcome Ron. Come on, let's get out of here, we still have to pack for Hogwarts," she
said, getting him to roll his eyes.

A tall figure in black robes appeared on the deserted lane that was lined with beat up homes.
He walked down the row until he found house number eleven. To the right of it was house
thirteen. He didn't seem fazed by it and looked at the middle of them. They suddenly sprung
apart, number twelve appearing between them. He strode up to the house and pulled out a
wand. He tapped the door and he heard a series of clicks before it slowly swung open.

He applied a charm, causing a bubble of fresh air to appear around his head. He walked in lit
the torches on the walls. There was a sudden pop.

"Who dares enter my mistress' home?" said a croaky voice. The figure looked down at the old
and slightly mad elf.
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"Your Master," the man stated. The elf's eyes widened before he bowed.

"I am sorry master," he said. "Damn blood traitor, not fit to be my master," it rambled under
his breath.

"Enough of that Kreacher. I am looking for a locket. It's old, heavy, and has a 's' engraved in the
front," he explained. "Get it for me," he ordered. Kreacher looked angry but obeyed. He
popped away and appeared again a minute later, the seemingly harmless locket it his hands.
He gave it to Sirius who grinned. He had managed to get Harry to let him do this one thing, as
he was the only one of them that could find the house right now. "Clean this filthy house
Kreacher," he said before walking out of the door and disappearing with a small pop. He
appeared in front of the gates of a fence. He looked passed the gates, but there was no house.
It was just a large open field. Wondering why he couldn't remember what was supposed to be
here, he turned with his wand out when he heard a pop.

"Hello Dobby," Sirius said, putting his wand down.

"Dobby has this for Harry Potter's dog-father," Dobby said, handing Sirius a piece of
parchment. Sirius shook his head at Dobby's nickname for him. He looked down at the paper.

"The Potters live in Potter Manor in Scotland," he read, before information flooded his mind
and a house appeared out of nothing. He grinned before apparating to the entrance hall. He
walked into the living room to find Harry and Ginny asleep on the couch together, wrapped in
each other's arms. He smiled softly at the picture before an evil grin came across his face. He
held out his wand and a loud firecracker noise came from it. Harry and Ginny fell off the couch
in surprise, before glaring at Sirius, who was now laughing uncontrollably. Harry quickly waved
his hand at him, changing him into a poodle.

"Dog-father indeed," he said with a satisfied smirk, getting Ginny to burst into laughter. Sirius
growled at them, but that only set them farther into hysterics. Harry quickly changed him back.

"So how did you get the Fidelius Charm on this house?" he asked after they calmed down. "The
reason James and Lily didn't hide here was because they weren't able to get the Fidelius to
work. It was too big."

"What many people do not know Sirius, is that the Fidelius Charm is soul magic," Harry began.
Sirius' eyes widened. "Soul magic is notoriously difficult, and the Fidelius is one of the easiest
of said magic to accomplish. The charm requires one soul to cast it and one soul to hide the
secret in. The reason they couldn't do it is that one body does not have enough magical power
to cover this much land," explained. Sirius looked confused.

"Then how did you do it?" he asked.

"I didn't do it. We did," Harry said, pointing to himself and Ginny.

"But you said only one person can do it," he said.

"That's right. Ginny and I are one soul. I am her, she is me, we are one. Because of that, we
were able to cast the charm together, combining our two cores, doubling the usual size the
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Fidelius can cover. We are the secret keeper," he said with a pleased smile. Sirius just shook his
head.

"You know, it's scary how much you are like your mother sometimes," he chuckled. "She was
amazing with charms as well." He then pulled the locket out of his pocket, putting it down on
the table. "Just in time for school eh?" he said with a smile. Harry nodded before making the
usual iron box to put it in. Iron was a strong against magic, and was difficult to get passed. This
would stop the Horcruxes from trying to control someone. Just then there were several pops
as the other four entered the house. They walked into the room and set down two more boxes
on the table.

"We got the cup," Neville said while Luna nodded.

"We retrieved the ring," Hermione said while Ron put the box on the table.

"I got the locket," Sirius said. He had met them all already, getting to know each of them.
Ginny, Ron, and Hermione were especially eager to be with Sirius again, having gotten to know
him during their first timeline. Harry grinned.

"Except for Nagini, that's all of them," he said, getting identical grins from the rest of them
except for Sirius.

"What about the one inside of you Harry?" he asked, looking a little sick at the thought.

"It's not there anymore Sirius," he said. Sirius shot him a questioning look. "When we were
sent back through time, our souls took over the bodies in this time and pushed our younger
souls out. Without a body, they died," Harry explained a little sadly. "The Horcrux had attached
itself to that soul, and as such, was pushed out when my current soul came in. It's gone." Sirius
then grinned in understanding.

"Well then, what are you all going to do at Hogwarts this year?" he asked. They all shared a
look and Sirius suddenly felt sorry for any Death Eater or Dark Lord that crossed their paths.
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Chapter 10

Back to School

"You asked to see me Headmaster?" Harry asked as he walked into the room. Dumbledore
smiled at him and motioned to the seat in front of his desk.

"Yes Harry I did. Lemon drop?" he offered. Harry declined. "As you have probably noticed, there
have been many odd things happening around Hogwarts lately." Harry nodded, wondering
where this was going. Faster than Harry anticipated, Dumbledore whipped out his wand and
Harry was in a body bind. Harry's eyes widened in surprise before he started to pool his magic
to break the charm. Dumbledore seemed to notice that and sent the spell several more times,
each targeting specific parts of the body. If he wanted a chance to fight back, he would have to
break several of them now.

"I am afraid I cannot let what you are doing continue Harry," Dumbledore said, a stern and
disappointed look on his face. "I know you have been manipulating time, and it must end. What
happened originally is how it must happen," he stated, aiming his wand between Harry's eyes.
Harry had managed to break two of the bonds, but the several smaller ones were still keeping
him still.

"I am sorry," Dumbledore said. "Obliviate!"

Harry jumped up from his bed, looking around frantically, a wandless shield already around
him. Noticing he was in Ron's room at the Burrow. He dropped the shield and flopped back
down on the bed, taking deep breaths. It was the night after they collected all the Horcruxes.
Tomorrow they left for Hogwarts.

'It wasn't real,' he thought. It was one of the things that the six of them were afraid of.
Dumbledore was a very intelligent man, and they were surprised he had not already figured
out what was happening. They were afraid he would act in a matter he thought was good for
the world and erase their future memories. He felt his bed sink a little and a pair of arms wrap
around him.

He smiled as Ginny laid her head on his shoulder. He was eternally grateful of what they had
between them. He loved her more than life itself, and she returned it. "Don't ever forget
that Harry," she said sleepily through their mind. "Now go to bed." He grinned at her
demand.

"Yes dear," he returned.

They stayed like that through the night, opening their bond as much as they could in the
moment and basking in the feeling of love it inspired. They had not slept so peacefully in a long
time. At least, it was peaceful until Mrs. Weasley walked in to wake Harry and Ron.
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"GINEVRA WEASLEY!" All three of them sprung from the two beds, hands out and ready for a
fight. They fell into perfect positions, Harry and Ginny in front, with Ron behind them, turned
sideways so he could see behind them. Mrs. Weasley looked surprised at their sudden
readiness. They smiled sheepishly before dropping their hands, letting their magic relax. It was
then that Ginny realized why her mother had yelled.

"Um, hi mum," she said cheerfully. Mrs. Weasley turned red as if she was about to explode
when she remembered why she was so angry.

"Why were you in this room?" she whispered. Ron, who was in the background, cringed at her
tone. He knew that when she yelled, she was only angry. When she started off quiet, it means
she was completely infuriated. There was an impending explosion, and he was thinking about
casting several shields around himself for protection.

"Harry was having a nightmare, I was comforting him," Ginny said quickly, noticing the same
signs as Ron did. Her answer didn't seem to work.

"AND WHY WOULD THAT CALL FOR YOU STAYING IN HIS BED WITH HIM?" Ginny flinched,
thinking one or more of the eardrums in the room were just broken. She could hear the
footsteps of the rest of the family on the stairs and knew her father, the twins, and Percy were
standing behind her mum now. She looked up at her mum, seeing the extremely angry yet
expectant face.

"Mum, you don't understand," Ginny started but Mrs. Weasley wouldn't have any of that.

"Don't you tell me what I don't understand Ginevra," she yelled.

"Quiet." It was said quietly, yet the magic, power, and force behind that one word stopped
everyone from speaking. They all looked toward Harry, who was practically radiating magic.
His eyes were emerald fire, showing the anger he felt. He had a sharp look on his face, and
only Ginny was able to not flinch at the sight of it. "You obviously don't understand, or you
would never have yelled. Go to the kitchen, bring everyone else." She didn't hesitate, and
quickly left the room, dragging the other boys with her. Harry relaxed his magic and took a
deep breath before going to his trunk. He pulled out cloths and changed silently, as did Ron.
Ginny had quickly left for her own room. They met out on the landing and walked downstairs,
Harry and Ginny hand in hand. Harry stopped just before the door and held up their hands. He
canceled the charms on their rings, so that they could be seen. He kissed her hand before
pulling her into the room.

"Sorry for that little display, but it was needed," Harry said calmly. Mr. Weasley had a look of
confusion on his face. Mrs. Weasley looked angry still, and Ginny's three brothers were staring
at their entwined hands. "There is something you should all become aware of."

"What is that Harry?" Mr. Weasley asked, glancing sharply at his wife and sons. They all let him
speak.
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"As you know, I managed to save Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets last term." He nodded.
"Her rescue, coupled with our unknown love for one another, created what they call a Soul
Bond," Harry said. Only Percy showed any recognition.

"Impossible," Percy breathed, his eyes wide. There wasn't much on Soul Bonds, however Harry
wasn't surprised the intelligent boy had read about them. Mrs. Weasley looked over to him.

"What is it Percy?" she asked, concern laced in her voice.

"If what Harry said is true, then they have been connected in the most intimate way possible,"
Percy explained, his voice betraying a little awe. "Their souls have merged, becoming one. Very
little is known about the bond itself except it is made from the purest love. They are destined
to be together, even married," he said, sounding surprised that he said that. At that, Harry
held up their hands, showing the rings.

"We have known since the end of term," Ginny spoke. "We started getting each other's
feelings, we always knew where one another were in the castle, we even started talking
through our mind," she explained. "We looked it up in the library before we left, and managed
to find a book that spoke of it briefly."

"Oh my baby," Mrs. Weasley said, tears in her eyes as she jumped up and pulled her into a
hug. "Married at twelve, and to Harry Potter no less," she murmured. Ginny rolled her eyes.
She pulled back. "Are you ok with this Ginny?" Ginny smiled.

"It's the best thing that has ever happened to me Mum," she said honestly, grabbing Harry's
hand again. She pulled Harry into a hug before she started cooking.

"Just like Mum. When in doubt, cook," Ginny giggled in her mind. Harry grinned back at
her.

"Oi, you are talking to each other aren't you?" George asked, looking at them with narrowed
eyes. They nodded.

"This isn't fair George," Fred said. "Think of the pranks they could pull with that," he said, a
dreamy look coming over his face at the possibilities.

"You know what," Harry began.

"Is also nice?" Ginny continued.

"The ability,"

"To finish each other's,"

"Sentences so that we can,"

"Annoy people," They finished together with a grin.

"You're right, that is," Fred started.


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"Kind of weird," George finished, before they shrugged in unison, obviously not caring. They
sat down for breakfast, Harry and Ginny next to each other. They ignored the constant looks
they were receiving from the other Weasleys, except for Ron.

"That also explains why the map said 'Ginny Potter'," they heard one of the twins mumble to
the other.

"What map?" Mrs. Weasley asked suspiciously, but Fred and George both looked up with
innocent expressions. While the twins were trying to head off their mother, Percy took his
chance.

"You… you do understand what this means, right Harry?" he asked, still a little in awe at the
situation.

"It means I'm an honorary Weasley," he said with a grin, getting a small smile from the older
boy in return. "All I have ever wanted was a family Percy, and to be given it in such a way, it's
indescribable. To be given love, and so unconditionally, is better than any other reward." Percy
had a small frown on his face, as if debating something between himself. Harry knew his
ambition was now warring with his want of a family. In the original timeline, Percy had
eventually gotten back with his family, although it was a very strained relationship as well as
secret. Percy had become a spy within the Death Eater ranks, and it took Voldemort himself to
figure it out. He had been killed quite mercilessly.

"Harry, before we leave, may I have a word with you?" Mr. Weasley asked, a serious look on
his face. Harry nodded before standing and leaving the table. He followed the older man into
the living room. "Harry, what I must tell you is not something many would want me to,
however I feel you should be informed." Harry put a confused look on, but knew exactly what
Mr. Weasley was going to tell him about. "As you may have heard, a man by the name of…"

"Sirius Black has escaped Azkaban and is out to kill me," Harry said dryly. Mr. Weasley blinked
before confusion crossed his face. "You have nothing to worry about Mr. Weasley. I will not
look for him, and I am perfectly safe from him," Harry said. He didn't lie. He didn't have to look
for Sirius as he knew exactly where he was, and was safe as Sirius would never harm him. An
anxious smile spread across Mr. Weasley's face then.

"You kids never seem to stop surprising me. Very well Harry, just do be careful. Now," he
started, "how do you feel about being bonded with Ginny?" he asked carefully. Harry smiled
softly, his mind turning to Ginny.

"I love it Mr. Weasley. I can't imagine myself without her anymore," he said. He didn't notice
Mr. Weasley smiling. "She has quickly become everything to me. My best friend, my most
trusted confident, my love."

"I am glad you feel so strongly about her Harry. Take care of her for me." Harry nodded. "By
the way, what are they doing in there now?" Mr. Weasley asked with a grin.

"Ginny is showing off her ring to Mrs. Weasley," Harry said with a grin of his own. Mr. Weasley
chuckled before walking into the kitchen, where Mrs. Weasley was holding Ginny's hand,
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looking at the ring with sadness at knowing her little girl was no longer hers. Ginny winked at
Harry as they walked in.

"Enjoying the attention love?" he asked her, as Ginny explained how Harry had proposed
to her in the original timeline, changing certain details to make it fit their ages.

"Why ask? You know I am," she said teasingly. It was only a few minutes later that they
all went upstairs to get their trunks and respected animals. Harry and Ron walked into the
room and saw a sickly rat trying to climb to the open window. Harry merely rolled his eyes
before a stunner shot from his hand and knocked the rat out cold.

"Let's keep him in a safe place," Harry said, a nasty smile spreading over his face as he conjure
a small jar and placed several charms on it to stop it from breaking and to constantly renew
the air supply in it. He then threw the rat into it and transfigured the lid closed. He then
revived it and shook the jar, looking through the transparent walls as it started to squeak in
panic.

"Oh yes Pettigrew, you aren't going anywhere," Ron said, a similar grin on his face.

"Would this be a good time to practice my evil cackle?" Harry asked.

Harry walked down the corridor of the train, looking for a compartment for himself and the
five behind him. Ginny and he had received a small lecture from Mrs. Weasley about their
'new' relationship. She looked a little put off when neither child looked embarrassed. They had
requested that they keep it a secret however, as it was extremely personal for them. Mr.
Weasley had assured them it would. Harry looked into the window of the next compartment,
and smiled at the sight of the shabby form of Remus Lupin. He opened the compartment and
settled into it, barely holding in the urge to wake Remus with a bone-crushing hug. He had
desperately missed the man after he was captured and killed during the war. He had become
almost a father to Harry over his seventh year at Hogwarts, and had been one of Harry's many
mentors over the years. He could see it in the others as well that they were glad he was back.

"This should be a good year," Luna stated unnecessarily as they all pulled out different
activities to occupy themselves with. Several hours later and several losses in chess to Ron,
Harry felt the train jerk and begin to slow down. The dementors weren't even on the train yet
and Harry could feel their dark auras pounding on his Occlumency. It took all of his self-control
not to conjure his patronus.

"Contego Patronum," he whispered instead, causing a transparent glowing white shield to


appear around him, letting him breathe a sigh of relief. It was a variation of the Patronus
Charm, and only protected the castor. It was much easier to conjure and keep in place as well.
While their memories of the war were harsh, his friends knew that Harry had the worst of it.
He had lost and suffered far more than anyone had.

"Stay where you are," came a raspy voice. They turned to see Remus getting up with his wand
out. He noticed Harry's shield and merely quirked an eyebrow before walking toward the door.
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The door opened before he got there however, and a Dementor surveyed them. They all
pulled out their wands.

"None of us are hiding Sirius Black under our cloaks. Go." To their surprise, it did.

"Why didn't it try to get to you Harry?" Ginny asked after she pulled herself together. They
could feel the Dementors leaving the area.

"Maybe it's because I don't have two souls in one body anymore," he reasoned. Before, he had
his own soul and part of Voldemort's, and the Dementor probably noticed and thought of it as
a large feast. "That, or maybe it just didn't want to try to get past my shield."

"Are you alright?" Remus asked after he breathed a sigh of relief. They all nodded to him.
"Here, it's chocolate. Eat it; I must talk with the driver." With that, he left the compartment.
They all quickly ate their chocolate as the train continued.

"I hate those ruddy things," Ron declared, shaking his head before he pulled Hermione into his
side, which she gladly snuggled into. Ginny promptly plopped into Harry's lap, wrapping her
arms around his neck, her head resting against his chest. Luna laid her head into Neville's lap,
where his hands unconsciously started playing with her hair. Remus walked into the
compartment a few minutes later, smiling at the comfortable positions the students were in. It
widened when he turned to Harry and Ginny, as they looked so much like another pair he
knew.

"We will be at Hogwarts soon," he said.

"Thanks Professor," Hermione said, a smile gracing her face.

"I take it you guessed I am the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher," Remus said, sitting
down in his earlier vacated seat.

"Wasn't too difficult Professor We have never seen an adult on the train, besides the lady
pushing the trolley," Harry explained. They didn't talk much more as the train started to slow
down again. They quickly exited the train and made their way to the carriages through the
rain. Harry was holding up his wand, causing all the rain to stop before it made it to them, as if
a large umbrella was over them. They all performed the small shield patronus as they passed
the gates where the Dementors were guarding. Harry got off the carriage first, only to nearly
run into Malfoy.

"Potter," he said civilly before making his way to the castle. Harry gaped at the blonde
Slytherin for a second before shaking his head and offering his hand to Ginny, who was getting
out behind him. The six made their way into the Great Hall, sitting in their usual spots at the
Gryffindor Table for the feast.

"Now if Parvati is successful, we will be laughing afterwards," Remus said to the class. It was
their first DADA lesson of the year and they were in the staff lounge again. The students were
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quite excited, as they had never had a practical lesson. The four time travelers were less
excited however, knowing exactly what their boggarts were.

"Riddikulus!" Parvati cried, causing the mummy to trip over its own bandages. The class
laughed as Seamus walked up, getting the boggart to change into a banshee. He dealt with it,
as did several others, before it jumped forward to meet Harry. Before Remus could step in, it
had already changed. The entire class gasped as Ginny Weasley appeared on the floor, her
lifeless eyes staring up at Harry. Harry's eyes hardened, the only show of emotion on his face.
He whipped his wand out.

"Riddikulus," he said ruthlessly. Everyone else felt a wave of magic as the boggart merely
exploded in a shower of sparks.

"Um, yes, well five points to everyone who dealt with the boggart. Class dismissed," Remus
called out before looking back to where Harry was standing. Harry was staring at the spot
where the boggart had been. After the other students had left, he walked up to the younger
boy.

"Are you alright Harry?" he asked quietly. He hadn't expected this to be the boy's boggart. He
had expected Voldemort.

"I hate boggarts," Harry said quietly. "Ever since I first encountered one, they had always
become something horrible." He sighed. "Sure, banshees and mummies are scary, but a
dementor or the death of a loved one is much more frightening," he stated before turning and
leaving the room. Remus stared after him, at a loss for what to do.

It was all over the school before dinner. Harry Potter's worst fear was the death of Ginny
Weasley. Many wondered why, but were answered when Ginny pulled him into a fierce hug in
the Great Hall and grabbed his hand, leading him to the Gryffindor Table. She hadn't let go
since. Harry's mood had noticeably brightened after he received that hug. They didn't bother
to hide their affection any longer, as it was obvious now. It was hours later that found the six
of them in the Chamber of Secrets. They had cleared a large area in the middle of the
chamber, where Hermione and Luna began to draw a large and complicated series of runes in
a circle.

"What are they doing Harry?" Salashra inquired as she watched from a nearby pipe. She took
great care in making sure that she only had her eyes open when no one was looking.

"They are setting up a Blood Ritual ground. With it, we can do several rituals in which to
increase our abilities," Harry answered. "They are regrettably… forbidden however, they are
too useful to pass up," he told his familiar. Blood Magic was a very powerful, and very difficult
magic to use. It was mainly used in rituals like these, and needed many complex runes, chants,
and of course blood to activate. Because of its difficulty and its use of blood, it is considered
dark magic and thus illegal, not that this would stop them. Wizards were very naïve, and
decided what they didn't understand was dark. All the most powerful wizards in history had
used at least one ritual. Harry knew for a fact that Dumbledore used rituals to increase his
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magical core and his mental and physical capabilities. Harry planned on doing the same, and
more. Voldemort had also done many rituals, however he had used truly dark Blood Magic,
which generally involved human sacrifices of some kind. They were more potent, however
Harry was not willing to sacrifice anything but himself. Hermione made one more stroke with
her wand, finishing the rune before she turned to him.

"All done Harry. You are going first right?" she asked. He nodded before taking off his robes
and shirt, only leaving his pants on. He stepped into the middle of the circle, as everyone else
backed away from it. He ran the pointer finger of his left hand over the palm of his right,
causing a long cut to form under it. He let the blood drip onto the rune underneath his bare
feet. The second the blood touched the rune, it started to glow a deep crimson, and quickly
spread out along the circles of runes around him.

"Amplio quod fulcio meus veneficus," he began to chant. He kept repeating that phrase, and
the runes pulsed with magic every time he finished. His voice started getting louder, until after
a minute, he threw up his hands.

"Amplio quod fulcio meus veneficus!" he roared. The outer circle of runes glowed a painfully
bright white, before a dome of magic formed around him, which soon imploded into him.
When they managed to open their eyes, they found Harry face down in the center of the
runes, his body pulsing slightly with excess magic.

"Harry!" Ginny yelled, running up to him. He was unresponsive even in her mind. They had not
done the rituals in their original timeline, as by the time they got over their prejudices of 'dark'
magic, it was too late. Many of these rituals call for a young age, mainly before sixteen. She got
to him first, carefully rolling him over so that his head was in her lap. "Come on love, wake up,"
she murmured, out loud and through their minds. She heard him groan before his eyes
fluttered open.

"Anyone catch the name of that hippogriff?" he mumbled, before he slowly sat up, holding his
head.

"How do you feel mate?" Ron asked with a grin. Harry shot him a withering glare.

"Like I was stampeded by several Hagrids," he said, standing up. He took the offered pain-
relieving potion from Luna, which soon took away his headache. He reached into his core
which, while severely drained from doing the ritual, was obviously larger. He grinned before
opening his eyes.

"It worked."
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Chapter 11

Of Rituals and Werewolves

Duck, slash, spell, sidestep, slash, duck, spell, spin, spell. It continued for so long. His body was
merely moving of its own accord, sensing all of the danger and attacking and defending
accordingly. It was over here he knew, one way or another. There were hundreds of humans
and creatures alike, fighting in the largest scale magical battle the magical world had seen
since the days of Grindelwald. And to top it all off, he was one of the most looked up to and
most aimed at people on the field, except for a select few.

They were in the valley in which Little Hangleton resided. Voldemort had taken residence in the
valley, massacring the muggles and turning the valley into his base of operations. Using his
own brand of magic and many cursebreakers, he managed to lay wards around the valley
making it insane to try to break in, which was exactly what they did. Voldemort never expected
a full scale assault on his fortress, and was ill prepared for it, although that didn't make it much
less dangerous. The heavens had just opened, pouring rain down onto the combatants, thunder
and lightning roaring and flashing overhead. Bodies littered the large lawn of Riddle Manor,
where the most concentrated part of the battle was taking place.

"Regroup!" he called out to the squad of Unspeakables he commanded just as it began to rain.
They all quickly assembled back into partners, alternately casting shields and offensive spells.
"Forward!" he roared, pointing his katana ahead of him before he and his partner, Kingsley
Shacklebolt, charged forward, thirty more wizards and witches behind him. A group of Death
Eaters met them in the middle causing spells and people to collide together in a violent crash.
Lights of every color danced from side to side, as some of the more athletic swung swords or
other weapons. A shield rose to Neville's left as he fired a curse to the right, and Neville knew
Kingsley had his back.

"They just keep coming," he heard Kingsley mutter.

"That just means more fun for us," Neville said as he plunged his sword through the chest of a
nearby Death Eater. "Harry said it was over tonight. And until it is, I plan on showing everyone
why," Neville exclaimed with determination, slapping a spell away in the process. He turned to
see in the distance a green light envelope Charlie Weasley, but didn't show any emotion. He
couldn't afford to be slowed down, not yet.

He saw a large flash farther into the battle and on reflex looked up, only to see a large fiery
serpent rise from the masses. He knew that was Voldemort, and knew that monster would only
use that level of an attack on Harry or Dumbledore, and Dumbledore was dead. Unfortunately,
the mistake of looking up cost him. He felt something slam into his right arm, and felt the bone
snap. He held in his scream of pain before dropping and rolling backward, which Kingsley
promptly threw up a shield around them.

"I'm not even fighting him and he's hurting me," Neville muttered as he ran his wand over his
arm, causing it to snap back into place and mend. Pulling a small vial of his belt, he downed
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and felt the pain give away quickly. He looked up to see two jets of red and yellow light flying
toward him.

"Kingsley, look out!" Kingsley turned but before he could duck, the red curse shattered his
shield before the yellow one connected with his body, causing his heart to explode. He died
instantly. Neville jumped up to see the man responsible. His eyes widened at the appearance of
him. He was young, not too much older than himself. He had jet-black hair, cold and calculating
blue eyes, handsome features, and a smirk on his lips. Neville had seen the memories of Tom
Riddle from Harry, but the current Tom Riddle was battling Harry. However, it was a carbon
copy of the man in those memories.

"Well that worked rather well," the man stated. The Death Eaters hovered around him, unsure
of what to do until they were commanded. Neville held up his hand, causing all the people
around him to stop the fight and get into positions around him. Neville was now in a large
circle with the man. "I learned that spell only yesterday. I'll have to use it again sometime."

"Who are you?" Neville asked, trying to get a read on how powerful he was. Neville sensed
power, and a lot of it.

"Ian Velmordom at your service," the man said with a short bow.

"GINNY!" they heard someone yell over the roar of battle. Neville knew that voice belonged to
Harry, and prayed Ginny was alright. Ian's smirk grew.

"I see father is having some fun with Potter," Ian stated in a conversational tone, but it struck
Neville and the fighters behind him with the speed and force of the Knight Bus. "From the look
on your faces, I'm guessing you didn't know father even had a son." He laughed. "Actually, he
didn't either, until a few months ago that is. Well, I do have to live up to his reputation. Why
not start by killing one of the light's champions?" he said, before his wand swung around, a
killing curse launching out of it. Neville rolled away from it, as the others behind him scattered.
He came up only to lift his sword to block the blade of Ian's silver scimitar. Neville shoved it
away before he attacked with the speed and agility of a master swordsmen, however it seemed
they were even. Ian was able to block or dodge every attempt Neville made with his sword.
They circled each other, the blades gleaming with the flashes of lightning as they swung back
and forth, the clangs lost in the chaos that ensued around them as the Unspeakables and
Death Eaters attacked each other. There were more Death Eaters, but the Unspeakables were
more skilled, keeping the battle even.

"I'm impressed with you Longbottom," Ian panted during a momentary stop in their fight. "You
are very skilled with that blade."

"You're not bad yourself," Neville returned. In fact, he was fantastic, and Neville was getting
frustrated. He couldn't land a hit, and judging by the power he felt, was unsure if he could win
with magic. He dodged Ian's sword and swung back but Ian parried and with a quick two
swings, knocked his sword out of his hand. Neville jumped for it but it slid away from him
before he could get it. His eyes followed it fly to the open hand of Ian. He put his own back in its
sheath on his waist before twirling Neville's around and moving forward.
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"What a lovely sword. Very good duel Longbottom, however I must end it. Don't hold it against
me, I am only doing my duty," he said before he rose the sword. It was then a golden eagle shot
from the sky, sinking its talons into Ian's shoulder. Ian screamed in pain, before swatting at the
eagle. As it tried to fly away, he swung Neville's katana, managing to cut the bird of prey down
the belly. It screeched in pain, before falling and transforming back into a pretty blonde, who
was now bleeding profusely from the stomach. With his shoulder bleeding, Ian turned back to
Neville, only to have a lion pounce on him, its jaws clamp around his neck. Ian died quickly and
painfully, the katana slipping from his limp fingers. The lion let go, before moving over to the
bleeding girl. It transformed back into Neville, who whipped out his wand and started casting
healing spells as fast as he could. Several Unspeakables surrounded them, trying to push the
Death Eaters back as he worked. The healer in their group appeared next to him, taking over.

"Come on Luna, hold on," Neville said as he watched the wand of the healer move frantically
over the large wound, which was starting to close. He pulled a potion off his belt and helped
Luna drink it. "Take your portkey Luna."

"No, I have to keep fighting," she said tiredly as the blood replenishing potion did its work. Her
eyes widened. "Watch out!" But it was too late. Neville was bowled over and he screamed in
pain as razor sharp teeth penetrated his leg.

He sat up quickly, sweat pouring down him and adrenaline pumping through his veins. He
looked down himself, which was half covered by blankets on his bed. Neville flopped back
down onto the bed, noticing the sun was just coming up. That wasn't the first time he dreamed
of the night he became a werewolf. Voldemort had just discovered how to make a werewolf
transform without the full moon, and managed to transform a few as the battle begun. He had
just gotten unlucky to run into one. Knowing sleep wouldn't happen, he got up and started to
change. He looked over to Harry's bed to see him awake as well. A grim smile spread over
Harry's face.

"Nightmares?" he asked. Neville just nodded. Harry got up and changed as well, and they both
headed out of the dorm. They had gone out before the rest quite a few times, mainly due to
nightmares. None of the others were as powerful as Harry and Neville, and to really be pushed
to their limits, had to duel each other. They walked out the main doors an into the cool
September air. They walked over to the Quidditch Pitch and stepped into the middle of it.
Harry looked over the Neville and grinned.

"Magic or melee?" he asked.

"Magic," Neville answered, pulling out his wand. "We did that ritual a couple days ago. Our
cores are fully charged now, so how about we see what we can do?" At that, spells flew from
his wand and other hand, which Harry calmly defended against.

"So far so good," Harry said as he caught a stunner and threw it back at Neville. Neville
grinned, using his wand to deflect it away. He then whirled it over his head, before pointing it
at Harry. A bolt of energy flew from it, which Harry caught with his wand. The wands
connected through the line, and an unnatural whirlwind blew around them as they battled for
A Second Chance

dominance. There was more than one way to connect two wands. Shared cores did it
automatically and produced Priori Incantatem. Neville had shot pure energy at Harry. If it hit
him, a rather unfriendly shock would have happened, putting Harry in a lot of pain. However, if
caught with your wand, they would connect, starting a battle of power.

Neville lifted his wand down and then up quickly, causing several bolts of electricity to fly from
the connection at Harry, who managed to be missed, but keep the connection. Harry did
something similar, causing whips of fire to shoot from the connection. Neville yanked hard on
his wand, snapping the connection and waved it, causing a wall of water to spring around him,
blocking the fire. He dropped the shield and looked over to Harry, totally invigorated. He didn't
feel the least bit drained from that attack, as he probably should have.

"Oh, I can get used to this," Neville exclaimed.

"Potter!" Snape snarled. Harry looked up from his cauldron.

"Yes Professor?" he asked with annoyance. Snape sneered at him.

"See me after class to discuss your abysmal grade on the last essay. And five points for your
cheek," he added, before making his usual rounds around the classroom. The Slytherins were
snickering at him, but Harry ignored it, knowing it wasn't his potion's grade the man wanted to
discuss.

"What did you want to see me about Severus?" Harry asked, walking up to Snape's desk after
class had ended. Snape sighed before relaxing in his chair.

"I had to obliviate Sinistra this morning," Snape said. Harry raised an eyebrow. Snape scowled
at him. "I did it because she was on the Astronomy Tower when she saw you and Longbottom
dueling. Said she had never seen anything like it. Luckily she found me before anyone else,"
Snape explained. Harry sighed. He knew they forgot something. They usually threw up several
notice-me-not charms now while out there for this exact case. Their training had became much
more intense, and they couldn't let the Professors see some of the things they were capable
of.

"Thanks Severus. I knew we forgot to do something. How has the potion been for Remus?" he
asked. Snape smirked.

"Flawless," he boasted with a smug look. Harry just rolled his eyes.

"Just make sure he gets it every month. Oh, and you will be substituting DADA next week. How
about we go over something other than werewolves?" Harry hinted, before leaving. He walked
out of the dungeons and made his way into the Great Hall for lunch. He sat next to Ginny and
received a quick peck on the lips. He noticed some of the other girls scowling in their direction.

"Little hussies," he heard Ginny remark in her mind. He grinned before grabbing her and
planting a very passionate kiss on her. When he resurfaced for air, she had a dazed look on her
face and the other girls were all looking away, anger and disappointment on their faces.
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"So what am I, your play thing?" Ginny accused.

"You like it," he responded, filling his plate.

"You do have a point. At least you're cute," she said with a little grin as she pinched his
cheek. He squeezed her thigh causing her to squeak and let go of his cheek before turning to
Hermione. A quick look in each other's eyes and they exchanged several images through
Legilimency. Harry looked away knowing they would be strengthening their bone structures
tonight. He looked up to the head table to see Dumbledore watching him intently, even
though it seemed as if he was talking with Professor McGonagall. He was sure the old man was
still watching him as much as possible, in case he was to go 'dark'. He was a little late anyway.
While not evil, Harry was already dark.

"I think it's time to give him something else to worry about, " Harry said to Ginny,
his mental tone suggesting a maniacal grin.

"What did you have in mind?" she asked. A second later, she had the whole plan forming
in her mind. "I like it," she announced to him. "When?" she asked.

"Be patient love," Harry said with a mental grin.

Sirius walked through the basement of Potter Manor, ten different cauldrons bubbling with
different liquids arrayed around him. Each had a self-stirring rod with it, programmed to stir
the correct directions and times for each potion. Knives of every kind were chopping
ingredients to specific lengths and sizes, charmed depending on the potion. The ceiling was
charmed to vent out all of the smoke. He waved his wand and the fire of one cauldron
stopped, before it rose up and started to pour itself into several small vials. The vials were also
unbreakable, and were sealed went they were full.

Sirius smirked to himself. He always was good at potions. Not up to Lily's or even Snivellus'
standard but did get an Outstanding on his OWL. He was also good at multitasking charms, as
he was currently keeping all of the knives chopping. They had bought the stirring rods, which
cost a pretty galleon. Harry had asked him to make these potions, as they would be very
helpful in the future. Sirius agreed in their usefulness, that and he was just incredibly bored.
Until they officially caught Wormtail and released him, he was stuck in the house. At least the
house was much better than Grimmauld Place. The thought of his old home made him
shudder. He would have gone insane if he was stuck there.

The potions weren't too difficult, the hardest being Veritiserum. There were restorative
draughts, blood replenishing, burn healing, and multiple other healing potions. There was also
two other potions, one designed to create darkness in a given area, and another to create a
fiery explosion. Quite useful in battles when you are alone or need a dramatic effect. In
between his frequent workouts, both magical and physical, he was preparing these potions. He
grinned when he thought of what Snivellus would look like if he were to see him doing all
these potions at once.
A Second Chance

Harry stood in another circle of runes. It was different this time, however none less
complicated. Harry stood with only pants on in the center, a ceremonial dagger in his right
hand.

"Permitto meus somes par ferrum," he intoned with a strong voice. He then took the dagger
and touched it to his chest, slowly and carefully carving a rune into his skin.

"Validus Compages," he recited, his voice louder and stronger. He then took the dagger, and
dragged it along his left hand, letting the blood spill to the floor. The runes lit up with magic,
glowing under the power of the ritual.

"Ineo!" Harry shouted, throwing his hands straight up. Rays of a deep royal blue light shot from
the runes in succession around the circles, each hitting Harry in various places. The light
seemed to absorb into his body. By the look on Harry's face, it wasn't painless either. Finally
the last rune lit and hit Harry, allowing him to fall to his hands and knees panting. He was soon
grabbed by Ginny.

"I felt the pain even through our Occlumency," she said, helping him into a sitting position.
There were no pain-relieving potions, as part of the strengthening was the ability to take the
pain. The potion would ruin all the effects, and these rituals were only able to be done once.
While it was slowly ebbing away, there was still a dull but strong ache around his entire body
and Harry knew he would be sore for a day or two to come as his bones magically hardened.

"It is worth a bit of pain," he managed to say through gritted teeth.

Halloween was now upon them. Harry knew it wouldn't be as exciting as the last two, as Sirius
had no reason to break into Gryffindor Tower. The full moon for October had just passed, and
Remus had shown up to class a little ragged but with a smile on nonetheless. He didn't seem as
tired anymore, and Harry attributed that to the new Wolfsbane Potion. It took out much of the
pain and labor in the transformation, making it much smoother and less stressful on the body.
Some of the grey hair Remus had started to fade back into its natural colors, and he looked
younger and stronger than before. It was decided. It was time to bring Remus into their
confidences. Harry and Ginny walked up to his office after classes and before the Halloween
feast.

"Come in," Harry and Ginny heard after they knocked. They walked into Remus' office, and
received a smile from him. "Hello Harry, Ginny, how can I help you?" he asked. Harry looked up
at him and smiled.

"How was the full moon Professor?" he asked. Remus paled considerably when he heard that
comment.

"How did you find out?" he asked miserably.


A Second Chance

"It was kind of obvious Professor," Ginny said. "You looked ill before and after the full moon in
September and now October, and you missed both of those days."

"Now that you put it that way, it is obvious," he said with a weak smile.

"Don't worry Professor, this changes nothing on how I see you. Actually, I respect you more for
trying to lead a normal life despite it," Harry said, a reassuring smile on his face. Remus perked
up considerably.

"Really? It's just that, most people would see me as a monster," he said quietly.

"And they deserve to be smacked over the head until common sense bothers to grace them
with its presence," Ginny stated angrily. Remus chuckled lightly.

"Thank you Ginny. I'm relieved you two think this way. Is there anything else?" he asked.
Harry's face dropped its happy smile.

"What do you know of Sirius Black?" he asked. Remus sighed before looking up to Harry.

"This isn't a subject I would like to get into Harry," Remus stated, but seeing the determined
looks on their faces, looked over to the window and continued. "Sirius was one of my best
friends back in school, as was your father, mother, and a man named Peter Pettigrew. We
were exceptionally close, even gave our group the title of The Marauders," he said with a
wistful smile.

"Britain was being wrecked with the war with Voldemort. Letters came daily about the loss of
a family member. When we graduated, we all joined various groups in which to fight
Voldemort. James and Sirius became Aurors, Lily an Unspeakable. Peter and I joined the Order
of the Phoenix, which the other three joined as well. The Order was headed by Professor
Dumbledore. Dumbledore had James and Lily go into hiding under a specific charm called the
Fidelius Charm. Have you heard of it?" he asked, looking over to them. They nodded.

"Well, as you know, a secret keeper is needed for it to work. Now James viewed Sirius like a
brother, and chose him." He sighed sadly. "That was the wrong choice. Sirius betrayed them,
and Voldemort was able to find them. He killed Peter later that same day. It was then they
found him," finished in a choked voice.

"What if I were to tell you I knew exactly where Sirius is at this very moment?" Harry ventured.
Remus' head snapped up with incredible speed.

"You know? But how, why?" He looked angry. They saw a flash of amber in his eyes. "Tell me
where he is Harry," he demanded.

"No." Remus looked stunned. "At least not yet. Not until you hear me out," Harry said. Remus
looked ready to protest but one look at Harry's face stopped him. Harry waved a hand at an
empty corner of the desk, causing a jar to appear, which held a rat. When the rat noticed
Remus, it started panicking. Remus looked up questionably.

"What are you doing Harry?" he asked. "And how did you do that?" Harry merely raised an
eyebrow.
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"Look closer Professor," he a said, waving a hand at the rat, which stood still. Remus still
looked a little perplexed but did anyway. After a couple seconds, his eyes widened.

"It can't be," he whispered. "I would recognize that rat anywhere. Peter?" He looked up to see
Harry nod. "But if he is alive, then Sirius…" he trailed off.

"Sirius is innocent. He never betrayed my parents. He convinced them that Peter was the less
obvious target and to make him the secret keeper. Peter than betrayed them, and framed
Sirius by blowing up the street, cutting off a finger, and transforming." Remus was staring at
his desk in open shock, trying to process what had truly happened. He finally looked up at
them.

"How did you find this out?" he managed to say. Harry waved his hand again, causing Peter to
disappear before waving his hand at the door, which snapped shut and was layered with many
privacy charms. Ginny had done the same with the window. They grinned at each other, loving
how easy wandless magic was now for their upgraded cores. Wands still provided a more
powerful effect, but they had little use for them now. Remus stared in awe at their wandless
control. They knew they could trust the man, not only because he would die before betrayal,
but a werewolf's mind was naturally impossible to break into. The curse changed it into a more
animalistic structure, not that it was any less intelligent. Harry turned to Lupin.

"Hello Remus, my name is Harry Potter, and this is my wife Ginny," Harry spoke, a wide grin on
his face.

Two figures suddenly appeared in front of a picture with a bowl of fruit. They wore black
cloaks and robes, with silver runic trimming. The taller of the two tickled the pear, which
giggled and turned into a doorknob, which they opened. They were quickly swarmed by elves.

"What is you needing?" one squeaked.

"Is Dobby around?" asked the shorter one.

"Dobby is here!" they heard coming from behind several other elves. The others dispersed,
knowing they weren't needed. Dobby bowed to them. "What can Dobby do?" he asked.

"Could you change the Heads' plates with these?" asked the taller of the two, handing Dobby
several golden plates. "Also, add these to all the drinks of the students," the person continued,
pulling out a small box and enlarging it. With a flick of the hand, it opened, revealing a barrel of
a clear liquid. Dobby seemed to know what they were doing for he grinned widely and nodded,
his ears flapping back and forth.

"Of course Dobby will. Miss Grangey and Miss Loony can count on Dobby!" he said, before
disappearing with the plates and barrel. Hermione and Luna looked at each other from under
their hoods, high-fived and ran out of the room giggling as they turned invisible.
A Second Chance

"Let the feast, begin!" Dumbledore called out with a wide smile and twinkling eyes. Food of
every type appeared on the tables, and the students and teacher indulged in the Halloween
feast. It was ten minutes into the feast when there were several loud pops. All of the students
looked up at the front of the room to see that four of the professors were no longer there.
Instead, there were a lioness, badger, eagle, and a boa constrictor. The students started
laughing however it was short lived as they all started changing as well. The Gryffindors all
turned into lion cubs, Hufflepuffs into young badgers, Ravenclaws into baby eagles, and
Slytherins into little garden snakes. Dumbledore stood again amidst the various animal noises,
obviously holding in laughter.

"It would seem someone has pranked the school," he said obviously. There were many pops as
the students and teachers appeared again, causing a loud roar of laughter, except for many of
the Slytherins. "Very well, let the feast continue," Dumbledore said. Harry looked at Ginny and
gave her a quick peck on the lips.

"Good potion Gin," he said with a grin. "I knew you would come up with something."

"I don't know what you are talking about Harry," she replied as she buttered some bread. "I
did nothing. I'm an angel," she said, batting her eyelashes.

"Yes and I'm the devil himself," Harry replied with a snort.

"I knew there was something odd about you," she said, sticking her tongue out at him. Harry
rolled his eyes before looking at Hermione and Luna, who were looking at the plates the Heads
were using with smug smiles.

"Voice activated runes built into the plate I'm guessing?" he asked, keeping his voice low.
Hermione just looked over at him and winked. Harry chuckled and looked up at the Heads.
Snape was looking at the food with his trademark sneer, not eating. McGonagall was talking
with Dumbledore, no doubt guessing who did the prank. Judging by the looks they were
receiving every minute or so, they had a good idea. Flitwick and Sprout were talking
animatedly about how good the prank was and what spells might have been used. Harry then
laid eyes on Remus, who raised his goblet and bowed his head in acknowledgement of a prank
well done. Harry grinned and bowed his head back, before tucking into his dinner.
A Second Chance

Chapter 12

Loyalties Uncovered
Minerva McGonagall was walking toward the Great Hall from her personal quarters. She
mentally went through her schedule for the day, noting with pride she had her second and
third year Gryffindors today. Although she would never admit it, those were her favorite two
classes, mainly because of six certain Gryffindors. Harry, Neville, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and
Luna were very strong in Transfiguration, always getting the spell on the first or second try,
with spectacular results. And from what she had heard, it is the same for all of their other
classes as well. They were certainly talented.

She was making the final descent to the Entrance Hall when she heard fast footsteps behind
her. She turned to see Hermione racing toward her.

"Professor! Come quickly, Harry is fighting someone in their dorm and no one can get in to
help," she panted. Minerva's eyes widened, hoping it wasn't who she thought it was. She
quickly changed into a cat and took off down the corridor. She was much quicker in this form.
In her haste to reach the tower, she failed to notice the hawk that appeared and followed her
up the staircases. She changed back a few steps before the portrait.

"Open!" she barked, causing the portrait to swing open revealing the passage into Gryffindor
tower. Students were swarming the tower, all with wands out. Many breathed a sigh of relief
when they saw McGonagall.

"Weasley! What's going on?" she demanded from the Head Boy. Percy looked helplessly at the
stairs to the boy's dormitories. Before he could speak, there was a loud smash from up the
stairs.

"We heard signs of a fight, and I went to investigate, but the door to the third year's room is
locked magically. I can't break it, and Harry is stuck in there," Percy said, frustrated. Ever since
he heard of the soul bond and spoke with Harry, he started to understand what it truly meant
to have a family, and he considered Harry a part of that family. Minerva nodded before making
her way up the stairs past several students wanting to help Harry, hearing the crashes still
happening in the room.

"Get the Headmaster," she yelled back to Percy as she climbed the stairs. Percy took off out
the portrait hole. She walked up to the door when she heard someone yell.

"You damn rat!" she heard the unmistakable voice of Harry Potter yell before there was
another loud crash, which sounded like a shattered window. She pointed her wand at the
door, muttering various unlocking charms. None seemed to work. She tried the strongest she
knew, knowing one of her Gryffindors was in trouble. Then it hit her. She backed up a step
before flicking her wand at the door hinges, which disappeared, causing the door to fall to the
floor, snapping the charms. It was blocked from magical means of unlocking, but that didn't
stop her from bypassing the lock altogether. She jumped into the room, ready for combat.
What she saw surprised her. Harry Potter stood in the middle of the room, his wand pointed at
a figure that was obviously stunned.
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"Peter Pettigrew?" she asked in disbelief.

Harry looked at the rat struggling in Luna's hand. He pointed his wand at it.

"Imperio," he said, crushing the resistance in Peter's mind. Harry was way too strong for
someone as weak minded as Peter Pettigrew. "You will be sent to Azkaban for framing Sirius
and the death of my parents. When you are there, you are to escape using your animagus form
six months from today. You are to then seek out Lord Voldemort. You will remember none of
this." With that, he stunned the rat. Luna put it in her pocket before taking a few steps back
and pulling out a wand.

"You ready?" she asked quietly. She was holding Pettigrew's wand. Harry just grinned.

"Oh yeah," he said, causing Luna to flick Pettigrew's wand at the door several times, locking
the door with the most powerful locking charms she could. "Begin," he said and ducked quickly
as a Reductor Curse rocketed at him, crashing into his four poster bed, smashing it to pieces.
He wanted to laugh.

"This is going to be so much fun," he muttered, before he started to have a practice duel with
Luna. They were flinging loud spells at each other, knowing it would be heard all over the
tower.

"Harry! Harry, what's happening in there?" he heard Percy yelling from the other side of the
door. In response, he threw a Reductor Curse, which Luna dodged, blasting Seamus' bed apart.
"Alohamora!" he heard Percy intoned loudly but that did nothing. They kept up the duel for a
few more minutes.

"Harry, McGonagall is here," Ginny said from the common room. 'Time to play it up,' he
thought.

"You damn rat!" he roared before sending another curse at the window, blasting it to pieces.
Luna took the rat from her pocket, threw it to the ground and Harry flicked his hand, changing
it back to Pettigrew. He then stunned him for good measure while Luna dropped Pettigrew's
wand before changing into an eagle and swooping out the window. Harry walked up to
Pettigrew and had his wand on him just as the door fell and McGonagall came into the room.

"Peter Pettigrew?" she asked in disbelief.

"Is that who it is Professor?" Harry asked, feigning ignorance. "I walked into our dorm to find
him snooping around. He saw me and locked the door before attacking. I managed to take him
down though," he explained. He could see McGonagall putting the clues together in her head.
She had never truly believed Sirius Black could ever betray James and Lily. Ropes shot out of
her wand, binding Pettigrew tightly.

"Minerva, what happened?" came the voice of the Headmaster. They both turned to see
Dumbledore standing in the doorway, his wand at the ready. She merely pointed at Pettigrew.
A Second Chance

She was speechless, trying to process this turn of events. Dumbledore didn't look too surprised
however. His eyes were twinkling heavily.

"I take it Mr. Potter captured Mr. Pettigrew?" he asked.

"Yes sir. I found him in the room, and he attacked. So I defended," Harry said. He watched as
Ron, Neville, Ginny, Hermione, and Luna, who had flown around the tower and into the girl's
room and walked back into the common room, ran in. Ginny grabbed him into a tight hug,
hiding her face in his chest as if to hide her tears, although it was really to hide her grin and
giggles.

"You were supposed to be afraid for my life," Harry teased as he held her just as
tight.

"Shut it Potter," she responded. After being hugged by Hermione and Luna as well, they
were led out of the dorm by Dumbledore, who had Pettigrew floating behind him.

"Mr. Potter, if you would follow me. The rest of you please assist Professor McGonagall in
fixing the dormitory," Dumbledore said, before leading Harry out of the portrait hole. They
didn't say a word as they made their way to the Headmaster's office. Once there, Dumbledore
deposited Pettigrew in the corner of the room before walking over to the fire. Harry sat down
in the chair in front of his desk.

"Minister of Magic's office!" Dumbledore called before he stuck his head in the fire. After a
minute, he pulled it out before walking to his desk, settling in his chair. He turned twinkling
eyes on Harry. "The Minister will be here in a moment, with a couple others. As you probably
know, this will change many things, most of all Sirius Black's current status."

"Why is that sir?" he asked. Dumbledore smiled sadly.

"Alas, it is not my story to tell," the older man replied. 'More like you didn't want to tell me,'
Harry thought. Harry could tell Dumbledore knew about Sirius and Pettigrew, just didn't do
anything about it. It infuriated him, but he didn't let it show. Just then, the fire flared green
before several people stepped out of it one after another. The first was Auror Kingsley
Shacklebolt, no doubt for protection. The next was Head Auror Rufus Scrimgeour, then
Minister Fudge, then finally Amelia Bones. Harry wanted to grin at the first and last people, as
they were sure to make sure everything went correctly and no one tried to sweep anything
under the proverbial carpet.

"Ah, Cornelius, Amelia, Rufus, Kingsley, thank you for coming. May I introduce Harry Potter?"
he asked, waving a hand toward Harry.

"It is an extreme pleasure Mr. Potter," Fudge said with a large smile as he ringed Harry's hand.
Harry's face showed disgust, although Fudge must have mistaken it for awe. "I know it is a little
much for a thirteen year old to meet the Minister of Magic," he said in a smug voice. Harry
didn't respond and just turned to Kingsley.

"Mr. Shacklebolt, it's a pleasure to meet you. You are an Auror right?" Harry asked, shaking
hands with the tall black man.
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"Yes I am Harry," he answered with amusement in his deep voice. Harry noticed Fudge looked
a little put off that he didn't respond to him.

"Peter Pettigrew?" they heard Amelia Bones gasp. The other three spun to see the man tied up
in the back of the room. She then turned to Dumbledore. "How is this possible Albus?"

"Quite ingenious on his part really. I would suggest Veritiserum," Dumbledore said with a
smile. Scrimgeour pulled some out of a pouch as Kingsley flicked his wand a few times, setting
Pettigrew into a chair and properly held down. They poured a couple drops into his throat and
revived him.

"Are you Peter Pettigrew?" Amelia asked, a dictation quill and parchment taking the entire
interview.

"Yes."

"Did Sirius Black betray the Potters?"

"No." At this point, Fudge looked physically ill. Sending an innocent man to Azkaban was very
bad for his position. Everyone knew the horrors that place contained.

"Who was the Potters' secret keeper?"

"I was."

"Did you betray the Potters?"

"Yes." Kingsley and Rufus looked amazed at the confession.

"We had the wrong man." She shifted her attention to the two Aurors. "Kingsley, take
Pettigrew back to Auror Headquarters. Put him in a cell, and keep him stunned." Kingsley
nodded before disappearing into the fire with Pettigrew. She turned to Scrimgeour. "Rufus, call
all the Dementors back to Azkaban. They are no longer needed." He quickly left through the
fire as well. "Fudge, come with me. We need to set up a press conference. Black is on the run
for his life for no reason." She let Fudge go first before turning to Dumbledore.

"I take it Harry is here because he caught Pettigrew?" Dumbledore nodded. She turned to
Harry with a smile. "Very good Mr. Potter. Hopefully we can have Black a free man by the end
of the day." With a nod, she left as well.

Harry was not surprised when a crowd of owls flew in during dinner, bringing with them a
special evening edition of the Daily Prophet. Hermione received hers and quickly spread it out
over the table. Harry grinned at the title and article over the front of the page.

Black is Innocent! Pettigrew Found!

In a stunning turn of events, new evidence was discovered to prove that Sirius Black, mass
murderer of muggles and responsible for the death of James and Lily Potter, is actually
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innocent. The evidence came in the form of Peter Pettigrew, an old friend of the Potters who
was thought to be dead. Pettigrew was caught by none other than Harry Potter himself.

"Through extensive interviews with Mr. Pettigrew under Veritiserum, we have discovered the
Potters had switched secret keepers, in an attempt to throw You-Know-Who off their trail,"
Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, stated during a press
conference. "Pettigrew then gave the secret to You-Know-Who, and when Black came for him,
he killed the muggles, framing Black."

"This is a travesty of justice that will not go unnoticed," Minister Fudge was heard stating. "Mr.
Black will be compensated for his stay at Azkaban, as well as receive a full pardon. I urge Mr.
Black, wherever he may be, to come to the Ministry so that we may sort this out."
Unfortunately, Harry Potter was unavailable for comment.

"That is horrible. Black has been running for nothing!" Harry heard a sixth year Hufflepuff
exclaim. There were many others who expressed their outrage or surprise. Harry looked down
the table at Percy, who stared at a copy of the newspaper, unable to believe how his once
unfaultable Ministry had screwed up so badly.

The five quickly finished their dinner, slipping out of the Great Hall unnoticed due to all the
chatter about Sirius. They made their way to the second floor, before entering the Chamber of
Secrets. They slid down the pipe, and into a well lit and clean corridor, devoid of snakes. Ever
since they started to use the chamber as their meeting area, they had been changing into a
more comfortable living area. Thanks to Dobby and their own magical skills, they had managed
to remove all of the snakes as well as Salazar Slytherin, however they still needed Parseltongue
to command the area. They were unsure how to change that. The chamber itself now
resembled the Great Hall, only slightly larger. Three rooms had been built off to the side, one
for each couple, along with bathrooms and the works. They did this for one reason.

They started using the time-turners, going back entire days. They would redo certain days,
essentially living each day twice. The first time through that day would be out in the open,
living their normal lives. The school would see them, and everyone who wanted to could think
they were keeping tabs on them. The second time would be devoted to training, rituals, and
other things that needed to be done that they couldn't do with the normal amount of time.
Not only did they have more time to get errands done, their bodies would grow quicker
compared to normal time, and help them grow to hold more power.

"We can't do this all the time. If we did, we would age too quickly, and everyone, not just
Dumbledore, would know something was up," Hermione had reasoned. "We should do this
only on weekends, as that way we can age quicker, albeit an easy pace so it looks normal, and
we get forty-eight hours extra time. The four day weekend is just an extra incentive," she
finished with a giggle.

They had originally used this strategy after Harry had graduated Hogwarts. He had been
invited into the Unspeakables, along with Neville, Hermione, and Ron. Harry was hesitant at
first, remembering Augustus Rookwood, who was an Unspeakable, was also a Death Eater.
When he asked, the Unspeakables looked offended at the thought of the man, and told them
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they do much more thorough background checks and monthly checks for loyalty. After that,
Harry eagerly agreed. Together they had been trained not only to use their minds to discover
and figure out the mysteries of magic, but to fight, and fight well. They had been given a time-
turner each, ones that had survived their battle in their fifth year by being with other
Unspeakables, and instructed to live out each day two times. In essence, they shoved two
years of magical training into one. Harry had requested that Ginny and Luna receive time-
turners as well, and one of the three Master Unspeakables of the time had agreed, admitting
they were to be invited after they graduated as well. It was how they had been able to grow
into their powers so quickly, and added with the constant experience and danger of the war,
they became warriors very quickly. It had been a constant source surprise to the enemy,
always being much stronger than the last time they had been seen in battle.

The Chamber of Secrets had become their sanctuary on those days they repeated, so that they
eliminated running into their selves or being noticed and recorded being in two places at once.
If they were to leave the chamber, it was done in their Unspeakable uniforms and their
identities hidden. You couldn't be too careful.

Sirius was waiting in the entrance hall of Potter Manor. He was nervous, for more than one
reason. Harry had sent word that they were going to set up Pettigrew today, and he wanted to
know how it had all gone. They were going to send word to him in the form of Remus Lupin.

That was the other reason he was nervous. He hadn't seen Remus for thirteen years. Remus
had thought that entire time he had betrayed James and Lily. Sirius was unsure how his
presence would be received by the werewolf. He was pacing in the hallway thinking of all the
things that could happen when there was a rush of wind and Remus appeared in the hallway, a
piece of paper in his hand. Remus had landed gracefully like usual. Remus looked up from the
paper to see Sirius staring at him. They just looked at each other for a second before they both
grinned and grabbed each other in a tight hug.

"Sirius, I'm so sorry," he heard Remus manage to say. They released each other and Sirius was
surprised to see tears in the man's eyes. "I can't forgive myself for thinking you were capable
of such a thing," Remus began to ramble. Sirius smacked him over the head.

"Would you shut it Remus? You had no reason not to believe it. As much as I hate to admit it,
Wormtail pulled a good one over us. He tricked you and the rest of us, but the deceit is done.
Harry has seen to that," Sirius said with a smile. Remus returned it with a weak one of his own.

"Can you believe what that boy and his friends have done for us?" Remus asked quietly as
Sirius led him into the living room. Dobby popped in and served tea before disappearing again.

"If it wasn't for their undeniable knowledge of the future and skill with magic, I wouldn't have
believed it," Sirius said.

"To come back through time and live life over, just to save some lives," Remus said. "I don't
know if I would have been able to face it like them. The thing is, they still have ways to go."
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"I know, and I plan on being with them all the way," Sirius said. "He has done so much for me,
and then came back through time just to do more. Not only that, but he is my godson," he said
with a grin. Remus chuckled lightly.

"You always did spoil him Padfoot. What would Lily say if she found out you have had a second
chance to spoil him even more?" he said, his eyes twinkling with mirth. Sirius barked out some
laughter as he stood up.

"Come on Moony, I have to make an appearance at the Ministry. This ought to be good," he
said with a wicked grin.

'He certainly knows how to handle himself,' Amelia Bones thought to herself as she watched
Sirius Black make his way through the Atrium of the Ministry. He was being swarmed by
reporters and others welcoming him back. So far he had received no less than five kisses, from
five different women, one of which was married. She wasn't surprised, he was a handsome
man, and it seemed most of the harshness of Azkaban had been erased. Not only that, he had
managed to turn one reporter's hair pink, another's robes a shocking orange, and another's
camera was now quacking like a duck with every picture. She grinned as he made it to her.

"Sirius Black, if you would come with me, I will take you where you need to go," she said. Then
she spotted Remus Lupin. She knew the two were the best of friends at Hogwarts. She had
been only three years ahead of them. "Mr. Lupin, you are welcome as well. Everyone else,
leave them or I will call Aurors," she yelled out. The reporters reluctantly let them pass. She led
them into an elevator, which was soon leading them to the DMLE.

"Mr. Black, before we arrive, I would like to personally tell you how sorry I am that I did not
push for a full trial," she said, still feeling ashamed of herself for never pushing for it. Granted
she was just an Auror back then, but it still annoyed her. Sirius just gave her a carefree smile.

"Amelia, there is no reason for you to feel guilty, nor call me Mr. Black," he said with a laugh.
She smiled in embarrassment. "We were pretty good friends, and I don't see why we can't be
friends again," he said.

"Very well Sirius," she said as the doors opened. She led them down a corridor before walking
through a door and into the Auror Headquarters. The Aurors that weren't out in the field sat in
their cubicles, working on various projects. When Sirius walked in however, many of them
looked up. Many of them were originally sent to find Sirius, and his ability to get away from all
of them had taken a toll on their pride. Sirius had a smug grin on his face, as he noticed a
couple of the Aurors that he never got on well with before Azkaban were scowling at him. They
didn't get much farther when they heard a crash. They turned to see a witch sprawled out on
the ground, obviously having fallen over the chair next to her. She looked up, and with an
embarrassed grin, jumped up and ran to Sirius, squeezing him in a hug.

"Sirius!" she squealed. "I knew you were innocent!" she said, pulling back and looking up at
him with a happy smile. Sirius just gaped for a second before he barked out a laugh.
A Second Chance

"Dora? What are you doing here?" he asked. Nymphadora Tonks just grinned a little wider.

"I'm in Auror training," she explained with excitement, causing her hair to start flashing the
colors of the rainbow. Remus' eyebrows shot up at the sight of that. He didn't expect to see
the Metamorphmagis. "Who are you?" she asked, looking at Remus. He grinned roguishly.

"You don't recognize me?" he asked. He took her hand and bowed, kissing it before continuing,
"Remus Lupin at your service Tonks," he finished with a grin and wink at Sirius. Tonks' eyes lit
up with recognition.

"Remus? I haven't seen you since I was what, six?" she asked, a shy smile on her face. Sirius
seemed to notice and was about to tease her mercilessly but Madam Bones stopped them.

"Excuse me Tonks, but I do require Sirius. You can keep Remus however," she said, her eyes
twinkling. Sirius grinned as Tonks' cheeks darkened a little before sidestepping them and
following Amelia.

"So you noticed it as well?" he asked, laughing when she grinned and nodded. "They meet for
the first time in thirteen years, and already they like each other," he muttered.

Albus Dumbledore made his way through the castle corridors. He held his wand in his hands,
looking at it while trying to put his thoughts together. Roaming the halls had always helped
him think, and even when he was a student, he would wander the halls while trying to think of
the next prank or next side project. Very few knew what Albus was like when he was at
Hogwarts, as not many were still alive, but back then Albus had a mischievous streak that
nearly rivaled the Marauders. It was mainly for this reason he enjoyed the pranks of his
students so much. He was quite impressed with Harry and his friends' Halloween prank, not
that he had evidence of their guilt.

However, at this time, pranks were the farthest from his mind. Sirius was now a free man, and
he knew that meant Harry had a new home now. That wouldn't do however, as the blood
wards around Privet Drive were too powerful to ignore. Harry was a strong boy, and would be
fine for another couple months at the house. He grimaced in remembering how bitter Harry
had been in his first year about his relatives, but it didn't matter. He had to sacrifice some
comforts for that protection. It was for the greater good.

The question was how to get him to go? He would undoubtedly have to convince Sirius before
he could convince Harry. Sirius could not get too close to the boy, or they wouldn't want to be
separated. It would be difficult however, as he knew that Sirius would demand to see Harry as
soon as possible.

He sighed. He twirled the wand in his hand around. The Elder Wand of the Deathly Hallows. He
sometimes still couldn't believe he commanded the wand of legend, but it was here, in his
hand. Contrary to popular belief, it didn't make the master of it an invincible duelist. It was the
strongest wand by far, however it took the strongest wizard to be invincible. A weak fighter
with the Elder Wand would be strong, but a strong fighter with a normal wand could equal
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that man. No one knew that Gellert Grindelwald had the Elder Wand under his control during
their battle. Albus had always been the more powerful of the two. Gellert had a very analytical
mind and had even more intelligence than Albus. While not a pushover by any means, Gellert
was more of an assassin, while Albus was the warrior.

Their fight had been head on, terms in which gave Albus an advantage. Gellert had no element
of surprise, no assassination style attempt on Albus. They had both met and fought, and
Dumbledore's skill had been just enough to defeat the edge the wand gave Grindelwald. After
that, the wand pledged allegiance to Dumbledore, and he had become a nearly invincible force
with it. Alone, he was much stronger than the average wizard with a very intelligent mind, and
the wand only added to that. He hoped to die with the wand under his command, forever
ending the constant bloodshed it caused. He sighed again.

He continued walking through the halls, finding his way to a deserted corridor of the school.
He was halfway down the hall when there was a sound of shattering glass behind him and he
was engulfed in darkness. He sensed several spells flying at him but couldn't see them, so he
ducked and used the Dome Shield. The spells slammed into the shield, cracking it in several
areas. He couldn't see a single thing outside the shield, the darkness was so complete. Several
more spells rocketed through the darkness, succeeding in shattering his shield and slamming
him to the ground. Before he could cast anything else, two more spells hit him, putting him in
a body bind and causing the Elder Wand to fly from his hand and into the darkness. There was
a quiet and slightly sinister chuckle before the darkness lifted and standing ten yards from him
was a figure in all black robes and a cloak. Both were trimmed in golden runes, giving him an
elegant yet deadly look. His hood shrouded its face in darkness as power pulsed off of him.

"I am sorry for the surprise attack Albus," he said, sounding anything but.

Harry waited as he hung upside down from the ceiling in the abandoned corridor. He had the
Marauder's Map with him, watching the Headmaster head straight toward him. The other five
were at the other end of the hallway, ready in case Harry needed help to escape the
Headmaster, should the man get past the trap. He smirked when Dumbledore turned the far
corner and walked past him. He dropped a vial of a swirling black and purple liquid, which
shattered and cloaked the entire corridor in darkness. He dropped from the ceiling, and raising
his wand, pushed as much power as he could into several reductor curses, knowing he would
have to blow through Dumbledore's shield. He could see the man of course, as he took the
counter potion to the Instant Darkness Potion. The shield cracked but held, so he sent several
more, destroying the shield and knocking Dumbledore over, making him easy prey for a couple
more spells. When the Elder Wand came flying toward him, he snatched it out of the air.

It was power. He felt the rush of magic as it recognized him as its new master. He had defeated
Dumbledore, no matter how underhanded it was. Harry knew he could defeat the Headmaster
in a fair battle, but it would be very difficult, not to mention dangerous. Instead, he went with
the "spring the trap" method, and it worked marvelously. He waved it, casting a complex
charm designed to counter the darkness while he chuckled lightly.
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"I am sorry for the surprise attack Albus," he said, not that he was. "However, the Elder Wand
was not something I wanted to fight against," he said, a smirk forming over his lips. "Don't look
so afraid. I assure you this wand is in capable hands, and I have no intention of using it against
you or the light," Harry said, before giving a little bow. He dissolved into a dark mist, before
seemingly blowing down the corridor.

Albus slowly got to his feet, feeling every single one of the one hundred and fifty three years
he had lived. He had lost the Elder Wand, and to an unknown entity at that. Not only had the
man defeated him, he had appeared and disappeared quickly and quietly. The man's powers
were astonishing, and much stronger than his. Oh yes, he had felt the man's power positively
radiating off of him. It was a scary thought.

I have no intention of using it against you or the light. That was what the man had said. A little
relief entered the old man's mind. He desperately hoped it was the truth. Without that wand,
he was no longer equal with Voldemort, and would surely lose to him, given the duel was long
enough. That man was truly powerful, and with the Elder Wand, could defeat Voldemort. Not
kill, as only Harry could, but defeat. He reached into his robes and pulled out a maple and
unicorn hair wand, feeling the usual connection with it. He hadn't used it in many years. He
missed the feel of it, and was almost glad the Elder Wand was no longer his. He continued his
patrol, knowing the tables had turned. The only question was, whose odds just worsened?
A Second Chance

Chapter 13

Pranksters Unite

Why couldn't battles be like chess? He hated the fact that when someone was defeated, they
couldn't just reassemble and start over. The battle had gone on so long, and he was quickly
becoming sick of it. He wouldn't stop though, not until Harry had finished it. He quickly made
his way through the fight, taking on Death Eaters as he went. He was trying to find Neville.
From what he heard, he was running right into the bulk of Death Eater forces and would likely
need some help. His group was made off all Unspeakables, except Kingsley, and while very
strong fighters, even they could lose.

Jumping over a body, he came down on a Death Eater with a quick slash of the short sword in
his left hand, before banishing him forward with his wand, slamming him into several other
Death Eaters. With a flick, their clothes came alive and started to strangle them. He smirked
before turning around. His eyes widened at the body he had jumped over. It was Charlie. He
squeezed his blue eyes shut for a couple seconds before he opened them, anger swirling
through them like an ice storm. He turned away from his dead brother and ran forward, taking
as many Death Eaters as he could during his search for Neville.

"GINNY!" he heard a voice roar over the battle. He knew it was Harry. He prayed to Merlin in
hope that his sister was alright. With the death of Charlie, they were the only two Weasleys
alive. He kept running forward, slapping a curse right back at a Death Eater as he found Neville,
who was engaged in a fierce duel with a man who looked surprisingly familiar. He turned to see
Luna blast a Death Eater before joining her in the fight.

"Fancy meeting you here," he said with a humorless smirk, as they joined up and started to
duel together. They began work in unison, as if one mind controlled their movements. They had
been trained to work with any other Unspeakable in this fashion, and more so with each other.
An Unspeakable Pair is the best in a fight, and the many pairs showed it during the battle.
There were a lot less of them, but they made up for it in skill and teamwork.

"Shit, Luna!" Ron yelled, seeing Neville lose his sword. She turned and seeing what Ron did,
started to run to Neville. Ron pointed his wand at her and flicked it at Neville, launching her
through the air at a high speed. Half way there, she changed into an eagle, before screeching
and digging her talons in the shoulder of the man standing over Neville. Ron blocked a few
more curses as Neville dealt with the man and helped Luna. It was then he saw a large figure
charging at him. His eyes widened as he noticed it was a transformed werewolf before he dove
to the side, missing it. It didn't seem to care and kept going. Ron noticed its path before
changing into a Husky and charging after it. He heard Neville's scream as it bit down on his
friend's leg, which only served to anger him more. Before the werewolf could do more harm, he
pounced on its back, slamming it away from Neville. It quickly got to its feet before diving into
him, pinning him to the ground. It lifted its front paw and Ron closed his canine eyes, knowing
he couldn't defend.
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He opened his eyes to find himself staring at the canopy over his four poster bed. He breathed
a heavy sigh of relief. That had been a close call during the fight, in several different ways.
Luna, Neville, and himself had nearly died right there. Luna with the sword, Neville and himself
with the werewolf. It had been one of most terrifying parts of the battle for him. He dragged
himself from his bed and started to rummage through his trunk for clothes. He dressed quickly
before grabbing his Nimbus 2000 he got from Harry and Ginny on his last birthday. He grinned
at the broom, before shouldering it and closing his trunk. He had many expensive items, many
he shouldn't have due to his financial status. Harry had gotten him several gifts. He wasn't
jealous or anything, he knew it wasn't pity. Harry was just being Harry, and besides, when he
became an Unspeakable again, he would be able to quickly pay off those debts. It was with a
grin he walked out onto the Quidditch pitch later, his nightmares forgotten as he sailed
through the air.

Fred looked over to his mirror image, before grinning and adding the final ingredient very
carefully into the potion they were currently making. They were in a hidden room behind one
of the portraits on the fifth floor. It wasn't overly large, but it was big enough for their little
experiments, and they were the only ones who knew about it. He dropped the eight canary
wings into the cauldron and dove away from it, covering his head, unknowingly mirrored by
George. They waited ten seconds before risking a look. To their surprise, the cauldron had
turned a nice sheen of yellow and looked relatively calm, although it would occasionally
bubble, making a noise that sounded oddly like a chirping canary. The sported identical grins as
they walked up to it.

"Well George?"

"Yes Fred?"

"It's your turn as test dummy," Fred said, a smug look on his face. George paled slightly but
nodded before taking a small spoon that was off to the side and pulling some of the yellow
liquid out of the cauldron. He looked to his other half.

"Well, here goes nothing," he said, before dropping it into his mouth and swallowing. He sat
there for a second before shrugging. Fred looked put out and was about to go over the recipe
when there was a small pop and a large canary was sitting where George had been not a
moment before. Fred looked at his feathery brother with glee before grabbing a piece of
parchment and a quill and jotting down the effects. A couple minutes later, George shed his
feathers and started laughing.

"That was bloody brilliant," he chortled. They heard clapping behind them and spun around
with their wands out, getting ready to charm and confuse whoever had mistakenly walked in
on them. Before they could send a spell though, the wands sailed out of their hands into the
waiting palm of Harry Potter.
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"Now now Gred and Forge, no need for that," he said with an impish grin, pocketing their
wands. "Very interesting little concoction if I do say so myself. Would that, by any chance, be
called Canary Cream?" Fred and George merely gaped at him.

"How did you know?" George finally managed to squeak.

"How did you get here?" Fred demanded, gaining his wits faster than his brother. A smug
looking smirk spread over Harry's face.

"You have your pranks, I have my sources," he explained. "We play with the toys life gives us."
He grinned at the twins' dumbfounded looks. "Anyway, I couldn't help but notice you two have
some talent for mischievousness," he said, stressing the word some. The twins looked
indignant.

"Some? I will have you know," George began.

"That there is no other," Fred continued.

"Person or persons,"

"That could compete,"

"With the sneaky and downright ingenious,"

"Weasley Twins!" they finished together.

"To right dear brother," Fred said, favoring Harry with a mock glare.

"I know of a group that was better," Harry said.

"Pray tell dear brother-in-law," George said.

"Have you ever heard of the Marauders?" Harry asked, getting identical jaw drops from both
of them. "I'll take your silence as a yes. How would you like to meet Moony?" Harry asked. The
twins looked like Christmas came early.

"Really? Moony, one of the infamous Marauders himself?" they asked in unified disbelief.
Harry just nodded. "Where is he?" Harry just smirked.

"Right here in this very school," he said. The twins started to bounce with excitement. Harry
grinned before pulling out several vials from his pocket. "Fill these up with the Canary Cream
and let's go," he said. They twins hastily filled the vials and stuffed them into their pockets
before dragging Harry out of the room.

"Lead away Harrikins," they stated in unison. Harry just grinned before walking down the
corridor, the twins in tow.
A Second Chance

Remus stared down his enemy, his face a cold mask. He was against the ropes, and he knew it.
One false move and it would be the end of him. He considered his options carefully. He knew
the consequences if he were to lose. Slowly, he made his move.

"Check," he said in a cold tone. Sirius looked back at him, angry at Remus for putting his king in
such danger. He looked down at the chess board before a smug smirk spread over his face. He
moved his knight before looking up at Remus.

"Checkmate," he stated. Remus' mouth hung open. Sirius had just beaten him in chess. It was
inconceivable, yet here was proof. He sighed miserably and fell back in his chair. Sirius merely
chuckled at his antics.

"Come on Moony! All you have to do is ask Dora out," he said, raising his eyebrows
suggestively. Remus scowled at him.

"I'm nearly twice her age," he said. "Besides, why would she want me?" he said, his true fears
leaking out. Sirius just gaped at him before rubbing his face with his hands.

"How can you be so knowledgeable yet not see what is right in front of your face?" Sirius
asked. Sirius had been having Remus and Tonks over to the Potter Manor at regular intervals,
not only to see them, but to try and set them up. It was quite obvious they were smitten with
each other, but the mangy werewolf had yet to understand that. They happened to be in
Remus' office in Hogwarts today however. He grinned at down at the chess board. He rarely
won against Remus in the game. The rules were simple, lose and face the consequence. If
Remus lost, he asked out Tonks. If Sirius lost, he had to use his roguish good looks to pull
Amelia Bones out of her rigid stance against crime and go on a date with him. Amelia was only
in her mid thirties, which was only a few years older than him, and for a witch, that is still very
young. It helped that she did have quite the figure behind the monocle and robes. Besides, he
was planning on doing it anyway.

"Just do it Remus. I'll call Dora now," he said with a grin, before he rushed off to the fireplace,
Remus hot on his tail.

"Why are we here Harry?" George asked in confusion. He hardly believed Moony was in the
DADA professor's office. It didn't make sense.

"Just follow me," Harry said, opening the door to the office and striding in. He looked around
to find Sirius sitting in Remus' chair, his feet propped up on the desk, a smug grin on his face.
He looked over to see Remus with his head in the emerald flames of the fireplace. "What did
you make him do now?" he asked with amusement. Sirius just barked out a laugh.

"He is asking out our favorite Metamorphmagis," he said, before noticing the twins. "And you
must be Fred and George Weasley, Hogwarts' resident pranksters," he said, his eyes alight with
excitement. Fred and George grinned and bowed to him, not at all scared of the ex-convict.
Just then, Remus pulled his head out of the fire, a little flushed but a pleased smile on his face
nonetheless.
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"It's set. Dora and I are…" it was then he noticed Harry and the twins. He grinned sheepishly
before turning to them. "Harry, Mr. Weasley one and two, what can I do for you?"

"You and Tonks huh?" Harry said, wiggling his eyebrows. Remus groaned.

"Not you too!" he said, getting a laugh from both Harry and Sirius, and a confused look from
the Weasleys. They wondered how it was that Harry was so open with the two adults.

"Anyway Remus, I have come as I promised to introduce these two to Mr. Moony," he said,
noticing the amusement shoot through Remus' face before his mask of innocence was back in
a flash. Sirius looked especially eager now. Harry turned back to the twins, who were looking
around the room, as if waiting for Moony to jump out at them.

"Looks like it's your lucky day boys. May I introduce Messrs. Moony and Padfoot," he said,
bowing and waving a hand to Remus and Sirius, who bowed. Harry waved his hand discreetly,
causing several sparks to shoot up behind them, looking like fireworks were going off behind
them. Fred and George were staring at them in shock before they dropped to their knees and
began to bow.

"We are not worthy," they said loudly in unison.

"Get up you two," Remus said, although secretly he loved the attention they were giving him.
"I may be your idol, but I am still your professor," he said. The twins had horrifying looks on
their faces.

"That's what confuses us Mr. Moony," Fred said.

"How could a prankster of your prestige become the bane of pranksters everywhere?" George
continued. Sirius chuckled.

"He always was the smart one. A prefect as well," he said with a grin.

"So who are Wormtail and Prongs?" Fred asked eagerly. Harry's face darkened.

"You saw Wormtail float by behind Professor Dumbledore not two weeks ago," Harry
practically growled. A surprising amount of hate sprouted into the twins' eyes at the thought
that one of their four heroes could be so horrible.

"I can't believe it," Fred mumbled. George nodded solemnly.

"As for Prongs, well he was my father," Harry said quietly. The twins turned to him in shock.

"Really? You are the son of a Marauder?" they asked, the thoughts of Wormtail slipping from
their minds. Harry gave them a small grin.

"I know you guys have the Marauder's Map," Harry said, getting a wide-eyed look from them.
"I would like to have it, as it was once my father's," Harry said quietly. George pulled the map
out of his pocket and handed it to him with a grin.

"Here you are Prongs Jr.," he said. "We beg of you to call us whenever we are needed," he said
bowing.
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"We are your humble pranking servants," Fred continued, also bowing.

"I also have a proposition for you," Harry said, his tone getting more serious. The twins picked
up on it and stopped joking. "I would like you and these two to bring your talents together, not
only for pranks, but for ideas on turning those pranks into weapons," he said. The twins looked
surprised at that revelation.

"Weapons?" Fred asked suspiciously.

"Expecting a fight Harry?" George asked.

"Yes, and a big one at that. I can't tell you much guys. However, read this book. Don't give me
that look," he said with a smirk as twins took on an appalled expression at the word book. "It is
on Occlumency, or the art in magically shielding your mind. Haven't you always wondered why
Snape knows it is you two that do all the pranks?" he asked. Their mouths dropped.

"That little wanker! Oh, sorry Professor," George said, grinning guiltily at Remus.

"Quite alright Mr. Weasley," he said, not bothered in the least.

"Yes, so shield your minds, and I will test them from time to time to make sure you are
progressing. When they are strong enough, I will tell you my reasons," Harry said. The twins
nodded solemnly before grabbing the book and leaving the room. It would probably become
the only book the twins would ever read cover to cover.

Harry sat Indian style on the cold stone floor. His eyes were closed in concentration. His hands
were clasped in his lap. He sat in the center and beginning of a spiral of runes, which were
carefully drawn. A bandana pulled his hair back and away from his face. A pure silver knife was
floating in front of him through his willpower alone. Ever so slowly it moved closer to his
forehead, before touching his skin and slowly drawing out a rune. This was the most difficult
ritual they would be attempting. The reason it is the hardest as very few at this age ever have
the ability to move the dagger with their mind alone, let alone with the control to draw a rune
on their own forehead, without a mirror. Ginny had closed the link to their minds completely,
making sure Harry could not get distracted through her. One mistake and the ritual was more
likely to leave you a vegetable than increase your mental capabilities.

The knife made one more small line down the center of his forehead before it disappeared. His
eyes opened before he whispered, "Validus Mens." The rune on his forehead and the spiral of
runes glowed an eerie green before the rune seemed to sink into Harry's head. Harry's face
scrunched up in pain before he fell backward unconscious.

He blearily opened his eyes to find a pair of beautiful brown eyes staring back at him in
concern. He smiled weakly at Ginny, who had his head in her lap.

"Hey good lookin', what's cookin'?" he asked groggily, getting a giggle from her. She helped
him sit up, where he shook his head. He looked to the rest of his friends, who were looking
back intently. He raised an eyebrow before delving into his mind with his Occlumency. He was
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immediately impressed by how stable and organized his mind was. The ritual's main effect it
seemed was to make the mind naturally organize itself, and combined with Occlumency, he
should have photographic memory as well as nearly perfect recall from here on out. He
opened his eyes with a silly grin.

"Oh Hermione, you are going to love this," he said. Her eyes widened and an excited grin
sprouted over her face before she took off toward the runes.

"And here come the Gryffindors!" Lee shouted into the magical microphone. The crimson and
gold section roared their approval as the team shot out of the locker room and onto the field,
taking a lap around the field. It was the first game of the season, against Slytherin as usual.
Because Malfoy didn't get hurt by Buckbeak, they had no reason to change the schedule. They
were heavily favored however, as reigning champions and had not lost a single player from
that team. They eventually set up in the middle of the pitch, ready for the game to start.

"I want a clean game!" Madam Hooch yelled out, however it was difficult to hear her due to
the pounding rain. Harry had spelled his glasses to repel water and had several warming
charms on his robes and gloves, making sure he would stay warm. The quaffle was thrown and
the game was on. Harry watched as Angelina, Alicia, and Katie took off across the field, scoring
in mere seconds. Harry just grinned.

"I love those girls," he thought as he flew around the pitch.

"What's this? Falling for other women Harry?" came Ginny's sweet voice in his head.
"And here I thought I was able to ensnare you to my every whim, " she said with a
long suffered sigh. "I will have to redouble my efforts," she thought huskily, sending him
various thoughts and pictures in his head. He grinned before picking one of them and throwing
it back down the connection.

"I want this one," he said cheekily, knowing she was beginning to blush. He heard distantly
Hermione asking is she was alright. He laughed before closing their connection more and
concentrating on the game. It was a difficult one to be sure. After an hour of game play, it was
only forty to twenty in favor of Gryffindor. It was as much a fight against the Slytherins as it
was against the storm. He turned just in time to see Katie score again when he heard Lee's
voice ring out over the stadium.

"It looks like Gryffindor has called a time-out!" Harry shot down to the ground next to the rest
of them, who were huddled together.

"This is bloody ridiculous Oliver. We can't even see each other, let alone the bludgers," one of
the twins said. The other nodded in frustration.

"I'm… freezing," Alicia said through chattering teeth.

"Everyone come closer," Harry said, before his wand shot out of his sleeve and into his hand.
They all eyed him curiously before he waved his wand in a circle past all of them. They all
suddenly felt warm. He grinned at them.
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"Concentrated warming charms on your clothes. Should last another couple of hours," he said,
deftly stowing his wand back into his holster on his forearm. Oliver beamed at him before
clapping him on the back.

"Brilliant Harry! Let's go team. Show these snakes how lions play!" They all cheered before
shooting back into the air with renewed vigor. It was another thirty minutes later that the
score was one hundred to thirty to Gryffindor. Harry looked behind him to see Malfoy right on
his heels. He was tailing him the entire game. He decided to end that. He suddenly shot
forward, weaving through all the chasers and dodging a bludger as well. He knew Malfoy
wouldn't be able to fly through that group like he did. As expected, he heard a loud thump
right behind him and a muffled scream, knowing Malfoy didn't manage to dodge the bludger
he did. He then dropped into a dive, hoping Malfoy would be dumb enough to follow. It was
with a grin that he noticed he was. He was originally planning a feint, however meters before
the ground reached him he noticed the snitch flying toward the Gryffindor goal posts. He
pulled out of his dive at breakneck speed, rolling away from a bludger before grabbing the
little ball in his hands. The crowd erupted into applause. Even some Slytherins were cheering,
eager to get out of the weather.

"At least you didn't fall this time," Neville said with a grin as they walked back to the castle. He
held his wand over his head, causing an umbrella of magic to hold over them, sheltering them
from the rain. Harry just chuckled.

"Gave Malfoy a broken shoulder as well," Ron said with a smirk. Harry just sighed happily.

"I know, all is right in the world," he said, a dreamy look on his face as his friends around him
laughed.

Draco was lying on one of the beds in the hospital wing, having been forced to drink some foul
potions for his shoulder. It was a dull ache now, but it didn't concern him. He thought back to
the game, and how brilliant Potter was on a broom. He hated to admit it to himself, but Potter
was exceedingly better than him.

"That dirty little cheating half-blood," he heard Pansy say as she tucked in his sheets and
fussed over him. "Who does he think he is? You are going to get him back for that trick aren't
you Draco?" she asked. Draco resisted rolling his eyes.

"No," he responded shortly, getting a surprised look from her.

"Why not?" she asked a little angry. "Look what he did to you!"

"He didn't do anything," he snapped at her. She looked taken aback at his attitude. "We were
playing Quidditch. That is enough reason to not attack back. Besides, he was doing his job, not
hitting a bludger at me. And I won't get back at Weasley either, because it is his job to hit me
with said bludger," he said in an annoyed tone. She pouted before dropping into one of the
chairs.
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"What happened to you Draco?" she asked. "You used to hate Potter so much, and would jinx
him for no reason just because you could. Why is it that you practically defend him now?" she
asked, glaring down at him. This time he did roll his eyes.

"Are you honestly that dull Pansy?" he asked. She gasped and got ready to smack him for that
comment but he merely caught her wrist. "Don't you dare," he muttered dangerously. She
pulled back her hand with a huff and left the hospital wing. He sighed in relief at her absence.
He could find no blame for Potter. He was a great flyer and an even better player. He had
power, fame, money, and skill, and Draco gave respect to those who earned it.
A Second Chance

Chapter 14

Winter Break
November faded into December. Snow soon blanketed the grounds of the castle, causing the
students to grab their gloves and scarves for the drafty corridors. Warming charms were seen
frequently, and the common rooms were constantly bathed in the warmth of the fireplaces. It
was the last day of term, and Harry smiled as he packed his trunk for the winter holidays. He
was going to the Burrow with Ginny, Ron, and Hermione. Neville and Luna would be joining
them for Christmas. He closed his trunk and locked it before looking over to Ron and Neville,
who both had just finished as well. Spelling their trunks to float behind them, they walked out
of the dorm and down the stairs, finding the three girls waiting for them. Harry grinned as he
walked up to Ginny. She was sitting in a seat with her back to him reading a book. He walked
up behind her and as he bent down to kiss the top of her head, she tilted her head back and
caught his lips with her own. He smiled against hers.

"You were waiting for that weren't you?" he asked. She giggled into his mind before
closing her book with a snap and moving, so he could sit down and she could sit on his lap.

"How did you guess?" she asked impishly, snuggling into his chest with a happy sigh.
Without the usual summer of inactivity and malnourishment for the last three years and the
constant workouts the group did, Harry had lost the skinny and weak body. He had grown
much taller and had much more muscle than the first time he was thirteen.

"Hey Harry," said a pair of voices from next to them. They turned to see Fred and George
walking up to them, trunks behind them. Before they could say another word, Harry and Ginny
each attacked with Legilimency, Harry taking Fred and Ginny taking George. They visibly
flinched, before concentration settled over their face. Harry grinned at the strength these two
already had before increasing the strength of his probe, knowing Ginny did the same. The
twins flinched again, before they lost the battle. Harry and Ginny immediately stopped their
attacks, grinning as the twins sighed in relief. They each pulled a small vial out of their pockets
before downing it.

"Headache potion. You two kill us with those attacks you know," George explained, rubbing his
head.

"You guys are doing remarkable with Occlumency. It must be all those years of trying to hide
your secrets that you just naturally take to it," Harry said with a grin. The twins grinned right
back.

"So you ready for the Burrow young Harry?" Fred asked, plopping down onto the chair next to
them. George sat down on the armrest of Harry's chair.

"Yes he is," Ginny said, kicking George and knocking him off the armrest so she could rest her
feet there. He got off the floor and sat on the couch across from the chairs. The twins knew
better than to ask how she knew.
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"Everyone leaving for the holidays is to head down to the Entrance Hall," called Percy's voice
over the students. The four of them were joined by Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Luna and
quickly made their way downstairs, shrinking their trunks and putting them in their pockets. A
quick carriage ride and they settled on the train. The six time-travelers settled into one of the
back compartments, Fred and George having gone off with their friends. The train ride was
rather unremarkable, and soon they were pulling into King's Cross Station. The six happily got
off and fought their way onto the platform, searching for their families. Neville and Luna broke
away from the other four when Harry finally spotted Mrs. Weasley. They fought their way over
and found that she wasn't alone. Bill Weasley was standing next to his mother, a big grin on his
face and dragon tooth earring dangling from his ear.

"Bill!" Ginny squealed, jumping into his arms. While she would adamantly say that she loved all
her brothers the same, Harry knew she held Bill a bit higher than the others. He had always
treated her well, especially when they were younger.

"Hey Gin," he said, lifting her off the ground in the hug, getting a happy giggle from her. He put
her down before pulling Ron into a hug as well. He let go off his little brother and turned to
Harry.

"And here is my new brother," he said quietly, letting only the people around him hear. The
grin never dropped from his face though. He held out a hand, which Harry grasped in a strong
handshake. "Harry Potter. If half the stories about you are true, I think we are going to get
along rather well," he said with a laugh. Harry was glad Bill was back. After Dumbledore's
death, Bill became like a brother to Harry. He looked out for Harry, and Harry learned much
from the oldest Weasley brother. Bill had been the best cursebreaker in Britain, and showed it.

They were arrayed around the valley, their forces split in six. They would be attacking three
separate areas at once. One was a supply building, as if they were to lose and retreat, at least
they could weaken their heart. Another was straight at the living quarters built especially for
Death Eaters that were on the run from the Ministry, and that was a lot. The last target was
Riddle Manor itself. Before anything could start however, they needed to bring down the
wards. Percy had managed to get them many details on the wards at the price of his life. Bill
planned on not letting his death be in vain. Harry and his group were hiding behind a ridge,
waiting for the wards to drop. He looked out at the edge of the wards, watching as six black
cobras slithered past the wards. He grinned. Voldemort had a ward against animagi, so he
conjured some snakes and told them to bite the few guards behind the wards.

Nearly simultaneously, all six guards dropped to the ground soundlessly, the cobras having
bitten them in the necks. As they fell, fifteen people walked up to the wards, Bill in the lead.
They spread out along the wards, before pointing their wands at them. They were all
cursebreakers, and they were the best. Bill closed his eyes, noticeably muttering under his
breath. Harry felt a ripple along the wards and knew he took down the alarms. The other
fourteen started chanting as well. Magic shot from their wands, connecting them to the dome.
The wards slowly started to peel away. Soon, as they weakened, they became visible in the
night sky, a glowing dome over the valley. They were slowly cracking. One of the cursebreakers
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fell in exhaustion. Another, and then two more fell as well. Bill started chanting louder as his
friends fell. Soon he was the only one left. They could all hear the sounds of the Death Eaters
getting ready. Bill started to glow.

"No, Bill, shit he is going to overload his core to bring them down," Harry said, jumping from his
position. The rest of his team did as well. Harry was going to join Bill, hoping to give him a little
push when the light around him became a blinding white. The wards shattered into pieces, as
magic exploded from Bill. Harry and his team fell to the ground in the wave of magic. Harry
heard the other five groups jump up and run into the valley. He however ran to Bill, Ginny right
behind him. He was on the ground, his body was littered with bruises and cuts. Harry flicked his
wand and found no sign of life. He closed his eyes in grief as he heard a sob behind him. He
spun quickly and pulled Ginny into a hug.

"Come on love, let's finish this, for him, for Percy, for everyone," he murmured. She looked up
at him with shining eyes before kissing him and nodding. The broke apart and followed their
friends into the battle.

That battle had claimed so many lives. Harry hoped it could be done easier this time. When the
twins joined them, Mrs. Weasley shepherded them off the platform and to Ministry cars,
which Mr. Weasley had been able to get for them. Mr. Weasley was waiting with the cars.
They soon pulled up to the Burrow. Harry smiled softly at the house that seemingly defied
gravity, before being tugged toward it by Ginny.

"Ron, you and Harry take your bedroom, and Hermione dear, you will be with Ginny," Mrs.
Weasley said with a smile. They walked up the stairs to their room, and dropped off their
luggage, having Bill undo their shrinking charms as they "couldn't do magic" outside of school.

"Well mate, welcome home," Ron said with a grin at Harry. Harry smiled back.

"It is good to be home."

Draco walked through the halls of Hogwarts. He decided not to go home this year, not really
wanting to see his father. He scowled at the thought of the man. He had preached so many
things to Draco, and so many were discovered to be false. So many had living examples to the
contrary. Muggleborns were weak. Hermione Granger was definitely not weak. Harry Potter
was only lucky and the Dark Lord will return and finish him. Having watched Potter these last
few years, he was not surprised he defeated the Dark Lord. Potter had so much power and
skill. Purebloods are the only ones worthy of learning magic. He certainly didn't think Crabbe
and Goyle even deserved to hold a wand for their own safety let alone be allowed to learn
magic. And the way Granger wields her magic, she definitely deserves to continue learning it.

It all just confused him. One thing was certain however. His father was wrong. Which meant
other things he said could be wrong. He always said how the Dark Lord was the most powerful
wizard. Then how did he lose to a baby? He stopped his walking and looked up. He realized he
A Second Chance

was at Professor Snape's office. He never did think to ask his godfather what he thought about
all of this. He quickly knocked.

"Enter," came the silky reply of the Potion's master. Draco opened the door and entered,
finding himself under the expectant gaze of Severus Snape, who was sitting behind his desk,
shuffling through parchment. "Yes Draco?"

"Sorry to intrude Godfather," Draco said quickly. It was only when they were alone was he
allowed to ever call Snape his godfather. Very few knew of the relationship between them. "I
was merely wondering if you could spare a few minutes to talk." Snape eyed him for a second
before flicking his wand, causing all the papers to fly away and land on shelves in the back of
the room. He gestured toward the chair in front of the desk, and Draco sat down.

"What is it Draco? You rarely come to me for guidance," Snape said, his usual sneer and
haughty voice gone. Draco just looked lost.

"Everything I have ever been taught is being turned around on me," he said quietly. Snape
showed no emotion, but on the inside he was surprised. If he was honest with himself, he
expected a rant on how Potter showed off. "Muggleborns are not weak, Potter is not the
enemy I expected. And if the little I have read about muggle accomplishments is real, then
they are far from useless," he said. Snape was struggling to hold his emotions back with
Occlumency now. Draco Malfoy seemed to be changing. Draco looked up at him, his eyes
begging for guidance.

"If the Dark Lord returns, what will you do?" he asked in a whisper. Snape took out his wand
and flicked it at the door, causing it to lock and initiate all the privacy charms. He then looked
back to his godson.

"I know exactly what I will do. The question is Draco, would you follow me, or would you
follow your father?"

Harry was annoyed. He was currently outside with Ron, Fred, and George, helping de-gnome
the garden. Ginny and Hermione were inside helping Mrs. Weasley set the table for dinner. It
had been like this for several days. Mrs. Weasley seemed determined to keep Ginny and him
apart. Not that it worked, as they spent every free moment together, but when she had any
type of task to do, however trivial, it was up to Ginny before she dealt things out to any of her
other children. Hermione had noticed of course, and while she spent much of her time with
Ron, volunteered sometimes to do what Mrs. Weasley wanted Ginny to do, knowing Ginny
was very close to going nuts. Mrs. Weasley seemed to not notice Ron and Hermione showing
obvious affection to each other now that they didn't have the masses of Hogwarts to spread
rumors. Fred and George did however, and only managed one minute of teasing before
Hermione hexed their mouths off. She returned them back to normal after getting promises
they wouldn't tease them. It helped when she threatened hexing their lower regions.

"Come on Harry, cheer up, its Christmas time!" Fred said as he tossed a gnome over the far
hedge.
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"Good toss old chap," George said as he watched.

"Come on Harry, I know mum is being really annoying with you and Ginny, but it is Christmas,
and you are at least with us instead of sitting in the old castle with nothing to do," Ron said,
tossing a gnome and smirking at Fred as his went farther. Harry just sighed as he grabbed a
gnome in his own hand.

"I know, it's just annoying that she can't let us just be together." With that, he tossed the
gnome, adding a little banishing charm at the end, causing it to double Ron's distance. The
twins' jaws dropped as Ron burst into laughter. Just then, Hermione walked out.

"Dinner time boys," she said, before giggling as they all rushed into the house. They all ran to
their spots at the table, Hermione following at a more leisurely pace. Harry sat next to Ginny,
who grabbed his hand tightly under the table. He could feel the annoyance rolling through her
mind in waves, and was glad she started to calm down at the simple touch. He smiled at her,
getting one in return.

"We need to do something about this Harry," she told him mentally, putting the block
in their minds that connected their senses, so that they could eat different things and not taste
both at the same time.

"I know Gin. We will figure something out. Besides, this did allow me to have
some extra time to devote to my special project, " he replied. She smiled lovingly at
him before returning to her dinner.

"I still can't believe you are doing this. Have I told you how much I love you
lately?" she said. She sent a wave of love over their connection, and Harry nearly sighed in
happiness from it.

"Yes, but you can say it as much as you like. It is coming along nicely. It is a
difficult process, but I can easily rebuild the minds of any animal and even
some semi-intelligent creatures," he said as he took a bite of the chicken on his plate.
"The human mind will be much more difficult, but I think with Luna and I
working together, we should be able to do it," he said.

"Neville is going to love you for this. You are giving his parents back Harry, "
she said. He gave her a mental nod.

"I know, and I'm glad to help. Neville's parents have always been there, they
just need a little help." The group continued through dinner, listening to the stories Bill had
about tombs he had entered in Egypt. When dinner was finished, Mrs. Weasley looked to
Ginny.

"Ginny, help me clear the table," she said, standing up. Ginny rolled her eyes and got up as
well.

"No need mum, I'll do it," Bill said, waving his wand, causing the dishes to fly over to the sink
and begin to wash themselves. He turned and winked at Harry. Evidently, he had noticed it as
well.
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"Thanks Bill," Ginny said happily before grabbing Harry's hand and dragging him into the living
room. She pulled him to the end of the coach, shoved him down onto it, and flopped into his
lap, resting her head on his shoulder with a content sigh. He grinned and wrapped his arms
around her, resting his head on the top of hers.

"Oh come on mum," Bill said, flicking his wand at the doorway between the kitchen and living
room and casting a silencing charm. "Leave those two alone. They just want to spend time
together, I see nothing wrong with that," he said. He had been filled in by Ginny when they
returned home a few days ago. He had been surprised, but recalling all the letters he had
received from the twins, Ron, and Ginny and what they said about Harry, he had no problems
with it. The only reservation he had was becoming an uncle too quickly, but she had assured
him no such thing would happen until she was out of Hogwarts. He took her word. He knew
Ginny, and when she promised something like that, it would happen that way.

"Oh Bill, I just don't want them to do anything irresponsible," Mrs. Weasley said with
frustration.

"Molly, you won't know what will happen if you don't let them be together. They are bonded,
and if what they said is true, there is nothing we can do to separate them. They are meant for
each other," Mr. Weasley said with a sad smile. He thought he would have a few more years
with his little girl before she was taken by another man. He was at least glad it was Harry. He
had also heard his fair share about Harry Potter through his children with his own interaction
with him. He was a good lad.

"They aren't just bonded. They are Soul Bonded. They are together in every sense of the word.
To merge souls only happens under the most dire of circumstances, and usually before the two
people even know they love each other," Bill said. While being a very social person, he was
also a scholar, and knew much about magic. It was needed as a cursebreaker to know about all
forms of magic. "And yes, they do love each other," he said, noticing the look his mother was
giving him. "This bond is the epitome of love, and can only happen between soul mates."

"Oh fine. I understand. I will let them have time together. It's just so hard to see her that close
with someone already," she sniffed, peaking out the doorway and looking at Harry and Ginny,
who were curled up on the couch together, eyes closed. If it wasn't for the occasional change
in emotion on their face, she would have thought they fell asleep.

"I see they are talking through their mind," Bill observed with amusement. Like any other
Weasley, except for maybe Percy and his mother, he saw the merits of that ability. While not
as wild as the twins, he played his fair share of pranks at Hogwarts. He was just never caught.
He also knew they shared their mind, so that if one learned something, the other learned it
too. Very handy for schoolwork. "Leave them mum. They might just surprise you. I for one
would look at Ron and Hermione, those two look awfully close nowadays," he said with a
smirk, cancelling the charm and walking out of the room and up the stairs. Mrs. Weasley
looked to the other side of the living room, and sure enough, Ron and Hermione were there,
A Second Chance

Hermione in Ron's lap in the love seat, whispering to each other. She smiled sadly. Her babies
were growing up.

Harry appeared with a small pop in the atrium of St. Mungos. He was in his Unspeakable robes
and cloak, with his head hidden in the hood. It was several days before Christmas and he had
just used a time-turner to go back several hours. He grinned as he recalled Mrs. Weasley
demanding from Ron why she was never told he was seeing Hermione. He found Luna in her
robes on the other side of the room and moved past the front desk. The lady at the desk was
too busy reading a magazine to notice them. They went up the staircase, toward the fourth
floor. The quickly ascended the steps, opening the door and entering the long-term residents
ward.

"Can I help you?" came a voice. They turned to see a plump witch come over to them, eyeing
them warily.

"We came to see the Longbottoms," Luna said, discreetly waving her hand at her. The lady's
eyes spaced out for a second before they focused and she smiled.

"Right this way," she said, leading them over to a curtained off area. She pulled back the
curtains, and waved them through. "I will just leave you alone then," she said before turning
and leaving. Harry and Luna dropped their hoods and looked at the Longbottoms.

"I say we try with Mrs. Longbottom first, as she shows more response than Mr. Longbottom,"
he said with a sad sigh. Luna nodded and they both looked to Neville's mother. She was lying
there, looking at them with unblinking eyes. She had white, wispy hair and pale skin. Harry
nodded to Luna before they both looked into her eyes and projected their consciousness into
hers.

Chaos. That was the best word to describe her mind. Thoughts and memories swirled around
them in an endless storm, and there was no structure at all. Harry mentally sighed and
together with Luna, began the long and tedious work of rebuilding a mind.

It was a dark and rainy night in the forests of Albania. There, deep in the forest, a crude shelter
was erected. A rat-faced man scurried around it, trying to make some type of food for himself.
He kept glancing into the corner of the room, where a creature sat on a chair. At a quick
glance, one would think it was a baby. With a closer look, they would notice the blood red
eyes, scales for skin, and the lack of a proper nose. Lord Voldemort had finally taken a shape in
which he could live in.

"Wormtail, hurry up with your wanderings, Nagini needs to be milked for my sustenance,"
Voldemort hissed. Wormtail squeaked and started moving faster. He had found the powerful
snake wandering the forest not a day ago. It was now his familiar, and a very strong one at
that. Voldemort once again cursed his current existence. Harry Potter was responsible for this
pitiful body. He would pay for his insolence. Voldemort of course knew he had miscalculated
A Second Chance

that night, not knowing the depths to which Lily Potter would go to protect her son. Love. He
would have snorted if he could have. Love is nothing compared to the power he controlled. Yet
it somehow helped in his defeat that night. He needed to find a way around it, and he could
only think of one. He needed Potter's blood. He of course knew he only needed an enemy to
complete the ritual, and of course he had his fair share of enemies, but Potter was his greatest
enemy. That should make the ritual all the more powerful, not to mention the helpful
protection from his blood.

A frightening grin appeared over his little mouth, before an evil cackle left it, causing any
animal in the near vicinity of the little hut to run in terror.

"Merry Christmas everyone!" Neville called as he arrived through the fireplace. Luna and
himself were visiting for Christmas dinner, having spent the morning with his Grandmother.
She was with some of her friends, knowing Neville was in capable hands.

"Hey mate, Merry Christmas," Harry said with a grin, pulling Neville in for a hug. He caught
Luna stumbling out of the floo and pulled her into a hug as well.

"Thanks Harry," she said with a little giggle, before dusting herself off.

"Thank you for having us Mrs. Weasley," Neville said, looking over to her. She just smiled.

"You are quite welcome Neville, come on you two, dinner is almost ready. We can exchange
gifts after that," she said. They all entered the kitchen only to have their noses swarmed with
the delicious smell of the feast Mrs. Weasley was finishing up. It was a loud and boisterous
affair, with Mr. Weasley telling stories of his Hogwarts days and comparing them to the stories
the children were telling. There was a lot of talk about pranks, Quidditch, and classes, and
soon, they were too full to take another bite. They all helped clear the table and headed into
the living room with the intent to exchange some gifts and just enjoy each other's company.
Harry stood up and walked into the middle of the room. He turned to face them with a grin.

"Now before we start, I think the most important gift should be given first," he said. Only Luna
and Ginny knew what he was talking about. Luna for obvious reasons and Ginny because she
could just look into his mind. He looked down at his watch.

"It should be here any second now," he muttered only to have the fireplace flare behind him.
He spun around to find four people exit the floo one after another, smiles on their faces. He
turned back to Neville.

"Merry Christmas Neville," he said, stepping off to the side. Neville's mouth dropped in shock.
He recognized Sirius and Remus right away. The other two were the ones that shocked him.

"Mum? Dad?"
A Second Chance

Chapter 15

The Longbottoms
"Mum? Dad?" Neville said, his voice filled with hope. Alice Longbottom smiled with tears in her
eyes and opened her arms. Neville launched off the couch and into his mother's arms, where
they both broke down into tears. Harry grinned at the sight, and felt Ginny grab his hand. Mr.
and Mrs. Weasley were in shock at seeing the Longbottoms back. They knew what had
happened to them, and couldn't believe their eyes. Bill was in a similar state as his parents.
Hermione and Ron were staring at Harry, knowing and happy smiles directed at him. Luna was
watching the scene with happy tears in her eyes. Percy and the twins didn't know what to
think, not knowing about the Longbottoms. Sirius and Remus came over to Harry, patting his
shoulder and stepping over to the elder Weasleys.

"Oh my baby boy," Alice sniffed, holding onto Neville, as if afraid he would disappear. Neville
was basking in the first hug he ever remembered from his mother. He soon let go of her and
pulled his father into a hug as well.

"How, how did this happen?" Neville said through his tears. He couldn't take his eyes off them.
They looked so much better than the last time he visited them at St. Mungos. Their skin had
some healthy color to it now, and their hair was starting to return to its natural colors. Frank's
blue eyes were back to glittering with his usual mischievousness and determination, and
Alice's soft brown eyes shined with warmth and love. Frank grinned and motioned to Harry
and Luna.

"Harry and Luna worked together to rebuild our minds. They were in chaos after what had
happened, and they managed to get them back into order," he said. "We have had about a
week of rest since we have returned to our minds." Neville spun to Harry and pulled him into a
hug, which Harry happily returned.

"Thank you so much," he whispered, before letting go and running over to Luna, pulling her
into a strong hug while looking down at her with love shining out of his eyes. She smiled before
planting her lips on his. The twins wolf-whistled as they broke apart. Alice's eyes widened in
delight before she looked at Luna.

"You didn't tell us about this," she said slyly, getting a pretty blush from Luna.

"I'm just glad he didn't try to snog me," Harry said with a grin, getting a laugh from the group
around him. It was Bill that interrupted the happiness with a question that he was burning to
ask.

"How did you rebuild their minds? That must be the most advanced Legilimency I have ever
heard of," Bill said, narrowing his eyes at Harry and Luna. Harry sighed.

"I knew you would ask. Unfortunately I cannot tell you," he said, holding up his hands to stop
the interruptions. "Not yet anyway." He waved his hand, causing square presents to fly out
from under the tree and to Arthur, Molly, Alice, Frank, and Percy. They caught the presents
and opened them when prompted to by Harry.
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"Occlumency, the Defense of the Mind by Harry Potter?" Percy asked in surprise. Fred and
George recognized the title as the book Harry gave them at school weeks ago. They never did
look at who wrote it. All of their eyes shot to him, where he grinned sheepishly.

"I am quite gifted at the mind arts. Luna and Hermione also helped. Now, what I ask of you is
to read this book, and develop your mental shields. My five friends and I," he said, motioning
to the other time-travelers, "have a very big secret. Very few, besides us, know of it. The
reason Sirius and Remus didn't receive the book as they have already been told, as has Severus
Snape," he said, receiving shocked looks.

"Severus may not show it, but he is quite trustworthy. He is a brave man who has endured
much in his short life," he continued. "Bill didn't receive one either as I happen to know he has
very strong shields already," he said, grinning at the older boy's shocked look. "However, he
will have to wait until it is time to tell you all. This has to do with our futures and your futures
as well. You all should know what we have been through."

"I for one would like to know what has happened with the world since the attack," Frank said,
looking around the room.

"I never did find out how they discovered where you were hiding," Neville said.

"We were under a Fidelius Charm, just like the Potters. Our secret keeper was Lily herself,"
Alice said, a sad smile on her face at the thought of her old friend. "She was amazing at
charms, and she performed the spell and became our secret keeper as well. What better way
to hide our secret than to have our secret keeper under a Fidelius as well? But when she was
killed, the charm faded. We had no idea," she said. "In the celebrations, no one came to tell us.
We thought we were still in hiding. If they had, they would have known the charm was down."

"They ambushed us soon after the Potters were attacked, demanding information on where
You-Know-Who was," Frank continued. "We weren't prepared, and it cost us thirteen years of
our lives. Are they in Azkaban?" he asked, cold fury in his eyes. Harry nodded to him. He gave a
grim smile. "Serves them right."

"Enough of this, it is Christmas, a time for family and fun," Harry said, pulling Ginny closer to
him. "Does anyone have mistletoe?" he asked, a wicked grin on his face.

Harry led his group through the portal onto the platform, smiling at the site of the crimson
train waiting for their arrival. They quickly grouped together, giving hugs goodbye to the
parents.

"Do be careful Harry," Molly said, squeezing the life out of him. "And watch Ginny for me. I
know she can be a handful," she teased. Ever since her talk with Bill, she had let up on
hounding them every second. She seemed to embrace their relationship.

"I wouldn't want her any other way," he said, giving her a silly grin. She smiled fondly at him
before grabbing Ron for a hug. He turned only to be pulled into another hug by Alice, who had
come with Neville. Frank was at the Ministry, getting their jobs as Aurors back. The last two
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weeks of the break had been full of training for the two Longbottoms, getting them back into
fighting form. They had much to do to get back to their best, but Sirius and Remus would be
helping them. They had created quite a stir within the community with their sudden health.
Many asked how it happened, and they would only say that "they received treatment." St.
Mungos was constantly asked but they said nothing, as they had no idea how it happened.
Many just assumed they didn't want to let the information become public.

"Thank you so much Harry for bringing me back," she whispered into his ear. He returned the
hug before breaking it and smiling at her.

"It was my pleasure. I would do anything for them," he said, looking over at his friends and
family with fondness. She returned his smile. "There is also the fact that you are my
godmother," he said shyly. Her smile widened before she pulled him into another hug.

"I didn't know you knew. I was going to tell you, I was just unsure how to say it," she said.

"I found it in my mum's diary," he said. "The more family the better, right?" he said, getting a
happy nod from her. He felt Ginny walking up to him and reached out to grab her hand
without a thought.

"Bye Mrs. Longbottom," Ginny said cheerfully.

"Please, call me Alice. I feel so old when you call me Mrs. Longbottom," she said with a laugh.
Harry grinned before walking off to the train with Ginny. Ron and Hermione followed closely
behind them while Neville and Luna said one final goodbye to Alice. They boarded the train,
Ron pulling out a chessboard and challenging Harry. Harry had only won once, and that was
because he got Hermione to distract Ron while they played. He waved his hand at the door
and set up the privacy charms after Neville and Luna walked in and started the game with Ron
in the middle of the floor.

"What else are we going to do this term?" he asked no one in particular.

"We could remove the soul pieces from the artifacts Voldemort used," Hermione mused as she
opened a large and ancient looking book on charms behind Ron.

"We still have to do the rituals to increase our physical strength and movement speeds," Luna
replied from Harry's left. She was lying on the bench, her head in Neville's lap.

"Wipe the floor with the other Quidditch teams," Ron said with a smirk, as he took one of
Harry's pieces. Harry just nodded.

"All good suggestions," he said, getting giggles from the girls at deeming wiping the floor with
the other teams as a good idea.

"You still need to convince Dumbledore to let you go somewhere other than Privet Drive this
summer," Ginny said quietly. She was sitting next to him, her head resting on his shoulder.
They all knew Dumbledore would be unwilling to let Harry go anywhere else but there. Harry
thought about it for a minute before he smirked.
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"He has no choice. He will have to accept my choice," he said, sending several thoughts over to
Ginny. Slowly a smirk spread over her face as well.

"Never mind, he doesn't have a chance," she said. Harry looked up from the destruction of his
knight and looked at Luna.

"I was thinking about petitioning for you and Ginny to move up to our year," he said. Ginny
already knew of that plan, as he had shared it with her. Luna just nodded.

"It makes sense. We are already too advanced for Hogwarts, let alone the third year. Might as
well put us all together," she said.

"Well it's settled then," Harry said as he looked at board for a minute before a feral grin spread
over his face. "Checkmate!" he crowed, the rest of them laughing at the horrified look on Ron's
face.

The rest of the train ride was uneventful, most of which was Ron crushing Harry in multiple
games of chess in revenge for his loss in the beginning. They were soon back at the castle,
happy to be around the organized chaos that was Hogwarts.

"Are you sure of his sincerity Severus?" Albus asked. They were in his office, talking about
various students. The one they happen to be talking about was Draco Malfoy.

"Yes Headmaster, he seemed genuinely confused and in need of guidance. I have never seen
him so lost before," Severus explained. Albus' twinkle was in full force at knowing Draco was
turning for the better.

"That is good to know my boy. Now, what of young Harry and his friends?" Albus asked,
peering over the top of his half moon glasses. Snape merely rose an eyebrow.

"What would you like to know Headmaster? They are their usual talented selves, besting every
potion I set them. Potter and the Weasley girl are especially good with their Potions, working
quickly and even finding shortcuts through the recipe," he said. In truth, those two could
probably rewrite the books they used with simpler recipes for many of the potions they had.
He knew they had their future knowledge and he was sure a couple improvements were from
that knowledge, but the Weasley girl was a Potions genius and Potter was near her ability.
Weasley especially reminded him of Lily so much it was painful to watch her brew potions
sometimes.

"Very good. They are certainly a talented group. They will be quite the resource when
Voldemort returns," Albus mused.

"Speaking of the Dark Lord, I felt a quick spike of pain through my Dark Mark two weeks ago. It
was gone as soon as I noticed it however, the Dark Mark itself is slightly darker than before. He
is getting stronger," Severus warned. Albus sighed.

"I fear Harry will have to meet his destiny sooner than I would like. I had hoped he could enjoy
his time at Hogwarts longer. And with the Minister's latest idea," Albus said, shaking his head.
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"The Triwizard Tournament you mean?" Severus asked, getting a nod in reply. "No doubt
Potter will try and enter to show off," he said with his usual sneer. Severus knew that Harry
was going to do exactly that. Albus merely smiled.

"Don't worry Severus. It is only for students seventeen and older. I will personally see that no
one under that age can approach the cup," he said. Severus nodded, although he knew in the
back of his mind how that had backfired for Harry the first time.

"Very well Headmaster. If that is all, I must be getting to my classroom," Severus said, getting
up and sweeping away in a flurry of robes.

Five figures stood in a star formation around a pedestal, where a sixth figure was standing over
it. A shining silver diadem, inlaid with sapphires was resting innocently on the pedestal. The
five outer figures rose their wands and pointed them at the diadem before they began to
chant in unison. A bubble of magic formed around the pedestal and diadem. The center figure
rose his wand and pointed it at the bubble, muttering a different Latin phrase. A dark mist
seemed to leak out of the diadem, before getting trapped in the bubble. The bubble began to
move higher, pulling the mist along with it, leaving the diadem behind. The center figure pulled
out a long gleaming silver sword inlaid with rubies and with a quick flash of light, swung it
through the bubble and cloud of mist. The dark mist screamed with unholy pain before
bursting apart in sparks, gone forever. The center figure lowered his sword and turned to the
diadem. He picked it up and examined it.

"Did it work?" came a tired female voice to his left. He just grinned.

"Oh yes," Harry said. "I feel no evil from the diadem, only a very strong magic. It must be the
magical properties of the diadem," he said. Hermione squealed, all weariness gone before
snatching it out of his hand and putting it on her head.

"Looks good on me doesn't it?" she said with a haughty and superior voice, before breaking
down into giggles. She waved her wand at her bookbag in the corner of the room, causing a
large tome to fly from it and into her hands. "A book I have miraculously never read," she
explained to them, getting laughs. She opened it and began to read. Three minutes later, she
was forty pages into the book. She stopped reading and looked up at them with glazed eyes.

"This is going to make my life," she said in a voice that clearly said she had a new favorite toy.
"I have never been able to read this fast, nor understand so much at once," she said. "Besides,
it really does look nice on me."

The year continued to fly by, and soon the weather was turning warmer. They had managed to
take the Horcruxes from the other artifacts without damaging them. Hufflepuff's cup purified
any liquid in it from poisons and other foul substances. Slytherin's Locket seemed not only a
place to hold a picture, but was a strong shield amulet, which was like carrying a portable
dome shield. Its effect would only last a couple spells before dropping, but it could come in
A Second Chance

handy. It recharged itself from the ambient magical energies around it, so it recharged fairly
quickly at Hogwarts. The Resurrection Stone was also freed from its Horcrux. He felt complete
again with all three Hallows in his control. He couldn't let anything happen to them. The
artifacts were too precious and were left in his trunk, which had the most powerful charms
and enchantments the Elder Wand can make to protect it. Dumbledore himself couldn't get
into it. That left only Nagini and Voldemort himself left to deal with.

"Welcome to the match of Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw!" Lee Jordan said over the magical
microphone. Harry shot across the pitch with a grin on his face. It was the second game of the
year, and Gryffindor was as usual the heavy favorite with most of the players hitting their peak
Hogwarts years. "I am Lee Jordan and this is Hogwarts Quidditch!" The stadium roared its
approval. The stadium was split evenly, with Slytherin having sided with Ravenclaw and
Hufflepuff rooting for Gryffindor.

"The Gryffindors had a fantastically played game against Slytherin, and are now looking to
extend their lead with a defeat of Ravenclaw. Ravenclaw lost a close game against Hufflepuff
due to spectacular catch of the snitch by Captain Cedric Diggory. They are looking to bring
themselves back into the standings, as well as bring Gryffindor down a peg." With that,
Madam Hooch tossed the quaffle in the air and the game began. Harry noticed Cho flew right
up to him and fluttered her eyes at him. He merely rose an eyebrow.

"Trying to distract me Chang?" he called out with a grin.

"Is it working?" she shot back with a grin of her own.

"Not in the least," he said, before shooting off in toward the Ravenclaw goal posts, Cho closely
following him. He knew her strategy, and that was to tail him. He wasn't about to let her
though. He began to weave through the chasers, beaters, and bludgers at high speeds,
knowing that while Cho was a great flyer, it would take someone along the lines of Victor Krum
to truly keep up with him.

"Thirty to zero Gryffindor!" Lee called out as Angelina scored for the second time. Harry looked
over at the press box where Lee was celebrating and saw a glint of gold. It instantly shot
straight down as if sensing him, and he shot after it. Cho was desperately trying to keep up,
but Harry was moving too quickly. The snitch suddenly evened out at about eighty feet, and
Harry shot after it. He was reaching for it and couldn't seem to get to it. He smirked before
lunging off his broom and grabbing the snitch in his right hand. He began to free fall, much to
the distress of the crowd, which was gasping and screaming while pointing at him. Many
teachers drew their wands but where unsure of what they could do. Harry did one flip before
becoming vertical in his drop, his feet down. He pulled out his wand and when he was twenty
feet away from the ground, a wave of power exploded from his wand, impacting the earth and
creating a slight crater. The force was so great, he stopped in midair, before dropping the
remaining distance. He hit the ground on one foot and one knee, the fist holding the snitch
slamming into the ground to keep him steady. He looked up to notice the stadium was dead
silent. He stood and held the snitch over his head. The noise erupted from nearly everyone in
the stadium. After that stunt, the Ravenclaws didn't seem to mind they lost.
A Second Chance

Harry was quickly swarmed by his teammates, the girls which were crying thinking he almost
killed himself. Oliver was merely grinning at him, no doubt happy his seeker was literally going
to get the snitch or die trying. He was spun around and only had a second to recognize Ginny's
flaming red hair before he was pulled into a searing kiss. There were many catcalls and wolf-
whistles when people noticed the scene.

"You scared me half to death!" Ginny nearly screamed in his mind. They shut the
connection during the games so that he couldn't get help from her. They broke apart and Harry
grinned at her.

"Sorry love, but you should have known I would have been fine, " he said as he was
lifted onto Fred and George's shoulders. She just shook her head at him.

"It's a bit different when I don't know what the hell you are thinking," she
admonished.

"Hey we won, be happy! Celebrate with me when you make it back, because it
looks like I'm leaving now," he said with a mental chuckle as the twins began to carry him
back to the castle. The party had quickly appeared as the twins seemed to have made a deal
with the house elves to deliver food right after the game ended if they won.

"Mr. Potter!" came a voice just minutes after he entered the common room. He turned toward
the portrait hole to see Professor McGonagall and Madam Pomfrey glaring at him. He grinned
and walked up to them.

"And what may I do for you lovely ladies?" he asked. McGonagall merely shook her head while
Pomfrey just pulled him over to a corner and started to wave her wand around him, checking
for injuries.

"Madam Pomfrey, I'm fine," he said, flashing the trademark Potter grin. The same grin that
made women of all ages swoon under its gaze, and indeed, some of the girls in the common
room who happen to be looking sighed with dreamy expressions on their faces. Madam
Pomfrey merely scowled and continued waving her wand around him.

"Don't even try it. After your father, I'm immune."

Both Molly and Arthur were sitting in their living room, their eyes closed. Their faces held a
look of immense concentration. It was only after an hour did they both open their eyes. Molly
sighed in exhaustion.

"This is difficult work Arthur," she said with a tired smile. He returned it.

"I know Molly, but it is for the kids. If this is what it takes to help them, then I will do it," he
said, standing up. It was then that a dark mist seemed to shoot in through the open window.

They both drew their wands as it went to the corner of the room, before it grew and solidified
into none other than Harry Potter. He grinned at their shocked expressions.
A Second Chance

"Surprise," he said cheekily. Arthur was the first to throw off his shock and laughed.

"That was certainly impressive Harry! It is good to see you lad. Why are you here? And what do
you call that impressive mode of transportation?" he asked, not at all phased that he was
seeing Harry who was supposed to not leave Hogwarts.

"Well Mr. Weasley, I am here to test your Occlumency. As for my entry, well that was what I
call shadow walking," he said. "It is a difficult ability to master, and if you do, you are able to
dissolve into a misty shadow, and traverse distances much faster than normal. However, it
only works for shorter distances and is much easier in dark areas or at night. Apparation is still
better for longer distances," he explained. "I apparated to just outside the wards and then
used my shadow walk the rest of the way." Molly finally shook off her shock and smiled at him.

"Well Harry dear are you hungry? I think I can whip something together while you are here,"
she said. Harry grinned.

"No thanks, I really did just come to check your Occlumency." With that, he carefully entered
their minds and began to probe their shields. They were mediocre at best, but they didn't have
too much time to work on them in the first place. He retreated from their minds and smiled.
"You have made good progress. Percy is just slightly ahead of you, and the twins have nearly
mastered the art. Probably due to the years of trying to hide their pranking secrets," he said
with a chuckle.

"How is school going Harry?" Arthur asked as they walked into the kitchen. Molly brought tea
for them.

"It is very easy Mr. Weasley. Actually, we were thinking about asking if Ginny and Luna could
move up to our year. They are dreadfully bored in their classes," he said. Both of them beamed
with pride.

"Ginny always was a bright child," Arthur said. Harry hid his smirk. They didn't know the half of
it.

"Ginny and Ron say hi by the way. They wanted to come, but me missing is hard enough to
cover, let alone all three of us." They nodded in understanding. "Well, I must be off. Keep
practicing!" he said, before dissolving into a black mist and seemingly blowing away.

Harry disapparated once outside the wards of the Burrow. He reappeared at Potter Manor,
and began his walk to the training room. He lied a little to the elder Weasleys, as he had gone
back to replay today with the Time-Turner, so the first Harry was still at Hogwarts in plain sight
while he was here. He opened the door to find Sirius, Remus, Alice, Frank, and his five friends
in the room, the others watching as Neville and Frank dueled.

"Come on dad! Show me what you got," Neville taunted with a grin as he slapped away a
couple curses, sending a tripping jinx, causing his father to fall. The older man was smart
however, and took it in stride, as when he hit the ground he rolled to the left, dodging a
A Second Chance

stunner and disarming charm. He jumped to his feet while casting a shield. Harry walked over
to Alice as they continued. She was beaming in pride at Neville's skills.

"He is good isn't he?" he asked as he stepped up to her. She didn't take her eyes off of Neville
once, wanting to see him as much as possible.

"He is fantastic," she responded.

"He is the only one right now that can truly match me in a duel," Harry admitted, watching his
friend calmly fight off the legendary Auror that was his father. Alice turned to him in surprise.
He grinned. "I know what you are thinking. What about Dumbledore or Voldemort? Simple
really. While very powerful and skillful in their own right, they still are not as powerful or as
skillful as we are. And by skillful I don't mean knowledge. They have us beat there. We are just
able to use our knowledge better. They are more on the level of Ginny, Luna, Ron, and
Hermione, if not slightly ahead." Alice nodded, looking back to Neville.

"I missed so much of his life. I have much to catch up on," she said quietly, a single tear
running down her face. She gave a watery smile as Neville hit Frank with a body bind and
summoned his wand, signaling his victory.

"You will have that time," Harry said with conviction. "I will make sure of it."
A Second Chance

Chapter 16

Memories
Harry looked over to Hermione and Luna, who were working at a table in the Chamber of
Secrets. The table was covered in pieces of parchment which were in turn covered in
Arithmancy equations, potion recipes, and rune configurations. He looked over to their potion
lab, seeing Ginny working with several different cauldrons at once, her hair pulled back in a
messy ponytail. He then looked to Neville and Ron in their makeshift greenhouse, who were
wrestling with a very young Whomping Willow, trying to collect some of its roots for the
needed potions. He held in a snicker as the small tree smacked Ron in the stomach. They could
not use magic to hold it down, as the magic would tamper the ingredients, as the potion called
for the root taken from a fighting willow. He would have helped, but was needed somewhere
else.

"Hermione, keep everyone working on the ritual, I need to see the Headmaster." She nodded
at him and went back to her work. He moved out of the chamber towards the entrance. They
were working on the strength ritual, which was different for every person. Every rune circle
and potion was to be unique depending on the weight, height, and muscle mass of the person.
The potion was also incredibly difficult, calling for many obscure and difficult ingredients. It
wouldn't be easy, but the enhanced strength would be very useful.

He quickly made it Myrtle's bathroom and closed the entrance behind him. With a quick
invisibility charm he made his way toward the entrance hall. He was currently in the past,
having used the time-turner Sunday night back to Friday night. The first Harry had left
Hogwarts Saturday morning for a potion ingredient that only grew in the very southern part of
the British island, and while the first Harry was gone, he had to become the present Harry for
the time being. He shook his head at the odd thoughts, wondering if it could get any more
confusing. He smiled as he stepped out of the doors, looking out over the grounds. He saw the
giant squid sunbathing in the shallows, Fred and George tickling his tentacles. A bunch of
younger students were watching them and sitting under the sun. School had been passing by
quickly, and it was already the beginning of May. The weather was getting warmer, and the
students were spending as much time as they could outside, before the end of term exams
came and they had to stay in and study. Harry grinned as he saw his friends of the current time
sitting under a large tree for shade and walked over to them. He sat down next to them and
dropped his charm. They all jumped at his sudden appearance.

"Hey everybody," he said with a cheeky grin. Ginny was looking at him with confusion before
understanding shot through her eyes.

"So that's why I didn't feel you coming," she said quietly.

"So how is everything going?" Hermione asked, knowing this wasn't the Harry that had left the
school not too long ago but the Harry that would be using the time-turner later. She was subtly
asking how things were going in the near future.
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"Pretty good. We are working on the ritual at the moment," he replied quietly, before standing
up. "Well, the Headmaster wanted to see me, so I better go," he said louder, so that the
people around them would hear. He hid a smirk as he began to walk to the school, his missing
counterpart covered until he returned to the school. He made his way up to the seventh floor,
and walked up to the gargoyle, which just jumped aside for him like usual. He made his way up
the stairs and knocked.

"Enter," Albus called. Harry noticed the extremely faint amount of surprise in the
Headmaster's voice at not knowing he was there and held back a grin. He walked in and sat in
the chair provided.

"Hello Professor. You wanted to see me?" he asked, his face emotionless. Albus managed to
refrain from shaking his head at how Harry had fooled him again before smiling.

"Yes Harry, there are several things I wanted to speak to you about. Lemon Drop?" he offered,
the twinkle in his eyes increasing when Harry actually did. "I asked you hear for a couple
reasons my boy. As you know, Sirius Black was deemed innocent of his crimes and is your
rightful guardian." Harry contained his smirk at this. "As you know, this means that you would
have the choice to live with him if you so desired and I am sure you would like to get to know
him, however, I must ask that you return to Privet Drive this summer," he said seriously. If
Harry wasn't annoyed at what Albus was asking, he would have laughed at the idea.

"I am sorry Professor, but you have three thoughts wrong there," Harry started, causing Albus
to raise an eyebrow. "The first is the idea that I would even think about returning to Privet
Drive when given a much better place to go. The second is the thought that I do not know
Sirius Black." At this, Albus had to consciously try and hold in his surprise. When did Harry ever
have the time to meet the man? "The third is that Sirius Black is my rightful guardian. As I see
it, I am my own guardian," he said, smirking in triumph at the confused look on Albus' face.

"What do you mean by that Harry?" Albus asked, looking over to the silver instrument that was
currently emitting small puffs of smoke, signaling the blood wards were still in effect. Harry
noticed the glance.

"What I mean is that I have been emancipated," Harry said in a clear and confident voice.
Albus was nearly gaping at him. "And no, the blood wards around Privet Drive are not in
effect." Harry rose a hand and snapped his fingers, causing the charm he placed on the
instrument to drop, causing it to stop moving, signaling the wards were non-existent. Albus'
head whipped back to Harry.

"Harry, have you any idea what you have done?" he asked, unable to believe this was
happening. Harry just nodded calmly.

"Yes. In my emancipation, I declared another home, causing the wards around Privet Drive to
collapse as it is no longer considered home for me. I had just charmed your little instrument to
keep going," he said with a shrug.

"Harry, the wards I used to keep you safe were the most powerful I have ever crafted. No
wizard meaning you harm would have ever been able to penetrate them so long as you and
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your Aunt were inside and called it home," he said, his voice rumbling in his anger. "Certainly a
small loss of comfort is worth such protection." Harry stood up from his chair seething with
anger. He quickly reined it in, before snapping his hand to where he knew the Albus' pensieve
was. It floated out and Albus was surprised at the wandless magic. It landed gracefully in front
of Harry, who quickly took out his holly wand and started dropping memories into it. After
several different memories, he flicked his wand and sent the pensieve to a small table off to
the side.

"I want you to watch those memories Headmaster, then maybe you will understand what that
small loss of comfort really was," Harry nearly hissed. "I am emancipated, which means you
hold no power over me and neither does Sirius. Sirius doesn't want that power and even if he
had it, he wouldn't use it. It is time for you to recognize that I am my own person, and not
some puppet to be controlled," he continued, seeing Albus seem to age as Harry berated him.
"I have a loving home to go to where Sirius and my family will be with me, and there is nothing
you can do to stop it." With that, he spun and walked toward the door, which slammed shut
before he made it out. He spun with fury to where Albus was standing, his wand extended
toward the door.

"I must know where you will be Harry. I must know you are safe," he said gravely. Harry's eyes
narrowed dangerously, before he turned back to the door.

"Hogwarts, as the rightful and chosen Heir of Gryffindor, I ask that you open this door," he said
in a loud and bold voice. The door clicked and opened, much to the astonishment of Albus.
Harry spun back to the Headmaster. "You know what muggles say Headmaster? Keep your
friends close and your enemies closer. Don't make me keep you closer." Albus of course caught
the meaning of that statement. He sighed and fell back into his chair in sadness.

"How have I failed you so badly Harry?" he whispered. Harry's eyes softened a little.

"You didn't fail, merely disappointed me," Harry said quietly. "After all, I am alive and happy, it
just could have happened in a better way." Harry turned and left the office. Thoughts swirled
around Albus' mind before he turned to the pensieve. He entered it and watched several
memories of Harry's childhood. He watched as Harry was left alone and neglected as a baby,
underfed and never bought new things as a small child, slapped and locked in a cupboard for
getting a better grade than his cousin, chased by his cousin and his cousin's friends and then
beaten up for getting caught, and finally yelled at for spilling blood on the floor after getting
beaten by his cousin. The worst had to be when he saw Harry sitting in the dark cupboard,
asking why he was cursed to this existence, where his mother and father were, and why he
couldn't just die and be in a better place. Albus exited the pensieve an hour later and sat
heavily in his chair. For the first time in fifty years, Albus Dumbledore cried.

Harry quickly made his way to Gryffindor Tower, his anger slowly melting away. He felt he was
a little harsh on the Headmaster, but he needed to know and understand, and this was the
best way to do it. Walking into the dorm, he walked to his bed and grabbed some parchment,
a quill, and ink from his trunk and wrote a quick message to the first Harry so that he knew
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what had transpired in the meeting. After spelling it so that only Harry Potter could read it, he
made his way back to the second floor bathroom and stepped in, noticed a small parcel on one
of the sinks. He grinned, knowing it was the ingredient they needed. Grabbing the parcel, he
opened the chamber, and slid down the pipe. He quickly made his way into the main chamber
and walked over to Ginny.

"Your package madam," he said with a bow. She smiled sweetly at him and grabbed it before
returning to her potions. He turned to see Ron and Neville dive away from the willow. They
stood up and Ron held out another root.

"That's the last one," he said, one hand holding the root and the other holding his black eye.
He also had several cuts on his arm and probably many bruises under his clothes. Neville
wasn't any better, but he was grinning. He always did love a Herbology challenge.

"Good, we are nearly ready for it then," he said, before leaving Ron and Neville to clean
themselves up. He walked over to Hermione and Luna. "You almost done with those?" he
asked, pointing to the runes. Luna just nodded as she made a concise and sharp stroke of her
quill, finishing the last rune of the circle. She dropped her quill and gave a tired sigh.

"That was the hardest rune circle I have ever made," she said. "It was yours," she said looking
at him. "Why are you so complicated Harry?" she asked in mock annoyance. He just shrugged.

"Did the meeting go as you expected it?" Hermione asked as she fooled around with an
Arithmancy equation.

"Nearly. That man can be so infuriating. As you know, I revealed my status as Heir of
Gryffindor," he said, hoping nothing happens because of that. "His heart is in the right place,
he is just too used to knowing everything," he said, sitting down at the table. Ginny soon came
over with six potions on a tray. She handed him the first one.

"Here, this is your potion. You need to add one hair and three drops of blood, then cap it and
shake. After that, it is ready," she instructed. He did so as she handed the others their bottles
as well. Hermione and Luna were soon drawing out his rune circle, which Harry had to admit
looked quite complicated. When they were done he took off his robes and shirt and stepped
into the center. He had his potion and a golden dagger in his hands. He nodded to the others
before downing the potion. He bit back a gag before throwing the bottle away and slicing his
finger with the dagger. He bent down and drew the rune for strength before standing straight
and throwing the dagger out of the circle as well. He lifted his hands above his head and
quickly threw them back down, allowing magic to ripple from his hands and energize the
runes. They burned a brilliant emerald green before light seemed to spiral out of them and
around the circle. He was soon enclosed in a cocoon of power, which quickly imploded into his
body. Harry felt his muscles tense painfully as they absorbed the magic. The light soon faded,
and Harry was left standing, the rune circle gone. He took an unsteady step toward them.

"Well, at least I'm still standing this time," he said gruffly with a tired grin.
A Second Chance

It was the leaving feast. The students were laughing and eating as much as possible since they
would not get another Hogwarts meal for a few months. The seventh years looked particularly
sullen, knowing this was their last night as a student. Harry and his friends were talking and
laughing with each other at the Gryffindor table, enjoying the time they had left at the old
castle. Harry tried to ignore the sad and guilty looks he was receiving from Albus, but knew
there was little he could do for them. After their confrontation, Albus had seemed to age many
years, and many noticed that he seemed to lack the usual bounce in his step. His eyes rarely
twinkled anymore and he only appeared for dinner. The staff was noticeably concerned.

Harry and his friends had of course aced all of their exams. They breezed through their
schooling, and planned on making the summer a relatively peaceful one. They had already
began making plans for the next year, knowing the Triwizard Tournament was already being
planned. Sirius had discovered it, having been more than friendly with Madam Bones recently.
Harry was excited to see Sirius find someone in this life. Thinking back to the first timeline, it
was quite the improvement.

Gryffindor had stomped Hufflepuff in the final Quidditch match of the season, sealing another
Quidditch cup for the lions. McGonagall was ecstatic that the cup would be staying in her
office for another year. They had also managed to grab the House Cup as well. Overall, it was a
very good year for Gryffindor. They were just starting on the desserts when the hall was
suddenly overcome with owls. Harry glanced up at them in confusion. Post always came in the
morning. It was then Harry realized what they were carrying. The Daily Prophet was in every
owl's grip, and that provided Harry exactly what was so important for an emergency issue.

"Pettigrew Escapes Azkaban!" was the large headline on the front page. Harry held in his
smirk, knowing his plan was shaping up to be perfect. Voldemort was walking right into a trap
and had no idea of it. He frowned though, wondering why they were only telling the public
now. Severus had informed him that Wormtail escaped two months ago. He had been
wondering why it wasn't announced. He read Ginny's copy with her through her eyes, and
understanding soon flooded through him. He smirked, thinking he should send Rita Skeeter
some flowers. It seemed that the Ministry, Fudge in particular, wanted to try and cover it up
and find him before anyone figured it out. They had been managing to do rather well until Rita
"bugged" him. He then noticed the many whispers and conversations happening around the
Great Hall. Many were looking to see his reaction. He gave an obvious look at the newspaper
for a minute, before shrugging and continued eating. Many of the students and Professors
were shocked to say the least, thinking he would at least be furious if not a little frightened
that a man that wanted to kill him escaped prison.

His action however seemed to calm the student body. They continued speculating on how it
happened, but seeing Harry Potter obviously not affected by it, they decided it shouldn't be
something to concern themselves with. The feast quickly overrode the scared feelings and
soon, everyone was waking up for the train ride back to London. Harry and his friends walked
onto Platform 9 3/4 to see several Aurors standing guard around the train. While knowing it
was pointless as Wormtail was in Albania, Harry was glad to see that at least the Ministry was
doing something. They kept walking along the platform until they found Molly, Arthur, Sirius,
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Alice, Frank standing together talking with Eric and Robin Granger. Luna noticed her father
across the platform and with a quick kiss given to Neville bid them all goodbye. The five left
walked up to their parents.

"Looks like a family reunion," Harry said with a happy smile as they walked up. Sirius just
grinned before pulling him into a bone-crushing hug, rivaling Molly. The others were quickly
hugged by their parents as well.

"How was the rest of the school year?" Molly asked them as they made their way off the
platform.

"It was a good year Mrs. Weasley," Hermione said with a grin to her friends. "Very productive."

"Well come on then, we need to be heading home Hermione," Eric said, putting a hand on her
shoulder. She nodded before hugging her friends before giving Ron a quick kiss, which didn't
go unnoticed by the adults. Eric and Robin rose eyebrows, showing that they expected an
explanation when they got home. Hermione just shrugged and with a wink to the others, left
with her parents.

"Well come on Neville, your grandmother is waiting for us back at home," Alice said, smiling at
them all. The Longbottoms departed, leaving Sirius and Harry with the Weasleys.

"Say your goodbyes Harry," Sirius said, not that it mattered. He knew that it wouldn't be long
until they saw each other. Harry nodded before grabbing Ginny around the waist and kissing
her deeply, causing the twins to make gagging noises and Ron to roll his eyes. Percy and the
elder Weasleys just looked away. Harry and Ginny were oblivious to it all, caught up in their
own little world. Harry finally pulled away, staring into her beautiful eyes. She gave him a
breath taking smile and gave one more quick peck.

"I'll see you soon," she whispered, before walking over to her mother. Harry smiled softly
before following Sirius. He heard Sirius chuckling in front of him.

"What is so funny?" he asked in slight annoyance. He just grinned at him as they walked into a
secluded alley.

"Did you see Molly's face when you kissed Ginny? She is already planning the wedding," he
laughed.

"Oh shut it Sirius," he grimaced, knowing that since the war would hopefully be avoided, Molly
would have all the time she wanted to plan the wedding. It was going to be a nightmare.

"Tell me about it," Ginny echoed into his mind. Harry just rolled his eyes before
disappearing without a sound, Sirius doing the same with a slight pop soon after.

Harry was nervous. Today was the day they would reveal the original timeline to the Weasleys
and several others. He took some calming breaths, using his Occlumency to keep his emotions
under control. He was worried about their reactions to the news. He didn't know how it would
be received, but regardless of his fears, they must be told. It had been several weeks since the
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end of his third year and Ginny had informed him that her family had strong enough
Occlumency now. Even Charlie was present, and he had been sent Harry's book over
Christmas. He quickly made his way out of his room at Potter Manor and made his way to the
entrance hall. He found several people waiting there for him.

"Amelia, Tonks, good to see you," he said as he walked up to them. Sirius and Remus had
asked if they could be brought into to secret, knowing their positions in the Ministry could be
very useful. Harry knew that wasn't the real reason, judging by the closeness between Amelia
and Sirius and Remus and Tonks.

"Wotcher Harry!" Tonks said cheerfully, her long hair and deep maroon. Remus had an arm
around her waist.

"Mr. Potter," Amelia said with a smile. Sirius had his arm draped lightly over her shoulders as
he grinned at his godson.

"If you will grab this rope, they are waiting for us," Harry said, holding out a small piece of
rope. They all grabbed on and with the familiar pull behind the naval, disappeared from Potter
Manor and appeared in the living room of the Burrow. Harry smiled at the gathered Weasleys
in the room. He saw Frank and Alice off to one corner, sitting with Neville and Luna. Their
health had improved dramatically, and they were finally getting back to their prime. Alice had
a healthy glow to her skin, with honey blond hair and warm brown eyes. Her lithe and athletic
frame showed inner strength. Frank had built back his former muscle, his blue eyes sharp and
taking in every detail in the room. Harry looked at the Weasleys, seeing all but Ginny sitting
together. Hermione was with them as well. He looked over and saw Snape sitting in the
shadows of one corner of the room, his face holding his trademark sneer. Everyone was
gathered, and Harry held up his hands for silence. He quickly got it. He looked around him with
a serious expression.

"You are all probably wondering why you are here. As you have all done, you have learned
Occlumency to protect your minds. Today you will learn a very powerful secret, one that I do
not give lightly. Know now that I trust every one of you with my life, however if you were to
break that trust, you will never receive it back," he said, looking every one of them in the eyes
in turn. Everyone's eyes held grim determination. He nodded in satisfaction. He flicked his
hands, casting several wards and spells, ensuring privacy. Just then, Ginny walked into the
room, holding a large and elegant stone bowl in her hands. It had emerald green runes
engraved in the side, giving it a mysterious glow.

"Is that a pensieve?" Bill asked surprise. Harry just nodded. "Those cost a fortune. Where did
you get it?" he asked curiously. Luna gave a smirk.

"I made it," Luna said, getting several gasps from the people who knew what a pensieve was.
Harry set it down on a table in the center of the room. He turned back to the others.

"I am about to show you something that will sound very unbelievable and untruthful, but rest
assured, what you are about to see is the complete truth. As I have said before, Sirius, Remus,
and Severus already know what we will be talking about, but even they have not seen all of
this," he said, before taking out his wand. Ginny waved her hand, causing the lights to dim. He
A Second Chance

swirled the memories inside the basin before tapping the edge with the wand. He backed away
as light flared from it, causing a three dimensional scene to appear over the bowl. The
members of the room noticed the scene was centered in Stonehenge.

"Rick Greens?" a man asked, clad in black robes trimmed in golden runes. The man by the
name of Rick nodded. "I am Master Unspeakable Raven. This is Hound, Blade, Hawk, Firefly,
and Moonlight. We will relieve you of your research," the man said in a no nonsense tone. Rick
grumbled and left with his partner. The leader of the group lowered his hood, getting gasps
from the assembled people in the Weasley living room. "Well Gin, what do you think?" the
memory Harry asked. Harry looked around at the others watching the memory, not believing
what they were seeing. Alice and Frank were staring at the older Neville and Luna while the
Weasleys looked at Ron and the figure they assumed was Ginny. They watched in odd
fascination as Harry opened the staircase, and they made their way down under Stonehenge.
Bill's eyes lit up in recognition of all the runes, realizing what they were saying. Ginny finally
lowered her hood, showing her pale complexion, ruby red lips, and pointed fangs. The
Weasley's gave a collective gasp, knowing that this Ginny was a vampire.

"What is that Harry?"

"I don't know."

"Looks like an advanced Time-Turner." Suddenly scene changed, a dark purple glow coming
from the rune under their feet.

"What's happening?"

"Chosen ones, gatherers of the Deathly Hallows. Fate has been cruel, and a second chance you
shall receive. Use it wisely." With that, a blinding light flashed, before all was dark. Before
anyone could ask what was happening, a blurry scene started to sharpen, and they noticed it
was the Hogwarts Express.

"Harry?"

"Oh shit." With that, the memory disappeared. The room was dead silent for a moment.

"What exactly were we supposed to get out of this?" Charlie asked, confusion evident on his
face.

"I think… I think they are suggesting they traveled back, to relive their lives," Percy said, his
eyes wide as he looked at his youngest siblings.

"Percy is right," Harry said quietly, getting everyone to turn their eyes onto him. "What you
saw was my memory of September first, in the year 2003. We were Unspeakables, and were
called to Stonehenge for research. As you can see, the time piece I handled activated the room
we were in, sending us back."

"That's why school is so easy for you. That is why you seemed to know everything that was
happening in Hogwarts. That is how you always seemed to be in the right place at the right
time," Percy said, putting all the pieces together.
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"So you have been taking advantage of it," Bill said wisely, stroking his chin. "Changing things
you knew would happen throughout the years. Subtly however, so that your knowledge
wouldn't be compromised," he stated, getting nods from the six.

"Things needed to be changed. There was too much that could have been easier, too many
things that could have gone better," Ron said quietly.

"Voldemort returns in our fourth year, during the Triwizard Tournament," Hermione started,
getting gasps from the adults who didn't know already. "The war starts in earnest in our sixth
year, and it only gets worse until Harry managed to end it," she continued. Harry sighed sadly.

"I wish I could have ended it quicker. By the time the final battle was over, the only ones left
alive in this room were the six of us, and Amelia. All of the rest of you are to perish sometime
during the war." The mood was a somber one. Tonks finally spoke up.

"Can you show us what happens?" she asked timidly. Harry merely tapped his wand to the side
of the pensieve again. Out rose memory after memory. The members of the room watch with
a horrid fascination as the young trio came together fighting a troll. The same trio battled
through various traps and Harry eventually fought Quirrell. A young Harry held the Sword of
Gryffindor in his hand as the huge and blinded basilisk rose up to strike. They all took notice to
Ginny, who was lying lifeless off to the side. It was Halloween, and all the students were in the
Great Hall as the school was searched for Sirius Black. Sirius and Remus explained the truth in
the Shrieking Shack, before Snape came. Lupin transformed, Pettigrew escaped, and Harry and
Hermione went through time to save Sirius. Harry's name came from the Goblet of Fire. He
flew his way past a massive Hungarian Horntail. He swam deeper and deeper to save Ron and
Gabrielle from the Black Lake. He made his way through the dark and slightly disturbing maze,
finally grabbing the cup with Cedric. "Kill the spare" echoed through the room as Cedric was
killed. Harry fought Voldemort before grabbing the cup and returning to the school.

He entered Grimmauld Place for the first time. He was forced into using the blood quill by
Umbridge. He began Dumbledore's Army, training the students to use the Disarming Charm.
He had a vision of Sirius being tortured, before he led his friends to the Department of
Mysteries. The red bolt of light hit Sirius, causing him to fall back into the veil. Harry raged at
Dumbledore in the Headmaster's office before learning of the prophecy. He received his OWL
scores, became Quidditch captain, and started learning of Voldemort's past. He fought and
nearly killed Malfoy. He kissed Ginny for the first time. Hogwarts was under attack, and
Dumbledore died at the hand of Snape. Many of them gave Snape horrifying looks at this, but
Harry silenced them with a wave of his hand. They soon saw the shame burning in his eyes.
They saw a white tomb, and Harry breaking up with Ginny.

Harry was slowly ascending the stairs of the Burrow. As he came to the first landing, an arm
shot from the door, grabbing him by the back of his clothes and dragging him into the room. He
quickly spun with his wand out to find it was Ginny. He barely had enough time to recognize her
before she threw him into a chair and stepped in front of him, a fiery glare on her face.
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"I hear you plan on leaving Hogwarts," she said in a deadly whisper. Harry looked at her in
surprise before his face hardened.

"Who told you?" he asked.

"It doesn't matter who told me," she said, her voice barely audible. "What matters is the fact
that you want to leave school and get yourself killed." She stopped his protest with a simple
glare. "How can you be so selfish Harry?" she yelled, before all of the anger drained from her.
"Do you know what that would do to everyone? What it would do to me?" she asked in pained
whispers, tears now streaming from her eyes. "I just got you Harry, and I'll be damned if I lose
you now." Harry didn't know what to say. He merely held open his arms and Ginny collapsed
into them, sobbing into his chest. He held her close, stroking her hair as she cried. He never did
think about what the others would go through without him. He realized now how truly selfish
he had been, thinking about how he might spare them the war with his absence. He was only
hurting them by leaving. Using his other hand, he lifted Ginny's chin, and looked into her
beautiful brown eyes, his heart breaking over the sadness and worry in them.

"You won't lose me. I'm not going anywhere," he said, before gently kissing her.

"Welcome to another year at Hogwarts," McGonagall said from the head table. She had
become Headmistress with the death of Dumbledore. "First years, you should know that the
Forbidden Forest is just that, forbidden. Mr. Filch has added another twenty seven forbidden
items to his list. See him with any questions. Also, our new Defense Against the Dark Arts
instructor is Professor Kingsley Shacklebolt, who is a seasoned Auror." He stood and gave a
small bow to the students, getting a loud cheer from the Gryffindors especially. "Also, I would
like to welcome Fleur Delacour back to England. She will be taking up the post of
Transfiguration Professor for first through fifth years. I will still be teaching sixth and seventh
years." She gave them all a grave look before continuing. "I do not have to tell you of the threat
our world currently has. I ask you all to stick together. If you have any questions or concerns,
please see any of the Professors or our Head Boy and Girl Harry Potter and Hermione Granger."
All of the students eyes turned to Harry, who was sitting at the Gryffindor table, his back
straight, his eyes holding a determined glint. He would not show weakness. The school needed
someone to look to, and he would be that person.

Harry stood on the grounds of Hogwarts, staring up at the twinkling sky. It was a beautiful
sight, and Harry hated it. It seemed so unfair that the skies were allowed to look like that when
he felt so tired and defeated. Ever since Dumbledore's death, the world had seemed like such a
darker place. He sighed, rolling his tense shoulders. He was about to turn and head back to the
school when he saw a flash of movement from behind him. He spun with his wand out but was
too slow. The figure slammed him to the ground, before its jaws sank into his left arm. He
screamed before pointing his wand at it, shouting a blasting curse, sending it flying away from
him. He got up to see the werewolf standing with a feral look in its eyes. Harry knew it didn't
A Second Chance

take the Wolfsbane Potion. He knew who it was, as there was only one werewolf he knew that
the Hogwarts wards even let onto the grounds.

"Remus, control yourself," he said through his pain. His left arm was hanging limply at his side,
his right arm pointing his wand at the large beast. "It's me, Harry. You don't want to harm me,"
he continued. He didn't know why Remus was here. He was supposed to be scouting out the
other Werewolf clans. Realization hit him and he realized that this was planned. Remus must
have been captured and released at the school to do as much damage as possible. The
werewolf hesitated for a moment, recognition flaring through his eyes before it was shoved
away, the werewolf taking dominance. Remus lunged but Harry swiped his wand, sending him
flying to the left, slamming into a tree. Harry quickly send a Patronus to Ginny before slamming
the werewolf against another tree and with a wave of his wand, roots sprouted from the
ground, wrapping around the werewolf. Harry conjured large metal chains, which wrapped
around Remus as well. Harry knew it wouldn't last long so he started to move toward the castle
as fast as he could. He was halfway there when he saw Ginny sprinting down the slope,
McGonagall, Kingsley, Flitwick, Hermione, Ron, and Neville following her. Her eyes widened in
horror before she threw her wand forward.

"Bombarda!" she cried, the navy curse flying over his shoulder, impacting Remus in the chest,
throwing him backwards yet again. Harry stumbled the remaining few steps and into Ginny's
arms, who began to pull him toward the castle as the three teachers subdued Remus.
Hermione, Ron, and Neville were watching their backs.

Harry walked down the familiar dark hallway, making his way to the Department of Mysteries.
Hermione, Ron, and Neville were with him. They walked into a circular room, which began to
spin. The walls stopped moving before a man in black robes trimmed in silver runes stepped out
of the door to their right.

"If you would follow me, I will show you to Master Thor." With that, he spun and walked back
through the door. Harry shrugged at his friends before following. They were led through a bare
hallway before they came to a door. The man knocked gently. The door slowly opened on its
own to allow them in. He waved them in before leaving. Harry looked at the desk in front of
him, where a lone man sat, his fingers crossed in front of his face. An air of mystery and power
spread from him. His face was shrouded in darkness from his hood. His robes were black with
golden runes.

"So this is part of the group that broke into the research department not two years ago," he
murmured, looking at each of them in turn. "I am Master Unspeakable Thor, and I understand
you show the aptitude to become Unspeakables yourselves," he said, no emotion in his voice.
He lowered his hood slowly, showing his combed grey hair, finely trimmed goatee, and clever
blue eyes that held much wisdom. His facial features were sharp and overall he gave a vision of
power. Harry and his friends knew this wasn't a man to cross.

"Yes sir, thank you for seeing us," Harry said, taking one of the seats in front of the desk. His
friends soon sat around him.
A Second Chance

"Now, I know you did well in school, however, I need to see you in action." With that, he faded
away, his chair and desk following him. The room changed, becoming a dark forest. Harry
jumped up, his wand in his hand. He looked back for his friends but they weren't there. He was
alone. A scroll appeared, merely hanging there in front of him. A couple charms told him it was
safe, so he grabbed it and unrolled it, reading the message.

Harry Potter,

We have learned much about you. You seem to have great luck with your endeavors. This is a
test. Find and beat us, if you can.

Thor

Harry threw the letter to the ground and burned it. He stepped over the ashes and readied his
wand. He grinned in the face of the challenge, before beginning to walk.

The room was in shocked silence when they discovered their chosen professions. Soon after
that, a memory sprouted, showing Harry and Ginny dueling with Death Eaters in Diagon Alley.
They saw the Battle of St. Mungos, as well as the death of Hermione's parents. It was another
attack on Hogsmede, and Molly fell to the killing curse. Arthur unconsciously pulled her into
his arms after watching it.

Harry hated the creature he constantly battled. Voldemort just wouldn't stop. They were
fighting in the middle of a muggle village. It had been chosen for the Death Eaters to have a
little fun as well as find some muggles to act as slaves. Harry had learned of it and was
prepared. Voldemort had been incensed that he found out and personally jumped into the fray,
killing many before Harry could head him off. The battle wasn't going well, and they were
trying to retreat. It took a turn for the worse when he felt a curse slam into his left shoulder,
causing him to fall to the ground unable to move. He glared up at his attacker, seeing
Rookwood standing over him smirking.

"Thank you Augustus," Voldemort hissed. Rookwood merely bowed. It was then two more
bodies landed on the ground with a thump. Harry moved his head the few inches he was
allowed to see Ron and Hermione unconscious on the ground next to him with Snape standing
over them. Burning hatred spread through his body at the sight of the traitor.

"Ah, the Golden Trio. It will be a great pleasure to destroy them," Voldemort said with a smug
smirk. He rose his wand.

"My lord, if I may," Snape said. Voldemort looked to him and nodded. "I was wondering if I
could have these two, one to torture," he said, giving Ron a disdainful look, "and one for fun,"
he said, leering at Hermione. Voldemort gave a maniacal grin before laughing.
A Second Chance

"Yes you may Severus. You have proven yourself quite deserving," he said. Snape flicked his
wand at them, causing their robes to glow blue and disappear. Harry knew he changed their
robes into portkeys. He then turned back to Voldemort.

"I have one more thing to say, my lord." Voldemort nodded. Snape's wand snapped up.

"Bombarda!" Snape roared, the spell impacting Voldemort in the chest, sending the evil man
flipping away. He then swiped his wand at Rookwood, a cutting curse hitting him in the throat.
He then grabbed Harry's robes before they glowed blue and they both disappeared. They
appeared right inside the hospital wing of Hogwarts. Harry felt the charm drop on him and he
jumped to his feet, his wand flying up, causing Snape's to fly from his hand. Harry looked
around and saw that Ron and Hermione were also there.

"Why?" he asked Snape. Snape sighed tiredly.

"Potter… Harry, there is much you don't know," he said quietly. Harry's eyes narrowed.

"Then please, enlighten me as to why I shouldn't kill you right here," Harry said acidly.

"Unspeakable Raven, Master Thor requests your presence," one man said as Harry stopped his
training session in the Department of Mysteries. He wiped the sweat off his brow, wondering
what his superior could want from him. He turned back to Neville and Ron, the two of which he
had been dueling with.

"Looks like we are done here Blade, Hound. I'll be back later," he said, before heading into the
showers off to the side of the dueling room. After freshening, he made his way to Thor's office
in his black and silver robes. He knocked politely before being admitted. Harry walked in and
sat in the offered chair. "You wanted to see me sir?"

"Yes Raven. I have two things to discuss with you. First, does this look familiar to you?" Thor
asked, pulling a gold cup from one of the drawers of his desk. Harry gasped at the sight of it.

"Hufflepuff's Cup," he murmured. "How did you get it sir?" he asked. Thor cracked a grin.

"Master Phantom and her team retrieved it from Gringotts. They are rather good at getting in
and out of anywhere," he said with amusement. "That leaves three left. Now onto my second
point that needs discussion. Voldemort is getting stronger, and is sure to try to take over the
Ministry. We need to take it over first." Harry rose an eyebrow at this. "We need Fudge and his
little friends out of the picture. I will be leading a team that will… dispense... of them," Thor
said with a feral smirk. "I need you to throw your fame as Harry Potter behind Amelia Bones as
the next Minister." Harry nodded, knowing she was a good choice as Minister. No one would
suspect him of anything. Very few knew of his joining the ranks of the Unspeakables. "Master
Phantom will also be leading a small group in which to eliminate a few Death Eaters within the
ranks of the Ministry. Hopefully by this time Thursday, the Ministry will be in much more
capable hands." Harry nodded before getting up and grabbing the cup so that he could destroy
it now. "Before I forget Raven, you are to return to Hogwarts within the week. There is a
Horcrux that I think is in need of finding."
A Second Chance

"GINNY!" Harry roared over the sound of battle. He flicked his wand, causing a large wall of
earth to rise and hold back Voldemort. "Solus Maxima!" he roared, his wand pointed at Ginny
and the vampire. Pure sunlight poured from his wand, lighting up the area in front of him. The
vampire that had Ginny hissed in pain before disintegrating. Several other vampires were
unfortunately nearby as well and fell to the spell. Harry sprinted to Ginny and pulled her into
his arms. He waved his wand over her neck, healing the two punctures there. "Ginny, please
wake up, come on Ginny," he murmured, both out loud and in his mind. She felt so cold. He
refused to believe she was dead. The battle raged around him, but he didn't notice. He was
solely focused on the girl in his arms. He felt tears in his eyes as he held her more tightly to his
chest.

"How… pathetic," Voldemort said with a sneer. Harry lifted his eyes to see that Voldemort had
gotten through his wall and was watching him. Harry gently laid Ginny on the ground before
standing and facing the monster that had just taken another person from him. The one person
he could not live without. Power rippled from him body, his anguish and pain multiplying his
power.

"You have taken so many people from me," Harry said quietly, but Voldemort still heard it. "You
have destroyed nearly everything I had to live for." His fists clenched as the magic began to
cackle around him. "You will not take anymore. I refuse to let you. You… are… FINISHED!" Harry
ended with a cry, magic exploding off of him. Voldemort's eyes widened before he shielded
himself from the blast. Magic slammed into his shields as he covered his face with his arms. He
felt the magic stop and dropped his hands only in time to see a flash of silver before the Sword
of Gryffindor punctured him through the stomach. He looked down at the blade stuck in his
stomach and back up again, to see the face of Harry Potter mere inches from his own. "I hope
you rot in hell," Harry spat. He ripped the blade out and spun, the blade slicing through
Voldemort's neck like a hot knife through warm butter. Cries of victory went through the
remaining members of the light and their spellfire increased, the remaining Death Eaters falling
quickly with the loss of their leader. Harry heard none of it. He walked back to where Ginny lay,
falling to his knees next to her. He picked up her smaller frame in his arms, before standing. He
began to walk toward the command post they had established right in the beginning of the
fight.

"Harry!" Ron came running up to him, his eyes widening when he noticed Ginny in his arms.
"No, she's not…" but the look on Harry's face said it all. Ron closed his eyes before turning
away. There were people that needed help right now. Harry continued walking and stepped
into the makeshift shelter where they were treating wounded. He walked into the back, sitting
on the floor, Ginny cradled in his lap. He buried his face in her hair, silently crying.

"Ginny, how could you leave me? I love you so much," he said through a sob.

"I love you too," came a scratchy reply. Harry's head shot backward so fast it was surprising he
didn't have whiplash. His eyes shot down to hers, which were looking back at him with
weariness and confusion.
A Second Chance

"Ginny? You… you're alive!" he cried, holding her as tightly as possible, afraid she was going to
disappear at any moment. It was then that he realized she still felt cold. His eyes widened. He
pulled back again.

"Harry? What happened?" she asked. Harry was merely staring at her, understanding what had
happened.

"You… you were bitten by a vampire. I was afraid I lost you," he said quietly. Her eyes widened
before the statement sunk in. She broke down sobbing into his chest. Harry just held her. It was
all he could do.

"I'm a monster," she whispered.

"Look at me," Harry said. She looked down. "Look at me," he demanded again, before she
slowly lifted her eyes. "You may be a vampire, but you are the farthest thing from a monster.
I'm a werewolf, what does that make me? We can be monsters together then," he said with a
tired grin. She sighed before resting against him again.

"How is it you can always calm me down so quickly?" she asked mentally.

"The same way you can calm me down. I love you Ginny, and nothing will change that," he told
her, kissing her tenderly.

"You may now kiss the bride," Minister Bones said with a happy smile. Harry grinned, capturing
Ginny's lips with his own. The small group happily cheered for them. "If you would all stand,"
Amelia continued. They did and with a wave of her wand, all the chairs moved, leaving the
room open for dancing. Harry had made sure their wedding was inside for Ginny as a sunny day
wasn't the best of things for her now. Harry led Ginny out onto the floor, where he wrapped his
arms around her waist, her arms around his neck. She rested her head against his shoulder with
a happy sigh. Harry grinned down at his wife. Voldemort was no more, he married Ginny, he
had a good career. Things were looking up.

As the last memory sunk back into the pensieve, Harry looked around the room. Tears were
streaming down the women present, and most of the men looked ready to follow them. Even
Remus, Sirius, and Severus were sitting in shock at what they saw. They had known of the past
timeline, but they didn't know how bad it had been for them. Harry stood and walked to the
pensieve. He spun and faced the rest of them.

"Questions?"
A Second Chance

Chapter 17

How 'bout a Little Fun?


"Questions?" Harry asked. Many didn't have the ability to speak after seeing what they did.
Arthur looked up and spoke first.

"I think we just need more time in which to let this sink in. It's not every day your son and
daughter go back through time with their friends," he said with a tired smile. Harry nodded.

"If you have any questions, feel free to talk to any of us," he said, walking back over to Remus,
Tonks, Sirius, and Amelia. Sirius pulled him into a tight hug.

"I can't believe how bad it truly got," Amelia said. She smiled sadly at Harry. "After all you did,
only to come back and do it again," she trailed off. Harry smiled back.

"I would gladly do it again if it meant saving everyone here. I just hope it won't be necessary."
He looked around the room, noticing that they had all split into three groups, all centered
around at least one time-traveler. The Weasleys were around Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. The
Longbottoms were with Neville and Luna. Harry had the other four. He saw Snape sitting in the
corner alone, his eyes still looking at the pensieve. "Do you four have any questions?" he
asked.

"Harry," Remus said, his voice filled with guilt. "Harry, I…" but Harry gave him a simple glare.

"If you dare apologize I will blast you through the wall," he growled, causing Remus to recoil.
"You had no choice. I shouldn't have let my guard drop. If anything, I am partially to blame.
Besides, technically it hasn't even happened, so you have no reason to be guilty." Harry knew
that wouldn't stop Remus from feeling guilty, but he would hopefully get over it. At least he
has Sirius still.

"Thank you," he replied.

"When did I die Harry?" Tonks asked quietly.

"The final battle. I don't know more, I was too busy with Voldemort," he said. She just nodded,
mollified that at least she hopefully was able to take a few of the bastards down with her.

"Oh Ron, Ginny," Molly said through tears, grabbing her two youngest and pulling them into
fierce hugs. When they were released, they noticed that the two of them and Hermione were
surrounded by the rest of the Weasleys.

"I can't believe what you three have gone through for us," Arthur said, a proud smile on his
face. "I can't begin to express how proud I am." He then turned a sly smile to Hermione. "Does
this mean you will be an honorary Weasley soon?" He grinned at her slight blush but she
smiled and nodded, resting her head on Ron's shoulder.
A Second Chance

"We got married a few months after Harry and Ginny did," Ron said, casting Hermione a fond
glance.

"Did we really have a joke shop?" the twins asked together. Even Molly laughed at their
obvious happiness.

"It was fantastic," Ginny said. "The pranks you two thought up were amazing. If the war hadn't
been there, you probably would have put Zonko's out of business." The twins looked like all of
their dreams had come true.

"Ginny?" She looked over to a quiet Percy. "What happened to the rest of us?" he asked. She
sighed sadly.

"Dad and Charlie died in the final battle, and Bill died bringing down the wards." He looked
surprised at that. "You refused to back down due to exhaustion like the other fifteen
cursebreakers. You overloaded your core and with your death brought down wards that
equaled Hogwarts," she said. Bill paled slightly at the thought before he grinned. To bring
down a set of wards like that was practically considered myth. While modest, he knew he was
good at his job, but he didn't know he was that good. "The twins died in the battle we showed
of Diagon Alley. They blew their joke shop sky-high to cover our escapes." The twins nodded
solemnly.

"And me?" Percy asked.

"Your fate is a little complicated Percy. You were estranged from the family after you
graduated, your ego and self-importance driving you away from us," she said sadly. Percy
merely looked ashamed. "You finally got over yourself but family relations never really got
back on track. You decided to help Harry by joining the Death Eaters as a spy." Percy nodded,
as if expecting as much after being told he left the family. "You managed to find most of the
blue-prints to the wards, which led to us being able to bring them down. Voldemort killed you
after the betrayal, although he didn't know that you had gotten them back to us."

"I'm so sorry," he whispered. "This time it will be different. I can't believe I chose my career
over my family. Family is the most important thing," he said. Molly grabbed him into a hug
which he gladly returned.

"None of that matters anymore," Ron said in a strong voice. "Things are different. Much has
changed. If everything goes right, there will be no war."

"Oh my poor little boy," Alice said, gathering Neville in a tight hug. "You went through so
much."

"I would do it again in a heartbeat if it meant saving anyone," he replied.

"I take it we died in the fight at St. Mungos?" Frank asked. Neville nodded.
A Second Chance

"I didn't learn of it until after the fight. I was almost glad you were finally spared the life you
lived and were allowed to move on," he said quietly. It was Luna's turn to pull him into a tight
hug. Alice smiled at the pair.

"What about you two? What happened between you?" she asked.

"We married a year after Harry and Ginny. It was a quiet ceremony," Luna said with a smile.

"Alright everyone. I think we need to talk about what my friends and I have changed so far,"
Harry said as he walked into the center of the room. All eyes fell on him. "I will start with my
first year. The only main difference was our strength. We worked our cores to the extreme,
causing them to expand much more than last time. Our magic reserves are nearly as large now
as they were in the final battle, and they can only grow," he said with a smirk. "Not only that,
but we managed our animagus transformations." The twins' eyes lit up at that.

"You are all animagi?" tyhe asked excitedly. "Why didn't you tell us?" Harry grinned.

"Didn't want to spoil the fun. We can show off later," he said, ignoring their looks of protest.
"The difference between the two second years was that we were in control of the basilisk. We
planned out every attack and made sure they were petrified. The diary also never had control
over anyone. Again, we continued our magical and physical training." Arthur's eyebrows lifted.

"So Ginny never was in danger then?" he asked. Harry just gave a guilty grin.

"We are sorry we had to worry you, but it was the only way to ensure genuine reactions and to
keep the timeline relatively intact," Hermione said. Harry nodded.

"Third year had several changes. While Sirius did escape in the first timeline, I portkeyed him
out of his cell this time through. As a Master Unspeakable, I had access to many things so I
knew the signature and coordinates in which were needed to make a portkey there," Harry
said.

"Harry and I then staged a fight with Peter Pettigrew in his dorm," Luna spoke up. Percy looked
scandalized.

"You mean you were just pretending?" he asked. Harry just grinned and nodded. Percy shook
his head. "That would have been nice to know," he muttered.

"I put Pettigrew under the Imperious and made him escape not a few months ago," Harry
continued. There were several gasps from the adults.

"The Imperious Curse? Harry, you can't be serious," Tonks said. Harry turned hard eyes on her.

"It was the only way to ensure it happened. It isn't the first time I used an Unforgivable," he
stated. Tonks shifted slightly in her seat but didn't speak up. "He should be with Voldemort
now. Voldemort will be revived hopefully at the end of next year." That got everyone's
attention.
A Second Chance

"Why don't you just go finish him while he is in his weakened state?" Amelia asked. "Why let
him back into a body where he could fight back?"

"As some of you might have picked up, Voldemort has employed the use of Horcruxes," he
said, getting several confused looks and a couple faces paling at the term. "I see you missed it."

"That abomination has made a Horcrux?" Amelia whispered.

"You said Horcruxes, as in plural," Bill said, his face devoid of color.

"What is a Horcrux?" the twins asked together in annoyance, voicing the question many in the
room were thinking.

"The making of a Horcrux is a vile magic," Harry said in a hard voice. "A Horcrux is a container
holding a piece of someone's soul. It takes the evilest deed to split your soul. You must commit
murder." The rest paled at that announcement. "He made seven of them, six of which have
already been destroyed. The seventh will be finished right before I finish him."

"What do they do?" Charlie asked.

"They anchor your soul in this world. Even if your body were to be destroyed, you would
remain in the world as part of your soul is still here. In essence, you cannot die," Ginny
explained. The true meaning of what Horcruxes meant fell on the people who didn't know
what they were.

"His soul has been anchored here in the world, and the only way to finish this is to let him
regain his body and without any Horcruxes to re-anchor his soul again, he will die," Harry
continued. They were silent for a few minutes before someone spoke.

"Is there anything we should know about coming events? I don't want to mess up any of your
plans," Frank voiced.

"Only one thing. You all know that the Quidditch World Cup will be held this summer here in
Britain," Luna said, getting nods from everyone. "What you don't know is that some former
Death Eaters are going to decide on having a little fun," she spat, getting surprised looks from
many in the group. They had never seen Luna annoyed, much less angry. "We plan on having
six Unspeakables and some volunteers stop them," she said, a feral grin spreading across her
face. The others took the hint.

"I volunteer," Sirius said instantly, followed quickly by Remus, Frank, Alice, Severus, Arthur,
Bill, Charlie, and Percy.

"Good. With all of us, they don't stand a chance. Other than that, we don't plan on changing
much. In the last task, I will be kidnapped," Harry said, using his fingers to put quotes around
the word. "Voldemort will be resurrected and I plan on kicking his boney arse," he continued,
receiving a few smiles. It was then that the fireplace lit up in green flames.

"Someone wants to get through the floo," Harry responded quickly, waving his hands quickly
around them, causing the pensieve to fly upstairs and the privacy spells to cancel. With one
final wave at the fireplace, he allowed the person through. The face of Albus Dumbledore
A Second Chance

popped up in the fire, and he took in the group in front of him with surprise before a smile
came over his face.

"Well, I didn't expect quite the crowd to be here. Molly, may I come through? I have
something to discuss with you and your youngest," he asked politely. She looked at Harry who
nodded his consent, something that wasn't missed by Dumbledore.

"Come on through Albus," she said. After he pulled his face out she looked to Ginny.

"He is here to talk about me passing up to the fourth year," she answered quickly. Albus then
stepped through the fire, looking around at the assembled group.

"Ah good, Miss Lovegood is here as well. I do hope I am not intruding on anything?" he asked,
directing the question to Harry, who seemed to be leading the proceedings.

"No Professor, merely a family gathering," Harry said, getting smile from the adults in the
room. "I know why you are here and I just hope Ginny and Luna are up for the challenge," he
said, winking at the two girls in question. They merely rolled their eyes, getting chuckles all
around.

"If you will follow us Headmaster, we can do your exam in the kitchen," Molly said, leading the
group through the doorway. With that, Amelia, Sirius, Remus and Tonks got up from their
spots.

"I think we are going to head out everyone. I think these two need some time to think
everything over," Sirius said, quietly, before hugging Harry and leading them out of the floo.
The Longbottoms, minus Neville, were soon to follow. The rest of the group merely talked
about unimportant matters until Ginny and Luna were done. They walked out of the kitchen
with grins on their faces.

"Gentlemen, you are looking at a couple of fourth years," Ginny said, causing the twins to start
applauding wildly as if she just declared that she became the Minister of Magic. They laughed
at the twins antics while Harry and Neville swept their respective girl into a hug.

"Yes, very good Ginevra, Luna," Albus said, stepping out of the kitchen with Molly. "You are
official fourth years, and will be eligible for Prefect status next year as well as Head Girl status
in your seventh year. Your letters should be coming within the next couple weeks, so be
prepared. Harry, do mind if I have a word with you?" he asked, sounding quite casual, however
they all knew it was anything but.

"Sure Headmaster," Harry said, leading the older man outside. When they made it to the
garden, Harry stopped and turned to Albus, waiting for him to speak first. Albus took the hint.

"Harry, I wish to apologize," he said, the usual twinkle gone from his eyes. Now that Harry
thought about it, Dumbledore looked older than he had ever looked, first timeline included. "I
know that an apology will not undue the many mistakes I have made with you, but I am willing
to try and rebuild the many bridges that were burnt."
A Second Chance

"I accept Professor, mainly because I understand the reasoning behind many of those
mistakes. You are too used to doing everything yourself. You need to trust we can do things
ourselves," Harry said. Albus smiled.

"Wise advice Harry. I will try to listen to it in the future. How do you feel about Ginevra and
Luna moving up a year?" he asked. Harry grinned.

"It's brilliant Professor. I can't wait to have them with us," he said, looking through one of the
windows to see Ginny laughing with Luna and the twins. A serene smile settled over his face.

"You truly do love her don't you Harry?" Albus asked quietly. Harry turned back to him,
deciding to throw the old dog a bone. He knew Albus would keep the secret to the grave if he
asked him too. Not only that, but he did want to be able to trust his old mentor again.

"Do you know what a Soul Bond is Professor?" he asked quietly. Albus looked surprised at the
question.

"Yes Harry, it is where…" he trailed off, before looking through the window at Ginny and back
to Harry, his eyes widening. "Is this true?" he asked.

"Quite Professor. I happened after the chamber, and we are fully connected now. That is how I
received emancipation so quickly, as well as why we were together at such a young age." Albus
nodded, connecting all the dots. He smiled widely.

"Love is truly a wonderful thing Harry. Cherish it, for like wine, it will only get better with age,"
he said.

"I know Professor. She is everything to me." With that, they walked back into the house.
Dumbledore left through the floo, arriving back in his office. He sat behind his desk, pulling out
a lemon drop from the tin on his desk and popping it into his mouth, sucking on it thoughtfully.
The twinkle in his eyes came back in full force at what he learned. There was no fear of Harry
becoming evil, not when he was Soul Bonded. Evil did not know love, and Harry knew it better
than anyone else alive, besides young Ginevra of course. Not only that, but he knew that Harry
had given him that information as almost a peace offering. He would not fail his trust again.
Harry deserved better. With that, he turned back to the paper work littering his desk. The
Triwizard Tournament was such an annoyance.

"Hey Cedric," Harry called as they walked up to Stoatshead Hill. It was the day of the Quidditch
Cup and they were making their way to the portkey. The Weasleys knew of course that they
could just apparate but that would look a bit suspicious. They decided to take the portkey like
last time. It was Arthur and Remus leading the group of kids. Sirius decided to go with the
elder Weasley children as he wanted to sleep in. Being the wrongfully imprisoned innocent he
is, Fudge gave him four tickets, including the one for himself. He gave tickets to Remus, Tonks,
and Susan Bones, who the six time-travelers were on good terms with. Amelia would already
be there as she would be running security and Sirius offered to take Susan. She was in the back
of the group talking with Ginny and Hermione. Luna wasn't with them, as she was already
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there with her father. Neville didn't go last time but would be there to help deal with the
Death Eaters. When Cedric heard Harry he spun and observed the crowd before grinning.

"Hey Harry," he said, shaking the younger boy's hand. "Dad!" Cedric called. Amos Diggory
came walking around the hill.

"Arthur! Glad to see you," he said, shaking Arthur's hand before looking to the assembled
group. "Ah hello Remus," he said, getting a polite nod in return. "I see the group of redheads,
who are the rest?" he asked. Arthur smiled.

"Everyone, this is Amos Diggory, a friend of mine from the Ministry. This is his son Cedric.
Amos, this is Hermione Granger, Susan Bones, and Harry Potter," he said, pointing them out in
turn.

"Merlin's beard, Harry Potter?" he asked. Harry just nodded lazily, all together sick of people
gawking over his scar. Cedric noticed and elbowed his father in the arm. "Um, yes well, glad to
meet you all, let's get to the portkey shall we?" he asked, leading the way up the last few feet
of the hill where an old boot was sitting innocently on the top. They all gathered around it,
reaching out to at least put a finger on it.

"Here we go, three, two, one…" Amos counted, before the all felt the familiar pull behind the
naval. They were soon making their way to their campsite, past a disgruntled Mr. Roberts, who
required another memory wipe from a Ministry wizard.

"Now to put up the tents," Arthur said with excitement as they walked up to their spot. He
looked over at the others, only to see some of the incredulous looks on their faces. He smiled a
little embarrassed. Harry just chuckled before pulling out his wand and with a couple flicks, the
tents were up.

"Harry! We are supposed to be watchful of the Muggles," Arthur reprimanded.

"Don't worry Mr. Weasley, I put up and illusion that makes it look like we are putting up the
tents the muggle way. It should stop in about ten minutes," Hermione said as she pocketed her
wand. Arthur was about to ask how she knew how to do that, then remembering what he
learned he snapped his mouth shut. They were soon cooking eggs and sausages over a small
fire.

"So you think that the game is going to end the same way this time?" Ron asked Harry quietly
from his spot next to Hermione. Harry just shrugged.

"I doubt it. Our Quidditch games changed. It would seem Quidditch is just too random," Harry
explained.

"Good, because it was a great match last time, and I want to see another good one," Ginny
piped in from her spot next to Harry. Harry looked over at Arthur, who was doing a running
commentary of Ministry officials for the benefit of Fred, George, and Susan.

"That's Bode and Croaker… they're Unspeakables," Arthur explained. At that, Fred and
George's eyes shot to the four of them.
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"I've heard of them from my Aunt," Susan said. "Their department is top secret." Harry gave
the twins a small nod in answer to their silent question. They knew who Bode and Croaker
were. They never met Bode, but had met with Croaker on numerous occasions until he died in
the battle of St. Mungos. They were both Research Unspeakables, their main job to research
new or odd magic. They were also known Unspeakables, or the members whose names were
known outside the department. Research Unspeakables are rarely sent out of the Department
on missions, but due to the war, every Unspeakable was needed.

Besides Research Unspeakables, there were Field Unspeakables and Warrior Unspeakables.
Field members, as their name suggests, sent out into the field usually scouting out new finds or
to places were ordinary researchers need more skilled hands. Warriors were usually sent out
for assassinations or to reinforce the Aurors. They were also sometimes sent out as Field
members. Each of the three groups had a Master Unspeakable, which was the coordinator of
the rest of them. Thor was the Field Master, Phantom the Warrior Master, and Sol the
Research Master. They chose missions and who got them, and they were the only ones who
knew the true names of all the Unspeakables. Against popular belief, the Department of
Mysteries was not a part of the British Ministry of Magic. It was part of the International
Confederation of Wizards, it just so happened to be based there due to the Death Veil and
several other reasons. It was an international group and pulled wizards from around the world,
not only Britain. Their numbers were few as they only took the best. They were also used
around the world, which was one of the main reasons why they were so easily able to get into
the Research Department in their fifth year. Everyone just happened to be out of the place
when that night came. With only about one hundred Unspeakables, they were spread pretty
thin. After the war began to start in earnest, many were pulled from missions around the
world and sent in to combat Voldemort, as he was quickly becoming an International threat.
Phantom had died at the hands of Voldemort himself in the final battle right before he started
his fight with Harry. Harry was voted to continue in her place.

"Hey everybody!" someone called. They all turned to see Sirius, Tonks, Bill, Charlie, and Percy
walking out of the forest and to them. They were soon laughing and eating around the
campfire, stories of Hogwarts being told by everyone. Although no one said anything about it,
there was an underlying tenseness about them. They all knew of the possible fight later, and
were ready for it.

"Arthur!" came a happy voice. They all turned to see Ludo Bagman walk up to them in his black
and gold Quidditch Robes.

"Ah Ludo, how are you?" Arthur asked, jumping up and shaking his hand.

"Couldn't be better! Great night for Quidditch. Should be a good game! Quite the crowd you
got here," he said, observing the group. His eyes landed on Harry and they widened comically.
"Yes, well Arthur, you fancy a flutter on the match? Makes things more exciting," he said,
getting over his shock.

"How about a galleon on Ireland?" Arthur asked. Bagman just looked disappointed but smiled
and agreed, jingling his pocket of gold. It was then that Fred went to stand up but Ginny
grabbed his shirt pulled him back down, whispering in his ear and then repeating for George.
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They looked a little surprised but nodded. Harry just grinned, knowing she warned them of
their loss in the first timeline. Bagman soon joined them around the fire. Bertha Jorkins was
brought up, and as much as Harry wanted to save her from her fate, Voldemort needed to
know of the tournament. Only a Ministry official would have all the details he would need.
They all heard a small pop and turned to see Barty Crouch standing there. He looked rather
annoyed at Bagman, who was sitting around a fire and enjoying himself instead of helping
everyone else.

"Hello there Barty," Arthur said. Crouch spared him a strained smile before turning a scowl
back on Bagman.

"Hello Arthur. Ludo, the Bulgarians are asking for our presence, they wish to add seats to the
Top Box," he said impatiently. Percy was looking at the man with a raised eyebrow. He was
told that this was the man he went to work for. He couldn't believe what he had done in the
first time-line. He had decided after he received his NEWT scores that he would become an
Auror, and now knew that it was the right choice. When he heard of his past life, he couldn't
understand what he had been thinking. With a war coming up and being on good terms with
his family, being an Auror just made sense to him. Besides, he always did like the idea of
fighting the "bad guys", he just didn't embrace that notion until, well, until Harry came into the
picture now that he thought about it.

"Is that what they're after?" Bagman asked in genuine confusion. "I thought the chap was
asking to borrow a pair of tweezers. Bit of a strong accent," he mumbled, getting up.

"Arthur, it was a pleasure," Crouch said without emotion before disappearing, Bagman
following a second later. Percy turned to Harry.

"Are you sure that I went to work for that man?" he asked in a slightly disgusted tone. Harry
just grinned while Ron and Ginny laughed outright. Susan looked on in confusion.

"What do you mean 'went to work'?" she asked, her eyes narrowed slightly. Harry cursed their
lack of tact. He knew that Susan always had been a pretty sharp minded individual, and if she
wasn't so loyal to her friends and family, probably would have been in Ravenclaw. Harry just
gave a heart stopping grin, which caused her to blush faintly.

"Just an inside joke," he responded smoothly. She just nodded and accepted, turning away
from Harry. He heard Ginny laughing in his mind.

"That was mean Harry," she said with amusement. "How could you do that to the
poor girl?"

"I don't see her complaining," he shot back with equal amusement. The evening quickly
wore on and soon the loud gong sounded deep within the woods. A path was lit up with red
and green lights through the trees which they quickly followed to the stadium. The large
golden structure stood in a clearing, its magnificence literally shining off its walls. The large
group was directed to a stairway, which they quickly ascended into the top box. They looked
out onto the beautifully manicured field and thousands of seats which witches and wizards
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from around the world were beginning to fill. They took the first row of chairs in the box, eager
for the game to begin.

"Hi Winky," Hermione said, turning to the little elf cowering in her seat. She jumped a little
when addressed.

"Miss is knowing of Winky?" she squeaked, her big brown eyes peeking out from behind her
hands. Hermione smiled gently at the little elf.

"Yes I do. Are you here for Mr. Crouch?" she asked. Winky just nodded her head quickly, not
speaking. Hermione frowned, this being a sore topic for her. She had long stopped her quest
for liberating all house-elves. She understood that it was their nature to be enslaved and to
help wizards. Being free for too long would eventually be the end of an elf, who requires a
bond with a wizard to sustain its magic. What they didn't know until Dobby told them was that
the only reason Dobby survived all those years was he bonded with Harry without him
knowing. Hermione eventually settled with getting more rights and enforcing better
treatment. Harry was keeping his senses on the seat that he knew housed Barty Crouch Jr. He
knew that the man had taken his wand the last time but it wouldn't be available this time. He
made sure it was secure in his wrist holster for he would need it later.

The group watched as many wizards filled the box. Many important Ministry wizards were
coming in and soon Fudge himself entered the box. He quickly made his way to Harry, who
held back his grimace and put on a fake smile.

"Harry my boy, it is good to see you," he said jovially. Harry privately wondered if Fudge
actually thought Harry enjoyed being around him. "Let me introduce you to a few people. This
is Mr. – well, he is the Bulgarian Minister of Magic," he said. Harry waved Hermione over.

"Hermione would you?" he asked. She nodded. He turned back to the two Ministers and with a
grin to Fudge turned back the Bulgarian Minister. "Hello Minister, my name is Harry Potter. It is
a pleasure to meet you," he said. Hermione promptly repeated the sentence in flawless
Bulgarian, which caught the men by surprise. Harry suppressed a grin at Fudge's face.
Hermione spoke several languages fluently besides English, including Bulgarian, French, Italian,
Spanish, and German. She was currently trying to learn Gobbledygook, which turned out to be
extremely complex for the human mouth to speak. The Bulgarian Minister quickly got over it
however and smiled, holding out his hand. Harry knew the man spoke English but knew this
would impress him and if he was right in thinking so, the Bulgarian Minister was having fun
annoying Fudge as well. Hermione translated for them as they had a quick conversation and
Harry soon shook the man's hand again. He led Hermione back to their seats, where the
Weasley children and Susan were trying to hold in their laughter.

"Hermione, when did you learn Bulgarian?" Susan asked curiously after they got themselves
under control.

"I had been learning it in muggle primary school, and decided to continue until I was fluent,"
she lied smoothly. Susan nodded in acceptance, as she really didn't know what they taught in
muggle schools.
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"What did the Minister say?" Ron asked them. Hermione just giggled.

"He said it was great to meet Harry and how much of a dolt Fudge is," she replied, getting
laughter from all the others.

"Ah, Lucius!" Fudge called out, causing them all to spin in their seats. There stood Lucius
Malfoy, Narcissa and Draco standing next to him. He noticed that Draco looked a little more
pale than usual, his face aristocratic face without its normal sneer. His mother seemed to not
really care what was happening, looking as if she had dungbomb under her nose. Lucius strode
up to the Minister while holding out his hand.

"Fudge, how are you?" he asked. "I don't believe you have met my wife Narcissa, or my son
Draco?" While Fudge bowed to Narcissa and shook Draco's hand, Lucius looked at the
assembled crowd. His eyes landed on Harry and a sneer shot across his face. Harry just sneered
right back.

"I believe you know Arthur Weasley?" Fudge asked, ignorant of the tension.

"Good lord Arthur," he said quietly. "What did you have to sell to get seats in the Top Box?" he
asked. Before Arthur could say anything Harry took a step forward.

"Now Lucius, we know you are wealthy, there is no need to flaunt it like some spoiled child,"
he said, holding out his hand. "Surly someone of your… stature knows that this behavior is
unbecoming." Harry saw anger grow in the man's eyes but he took Harry's hand. Harry smirked
as he used his enhanced strength from his animagus form and the recent ritual and squeezed,
causing the older man's face to scrunch up in pain. Harry released and noticed with
amusement as Lucius put the hand slightly behind his back to open and close it a few times to
try and get the pain to leave.

"Mr. Potter, a pleasure as always," he said, managing to keep the venom and anger out of his
voice. Fudge beamed at the two, thinking they were getting along when Bagman walked into
the box. With one last sneer, Harry walked back to his friends and sat down in his spot
between Ginny and Sirius. Bagman looked like a kid in a candy store with a pocket full of
galleons when he walked up to the edge of the box. He whipped out his wand and pointed it at
his neck.

"Everyone ready?" he asked, getting nods. He grinned and said, "Sonorus! Ladies and
gentlemen, welcome to the four hundred and twenty-second Quidditch World Cup!" his voice
boomed over the crowd, getting a roar of approval. "And now, without further ado, allow me
to introduce the Bulgarian National Team Mascots!" he called out. The Veela quickly made
their entrance, much to the happiness of the male portion of the stadium. They began to
dance, their charm soon enchanting the stadium. Harry and Ron watched with mild interest as
they were not affected at all. The Veela's charm does not work on a man that is already truly in
love. Harry smirked as he saw Tonks push the twins back down into their seats. The dancing
and music stopped, much to the distress of the crowd, and the Veela moved off to the side of
the field.
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"And now, the Irish National Team Mascots!" Bagman roared. The Leprechauns shot around
the stadium in an impressive show of lights and colors, raining down fake gold on people. Soon
they too were off to the side of the stadium. "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Bulgarian
National Quidditch Team! Dimitrov, Ivanova, Zograf, Levski, Vulchanov, Volkov, and Krum!" he
yelled out, the red portion of the crowd screaming wildly for their team. The seven players
shot out of the entrance as mere red blurs. Harry noticed Krum was just as surly as ever, a
scowl on his face. Harry grinned at his once good friend. He would have to befriend him again
this year.

"And now, the Irish National Quidditch Team!" Bagman announced. "Connolly, Ryan, Troy,
Mullet, Moran, Quigley, and Lynch!" Seven green blurs shot onto the field to the roaring
applause of the green clad spectators. "And here, all the way from Egypt, our referee,
acclaimed Chairwizard of the International Association of Quidditch, Hassan Mostafa!" The
stadium gave the man a respectful applause as he stepped out onto the field in his gold robes.
With a kick, the crate opened, the balls flew into the air, and the game had begun.

"Troy! Moran! Troy! Ivanova! Levski! Mullet! Troy!" Bagman yelled out, barely getting their
names out of his mouth before the quaffle left their hands. "Mullet scores!" The Irish crowd
jumped up in celebration as Mullet took an honorary lap around the pitch. The Irish chasers
attacked again and again, their speed and coordination much better than the Bulgarians. Harry
grinned as he saw Krum suddenly dive toward the ground at breakneck speed, knowing it was
the Wronski Feint. Lynch bought it, streaking toward Krum as fast as possible. Krum pulled up
at the last second, but Lynch pulled up a second earlier, calling Krum's bluff. Krum looked a
little frustrated but continued his search for the snitch. The Irish chasers continued to
dominate the quaffle, running up the score on the Bulgarians. The Bulgarian chasers had only
managed to score a few.

"One hundred and eighty to thirty to the Irish!" Bagman yelled. Harry was looking around the
pitch and grinned when he noticed the snitch flittering around the Bulgarian goalposts. He
looked up and saw that neither of the two seekers had seen it but that didn't last long. Not five
seconds later did Krum take off after it, Lynch scrambling to catch up. The snitch shot out from
the goalposts and across the stadium, pursued by the two seekers. Krum rolled to avoid a
bludger from Connolly and reached out, grabbing the snitch in his hand. Just as he did, another
bludger from Quigley smashed into his back, sending him hurtling off his broom. Luckily the
ground was only a couple feet away and he rolled across the ground a few feet before
stopping. He painfully held up the snitch.

"Krum has the snitch! With that last second goal by Dimitrov, BULGARIA WINS!" Bagman
shouted. The Bulgarian supporters roared and screamed in delight, the Bulgarian national
anthem sounding over the stadium as the red players shot down to where Krum was being
looked over by mediwizards. He was pushing them away and limping toward his broom. Harry
noticed the Veela were again dancing on the field in celebration as the leprechauns slowly
floated dejectedly off the field. Krum got onto his broom and shot into the air with his six
fellow players and took a lap of honor, holding the snitch over his head. Soon the cup was
being presented to the Bulgarian team in the Top Box. The Irish were standing off to the side,
Ryan looking especially angry with himself for letting the last goal in.
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"Happy Gin? That was certainly different than last time," Harry teased mentally.

"Are you ready Walden?" a man asked gruffly, his breath smelling of firewhiskey. Macnair just
nodded and put on his cloak and mask.

"Just like old times Goyle," he said. Goyle put on similar clothes and they disappeared out of
their tents. They appeared in a small clearing in the forest where several others were standing
in cloaks and masks.

"Ah, Macnair, Goyle, so glad you can make it," came a silky voice of Lucius Malfoy. "We
decided in a little more fun," he said before turning to the group around him. There were
about twenty of them. "My allies, shall we?" he said, getting several cheers of approval before
the group disapparated and appeared around the Roberts' hut. Lucius blew down the door
with a flick of his wand and a few minutes later, they were marching toward the campsites
with four muggles floating over their heads. As they came to the first of the tents, the couple
wizards in the front blasted them away, causing several people to scream and begin to run.
The group soon started a panic as several more tents were knocked over or started on fire. The
screams began to grow louder and the group began to laugh.

Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione were currently getting ready for the upcoming fight. They
knew that the old Death Eaters would soon start their little riot. They were putting on their
cloaks as well as casting several charms to help disguise themselves. They all took a pepper-up
potion to help with the late hour and went to the entrance to the tent. Arthur, Bill, Charlie,
Percy, Sirius, Remus, and Tonks were standing there with their sleeves rolled up and wands
out. Just then there were four cracks and Alice, Frank, Neville, and Luna appeared inside the
tent.

"Good to see you four," Harry said. Just then, they heard the screams begin. He nodded to
Arthur and Tonks who went to wake up the twins and Susan respectively. They all quickly
made their way outside.

"Fred, George, Susan is your responsibility! Go to the forest, one of us will find you!" Arthur
said, gently pushing them toward the forest. Fred and George nodded, pulling Susan with
them.

"Where are the others?" they heard Susan ask the twins as they began to run. Harry knew they
would have to think up a reason for their absence, that or just get Susan in on the secret. He
shook his head, knowing it was not the time to think about that. His magic began to ripple
around him, preparing for battle.

"Let's move," he said forcefully, before he disintegrated into a black mist, followed by five
others. They seemed to blow away in the breeze and the adults soon disappeared together.
Harry and his friends appeared in front of the marching group, causing the front to stop at
their odd appearance. Before they could react, Ginny, Hermione, and Luna lifted their wands
A Second Chance

into the air, breaking the Death Eaters' charms on the Roberts and making the float quickly but
gently away from them. At the same time, Harry, Neville, and Ron sent a forceful wave of
magic at their legs, causing the front half of the group to fall to the ground, their legs blasted
out from underneath them. The adults soon appeared around the six of them and shot
stunners, knocking several of the men on the ground out cold. Charlie and Percy were sent to
stand over the Roberts while the others soon jumped into the fight with the Death Eaters.
Several other Ministry wizards, Amelia included, had run up to the fight as well. The Death
Eaters began to fight more ferociously, and soon, the killing curse was thrown. An Auror took it
to the chest, dying before he hit the ground. The Death Eaters panicked however when the
Dark Mark shot into the sky, and began to apparate away.

Harry shot two stunners at once, one from his wand and the other from his hand, knocking
two enemies out at once. He ducked a curse before running up to a wizard and punching him
in the gut. He spun and kicked him in the face, knocking him out cold. The rest of the Death
Eaters quickly disappeared and he saw that Amelia was taking charge, ordering the Aurors to
start organizing the Death Eaters and to take their wands. Several of the mediwizards for the
game were running around, trying to heal the wounds taken during the small fight.

"Who are you?" a gruff voice said behind him. He turned to see Head Auror Scrimgeour looking
at him suspiciously, a wand trained on him. Amelia saw this and began to walk over.

"I am Master Unspeakable Raven, and was merely assisting," Harry said, his voice changed by a
charm. Scrimgeour nodded and was going to start talking before Amelia interrupted him.

"Rufus, take a group and check out the Dark Mark," she said quickly. He nodded before
running over to some wizards and witches. They quickly disapparated. Harry did so also after
nodding to Amelia. He appeared there at the same time. He noticed that all the Ministry
wizards were pointing their wands at Fred, George, and Susan.

"STUPIFY!" they all yelled. Harry quickly sent a spell at the three, causing their feet to shoot
out from under them as if standing on a carpet that was just pulled from one end.

"STOP! Those are my sons!" Arthur yelled, running to the twins. The stunners had luckily
passed over the three of them. Several of the wizards were looking at Harry with surprise. Just
then, several shadows appeared around him, forming themselves into people.

"Which of you did it?" Crouch snapped at the trio in the clearing. Harry noticed that only the
twins had their wands out. He walked into the clearing, making his presence known.

"They didn't do the spell. They are merely children, they wouldn't know how to conjure it," he
said in a strong voice, magic infused in the words. It held no room for argument. All of the
wizards but one backed down at once.

"How do you know this sir? And who are you?" Crouch said, his eyes wide with a maniacal
gleam in them.

"I am Master Unspeakable Raven, so watch your tone Crouch," Harry said menacingly. Crouch
paled at who he was addressing so rudely before lowering his wand. He was high enough in
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the Ministry to know of the existence of the Master Unspeakables, only he didn't know how
many there were. "As I said, they did not conjure the mark." Just then, Ron strode out of the
trees with Winky in his arms. "Winky did." There were several gasps. Ron gently laid Winky on
the ground and held out a wand.

"She had this wand with her," Ron spoke.

"That's mine!" Susan said, snatching the wand out of Ron's hand. She then remembered what
was happening and flushed in embarrassment. "I figured out I lost it just after we got into the
woods," she mumbled. Hermione quickly walked over to the elf and kneeled next to her. The
Ministry wizards were unsure of what to do and decided to let the Unspeakables handle the
situation. Hermione quickly revived Winky. Winky noticed who was standing around her and
began to cry.

"Winky, can you tell me what happened?" Hermione asked gently. Winky hiccupped a few
times before she got herself under control.

"I is walking through the forest, when I is finding a wand. I saw a red light and then… nothing,"
she squeaked.

"Did you conjure the Dark Mark?" Hermione asked.

"I is not doing it! I is not knowing how!" she wailed. Amos Diggory looked to Hermione.

"Madam Unspeakable, I will have to bring the elf into the Ministry for questioning," he said.

"I do not think that will be necessary. She is my elf. I will deal with her," Crouch said, finding his
voice again. He stared coldly down at Winky. "You deliberately disobeyed my orders. This
means clothes," he said, causing Winky's wailing to double.

"I think I will take these three back to the tent," Arthur said, motioning for Fred, George, and
Susan to follow him. They left quietly.

"There is nothing left here, go back to the campsite and help with the clean-up," Scrimgeour
ordered. The group soon disappeared. Harry nodded to his five friends and they all soon
appeared in the tent. They looked around to see Bill sitting at the table, a deep cut on his arm.
He was holding a bed sheet to it. Charlie and Percy were a little ruffled but were uninjured
mainly because they were just protecting the Roberts from stray curses. Tonks had her hand in
a pot of cool water, the hand having been burnt by a curse. The others looked relatively fine.
Ginny quickly walked over to Bill while dropping her hood and their charms.

"Move it," she commanded, holding her wand out at his arm. He moved the bed sheet and she
murmured an incantation before running her wand along the cut, causing it to seal perfectly.
He grinned at her.

"Thanks Gin," he said. She handed him a potion before going over to Tonks.

"Where's Dad, the twins, and Susan?" Charlie asked.


A Second Chance

"They should be here any minute," Neville said. "We got to go," he said, before he disappeared
with Luna. Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione took off their Unspeakable robes and banished
them back to their rooms just as Arthur led the other three back into the tent.

"Oh good, you are all here," Arthur said with a tired smile.

"Where were you guys?" Susan asked them, looking at Harry. Harry just sighed, making a split
decision.

"Susan, there is much you don't know, and I will explain why you can't know it yet when we
get back to the Burrow. Please wait until then," he said. She looked like she was ready to
demand the explanation but nodded.

A man walked down a dark hallway, his black and silver robes billowing around him. He
knocked on a lone door.

"Enter," came another man's voice from the inside. The first man opened the door and walked
in.

"Master Sol, I am sorry to disturb you," he said, bowing low to the other man behind the desk.
Sol was bald with a finely trimmed black goatee. His intelligent blue eyes were behind half
moon spectacles and they were scanning over several pages of notes.

"What is it Croaker?" he asked in a German accent. He didn't look up from the notes covering
his desk.

"I just returned from the Quidditch World Cup. There was a disturbance that I had to enter
into," he said. Sol looked up then and studied the man in front of him. He motioned for
Croaker to continue. "Six other people also fought with incredible strength. Five were dressed
in the normal Unspeakable robes, however one had gold runes. He claimed to be Master
Unspeakable Raven," he said. Sol's eyes widened slightly before his analytical mind went into
overdrive trying to figure out who the imposter was. There was no Master Raven.

"Thank you Croaker. I will investigate this," he said.


A Second Chance

Chapter 18

The Start of Another Year


The large group was currently hiking back to the Burrow from Stoatshead Hill. It had been a
long night and they were all wishing for a hot shower and a soft bed. They met Molly, Alice,
Frank, Neville, and Luna at the back door of the Weasley home. They were soon assembled in
the living room where Molly was handing out plates of breakfast, much to the gratitude of the
Weasley boys. They talked about unimportant matters until Amelia flooed, asking if Susan was
ready to come home. Susan left, and they turned to the real discussion.

"How did the aftermath go?" Harry asked Alice and Frank. As Aurors on duty, they had stayed
back to help with the Death Eaters. Alice just snorted in an unladylike fashion.

"It was just a bunch of idiots. There was only one that we caught that had any type of
intelligence. Nott Sr. was one of the first taken down by you, Neville, and Ron. Other than that,
we got a bunch of muggle haters and Voldemort sympathizers. We couldn't charge them with
much besides creating a panic." She sighed. "One Auror was killed though, Jake Howard. We
didn't catch the person that used the curse so we couldn't charge anyone with murder," she
finished. Harry figured as much. The fight was way too easy, and he noticed that the only ones
to put up an actual fight managed to run away. He would bet his Gringotts vault that it was
Malfoy who used the killing curse. He flicked his wand at the staircase, causing a book, a piece
of parchment, and a muggle pencil to come floating down to him. He quickly scribbled a note,
put it inside the book and walked up to the fireplace.

"Bones' Residence," he said as he threw floo powder into the flames. He threw the book into it
and the flames disappeared along with the book. He turned to look at several curious faces.

"What? Susan was getting suspicious, and without a memory charm, which I do not want to do
on her, we will not be able to come up with a convincing lie for yesterday. That was my book,
and hopefully she can learn it quickly enough so we can tell her," he explained. "She could be a
good resource inside Hufflepuff anyway. She is rather well liked by the house as a whole."

"How did the Ministry react to us six being there?" Hermione asked. Frank turned to her.

"They were a little confused but grateful at the assistance. They were suitably impressed by
your fast actions. It took Crouch several hours to receive his coloring back after addressing
Master Raven in such a manner," he said with a laugh. Harry just gave a small smile. It did feel
good to put the overly pompous man into his place.

"I don't know about you guys, but I'm exhausted," Bill said, punctuating that statement with a
big yawn. The other quickly agreed, heading for their beds for a well deserved rest.

Amelia just stared at the book in her hand. She had found it in front of the fireplace not a few
minutes after Susan returned. She knew without even reading the note what Harry wanted to
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do. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath before opening her eyes and the book to find a
small note.

Amelia

Short of a memory charm, there is no other way to get Susan to lose her suspicion. I do
not wish to do that to her, and there remains only one option. Have her learn
Occlumency to the best of her ability, and then we can let her in on this secret. I know
you won't like it, and neither do I, but it must be done.

Harry
She shook her head. She had tried so hard to keep Susan away from exactly this. She had
hoped Voldemort was gone for good but within her heart she knew he would return, even
before she learned of the old timeline. She wished for Susan to grow up having fun, find a
man, and have a family, not fight a war. She prayed Harry would be able to finish Voldemort
for good in a short ten months from now, if only to spare the many young people the horrors
she had lived through in the first war.

"Aunt Amelia? What's wrong?" Susan asked as she walked into the room. Amelia jumped from
her spot next to the fireplace and gave Susan a tired smile.

"Come here Susan. There is something I must ask of you," she said, leading her niece to the
sofa next to the fireplace. "Susan, what did you think of last night?" she asked. Susan looked a
little pensive about it.

"I'm not sure. I was scared, very scared. I was worried about you and all the others that were
fighting. The one thing that has bugged me the most is where Harry and the others went. Fred
and George pulled me into the woods but where were they?" she asked. "You must now," said,
turning a suspicious eye on her aunt. Amelia sighed.

"Yes I do, however you must do something before you can learn that information," she said,
handing the book to Susan. Susan flipped it over and read the cover.

"Occlumency, the Defense of the Mind by Harry Potter?" she asked in confusion. Harry was
barely fourteen, how could he have written a book? "Is this some kind of joke?" she asked.

"Not in the least," Amelia said in a serious tone, one that Susan recognized as the one she
spoke to hardheaded Aurors in. She immediately knew this was no joke. "Harry himself wrote
this book, and you are to read it and learn the magic within it. I want you to learn it as fast as
possible, for not only will it be extremely useful in your life, but for your suspicions to be
answered, you need to have a good grasp of it." Susan nodded, looking back down at the book.
It was odd, she thought, how loyal she was to Harry already. He was such a strong and
courageous person. Such a person received loyalty whether they wanted it or not, and Susan
couldn't help but trust him. She mentally sighed before turning back to her aunt to try and
lighten the mood.
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"So, when is Uncle Sirius coming over?" she asked cheekily. She was rewarded with a slight
blush on her aunt's face. Her aunt stood and walked into the kitchen mumbling something
about dinner tomorrow night. Susan just giggled before heading back to her room with the
book in her hands. She was happy her aunt had found someone. Sirius was such a kid at heart
that it brought her aunt out of her usual stern personality. 'They are good for each other,' she
thought to herself.

The wizarding world soon got over the World Cup issues. It was helped along by the fact that
the Daily Prophet made it out to be a few drunken wizards out to cause trouble. Life went on
as usual, and soon they were getting ready for their fourth year at Hogwarts. Harry in
particular was looking forward to it. Not only would he have the chance to put Voldemort
down for good without another war, but he did get to compete again in the tournament.

"Everyone ready?" Harry asked as they crowded around a large length of robe. Harry, Ginny,
Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Arthur, and Molly were all holding the robe at various places.
Getting nods from everyone, he said, "Activate." The robe shined a light blue before they all
were flying through space and landed in a heap on Platform Nine and Three Quarters. They
quickly got everything upright.

"Now you all have a good term," Molly said, hugging them all in turn. "I expect it's going to be
exciting," she said with a little worry. She of course knew exactly what was happening this
year. Harry gave her an easy smile.

"Don't worry Molly, it's going to be a lot of fun," Harry said. Arthur and Molly had both pushed
him and Hermione to call them by their first names, seeing as they were unofficially family.

"That's what I'm worried about Harry," she said. Harry's smile widened before he grabbed
Ginny's hand and led the rest of them to the train. They walked down the train until they
found Neville and Luna sitting in one of the carriages toward the back.

"Hey you two," Ginny said as they walked in.

"So, ready for another year?" Neville said with a grin.

"Oh yeah, can't wait," Harry said as they sat back and relaxed for the train ride. "I'm glad
Remus was able to come back this year." Severus had "forgotten" to spill the beans so to speak
about Remus. Without the pressure of the parents to fire him, he was able to take the post
again. Remus was ecstatic, as were Harry and his friends. "The only problem is how Barty
Crouch Jr. is going to get into Hogwarts," Harry mused.

"Maybe he won't," Hermione said. "We can only wait and see if your name comes out of the
Goblet of Fire. If it does, then obviously he is there somewhere. We will just have to find him."

"I'll have to start watching the Marauder's Map," Harry said. That got several nods. Just then
the compartment door opened. They all looked up to see Susan smiling at them.

"Do you mind if I come in?" she asked.


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"No, go ahead," Ginny said with a smile. Susan quickly shut the door and sat down.

"Harry, I just wanted to say that I read your book," she said. "It's complicated stuff really, but I
think I'm getting the hang of it. Do you mind testing me?" she asked. Harry turned fully in his
seat to face her.

"Sure Susan. I'll be gentle at first, but then increase the strength as I go alright?" he asked. She
nodded and Harry locked eyes and jumped into her mind. He met thin shields and started to
apply pressure to them. He felt Susan straining to keep them up and slowly started to make his
probe stronger. He finally broke through and quickly exited her mind to find her leaning back
in her seat panting.

"Oh… I'm going to have a headache later," she muttered as she put her head in her hands. That
got a couple chuckles from them. Susan soon felt a vial being pushed into her hand. She looked
up to see Ginny smiling.

"Headache potion. Should clear it right up," she said. Susan downed it fast and was ready to
cringe when she looked up surprised.

"It tasted… good," she said confused. Ginny gave a laugh at that.

"I take it you have had Madam Pomfrey's headache potion?" Ginny asked, getting a nod from
the other redhead. "Well what our Potions Master doesn't know is how to flavor his potions
without ruining them. It's different for every potion and a bit difficult, but I feel the little extra
time brewing is worth it in the end," she finished. Susan just giggled. Susan ended up staying
with them the rest of the train ride, which was rather uneventful. Soon they were stepping out
onto the platform, Harry and Neville using the umbrella charm to keep them relatively dry
from the raging storm. Several other students jumped under the charms as well, thanking
them profusely. The jumped into the carriages and were soon walking up the steps to the
Entrance Hall. As they walked in, Harry saw a sixth year Ravenclaw get hit over the head with a
water balloon. He looked up to see Peeves cackling with glee as he took aim at him. Harry
whipped out his wand and as the balloon was flying at him flicked his wand, causing it to stop
and fly back, hitting Peeves in the face.

"You alright Peeves? You look a little wet," Harry called up to the poltergeist with a smirk,
getting laughs from many of the students. Harry flicked his wand again, vanishing the rest of
the balloons in Peeves' hands before walking into the Great Hall. His friends sat around him at
the Gryffindor Table as they waited for the new students. He was greeted cheerfully by many
of the Gryffindors and soon McGonagall walked in, a group of soaked first years behind her.
The sorting went quickly and Harry had to hold in a groan as Dennis Creevey was sorted into
Gryffindor and started staring at him with open awe.

"Yes, yes, welcome back to Hogwarts. Tuck in," Dumbledore said with a smile, causing food to
appear on the plates along the tables. The students quickly dove into their dinners with
enthusiasm. Many were happy to see Remus up at the Head Table and were happily
speculating on what he would be teaching this year. There was a sudden loud gasp at the
Gryffindor table during dessert by Parvati, who quickly seized Ginny's hand.
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"Is this what I think it is?" she said with awe, looking at the ring on Ginny's finger. Many others
turned toward the two of them. Ginny just gave a mock surprised look.

"What this?" she said, indicating the ring. "Oh, it's a promise ring," she said with a little giggle.
"Harry gave it to me over the summer. When we are out of Hogwarts, we are going to get
married," she said with a smile at Harry, who smiled serenely back before leaning over and
kissing her cheek. Parvati and Lavender looked at the ring with dreamy smiles. Several others
were looking on with jealousy. The news quickly spread to the other tables and Harry took a
quick glance at the Slytherins. He scanned their faces, knowing several of them would be
informing their parents of it. Ginny and he had decided to let out the idea that they were
basically betrothed. It didn't really matter as they were technically already married and Ginny
wanted all the other "hussies" to know that he was hers. He knew she could take care of
herself and he didn't really need to worry that this particular information was public
knowledge. The girls fawned over the ring for a few more minutes before the desserts
disappeared and Albus stood up again.

"Welcome to another year at Hogwarts. Now that we are fed and watered, I have several
announcements. Mr. Filch has once again extended the list of forbidden items in the castle to
include Screaming Yo-yos, Fanged Frisbees, and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs. To see the full list,
please go to Mr. Filch's office," he said.

"Fat chance of that happening," they heard Fred or George mutter behind them.

"Also," Albus continued, "I would like to remind you that the Forbidden Forest is out of bounds
to all students," he said, his eyes gazing at the Gryffindor table. "Hogsmede is also for students
third year and up. It is also my painful duty to inform you that the Inter-House Quidditch Cup
will not take place this year," he announced. There was instantly protests from all the tables
but Albus merely lifted his hands for silence, which he received. "That is due to an event that
will be taking place this year that will take up much of the teachers' time and energy. I have
the pleasure of announcing that this year at Hogwarts, we will be playing host to the Triwizard
Tournament." Several of the students gasped, although a majority looked confused. "Let me
give a short explanation for those less informed."

"The Triwizard Tournament was established seven hundred years ago as a friendly competition
between the three largest European schools of wizardry: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and
Durmstrang. A champion was selected to represent each school, and those three champions
competed in three tasks; three very dangerous tasks." All of the students were watching him
with rapt attention. "The schools take turns hosting the tournament every five years and it was
agreed that it was an excellent way to young students to meet others of different nationalities.
It was later discontinued due to the large death toll." Some of the muggleborns gasped at that.

"We have worked tirelessly with the Ministries of Bulgaria and France to ensure that no
champion will find him or herself in mortal danger. The heads of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang
will be arriving with their short list of chosen students in October and the selection will be on
Halloween. An impartial judge will be deciding the champions. The winner wins the Triwizard
Cup, glory to their school, as well as a thousand Galleons." Many students were seen with
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greedy glints in their eyes at the thought. Harry just smirked at all the students wishing to be
champion. If they only knew how difficult it really was.

"It has been decided that with the potential danger of the tournament, an age restriction of
seventeen will be imposed on the students wishing to enter." Many of the students began to
protest at this, many being fifth and sixth years. Fred and George stayed quiet however. They
knew they couldn't get around the age line and that they couldn't beat Cedric in the decision
anyway. "I will be personally ensuring that this rule is followed. The delegations of the other
schools will be arriving in October and will remain here for a better part of the year. I ask that
you extend the same courtesy to them as you do to yourselves, as well as cheer on our
selected Champion regardless of house. It is late, so on to bed with you," he said in dismissal.

The first week moved by quickly for the six. Most of the students were spending their time
speculating how this 'impartial' judge would be picking the students from each school. There
were many plans flying around the fifth and sixth years who wanted to enter the tournament
but were too young to do so. Harry was also glad that he had decided not to take Divination
and Care of Magical Creatures this time through. Hagrid had been a little disappointed about
them not taking their class, but he understood their desires to take different courses. They had
all signed up for Arithmancy and Ancient Runes, which were much easier on them as there
were no predicted deaths or animals quite capable of providing such a death. Ginny and Luna
had made quite a stir in the school when they were discovered taking fourth year classes. They
were the first to move up a year since Dumbledore himself.

Harry and his friends walked into the defense classroom that Thursday anticipating Remus'
first class. They were glad he was back even if it made it harder on them not knowing where
Barty Crouch Jr. was. They all sat in the front row, the rest of the students arrayed behind
them. Remus came striding into the room however he didn't look as happy as he normally
would. Even though he was controlling himself very well, Harry could see the signs of the angry
werewolf. Remus spun to the class when he made it to the front and his face softened and he
smiled tiredly.

"Hello class, welcome back to Defense Against the Dark Arts. As you all remember, I am
Professor Lupin. As this is your fourth year, we will begin studying curses." There was a
murmur of excitement through the fourth years. "However, we will not be learning how to use
them, at least not yet. We will mainly be learning countercurses and how to avoid being hit.
The use of a few of these will be taught in your sixth and seventh years." He took a few steps
away from his desk and pulled out his wand. He flicked it at his desk, causing a bolt of magic to
fly out and reduce it to small pieces. Many in the class stared in shock at it. "That was a simple
Reductor Curse. Very powerful and generally used to knock down walls or obstacles. However,
if used on a human being it will guarantee a few broken bones if not death. Now there are
several ways in which to block this." The class continued in a lecture of how to block and avoid
curses with a promise to learn some shield charms the next class. When they were dismissed,
Harry waved his friends on and approached Remus.

"What's pulled your tail Remus?" he asked with a raised eyebrow. Remus sighed.
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"Albus has. He wants me to educate you in the Unforgivable Curses," he said. Harry nodded. "I
don't think that is necessary for fourth years, but he was particularly pushy about it."

"We were taught them the first time through by the fake Moody. Interesting lesson. He even
put us all under the Imperious Charm to see if we can resist," Harry explained, causing Remus'
eyes to widen.

"He actually put you under the curse?" Harry nodded. Remus just shook his head. "Well, I
won't be doing that however I guess it wouldn't be bad for you to learn about them," he
muttered, thinking of his lessons. "We will do it after we learn shield charms. I think those are
a bit more important for now. Go, I know you have Transfiguration and while you are probably
better than Minerva, I doubt she will be happy with you being late," Remus said with a smile.
Harry just grinned before waving and walking out the door.

Neville appeared in the mountainous region of Tibet. He looked around himself before pulling
his heavy black and silver cloak tighter around himself. He cast a quick warming charm on his
clothing before he started to walk. Fifteen minutes later he turned the corner of the long
forgotten trail to see a small oriental hut. He smiled at it and the scenery around it. It was
almost something out of a fantasy. As he got closer, and older man exited the door of the hut.
He wore very old robes, his age apparent as he leaned heavily on the walking stick. He slowly
met Neville a few strides away from the hut. The man was bald, a long white beard down to his
waist. He had a serene smile on his face, his brown eyes shining with peace and wisdom as he
looked back at Neville. Neville stood respectfully and waited for him to speak. Three minutes
later the man's smile widened.

"You are here to try your hand at the sword?" he asked in flawless English. Neville smiled at
the man. It was just like last time.

"How did you know I spoke English?" Neville asked, just as he did before. The old man's eyes
began to twinkle.

"Sight is a wonderful thing my boy. Come please, I wish to see your attempt. Many have tried.
All have failed." He looked at Neville before turning to the hut. "I haven't felt the sword this
excited before however," he muttered. Neville knew he was speaking of the Sol Katti. It was
legend, used by some of the greatest warriors from around the world. The last one to wield it
sent it here, where it would be claimed only by a worthy individual, someone who would use it
for the defense of his people and never for evil deeds. It was magical just like the Sword of
Gryffindor. It didn't surprise him that the man could feel its excitement as he too felt the
energies around the sword begin to stir.

He followed the man into the small hut to see a small wooden pedestal in the back. On it sat a
stand that held the sheath and sword. The old man nodded his consent and Neville took a step
toward the blade. He rested his hand on the soft black leather of the hilt, feeling the magic
pulsing in the sword. He gripped it tightly before gently pulling it free from the sheath. He felt
his magic snap together with the sword's as a wind blew through the room. He turned to the
elder man with a soft smile.
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"It is an honor to see the successor obtain his rightful weapon," the man said, sinking into a
respectful bow to Neville. "See to it that the blade fills its purpose." Neville nodded before
picking up the sheath and putting the sword back into it. He strapped it to his back before
turning back to the man and bowing.

"I thank you and pledge my assurance that the Sol Katti will keep its honor." With that, Neville
disappeared.

"Hello Salashra," Harry said as the giant serpent slid up to him. They were down in the
chamber for their second time through the weekend, having used the time-turner not long
ago.

"Master Harry, I have missed you," she said as she nudged him with her nose. Harry smiled and
attempted to hug her nose. "Mistress Ginny, I smell that you are here also," she said, turning
her head toward Ginny.

"Hello Salashra, how was the school over the summer?" Ginny asked.

"Quiet," she said. Harry smiled at the short answer, knowing the giant serpent wasn't much of
a talker and told you what you asked for. "You are missing one," she mentioned.

"Neville is retrieving something needed for the coming years," Harry responded. Salashra
nodded her large head before curling up in the corner of the chamber. Harry turned back to
the others, who were already splitting up into their favorite corners of the room. Ginny was
back in the potions lab while Hermione and Luna were in the small but priceless library. Ron
followed him to the large sparring area.

"Want to spar?" Ron asked as he shrugged off his robes. Harry just shook his head.

"No, I have something else I've been trying to do for a couple weeks. I'm getting close," he
trailed off before walking to one end of the room. He took off his robes and shirt and stood
still. Ron noticed his eyes become unfocused as Harry stared into space. He knew better than
to interrupt when Harry got like this so started to practice his hand to hand fighting skills. He
didn't become a master in the art without constant practice.

Neville appeared just outside the wards of Hogwarts and shadow walked to the second floor
girl's bathroom. He entered thanking Merlin for the lack of Myrtle before walking up to the
correct sink. He pulled a small crystal out of his pocket and tapped it with his wand. "Open,"
hissed Harry's voice which was recorded in the crystal. The entrance opened and he hopped
into the pipe, sliding down to the chamber. He used the crystal one more time to open the
final door and walked in to see a multitude of activities happening. He saw Ginny with her hair
tied back peering into a bubbling cauldron before adding a couple drops of what he thought
was blood. Her eyes widened and she cast a quick charm over the cauldron, which promptly
exploded. It was fortunately contained by the charm and Ginny just groaned before flicking her
wand a couple times, fixing the cauldron and vanishing the incorrect potion before starting
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over. He looked over to the library to see Luna carving small runes into the tips of arrows, her
tongue poking slightly out her mouth and her face full of concentration. Hermione was
pointing her wand at the practice wall warded to take spell damage and muttered an
incantation. It only produced a couple red sparks, which caused her eyes to narrow and walk
back to a table covered in Arithmancy equations muttering about an error in the twenty third
equation. He walked over to the sparring area to see Ron throwing a series of punches before
throwing a high kick before spinning and repeating. The oddest thing was Harry. He was staring
straight ahead of him, his face blank. Ron stopped after the next kick and walked up to him.

"What's with Harry?" he asked in a low voice. Ron just shrugged.

"He's been like that for a half hour. Said he was working on something, didn't explain what
though," Ron said with a small pant from the exercises. Just then Harry's face suddenly
scrunched up in concentration and his muscles tensed before large black feathered wings
sprouted out of his back. The two of them just gaped as Harry panted before looked back and
flapping them experimentally. He turned to the other two.

"Hey guys," he said through heavy breathing.

"Harry, are… are those," Ron stuttered. Harry gave a tired grin.

"My animagus wings? Yeah," he responded. It was then the three girls ran up to them, noticing
Harry's change.

"Harry, how did you do that?" Luna asked in awe. Ginny had a faraway look in her eyes and
they knew she was reviewing his memories and mental processes of how he did it through
their bond.

"Harry, this is going to revolutionize the Animagus Transformation, you do know that right?"
Hermione asked. Harry just grinned.

"I didn't receive my mastery in Transfiguration for nothing," he said with a cheeky grin. He
looked up at the high ceilings and back to his friends. "Now if you will excuse me, I need to try
this out," he said, before flapping the wings and taking off with a whoop. Ron just shook his
head and looked to Neville.

"Why does he get to have all the fun?" he asked, getting a chuckle from Neville.
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Chapter 19

So It Begins
"Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, ghosts and – most particularly – guests," Dumbledore
said as he stood in front of the Great Hall. "I have the great pleasure in welcoming you all to
Hogwarts. I hope and trust that your stay here will be both comfortable and enjoyable." He
was smiling down at the students, his eyes twinkling at full power. The Beauxbatons and
Durmstrang delegations had arrived not too long ago and they were all seated in the Great Hall
waiting for the feast to begin. "The tournament will officially begin after the feast. I invite you
to all eat, drink, and make yourselves at home." He sat down and the food appeared on the
tables. The students immediately dug in, the French and Bulgarian students pleasantly
surprised at some of their native dishes that appeared.

"So Harry, are you ready for the tournament? Or do you want me to enter for
you?"Ginny asked with a teasing tone. "I know how scary that big bad dragon is but
I know little ol' me can handle it." He sent her a small grin but kept eating.

"You know exactly how prepared I am for this," he replied. "You only live in my
head," he said with a mental smirk. "Sometimes I wonder how I'm not a nutter," he
continued quietly, receiving a kick to the shin from her under the table. He gave her a little
glare and she just smiled sweetly at him before continuing her dinner.

"Fleur is coming over," Ginny sent when she spied the beautiful blonde walking over. "I'm
guessing for that plate of untouched French goop," she said. Harry just grinned.

"I'll handle it," he replied and turned to meet Fleur. She stopped a step away from him. She
was about to say something when Harry rose from his seat, a heart-stopping grin on his face.

"Madam, it is an honor to meet someone as beautiful as you," he said in strong voice. He


turned on all the charm he could. He could feel Ginny's amusement in waves through their
bond. She had long lost any jealousy from other women around Harry, for not only did the soul
bond guarantee her his love, she knew he was honest and completely faithful. "May I ask your
name?" he said as he bent over her hand, kissing the back of it tenderly. By now, many of the
students in the hall were scowling at them, the boys because of their envy of Harry and many
of the girls because of their natural reactions to Veela. She raised a perfectly manicured
eyebrow at his antics but Harry saw the corners of her mouth quirk up slightly.

"Fleur Delacour," she responded lightly.

"Thank you for honoring me with your presence Miss Delacour. My name is Harry Potter. You
have such breathtaking charm, but I think I can get past it for a peaceful chat," he said,
stressing the word charm. Her eyes widened slightly at the implied message but she recovered
quickly. She favored him with a small smile, showing her white pearly teeth.

"Well Mr. Potter, I would suggest you be careful. Flattery could get you somewhere," she said,
amusement evident in her voice. Harry's grin widened.
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"I'm sure it would however my heart has already been taken by the gorgeous redhead sitting
here," he said indicating Ginny. "I believe you wanted the bouillabaisse?" he asked. At her nod,
he pulled out his wand and flicked it, causing it to slowly float over to the Ravenclaw table. "I
hope you enjoy the rest of your meal. I hope we can speak again," he said.

"Sounds good 'Arry," she said impishly before making her way back across the Great Hall. He
sat back down and looked at his friends.

"What?" he asked, getting them all to roll his eyes as he laughed. "I couldn't help it. She was
practically asking to be wooed by somebody. Why not me?" he asked.

"Well there is the fact that you're taken, but I could be wrong," Ginny said dryly, getting some
giggles from the students around them.

"Oh Gin, you know you're the only girl for me," he said, pulling her closer and giving her a
quick peck on the nose. Parvati and Lavender, who were sitting nearby, sighed at the little
scene Harry just made.

"Anyway, if you are done 'wooing' half the school Harry, pass the potatoes," Hermione said,
the corners of her mouth quirked up. It was soon afterwards that Harry noticed Bagman and
Crouch were sitting at the Head Table. He narrowed his eyes at the two of them. They were
two of the several suspects that he had for who Crouch Jr. will take over to get access to
Hogwarts. Among Crouch and Bagman were Karkaroff, the press, and the staff, mainly Filch
and those staff members weaker in magical strength. While they would check, they highly
doubted that Crouch was able to take over Dumbledore, Flitwick, or McGonagall. Remus was
naturally out also as Polyjuice Potion didn't work with werewolves. It was too much longer
when the leftover food disappeared, leaving the plates clean again. When that happened,
Dumbledore stood.

"The moment has come and the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin. However, there are a
few words of explanation that need to be said." With this, he gestured toward the two
Ministry officials. "This is Mr. Bartemius Crouch, Head of the Department of International
Magical Cooperation and Mr. Ludo Bagman, Head of the Department of Magical Games and
Sports." That announcement sent the students into applause, mainly for Bagman. "The
Ministry, led by these two, has worked tirelessly on the arrangements for the tournament.
They will be a part of the panel alongside myself, Professor Karkaroff, and Madam Maxime
where we will judge the champions' efforts." Many of the students began to lean forward in
excitement, wanting to hear more about the tournament. It was as if someone cast a silencing
charm on the Great Hall. "The casket Mr. Filch." Filch then stumbled forward with a large
wooden chest encrusted in jewels that Harry knew held the cup.

"There will be three tasks, spaced out through the school year. They will test the champions in
many ways… their magical prowess – their daring – their powers of deduction – and of course,
their ability to cope with danger," Dumbledore said simply. "One champion will be chosen
from each school and will be marked on how well they do in each task. The champion with the
highest total at the end will win the Triwizard Cup. They shall be chosen by the Goblet of Fire,"
he said. He tapped the casket three times with his wand, causing the casket to merely fade
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away to show the large wooden cup holding dancing blue white flames. "To enter, merely put
your name and your school on a piece of parchment and put it in the flames. You have twenty
four hours in which to do so. Being chosen constitutes a binding magical contract, so I ask that
you truly think about your choice before you enter, as if you are chosen, there is no turning
back. As of now, the Triwizard Tournament has begun."

"Are you sure we can't get past it Harry?" Fred whispered into his ear later that evening when
they were in the common room. It was nearly empty, a couple of older students relaying their
summers with each other. The time-traveling six and the twins were sitting in the back of the
room around one of the homework tables. Harry just chuckled at his antics.

"I know I can, not that I will, and no I will not help you," he said before they could ask. They
just looked annoyed before wishing them goodnight and walking to their dorms.

"Did you check the map?" Hermione asked. Harry just sighed and nodded.

"Yes I did. Everyone is still themselves, even Filch," he said, looking pointedly at Ron. He was
adamant it would be Filch. Ron just held his hands up in front of him.

"I was just saying that Filch would be the easiest," he defended. Harry rolled his eyes before
turning back to the others.

"He has twenty three hours left to get in the school and to the cup. If he doesn't enter me in
the tournament, we are going to have to find Voldemort. I don't know how we are going to
keep a watch on him, but we will have to figure something out. We will need to know when he
gets angry enough to use anyone to resurrect him instead of waiting for me." The others
nodded. He stood and yawned. "I'm heading to bed. Goodnight everybody," he said, giving
Ginny a peck on the lips before heading up to his room.

The pillow to his face waking him up came far too quickly for Harry's liking. He looked up
groggily to see Neville in his workout clothes grinning at him.

"Whoever invented waking up will receive a very painful and merciless death when I find
them," Harry muttered as he got out of his bed. He heard a grunt of approval from Ron who
was getting up as well before they quickly changed and went downstairs to the common room.
The girls were already waiting for them and smiled at their respective male counterpart before
they left the dorm together. They were stretching out in the middle of the Quidditch pitch
when another figure walked out of the Gryffindor locker room. Harry quirked an eyebrow
when he noticed it was Victor Krum. He knew Victor liked to keep in shape in the mornings but
didn't honestly expect to see him out here. Victor saw them stretching while obviously dressed
for exercise and made his way over to them.

"I see that I am not the only von who likes to stay strong," he said a little hesitantly. Harry
looked up at the older boy and smiled, holding out his hand.

"Harry Potter," he said, getting a strong handshake.


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"Victor Krum," he said with a little surprise at Harry's name. He then turned to the others.

"These are my friends, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, and
Neville Longbottom," he said, pointing out each of them in turn. "Would you like to join us?
We were going to run around the pitch for a while before some martial arts and flying," Harry
offered. Krum nodded before joining them in the workout. Not an hour later found most of
them soaring through the air on their brooms. Neville and Luna were the only ones not flying,
having never been too fond of brooms. Hermione had taken a liking to them ever since she
finally became an animagus, her hawk form taking away her fear of heights. After that
disappeared, she discovered she liked flying almost as much as Harry did. Harry, Ginny, and
Ron were playing catch with a quaffle that Harry got out of the Quidditch cupboard and
Hermione and Krum were looking for a snitch.

"And they're off!" Ron yelled as Hermione and Krum took off toward the opposite goal posts.
Hermione was trying her hardest but Krum was just too good. He quickly edged her out and
was reaching for the snitch when another figure shot out from under him and snatched the
snitch in front of his outstretched hand. He pulled up and around to see Harry floating behind
him with a cocky grin on his face, the snitch struggling in his hand.

"You were a little slow there Victor," he said, getting a chuckle from the Bulgarian.

"Very good Harry. I vos not expecting that. You have much talent," he said. He turned to
Hermione was looked a little put out by her loss. "And you Hermy-own-ninny, you are very
strong on a broom as vell," he said, getting a smile from her when he mispronounced her
name. "Vith practice, you vould do vell." It was then they noticed the scattered applause from
the stands and looked over, noticing they had acquired a group of students who were
watching them. Hermione blushed a little bit, not used to showing off outside of the
classroom, but Harry just grinned and turned to Victor.

"Want to put on a show?" he asked. Victor just chuckled and took off at breakneck speed,
followed closely by Harry. What ensued was a battle that seemed to be who could do the most
impressive aerial maneuver. The students eventually doubled as the students began to wake
up, each one cheering on both Harry and Victor. They finally ended when Harry went into a
large loop but let go of his broom when he was at the top and upside down. Falling straight
down, the broom continued the loop and he landed on it at the bottom of the loop, shooting
forward to the applause of the students. Victor just shook his head and flew to the ground,
followed by Harry. Harry just chuckled lightly as he held out his hand.

"Good flying Victor, maybe we can do it again sometime," he said. Victor gave him a happy nod
and shook his hand. They went to the showers in the Gryffindor locker room, before heading
back up to the school talking seeker tactics. They split up when they entered the Great Hall for
a late breakfast and Harry sat down next to Ginny, kissing her cheek.

"Nice show Harry!" Fred said as he plopped down across from them.

"We knew you were good, but that was incredible mate," George continued. Harry just
shrugged.
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"Did you see Karkaroff when you and Victor shook hands afterwards? " Ginny
asked. Harry gave her a mental no before she continued. "He looked bloody pissed. I
don't think he wants his star to be playing with the end of his old master, " she
said with a mental grin. "The other professors were cheering nearly as much as the
students, minus Snape of course. He merely had a look of grudging respect for
your flying. Hooch nearly fainted watching it." Harry stifled his laughter.

"Well everyone, ready for the choosing of the Champions tonight?" he asked the people
around him. He got many nods in return which spurred a debate on who would become the
champion. Many thought Cedric had the best shot with Angelina behind him, not that any of
the Gryffindors would admit that. The rest of the day passed quickly for the students and soon
the Great Hall was packed to capacity waiting for the Goblet to make its choices. The
Halloween feast had been as delicious as usual, not that many noticed in their excited states.

"It would appear the goblet is almost ready to make its decision. I estimate one more minute.
Now when the champions' names are called, I ask that they please come to the front of the
hall and enter the far chamber," Dumbledore said. He waved his wand in a long arc, causing
most of the candles to go out, dropping the lighting in the room. The Goblet of Fire stood out
brightly in the front of the hall before its blue-white flames flared and changed to crimson red.
Sparks sprouted from it before a piece of paper shot from the goblet and was caught by
Dumbledore.

"The Durmstrang Champion will be Victor Krum!" he announced, loud applause sprouting from
around the hall. The flames had gone back to the blue-white color before flaring once more in
crimson and ejecting another piece of paper. "The Beauxbatons Champion will be Fleur
Delacour," Dumbledore said, getting loud applause from the male part of the student body.
The Hogwarts students soon were dead silent, seemingly holding their breath waiting for their
champion to be selected. Harry glanced at Cedric who on the outside seemed cool and
collected. Harry knew the boy was a nervous wreck on the inside however. The goblet flared
once more before shooting out a piece of parchment.

"The Hogwarts Champion will be," Dumbledore said, pausing for a dramatic effect, "Cedric
Diggory!" The Hufflepuff table erupted into applause, the noise level deafening as Cedric stood
with a relieved grin on his face. He made his way to the chamber on the side.

"Excellent! Well we have our three champions and I am sure I can count upon all of you to
cheer and support your respected champion." He would have continued but the goblet flared
again and Dumbledore's hand automatically shot up to catch the parchment. He looked down
at it and his face paled just slightly, which was unnoticed in the lighting. He looked up and
called out, "Harry Potter." Harry schooled his features into that of surprise and confusion. An
angry buzz of whispering swept across the hall as they all turned to stare at him. "Harry, if you
would," Dumbledore said from his spot next to the Goblet of Fire. McGonagall had gotten up
and had been whispering to Dumbledore and looked astonished. Harry stood and walked
quickly to the doorway, aware of every single eye that was on him at the moment. He entered
the small chamber to find the other three standing around the fire, their silhouettes dancing
with the flames. It made for an impressive sight.
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"Hey Harry. Do they want us back out there?" Cedric asked. Harry just shook his head. It was
then that the professors, Bagman, and Crouch came into the room.

"What is ze meaning of zis Dumbly-dorr?" Madam Maxime asked, glaring down at the
Headmaster.

"I would like to know that myself Dumbledore," Karkaroff joined in.

"What is going on?" Cedric asked.

"It would appear we have four champions!" Bagman said with excitement. "Harry's name came
out of the goblet not a minute ago!" Cedric looked confused, glancing over to Harry. Krum
straightened, looking pointedly at Harry as if trying to see into his mind. Fleur looked indignant
however.

"Madam Maxime! This cannot be! Hogwarts has a champion already!" she nearly shouted.

"Harry, did you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?" Dumbledore asked, causing everyone to
quiet down. Harry's face was expressionless.

"No Professor," he answered. Snape made a small noise of disbelief behind them.

"Did you ask an older student to put your name in for you?" Dumbledore asked.

"No Professor," he answered again.

"Well of course he is lying," Madam Maxime said angrily. Harry's eyes flashed in annoyance.

"I am willing to submit to Veritiserum as proof," he said aloud. Everyone turned to him in
surprise. A cruel smile spread over Severus' face.

"That can be arranged Potter," he said almost gleefully. Harry silently applauded his acting.

"There will be no need for that Severus," Dumbledore said, his eyes flashing.

"I insist Dumbledore. I would like to know why Hogwarts has two champions when Durmstrang
only gets one," Karkaroff spat. Dumbledore spun, his eyes glowing with cold fury.

"Don't you dare insinuate that I would cheat like this. There is no reason to put an underage
student under that potion Igor," Dumbledore rumbled. "I would be careful how you tread, for
there are many things in which I could still call on you," he added quietly, but Harry heard it.
Harry was barely able to rein in his surprise at Dumbledore's strong defense of him. Karkaroff
had turned white at the last sentence of Dumbledore's and backed down, merely glaring.

"Then I insist Professor," Harry added, getting them all to turn back to him. Dumbledore
looked on in astonishment. "All I ask is that Remus is ready with his wand to silence me in case
there is anything asked that is irrelevant to this situation," he said, looking at the werewolf in
question. He nodded and pulled out his wand. Dumbledore sighed in defeat.

"Fine Harry. Severus, if you would please go get some Veritiserum," he said. Snape merely
pulled a small bottle out of his robes.
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"Don't worry Headmaster, I already have some." He walked to Harry and dropped three drops
on his tongue. Harry's eyes fogged over.

"Please state your name and occupation here at Hogwarts," Dumbledore said.

"Harry Potter, fourth year Gryffindor," Harry said in a monotone voice.

"Very well. Did you put your name in the Goblet?"

"No." Maxime and Karkaroff didn't look surprised and figured he asked an older student.

"Did you ask an older student to do it for you?"

"No." Karkaroff just gaped at Harry. Maxime was surprised as well, but hid it much better.

"Did you in any way, directly or indirectly, put your name in the cup?"

"No," Harry responded. Snape took another vile and put three drops in Harry's mouth, which
quickly flushed the effects of the truth serum out of his body. Harry shook his head before
looking up and glaring at the professors.

"I think that settles it. I assure you that we will continue investigating how this happened,
however it is too late for this to be undone. Am I correct Barty?" Dumbledore asked, looking at
Crouch.

"The rules are absolute. The Goblet of Fire constitutes a binding magical contract. Mr. Potter
has no choice. He is and will be the fourth champion," Crouch responded.

"Then I demand we enter more names into the goblet until the there are two champions for
each school," Karkaroff said loudly.

"That can't be done Karkaroff," Bagman spoke up. "The goblet has already gone out and won't
relight until the next tournament."

"Yes, one Durmstrang will not be competing in!" Karkaroff roared in anger. "I have half a mind
to leave now!"

"That cannot be done Igor, Victor is magically bonded to the tournament. He must compete,"
Albus said quietly, a contemplative look on his face. It was obvious he was putting his mind
through its paces trying to figure out the puzzle. Karkaroff just huffed.

"Shall we give the instructions?" Bagman offered weakly. Crouch stepped forward then.

"The first task shall test your daring," he said, looking a little sick in the lighting. "As such, we
will not be telling you what it is. Courage to face the unknown is an important quality a wizard,
or witch," he said motioning to Fleur. "It will take place on November twenty-fourth, in front of
the students and judges." He gave the four champions a suspicious look. "You are not
permitted to ask for or accept help of any kind from teachers. You will face this task with only
your wands. You will also be exempted from your end-of-year exams." He nodded and stepped
back.
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"Very well, I believe it would be in our best interests to head to our respective beds. It has
been a long night," Dumbledore said. Maxime was already leading Fleur out of the room, the
two of them talking in rapid French. Karkaroff motioned to Victor and they too exited the
room, followed by Crouch and Bagman, who both were needed back at the Ministry to give a
report. This left Harry and Cedric with Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, and Remus.

"Why is it always you Mr. Potter?" McGonagall asked with a frown. Harry just shrugged.

"I don't know professor. I didn't ask for this to happen," he said truthfully. 'I just never
prevented it,' he thought. Cedric smiled before clapping him on the back.

"Well then let's make them regret it. How does a Hogwarts one two finish sound?" the older
boy asked. Harry just grinned and took his hand.

"Sounds good Cedric." Dumbledore just smiled at the two, the twinkling in his eyes back in full
force.

"I suggest you head back to your houses. I don't wish to deprive Gryffindor and Hufflepuff their
excuses to make a great deal of mess and noise. And Harry," he said causing them both to stop
on their way to the exit. "I will tell the school tomorrow of your willing test under Veritiserum.
It should calm down the students," he said. Harry nodded and left with Cedric. The Great Hall
was deserted as they walked through it.

"I'm sorry Cedric," Harry said abruptly. Cedric stopped and looked at him.

"Sorry for what?" he asked.

"For stealing some of your glory," Harry said truthfully. If it was Harry's choice, he would have
stopped himself from being entered in the tournament, however this was the only sure way he
had of getting Voldemort resurrected under Harry's control. "I know I didn't enter my name,
but I wish you could have been the only Hogwarts Champion." Cedric just smiled.

"Hey, it doesn't matter. For what it's worth, I'm looking forward to the challenge. One more
player won't hurt right? Besides, to be the best, you have to play against the best," he said,
before clapping Harry on the shoulder one last time and walking down the steps to their right
that Harry knew led to the Hufflepuff common room. Harry quickly made his way up the
marble staircase to the Gryffindor common room. As he was walking, he heard footsteps
behind him and turned around, noticing with surprise that they belonged to none other than
Draco Malfoy.

"I can't believe you Potter," he said, a scowl on his aristocratic face. "To think, I started to see
you as a decent bloke. I was even starting to turn against my father's words, thinking yours was
the right side. I guess I was wrong," he finished with anger in his eyes. Harry merely stared
back, his emerald eyes connecting with Draco's silver blue eyes.

"I didn't put my name in that goblet Draco," he answered quietly. Draco stared at him for a
minute before deflating.
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"I believe you," he whispered. "I just didn't want to. So much has changed." Harry quirked an
eyebrow at the young Slytherin. Severus had been telling them of the changes happening to
the Malfoy heir but this was the first time Harry witnessed them.

"I'm glad you see it this way Draco. I don't want to see you as an enemy," Harry said. Draco
looked up.

"I may hate you Potter, and yes I do, but I bloody well respect you," Draco responded. "I may
not show it, but I will be cheering for you in this tournament," he said before spinning on his
heal and walking the other way. Harry just sighed and continued his walk back to Gryffindor
Tower. Draco had given him much to think about. It was odd to hear that coming from the
blonde Slytherin, the same one that he had killed personally when the Death Eaters had
attacked St. Mungos. He had killed Cho in front of him, taunting Harry with her death. It had
been a quick fight, finished in mere seconds by Harry putting the sword of Gryffindor through
Draco's chest.

"Get ready to act," he heard Ginny say to him in his mind as he reached the portrait.
"Balderdash," he said, getting nod from the Fat Lady. The portrait opened and he had barely
taken two steps before cheering erupted and he was tackled by a redheaded blur, lips
suddenly attached to his own.

"I love when you act," Harry said as Ginny kissed him quite thoroughly in front of the
entire house. She broke the kiss and giggled with a smile, pulling him into the large crowd
cheering his name.

"How did you do it Harry?" Lee asked over the noise. The Quidditch girls soon swooped down
on him, hugging him.

"Well if not me, then at least there is a Gryffindor," Angelina said with a happy smile.

"Come on Harry! Tell us how you got past the age line!" several people were yelling. Harry held
up his hands and the crowd quieted quickly.

"I did not get past the line, nor did I put my name in the Goblet of Fire." He would have
continued but the house erupted into questions and many obviously didn't believe him. He
rolled his eyes and shot off a quick firework with his wand. "As I said, I did not put my name in
the goblet. I even offered to be put under Veritiserum, which I was, which proved I didn't.
Professor Dumbledore will announce that at breakfast tomorrow." The house seemed slightly
subdued at that. "I thank you for your support, but I want you all to support Cedric just as
much. At least he got in on talent, not some fluke." With that, he made his way to his room.

"You have what I asked for?" Master Sol asked. The Unspeakable in front of him nodded and
held out a small crystal. Sol took it and flicked it with his wand. "I am Master Unspeakable
Raven, so watch your tone Crouch," said a voice coming from the crystal. Sol listened to it with
rapt attention. "As I said, they did not conjure the mark." The voice recording ended.
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"The speaker's voice has been modified by one of our own Concealment Charms," he thought
out loud. He flicked his wand in a complicated pattern while murmuring several choice words
before tapping it again with his wand.

"I am Master Unspeakable Raven, so watch your tone Crouch," came a different voice. "As I
said, they did not conjure the mark." The voice ended again.

"If I am not mistaken, I believe that is the voice of Harry Potter," Sol said, having used a charm
that does the reverse of the concealment charm on the recording. It was an unknown spell,
only used by Unspeakables. "Thank you for getting this recording from your memory Croaker."
Croaker bowed before leaving the room. Sol was silent for a minute.

"What do you think Phantom?" he asked, his eyes still on the crystal. A voice spoke from the
shadows.

"I will discover the boy's intentions," it said, before the presence vanished from the room.
A Second Chance

Chapter 20

The First Task


Harry walked into the Great Hall the day after Halloween to find himself on the receiving end
of glares from the Ravenclaw, Slytherin, and foreign students. The Hufflepuffs gave him a
friendly nod, having been told by Cedric last night. The Gryffindors formed ranks around him as
if to protect him from the offending looks. He smiled at their actions while leading them to the
Gryffindor table. It wasn't long before Professor Dumbledore stood from his spot at the Head
Table.

"As you all know, last night four champions were chosen for the Triwizard Tournament. I am
sure many of you feel Mr. Potter is in the wrong however I must correct many false thoughts
and rumors." There were several murmurs throughout the crowd. "Last night after the
selection, Mr. Potter willingly submitted himself under Veritiserum, where he confessed he
had nothing to do with his name being entered in the Goblet of Fire." Whispers spread like
wildfire across all but the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs. "As such, he is an unwilling participant in
this tournament and I urge you to support him as you would the other three champions." With
that, he sat down. Harry caught many of the Ravenclaws looking at him with sheepish looks
but Harry just ignored them. He felt Ginny's hand slide into his own under the table.

"I never did know how bad it was the first time," she said quietly. "I wish I was
there for you then." Harry just squeezed her hand.

"You didn't know and besides, you were too busy blushing in my presence, " he
said, getting a mock glare from her before she started eating her breakfast. He let his gaze
wander around the hall again and he noticed Fleur looking at him from her place at Ravenclaw
Table. She smiled and gave a little wave and which he returned. He was glad she wasn't mad at
him. He had tried hard the last couple days trying to make friends with her and Victor. It was
not much longer before he heard a loud bang at the Slytherin table. He spun around to see
Victor standing up after he seemingly slammed his fists onto the table. He strode over to Harry
with an angry look on his face. Harry assumed the worst and schooled his face into a neutral
look.

"Harry, I vould like to apologize for my… Professor's actions last night as vell as my fellow
students," he said, his Bulgarian accent coming through more in his anger. Harry mentally
sighed in relief and smiled up at him.

"No problem Victor. It isn't your fault," he replied. Victor held out his hand, which Harry took
without hesitation.

"I am looking forward to our competition," he said before stalking out of the hall. Harry turned
back in his seat to see several smiles on his friends' faces as well as astonished looks from
some of the other Gryffindors. He just grinned and shrugged.

The next couple days were by far better than the first time he lived through them. He had
most of the school behind him as well as Cedric, which was a strong improvement. He heard
the horror stories of Hagrid's blast-ended skrewts and was thanking whatever deity that he
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knew that let him skip it this time through. Victor continued to meet them every morning to
work out and soon several other students were as well, including Cedric, Fleur, the twins, and
several of the members of the other Quidditch teams and schools. Harry was both happy and
anxious at this. For one side he was glad to have such a group of friends as well as knowing this
will truly help them all in the long run. The down side was that he and his five core friends had
to tone it down with their magical training when around the group. He didn't want to show
them their secrets after all. They kept the most intense training for when they redid the
weekends in the Chamber of Secrets. He was currently in Potions with Severus prowling
around the dungeon looking for the slightest errors. It was then there was a knock on the door.

"Enter," Severus practically hissed, causing Colin to slide in a little more pale than normal.
"What do you want Creevey?" he asked in annoyance.

"Please, sir, I'm supposed to take Harry Potter upstairs," he said quickly.

"What for?" he demanded. Harry held in a groan knowing what he was needed for.

"Sir – sir, Mr. Bagman wants him," he replied with a little fear. "All the champions need to go, I
think they want photographs." Severus' lips curled into a sneer.

"Potter! You heard the little vermin, get out of my sight," he bellowed before walking to his
desk. Harry caught his eye and with a small grin sent several letters quickly in a sequence to his
mind spelling out 'greasy git'. His eyes merely narrowed before Harry received several images
of letters quickly, spelling 'arrogant toerag'. His grin widened before he finished packing and
left the classroom.

"You ready Harry?" Colin asked in excitement. Harry managed to stop himself from rolling his
eyes.

"I know the way Colin so you can head back to the tower," he said. The younger boy looked a
little put out but smiled anyway.

"Well, if you say so Harry. Good luck!" he said before going up the marble staircase.

"Thank Merlin," Harry muttered under his breath before heading to the classroom holding the
ceremony. He knocked and walked in, finding that he was the last one to arrive. He saw Victor,
Fleur, and Cedric off to one side of the room talking quietly with each other. Bagman and Rita
Skeeter were talking by a couple tables set up in the back. Her camera man was standing
behind her eyeing Fleur. Dumbledore and Ollivander were standing in another corner speaking
with Karkaroff and Maxime.

"Ah Harry! Welcome, welcome," Bagman said, jumping up from his spot and pulling him
farther into the room. Harry saw Rita perk up at his name, her hand shooting into her crocodile
skin handbag and pulling out an acid green quill. Harry knew what was coming.

"Excuse me Mr. Bagman," he said hastily and quickly made his way to the other champions. "I
hate the press," he muttered when he made it to them, getting grins from them. Victor put a
hand on his shoulder.
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"Get used to it Harry. They vill be hounding you for the rest of your life," he said with a small
chuckle. He saw Rita about to try and pull him out of the group but Krum and Fleur merely
glared at her. Seeing the looks the two champions were giving her, she displayed impressive
thinking skills and didn't interrupt them. Cedric just looked politely confused and shrugged his
shoulders at the whole scene.

"Thanks you two," Harry said with a grin.

"Champions, if you please," Dumbledore said aloud, getting their attention. They walked over
to the judges table. "This is Mr. Ollivander and he will be checking your wands to ensure they
are in proper condition." Dumbledore waved to Ollivander who smiled and walked forward.
His large pale eyes swept over to Fleur.

"Mademoiselle Delacour, if you could," he said. Fleur stepped forward, providing her wand. He
took it and spun it expertly in his hands before holding it closer to his eyes and examining it.
"Ah yes, nine and a half inches… inflexible… rosewood… containing a Veela hair?" he asked in
surprise.

"From ze 'ead of my grandmuzzer" she responded with a smile.

"Very well, I have never used Veela hair but if it works for you," he said as he searched for any
scratches and bumps. "Orchideous!" he intoned, causing a bouquet of flowers to bloom from
the wand, which he gave to Fleur with the wand. "It is in working order. Mr. Diggory?" he
asked. Cedric stepped forward this time.

"Ah this is one of my own," he said with a bit more enthusiasm. "A single hair from a fine male
unicorn, one which almost gored me with his horn when I plucked the hair mind you. Twelve
and a quarter inches, ash, pleasantly springy. Good condition." He waved it, causing a small
fiery replica of a dragon to sprout from it and fly around the room before disappearing. He
handed it back. "Mr. Krum?" Victor stood with slouched over to Ollivander and handed his
wand over.

"A Gregorovitch creation I believe yes?" he asked, getting a nod from Victor. "Yes, fine wand-
maker. Hornbeam and dragon heartstring, rather thick, quite rigid, ten and a quarter inches."
He waved it over the large judges table and conjured several rather intricate wine glasses.
"Very well. That leaves Mr. Potter." Harry stepped forward and his wand shot from his wand
holster. He spun it around in his hand and held the back to Ollivander.

"Hmmm, yes I remember this one well." Harry wanted to roll his eyes. Who wouldn't
remember selling the brother of the wand owned by the most evil man on the planet? "Eleven
inches, holly and phoenix feather, nice and supple. Very powerful wand," he muttered before
he held it over the wine glasses he had conjure with Victor's wand and poured wine from it,
filling up one of the cups. He handed the wand back to Harry before picking up the glass of
wine and taking a sip. He had a pensive look on his face for a moment before he nodded in
satisfaction.

"Hmm, not bad," he muttered. "All of the wands are in working order," he said a little louder.
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"Thank you all, dinner should be starting soon," Dumbledore said. He was about to usher them
out of the room but Bagman interrupted them.

"Photos Dumbledore! The Daily Prophet will be looking forward to this," he said, bouncing on
his toes in excitement. Harry gave a discreet glare and hand gesture, causing the camera with
Rita's camera man to fall apart.

"What did you do you idiot?" Rita yelled at the man. Dumbledore just shrugged and ushered
them out of the room.

"Report," Harry said in a strong and deep voice as he walked into Severus' personal quarters.
He got mock salutes from Remus, Sirius, and Frank which he rolled his eyes at. "In all
seriousness," he said, narrowing his eyes at Sirius who looked ready to comment, "what do
you guys have?" Inside the quarters besides Harry were Severus, Remus, Sirius, Amelia, and
Frank. The least three had been smuggled into the school through the passage from the
Shrieking Shack. Severus had been the one who checked Dumbledore's schedule to ensure he
was busy this particular night. He had also set up several subtle wards to keep people away
from the area.

"The Headmaster is understandably busy with the tournament," Severus started. "However, he
is under the impression someone is out to murder you," he said with a smirk. "He believes
Voldemort has someone inside the castle, however he does not know where."

"Neither do I, which is disconcerting," Harry admitted, getting several surprised looks. He


sighed. "Even the Marauders Map couldn't find Crouch Jr. Constant Vigilance as Moody says,"
he said with a light chuckle.

"I may also add that he is slightly suspicious of you as well Potter," Severus continued. "While
he knows you did not enter your name, he found it strange you seemed so confident in the
face of the charge." Harry nodded.

"We have been sounding out the Wizengamot," Amelia said, indicating herself and Sirius. "Of
the fifty members, I believe there are about fifteen members that we could count on, including
ourselves." Sirius had taken his spot on the Wizengamot as the Blacks had a customary seat.
Also, as Harry's godfather, he cast the votes for the Potter seat, which would be filled when
Harry turned seventeen, the legal age needed to serve. "Fudge, and by extension Malfoy, has
about twenty in his pocket. Ten follow Dumbledore and the last five are neutral and tend to
vote with the side that seems to have the most support," she said. "These are rough estimates.
To be honest, we could use a bit more help. I may hold respect from the members but I'm seen
as young to the group as a whole. Besides Sirius, there are only two more members younger
than me."

"And while I was found innocent, many have trouble trusting me," Sirius spoke up.

"Fancy that Black," Severus said with a raised eyebrow, and hint of a sneer on his face.
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"Shut it Snivellus," he responded, although it wasn't as venomous as Harry had heard it back in
the first timeline. "Anyway before the ball of grease interrupted me," he said, jabbing a thumb
in Severus' direction, "I don't have much clout in the group. We suggest bringing Augusta
Longbottom into the picture." Harry nodded, sitting back in thought.

"That is a good idea. Not only does she hold much respect in the Wizengamot, she holds just as
much in our world as a whole. Neville I'm sure would enjoy her being on the same page as
well," Frank said. Harry nodded.

"I'll bring it up with the rest. I'm sure there will be no objection," Harry said. "You, Alice, and
Neville can break it to her then. Remus?" he said, turning to the werewolf in question. The
man sighed.

"The werewolf community as a whole cannot stand the Ministry. There are a few here and
there that try as I do, to live normal lives. It's just that even fewer have access to the
Wolfsbane Potion. It is not cheap and is a very difficult potion to make," he said, Severus
nodding in agreement, having been making it for quite some time now. "If there was a way to
mass produce it, I think it would sway many of them toward our side, as well as getting more
support to appeal those ridiculous laws," he practically spat.

"What about the Aurors?" Harry asked. Frank sighed, an annoyed look on his face.

"They are lazy. With the exception of a few, most wouldn't be able to duel their way out of a
cardboard box. Alice and I were reinstated as Auror Captains by Amelia and have been trying
to whip them back into shape," he explained. "Scrimgeour is an idiot as well, no offense
Amelia," he said hastily.

"None taken. I agree," she said. The rest of them chuckled.

"All he says is that 'we are in a time of peace, why act like we are at war?' Don't get me wrong,
he is a good Auror, but he is too political for my tastes," he finished.

"How is Percy doing in Auror training?" Harry asked. Frank grinned.

"Let's just say that boy can duel," he said. "I saw him the other day win a mock battle. The
objective was to try and win against overwhelming odds. He led a group of four other trainees
through an 'abandoned' town and managed to take down all twenty of the others while only
losing one teammate. He has a good mind and a good wand." Harry grinned. When Percy had
become a Death Eater spy for them, Harry had made sure he was personally trained by several
Unspeakables. He had soaked up the knowledge like a sponge in water and had become a
force to be scared of. Harry heard from other sources that Percy had managed to duel
Voldemort to a stand still for over two minutes before Voldemort finally got a fatal curse in. It
was a feat that only five others had done before; Neville, Dumbledore, Moody, Master
Phantom, and Harry himself. Harry was sure the other four time-travelers could do it as well,
but they were never forced to fight him. He knew that the Weasley family was a truly talented
one. Bill was one of the best human cursebreakers in history, Charlie had a mastery in Care of
Magical Creatures with a concentration in dragons, Percy was on his way to be a master
duelist, the twins were geniuses with their talent in innovation and creativity, Ron was a
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master martial artist and dueler, and Ginny was a Potions Mistress. That didn't even cover the
inherit Quidditch talent through half the family.

"How have the twins been doing?" Harry asked, looking to Remus. Remus had been meeting
with the twins once a week researching and planning different ways in which their products
and ideas could be turned into useful items of war. Remus gave a wolfish grin at the thought.

"Those two are geniuses I swear. If they were to put as much time into school as they did
pranks they would be getting straight O's," he said with a chuckle. "As it is, they have come up
with several ideas, combing several prank ideas and spells. My favorite has to be their
maginades. Like a muggle grenade, only instead of an explosion and small metal pieces, it
sends out an area of effect spell. They have made maginades with a stunning and a disarming
charm and are working on some that will send out Reductor Curses or flame hexes." The other
adults were staring at him with awe while Sirius was wearing a silly grin. Harry just chuckled. "I
help them with the spellwork of course, but they do most of the work."

"Very good. Alright if there is nothing else, I need to head back to the common room. I don't
want anyone wondering where I am," he said getting up. They all nodded and stood as well.
Severus led the others to the Whomping Willow while Harry began his trek back to Gryffindor
Tower. It was just after curfew and the castle was quiet and dark. Something felt odd about it
so he quickened his pace. He turned down a deserted corridor, intending on using a hidden
passage to get back faster when all of the torches went out, plunging him into darkness. An
eerie silence also fell over him. He stopped, his wand shooting to his hand and his senses
extending to maximum. He could sense a spell on all the portraits to stop them from moving.
He felt wards spring up over the corridor and new that if he wanted to leave, it would be done
fighting.

"Ginny, get everyone down to the fifth floor corridor near Sir Cadogan's
painting in full battle gear," he said just as he felt several spells shot at him from behind
and in front of him. He ducked one from in front of him and back flipped over one from behind
him, landing on his feet and twisting, an overcharged stunner lancing out of his wand and
shattering a hasty shield before impacting one of the attackers in the face. He ducked another
spell before spinning and slashed the Sword of Gryffindor, which had just appeared in his
hand, knocking a flying dagger away from him. He sensed three more attackers with one
watching in the corridor. He knew Ginny and the others were on their way. "Wait until my
signal," he told Ginny quickly before he sent up a shield to block the entire corridor from the
pair behind him and turned back to the single fighter. He took three quick steps forward and
slammed an incoming spell straight into the floor. He sensed the person running forward as
well and he ducked the person's blade before parrying another swing and slashing his sword at
their leg, causing the leg to fail with a severed hamstring. He quickly stunned the man and
turned back to his shield, which shattered a second later.

"Halt," came a deep and dark voice. Harry recognized the concealment charm used. It was a
custom made charm, and he knew only one person who could perform it. He barely had
enough time to contemplate that person before a sword streaked by his arm. It would have
severed most of the muscles in his upper right arm had he not moved. He spun his sword
expertly around him, parrying the figure's furious attacks. They were coming at an alarming
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speed and Harry knew he had to end this fast. The assailant parried an attack and thrust a
blade through Harry's stomach. A pained expression spread over Harry's face and he looked
down at the blade before he blurred and disappeared. It was then the being felt Harry behind
it but it was too late. Harry grabbed the person with one arm, pinning them to his chest with
his superior strength and putting his sword against their throat.

"How?" the person's modified voice asked. Harry grinned.

"After-image, fooled you didn't it?" he whispered into the person's ear. "I do have you at my
mercy. Do you surrender Master Phantom?" he asked. It was then that he felt the slight tap of
the flat side of a blade against his lower region and he glanced down, noticing the tip of one of
Phantom's swords centimeters from castrating him. He gave a short chuckle. "Point to you," he
said, removing his sword and backing away. Phantom turned and put the swords away. Slowly
Phantom lowered the hood of the cloak showing the face of a stunning Asian woman.

"How do you know me?" she asked in a calm feminine voice. Harry studied her for a second.
She was a beautiful woman, her dark blue eyes swirling with confidence and power. She was
average height, her long black hair tied back in a ponytail. Under her black and gold cloak was
tight black clothing, showing off her curved figure.

"That is a long story Phantom, one that will be very difficult for me to answer," Harry said,
quite aware that she was still ready to eviscerate him and as such had yet to put away his
wand and sword. Three other Unspeakables walked forward in black and silver cloaks, their
hoods up and staying a couple steps behind her in respect. One had obviously been revived
and the other, Harry assumed, had been portkeyed out because of his injury. Phantom would
have the ability to make a portkey through the school wards, a power solely reserved for the
three Masters and the Headmaster.

"We are Unspeakables, and you have been proven impersonating a Master," she responded.

"How did you figure it out?" Harry asked, genuinely curious. A small smirk spread over her
face.

"We reversed a recording of your altered voice." Harry nodded to that. "Now, you will tell me
why you are impersonating a Master Unspeakable or you will be taken back to the Department
of Mysteries for questioning." Harry grinned at that.

"Oh I will not be going anywhere unwillingly," Harry said. Phantom frowned.

"You are a very talented fighter but you are outmatched four to one," she said.

"Oh I don't think so," he said, waving his wand, causing the torches to relight in the corridor.
The four Unspeakables were surprised to find five other people in Unspeakable cloaks in the
corridor. Two were behind Harry and three were behind them, all had their wands out. One
behind them had a katana and one behind Harry had a dagger. A small smile spread over her
face.

"You are full of surprises Mr. Potter, very well. Rest assured however, we will discover your
intentions," she said.
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"I have no doubt about that Phantom but how about we trade information?" If she was
surprised she showed no indication. "Expect me at the Department of Mysteries after the first
task and be sure that Sol and Thor are there as well." She nodded, and although she didn't
show it, she was extremely curious of this boy. All four of them vanished with portkeys and
Harry sighed before looking to the other five.

"Thanks for being ready guys," he said. They all dropped their hoods and Ginny jumped into
Harry's arms. He felt her trembling.

"It's ok Gin, I'm fine," he said quietly, holding her tight.

"It scared me. Phantom came very close a couple times," she murmured against his chest.

"I was wondering when they would finally take notice of us," Neville said as he walked up to
them. "There is very little they miss. I wouldn't be surprised if Sol has already guessed what
has truly happened." Hermione and Luna nodded.

"That man's brain puts Dumbledore's to shame. While he couldn't best Dumbledore in a duel,
Sol could outwit him quite easily," Hermione said.

"Come on, let's get back to the tower. I don't want anyone seeing us out here," Harry said,
leading them quietly to the secret passage he was originally going to take.

"Dragons?" Cedric asked incredulously. "You're not serious are you?"

"Quite actually," Harry said as they jogged around the outside of the pitch.

"How did you find out?" he asked after a minute. Harry could tell he was trying to be calm
about it.

"I was flying the other night and saw a burst of flame in the distant. I flew over to it and saw
the four dragons caged up. They are hidden behind the forest, sitting in their cages right now,"
Harry said. In reality, he flew over there on purpose just to make sure the dragons were still
the task.

"Do Fleur and Victor know?" Cedric asked concerned. The two mentioned were jogging just
ahead with Ginny and Hermione. They all had become quick friends in the last few weeks.

"Yes they do. I saw Hagrid and Maxime heading toward them and Karkaroff tailing them when I
was flying back," Harry replied. That was the truth. Hagrid had asked him to follow him that
night but Harry had assured him he already knew of the task. Cedric's face paled.

"You don't mean like a date do you?" he said, referring to Hagrid and Maxime. Harry just
grinned and wagged his eyebrows. Cedric just made gagging noises before they both chuckled.

"So anyway, that gives you a week to figure out a way past the dragon," Harry summed up.
Cedric looked thoughtful.

"Do you have a plan?" he asked. Harry raised an eyebrow at him.


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"Naturally."

The next week sped by and the castle was soon busting with excitement over the first task.
Harry walked into lunch that afternoon hand in hand with Ginny only to have Gryffindor cheer
for him. He grinned as he sat down.

"Alright you lot, shut it," he said getting chuckles from the group around him. They began their
lunch and before Harry knew it, Professor McGonagall was walking up to him. He was aware of
the eyes all around the hall were on him.

"Potter, the champions have to come down onto the grounds now. You have to get ready for
the first task," she said in her normal stern tone, but Harry could hear the underlying worry
laced in it. He smiled up at her.

"Sure Professor," he said, getting up. Before he could straighten all the way however, Ginny
grabbed a fist full of his robes and pulled him down for a kiss. She let go of him after a few
seconds and smiled sweetly at him.

"Good luck," she said cheerfully. He just grinned and received many more such sentiments –
minus the kiss - from the others and left with McGonagall. They quickly made their way
outside into the chilly November day.

"Now don't panic," she said, "just keep a cool head… we've got wizards standing by to control
the situation if it gets out of hand –"

"Professor!" Harry said loudly, cutting her off. She turned in surprise. "I will be fine," he said
with a smile. "No overgrown reptile is going to beat me," he told her with certainty. She smiled
thinly.

"Very well Mr. Potter. I expect you to live up to that confidence." They stopped outside the
tent that was in front of the enclosure. "You are to go in here and wait for your turn. Good
luck," she said. Harry gave her a sharp nod and she turned and left. He entered the tent to find
all three of his friends and rivals in different points of nervousness. Krum was standing in a
corner, looking surly. Cedric was pacing but gave him a smile upon entry. Fleur looked pale and
clammy from her spot on a stool, but she smiled at him as well.

"You three ready for this?" he asked cheerfully. Cedric gave a strained laugh.

"Only you would be happy about fighting off a dragon Harry," he said. Just then, Bagman
walked in carrying a small bag.

"Oh good, you are all here!" he said with excitement. He was wearing his old Quidditch robes
again. "Time to fill you in," he said. "You will select a small replica of the creature you will have
to face. You will have to try and collect the golden egg from it!" Harry and Cedric nodded while
Fleur just looked a tad green. Victor didn't even acknowledge Bagman's presence. They heard
the students climbing the stairs to the stands and soon Bagman held out the bag to Fleur.
"Ladies first." She pulled out the Swedish Short-snout, a number one tied to its neck. Harry
held in his surprise and kept his face passive. That was Cedric's dragon before. Krum reached in
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next, pulling out the Welsh Green which had a number two on its neck. Cedric pulled out the
Chinese Fireball, which had a three on its neck. Harry managed to not roll his eyes.

"Fate hates you Harry," Ginny stated simply, having obviously been watching through his
eyes. Harry reached into the bag and pulled out the mini horntail.

"Well there you are!" exclaimed Bagman. "You have each pulled out the dragon you will face,
and the numbers represent the order in which you will compete. I need to go commentate,
Miss Delacour, you are first," he said, before leaving the tent. Fleur sat heavily on her stool
again. Harry walked over to her and put a hand on her shoulder.

"You alright Fleur?" he asked in a soft voice. She just shook her head.

"I am beginning to wonder 'Arry, why I ever entered in zis silly tournament," she said quietly.

"You will be fine Fleur," he said. Just then, a whistle was blown, signaling that it was time for
Fleur to enter the enclosure. He grabbed her hand and helped her up. She smiled shakily at
him. "Good luck," he said before she left. Harry then made his way to a corner and sat down
on the ground. He closed his eyes and sat Indian style and began to meditate. The outside
world quickly fell away and he was completely peaceful. It wasn't long however when his eyes
snapped open a second before a whistle was blown. He was the only one in the tent. He
quickly stood and made his way over to the opening. He stepped out into the rocky enclosure,
hearing the cheering of hundreds of students. He looked at the eggs and noticed that there
was no large black dragon hunched protectively around them. It was then that he noticed what
was wrong. He quickly dove to the right just as a large spike tail slammed into the ground
where he had been. He rolled to his feet and looked up to see a very unhappy Hungarian
Horntail flying just over him. Her black scales were shining in the sunlight, her large yellow
eyes staring him down with intense anger. 'This isn't right,' he thought.

He had to dive away from another tail swing and watched as she flew in between himself and
the eggs and landed facing him. 'She is too aggressive,' he thought. 'A normal mother dragon
would have just stayed with her nest.' The only thing he could think of was the Crouch Jr.
wherever he was, managed to enrage the dragon in some fashion. The dragon lunged at him,
its mouth snapping at him. He dove away again and fired a strong stunner into its eyes. It
threw its head back in a roar of annoyance and jumped into the air, beating its wings furiously
and then threw its tail at him again. He ducked, one of the spikes just missing his shoulder. It
landed and reared back and Harry knew his future looked very warm. True to his prediction,
the dragon let loose a stream of fire directly at him. He threw his wand forward, a huge stream
of ice water bursting from it and slamming into the incoming flames. The dragon had more
power though and his water was getting pushed back. His eyes widened in horror as he was
engulfed in flames.

The other five time travelers were watching the scene with interest, having not heard from
Harry what his plan was. When the dragon's flames engulfed him, they began to feel nervous
and turned quickly to Ginny. She had an expressionless look on her face and merely pointed
subtly at where the eggs were.
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The audience gave a loud collective gasp. Dumbledore and several other teachers got up with
their wands out but there was nothing they could do even if they were to stop the flames.

"Oh dear, Mr. Potter… he seems to have been swallowed by the flames," Bagman said in shock
through his Sonorus Charm. The crowd was nearly dead silent. The dragon finished its attack
and looked down at the spot where a crispy Harry Potter should have been lying. "Where is
he?" Bagman said loudly. Dumbledore sat heavily into his chair, despair creeping into him. He
had failed Harry again. He looked up to where he knew his friends were sitting, only to see
them watching with little expression on their faces. That snapped him out of his current mood,
knowing that if they thought he was dead, they would be nearly hysterical. He followed their
gazes and looked to the eggs just in time to see the golden one disappear. He relaxed and the
twinkle entered his eyes ten-fold. The dragon must have seen her egg disappear as well as she
gave a loud roar and quickly made her way to the nest, sending jets of flame in the
surrounding areas. Not a minute later there were more gasps and cheers as everyone began to
point to the entrance of the enclosure where Harry stood, the egg tucked safely under his left
arm and a smirk on his face.

"Mr. Potter has done it! With what seems to be a flame-freezing charm, an invisibility charm,
and several masking charms, he managed to sneak around his dragon and get his egg safely in
the fastest time so far!" He looked over to the judges table while the dragon keepers subdued
the horntail. Harry bowed slightly to them in a silent question for his scores. Madam Maxime
raised her wand into the air and a ribbon shot out forming a nine. The crowd cheered in
approval. Crouch came next, also shooting up a nine. Dumbledore smiled as a nine appeared
over him as well. Karkaroff was next, a six forming over his head. Harry rolled his eyes,
knowing that the show he just gave was probably worth ten across the board. Bagman was
next, a ten forming over him, giving him a total of forty three. The Hogwarts crowd was going
wild as Harry was in first place by three points. Krum had forty, Fleur had thirty eight, and
Cedric had thirty five. He walked into the tent only to have Madam Pomfrey shove him into a
bed.

"I'm fine!" he said loudly to her. She just glared at him and he rolled his eyes, letting her look
him over. She huffed when she found nothing.

"Fine Mr. Potter, at least take this," she said, handing him some Pepper-up potion. He downed
it quickly and walked over to where the others were meeting. Victor was in a new set of robes,
Harry assuming that his old ones had been burnt. Fleur had her outer robes off and Harry
could see her left shoulder was bandaged, most likely from a claw or spike. Cedric was once
again covered in the odd ointment for burns.

"Well done all of you!" Bagman praised as he bounced into the tent. "Now you have a nice
long break until the next task on February twenty-fourth however you will need to discover
the clue hidden inside your eggs. Only then will you be able to prepare for it. All clear? Good!
Off you go," he said jovially. Harry left the tent to be swarmed by his friends.
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"You had us worried for a second there mate," Ron said with a grin. Harry just shrugged before
he was pulled down into a kiss by Ginny.

"Let's go champion, a party needs to be thrown!" Fred and George said in unison, grabbing him
and Ginny by the shoulders and marching them off to Gryffindor Tower.
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Chapter 21

Let's Dance
"Good, you are all here," Professor McGonagall said. She had called a house meeting and they
were all currently stuffed into the common room. "As you probably don't know, the Yule Ball is
approaching – a traditional part of the Triwizard Tournament and an opportunity for us to
socialize with our foreign guests. The ball shall be open to fourth years and above however you
may ask a younger student to attend with you," she explained, ignoring the giggling from
Parvati, Lavender, and several other girls. "As such, I expect you to live up to the respect that
the House of Godric Gryffindor is given. I will not have you ruin our reputation over the course
of a single night by acting like a brainless band of baboons," she said sharply, giving them all a
very stern look. The crowd began to disperse as most of them went out the portrait to go to
lunch.

"Potter, a word if you please," she announced. He rolled his eyes and knew what was coming.

"One second Professor," he said before grabbing Ginny's hand before she could leave. She
gave him a questioning look before she glanced through their bond to see what he was up too.
She held in a smile.

"Yes Harry?" she asked sweetly. He got down on his knees in front of her.

"Oh m'lady Gin-Gin, would you honor me and allow me to escort you to the Yule Ball?" he
asked in an overly hopeful tone. She just sighed before giving him a look that suggested she
was sizing him up.

"Well, I guess you'll do," she said in a stuffy and pompous tone. Several of the other students
in the room were laughing as they made their way out. Harry stood and gave her a quick hug.

"What did you need Professor?" he asked, turning back to McGonagall. She just gave him a
rare smile.

"Just remember that you will be opening the ball with the other champions," she said as she
made her way out the portrait hole. Harry nodded and exited as well hand in hand with Ginny.

"You know, I was expecting something a little more romantic, " she said
imperiously.

"Hey, I'm only fourteen, what did you expect?" he asked indignantly, receiving an
elbow to his stomach. He rubbed the spot and gave her a mock glare, getting an impish smile
in return.

It wasn't long before they used the time-turners and were back in time. They were all down in
the chamber getting ready for their meeting with the Unspeakables. They had decided on
wearing all their Unspeakable colors, as well as concealment charms so that they could get to
the three Masters without any other Unspeakable recognizing them. They quickly made their
way off the grounds of the school through the hidden passage under the Whomping Willow.
When inside the Shrieking Shack, they disappeared on the spot and appeared silently at the
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apparation point in the atrium to the Ministry. They were in full gear, their assorted weapons
visible under their billowing cloaks. They let their auras flare; making sure the people around
them could feel their strength. Overall, the six of them made for an intimidating sight. As such,
the crowd inside the atrium quickly split down the middle, allowing them a path to walk. The
guard that was supposed to check their wands was so shocked at their overbearing presence
that he didn't even ask for them to stop. They walked into one of the elevators and quickly
pushed the button for the Department of Mysteries. When the door closed, they all broke into
laughter.

"I love doing that," Ron chortled.

"I'm pretty sure the guard soiled himself," Harry said through his chuckles.

"One of the workers had a quick glance at Neville's sword and practically ran the other way,"
Luna said through her giggles. They quickly got themselves under control and soon the doors
open.

"Department of Mysteries," said the customary cool female voice. Harry quickly stepped off
with the others close behind him. They strode forward through the dark and blank hallway and
Harry opened the plain black door right in front of him. They stepped in and shut the door,
allowing the room to begin spinning. When it stopped, the door directly behind them opened.

"Your presence is requested," the Unspeakable said, turning around and walking back in. They
followed and were led to another plain black door. The man bowed slightly and continued
down the hallway. Harry knocked on the door. It soon opened of its own accord and Harry
stepped through. There sitting at the desk was Master Sol, stroking his goatee with one hand
as he watched them enter his office. Harry looked around, not having been the office in many
years. It was colored a dark green, book cases against the walls on either side of him. They
were filled with some of the rarest tomes in the world. The back wall had a small fireplace
where a fire was crackling. The light from the fire flickered around the room, casting constantly
moving shadows around them. He noticed Thor standing off to one side of the desk, his arms
crossed in front of him. Harry could feel Phantom in the shadows of the room. The six of them
quickly dropped their concealment charms.

"Masters Sol, Thor, and Phantom. My name is Harry Potter, or as I have said before, Master
Raven," Harry said. The three made no indication that they heard him, only kept on observing
them. After several minutes of silence Sol finally sat forward.

"Now as I see it," he said quietly, "You have two reasons for saying that name. The first is that
you have infiltrated a Master's office and discovered our secrets. The other is that you truly are
a Master, just not from this time. I personally believe the latter, as it is much more believable,"
he said. Harry turned to see Hermione smirking at him. Harry turned back to his former
mentors.

"You would indeed be correct Master Sol," Harry said. He merely quirked an eyebrow.
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"It wouldn't be the first time an Unspeakable was sent through time. With the activities we get
up to, it's a wonder why it doesn't happen more," Thor murmured with a thoughtful look on
his face. "Past or future?" he asked them.

"Future sir, around ten years from now," Hermione piped up. He nodded.

"How long have you been manipulating time?" Sol asked her.

"Just over three years," she responded. "So far, we have not made any large overbearing
changes, trying to keep the timeline somewhat intact. We plan the most major difference at
the end of the Hogwarts school year," she explained.

"And that would be?" Thor asked.

"As I know you are aware, Voldemort is alive and on the move," Harry said, getting nods in
return. "He is using the Triwizard Tournament to get Harry Potter. He will of course achieve
that goal, but it will be his last goal," Harry said. Phantom appeared out of the shadows.

"Tom Riddle is truly powerful and gifted. If he hadn't followed the path he did, the Warrior
Branch would have recruited him. How are we sure you can win?" she asked.

"He will be just reborn. He will be quite weak from the ritual, nowhere near his true strength.
Not only that, we do plan an ambush of his Death Eaters," Neville said. "We could use the help
if you are willing to offer it." Neville furrowed his brow here. "You know the prophecy between
Harry and Voldemort. He must kill Voldemort. We are only spectators."

"We know of the prophecy," Sol said. "Very well Master Raven. We will believe you for now. I
wish for two of you to come with me to the Memory Room. I wish to see some of the events of
your old time. I need further proof to fully trust you," he said, standing. Hermione and Ginny
left with him.

"Out of curiosity, who did you replace?" Thor asked. Harry sighed.

"Phantom," he said solemnly. The Master in question didn't indicate that it bothered her. "I
was too far away to engage Voldemort during the final battle. He was cutting through our
fighters with ease and she took up the fight with him to keep him busy until I came. I was a
minute too late from what I was told."

"I understand. At least it was an honorable death," Phantom murmured. Thor noticed the
tension and changed the subject.

"So did you like your first task?" he asked. Harry just smiled.

"It was exciting I guess you could say," he responded.

"I know, I was watching," Thor said with a small chuckle. "After hearing about what you did to
Phantom in the hallway, I had to see you in action." Phantom rolled her eyes slightly at that,
her pride having obviously been bruised. "The dragon was angry though. Was it like that
before?"
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"No it wasn't. Last time, she stayed with her eggs, only attacked when sufficiently taunted,"
Harry answered.

"I asked my brother Charlie after the task," Ron continued. "He was part of the group that
brought the dragons and was helping. He gave me a few explanations, but only one stood out.
Someone was corrupting the food that it got, introducing spells or potions to truly inspire
anger." They nodded in agreement.

"I assume you know who is doing this?" Thor asked.

"Barty Crouch Jr." They looked mildly surprised but let him continue. "We just don't know
where he is. I guess it doesn't matter so much as he is doing exactly what we want him to do
but it is wounding our pride so to speak," Harry commented. "The only thing I can see is that
Voldemort, while wanting to use me for the rebirthing ritual, would rather see me dead."

"It makes sense," Phantom said. "If he could have you killed along the way, it would be worth
the wait for a new body to have his greatest enemy dead." Harry nodded grimly.

"I will have a team investigate Crouch's whereabouts," Thor said. "Also, a few years ago a
couple of our time-turners went missing from the Research Branch," he commented. At their
sheepish smiles Phantom continued.

"You wouldn't know anything about those missing time-turners would you?" Harry grinned
slightly, pulling one out from inside his robes. Thor just gave a loud booming laugh.

"It wasn't that hard, no offense," Harry said with a smirk. "The Research Branch isn't the most
protected branch. As a Master, I think I would know my way around the Department," Harry
continued.

"At least you have them," Phantom said. "I will call off Shadow. He was the one on that case.
You stumped him I might add," she said with a small smile.

"I would hope so," Harry said. "I used about twelve different charms to make sure there was
no trace of me when I came in."

"So the boy is stronger than we anticipated," Voldemort hissed from his pathetic little body.
Harry Potter was becoming more and more intriguing by the day.

"Yes master. I do not know how he managed to cast the charms necessary to survive the
flames while using the water conjuring spell," Crouch said.

"Are you suggesting wandless magic?" Voldemort asked quietly.

"Unless he put the charms on before the task," Crouch mused.

"Crucio!" Voldemort hissed. As Crouch fell to the ground in agony Voldemort reveled in the
lust for power. It had been a long time since he was able to use the curse. He had of course
killed that fool of a muggle over the summer but that had taken much of his energy. He had
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not been able to cast a spell for weeks afterword. He ended the spell and Crouch shakily got
back to his knees. Voldemort smirked in satisfaction.

"Don't be an idiot Crouch. That charm only lasts about ten seconds in dragon's fire. He would
have had to apply it right before he was hit with the flames. If what you said is true about his
wand being in use, then it must have been wandless." Wandless magic wasn't the easiest of
disciplines to master. He had of course pursued it and had managed to control it to an extent,
but under the stress of a dragon attack and using his wand, even he would not have been able
to cast such a charm wandlessly. The boy must truly be gifted. He shook his head. It didn't
matter how gifted he was. With Potter's blood, he would have the blood protection and there
was no one as powerful as him. Besides, even if Potter were to get lucky and defeat him, he
still had his 'life insurance' as the pathetic muggles call it.

"Leave me Crouch. I want you to leave Potter alone for now. If he dies in the tasks so be it, but
do not interfere with them at all like you did with the dragon. I wish to see him at the end,"
Voldemort said, ending with an evil cackle.

"So boys, ready for the Ball?" Ron asked as they were getting ready in their dorm room. Neville
just grinned and nodded as he fixed his robes in the mirror. Dean and Seamus looked a bit
nervous but they played it off well.

"Where's Harry?" Dean asked. "Doesn't he have to go?"

"He's getting dressed somewhere else," Neville explained. "Said something about making a
grand entrance," he said with a light chuckle. Neville was himself dressed in very handsome
robes of a dark green with gold trims. They were very elegant and stylish, showing wealth and
power. He wanted to make a statement, showing that the Longbottom Family may have been
down, but it was back. Ron was in sapphire blue robes trimmed in bronze, which while not as
expensive as Neville's, were tastefully done. They of course had their wands in their wand
holsters attached to their forearms.

"We will see you guys down there," Ron called over his shoulder to Dean and Seamus as he
made his way to the common room with Neville. Many of the guys were sitting around the
room waiting for their various dates to come down. There were also many of the younger
years looking on, the girls enviously and the boys with relief. Several students had left for the
Great Hall, having dates from different houses. It was only a few minutes before the two of
them grinned and moved forward, seeing their girlfriends come down the stairs. Hermione was
wearing a sparkling sapphire dress to match Ron's robes, her hair having been tamed for the
night was sleek and shiny as it tumbled down her back. Luna was matching Neville in her dark
green dress that seemed to shimmer as she moved. Her dirty blonde hair was done up in a
simple knot. The boys bowed in unison, kissing the hands of the girls.

"May we escort you two beautiful ladies to the ball?" Neville asked. They quickly agreed and
were soon walking toward the Great Hall. As they walked into the Entrance Hall, they met
several of their various friends who came with them in the mornings to work out.
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"Hey you four, where is the champion and his date?" Susan said as she walked up to them on
the arm of Victor Krum. Susan was in a dark gold dress, her red hair curled around her head.
They grinned at the pair of them. They had of course noticed the attention Victor gave her
during the mornings.

"Harry and Ginny decided it would be more fun to not let anyone know what they would be
dressing like," Hermione said with a roll of the eyes.

"Besides, we have a champion and his date right here," Neville said with a sly grin, getting a
blush from Susan and a quiet chuckle from Victor. "Now if you will excuse us, we need to get
into the hall so you and the other champions can have their moment to shine as you strut into
the hall," Neville finished with a laugh as he pulled Luna along, Ron and Hermione following
them. They entered the hall, noticing it went through the transformation as last time into an
Ice Palace. The house tables were gone, replaced by dozens of tables seating ten. They walked
to a table off to the side where Fred and George were sitting with Angelina and Alicia
respectfully. The twins grinned at the four of them.

"Hey guys, ready to dance the night away?" Fred asked.

"You know it Fred," Hermione said with a smile. It was only a couple minutes later when the
doors opened, Professor McGonagall entering with the champions behind her. The students
began to clap and cheer for them. Fleur walked in first, once again on the arm of a dazed
looking Roger Davies. Victor came second, a slightly blushing but smiling Susan Bones on his
arm. The Hufflepuffs gave Victor a little more applause at his good choice in dates. Cedric
came next with Cho. The cheering hit a crescendo as the Hufflepuffs and Ravenclaws burst into
loud applause. It was then that they got their first glance at Harry and Ginny.

"Oh wow," Alicia said.

"Pinch me," Angelina said. "Ouch!" she yelped, turning and smacking the arm of Fred who had
done just that. It seemed many in the Great Hall were in the same trance. The noise had
dropped dramatically as the two of them stepped into the hall. They seemed to draw the eyes
of everyone in the hall. They were both wearing robes of a pure white, both accented with
crimson and gold. They spoke volumes of the people wearing them, speaking of wealth,
power, and prestige. Harry's hair was as messy as ever, but it only seemed to add to his
charisma. Ginny's auburn hair was done up in an intricate French knot, a couple curly strands
framing her face. On Harry's waist was a jeweled scabbard which was holding the Sword of
Gryffindor. His face broke out into a roguish grin as his emerald eyes seemed to swirl with
amusement. Ginny had a similar grin on her face as she held onto the arm of Harry. The
Gryffindors seemed to come to their senses as they cheered their champion. Harry's grin
widened as he led Ginny to the head table where Dumbledore was smiling at them, his eyes
twinkling more than Harry had ever seen them. Harry pulled out the chair for Ginny before
seating himself next between her and Victor. She had Dumbledore himself on her other side.
Besides the four champions and their dates, the three Heads of the schools as well as Bagman
and Crouch were at the table as well. Bagman's face was alight with giddy happiness, adding to
his overly boyish looks while Crouch seemed bored.
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"Well Harry, Ginevra, you are looking radiant," Dumbledore commented.

"Thank you Headmaster," Ginny said with a glowing smile. "It is nice to be able to dress up
every once in a while," she said, getting a chuckle from the older man.

"That it is Ginevra," he said as he picked up his menu. "Pork chops!" he said clearly after a
minute of debate. His food appeared, and he was soon copied by everyone in the hall. Harry
smiled at the conversation around the table, enjoying the fact that none of it had to do with
war. Susan was currently blushing slightly while she smiled and talked with Victor. Fleur just
smiled in amusement as Roger listened to her conversation with Madam Maxime with rapt
and slavish attention. Cedric and Cho were talking with Dumbledore about Transfiguration,
knowing he was a Master in the art. Karkaroff just looked annoyed at all of the happiness while
Bagman and Crouch were talking in hushed tones about the tournament.

"What's on your mind Harry?" Ginny asked. Harry gave her a mental snort.

"Like you need to ask that," he said. He got the mental equivalent of her rolling her eyes.
"I'm just enjoying the conversations. Hopefully it will stay like this. No war, no
death, no depression. Everyone is happy and enjoying themselves. This is what
we were sent back for isn't it?" he asked no one in particular. He felt Ginny grasp his hand
under the table.

"Yes it is and we are doing a very good job of it. When Voldemort is gone,
hopefully we can live our lives and enjoy ourselves for once without having to
constantly look over our shoulders," she said, smiling at him before turning and joining
Dumbledore, Cedric, and Cho. Soon the food was gone, and Dumbledore stood, silence
following quickly.

"If you would stand please," he said. The students did so and with a flick of his wand, the
tables and chairs all moved to the back half of the hall, leaving the front half for dancing.
Another wave caused a platform to appear, which the Weird Sisters soon walked onto. Harry
grinned at the band before standing and offering his hand to Ginny.

"May I have this dance Ginny?" he asked. She gave him a wide smile before taking his hand
and letting him lead her to the dance floor. They were soon followed by Cedric, Victor, and
Roger, who were leading their dates, although Fleur seemed to be doing more leading than
Roger. Harry made it to the center and spun Ginny gently before wrapping his arms around her
waist, hers coming around his neck. Loving smiles appeared on their faces as they stared into
each other's eyes while swaying to the soft and slow music. Their bond began to open fully,
the feelings of unconditional love quickly filling up their beings. They didn't notice that they
started to glow slightly, a white aura surrounding them. Magic began to leak off of them and a
feeling of love and content spread over the students and adults alike. The other three pairs
dancing had stopped to watch in awe at the two. They were obviously in their own little world,
not noticing that they were dancing alone in the middle of the floor.

"I love you," Harry whispered through his mind.


A Second Chance

"And I love you," Ginny responded. It was then they noticed the song had ended. They
looked up and noticed they were the only ones dancing. Harry noticed the other four time-
travelers were watching with grins, while his other friends around the school were staring at
them with shock and awe. Ginny noticed Dumbledore's twinkle could light up the entire city of
London while McGonagall seemed to be nearly in tears, a watery smile on her face. The two
didn't know they reminded her of a different couple who had danced in their seventh year
many years ago. Harry took in all the looks and looked down at Ginny with a grin.

"Well, I think we sufficiently amazed our fellow students, don't you dear? " he
asked. She just giggled lightly.

"Even if we didn't mean to," she responded. It was then that Ron and Neville led
Hermione and Luna onto the floor.

"Oi! I want some music!" Ron yelled up at the band before spinning Hermione around and
winking at Harry. They heard a booming chuckle from Dumbledore before he grabbed
McGonagall and led her out onto the dance floor as the music began to play again. The room
was soon full of dancing couples as the Weird Sisters varied their music from fast and fun to
slow and peaceful and back. Harry was currently dancing with Hermione while Ginny was
taking a quick break for a butterbeer with Neville.

"This is so much better than the last time we were fourteen," she murmured as they spun by
Ron and Luna. Harry laughed lightly at that comment as he saw Neville lead Ginny back out
onto the floor to dance.

"True, I danced more than one song, Neville hasn't stepped on Ginny's toes yet, and you're not
- what's the phrase - fraternizing with the enemy," Harry responded with a grin, getting a soft
smack against his chest for it. She shook her head with a little giggle as the song ended.

"Thank you Harry, but I'm going to go find Ron," Hermione said, giving him a quick hug. Harry
gave her a small bow before walking toward the refreshments. He noticed Dumbledore
standing off to the side with a butterbeer in his hand. Harry couldn't stop the grin that spread
over his face when the older man pulled a few lemon drops out of his pocket and dropped
them into his drink.

"Enjoying yourself Harry?" Dumbledore asked as Harry walked up. Harry grabbed a butterbeer
from the table and turned to look over the dance floor.

"Very much so Professor. It's good to have a break like this where everyone can just relax and
have a good time," Harry said before taking a sip of his drink. "We should make it an annual
thing," he added. Dumbledore nodded his head in thought.

"That could be arranged," he said. "Have you made any progress toward the clue inside the
egg?" Dumbledore asked. Harry gave him a cocky grin.

"Got it in the first week," Harry lied convincingly. In reality, Harry had checked it the next night
to make sure it was the same. It was fortunately and he knew that Neville already had fully
matured gillyweed in their makeshift garden in the chamber. He looked around quickly and
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found Fleur dancing with Roger, looking thoroughly bored. He smiled and turned to
Dumbledore.

"If you will excuse me Professor, a certain Veela is in need of a proper dance," he said.
Dumbledore chuckled lightly.

"That she does Harry. I will have to seek out a dance partner as well," he said with a smile.
Indeed, not a moment after Harry walked off did he offer Professor Sinistra a dance. Harry
walked up to Roger and put a hand on his shoulder.

"Do you mind if I cut in Roger?" he asked. Fleur looked relieved and turned to the boy.

"Pleeze Roger, get us some drinks?" she asked. Roger just nodded quickly and practically ran to
do so. Harry just chuckled before holding out a hand, which Fleur quickly took.

"So, how has your date been so far?" Harry asked as they began to dance. Fleur just rolled her
eyes.

"He iz an idiot," she said with a small shrug. "Thank you 'Arry for rescuing me."

"My pleasure Fleur, you looked a little miserable with him," he responded.

"It iz my Veela charm, eet makes him like a slave," she said in annoyance. She sighed. "There
are very few who can see past it." Harry smiled sympathetically.

"I'm sure you will find someone Fleur," he said gently. She smiled at him.

"If you weren't attached at ze hip to Ginny, I would 'ave chased after you," she teased. Harry
just laughed lightly.

"Sorry Fleur, but Ginny snatched me up a long time ago," he responded honestly.

"You love her," Fleur stated. "Even without ze leetle show you two gave, eet iz as plain as
daylight," she continued. The song ended and she gave him a kiss on each cheek. "Go to her,"
she said quietly while giving him a little push. Harry didn't need to be told twice before he
concentrated for a second and began to walk in her direction. She was just about to continue
dancing with Neville when he walked up.

"She's all warmed up and ready to go Harry," Neville said jokingly before kissing the back of
Ginny's hand and walking away to find Luna. Ginny giggled before stepping into Harry's arms
for the next dance.

"Mr. Potter, is that a plan to set up Fleur with my brother I see in your mind?" she asked
quietly. He raised an eyebrow.

"Now Mrs. Potter, why would you ever accuse me of such a thing?" he asked in an equally
quiet voice. "If those two just happen to meet each other, it wouldn't be me who determined
if they got together again," he finished. He spun her around and pulled her closer to his body
as they swayed to the music. "Besides, you remember how much those two loved each other.
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If it isn't meant to be in this time, they will merely become friends then." Ginny smiled widely
at him.

"They did love each other," she admitted. "He was crushed after she died. I had never seen
him so broken up," she continued. Harry sensed the darkening mood and quickly sent feelings
of love and happiness through the bond.

"It's ok now love, no death, no loss. We have our families and will be able to
have our own now," he told her, his mental voice calming her. He looked deeply into her
eyes and smiled softly. "I promise you."

Albus sighed in relief as he sat at his desk that night. He was blessed with an abundance of
energy and strength, but he still was an old man. He thought to the many pairs of fluffy
slippers he had in his personal quarters, knowing his feet would be hurting in the morning.
Finally deciding on the white bunny ones, he stood and walked to the bookcase which hid the
doorway to his room. It was then his senses went on high alert. In a flash, he spun, his wand
out and a curse on his lips when he realized who was leaning against this closed door. He
recognized the finely combed grey hair and goatee, the clever blue eyes sparkling with wisdom
and amusement. The man was wearing elegant black and gold silk robes which were loose on
his strong frame. Overall, it was an intimidating sight. He then recognized the robes from
before. His eyes narrowed, his wand tip began to glow a slight red.

"Nicolas, tell me why you are here or I will follow Alastor's motto and shoot first and ask
questions later," Albus warned. The man merely smirked.

"What has your wand in a knot Albus?" Nicolas asked. "My sneaking into your office, or my
robes?" he said, knowing exactly what scared the man. "I assume you have seen them lately.
Many don't know the true meaning of the runes and designs of these robes. I assume you do?"
he said, eyeing Albus with a look that would cause any other man to cringe and look away.
Even then, Albus wanted to do just that.

"You know exactly what I had in my possession. The Elder Wand was taken from me," Albus
explained, his stance not relaxing. "The man held so much power, of that I am sure. Even you
would have trouble fighting him." Nicolas just smirked.

"Yes, I know who you speak of. He would beat me hands down, even without that wand,"
Nicolas explained. Albus looked surprised at the blunt admission. He laughed. "Don't look so
surprised. The mighty Nicolas Flamel, admitting defeat so easily? It is quite true. I would put up
a good fight, but overall, he would defeat me. So would a couple of his friends if I was honest
with myself," he said lightly. "I may be a Master Unspeakable, but then, so is he."

"So that is what those robes stand for then? Ranking," Albus muttered. "Silver trim for new
recruits, silver runes for Unspeakables, and golden runes for Masters," he continued. He
looked up at Nicolas, receiving a nod in return. He smiled grimly. "No wonder I was taken by
such surprise. Only a master in his craft would be able to get such a jump on me." Nicolas just
laughed.
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"You are truly formidable Albus, even at your age," he chuckled in amusement. "Modest too."
Albus had the decency to blush slightly.

"At my age? If my math is correct, you are more than four times my age," Albus scoffed half
heartedly, his wand finally lowering. Nicolas just grinned.

"Technically speaking yes, however my body has only aged about sixty years, where you have
aged ever one of those one hundred and fifty four," Nicolas shot back. "Anyway, I did not
come to bicker like old school friends. I do have business to attend too." Albus waved him to
the chair in front of his desk while sitting in his own chair.

"What can I do for you Nicolas?" he asked.

"What you can do is not try to interfere with the other Master, like I know you are already
planning to do," the older man said. Albus opened his mouth to protest but Nicolas cut him off.
"Don't give me that Albus, I know perfectly well your habits of messing around with everything
and anything. You may be a very large figure in this world, but this is not your problem to mess
with."

"Was he the one to put Harry's name in the Goblet?" Albus asked with a hard edge in his voice.
Nicolas raised an eyebrow.

"No he was not. He does know who did it however and will stay vigilant. Rest assured that Mr.
Potter is in good hands," he responded with a voice that demanded obedience. Albus sighed
heavily.

"I don't have a choice do I?" Albus asked. Nicolas smiled softly at his old friend and pupil.

"No you do not Albus. This will be explained eventually. But for now I think that your best bet
is to… let events unfold." Albus nodded in defeat. Nicolas stood. "I am glad you understand old
friend. If you need to owl me, just address the letter to Thor. The owl should find me."
A Second Chance

Chapter 22

The Second Task


"Have you figured out the egg yet Harry?" Cedric asked as they ran in the Room of
Requirement. It had become a large muggle gym, which had a large track on the outside and
various workout machines inside. Harry had showed the students the room as he really didn't
have much reason to keep it a secret. He did however make sure the students who knew
about it would not tell anyone else without express permission from him. He was sure the staff
knew of what they were up to, but so far none of them had said anything. He was sure
Dumbledore had said not to bother them, as well as Flitwick and Remus saying how it would
help with their schoolwork.

"Yeah I did," Harry admitted. "You ready for the swim then as well?" he asked. Cedric just
shrugged and nodded.

"I have a strategy if that's what you're asking," he responded. "It won't help me swim faster,
but I'll live at least," he said with a light chuckle. Harry just grinned at his older friend before
looking at all of the other students in the room. There were currently around fifty students
with them now, a vast majority muggleborns or half-bloods. With their muggle roots, they
knew of the need to be physically fit. It was funny however when a muggleborn had to show a
pureblood how to use a certain weight machine.

The days had moved quickly since the Yule Ball and the Second Task was nearly upon them.
School as usual had been easy for the six and they had taken to spending more time in the
chamber researching and training. The students were getting more excited as the task got
closer, bets being made and watched over by the Weasley Twins. Draco Malfoy had been
quiet, seemingly ignoring them. He had taken to ditching his usual bodyguards and had been
seen with Daphne Greengrass and Blaise Zabini. Harry had to grin at the obvious changes in
the Slytherin Prince, happy with the progress Draco had made. They would never be friends,
but at least Harry wouldn't have to kill the idiot if everything went to hell. Dumbledore had
been another figure that had changed since the Ball. He was much more subdued, although
only someone who truly knew the Headmaster would ever notice. He seemed to have aged
overnight and Harry had a feeling he knew what it was. Hogwarts had informed him when
someone had snuck into the castle that night. Harry had investigated and felt the familiar
magic of Thor. He knew of Thor's true identity and he knew it was something Nicolas had said
to make Albus change so much in such a short time.

The days continued much the same way until the day of the Second Task. Harry woke in his
bed and immediately felt like a part of him was missing. Quickly realizing what it was, a scowl
spread over his face as he took a quick shower and left for the Great Hall. His steps were fast
and furious, and any student or staff member that saw him quickly moved out of his way.
Magic was escaping him as he walked into the hall, his emerald green eyes glowing. He sat
down at the Gryffindor Table alone, as there weren't many people there yet. Students started
trickling in, and soon four of the other time-travelers walked in.
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"Harry?" Neville asked, one of the few brave enough to interrupt Harry when he was in this
kind of mood.

"What?" Harry snapped, causing an empty goblet to shatter. Neville just raised an eyebrow at
him as he waved his wand, fixing the goblet. Harry sighed, closing his eyes and squashing his
anger. "Sorry Neville. Ginny is in the lake right now," he explained. "I just feel like part of me is
missing. It's a very vulnerable feeling and I hate it," he said. They all nodded in understanding,
Hermione giving him a quick hug before they turned to their breakfast. Harry was silent the
whole time and the others didn't try to include him in conversation, knowing he wouldn't
participate. Harry took in the whole room, noticing that Susan and Cho weren't in the hall
either. It wasn't much later that McGonagall came down from the staff table to retrieve him.

"Are you ready Potter?" she asked as they walked down to the lake. He had a look of intense
concentration on his face and failed to respond. "Harry?" she asked, a little concern leaking
into her voice. Harry's head snapped up and looked to her.

"Yes Professor?" he asked.

"Are you ready for the task?" she asked again. Harry just smiled a little and nodded.

"Yes ma'am. I'll have Ginny back in no time," he responded. She gave him a short nod and said
nothing more. She left him at the shore with the other champions and judges.

"Bonjour 'Arry," Fleur said in a worried tone, a forced smile on her face. He gave a similar
smile. Cedric and Victor looked equally as happy.

"I take it you all noticed your missing possession?" Harry asked, receiving nods in return. "How
about a truce then?" They looked a little surprised at that. "If you get your treasure back and
there is still someone in the lake, we need to go back and help. I want all of us rescuing our
friends and family," he said.

"Good idea. You can count on me," Cedric announced, his smile and good mood and little
more genuine this time. Fleur and Victor quickly agreed. They watched silently as the stands
now set up around the lake were filling up with students.

"Welcome everyone to the Second Task!" Bagman yelled out from the judge's table. The
students lit up in applause. "All of our champions look ready, so they will begin at my whistle.
They have precisely one hour to recover what has been taken from them." Harry pulled out
the gillyweed from his pocket and popped open the top of the vial it was sitting in. "Three." He
lifted the vial to his lips. "Two." He dropped the plant into his mouth and began to chew.
"One." He swallowed. Bagman blew the whistle and Harry ran forward and dove into the water
just as the gillyweed to affect. He took a deep breath through his gills and waved his wand,
vanishing his robes. Underneath he had a tight muggle swim suit that covered his shoulders
down to his knees. He had magically reinforced it so that it would resist tearing and the like.
With a grin he shot forward in the water with his newly adjusted feet and hands. He knew
vaguely the way to the Merman city and was soon descending through the dark and murky
waters. He was swimming quickly over a dense pack of weeds when a group of grindylows
popped out and surrounded him. He saw their thin and boney fingers flexing and small but
A Second Chance

sharp teeth in their mouths as they eyed him. Harry pulled his wand out of its holster and
waved it quickly around him. A flash shot out of his wand. He looked around him again,
noticing all of the grindylows were stunned and floating listlessly in the water. He merely
swam around them before continuing.

It was only about twenty minutes later he came upon the large town built at the bottom of the
lake. He quickly swam by several stone houses, noticing the Merpeople looking out from
windows and doorways at him. He swam into what could be called a town square to see the
four hostages tied to the ground, the occasional bubble coming from their mouth. It was an
eerie sight to say the least and Harry quickly swam his way to Ginny. A quick slash of his wand
cut the ropes on Ginny and he wrapped an arm around her waist, holding her close before
starting his way back to the surface. He was halfway up when a large shadow began to move
toward him. He pushed Ginny behind his body and pulled out his wand only to see the giant
squid swim by, one of its tentacles waving lazily at him. He mentally sighed in relief before
continuing to the surface of the water. He finally broke the surface, Ginny opening her eyes
and sputtering in the water. Harry gave her a shove toward the shore before diving back under
the water.

"Harry, where are you going?" Ginny asked as she began to swim over to Madam
Pomfrey. Harry was quickly making his way back to the bottom of the lake.

"The four of us made a pact to make sure we all got through the task," was all he
said, but Ginny understood. He let his awareness spread through the dark waters and soon
sensed a familiar Veela. He began to swim toward her. He came over a drop in the bottom of
the lake when he saw Fleur trying to fight off a horde of grindylows. It was quickly obvious that
she wasn't winning. He quickly swam forward, slashing his wand quickly. The same spell he cut
through the ropes holding Ginny shot out of his wand, snapping three of the grindylows in half
like twigs. There rest turned to him and seeing him as the one that had stunned the large
group before. Fear shot through them and they quickly left their dead companions behind.
Fleur shot him a look of pure relief. Harry swam to her and noticed the many bite and claw
marks on her arms and legs. He gently dragged his wand over them causing the skin to mend
and the marks to disappear. When he finished, he pointed in the direction of the other
hostages and took her hand, pulling her in that direction. She looked a little pale and tired, no
doubt from the fight and the loss of blood.

"Harry, Cedric just showed up with Cho. He went back down," she told him. Harry
just gave her a mental thank you and continued swimming. It took some time, but they made it
and he cut Gabrielle's ropes as well. He noticed Susan was gone now as well. Fleur grabbed her
sister and began to swim back up while he stayed nearby, his wand out and ready.

"Victor just showed up with Susan, it seemed Cedric had helped him, " Ginny
commented. He felt his gillyweed begin to wear off and quickly applied the bubblehead charm.
He didn't want to have to sit under the water waiting for the gillyweed to wear off again if he
took another dose. They soon broke the surface, Harry quickly helping Gabrielle to the shore.
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"Harry! Fleur!" Ginny yelled. The stands lit up in cheers as they made it to shore. Fleur looked
completely exhausted, falling to her hands and knees when she got to solid ground. Harry was
standing right behind her, breathing heavily but still alert, holding Gabrielle in his arms.

"Madam Pomfrey, Fleur was attacked by grindylows. I healed most of her noticeable wounds,
but she could probably use a blood replenishing potion," Harry commented to the matron as
she ran over to them. She looked surprised at his report but was soon helping Fleur. Harry
gently put the small girl in his arms down before waving his wand, drying both her and himself
off. She sighed in relief and he conjured some heavy and warm robes around her, getting a
pretty smile in thanks.

"Thank you 'Arry," she said shyly before running over to Fleur. Harry just smiled and walked
over to Susan, Cho, Victor, Cedric, and the other time-travelers. It seemed the others that had
been in the water had all received similar treatment as Gabrielle by Hermione. He pulled Ginny
in a tight hug.

"I'm so glad I can feel you through our bond again," he murmured mentally. "I hate
when it gets cut off like that." He let go of her and turned to the others. "You alright?" he
said, looking at Susan, Cho, Cedric, and Victor.

"We are out of there and that's all that matters," Cedric replied tiredly, getting nods all around.

"I still can't belief they used us like that," Susan said with an indignant tone. "The last thing I
remember is being asked to go to Professor Sprout's office and then waking up in the lake."

"Get used to it Susan," Neville replied as they watched Dumbledore talk with the
Merchieftainess. "The wizarding world is a drawer filled with dull knives." Murmurs of
agreement met that statement.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached our decision," Ludo Bagman's voice boomed over
the lake. "With the input of Merchieftainess Murcus, we give marks out of fifty to each
champion. Fleur Delacour will be given thirty five points with her excellent use of the
bubblehead charm and rescuing her hostage. She was penalized by reaching the surface
thirteen minutes after the hour limit and for needing the assistance of Mr. Potter." There was
polite clapping for Fleur and loud whistles for Harry.

"Victor Krum will receive forty points for his useful partial transfiguration and returning with
his hostage three minutes outside the time limit." Victor's applause was louder than Fleur's.
"Cedric Diggory will receive forty five points for his use of the bubblehead charm as well as
arriving with his hostage before the time limit. He was awarded additional points for going
back and escorting Mr. Krum to the surface," Ludo said, causing booming cheers from the
Hufflepuff section.

"Harry Potter used gillyweed to great effect and was the first to arrive with his hostage. He
also managed to save Ms. Delacour from a gang of grindylows and helped her retrieve her
hostage. Due to the circumstances, we award Mr. Potter a perfect fifty out of fifty," he
announced, quickly being drowned out by the cheers of the Hogwarts students. "The scores
now stand as follows; Fleur Delacour in fourth with seventy three points; Cedric Diggory and
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Victor Krum tied in second with eighty points; and Harry Potter in first with ninety three
points!"

"Nicolas? Is that you?" came a soft and musical voice. Nicolas smiled at the sound of his wife as
he walked into the cozy sitting room of their small manor in Devon.

"Yes Perenelle," he called as he sat in his favorite chair in front of the fireplace. He waved his
wand, causing the wood inside to light in flames, causing warmth to wash over him. He looked
over when he heard quiet footsteps to see a woman who looked to be middle aged, a few
streaks of grey in her soft brown hair. She had soulful forest green eyes, a soft smile alight on
her lips. Nicolas had long lost count on how many times he thought about how beautiful she
still was. She walked up to him, giving him a quick kiss.

"How was work love?" she asked. A house elf popped in with tea, setting it down on the small
table between their chairs before popping away again. Nicolas grabbed his, tired from the day.

"Interesting you might say," he replied. "We have of course set up a constant monitoring
system of the Riddle House in Little Hangleton." His wife nodded at this. She was an
Unspeakable herself, mainly a researcher. She never went into the Department much,
preferring to work from home. The only reason she wasn't a Master was because she didn't
want the extra work that came with it, liking to work at her own pace. She was asked
whenever the current Research Master retired or died and declined every time. Her husband
kept her up to date with the current assignments however, just in case one caught her fancy.
"Harry Potter is another interesting person. He keeps proving why he was named a Master
Unspeakable at such a young age. That record was held by the very person he took over for.
She was thirty four however, he was only eighteen." She smirked at him.

"You like him," she said with certainty. Nicolas just laughed.

"Hard not to. That kid just has this attitude about him. It's so natural to just like and trust him,"
he admitted. "In a way it reminds me of a young Tom Riddle. He had the same quality, only he
turned," he continued in annoyance. "How was your day Perenelle?" She smiled, taking a sip of
her tea.

"I spent some more time on the Arithmancy equations to enhance the Patronus Charm," she
responded. He nodded, knowing of her wish to make something able to kill a dementor. "It is
quite frustrating really. The equations are immeasurably complicated." It was then that Nicolas
smiled.

"I think I know of someone who can help you with that," he said. She glanced at him with a
questioning look. People that good at Arithmancy were few and far between. It was her
specialty and only the best could possibly deal with the complications she was.

"Is it one of the time-travelers?" she asked. He nodded.

"Her name is Hermione Granger. Their group sure does have talent doesn't it?" he asked with
amusement.
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Susan Bones was one confused witch. She knew the exact cause of her confusion however. The
Gryffindor Six as they had been named were a constant source of friendship, amazement, and
annoyance. All six of them were great friends, even if Luna could get quite odd from time to
time. The things they were capable of, especially Harry, amazed her constantly. It had shown in
their training every morning where they would not only tutor students years older than
themselves but could probably also beat half of her Aunt's Aurors in a duel. They annoyed her
to the brink of her sanity at how it was all possible. She had just managed to advance her
Occlumency to an acceptable level according to Harry. He had told her they would reveal
everything after the school year as they didn't want to say anything at Hogwarts.

She couldn't help but wonder what the big secret was. She was in all modesty a very smart
individual and was good at figuring things out. She remembered her sorting. The hat had she
was difficult to place, fitting in quite well with both Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. In the end, it
was her loyalty that proved the strongest and it sent her to Hufflepuff with her friend Hannah
Abbot. There were several things about the six that struck her as odd. One was their amazing
prowess at magic. Magical prodigies weren't common, but they did happen. Albus Dumbledore
himself was a prodigy. These six however were different. Even prodigies had their struggles,
especially in their first year or two. The Gryffindor Six however were good at everything and
never seemed to struggle with any aspect. Harry was cruising his way through the Triwizard
Tournament like it was a game. They hid it well, but she noticed how they seemed to hold back
in everything. She was sure that if they tried, they could replace half the staff.

She had once thought that they were imposters under some charm or potion but quickly
dropped that idea. It would be too difficult to manage as well as keep up the charade. That and
they seemed so… sincere. They genuinely liked her and looked out for her. She had thought up
many other theories, ranging from different dimensions, failed potion experiments, demon
possessions, deity intervention, and love affairs. She once thought of time-travel, but that just
seemed too easy, even if it did explain everything. She gave it up after getting her twelfth
splitting headache. All she could do now is trust them to be honest when the time came.

"Come now Severus, you must have noticed the differences," Karkaroff yelled. He was pacing
in Severus' quarters, having requested the Potion Professor's time. Severus just watched with
disinterest. "It is getting clearer every day. I felt it start to burn slightly just yesterday. It points
toward his eventual return!"

"Why does this have you so concerned Igor?" Severus asked in a silky voice. "A faithful Death
Eater has nothing to fear. A faithful Death Eater should be rejoicing at the Dark Lord's return."
He sneered heavily. "Oh I forgot, you are a piece of traitorous scum, a piece of dead meat as
far as the Dark Lord is concerned. He would sooner use your corpse as a foot rest than let you
return to being a Death Eater." Karkaroff threw him a glare.
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"And what about you Severus?" he hissed. "You too gave up names, reportedly becoming a spy
for Dumbledore. Surely the Dark Lord will have the same fate in store for you as well?" Snape
gave him a smug smirk.

"The Dark Lord chose me to become a spy in Dumbledore's ranks," he said. "He had noted the
opening for a Potions Professor and thought I should take it while declaring myself remorseful
to get under Dumbledore's good graces." It was true. Voldemort had wanted him to take the
position to get close to Albus. What he didn't know was that Snape was truly remorseful.
Karkaroff snorted at this information. "You don't believe me?" Snape asked quietly. His smug
look deepened. "Well, we will just see when the Dark Lord returns," he bluffed. Karkaroff gave
him a scathing look before marching out of the room, no doubt headed back to the
Durmstrang Ship. Snape sighed in relief.

"I thought that bloody idiot would never leave," he muttered under his breath. He pulled out
some brandy and a glass, pouring out a small measure before downing it. Pouring out another
larger measure, he took it and stepped over to his fireplace, where a comfortable fire was
burning in the hearth. He sat down, relaxing into his chair. Cushioning charms were truly a
wonderful invention. He thought back to his earlier conversation with Karkaroff. He of course
knew exactly what the changes of the mark meant and it scared him. He never truly thought
the Dark Lord was gone for good however it didn't stop him from hoping. Then Harry had to
come and shatter that hope. He knew the Dark Lord would return and to top it all off, he
would be helping ensure it. He had seen Harry's abilities and was confident that he could finish
the Dark Lord once and for all however he wasn't a Slytherin for nothing. He knew Harry losing
or the Dark Lord escaping to fight another day was still a possibility. If that came to pass, he
knew Britain would be engulfed in the chaos of the war. He was just glad Harry was as strong
as he was. He never thought he would say this, but he was almost glad that Lily had fallen for
James. James always had been a stronger wizard and man than he was. Harry no doubt got
much of his strength from his father, not that Lily was any slouch. They had been two of the
strongest people in their generation and had passed that power to Harry. He just hoped Harry
Potter was the strongest. He grimaced. That was another statement he never thought he
would think.

The Second Task was quickly forgotten over the next week as school continued. The weather
was beginning to warm up and Harry had moved the training sessions in the morning back
outside. Their group had grown to nearly a hundred students in the morning, many of the
Durmstrang and Beauxbatons students having joined their champions. Harry was happy at the
progress the group had made. Not only did they train physically, but it had turned almost into
a dueling club. Harry and his friends, as well as some of the older students, tutored students in
a variety of magic. The professors themselves had noticed an increase in many of the students'
abilities and were quick to endorse the club. They had even collected a few Slytherins, even if
they were all first years. Many students were still a bit wary about the club as it was run by a
bunch of fourth years, but they were starting to see how much it helped everyone. The six had
also had several more meetings with the Unspeakables. They knew of the watch over the
Riddle House, as well as the many projects that were being researched. Hermione was quickly
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recruited by Perenelle Flamel to help with the upgraded Patronus. The excited glint in her eyes
told all of them that she would be spending every free moment on her new project.

"Mr. Potter, a word if you please," McGonagall called after class one day. Harry packed up his
things and walked to her desk. After everyone had left, she turned to him. "Mr. Bagman
wished for you to go to the Quidditch pitch at nine o'clock tonight. He will be giving you
information on the third task," she said. Harry nodded.

"Yes Professor," he said before leaving the room. His friends had waited for him, knowing what
it was their professor wanted. Harry just sighed. "This is almost over. One more task and we
can put all of this behind us," he said quietly. He felt Ginny take his hand, squeezing it. He gave
her a soft smile. "Nearly there my love. We are nearly there."

"Are you entirely sure?" a young teen asked, sitting in a dark chamber. He was on a tall throne,
darkness shadowing his face from the few kneeled before him. There were three teenagers,
one in the lead, two just behind him.

"Yes, my lord. The filth just spoke of it moments ago," the leader said. The young man on the
throne stroked his chin in thought. It would explain much if it is indeed true. "Very well.
Squeeze every last drop of information from her mind and dispose of her in any fashion of your
choice."

"Your will be done my lord," the lead teen said with a maniacal smile before leaving with the
other two. The young man on the throne stood, walking over to the large window opening to a
large courtyard outside his home. He smirked at the loyalty he commanded of his… friends. It
was almost too easy to sway them to his side. The woman they spoke of was his mother. He
didn't care one bit about her. She was simply a muggle whore and he knew they would have
some fun before they killed her. Ever since he learned he was a wizard, he had strived to
succeed. He had learned much magic throughout his life. The world was full of knowledge, if
only one took advantage of it. He looked out at the well kept and beautiful courtyard, sneering
in disgust. This world was so ungrateful for what it is given, so unwilling to use its true
potential. He would not waste such an opportunity. He knew of several people with potential
equal to his own. However, only one would truly see eye to eye with him. He gave a dark
chuckle. It may take years before he could truly begin making his moves, but it would be worth
the wait.
A Second Chance

Chapter 23

The Third Task


"So where are we going first everyone?" Harry asked as the group walked toward Hogsmeade.
It was a warm Saturday and the students were taking advantage of it. They had shed the
jumpers and cloaks, leaving for the village in light robes or muggle clothing. Harry was with the
other time-travelers as well as Cedric, Cho, Susan, and Victor. There last task was just a week
away and the students were planning on enjoying their last Hogsmeade visit of the school
year.

"Honeydukes!" said several of them at once, causing laughter all around.

"Honeydukes it is then," Harry said, allowing himself to be pulled along by Ginny. She had a
hungry look on her face and Harry had the feeling he would be dropping a lot of galleons on
chocolate that morning. They were soon inside the small store, which as usual was packed full
of students. The boys and Hermione let the girls and Ron run around and choose their
purchases. They were soon bogged down by bags of sweets.

"I should be a seer," Harry thought as he handed over twelve galleons for the candy. "I
could put Trelawney out of a job." He heard Ginny giggling next to him.

"Sorry love. At least your money is going toward a good cause," she responded.
Harry rolled his eyes as they walked out of the store.

"Yes, satisfying the famous Ginny Weasley sweet tooth." Ginny grinned and nodded
as she pulled a piece of chocolate out her bag. He looked around the others, holding in a
chuckle at Victor's odd look at the large sherbet ball in his hand as Susan nodding
encouragingly.

"It is safe?" he asked the younger redhead skeptically.

"It's just a Fizzing Whizbee," she said. "It will only make you levitate for a moment," she said
comfortingly, although it seemed to do anything but. Victor had received quite the lesson in
British foods and customs since he had gotten to Hogwarts. He stayed around them more than
his own group from Durmstrang and for it was constantly introduced to new things. He got on
very well with Susan, so much so that he was planning on moving to England after the school
year was over. He couldn't get enough of the girl and the same could be said about Susan. It
made many within the castle jealous but Susan ignored them.

"How about we head over to the Three Broomsticks for some butterbeer?" Cedric said from
his spot next to Cho. "We can see how much attention we can get before we break up and go
our separate ways," he said with a wink toward Harry. Harry knew he was talking about their
statuses as champions as well as his status as the Boy-Who's-Name-Must-Be-Hyphenated.
They all agreed and were soon walking down the main street toward the pub. The Three
Broomsticks was crowded as well however they managed to find a couple tables in the back,
which they quickly pushed together.
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"Well look what we have here," Madam Rosmerta said as she sauntered over to their table.
She eyed them all before grinning down that them. "So much fame in one place, if the
Beauxbatons girl was here my pub might explode," she said with a tinkling laugh. "What can I
get you all?"

"Just a round of butterbeers Rosie," Harry said with a quick grin of his own. She nodded and
did a double take before laughing.

"Oh Mr. Potter, for a second I thought I was back in the past and James Potter was flirting with
me trying to get free drinks," she explained, having seen his confused look. "Him and Black
would come in here and try every Hogsmeade weekend."

"Did someone say my name?" came a voice, causing them all to turn. Sirius walked up to them,
Amelia, Remus, and Tonks next to him. "Ah Rosie!" Sirius said loudly, grabbing her around the
waist and spinning her around. "How about a drink for old time's sake?" he asked with a grin.
She raised an eyebrow at him and he quickly let go.

"Nice try Black. I'll come back with the butterbeers," she said, winking at Harry and walking
back to the bar. Sirius turned back to a lot of laughter and Amelia, who was shaking her head,
muttering something about being hopeless.

"Once again Sirius, you are as subtle as a banshee in a library," Remus said dryly. Sirius just
shrugged.

"Cedric, Cho, Victor, the dumb one is my godfather, Sirius Black. The woman reluctantly
holding his hand is Amelia Bones, Susan's aunt," he said with a grin at Sirius' mock outrage.
"You all know Professor Lupin but the woman with him is Nymphadora Tonks, ouch!" he said,
rubbing his shoulder which had just been hit with a stinging hex. Tonks was smirking at him. "I
would suggest just calling her Tonks though." The adults soon joined them around the table.
Sirius and Remus were telling stories of their time in Hogwarts, leaving the students in
laughter. Amelia was talking to an increasingly nervous Victor, Susan rolling her eyes at the
spontaneous interview. They eventually decided to break apart, the couples wanting time with
each other. Harry and Ginny stepped out of the pub, Sirius and Amelia walking with them.

"So Harry, ready for the third task?" Sirius asked while being surprisingly… serious.

"Yes, I've practiced a lot and all of my plans have been set," he said evasively, although the
others understood.

"Are you sure you don't need any help in the end Harry?" Amelia asked quietly. "I can have
some Aurors ready." Harry shook his head.

"No, the Unspeakables have it covered," he responded just as quietly. "I will have nearly the
whole Warrior Branch ready and it would take more than a few Death Eaters to defeat them,"
he said confidently. "Not only that, but the other time-travelers will be there as well as Thor."

"You need to be at the school," Ginny continued. "You will be invited to watch and
Dumbledore will know something is up if you're missing. The rest of us will get there just after
Harry leaves with the portkey."
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"What about the Wizengamot? Have you managed more support? The government is really
bad right now," Harry asked. "With the death of those Death Eaters that have their fingers in
the Ministry, much of the corruption should ease, however there are still many sympathizers
and arrogant bigots who don't want change," he continued. "Control of the Wizengamot will
make all of the changes nice and legal." Sirius grimaced.

"We can't get any farther Harry. Malfoy and the other Death Eaters who have seats all have
their support and no one else will budge. Many seats are going to open when they are gone so
hopefully we can get some of our people in," Sirius explained. "As much as you dislike being
famous, the fact is that when you finally take your seat, you are going to rock the boat so to
speak." Harry scowled.

"You have a lot of influence in the world Harry, whether you like it or not," Amelia said. "Some
of those older politicians might just be sitting back and waiting to see how you will react to
everything."

"I know, I know. I won't be taking my seat until my seventh year however. I doubt anyone will
take a fourteen year old seriously, no matter how famous or powerful he is," Harry said.

"Just take your time Harry. There is enough time for a revolution after the tournament," Sirius
said with a grin.

"Is everything in place?" the small figure hissed. It was sitting in a tall chair in front of a small
fire, the shadows flickering across its scaly face.

"Yes master," a young and gaunt man said back, kneeling in front of the odd being. "The
portkey will be in place. No one suspects a thing," he continued, a maniacal glint in his eye and
a crazed smirk on his lips.

"Very good Crouch," Voldemort said, his thoughts turning to his rebirth. The ritual had to go
off without mistake for it to work properly. He could have used nearly anyone for the ritual, he
had made more than his fair share of enemies after all. However, Harry Potter had one
advantage over the others. The blood protection.

It was the reason for his exile of the last thirteen years. It was the reason he had not finished
his rise to power. It was the reason a mere one year old defeated him. The outcome would be
different this time. With the ritual, he will have gained the exact same protection, taking away
Potter's advantage. This would leave the fight between them down to skill alone and Potter
was merely a teenager. He was Lord Voldemort, Dark Lord and Heir of Salazar Slytherin. He
would have Potter's head very soon.

"Potter, the champions are congregating in the chamber off the Great Hall," McGonagall said
as they ate their breakfasts the morning of the Third Task. "The families of the champions are
here and wish to spend the day with you," she said with a slight smile. He nodded in thanks.
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"Well, since we don't get to skip our tests, we need to be going," Hermione said, standing up.
Ginny gave him a quick kiss.

"Say hi to everybody for us," she said before moving off with the other four. Harry stood then
and began to walk to the back of the Hall. He was quickly joined by the other four champions
who were eager to see their families. Harry walked in first, spying Sirius, Amelia, Mrs. Weasley,
and Bill sitting off to the side talking. He grinned and walked up to them.

"Harry!" Mrs. Weasley announced, grabbing him into a firm hug. "How are you dear?" she
asked fondly.

"I'm great Molly," he responded. Molly and Arthur had insisted he call them by their names,
considering he was practically married to their daughter.

"You all prepared?" Sirius asked after he gave Harry a hug.

"Do you expect any less?" he asked. Sirius just grinned and shook his head. "Hi Amelia," he
said, giving the woman a hug as well. "I didn't think you would be able to get the day off." She
smiled down at him.

"Being a department head has its advantages Harry," she explained. "I just set up a few Aurors
here at the tournament and left the department in control of Scrimgeour for the night," she
said. He finally turned to Bill.

"Good to see you Bill," he said to the older man. Bill was once again wearing his dragon fang
earring, his long red hair pulled back in a ponytail. He noticed again that Fleur was paying more
attention to Bill than her own mother.

"You too Harry. Charlie wishes you luck and wishes he could have come," he said, shaking
Harry's hand. "It's great to be back. I wouldn't mind a tour," he said.

"Oh 'Arry, iz this your family?" Fleur asked as she walked up to them, eyeing Bill.

"Everyone, this is Fleur Delacour, champion of Beauxbatons. Fleur, this is Sirius Black, Amelia
Bones, Molly Weasley, and Bill Weasley," he said, pointing out all of them in turn. Bill was a
little dazed at first by Fleur's natural Veela charm but quickly shrugged it off, having noticed it
for what it was. It paid to be a professional Cursebreaker.

"It is truly a pleasure to meet you Fleur," Bill said, remembering his manners and taking her
hand and kissing the back of it. She turned a little pink but gave a radiant smile. Harry wanted
to roll his eyes but grabbed Sirius and Molly instead and pulled them away before they could
say anything. Amelia followed in amusement. Bill and Fleur didn't notice as they continued to
talk.

"And Cupid works his magic once more," Ginny's voice quipped in his mind. He
managed to refrain from laughing. Harry gave them a tour of the grounds until lunch came up,
where they returned to the Great Hall. Bill and Fleur were already sitting at the Gryffindor
table with the other time-travelers, the twins, and Gabrielle.
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"Bonjour 'Arry," Gabrielle said shyly as he sat down across from her which happened to be
next to Ginny.

"Hi Gabrielle," he responded. "Having a good time with this group of nutters?" he asked her.
She giggled and nodded as several of the others gave him mock glares. Ginny gave him a sharp
elbow in the side. "Oi woman! I'm competing tonight, you can't injure me now," he said while
he rubbed his ribs.

"Then don't call us crazy," Ron jibed.

"I know you Potter and an elbow to the ribs isn't going to put you down," Ginny said. Harry just
grinned before loading up his plate.

"And don't you forget it," he proclaimed. While the rest of the day was spent with jokes and
laughter, Harry couldn't help but feel anxious. He wanted the end of the task to come. He
wanted to finally be rid of Voldemort, one way or another. He wasn't going to lie to himself; he
knew Voldemort could still win. He still held a large advantage over that monster however.
Even if he were to lose, he knew Voldemort wouldn't be going anywhere. He would be
severely weakened by his fight with Harry. Neville would then have his shot at the bastard. If
the prophecy was correct and only Harry could kill him, Neville would beat him to a bloody
pulp and force him to drink the Draught of Living Death. If administered every month, it would
keep Voldemort in a perpetual coma. They had several other back-up plans for different
scenarios so suffice to say, they were ready.

Albus was slowly walking around the maze, his wand leisurely moving in his hand as he
directed it at the maze. He murmured long phrases of Latin, almost as if he was singing. The
hedges of the maze began to glow a dull blue for a few seconds before the light receded. He
sighed in relief. He had just activated the maze and all of its traps. He straightened and began
to walk back to the school.

He didn't know what was wrong, but something about this whole mess didn't feel right. It was
almost like something was missing. He felt helpless to prevent any mistakes or correct any
forgotten details and he hated feeling helpless. He never did wish for this tournament to
happen. It was too much hassle and too many things could go wrong. He nearly had a heart
attack during the first task with the dragons. He had been on edge the whole time the
champions were in the lake, a piece of gillyweed in his pocket and several other items on his
person should he had to of gone into the lake. He smiled in remembrance of Harry having the
same idea. He of course had showed no such discomfort to anything, his face and body
structure impassive, his eyes twinkling. Still, the feelings lingered.

He had looked through his memories in his pensieve, looking for any sign or whisper of
something gone wrong. Harry and his friends were still as brilliant as ever. Ludo was still a child
in a man's body, betting his life away on this tournament. Barty was still as strict and uptight as
ever. Even so, he felt - no he knew - that something wasn't as it was supposed to be. He sighed
deeply as he stopped a few steps from the entrance doors. He relaxed his posture, put on a
soft smile, his eyes twinkling slightly. He took the last steps and entered Hogwarts and walked
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into the Great Hall where the students were just beginning their dinners. He saw with surprise
that all four champions were sitting together, laughing and joking with each other and the
others around them. His forced smile became genuine. Friendship was truly a gift and it
seemed Harry had it in abundance. That was good, for if what he feared passed, he would
need all the friends he could get.

"Champions, if you would please follow Mr. Bagman down to the pitch," Dumbledore said
from his place at the Head Table. Harry looked at the other three, receiving nods from them.
They all stood up as one, followed by their friends and family. Harry received hugs from
everyone but finally turned to Ginny. She smiled impishly at him before grabbing the front of
his robes and pulling him into a demanding kiss. The Gryffindors gave a bunch of catcalls and
wolf whistles but they didn't notice.

"Kick his arse sweetie," she told him, repeating the words she said the last time he went to
face off with Voldemort. They had their foreheads together, just looking into each others'
eyes.

"Yes dear," he responded, he too repeated what he said back to her. There were more loud
whistles and cheering and they both looked up to see Susan had done something similar with
Victor. It was the Hufflepuffs that had been applauding this time. He grinned before giving
Ginny one last squeeze around the waist and pulling away, leading the other three champions
over to Mr. Bagman. As the older man led them to the pitch, Harry noticed he kept glancing
back at him.

"Yes Mr. Bagman?" he finally just asked. Bagman jumped before giving a nervous smile.

"You ready Harry? Confident?" he asked quietly so that the others didn't hear him. Harry rolled
his eyes, knowing this was about the bets he made with the Goblins. "If you need a tip, I can
help," he said quickly. Harry quirked an eyebrow.

"Why not offer that to everyone? It is only fair," Harry said. Bagman just looked uneasy before
turning away. They soon walked up the pitch, which was now covered in twenty foot hedges.
Standing in front of the entrance were a few Aurors. Harry smiled that the leaders and walked
up to them.

"Hi Frank, Alice," he said, getting smiles from the Longbottoms. The four Aurors behind them
looked a little surprised that Harry was greeting them so informally.

"Hello Harry," Alice said her usual soft voice. "You ready for the task then?"

"Can't wait. It's going to be a blast," Harry answered. "What are you here for?" he asked.

"Originally a few of your teachers were to patrol the outside of the maze," Frank explained.
"Fudge thought it would be better to have Aurors do instead; ease the minds of the parents
and foreigners and so forth," he finished. Harry nodded in understanding. Fudge had actually
done something smart for once. It wasn't much longer after that when they heard the sounds
of hundreds of people moving into the stands, the exciting voices rising over the pitch.
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"Remember champions, should you have difficulties and wish to be saved, just send up red
sparks," Alice said to the four of them. "An Auror will come to you." They all nodded and the
six Aurors quickly spread out around the maze.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the third task of the Triwizard Tournament is about to begin!" Bagman
said jovially through a Sonorus Charm. "The current standings are as follows: in first place with
ninety points – Harry Potter of Hogwarts School!" The Hogwarts students burst into furious
applause and Harry nodded and gave a little bow. "Tied for second, with eighty points – Cedric
Diggory of Hogwarts School and Victor Krum of Durmstrang Institute!" Hogwarts once again
drowned the area with applause for Cedric. "In fourth place, with seventy three points, Fleur
Delacour of Beauxbatons Academy!"

"Since Mr. Potter has the lead, he will be the first to enter the maze. On my whistle then
Harry," Bagman said. Harry nodded and stepped in front of the doorway. "Three – two – one,"
Bagman said before giving a loud blast on his whistle. Harry took off at a quick run, determined
to find the cup as fast as possible. Last time, if he had gone any slower, Cedric would have
either gotten eaten by a giant spider or taken the cup by himself. He couldn't – no, wouldn't –
let that happen. He came to the first fork and quickly took the left. It was then he heard
another blast on the whistle. Cedric and Victor just entered the maze.

He turned the corner to see a large cave troll walking down the pathway. Its head was at the
top of the hedges, indicating the creature was nearly twenty feet tall. It saw Harry and with a
roar began to charge. It raised its large club but Harry had already moved. It looked down
stupidly, wondering where Harry went. Harry wanted to roll his eyes at the troll's lack of brain
cells before hitting it in the back of the head with a strong Bludgeoning Curse. It fell to the
ground unconscious. It was then that he heard another whistle, telling him Fleur just entered
the maze. He turned and kept moving down the path, coming to a small round clearing, seeing
six other pathways for him to take. Placing his wand on his palm, he murmured, "Point me,"
and the wand spun to his right, indicating that as north. He took the path straight ahead of
him, knowing he needed to go west. He came around another corner to see Ginny standing in
the pathway with a smile on her face. It was a second later that there was a flash of green light
and she fell to the ground dead. He narrowed his eyes in suppressed anger. "Riddikulus," he
intoned harshly, causing the boggart to burst into sparks.

"Damn boggarts," he muttered as he continued down his path. He heard a sharp crack and
looked up to see a red firework go off some distance back.

"Alice and another Auror just brought out Victor," Ginny answered his unasked
question a minute later. "He looks pretty beat up. Burnt too, if his smoking robes
are anything to go by," she continued. Harry figured Victor just had a bad date with a
Blast-Ended Skrewt or two. He was distracted enough to the point where he felt something
grab his ankle, sending him crashing to the ground. He spun quickly, trying to crawl away from
whatever it was but he couldn't move his legs. They were already bound together by Devil's
Snare. More vines shot out from behind him, grabbing his arms before he could cast a spell.
His wand slipped from his hands and he struggled to get away. He felt more wrap around his
waist and chest, intent on crushing him. He was on his stomach now, calmly trying to figure
out his options. It was then that large black wings erupted from his back, snapping the vines
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there as well as ripping his robes. His hands turned into large talons which tore through the
vines on his arms. Noticing its losing grip and impending doom, the vines quickly retreated,
leaving a panting Harry behind. He stood shakily, trying to get the blood to flow back into his
legs. His hands changed back, his wings curling back into his back before melding with his
body. Thanking the heavens for his discovery of the partial animagus transformation, he held
out his hand, causing his wand to fly to it. With a wave, his robes were fixed and he began a
slow jog down the path.

"That was a close call Harry," Ginny's voice said in his head. "You're getting slow
there old man," she teased. Harry gave her a mental glare.

"I'll have you know that I had a couple other ideas in how to get out of that," he
responded. "You should have seen them floating along in here. Wandless fire,
shadow walking, calling my sword, you getting it yet? " he asked.

"Yeah, yeah, you just wanted to show off," she quipped. Harry shook his head and
ignored the rest of her jibes. He ran down a straight path, finding the sphinx he expected. She
turned to him and was about to speak but Harry didn't let it talk.

"Reducto!" he hissed, causing a large bolt of magic to fly from his wand and slam into her face,
sending her careening into the hedge behind her. She fell to the ground out cold. He knew that
level of attack wouldn't kill a sphinx but he didn't want to wait around for the riddle.

"And they say violence is never the answer," he muttered with a smirk as he ran past the
creature. Looking down the pathway, he saw the sparkling visage of the Triwizard Cup sitting
on a dais. He quickly ran up to it. Waving his wand around it, he found that it was indeed a
portkey. He took a deep breath as he pulled two small vials out of his pocket. He downed the
first, which was just a basic healing potion to heal all the bumps and bruises he took in the
maze. He then drank the other, a pepper-up potion, to make sure he was fully ready. He
reached out and grabbed the cup, feeling the customary pull behind the naval.

Voldemort was excited. It was finally the night of his rebirth, of the beginning of his second rise
to power. He was waiting in the graveyard that held his pathetic father. He was seated on a
small but comfortable chair, thanks to Wormtail. Said traitor was preparing the ritual. Potter
would be coming soon after all. Everything needed to be in place. He would not miss this
opportunity. He had been in this blasted form for far too long. He longed for the ability to
move under his own power, to use his magic again. He was able to use it in this small weak
form, but very rarely. It wasn't enough. But it didn't matter. He would be back soon enough.

Harry hit the ground and rolled into a crouched position, preparing for what he knew was
coming. It hit him but it was exactly what he was not expecting.

Cheering?
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Harry opened his eyes to see that he was on a large stage in front of stands filled with people
cheering. He looked up to his friends, noticing the intense look of concentration on Hermione's
face, who was no doubt putting together pieces of information to explain what was happening.
He looked around the stage, noticing the five judges were right behind him behind a table.
Dumbledore was clapping just as hard as anyone, his eyes twinkling brightly and a proud smile
on his face. Fudge was too clapping and smiling, no doubt trying to think of a way to make
Harry's win look good for him. He looked off to the side of the Judges' Table to see four other
chairs, one holding a tired but smiling Victor Krum. He had several patches on his left arm
which Harry was sure covered his chest and stomach as well. His right arm was in a sling, but
he was there nonetheless. The other side of the judges table sat Mr. Crouch and several other
Ministry officials. He turned to see Frank and Alice lead Fleur and Cedric onto the stage. They
too had their fair share of scrapes and bruises but smiled at Harry, Fleur giving him a hug and
Cedric shaking his hand.

"Good show Harry," Cedric said. "Somehow, I'm not surprised," he continued before sitting
next to Fleur and Victor.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the winner of the Triwizard Tournament, Harry Potter of
Hogwarts!" Bagman announced. The noise was like a large muggle bomb going off. Harry
shrugged at his friends and held the cup over his head. "Now to present Harry with his
rewards, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge!" Fudge stood and waved to the crowd as he
walked up to Harry. He looked at Harry and smiled jovially. He cast a Sonorus Charm and
turned back to the crowd.

"As Minister for Magic of Britain, it is my duty to present Harry Potter with this bag of one
thousand galleons," he said turning to Harry and pulling a large back from his robes. Harry
looked at Fudges face as he accepted the bag. He noticed the glazed look in Fudge's eyes.
Before he could do anything, Fudge yelled, "Morsmordre!" Harry felt another pull at his naval.

Ginny felt Harry's shock and was already pulling her wand out as Fudge yelled the activation
word for the portkey. A stunner shot from her wand, bowling the little man over not a second
after Harry was gone. She appeared over him in a haze of shadows and grabbed the front of
his robes, reviving him with a wave of her wand.

"What did you do?" she snarled, even though she knew exactly what happened. She felt Harry
get knocked out by a stunner and knew he was on his way to resurrect Voldemort. She just
didn't suspect Fudge at all to be the one to send him there.

"Wha – what are you doing?" Fudge said, eyeing the tip of Ginny's wand, which was now
glowing a dangerous dark blue. Ginny didn't question why she had yet to be pushed away from
the Minister, but if she had looked back, she would have noticed Frank and Alice standing
there, their wands out and defending her with scowls on their faces. She locked eyes with
Fudge and quickly broke into his mind. She felt the lingering effects of the Imperious Curse.
She followed the links and came to a memory of Mr. Crouch walking into Fudge's office. He
began to speak about some random Ministry policy before the memory suddenly went blank, a
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blissful feeling left behind. Ginny growled and let go of Fudge before turning and snapping a
stunner off behind her. It sailed just under the arm of Alice and into Crouch, who was watching
the proceedings with silence. It was so strong he was sent flying of the stage ten feet back.

"Miss Weasley, explain!" Dumbledore bellowed. The crowd was watching with rapt attention.
The other four time-travelers were already gone, having left for the graveyard. Ginny began to
stalk toward Crouch.

"Fudge was under the Imperious," she growled as she jumped off the platform and pulled a
small satchel out of her robes. Opening it, she pulled a small vial of a nasty yellow potion and
forced it down Crouch's throat before anyone could say anything. He began to change. When
he was finished, there were many gasps.

"Barty Crouch Jr.?" Bagman asked in a horrified voice. "But… but how?" Ginny didn't answer,
realizing now why they didn't see him on the Marauder's Map. It didn't show titles, so all they
saw was Barty Crouch without the junior at the end. He had been right under their noses and
they had no clue. She turned to Dumbledore.

"Sir, let Severus, Remus, Alice, and Frank handle that. I need you to come with me," she
responded in a tone that required immediate obedience. Albus stiffened, noticing that tone. It
was the same tone he had heard Harry use when he had tried to get Harry to go to Privet
Drive. He nodded, knowing that if he refused, she would most likely take him where ever it
was by force. He didn't need to be fighting a fourteen year old girl in front of this crowd,
especially when he had a feeling he wouldn't win.

"Minerva the school is yours. Lead the way Ginevra," he replied.

Harry groggily opened his eyes. Remembering where he was, he was instantly alert and awake.
He saw Wormtail standing over a cauldron, wand in hand and pointed at the grave at his feet.

"Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son!" He waved his wand and the
grave split open, allowing the dust left of Tom Riddle's bones to fly up and into the bubbling
cauldron. "Flesh… of the servant… w-willingly given… you will – revive – your master,"
Wormtail practically whimpered. With a quick swing of a dagger, his hand fell into the cauldron
accompanied by an unearthly scream of pain. Wormtail cradled his hand before turning to
Harry. "B-blood of the enemy… forcibly t-taken… you will… resurrect your foe." He cut Harry's
arm, letting some blood run into a vial. Harry was silent the whole time. He didn't openly
declare he wished to give his blood, so it wouldn't affect the ritual. Wormtail dumped the few
drops of blood into the cauldron and slumped against a nearby tombstone as it began to
bubble and spark before glowing a blinding white. Vapor shrouded the area as out of the
cauldron stepped a tall, skeletal man. Glowing red eyes were soon looking at Harry.

"Robe me, Wormtail," Voldemort hissed. Wormtail quickly obeyed. "My wand," he said,
holding out his hand. Wormtail obediently put it in his hand and Voldemort nearly sighed in
contentment at feeling the connection with his wand once more. He walked over to Wormtail
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and merely grabbed the man's left arm, slamming his finger on the Dark Mark. Wormtail
screeched in pain, which only seemed to satisfy Voldemort.

"How many shall return to my side. How many will I have to kill for not?" he asked himself as
he walked back into the center of the headstones. He turned to Harry, an evil smirk on his lips.
"You stand, Harry Potter, on the bones of my filthy muggle father," he said quietly. "At least
muggles do have their uses," he said in a bored tone. He began to pace, his pitch black robes
billowing around him. Harry had the thought that Voldemort was trying to intimidate him. He
had seen and done way too much for that to happen. "Look Harry, my family, it returns,"
Voldemort said with a happy hiss. There were many cracks and swooshes of cloaks as Death
Eaters appeared out of the shadows. They quickly fell to their knees, kissing their master's
robes. He gave them all a cold, calculating look, no doubt making them shiver in fear.

"It has been thirteen years since we last met," he started off quietly, slowly pacing in a circle.
"Still loyal I see by your quick answer to my summons." He looked around them, a hint of a
smile forming on his face. "I confess myself… disappointed," he hissed, his face sneering in
disgust. "You all continued your lives as if I never existed, thinking I was gone, that I was
vanquished," he ranted. "I was in the weakest form imaginable, a mere spirit. When I needed
my Death Eaters the most, they failed me," he continued. Harry was willing to bet at least one
had soiled themselves. Harry was already freeing himself from the ropes, which was quite easy
with a few wandless cutting charms. The Death Eaters were too absorbed with Voldemort to
even notice he was there and Voldemort had his back to him.

"Not once did anyone try to find me," he hissed before shooting forward at an incredible
speed, ripping the mask off of one of their faces. "Goyle!" He went to another, pulling the
mask off. "Macnair!" He turned again. "Not even you Lucius," he said slowly, pulling Malfoy's
mask off quickly. "Not even my most loyal came to my aid."

"My Lord, if I had detected any sign or," but he was cut off.

"Crucio!" Voldemort growled, causing the blonde man to fall to the ground screaming. The
curse was ended twenty seconds later, leaving Malfoy Sr. panting on the ground. "Get up you
worthless fool," Voldemort said. "Don't try to deceive me Lucius. It is ill advised," he finished
dangerously. "Only Wormtail came to my aid, and even then it was out of fear, not loyalty," he
said, glaring at the lump lying on the ground. "However, I reward those who deserve it," he
murmured, waving his wand causing silver to stream out of it and forming a hand for
Wormtail. After a few blubbered thank you's from Wormtail, Voldemort looked around at the
gaps in the circle.

"So many missing," he murmured as he looked around the circle. "Many of our brothers are in
Azkaban, they shall be rewarded," he said. "Another has fled. He will be dealt with," he hissed.
"One more I fear has left my service forever. We shall see. My most faithful is at Hogwarts at
the moment."

"Master, how did you achieve this miracle?" Lucius asked. Voldemort turned to him with a
superior look.
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"It all begins with my young guest…" he said, turning to his father's tombstone. His eyes
widened when Harry was no longer there, but a man was standing there in black and gold
robes. His hood was up, masking his face in darkness. A sense of power began to emanate
from him, causing the Death Eaters to unconsciously take a step back. He had a dark wand in
his hand. Voldemort's eyes narrowed. "You… you were the one that stopped Quirrell,"
Voldemort hissed in anger.

"Very astute Tom," the man said, his voice sounding ragged and harsh. "You returned to your
body, and this coming fight will be your final act. You won't have eyes tonight. You won't have
ears or a tongue. You will wander the underworld blind, deaf, and dumb and all the dead will
know, this is Voldemort, the fool who thought he could kill Harry Potter," Harry said before
dropping his hood. Voldemort practically growled.

"Potter, it would seem you are more gifted than you show," he said silkily. "Do you not know
death when you see it?" Harry smirked. Voldemort saw it and sneered. "You must realize that
you are doomed," he said. Harry gave a wicked grin.

"Oh I don't think so," he said before a long silver blade sprouted from Malfoy's chest. He fell to
the ground and Neville was seen standing over the dead body, a bloody katana in his hand.

"Bring it on," Neville growled, before spells flew from every direction at the twenty Death
Eaters. Voldemort spun, his wand trained on the nearest Unspeakable but Harry suddenly
appeared in front of him.

"Where are you going Riddle? I think it's time to end this," Harry said, twirling the Elder Wand
in his hand. Voldemort took his surroundings in carefully. He was about to apparate out when
he felt wards snap into position. "Oh you are not going anywhere. I plan on this ending
tonight." By then, the Death Eaters were all lying dead, having been outnumbered, outclassed,
and outsmarted. Voldemort couldn't see anyone but could feel many magical presences
outside of the ring of graves. He was surrounded.

"So you knew my plans," Voldemort said calmly as he and Harry began to circle each other. "I
wonder how long you have been planning this, not that it truly matters. Once I kill you Harry,
there will be no one who can stop me anyway." Harry quirked an eyebrow.

"That is assuming you can kill me Tom," Harry responded evenly, enraging Voldemort. "I am
about to teach you what happens when an unstoppable force meets and unmovable object,"
Harry said casually as he and Voldemort stopped moving. "The unmovable object breaks," he
snarled, a Reductor Curse launching from his wand. Voldemort easily sidestepped it and the
duel began. Voldemort was almost bored with how the duel had started. Harry had yet to cast
anything stronger than a Reductor Curse. He was using mostly schoolyard jinxes and curses
and it annoyed Voldemort.

"Is that the best you have Harry?" he questioned with a trace of smugness as he shot a killing
curse at Harry. It just missed. He began firing increasingly dangerous and lethal spells that
were just dodged by Harry, causing Voldemort to sneer at the amateur display. It was then
Harry struck. Like a snake, his wand snapped forward in attack.
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"Crucio!" he hissed in a powerful voice, causing a violent red bolt of energy to spiral out of his
wand and cover the distance to Voldemort at a blinding speed. Voldemort was unable to
dodge the sudden vicious attack and the spell slammed into his chest. Voldemort fell to one
knee as all of the nerves in his body seemed to burst into flames. The pain was absolute yet he
refused to scream. Harry dropped the curse after twenty seconds, watching Voldemort with
disdain. The skeletal man shrugged off the pain, standing shakily and looking at Harry.

"You know now you are not battling some weak and foolish child. Fight me Tom, for my next
spell won't be as merciful as the last," Harry spoke, a venomous edge to his voice.

Ginny and Albus appeared at the entrance to an old graveyard. He decided to not question
how Ginny knew how to apparate, let alone pull him along with her. Ginny quickly began
walking through the graves and Albus followed. He noticed the light show up ahead and knew
what it meant. He pulled out his wand, wondering why Ginny had yet to do the same. They
quickly came up to several large graves a little outside the fight where several people were
watching. He quickly noticed who they were.

"Nicolas? Neville, Ronald, Hermione, Luna, what are you doing here?" he asked quickly. He
then took in the sight of the two men doing battle in the circle of graves ahead. His heart
skipped a beat when he realized it was Voldemort. He had known Voldemort was active, but
he didn't know this whole set up was to get him a new body. What surprised him even more
was that the other man was going toe to toe with him. He then noticed who that man was.

"Harry! What are you waiting for? We must help him," Albus said, lifting his wand and
preparing to charge into the fight but stopped when he felt cool metal against his throat. He
looked down the blade to see Neville glaring at him.

"You will stay where you are or I will remove your head from your body, do I make myself
clear?" Neville asked in a harsh tone. "If anyone will be going out there and helping Harry, it
will be me." Albus looked into the eyes of his student and knew he would follow through with
his threat if needed. Albus sighed in defeat, lowering his wand, which was quickly grabbed out
of his hand. Neville removed his sword. "I know that you know Harry must be the one to fight
him Professor, that it is Harry's destiny to defeat him. This is his chance. Let him finish this."

"You don't understand my boy, there are circumstances in which must be fulfilled before
Voldemort can be defeated," Albus pleaded.

"You mean the Horcruxes Albus?" Nicolas asked. Albus' eyes widened. Nicolas pointed down
and Albus looked, noticing an obviously dead Nagini. "Check out Harry's neck and right hand."
Albus looked to Harry and through the flashing spells and movements he caught the quick
flash of a locket and a ring. "The diadem, cup, diary, and the one on Harry himself have been
taken care of as well. This is Voldemort's last chance."

"How did you do all of this?" Albus asked amazed as he watched the quickly escalating battle
between Harry and Voldemort. It was then he noticed that it was Voldemort who seemed to
be having trouble keeping up with Harry.
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"We have much we need to tell you about Professor. After all of this is over, we shall do just
that," Ginny said, turning back to her soul mate, watching as he ducked and dodged spells
while sending some of his own.

Lights lit the area of the Little Hangleton graveyard. It was beautiful yet terrifying as the colors
danced back and forth between to two men. Harry was exhilarated. He had not had the
opportunity to push himself this hard in this timeline yet. He felt as powerful as he did when
he defeated Voldemort in the first time, and he was four years younger now. He could tell that
Voldemort was not ready for this type of a fight so soon after regaining his body. He hadn't
had time to rest and regain his full potential yet. It showed by his sloppy spellwork and the fact
that he was using much less dangerous spells, resorting to simple yet effective combinations of
weaker spells. Harry, however, had no such problems. He was sending cutting, tearing, bone-
breaking, and blasting curses left, right, and center. He had even thrown in a few more
Cruciatus Curses but Voldemort had taken special care to dodge those. The graveyard looked
as if a muggle plane went on a bombing run. Even with a tired Voldemort using less damaging
spells, his dueling was still superb and Harry had to stay on his toes.

"Tired Tom? Why so soon?" Harry taunted as he slapped a binding charm away with his bare
hand and fired a large fireball out of his wand. "I'm just getting warmed up." Voldemort didn't
respond, merely continued dueling. Harry needed to end this soon. As much as he knew he
had the advantage, he didn't want to risk Voldemort getting a lucky shot or figuring out a way
to escape. He was very intelligent and talented, something Harry had come to respect, even if
he did hate the creature.

Harry saw his chance as he backed Voldemort to a large stone gravestone carved like the Grim
Reaper. He shot a spell straight at Voldemort's head, who predictably ducked, just like Harry
hoped. The spell hit the reaper and it came to life, its scythe lashing out and cutting
Voldemort's wand in half before grabbing him and securing him tightly to the tomb. Voldemort
struggled but he was exhausted. He would normally have been able to use some wandless
magic to get out of the trap, but he didn't have that kind of strength left. He watched as Harry
stalked up to him like a vulture on its prey. He felt something then he hadn't felt for many
years. Fear.

"Well Tom," Harry said through a few pants. The fight had been tiring but it was more from the
current adrenaline than exhaustion. "Any last words?"

"Go ahead Potter, I will just come back again," Voldemort spat in defiance. "I have taken more
steps toward immortality than anybody." His eyes narrowed when he saw the smirk on Harry's
face. Harry reached into his black muggle clothes and dragon scale armor and pulled out a
locket.

"You mean these?" Harry asked, showing off the locket and the ring. Voldemort looked at him
in disbelief. "I know Neville finished your little snake. The cup, diadem, and diary are already
gone as well." He then tapped his scar with a finger. "Gone since I was eleven. So I ask again
A Second Chance

Tom, any last words?" Harry asked, pointing his wand at Voldemort's heart, the tip glowing an
ominous green.

"Release me Potter, join me, we could rule the world, no one could stop us," Voldemort said
quickly, practically begging Harry.

"I don't think so Tom," Harry replied coldly. "Go into the abyss, fall into the nothingness that
awaits you," Harry murmured. "Avada Kedavra!"

Severus watched as Albus followed Ginny to the gates of Hogwarts, where both of them
disappeared. His perceptive eyes roved over the scene around him before he quickly took
action.

"Frank, take Crouch to my office, keep him secured and stunned until I arrive," he ordered,
getting a sharp nod from the Auror. "Filius, Pomona, get the students back to the castle, tell
them they must remain in the Great Hall. Have the Head Boy and Girl help you." The two
professors quickly began ushering all the students away. "Poppy, if you would take these three
to the infirmary, I believe they still need some treatment." Madam Pomfrey soon led a
protesting Cedric, Fleur, and Victor away. They had refused at first, wanting to know where
Harry had disappeared too. Severus turned to the other staff members. "I want Remus and
Minerva to stay here, the rest of you please head to the castle and patrol the corridors." That
left him with Remus, Minerva, Alice, Sirius, Amelia, four Aurors, and several Ministry officials.
Amelia turned to the other four.

"Ramirez, Tellet, Gomer, take the Minister to St. Mungos. Tell them to treat for exposure to
the Imperious Curse," she ordered. The three Aurors in question quickly went to help the
Minister. "Alice, take the others and make reports to the Ministry," she said, getting a quick
nod from Alice. She led the other Ministry officials and the last Auror away. That left Severus
with Remus, Minerva, Sirius, and Amelia.

"Shall we see to our prisoner?" Severus asked. Remus bowed slightly and waved a hand
toward the castle, indicating him to lead the way. Severus just rolled his eyes and began to
walk. Minerva was watching the actions between them carefully. She had noticed how Severus
took control of everything when Albus had said that she was in charge. Not that she minded;
he handled it admirably.

"You know something," she stated to Severus. The man just raised an eyebrow and continued
walking.

"The Dark Lord has returned. He already called for his Death Eaters," he said quietly,
remembering the pain that shot through his arm a minute before Ginny and Albus
disappeared. Minerva paled at that and was about to stutter several questions when she
noticed how calm the other four were. It was like they had expected it.
A Second Chance

"How are you sure of this?" she asked quietly. Severus merely lifted his left sleeve, showing the
dark black tattoo on his arm. "Is that where Harry was taken?" she whispered. Severus shook
his head.

"More like allowed himself to be taken," Sirius said with a wolfish smirk.

"He knew?" she nearly shrieked.

"The real Harry is a bit different than the gifted fourth year student you know Minerva,"
Amelia explained. "That young man has seen and done more than you can imagine. He can and
will take the fight to Voldemort. Besides, he has a squad of Unspeakables ready as backup,"
she finished. Before anyone can speak more, they entered Snape's office to find Frank idly
looking through a potion's book while sitting in Severus' chair. Crouch Jr. had been deposited
unceremoniously on the ground. He looked up at them when they walked in, closing the book.

"Now we wait?" Frank asked. Remus flicked his wand a couple times, soft cushioned chairs
appearing for the rest of them.

"There is only one thing we need to know from him," Severus said, pulling a small vial out of a
cupboard in the back of the room. He walked over to Crouch, dropping a few drops on the
Veritiserum into his mouth. With a wave of his wand, Crouch woke up.

"What is your name?" Severus asked.

"Bartemius Crouch Jr.," Crouch stated. Snape nodded in acknowledgement of the potion
working.

"Where is your father?" he asked.

"Dead." Severus' eyes narrowed and his wand flicked, a stunner knocking Crouch out again. He
then turned to Frank.

"Now we wait," he said dryly, sitting down. They settled for some tense yet idle talking for
twenty minutes before Severus suddenly stiffened and gasped in pain as he grabbed his left
arm.

"Severus?" Remus asked, half rising from his chair. Severus shook his head, grinding his teeth
through the pain. A minute later he sighed in relief, falling back against his chair. He slowly
lifted his sleeve again and looked at the slightly scarred skin on his arm. The Dark Mark was
gone. A genuine smile spread over his face.

"It's over," was all Severus said.

Albus Dumbledore sat in his office, trying to calm the cyclone flying in his mind. He had learned
so much that night. Voldemort had finally been defeated, by a fourteen year old nonetheless.
No, not a fourteen year old, for Harry Potter was anything but a simple fourteen year old. The
tale Harry had told him after they managed to sort out all of the chaos had been one for fairy
tales, yet it all made complete sense. To return to the past and change it for the better. The
A Second Chance

whole idea warred against his morals and beliefs. However it wasn't as if those six tried to
come back. They were forced back. They then decided to make some changes, changes that
will forever shape the world as they knew it.

For once, he was glad he wasn't involved in this plot. He doubt it would have gone as well as it
did if he were. He wouldn't have liked the thought of messing with time; it is very fickle after
all. Harry and his friends had taken to it splendidly and the world was much better for it. He
smiled at the suggestions for the next few years regarding staff and prefect appointments, as
well as various other ways they planned on influencing the world with their knowledge. He
would of course take it into account during his decisions. His only hope was that they hadn't
missed anything important about their old time. He thought, with an amused smile, that only
time would tell.

September 1, 1997 – nearly Two years and three months after the defeat of Voldemort

"Welcome, to another year at Hogwarts!" Albus called out over the chattering students. His
eyes were twinkling and a soft smile was settled on his face. "Let the feast… begin," he said,
food appearing over the five tables in the Great Hall. All the students quickly filled their plates,
talking and laughter filling the air. At the Gryffindor Table sat the Gryffindor Six, chatting
happily away with themselves and the others around them. It was only minutes into their
dinner when owls suddenly flew into the hall, depositing a special edition of the Daily Prophet.
Hermione shrugged at the others and took the newspaper, looking at the front page. Her gasp
was accompanied by many others throughout the hall. She opened the paper completely and
slammed it on the table. The headline read Minister of Magic Killed! Potter Called Out! They
all looked at the picture of Fudge's home that dominated half the page. Over the large manor
was a glittering black cobra, its fangs barred and ready to attack. Underneath it letters spelled
out a message. I AM LORD VENOM. PREPARE YOURSELF POTTER FOR I WILL HAVE MY
REVENGE. Ginny's eyes jumped over to Harry, who was staring hard at the paper.

"Harry?" she asked quietly.

"And here I was starting to get used to having a normal life," he muttered. "Who could it
possibly be?" he asked to no one in particular. The hall was now filled with fearful mutterings
and conversations.

"We will need to see the Headmaster after the feast," Hermione said to the others. "We can
talk then." It was then Harry's eyes widened. "Harry?"

"No, not him," he muttered. The others looked at him in confusion, before he lifted his hand
and waved a finger in the air, forming words in its wake.

"I am Lord Venom," Luna muttered as Harry finished writing. He then flicked his hand and they
changed. Neville summed up the result quite well.

"Oh shit," he breathed. In the air spelled one name.

Ian Velmordom, the forgotten son of Voldemort.


A Second Chance

Chapter 24

The New War


1 Week Ago…

It was odd really. He looked at the old house, wondering how this dilapidated old building
could have once looked so majestic. Riddle Manor. The home of his ancestors. He had nothing
against them of course, they were upstanding citizens, quite wealthy as well. Then came the
Gaunts. What idiots they truly were. The whole idea of pure-blood supremacy, it made him
sick. It wasn't true, any of it really. Magic was magic, you were either born with it or not. You
were either born with strong magic or weak magic, this talent or that talent. It was more a luck
of the draw really. Sure, the more potent your parents or lineage were, the more likely you
were to be as strong if not stronger, but in the whole scope of things, muggleborns or half-
bloods could be just as strong, if not stronger.

Ian Velmordom, or Lord Venom as he called himself now, walked up to the front door,
studying it before flicking his wand, causing it to open with a small groan. He looked behind
him to see two of his Charms experts working on a Fidelius Charm around the house. It
wouldn't do for the enemy to find this place. He walked into the house, seeing the dust and
cobwebs all over. He sneered in disgust. He knew his father had been here for months, why he
didn't order a minion to clean it up was beyond him. He would have some of his men clean it
later.

Yes, he knew of his father. Tom Marvolo Riddle, or Lord Voldemort. It was only fitting that he
turn his name into an anagram as well. He was surprised how nicely his name worked out. He
had received it from his muggle mother. He had to use some Veritiserum and a few curses, but
he finally got the whole story out of her. She had lived in Britain as a child. When she was
eighteen, she had been raped by none other than Tom Riddle. His father had been bored one
night on a muggle raid, and having seen her, decided to… entertain himself. He left her alive,
putting her under a compulsion charm to never reveal what truly happen. Another charm was
used to make her relive the horror three or four times a week in her dreams. She had never
told a soul about that night, claiming to her mother, who happened to be out of town the day
of the raid, that it was her boyfriend of the time that had done it. One thing happened that his
father did not expect. She was pregnant. Wishing for a new life, she moved to America, where
he had been born. His talent for magic had quickly become known and he began his schooling
at the Chicago Institute of Magic. It was there he discovered his extensive abilities, where he
excelled in magic. He was quite the gifted child, not only in academics, but in sports and social
events as well. He was a quiet but powerful force on the Quidditch pitch, as well as a young
man wealthy in loyal friends. He had always had a dark streak however.

His thirst for knowledge never lessened. He constantly learned, constantly improved himself.
Nothing was too much for him to handle. He eventually delved deeper into magic, immersing
himself in the darkest and foulest to the lightest and purest magic. He was addicted. After
discovering his father, he planned to eventually align with him, to meet the man who so easily
manipulated and defeated the world, until he met his end at the hands of Harry Potter. He had
learned of his father's death through Igor Karkaroff. He had tracked the coward down and
A Second Chance

forced all the information out of his mind before disposing of him. He had learned how
Voldemort had called for his Death Eaters, only to have been defeated not minutes afterwards.
He read between the lines of the little information he was given. He knew exactly what had
happened in that graveyard.

He knew that his father spoke of pure-bloods and how they were so great, but he also knew
that his father didn't believe a word of it either. No, he couldn't have. His father was all about
power. He used the old pure-blood family ideals as a means to get to the top. Once he
defeated all the mudblood loving scum, he would have destroyed them as well. No, his father
didn't want to rule. He wanted revenge. Revenge on a world that was so cruel to him as a
child. On a world that left him alone. He had the same ideas. He too wanted revenge on this
world. He of course wasn't alone, nor was the world cruel to him, but he saw the disease that
was the human race. It was weak, deficient, uncaring, too arrogant to truly advance into an
age of greatness. It disgusted him. He was out for revenge against the masses, revenge for
what should have been.

This world would burn before his feat.

"Follow me," Harry commanded to the other five time travelers while quickly standing. Many
in the Great Hall were watching with rapt attention. "Susan, Draco, you're with us," he
announced, sweeping out of the Great Hall. He was followed by the other seven. Before he left
the hall, he nodded to Albus, who merely nodded back in understanding. He walked out of the
Entrance Hall and out onto the grounds, steadily making his way to the gates.

"Ginny, take Susan to Bones' Manor, Fidelius Charm. Hermione and Ron, the Granger's. Luna
and Draco, the Lovegood's. Neville, your parents are home right now, so go alone. Percy and
Bill should be at the Burrow, so I'll go alone there as well." As he finished, they just passed the
wards and they all disappeared at the same time.

Harry appeared at the Burrow's apparation point with a duck and roll, coming up, a shield
sprouting around him, deflecting several nasty looking curses. He quickly scanned the
property, noticing there were a dozen men in blood red robes attacking the house. Percy and
Bill were a few feet from the main door, fighting eight of them at once to a standstill. Fleur,
Molly, and Arthur had the backdoor covered, defending it from three separate attackers. One
had been watching the apparation point for reinforcements when Harry had come. Harry
couldn't see his attacker's face; they were all wearing their hoods, no doubt charmed to stop
people from seeing them. Harry ran forward, slapping several more curses away before
sweeping his wand in front of him, a hail of cutting curses swallowing the man, cutting him
down. Harry then blurred into shadows, appearing behind the men facing Percy and Bill. He
grabbed the heads of two of them, smashing them together, knocking them both unconscious
with a sickening crack. Seeing Harry, Bill bolted back into the house, intent on going to help his
wife and parents. Harry and Percy quickly began to take the advantage, cutting down two
more.
A Second Chance

"Retreat!" one man yelled, before they all disappeared. Harry scanned the lawn, noticing the
two he killed and the two he knocked out disappeared as well.

"Connected Portkeys," Harry murmured as he turned to Percy. "Good work mate." Percy
scowled as he healed a small cut on his arm.

"Who were they?" he asked. "I've never seen robes like that. They were better trained as well,
not like Death Eaters," he continued as they made their way back into the house. "If it wasn't
for the hidden alarm around the apparation point announcing the arrival of unknown people,
they would have killed us quite easily."

"Did you see the Daily Prophet?" Harry asked. Percy shook his head as they walked into the
family room to see Fleur healing a long gash on Arthur's leg. "There is a new Dark Lord," Harry
stated, getting gasps from the others. "I came to put the Fidelius Charm up. I know who the
man is and I knew he would come for the Burrow. I just didn't think he would come so
quickly," Harry muttered. Fleur had just finished, allowing Arthur to stand.

"Well, shall we begin?" Bill asked, fingering his wand. "I haven't put the charm up in a while,
but I think I can handle it," he said with a smirk. Harry nodded, turning to the other Weasley
brother.

"Percy, go to the Ministry, get the Aurors on high alert. Get word to the twins and Charlie."
Percy nodded, quickly disappearing. "Fleur, Molly, Arthur, go to Potter Manor. You can't be in
the house while we do this," he continued. They nodded and quickly flooed. "Let's go Bill."

Hermione and Ron appeared in the living room of the Grangers, startling her parents.

"Hermione? What are you doing here?" Robin Granger said, standing from her spot on the
sofa. Ron quickly raced out of the room, much to their surprise.

"Mom, Dad, no time to explain," she said, grabbing their hands and apparating to Potter
Manor. "Dobby!" The house elf in question appeared. "Keep my parents comfortable. Others
should be here any moment," she finished, disappearing again before her parents could get
another word out. She appeared just inside her front door. Looking out, she found Ron behind
several conjured stone walls, defending the house from six men in blood red robes. She quickly
stepped out, shadows appearing around her, quickly forming into small demons that began to
fly at the intruders. She could almost feel the fear of the men as she ran forward, a swarm of
stunners flying from her wand, accompanied by Ron's spells. They six quickly fell, not ready for
the fear-inspiring illusions Hermione had unleashed. She knew they only sent six as they didn't
expect magical resistance at a muggle home.

"Fidelius Charm Ron, go!" Ron quickly ran to the edge of the property, slowly tracing it while
waving his wand slowly at the house, chanting long spells under his breath. She was about to
conjure chains around her captives when they disappeared with a small pop. She cursed under
her breath. "Damn Portkeys," she muttered as she put up illusions to stop any muggles from
seeing them.
A Second Chance

Ginny and Susan appeared at the Bones Manor, ready for a fight, but there was none. They
quickly entered the house, Ginny thanking Merlin that it was a Sunday and that Amelia and
Sirius were home. If there was an attack, they could use the help.

"Sirius Black, get your arse down here!" Ginny yelled as they stepped into the foyer. Sirius
quickly came running down the staircase off to the left of the hall, his pants having obviously
been hastily put on as they were backwards.

"Great Merlin Ginny you scared the hell out of me," he said. "What do you need?"

"I need for you, Amelia, and Serena to come with me and Susan," she said quickly. "We need
to put the house under the Fidelius Charm…" was all she said before several explosions rocked
the house. "Shit, get everyone out of here," she yelled, shoving Susan toward him. She knew
they didn't have the time to save the house, so she was going to make sure it went down with
a bang. She felt those explosions come from different parts of the house. She was sure they
were surrounded. She turned back to the main doors, taking a deep breath and raising her
wand over her head. She didn't hear the footsteps of Sirius and Susan or the roar of the floo as
they left. She was chanting under her breath, quietly but steadily getting louder. She saw the
doors getting ready to buckle under the strain of the spells hitting them.

"Ex divum adveho flamma!" she roared, waving her wand in a circle over her head before
slashing it forward. It was only a couple seconds later she heard the screams as the spell took
effect. She burst into shadows, disappearing from the home and appearing off the property.
Turning around, she gazed at the once large home that was getting slammed with large
fireballs that seemed to be raining from the sky. She saw a dozen men in blood red robes
jumping away from the flames. Several were on fire while several were already dead. The
house was ablaze and she thought at least another dozen were inside. The last remaining few
outside disappeared, causing the dead to as well. Bones Manor would have been lost anyways
as four against twenty-four wasn't very good odds. With a tired sigh, she gave a complicated
twist of her wand while muttering under her breath for a minute, stopping the spell. It was
immensely draining, and she barely had enough energy to apparate to Potter Manor, where
she promptly collapsed in exhaustion.

Percy sprinted into Auror Headquarters. He ran quickly through the door to Scrimgeour's
office. The weekend had a rotation of Aurors on Saturday and Sunday, while Scrimgeour was
one of the few there every day of the week.

"Sir, set all Aurors on high alert!" Percy said quickly, surprising the older man, who was
working on paperwork revolving around Fudge's death. "There have been attacks," he
explained, giving a quick version of the attack on the Burrow. Scrimgeour nodded, quickly
exiting his office.
A Second Chance

"Shacklebolt! Take a team to Diagon Alley, reinforce the security there," he ordered. Kingsley
nodded, pointing out ten Aurors and leaving the office. "Dawlish, take a team to St. Mungos."
Eleven more Aurors left the room. There were about one hundred active Aurors on the force
right now, fifty on duty that day. He only had eight more left in the office at the moment.
"Weasley, take the remaining eight to the Atrium." Percy nodded, leading the others out.
Scrimgeour quickly made his way back to his office, intent on calling in the Aurors off duty to
reinforce other key areas.

Luna and Draco appeared on the outskirts of Ottery St. Catchpole only to receive a horrifying
sight. The large chess rook shaped house was now a smoldering ruin. Luna and Draco ran
forward, seeing a dozen men in blood red cloaks standing around the house. Hearing the
footsteps, the men turned. Luna looked at what they were surrounding, finding the crumpled
form of her father.

"What have you done?" she hissed in anger, magic starting to sway around her. Draco had his
wand out as well, off to the side of Luna. The tall man in the center turned fully toward her,
lowering his hood. Luna and Draco were momentarily surprised at the young man standing
before them. His curly dark brown hair fell around his young face, his dark brown eyes taking
the two of them in with boredom. He couldn't have been more than twenty five years old.

"Luna Lovegood," he murmured. "I am glad you came, just in time to see your father breathe
his last breath," he said quietly, a green light shooting from his wand and hitting Xenophilius
Lovegood in the chest. With a small grin, the twelve disappeared. Luna gave a strangled sob
before racing to her father, tears beginning to stream down her face.

"No, not again," she whispered in anguish, hugging her father's body to her. Draco scanned the
area, making sure there was no one else around. In doing so, he missed the whispered
sentence from Luna.

"Luna, we need to leave," he said quietly. "No telling if they will come back."

Neville appeared at Longbottom Manor's apparation point, swiftly moving toward the house.
He could hear the sounds of spellfire already. He entered the entrance hall to see that his
mother, father, and grandmother had barricaded themselves behind hastily conjured walls,
alternately shielding and attacking their two dozen opponents. The enemy had yet to notice
Neville's entrance, which Neville quickly took advantage of. The men were split into three
groups of eight, one defending while the other two were launching curses. Neville turned to
one of the attacking groups, sending two silent but very potent exploding curses, blowing a
hole in the wall but also tearing apart all eight of the men. He spun and shot two more at
another group, only one getting through but it was still enough to kill three and injure the
other five. He threw up some hasty shields and rolled away as curses flew at him. He knew his
family was beginning to attack more ferociously now that he was there. He got up and began
to duel when he heard the dreaded words.
A Second Chance

"Avada Kedavra!" the leader of the group yelled in a surprisingly young yet harsh voice. A sickly
green bolt shot from the man's wand, crossing the long distance with near impossible accuracy
and slamming into his grandmother's chest.

"NO!" Frank yelled as the men disappeared with a pop. Neville slowly walked up to his parents,
his father holding his grandmother in his arms.

"Dad, take Gran to Potter Manor," he said quietly, holding in his own grief. His father nodded
through his tears, disappearing. He turned to his mother. "Mum, come with me, we need to
put the house under the Fidelius."

"Mister and Missus Grangers, you be coming with me," Dobby said, grabbing their hands and
leading them into one of the sitting rooms.

"Erm, Dobby was it?" Mrs. Granger asked timidly. She had of course heard of house elves
enough from Hermione to notice one when she saw it, but it was still a bit weird for her. "Do
you know why we are here?" Dobby nodded, his ears flapping around his head.

"Bad wizards be attacking your home. You stay here while Harry Potter sir and his friends make
it safe." He then snapped his fingers, causing tea to appear in front of them. Another snap and
he was gone. Robin turned to her husband as she hesitantly took the cup of tea.

"What do you think is going on Eric?" she asked him. He just shrugged, taking a sip of his tea. It
was only a minute later when Arthur, Molly, and Fleur entered the room, being led by Dobby.
Robin sighed in relief at seeing a familiar face.

"Hello Molly," she said, standing up to greet the other woman. "Do you have any idea what is
happening? One minute we are watching the telly and the next, Hermione brings us here in a
blink of an eye."

"Oh don't worry dear, it will all be explained when they get back," she said, concern laced in
her voice. "Safe to say, you will be fine here." She turned to introduce Fleur when she noticed
Eric staring at the younger girl in a daze. "Fleur dear," she said with a hint of a smile, pointing
at the man.

"Oh, sorry Mister Granger," she said in much better English than years past while pulling in her
charm. She hadn't been paying attention and her aura had gotten away from her. A muggle
would stand no chance seeing through it. The man shook his head as if to clear it. "I am what
wizards call a Veela. We have a natural charm that can put men under an almost slavish
control," she explained sheepishly. Robin was watching her husband with amusement as he
blushed in embarrassment. "I am Fleur, Bill's wife," she said, shaking their hands. Robin smiled
at the girl. She had met all of the Weasleys before and knew who Bill was. It was then that
Molly heard voices in the hall. Sirius, Amelia, and Susan came into the room, little Serena in
Amelia's arms.
A Second Chance

"Ginny can handle herself," Amelia voiced again, her voice daring Sirius to even challenge her
decision. Sirius looked mutinous but sat down in a vacant chair. Dobby was now popping in
with more tea and cookies as they all sat down.

"I need to go back to the school, Professor Dumbledore will probably want to know what
happened," Susan said, quickly leaving the room and disapparating. She had been told of the
time-travelers shortly after Voldemort's defeat. There were several more pops and they turned
to the doorway to see a very downtrodden Luna walk by, a body with a white sheet over it
floating behind her. Draco walked into the room, his face grim.

"We were too late," he said quietly, getting several gasps in response. "I'll head back to the
school. Dumbledore can probably use all the authority he can get," he murmured, turning and
walking back out of the room. Soon there was another pop. Frank walked past the room, the
form of his mother lying limp in his arms. He stopped at the doorway, shook his head, and kept
walking to find a room for her. There was another pop, followed by a thump. Confused, Sirius
pulled out his wand and walked out of the room.

"Ginny!" he said loudly, running up to the girl. Several others were right behind him. He
checked her over quickly, running a few basic charms over her he learned from Auror training.
"She's alright, just exhausted," Sirius announced, getting several sighs of relief. "Whatever she
did, it's going to keep her out for a while." He gently picked her up, intent on bringing her to
the master bedroom.

It was an hour later that there were several cracks in the entrance hall. Harry walked in the
room, leading Bill, Neville, Alice, Ron, and Hermione. Harry's eyes scanned over everyone
there.

"Where is Luna?" Neville asked quietly.

"In your room here at the Manor," Sirius answered. "She lost her father." Neville nodded,
quickly leaving the room. Harry closed his eyes for a minute before opening them, looking to
Sirius, who seemed to be the one answering questions.

"Did we lose anyone else?" he asked.

"Augusta," Alice said in a whisper. She quickly left the room as well, planning on finding Frank.
Harry felt through his connection, noticing Ginny was in the house asleep. He sighed and sat
down next to Sirius. Ron and Hermione walked to Eric and Robin, while Bill made his way to
stand by Fleur. Harry gazed at the group before him. So much had happened so quickly. He
doubted as well that they were the only targets. He thought back to all that had happened
since Voldemort.

They had brought Fudge as well as several other important Ministry officials and press
members to the graveyard, showing the defeat of Voldemort and his Death Eaters. The group
had decided earlier to change a few of the details of the fight. They told how Harry had been
kidnapped, and if it had not been for the few Unspeakables who had been in the area and
noticed the fighting, Harry most likely would not have lived the night. With the Unspeakables'
help and the timely arrival of Dumbledore, they were able to win. Needless to say the press
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was practically drooling with the information. They managed to keep it relatively correct,
although the praise was heaped a little more on Harry than anyone else. Fudge had barely
been able to keep his job after the public learned of his error.

The next year of school had been a joyous occasion for the time-travelers. It had been boring,
just the way they wanted it to be. There were no great adventures, no dark lords, no minions,
no giant creatures. Remus was once again the DADA teacher, and even Severus managed to be
less harsh in his lessons, surprising them by the depth he began to teach at. Albus had been
surprisingly helpful to the six, explaining that since they changed so much, why not something
else? Hermione and Ron had become prefects once again, although at the urging of Harry.
Susan had been told of their past timeline and had become one of their most trusted friends,
even coming down to the Chamber of Secrets from time to time. The biggest surprise had been
Draco Malfoy. He had shown up to the first morning session the six hosted. Since that
morning, he had become much less uptight and snobbish, even having several friends outside
Slytherin. He still wasn't what you would call a friend, but he would follow Harry if Harry asked.
Ron had blown away the competition for the spot at Keeper as well. OWLs had been quite easy
for the group, and they were sure they passed with flying colors. Outside the school had
changed as well. Sirius had finally asked Amelia to marry him, much to the happiness of all
their friends. Susan was ecstatic, having already come to see Sirius as a goofy uncle. It wasn't
long after their marriage that they announce the coming of their first child. Bill and Fleur had
met at Gringotts and had become quite the pair. Bill was constantly teased about his 'English
lessons' with the beautiful French girl. Remus and Tonks also got together, the fun-loving
Auror bringing the Marauder back out of Remus. He seemed to grow younger by the day.

Sixth year was another year of happiness. Ginny, Hermione, and Luna had walked into the
school with engagement rings on their fingers, much to the astonishment of the other
students. Harry, Ron, and Neville merely grinned and answered that they were quite sane and
loved their respected fiancé very much. Madam Hooch had decided to retire, opening the
position for Flying Instructor. To Susan's happiness, Victor had claimed it. He had been
welcomed by the whole school, not only as a Quidditch star but as a friend to many. Harry had
once again been announced Quidditch Captain, and much to everyone's surprise, moved to
play chaser. Ginny became a chaser as well, while Hermione beat the competition for the open
Seeker spot. She didn't plan on trying out at first, but was quickly persuaded by everyone else.
Amelia had given birth to a beautiful baby girl in October, naming her Serena. She had her
father's black hair but her mother's soft hazel eyes. Percy had passed out of Auror training
with flying colors, quickly being put on active duty. Bill and Fleur had also become engaged
toward the end of the school year.

The summer leading up to their seventh year had been short and a little worrisome. The
United States had been plagued with several high profile deaths and the loss of several
national relics. They had ignored the warning signs, although now Harry knew they should
have prepared. Besides Bill and Fleur's marriage, it had been a quiet summer vacation for
Britain. Harry and Ginny, as Head Boy and Girl, had taken control of the train and safely saw it
to Hogsmeade, where soon after they received the news of Fudge's death. Harry stood there
now, looking over the others, wondering how things went wrong so quickly.
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"Did all the houses get the Fidelius Charm put up?" he asked.

"Bones Manor and Luna's home are gone," Amelia told him. At seeing the guilty look on
Harry's face, she continued, "They were only material possessions. We can easily get them
back." Harry put his face in his hands, anger swelling in him. This wasn't supposed to happen.
The whole point of the second chance was to stop this. He lifted his hands, slamming his fists
into the coffee table in front of him. It buckled and broke to pieces against his fury.

"Venom picked the wrong person to piss off," he growled. "If he wants war, we'll give him
war."

"Damn it this hurts," one of the men growled as he sat on one of the beds in the room. It had
once been a large parlor; however they had changed it into an infirmary. There were many
beds and most of them were full of injured fighters. Several Healers were running around,
checking on patients and healing where they could. As a healer began to treat the large burns
on his right side, three men walked up to the bed.

"What happened to you Nick?" the tallest asked, a frown on his face.

"When we began our attack on Bones Manor, the sky began to rain fire," Nick explained, pain
laced in his voice. "Someone inside used the Hellfire Tempest Curse." The three men raised
eyebrows at that, surprise evident in their faces.

"That curse is a pain in the ass to use," the shortest and youngest of them said. "Assuming that
person survived using it, they will be tough to beat," he said, obviously liking the idea of a
challenge. The oldest just smirked at him.

"And you think that you will be the one to take this person on?" he asked. "Ian will be first in
line to take them on."

"Did I hear my name?" a silky voice asked behind them. They turned to see Lord Venom walk
up to them. The tallest of the four just smiled at the man and shook his hand.

"Ah, hello my lord," the tallest said mockingly. "It is a pleasure to serve." Venom just smirked,
smacking him in the back of the head. "You know, sometimes I wonder why we are friends,"
the tallest muttered, rubbing the back of his head.

"Shut it Matt," Venom said. He looked at the group of four, some of his most trusted friends.
They were the Saple Brothers, some of the best to ever go through the Chicago Institute of
Magic. They had power and skill in spades, one of them almost equal to himself. All four were
very charismatic in their own ways, both magically and physically. The eldest was Chris. He was
of a medium height with a well built and stocky frame, short brown hair and brown eyes. A few
years older than himself, he liked to use physical attacks while fighting, giving him an edge
over wizards who use magic only.

Matt was the next in line. Matt was the same age as himself, as well as being his oldest friend.
He was the tallest of the four, his curly dark brown hair falling around his face, a sparkle of
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knowledge in his brown eyes. His thin athletic frame made him quick and agile. He was an
expert in Transfiguration and Charms, allowing him to be a very powerful duelist. Matt's
magical power nearly rivaled his own.

Nick, who was lying in the bed, was similar in body type as Matt. He was just an inch shorter,
his athletic frame allowing for quick movement. He had short, buzzed brown hair, his brown
eyes normally twinkling with excitement. A strong duelist, he was very fond of explosive spells.

Zack was the youngest, having just graduated from the Institute the previous school year. With
his long brown hair, the few freckles on his face, and the cool glint in his brown eyes, he
practically radiated that sense of 'being cool'. Short and athletic, he possessed quick reflexes
and speed. He had a talent for long distance spell casting as well.

"How did all your attacks go?" Venom asked curiously. He himself had just gotten back from
killing the Heads of Magical Transportation and Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. He had
only planned on the Head of Transportation, but they were together at the time, which made
it easier. Matt turned to him with a smirk.

"Xenophilius Lovegood is dead. His daughter had come just in time to see it happen too," he
explained. "It was too easy, although that Luna girl has some power, I could sense it. Cute too,"
Matt said with a smirk. Venom rolled his eyes and nodded, turning to Chris, who grimaced.

"The Weasleys were much more defended than I thought. There must have been an alarm
system we missed because they knew we were there. That one Auror in the family sure knows
how to duel as well," he said in annoyance. "Potter himself showed up during it and we had to
back out. Potter has power, and a lot of it." Venom's eyes narrowed. He knew Potter would be
his biggest challenge. Even if he was just seventeen, he was more than anyone had ever
expected.

"The Longbottoms were home when I got there," Zack piped in. "The two Auror parents
managed to barricade themselves pretty well. The Longbottom kid came in behind us in the
middle of it, sent a few blasters into our groups," Zack said. "I managed to drop a shield to
block the worst of the effects for my group before sniping out the old lady." Venom turned to
where Nick was lying, allowing the healer to spread a thick orange paste on his burns.

"I take it Amelia Bones got away?" he asked.

"We got there and I sent a few exploding hexes at various weak spots of the house. Only one
team got in before the air and sky began to swirl with fire," he explained. "Someone used the
Hellfire Tempest." Venom's face took a look of interest.

"That's a difficult spell," he murmured. "I tried it once and it knocked me out for a day
afterwards." He wasn't mad at the two for missing their targets. He knew that these were most
likely some of the most difficult targets. Two for four isn't that bad. "Very well. Brandon, Holly,
and Jasmine have some targets for the night. Matt, I want you to take out the Head of Magical
Games and Sports tonight as well," he ordered, getting a sharp nod from Matt. Venom smirked
in satisfaction. The fight had just begun, and he already held a distinct advantage.
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Ginny groggily rolled over, feeling exhausted and sore all over. Her eyes fluttered open to find
concerned green ones looking right back. She smiled at Harry, although she knew he wouldn't
be too happy with her. He had yet to figure out what she had done to earn herself a long stay
in bed. When he saw her smile, he gave one of relief in return.

"Welcome back to the realm of the living," he teased gently as he kissed her forehead. "You
have been out for two days. I would take a peek at what you did to be this magically
exhausted, but I have a feeling I'm not going to like what I see," he said quietly, a frown
appearing over his face. Seeing her eyes look away, he continued. "What spell did you use
Gin?"

"Hellfire Tempest," she whispered, preparing herself for his verbal tongue lashing. To her
surprise, it never came. She felt his hand gently grab her chin, forcing her to turn and look back
into his eyes. She was just able feel his anger and disappointment before he squashed it down.
He gave her a soft kiss, before getting into the bed and wrapping his arms around her.

"You know that I hate that spell," he murmured. The Hellfire Tempest Curse caused immense
strain on the body. Most couldn't even cast the spell, let alone control it. They had all learned
it with the Unspeakables, however only Harry had ever used it before now. People had died
performing it, usually as a last ditch effort to bring as much damage to the enemy as possible.
He had done it in a controlled environment with expert healers standing by. He was in a coma
for three days before he awoke from it. "It is far too draining and too wild. You were lucky
today Ginny. However, I trust your judgment. Promise me you will only ever use that spell in
the most dire of circumstances? It wasn't needed today."

"I promise," she whispered. Harry smiled again, giving her waist a squeeze.

"Go to sleep Ginny. We have a lot of work to do tomorrow."


A Second Chance

Chapter 25

Preparations
"What was the point?" Sirius asked. "Why did Venom attack?" It had been just five days since
the attacks. The first week at Hogwarts had been tense as several students received letters
delivering news of the death of family. They were once again at Potter Manor, going over
everything that had happened. Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Sirius, Amelia, and Albus were in
the main sitting room discussing the attacks. Neville and Luna were spending time alone with
each other. The pain of losing a part of their families twice was a tough burden to bear.

"Fear," Ginny responded. "He wanted his name to be known and instantly feared. The
question is why did he attack who he did?"

"Look at what every person he attacked has in common," Ron said, looking at the maps laid
out on the tables. He pointed to several of the dots indicating attacks. "There were only two
common details. They were influential in some way in the wizarding world or they were
connected with Harry." He had glanced at Harry when he said that, a clenching of fists the only
show of emotion from his friend. "All of the Department Heads were attacked, all the editors
of newspapers, as well as Harry's closest friends and family members. He succeeded in many
of them as well," he continued sadly. "He wanted chaos."

Venom sure got what he expected. The Ministry had been in a frenzy the past week. With the
loss of so many individuals, they were at a loss of leadership and skill. Those killed were the
Heads of the Departments of Magical Cooperation, Transportation, Magical Games and Sports,
and Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Others were the Head Auror, the editors for the Daily
Prophet and the Quibbler, as well as several Wizengamot members. Scrimgeour had been
killed that night. From the look of his home, he apparated right into an ambush. Amelia had
been promoted to Interim Minister, Frank to the Head of the DMLE, and Alice took
Scrimgeour's job as Head Auror. Arthur had been promoted to the Head of the Department of
Magical Cooperation, while others stepped forward for the other positions. The Aurors had
been put on full alert, while retired Aurors were called back into service and Auror training was
accelerated to get more people battle ready. Amelia was making it clear to Venom that she
would be putting up a fight.

"He seems well informed, judging by the parties attacked and how he discovered where they
all were," Albus mused. "You are certain this is Voldemort's son?" he asked Harry.

"Yes Albus. He told Neville himself," Harry answered. Albus just stroked his beard.

"Curious, I was never aware that he had a son," he murmured quietly. "I highly doubt it was
with any woman he loved or truly care about however. If your judgments are correct, he
should be around young Percival's age. Tom Riddle was far away from having the ability to love
and be affectionate by then."
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"Regardless of who he is, we need a strategy," Amelia said in annoyance. "He tore through
some of the best of Wizarding Britain yesterday and if it wasn't for the quick actions of the
time travelers," she said, motioning to the four there, "more would have died as well."

"It isn't that easy Amelia," Harry stated. "We have no information on where he is or what he is
doing. We don't know how many followers he has, or who they are. To put it blunt, we're blind
right now."

"We just need to be ready for the next attacks," Hermione spoke up. "The first thing we do is
send a powerful cancelling charm into their ranks to cancel portkeys. That way, they can't
leave, dead or alive."

"Alright, remember that strategy. We need to capture someone," Harry said. "For now, don't
use Floo or the Knight Bus anymore. Have an emergency portkey with you at all times."

"I watched Luna's memory of the scene in front of her house," Ron spoke up. "The man that
spoke with her. He had an American accent, Chicago I believe. I remember the accent well
from the war before. I spent some time with a few American Aurors that came over to help us.
They went to the Chicago Institute of Magic. I'll bet that's where they are from," he
speculated. Harry turned to Amelia.

"I want to know every single person that entered Britain from the United States in the past six
months, muggle and magical," he stated. "Cross reference them to find all magical people that
entered the country. I'll bet he entered as a muggle. No normal Ministry wizard would think to
look there for a magical criminal." Amelia nodded. "Albus, get in contact with the Headmasters
and Headmistresses of the North American schools. See if you can get the rosters of all the
students for the past fifteen years. Be as quiet as possible. We won't know if they will be
supporters or not." Albus nodded, having already planned on doing just that. "I'll get in contact
with the Unspeakables later to coordinate with them."

They had soon returned to the school. They couldn't leave for long as the students looked up
to them for guidance and, for the youngest years, protection. The Gryffindor Six were known
for their far-reaching abilities in magic as well as their calm and friendly attitudes. Many went
to them for help or advice. Albus, even though he was getting on in age, was still seen as a
beacon for the light, a protection against any darkness that may come from the world.
Students, even in a time of peace, got a little worried when they weren't at the school. With
the attention on Venom, the students were bound to look to them more.

It was with that Harry led his friends outside to their morning ritual. There was already a crowd
of students waiting at the Quidditch pitch waiting for them. Harry noticed that there were
several more students that had not attended last year and gave a grim smile. At least Venom
was good for something. Their unofficial club in the mornings had gotten a lot of recognition
throughout the school and the Ministry. The grades of the school as a whole had improved.
Defense Against the Dark Arts grades, with the strong teachings of Remus and as the club's
main focus, had improved so much they had to completely change the curriculum to make it
more challenging. While not official or mandatory, all the professors advised going to the
morning sessions.
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"Alright everyone, welcome back," Harry called as he walked into the center of the pitch. Ever
since his fourth year, they traditionally started after the first week so that everyone could get
used to being back at Hogwarts. "For the second years and older, you know why you are here.
Get moving," he yelled out. The students quickly started to break into groups and jog around
the pitch, joined by Neville, Ron, Luna, and Hermione. Harry and Ginny then turned to the few
first years that were standing to the side, unsure of what to do. Harry could pick out the
purebloods in the group, as they were staring up at him with awe. Harry resisted his urge to
roll his eyes, feeling Ginny's amusement through their bond.

"Alright, as you probably know, I'm Harry, and this is Ginny," he said to them, Ginny giving
them a warm smile. "The main point of the group is to not only get into shape," he said,
indicating the running students, "but to teach you spells you can use to defend yourself with."
The muggleborns looked excited about learning magic. He smiled at their enthusiasm. "You
can follow us today ok? If you have any questions, don't be afraid to ask any of us, we don't
bite," he finished.

"Mr. Potter," a voice called behind them. Harry turned to see Albus walking toward him. "May
I speak with you?" he asked, smiling down at the first years, who once again looked awed at
being in the presence of Albus Dumbledore. Even the muggleborns were as they had heard
some of the stories and legends surrounding the man.

"Ginny, could you lead them?" he asked, getting a nod from her before she led the first years
through a slow jog. Harry turned to his Headmaster. "What is it Albus?"

"The Wizengamot is calling for a session to officially elect another Minister and to fill the few
seats that were emptied by last week's violence," Albus explained. "As Chief Warlock, I agreed,
and I knew you would want to come to this meeting," he said, his eyes twinkling mischievously.
Harry nodded in agreement before turning back to the pitch.

"Hermione, Susan, Draco!" he called. The three in question turned and jogged to him. "There
will be a Wizengamot meeting today. Susan, Draco, it is time to take your family seats," he
explained, getting nods from the other two.

"What about me?" Hermione asked, a little confused.

"Don't worry Hermione, you will be needed. Just put on some nice robes and be your normal
encyclopedic self," he said cheekily. She rolled her eyes before nodding and following them up
to the castle.

"Gin, we are going to the Ministry," Harry explained. "The Wizengamot is meeting
and I want us to be there. Take over for me will you? " he asked. He heard her sigh
dramatically.

"I guess I will. Why am I always left behind?" she asked with amusement. "You
always run off with Hermione. You know, Ron won't be too happy with that, "
she announced.
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"He can deal with it," he responded with a mental grin. "It's not my fault she can't
get enough of me."

"Whatever lover-boy. I'll take charge, although the first years may be a bit
disappointed," she teased. "Have fun taking over the Ministry," she said cheerfully,
getting Harry to roll his eyes at her blunt statement, no matter how true it almost was. He had
been waiting for this meeting to happen, and he had several plans to implement.

Harry and Hermione quickly regrouped with the others after having changed in Gryffindor
Tower. Following Albus, they made their way to the gates and outside the wards, were Albus
nodded and they all apparated. Appearing in the Atrium, they swiftly made their way to the
elevators, leaving a sputtering guard who was supposed to check their wands. They soon made
it down to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Stepping off the lift, they made their
way down the hallway and made a right into another hallway. At the end, there was an ornate
door with a plaque on it that read Wizengamot Courtroom. Albus nodded to them and
entered.

"Jasmine!" Venom called as he walked into the sitting room of Riddle Manor. A short minute
later a young woman walked in.

"Yes Ian?" she asked as she flipped her long black hair out of her dark blue eyes. She was short,
darker skinned, and held an exotic beauty. Venom smirked to himself. As much as he tried, she
never did give in to his flirtations.

"Rumor has it that the Wizengamot is meeting today. I want you to infiltrate it. Take the place
of an Auror or reporter," he said as he pulled a soda from the small fridge in the corner. He
shook his head in amusement as he opened it. The Wizarding World over here was so behind
the times. The muggle world truly had better taste. He looked back to see Jasmine smirking at
his drink of choice.

"I think I can do that. You want me to do anything else while I'm there?" she asked. Ian shook
his head.

"No, just get information and get out. I don't need you caught. There will be no assassination
today." She nodded, her hair changing several colors before settling on blonde as well as
shorting to shoulder length. Her eyes turned to a light hazel and her face took on a more heart
shaped figure. Her skinned lightened and she grew two inches before she winked and left the
room. Ian chuckled to himself, noting that he needed to continue his efforts to get together
with the Metamorphmagis.

"The Wizengamot is now in session," Albus' voice boomed over the assorted members. He
stood on a small platform in the middle of a large circular room. There were benches all
around him, housing the various members and advisors with them. Overall, there were around
one hundred people in the room, forty six of them voting members. "We have several
A Second Chance

immediate issues in which to address. Several chairs are to be claimed or passed down to their
rightful heirs as of today." This caused some muttering between the members. The seats were
originally given to the oldest wizarding families when the Wizengamot was first created. They
were passed down from Head to Heir until there was no Heir. If this happened, a potential
member would be put up to be voted on by the remaining members to take over the seat.

"First however, we must decide an official Minister of Magic," Albus called.

"I propose allowing Interim Minister Bones continue," Amos Diggory called out. There were
many grumbles of agreement.

"Very well. All in favor of making Interim Minister Bones' position permanent?" Nearly the
entire group raised their hands. Albus nodded and smiled. "Congratulations Minster, good
luck." Amelia nodded her head in thanks.

"Now we have three members today joining us to take their rightful places amongst the body.
May I present Lady Susan Bones," Dumbledore said, pointing the doors directly in front of him.
Susan walked in, her chin held high, a challenging look on her face, daring any to think little of
her. "She will be taking over the Bones Family Chair as the current Head, Amelia Bones, is now
controlling the Minister of Magic Seat." Susan quickly strode to her seat and sat imperiously.
Amelia and Sirius showed no emotion, but their eyes were twinkling with mirth.

"The next is Lord Draco Malfoy," Albus called out. Draco burst through the doors, the
trademark Malfoy sneer on his face. He was dressed in his best silk robes, an air of wealth
surrounding him. "Lord Malfoy will be reclaiming his seat from his proxy, Lady Narcissa." He
walked to where his mother had been acting as proxy to the Malfoy seat until he took it. She
bowed slightly before sitting next to him.

"And last, may I present Lord Harry Potter," he announced once more, causing mutters to
sprout around the area. Harry entered the room, his crimson and gold robes billowing around
him an in imaginary wind, his eyes flashing with power. He scowled slightly around the room,
his mere presence unnerving some of the members. Magic was literally flowing off of him, and
inwardly he smirked. He wanted the older and stubborn members to realize who they were
dealing with. He refused to be treated like a child. "He will be taking over the Potter Family
Chair. Are there any objections to these changes?" No one raised their hands. Albus smiled.
"Very well. We have two chairs that have recently lost their supporting families. Are there any
that wish to propose a new member?" Albus asked.

"I propose Arthur Weasley," Sirius said, standing from his position at the Black Family Chair.

"I second that notion," Frank called out from the Longbottom Family Chair.

"Very well, retrieve Arthur Weasley," Albus called. Arthur was soon standing in the center of
the room, his face blank. "All in favor of admitting Arthur into the Wizengamot," Albus said.
Nearly the entire group raised their hands, only a select obvious few who had not. They
needed a two thirds vote to elect someone new to the Wizengamot. "Very well, Arthur,
welcome to the Wizengamot," Albus said, smiling at the man. Arthur smiled back as well.
A Second Chance

"I will uphold the responsibilities of my position to the best of my ability," he said, before
walking over to the now named Weasley Family Chair.

"Is there another that is to be proposed?" Albus asked. Harry stood.

"I propose one Hermione Granger," he announced, getting some confused looks by the older
members.

"I second that proposal," Amelia said, standing from her spot as Minister. Hermione stepped
into the room, her brown eyes taking in the room with a critical air.

"Excuse me, but I believe this girl is a muggleborn, am I correct?" came a voice that was so
sugary that Harry almost vomited. He looked to his left to see Dolores Umbridge standing in
front of her seat.

"Your point is, Madam Umbridge?" Harry responded coolly. Umbridge looked a little angered
by his uninterested tone but she continued anyway.

"To be a member of the Wizengamot, one must have knowledge of the laws and tradition
befitting the British Wizarding World. A muggleborn of seventeen would not have such
knowledge," she said smugly. Harry smirked slightly.

"Miss Granger has proven herself to be quite knowledgeable in any subject regarding magic,
especially law and customs. I am quite confident that she is the most intelligent person in this
room, no offense intended Chief Warlock," Harry said to Albus. Albus merely smiled.

"None taken Lord Potter, I happen to agree," he said, getting some murmurs from the less
radical purebloods in the room.

"Be that as it may, it is tradition that the members of the Wizengamot are from pureblood
families," Umbridge continued. Hermione rolled her eyes while Harry favored her with an icy
glare.

"Are you suggesting that I should not be a member of this body?" Harry asked, his voice cold
enough to make a dragon shiver. "I will remind you Madam Umbridge that not everyone here
is a pureblood, including the Chief Warlock." Umbridge paled slightly at the insult she
unknowingly said. "Some traditions need to be changed," Harry continued quietly but forcibly.
"The world is changing, whether you like it or not, and young intelligent minds are needed to
refresh this body and keep it working as well as it has in previous years."

"Being intelligent doesn't give you a Wizengamot seat. What else does Miss Granger have to
offer the body?" Sirius asked, knowing full well what she did. Harry spun to his godfather.

"Besides having done extensive research behind customs, traditions, and advancements of the
wizarding world, she can speak seven different languages, including Gobbledygook. She has
also done similar research into customs of several different magical communities. I know her
grades at Hogwarts have shattered records, is that correct Lady Marchbanks?" Harry asked,
turning to the ancient woman.
A Second Chance

"Quite right Lord Potter. Miss Granger received an O on every single OWL test available,"
Madam Marchbanks responded with a smile to Hermione, who blushed lightly under the
praise.

"Besides this," Harry smirked, looking around at every pureblooded witch and wizard, "she can
out duel any pureblood in this room." There were quite a few raised eyebrows and angry
grumbles throughout the room as Harry slammed that statement against their pride.
Hermione caught what Harry was doing and gave him an exasperated look. Harry just winked
at her before turning back to the members.

"You seem very confident of this Lord Potter," a tall man said in a condescending voice to his
right. Harry looked over to see a man in his late fifties, his graying hair immaculately cut, his
steel grey eyes surveying Harry. "I wish to challenge Miss Granger then, as to satisfy my
curiosity as to whether this statement is true."

"Objection, there is no need," Lord Boot, Terry Boot's grandfather began only to be cut across.

"I accept," Hermione said simply. There were several surprised looks as it was well known that
the man she was challenging, Lord Blackthorn, was an excellent dueler. Albus just glanced at
Harry, his eyes twinkling at full strength.

"Very well, we shall have this competition right here," Albus said, waving his wand a few times.
The large oval area in the center of the room was cleared and a dome set up around the room
so that stray spells would not hit the spectators. "Lady Macmillan, as a certified Healer, would
you please stand by incase of injury?" Albus asked Ernie's mother, who was sitting next to her
husband. She nodded, producing her wand and coming down the steps to stand off to the side
of the makeshift arena. Lord Blackthorn had already stepped into the arena, having discarded
his fancy robes for lighter ones. Hermione pulled hers off, showing the muggle clothing
underneath. She saw some sneers from the crowd at her choice but merely shrugged.

"What are the rules Miss Granger?" Blackthorn asked. She shrugged.

"Nothing lethal," she said casually, getting gasps from the crowd. That left a large window in
the spells allowed, including the Cruciatus Curse, provided it wasn't used for too long, and the
Imperious curse. Blackthorn knew this and a maniacal grin spread over his face.

"Prepare yourself you little mudblood," he said quietly so only Hermione could hear him.
"There is no way you will be on the Wizengamot." Hermione raised an eyebrow at the insult
but didn't respond.

"Bow to your opponent," Albus said loudly. Hermione gave a gracious bow with a small grin,
causing Blackthorn to scowl with annoyance. They turned and took ten steps back. "Three,
two, one," Albus said before the duel began. Blackthorn was normally an attacker. He liked to
put his opponent against the ropes and beat them down. This time however, he decided to see
what the girl would do and react accordingly. He was confident there was nothing she could do
that he couldn't handle.
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"I get first shot then?" she asked, before closing her eyes. Seconds later, her body blurred,
eliciting gasps from the spectators. . It suddenly split into two and not a second later, two
Hermiones opened their eyes and smirked in unison at the man. He was so astounded he
didn't make any move as one walked around him.

"Oh, we aren't as magically powerful as the original," the Hermione in front of him said.

"However, we are as fast and as knowledgeable," the one behind him said.

"So there is only one question to really ask yourself," the one in front of him continued, both
of them dropping into different dueling stances.

"Can you handle it?" the Hermione behind him asked.

Harry watched from the sidelines as Hermione and her doppelganger tore Blackthorn apart. He
was constantly dodging, shielding, and getting cursed. He earned his reputation well, however
he was not ready for such a barrage. Both Hermiones worked in unison, their attacks
coordinated and always leaving Blackthorn with something. She stuck to spells meant to annoy
and inconvenience your opponent. So far, Blackthorn had been hit by four tickle charms, a jelly
legs charm, a charm that turned his hair bright pink, a charm that made his shoes grow twice
their normal size, and many other charms, jinxes, and hexes. Even with all that, it was quite
obvious she was toying with him.

"Is that what I think it is?" a man asked next to him. Harry turned to see an older man watching
the fight with fascination.

"A doppelganger? Yes Lord Ogden, Hermione is a true Illusionist," Harry replied. "Only a true
one could get their illusions to actually be able to physically effect someone."

"I've never met a true Illusionist," he said as the second Hermione hit Blackthorn in his behind
with a stinging hex. Ogden chuckled. "She certainly proved herself didn't she? I have a feeling
she will be getting that last seat." Harry smiled at the older man before giving the fight his full
attention. He knew very few could defend against this type of an attack. Harry himself nearly
lost the first time she used it on him. The only reason he won was because he had more raw
power and blasted his way through them. If Blackthorn wanted an even remote chance, he
had to make some type of offensive push.

Finally the two Hermiones blasted down Blackthorn's shield with dual reductor curses before
hitting him with simultaneous bone-breaking curses, one to his right arm and the other to his
left leg. He dropped his wand and fell to the ground in pain. The two Hermiones suddenly
blurred before combining back into the original.

"It's over," Hermione said quietly.

"What do you mean it's over," Blackthorn snarled, grabbing his wand with his left hand and
attempting to stand.
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"You're exhausted and injured. You're not even a challenge to me anymore," Hermione
explained. "It wouldn't be fair for me to keep fighting you. I'm satisfied now. Your pride has
been torn to shreds."

"Crucio!" Blackthorn spat, a violently red curse spiraling out of his wand. There were several
gasps throughout the room as it shot at Hermione. She raised an eyebrow before lifting a hand
and swatting it away. Blackthorn just looked astounded his curse failed.

"Like I said, this fight is over. You can't even concentrate enough to cast a curse properly. That
last Cruciatus lacked the concentration needed to bypass defenses and even inflict pain. Face
it, you have challenged and lost to a fighter who is superior to you. And to make it worse,"
Hermione said with a smirk, "she's just a mudblood, right?" Blackthorn gave her an angry glare
but signaled for Lady Macmillan, who rushed up to him and began to heal him. Hermione
bowed to Albus and then to the other members, waiting for the vote.

"All in favor of initiating Miss Granger into the Wizengamot?" Albus asked quietly. Most hands
rose, including Blackthorn's, who would never admit that he was impressed. "Very well, Lady
Granger, the seat is yours." Hermione gave Albus a wide smile and walked to her new seat.
Putting her robes back on, she settled in it, giving a wink to Harry. It didn't take long for
Blackthorn to return to his seat although not without a noticeable limp.

"Now that we have the Wizengamot back to full capacity, are there any agendas that anyone
wishes to follow?" Albus looked around, his eyes landing on Harry. "Lord Potter, you have the
floor."

"As you all know, we are under threat from a new Dark Lord by the name of Lord Venom,"
Harry spoke. "We need to eliminate possible allies for Venom and one way to do that is to give
them a reason to ally with us instead. I propose we revoke many of the laws limiting magical
creatures, such as werewolves." There was an instant uproar by Umbridge and the few allies
she had in the Wizengamot.

"Absolutely not. Those laws are in place for a reason. They protect us from those savage beasts
and help us keep them under control," Umbridge protested.

"Madam Umbridge, have you ever met a werewolf?" Harry asked in annoyance. He didn't give
her a chance to respond. "I have, in fact he is one of my most trusted friends. I can tell you
know that every student to have gone through Hogwarts in the past three years has interacted
with a werewolf on a daily basis. There has yet to be one incident." There were many confused
looks around the room.

"Who is this you speak of Lord Potter?" Charles Parkinson asked with a sneer. He was the
eldest nephew of Pansy's father. The seat fell to him when his Uncle was killed by the
Unspeakables.

"Remus, if you would please?" Harry called out. Remus walked into the room nervously,
fidgeting in his new robes that Harry forcibly bought him. There were various forms of shock
on every members face as many of them had children or family that spoke highly of Remus'
teachings. "Remus Lupin has been a werewolf most of his life, having been bit as a child. As
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you know, he took the position of Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor not four years ago.
His teachings have significantly improved the overall grades of DADA, isn't that correct Lady
Marchbanks?" he asked.

"OWL and NEWT scores for the last several years have jumped Lord Potter," she responded.

"Be that as it may, werewolves are dangerous dark creatures and have no place being in a
school!" Umbridge practically screamed.

"Does he look dangerous to you?" Harry responded calmly. "Does Remus look like he will
attack you at any second? Unless there is a full moon, werewolves are like you and me, a
simple person trying to live their life."

"It doesn't matter. Even if we revoke the laws today, he still must resign as he has been
discovered breaking the laws before they were revoked," Umbridge said smugly. It was Remus
that answered.

"I have already submitted my resignation and a replacement has been found," Remus
explained.

"And who is the replacement?" Lord Wood, Oliver Wood's father asked.

"I am," came a soft voice from the main doors. They all turned to see a woman who looked to
be in her forties almost glide into the courtroom. She was dressed elegantly, her long brown
and slightly graying hair pulled away from her kind face and into a ponytail. Her forest green
eyes glanced over the crowd, seemingly observing the very souls of the people in the room.
Intelligence nearly radiated from her. "I think that I will be satisfactory to your requirements."

"Oh really? And why is that miss?" Lady Avery asked in annoyance. She was Avery Senior's
grandmother. She took over the seat when Avery was killed by the Unspeakables until Jacob
Avery, her great grandson, was out of Hogwarts. She was an older woman, just over a century
of age. The woman looked at Lady Avery with a cold glare.

"I would respect your elders if I were you," she said quietly.

"Elders? I'll have you know I am one hundred and four years old!" Lady Avery spat.

"Then as I am six hundred and sixty four, I suggest you begin to show your respect," Perenelle
Flamel said icily, her soft and gentle demeanor disappearing in an instant. Lady Avery's eyes
widened comically in recognition before she seemed to shrink in her seat. Perenelle turned her
head to the rest of the members, a soft smile appearing on her face again. "How silly of me, I
haven't introduced myself. My name is Perenelle Flamel, and I have recently been chosen as
Defense Against the Dark Arts professor."

"We were told the Sorcerer's Stone was destroyed!" Lord Abbot, Hannah's father exclaimed.
Perenelle's smile widened.

"My Lord, you don't think my husband and I would forget how to make one do you?" she
asked slyly. There were several gob-smacked expressions as people realized the obviousness of
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that statement. "If you wish for a complete list of my accomplishments and qualifications, I can
have them sent to each of you before the week's end."

"Thank you Perenelle," Harry said with a fond smile at the older woman. She smiled back
before giving a small curtsy and leaving the room. "As that has been settled, let us turn back to
the Werewolf Legislation. My intended, Ginevra Weasley, along with Potions Master Severus
Snape, have discovered a variation of the Wolfsbane Potion which enables complete control
during the transformation. I am willing to submit a memory of myself interacting with Remus
during a transformation," Harry said to the surprise of the crowd. Albus nodded, flicking his
wand. A large pensieve floated into the room, settling on a pedestal in front of him. Harry
walked down to the large stone bowl, depositing a memory inside it. He tapped it with his
wand, causing the memory to show above it. It began with Remus transforming before Harry
walked into the picture. There were many gasps as Harry just patted Remus on the head.
Remus just licked his hand before settling down on the floor for a boring night.

"As you can see, with the potion, a werewolf is no more dangerous than a puppy," Harry said
with a grin. Harry looked around the room, noticing many of the neutral members were
looking thoughtful, while Umbridge looked ready to blow up. "I propose we take off the
limitations on jobs for a werewolf and start legislation to help provide Wolfsbane Potion to
those werewolves, for a small fee of course. There are many talented individuals out there that
were unlucky to be bitten at a young age."

Jasmine sat in the press box, her pen charmed to write every word down on a pad of paper as
she watched. She had rolled her eyes at all the quills and parchment around her. She had to
admit however that she was impressed with Potter. He had the Wizengamot eating out of his
hand. Granger was also very talented. As a true Illusionist, she would give even Ian and Matt a
challenge. She had been surprised to see Perenelle Flamel. The Flamels were known around
the world and few knew what they still did or if they were even still alive. She didn't think an
important person like Perenelle Flamel would waste her time teaching DADA. She smirked in
amusement as he was able to pull enough influence to revoke the Werewolf Legislation. That
odd woman who looked like a toad looked ready to kill him. She noticed some of the members
that Ian had gotten a hold on sitting in the crowd and watching intently, although they wore
scowls on their faces. They weren't too happy with the laws being revoked either. Ian didn't
care either way. He took only the best into his graces, taking everything else he needed. He
had his ways to make people loyal to him, and they were much more subtle than threats of
death or loss of family. She grabbed her pen and paper, getting up and following the other
press members as they left the large room. She needed to report back to Ian.

She quickly made her way to the Atrium, disappearing as soon as she hit the apparation point.
She appeared on the lawn of Riddle Manor, her appearance returning to normal. A minute
later she was knocking on Ian's room.

"Come in," he heard from the other side. Opening the door, she found Ian pouring over several
maps of England as well as several blueprints of various buildings and towns. He looked up at
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her and grinned. "Ah Jasmine, I knew you couldn't resist for too long." She rolled her eyes
before smacking him in the back of the head with her notepad.

"Get over yourself. Anyway, you may want to read this. I added a few notes on my walk up
here. Your, what is it? Ah yes, revenge is going to be a bit more difficult than you think," she
said, before leaving the room. Ian grinned wolfishly at her retreating figure before opening the
pad of paper and scanning its contents. True Illusionist, loss of werewolf restrictions, and
Potter basically taking the Wizengamot to task were the main things that stood out to him. He
had told his friends that this campaign was for revenge for this father, hiding his true motive of
trying to eliminate weakness and those that allow it. He heard another knock on his door. He
looked up to see Matt walk into the room. You wouldn't have guessed the young man was a
wizard. He was dressed in a pair of jeans, a white polo and sandals.

"I got your message," Matt said, his face and voice void of emotion. Ian knew that look
however. It meant he didn't agree with what he was told. Very few would dare disobey him,
the only ones being his actual friends. Even less would actually outright refuse to do something
without a damn good explanation. Matt was one of few. Matt was the only person to ever best
him in a duel, as well as the only one to really reach his intelligence as well. Magic came
naturally to both of them, just like Harry Potter it seemed.

"You don't agree with it," Ian said. It wasn't a question. Matt raised an eyebrow before
conjuring a comfortable chair with a wave of his hand and sitting down. Ian had to admit, while
he was good at Transfiguration, Matt was the best. He had already won several awards for the
subject alone.

"I will not kill innocent women and children," he stated, a little anger settling in his voice.
"They did nothing to deserve being at the wrong end of my wand. I will go through with your
attack if you truly wish me to because I know of your wish," Matt allowed in understanding.
"But I will be killing one person and one person only." Ian nodded.

"I understand Matt. The target is the only one then. Pick your group. The attack is tomorrow."
Matt nodded and stood, vanishing his chair. He spun and walked out the door. Ian sighed as he
turned back to his desk. Matt was his most trusted ally and friend, however they had their
differences. He just hoped Matt would understand soon why he was doing this.

"Harry?" Albus said as he walked into his office. Harry was standing next to Fawkes,
absentmindedly stroking the bird's feathers while deep in thought. "What's wrong?" Harry
sighed and turned as Albus settled himself behind his desk.

"I've been going over everything, past and present, and I can't think of what Venom wants,"
Harry said, his frustration evident. "I know he wants to kill me, however I doubt it's for revenge
for his father." Albus nodded, understanding what Harry was going through. He had done the
very same thing with Grindelwald and Voldemort, however he had much more to work with.

"Perhaps you aren't seeing the whole picture my boy," Albus began slowly. Harry looked to
him, waiting for him to elaborate. "Perhaps Ian doesn't want anything specific," he continued.
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"Some men do things with no obvious explanation for their actions. Some people just want to
watch the world burn."

"I hope you're wrong Albus, because if you're not, this war is going to be much harder than we
thought," Harry muttered.
A Second Chance

Chapter 26

Plans and Theories


"Class, you may be seated," came a musical voice. Harry and his friends quickly found a seat in
the front row of the classroom. The only one missing was Ginny, and she was in Diagon Alley.
She needed some special ingredients generally only found in Knockturn Alley. Her absence
wasn't really noticed as one or two of the six of them generally disappeared every once in a
while. It was then that Perenelle stepped out of the doorway in the back of the classroom. She
gave them all a soft smile as she walked up to the desk. "As you were told, I am Professor
Flamel. No, I will not answer any questions on the Sorcerer's Stone, and yes, I am over six
hundred years old," she said in amusement. "Now I am here to take over for Mr. Lupin, who is
now taking his examinations for Auror School." Ever since Harry had taken the Wizengamot to
task, werewolves from around the country had been flocking to the Ministry to sign up for the
Wolfsbane Potion as well as for jobs. Many werewolves were entering the Auror force as
Amelia and Frank were welcoming them with open arms. With their enhanced strength and
senses, they were an asset to the force.

"Who here has been taught about the Unforgivable Curses?" she asked, getting a raised hand
from everyone. "Who here was told that the Unforgivable Curses were unable to be blocked?"
Once again, everyone raised their hands. "Who here believes this?" Nearly everyone raised
their hands, except for the five time-travelers, Susan, and Draco. The other students looked
surprised at them. Perenelle raised an eyebrow before pointing to Neville. "Mr. Longbottom,
you say you don't believe this to be true. Why is that?"

"Several reasons professor," Neville spoke. "They are said to be unable to block as they bypass
any magical shield," he said, stressing magical. "A simple conjured wall will stop all three.
Sufficient Occlumency shields or strength of mind will stop the Imperious Curse as well." By
then, the Ravenclaws in the classroom were hurriedly taking notes. The NEWT classes were a
combination of all four houses, DADA being the biggest out of all the courses.

"Very good Mr. Longbottom, ten points to Gryffindor. Yes, those three curses can be stopped,
which we shall be practicing today. Don't worry, we will not be throwing unforgivable curses
around today," she said, seeing some worried faces in the crowd. They soon paired up,
conjuring walls to block jinxes and hexes. Harry smiled slightly at the students as he sent a few
jinxes at Susan, who conjured a small stone wall to block them. He had helped Remus with the
curriculum which Perenelle was continuing. It was all about survival and fighting in the seventh
year. Many of the abilities learned in the first year of Auror training were now learned in the
seventh year. Frank and Alice had to redo the curriculum for Auror training, practically cutting
a year from the training time. It was then that his connection with Ginny changed. She had
been cheerful and content with shopping when suddenly confusion and skepticism replaced it.

"Ginny? What's going on?" he asked.

"I'm not sure," she responded. "I sense several people under several concealment
charms."
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"Be careful Ginny," he said with concern. "I'll be waiting in case you need me."

Ginny smiled happily as she made her way down Diagon Alley. She always did like shopping,
especially for things she wanted. She needed to buy some extremely expensive ingredients
from the Apothecary. She couldn't wait to see the man's face when she asked for them. They
would cost her several hundred galleons, not that it would make a dent in the Potter Vault.
She was about to walk into Gringotts when she felt foreign charms in an alley. They were very
faint, and when she turned her head that way, she couldn't see anything. She knew now they
were for concealment. They were well done, any better and she would have not sensed them.

"Ginny? What's going on?" she heard Harry ask her.

"I'm not sure," she responded. "I sense several people under several concealment
charms."

"Be careful Ginny," he said with concern. "I'll be waiting in case you need me." She
walked into the main lobby of Gringotts and into a secluded corner of the lobby. Winking to a
nearby goblin, who nodded in return, she disappeared and crept back out to the alley. She
spread her awareness as much as possible, sensing not only one but three others around the
nearby shops. They seemed to be spread around Ollivanders. She slowly made her way behind
one and with a swift swing, knocked the man out with a blow to the back of the head. She put
up an illusion before hitting him with a powerful cancelation charm. She gave a grim smile at
seeing the familiar blood red robes. She tied him up with ropes and stunned him for good
measure before placing her own concealment charms. She dropped the illusion and looked
around the alley, noting the other spots she sensed hidden people. She knew there had to be
more than just four.

"So much for shopping," she thought to herself in annoyance.

Matt made his way down Diagon Alley. He didn't bother with a concealment charm. Very few
people in this country even knew he was there, let alone his face and name. He smiled softly at
all the people happily making their way around the alley shopping. He remembered going to
the Wizarding Mall of Chicago with his parents and brothers every year before school. He
hated the thought that he was about to hurt someone here. He scowled at the thought of his
"mission." Only one person would be hurt today.

He strode toward the wand shop. He quickly noted the ten Cobras he had brought with him.
They were spread around the Alley, concealment charms on. He nodded to himself and quickly
put them out of his mind. He strode up to Ollivanders and walked in, his stance relaxed.

"I don't seem to know who you are," came a soft voice. Matt turned slowly to see Ollivander
slowly walk out from between two shelves of wands.

"That would probably be because I'm from the States," Matt responded. Ollivander nodded,
eyeing him curiously.
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"I can feel your wand in your holster, so I know you aren't here for that," Ollivander observed.
Matt raised an eyebrow in surprise. "I assume young Venom wishes me dead?"

"You assume correctly," Matt said with a sigh, pulling his wand out of his holster.

"But you don't wish to do it," Ollivander said, his wand having already appeared in his hand.

"No I don't. But my loyalty is to my friends. I am sorry," Matt said, his wand shooting forward.

"These guys are idiots," Ginny thought to herself as she tied a third man up and straightened.
It was then the front window of Ollivanders shattered outwards, the sounds of spellfire coming
from inside. Ignoring the screams of the shoppers, she quickly ran to the doorway, merely
vanishing the door instead of opening it to find a man standing over an unconscious
Ollivander. Ginny saw his wand's tip glowing an eerie green. She flicked her wand, a cutting
curse flying for his wrist. The man however quickly spun away and faced her. Both of their eyes
widened in surprise at the sight of each other.

"It's you," Ginny growled. "You killed Luna's father." She was momentarily surprised by the
guilt that had to be forcibly removed from his face. They could hear the sounds of spellfire
outside the shop. Obviously there were more of Venom's followers hiding. They must be
fighting the Aurors. It didn't matter though as she had a bigger problem. If what she was
sensing about the man was correct, she was in for a rough fight.

"Red hair, pretty face, Ginny Weasley right?" he asked her. She didn't give him a response. "My
name is Matt Saple," he told her. "Please leave Ginny. I don't want to fight you."

"To late for that," she snarled before throwing several curses at him. He calmly blocked them,
making sure they were deflected either into the floor or out the broken window, much to her
surprise. She didn't notice his left hand giving discreet waves. It was a minute later she sensed
something jump at her from behind. She rolled to her left, just in time to see a panther lunge
past her. She quickly noticed the couple chairs in the room were gone. Just as she aimed her
wand at the panther, a large wooden toy soldier suddenly grabbed her from behind, holding
her arms at her sides. Matt quickly disarmed and petrified her before canceling the spell on
the panther, which changed back into a chair.

"I see you weren't ready for my transfiguration," Matt said as he walked up to her. "Not many
are. They never expect someone so young to be able to do that."

"Why are you doing this?" Ginny asked him, hoping to stall for time. She could feel Harry
making his way to Diagon Alley.

"To be honest, I'm not entirely sure myself anymore," he responded, a frown spreading over
his face. He pointed his wand at her. "Don't worry Ginny, I don't kill women and children," he
reassured her softly. She saw a flash of fire behind Matt before his wand flashed red and she
knew no more.
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Ginny's eyes opened blurrily before she sat up quickly, her magic getting ready to lash out at
any threat. It was then she noticed Harry sitting next to her bed, obviously asleep. His face was
scrunched up in concern. Ginny relaxed a little, grabbing his hand. The contact made his face
instantly soften. His eyes slowly fluttered opened and he smiled tiredly at her.

"You know, usually it's me in the bed and you sitting next to me," Harry teased gently. "You
were only stunned but I decided to let you sleep. Show me," he said, looking into her eyes. She
quickly brought the memory up in their minds, letting it play for him. He nodded as it ended. "I
got the Cobras as they call themselves from that alley. I was vaguely following your progress
while in class. I had Fawkes flash me into Ollivanders when I felt you get disarmed. That man,
Saple, glanced at me and Ollivander before taking his portkey."

"He's a very good dueler," Ginny mumbled, her pride bruised. "He fights like Dumbledore. His
transfiguration and control are flawless. He seemed so unsure of his own motives though," she
mused. Harry nodded. Matt definitely did not look happy to be there.

"I know what you're thinking Ginny, and I highly doubt it," Harry said to her. She gave him an
annoyed look. "I doubt he can be turned against Venom. I got Ollivander's memory of the fight
before you arrived. Saple was merely there out of loyalty to Venom. He may disagree with
Venom's methods, but he won't leave him."

"I'm not saying I won't kick his arse next time I see him but it just seemed so odd for him to be
like that while being with Venom," Ginny mumbled. Harry nodded in understanding. "It was
just a thought. If he starts fighting Venom, I'm not going to stop him."

"The Cobras were questioned under Veritiserum," Harry continued. "They didn't know much.
We were right about the muggle methods of traveling to Britain. We also got a few names and
that their base of operations is under Fidelius and that the secret keeper is unknown." Ginny
nodded, taking in all the information Harry had. She still had a lingering feeling that Matt
wasn't as bad as he seemed.

Matt appeared in Riddle Manor's entrance hall, not at all happy with how that mission went.
He took satisfaction in his ability to accomplish these missions, whether he liked them or not.
It was a serious wound to his pride. His men were waiting for him in the waiting room of the
hall.

"Report," he barked at one of the men as he walked in. One man stepped forward.

"Sir, we are missing three from the group, they must have been captured and relieved of their
portkeys." Matt nodded, not at all surprised. Ginny seemed to have been there longer that just
for their duel. Her friends and she would have noticed their use of portkeys at every fight so
far. She must have canceled them. He motioned for the man to continue. "The Aurors came
running after the windows were blown out. We stopped them, only one of us taking any type
of injury. I believe it was Black that got that Cobra." Black was known for being one of the best
Aurors the force had. "There was a force of twelve Aurors. We killed two of them." With that,
Matt spun, his wand out and pointed at the man.
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"Crucio!" he roared, the spell connecting with the man's chest. He fell to the ground
screaming. Matt released him after twenty seconds. "I thought I said only Ollivander was to die
today, Jackson," Matt said, his normally warm brown eyes frigid and cold. Jackson stuttered in
pain on the floor.

"Sir, I apologize. We were outnumbered," Jackson began but Matt stopped him.

"You are better trained and had the advantage of invisibility," Matt said, his voice so cold the
others shivered. "That is no excuse. Disobey me again and you will be my next target." The
man nodded quickly. "Get out of my sight, all of you." All but one quickly fled the room. The
last one walked over to him while dropping his hood.

"You alright Matt?" he asked. He had long dark brown hair just past his shoulders pulled back
into a ponytail. He was shorter than Matt, although he had the same slim and athletic build.
His eyes seemed to swirl with every color giving him an odd gaze. Matt took a deep breath,
pushing his anger away.

"Yeah, sorry for that Brandon," he said. "I didn't manage to take out Ollivander. Ginny Weasley
showed up and stalled me long enough for Potter to show up. The Aurors were on their way
and I didn't want to fight Potter, not yet anyway," Matt explained, getting a nod of sympathy
from Brandon. Brandon was one of the seven Ian actually trusted, his fast speed and dueling
prowess making him a very useful asset.

"I took on Black after he took out Glade," Brandon said as they made their way to their rooms.
"He's good, but I managed to get him with a cutting curse to his left arm just before our
portkeys activated." Matt nodded as he listened to Brandon's report. They soon came up to
Matt's room.

"I'll see you later Brandon," he said, getting a lazy wave in return. He walked into his room and
sat at his desk. He once again began to contemplate why he was doing this. He didn't like
killing. He was however fiercely loyal to his brothers and friends. He thought back to Ginny
Weasley. Why was he doing this? He wasn't lying when he told her he didn't know himself
anymore. He had to rethink his reasons. He thought of Ian as another brother, but he didn't
know if he could continue.

"This should work," the woman explained as she slowly added ingredients to a cauldron. "All
we need is someone on the inside. Once we have one, we will easily have more. After we get
the majority, we can easily take it." Ian nodded his head in understanding. It was a brilliant
plan, thought up by the woman in front of him. Her name was Holly. She was home schooled,
having met Ian during his childhood. She wasn't much for dueling, but she had a pretty face
and an extreme talent for Potions. She was short, thin, with a slender body, her short blonde
hair holding red streaks. Her hazel and blue eyes seemed to hypnotize, which may have
explained the extreme devotion she had from the small brick red kneazle sitting on her
shoulder watching her brew the potion. The kneazle seemed to be as smart as her in potions
because sometimes she would knock ingredients from Holly's hand when they were the wrong
ones.
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"I have several connections," Ian mused. "They would all willingly help." Holly nodded as she
stirred her potion almost lovingly. "Are you sure they will not see it coming?" Holly shot him a
withering look.

"It's tasteless, contorts to the consistency and color of the drink it is added to, and hides itself
from all diagnostic charms and potions. It will activate when you want it to," she said as she
looked back at her potion. She grinned at it. "It's a masterpiece. You're lucky you got to me
early. This project took me three years of constant study and testing." Ian nodded, walking
away to allow her to brew in peace. He was very glad he asked her early. He grinned
maniacally as he walked back up the stairs of the dungeons. Soon he would make his move and
soon, Harry Potter would face him. He was lusting for a battle with the Boy-Who-Lived. Win or
lose, it would be a battle that would be exhilarating to the very end.

"You heard what Ginny said Albus. Matt Saple is merely one of Venom's best men. She said
that she sensed enough power to rival Neville!" Harry ranted as he paced in front Albus' desk.
"If Saple is that good, how powerful is Venom? I'm not much more than Neville, you know
that. How can he be that powerful?" Harry asked. Albus sighed.

"I'm not sure my boy. I have a theory or two," Albus said. Harry gave him an annoyed look,
which Albus chuckled slightly at seeing before continuing. "He was born from a father of
extraordinary power and from a powerful bloodline. Salazar Slytherin was no slouch," he
explained. "He also did not live a childhood of neglect. It nurtured his growth. I can only
imagine how powerful Tom or you would have become if either of you had a good childhood
as well," he said with a bit of sadness and regret. "Another theory, and it is a theory as it has
never been and can't really be tested, is that since he doesn't seem to have created Horcruxes,
his body and magic are stronger with a full, albeit cracked, soul." Harry nodded his head, the
information quickly being sorted in his mind.

"I'll have a two Unspeakables look for evidence about Horcruxes and I'll get all information
regarding magical growth and strength theories from the Mystery Archives," Harry said.
"Hermione can look it over and see if there is any evidence for your ideas." Harry closed his
eyes, taking a deep breath before opening them. "He's coming. I can feel it. It won't be pretty."
He turned and walked toward the door.

"We men are wretched things," Albus heard as Harry disappeared down the stairs.
A Second Chance

Chapter 27:

Flames of Battle
"Are you ready?" Ian asked, looking around at his most trusted allies. Around him were the
Saple brothers, Jasmine, Brandon, and Holly. He received nods from all of them. He picked up
the small and potion in front of him. It was the product of months of brewing but it had been
worth it. He grinned before downing the potion in one swift gulp. He suddenly felt his body
flux with excess magic before the feeling ended. He knew his plan just entered its final phase.
"Very well. Get your teams. It's time."

Harry paced in the Quidditch locker room. Venom had been relatively quiet for the last month
or so, a few random attacks on Ministry officials were the only events that happened, and only
about half succeeded. As much as Harry hated to hear about the deaths, seeing so many
stopped or failed attacks was a welcome sight. He felt guilty playing Quidditch when he could
be out searching for Venom and being more active in the fight.

"I know what you're thinking. I feel the same way but we can't let him rule our lives," Ginny
said as she wrapped her arms around him from behind. "This is just like Tom. He is trying to
make us lose faith and patience. If we act now, we will tire and make mistakes later. We must
do what we can and right now, there just isn't much we can do." Harry smiled slightly.

"Thanks Ginny," he said as he turned and gave her a small peck. She smiled back before they
walked back to the group getting ready for the game. Ron and Hermione were talking over a
small diagram of a Quidditch field while Demelza Robbins, Jimmy Peakes, and Ritchie Coote sat
together, looking a little nervous but ready to go. "Ready to go everyone?" he asked, getting
nods in return. He led them to the doorway to the field as he heard Dean Thomas announce
the Slytherins. He grinned at them before mounting his Firebolt and launching out the
doorway.

"And here come the Gryffindors!" Dean's voice boomed over the pitch. "They are led by
Captain and Chaser Harry Potter! Following him are Chasers Ginny Weasley and Demelza
Robbins, Keeper Ron Weasley, Beaters Jimmy Peakes and Ritchie Coote, and Seeker Hermione
Granger!" The Gryffindor stands burst into furious applause as Harry landed in front of Draco,
who was giving him a slight scowl.

"About time you got down here Potter. Must you always show off before a match?" he
drawled in annoyance. Harry just grinned, sticking out his hand, which Draco quickly shook.

"Good luck to you too Draco," Harry said before backing up and mounting his broom. Victor
walked up to them, the quaffle held under one of his arms.

"I want a clean game," he said, his Bulgarian accent nearly gone from years of being in
England. With that, he threw the quaffle up, which was quickly grabbed by Harry. He passed
over to Ginny, who sent it to Demelza, who passed back to him. He was about to shoot when
he felt a foreign magic slam against his Occlumency shield. He staggered, dropping the quaffle.
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He contained the attack and realized the entire stadium was silent. He looked down, seeing
nearly everyone in the stands taking out wands.

"Harry? What was that?" he heard Ginny ask in his mind. He then saw most wands point up at
them.

"Get to the chamber!" Harry yelled just as the spells flew at them. He noticed Jimmy, Ritchie,
Demelza, and the Slytherin players all had their wands out as well. He darted away, constantly
spinning and swirling through the spells filling the air. He pushed his broom to its maximum
speed, quickly leaving the pitch and soaring toward the castle, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny right
behind him. He dropped to just a foot over the ground, which caused the other Quidditch
players chasing them to follow. Just feet from the door, he slammed on the breaking charms,
causing him to flip over the broom. Landing on his feet, he spun throwing out his hands just as
the three other time-travelers passed him. A shockwave shot from his hands, knocking the rest
of the Quidditch players pursuing them off their brooms. They fell to the remaining couple feet
to the ground, not receiving any serious injuries, which was Harry's plan. He then jumped back
onto his broom, flying toward the chamber with the others who were able to resist that odd
magic. They burst through the door to the bathroom, landing in front of the sink.

"Open!" Harry hissed quickly. As the sink disappeared, two shadows appeared near their left.
They turned to see Neville and Luna form from the shadows, their wands out and looking
ruffled but unhurt. Neville was holding an unconscious Susan in his arms. "Tell us when we get
down there," Harry said as he jumped into the pipe.

Being Headmaster wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Albus was sitting in his office doing
paperwork for the coming year as well as giving helpful advice to several acquaintances. He
looked out his window toward the Quidditch pitch where the students were currently
gathering for the Quidditch match. He wished he had the time to go watch today. He always
did get excited watching the games. After all, he had been a chaser for Gryffindor in his time at
Hogwarts. He especially liked watching Harry. The boy was extremely talented at the game,
just like his father. He once again sighed before turning back to his paperwork. He heard the
roar of the crowd, knowing the Gryffindors were most likely just announced. They were by far
one of the best teams Hogwarts had seen in its many years. It was only minutes later when he
felt magic smash into his Occlumency shields. He shook his head slightly, slamming his shields
to maximum and containing the attack.

He stood, swiftly pulling out his wand. He looked out the window to see several people racing
toward the school on brooms. One flipped off his before blasting most of the others off their
brooms. He knew that must have been Harry. Harry took his group quickly into the castle. He
looked down to see most of his teaching staff and several older students running to the castle
now. He was trying to think what would prompt Harry to do what he did. He quickly left the
office, moving down the hallways and meeting his teachers, minus Severus, Perenelle, and
Filius, halfway.
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"Minerva, what is happening?" he asked. She merely narrowed her eyes, before her wand shot
to her hand, as did the wands of all the other teachers. He looked into her eyes, noticing the
odd gleam in them.

"Albus, come with us. I promise not to kill you until our lord gets here," she hissed, pointing
her wand at him. He quickly observed the others, noticing they all pointed their wands at him.
He raised an eyebrow before his wand moved in a blur, a bright white light flashing out of his
wand. It temporarily blinded the staff as he sent a hail of stunners into the crowd. Just then,
Fawkes appeared and he grabbed a tail feather, before disappearing in a flare of fire back to
his office.

"Hogwarts, lock down this room," he stated boldly. He felt magic ripple through the room
before the windows, door, and fireplace disappeared, replaced by stone wall. The stone walls
were then reinforced with several wards and shields. He now knew what Harry had been
running from. He looked to his familiar. "Do you know where Harry is Fawkes?" he asked. The
bird merely chirped lightly before holding out his tail feathers. Albus smiled and grabbed on,
flashing away.

"Ian, I just received word from Hogwarts. It worked," Jasmine said as she walked into the
meeting room in Riddle Manor. A wicked smile spread over Ian's face. Standing, he motioned
for his most trusted to follow him.

"Let's have our castle shall we?" he said with a slight chuckle. They walked out of the Manor
and to the apparation point on the property. With a pop, they appeared just outside the wards
of Hogwarts. They quickly made their way to the gates, where they were met by the entire
teaching staff, except for Dumbledore, Snape, Flamel, and Flitwick. McGonagall quickly walked
forward, opening the gates for them.

"My Lord, welcome to Hogwarts," McGonagall said in almost slavish loyalty. Ian grinned
maniacally when he realized how well his plan was working. The potion Holly created was pure
genius. Nearly undetectable, it was tied to the potion he drank not an hour ago. When he
drank his potion, it activated all the others, which had been slowly added to the drinks of
students and teachers throughout the last month. Once activated, it would take over the mind
of the individual, enslaving their loyalties and forcing them to work toward his goals. Only
people with strong Occlumency could hope to resist the potion. Occlumency wasn't widely
known, so few would resist. He knew Potter and his friends would, as well as Dumbledore,
Snape, and Flamel.

"Thank you Minerva. Please, report over who is not loyal to me and who you captured," he
said as he began to walk toward the school. He couldn't help but feel giddy. He had Hogwarts
in the palm of his hands and the Ministry didn't even know.

"What happened out there? And why is Susan unconscious?" Harry asked as they made their
way into the chamber.
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"I don't know. I felt a foreign magic attack my Occlumency. I contained it but everyone around
me pulled out their wands," Neville explained. "Luna ducked as I sent a wide area knockback
hex. Someone stunned Susan and I grabbed her. I saw you four leave, so I shadow walked back
to the castle with her. Luna followed." Harry nodded as he absentmindedly opened the
chamber.

"Put her on the bed over there," Ginny replied and Neville nodded, laying her on one of the
beds in the chamber. Ginny quickly grabbed a vial from her potion's area and took a blood
sample from Susan.

"I'll figure out what's going on with us. Think up a plan on how the hell we are going to get out
of here and take back the school," Ginny said to Harry as she walked to her lab. Ron was just
starting to pull out their maps of the school when there was a flash of fire. They turned to see
Albus and Fawkes appear.

"Good to see you Albus," Harry said with a grim smile. Albus returned one.

"I take it Venom has made a valiant effort to take the school," the older man stated. Harry just
nodded. The twinkle in Albus' eyes doubled in strength. "I assume it will soon be a failed
effort?" The group of them just grinned.

"All the students are in the Great Hall," Chris Saple, the eldest brother, reported. "The
professors are watching over them. I have fourteen groups of four Cobras, two on each floor
patrolling the school. Forty others are on the grounds, watching over the gates." Ian nodded.

"Good. Make sure no communications are sent. Who is guarding the few that managed to
resist the potion?" Ian asked.

"The last four Cobras," came the swift reply. Ian nodded again, his mind going over the school
by every angle. He had one hundred Cobras as well as himself and his seven inner circle
members. With nearly the whole staff and student body fighting for him as well, he had quite a
force, especially when his enemies would be unwilling to hurt the students. It was then he felt
it. It was very subtle, but it was there nonetheless. The wards shifted just slightly. The school's
magic had before felt ancient and wise. The intelligent and wise feeling was still there, but it
felt younger and more powerful. His eyes narrowed.

"You felt it too?" he heard Matt murmur to him. He nodded. "A switch. The controller of the
wards has changed. That is the only thing that could change how wards this powerful feel."
Matt frowned in thought. "I don't think Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster any longer."

"It is a lot of information isn't it?" Albus asked in amusement as Harry held his head. "You will
get used to it in a few minutes." Harry nodded, the inflow of information Hogwarts was giving
him incredible. He knew where every secret passage, every ghost, every person was. Hogwarts
answered to the Headmaster, however had the ability to limit the information she gave,
depending on how she felt about her Headmaster. As a direct blood heir of Gryffindor, chosen
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heir of Slytherin thanks to Voldemort, and now the Headmaster, Hogwarts showed him
everything. He could feel her magic humming around him, the powerful wards around her
walls, the massive vats of excess magic waiting for his call. He knew now why no Headmaster
had ever lost a fight at Hogwarts unless he wanted to. The school would keep him energized,
letting him fight for days on end. He would have to be severely overpowered or unskilled to
lose. Finally the pain started to disappear and he looked up.

"Venom has no idea what he is about to go up against. I know now why you were always so
energetic and cheerful at school Albus," he said, looking at the elder man. "I could unleash my
most powerful spells for hours before I started to feel fatigued." He turned to Ginny to see
wonder spread on her face as well. He grinned. "Ginny's getting the same thing I am. All the
information and strength."

"It's amazing," she said in an awed voice. "That's how you always seemed to know everything
that happened no matter where it was." Albus just nodded and smiled.

"I had a very close bond with the school. I had one of the closest relationships with her
compared to any other Headmaster or Headmistress." He looked on in amusement. "However,
it would seem you have surpassed me Harry." Harry smiled at him. He had always thought of
trying to become the Headmaster of the school. He had enjoyed teaching and had always
loved Hogwarts.

"Well that's all nice, but what the hell are we going to do?" Ron asked. "The map shows
fourteen patrols of four, two on every floor. Nearly all the students are in the Great Hall, the
exceptions being a few of the older students," he started to explain. "It looks like the
professors are with the students in the Great Hall." He pointed out a room to everyone around
the table. "We need to get here. They have Flitwick, Snape, Perenelle, and a couple students
locked in there." Sure enough, they looked at the map to see six people in one of the rooms on
the fourth floor, four Cobras guarding the door.

"We need to take out as many of the patrols as possible," Neville murmured as he studied the
map. "The less they have, the easier our fight is going to be."

"Why don't we alert the Ministry?" Ginny called from her cauldron.

"It wouldn't help," Ron explained. "The Aurors wouldn't want to hurt the students and Venom
is sure to use them if that happens. Even if the whole Auror force shows up, they will have a
hell of a time defeating five hundred students."

"I say we get a few Unspeakables here and start to pick off the patrols," Hermione said. "We
know this school better than anyone. We have a huge advantage in that aspect." Harry
nodded, looking at the improved Marauders' Map they had. It had more secret passages and
gave more details on each person in the school.

"Fawkes, would you mind finding Master Thor? Bring him and Master Phantom," Harry asked
of the phoenix. Fawkes merely trilled before disappearing in a flash of fire.
A Second Chance

"I don't know what that magic could have been," Ginny said in frustration as she walked back
over to the group. "Whoever did it either didn't use a potion, which I doubt, or is as good as I
am because it could take me weeks to even find the substance." It was only minutes later that
there was another flash and two people were standing there, Fawkes sitting on the taller one's
shoulder.

"I hear you are in a bit of trouble," Thor said, a small smirk on his face.

"Not really, I just didn't think you would want to miss this," Harry retorted. Thor just snorted
before walking over to the table, Phantom following.

"So, what's the plan?"

Four Cobras were walking down one of the main hallways on the fourth floor. They were
bored, having gotten picked for patrol.

"Why do we need to do this again?" one of them asked. "There's only seven of them missing.
It's not like they can do much." Another Cobra punched him in the arm.

"Shut up Ryan. You know what Potter is capable of. His friends are supposed to be nearly as
good," the other spat. It was then they heard a noise. "Did you hear that? It sounds like…
wings," he said in confusion. The four looked up just in time to see a large cloaked figure with
big black wings dive from the dark high ceiling, its hands grabbing the first two by the neck and
slamming them to the ground. The Cobras' skulls met the stone floor with a sickening crack.
The other two quickly lifted their wands, spells flying from them. The figure merely slapped
one away with his left hand and dodged the other before sweeping his right hand to the left.
This caused the last two Cobras to fly to the left, slamming hard into the stone wall.

"Did you see that one seventh year?" one Cobra asked as the group walked down a corridor.
"She was gorgeous." The other three rolled their eyes at their younger companion. He had just
graduated Salem Institute of Magic.

"That darker girl in the red and black?" another asked, getting a nod. "Yeah, I know what you
mean," he continued. They continued their banter but stopped when they heard the soft
sounds of shifting rock. They turned only to see two large yellow eyes. They were dead before
they hit the floor.

"I wish Potter would just come out and fight," one of the four patrollers announced. "I bet he
isn't as strong as everyone says he is." The other three bit their lips, having been at the
Weasleys when Potter had shown up. In fact, two of them had been knocked out when Potter
had slammed their heads together. It was then both of them were hit with banishing charms,
sending them careening into each other, their heads slamming together again. Four more
spells were shot at the same time, slamming into the other two still standing, causing them to
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break all the bones in their wand arms and fall to the ground out cold. Four identical figures
stepped from the shadows before they blurred and formed back into one person.

They were bored. Walking around a castle was not their idea of a vacation. They were
currently standing in a deserted corridor, looking at a painting.

"Do you think he really tried to get trolls to dance?" one asked, laughter evident in his voice.
The others chuckled as they began to move further down the corridor. Just as they turned to
walk, they heard the shattering of a glass vial before the whole corridor went black. Twenty
seconds later, a soft unnatural wind blew through the corridor, blowing the black mist away.
There in the hallway was a tall man with a gleaming and bloody katana in his hand, still
standing in a battle stance. Around him on the ground were the four Cobras in various forms of
death. The man stood straight, waving his hand slowly over the blade to clean it.

Four Cobras walked down one particular hallway, gazing at all the various suits of armor and
paintings. They grouped together because of their similar interests in art. Knowing they would
be in an old castle, they assumed there would be a large artistic value.

"I wish Chicago would have had stuff like this," he said as he pointed at a particularly lethal
looking halberd one suit of armor was holding. They turned and continued walking.

"I know what you mean," another said. "The non-magicals have cool museums and such, but
nothing magical." Silence was the only response he received. Confused, he turned around to
see his three allies on the ground, three suits of armor standing over them with their weapons
covered in blood. His eyes widened before he lifted his wand and blasted one of the suits but
didn't see the one behind him. It was his last mistake as a large battle axe became intimate
with his back.

They never saw the figure farther down the hallway smirking from the shadows.

"Do you think they captured Harry?" Filius asked in a low voice as they sat in the back of the
classroom. He sat with Severus, Perenelle, Blaise Zabini, and Terry Boot. Blaise and Terry had
just enough strength in Occlumency to push back the attack. It was tradition in their families to
teach Occlumency to their children. Severus merely scowled at the small man.

"No," he said shortly. "Potter is too good for that."

"Do not worry," Perenelle's soft voice said quietly. They turned to see her sitting calmly against
the stone wall, her eyes closed and head resting against the wall. "We should be out of this
room in a moment." They all raised an eyebrow but not a minute later there came several
thumps and a bang against the door. All but Perenelle jumped up to hear a click of the lock and
the grinning face of Ron Weasley peak in.
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"Ian, several of the patrols have yet to report back," Nick Saple said as he walked up to Ian. Ian
frowned.

"They are probably dead," he responded, much to the surprise of the others around him.
"Potter seems to be on the move. Get ready for a fight." The rest of his circle nodded,
revealing their wands. It was then they heard a lot of screaming and fighting from outside. Ian
quickly made his way to the main doors, looking out to see several figures and a very large
snake fighting with all of the Cobras outside.

"That's a basilisk," Holly said in awe.

"Matt, get out there and kill it," Ian ordered. Matt shrugged, walking out the doors. Just as he
did, the doors slammed shut and locked, followed by the doors to the Great Hall. The bottom
of the marble staircase shifted so that you couldn't make it to the second floor and the
entrances to the dungeons and the hallway to the kitchens were suddenly blocked. The six of
them were trapped in the room. Just then, a black mist appeared across the entrance hall,
forming into five figures. The one in front slowly spun a gleaming silver sword in his left hand, a
wand in the other, his black and gold robes billowing in the magic radiating off him. Behind
him stood four others in black and silver robes, wands and weapons in their hands.

"Potter," Venom hissed. "It's about time you showed yourself," he continued as he slowly
moved forward. Harry merely dropped his hood, his bright green eyes burning with an inner
fire.

"I'm here now Venom so let's get this little party started shall we?" Harry asked as the four
behind him slowly spread out. Venom's men did the same.

"You wish to fight me?" Venom said with a smirk, spreading his arms wide.

"Fight you? No, I want to kill you," Harry said, his voice frigid and dangerous.

"You heard the message, we need to get to the Great Hall now," one of the Cobras said as he
led several of the patrols toward the marble staircase. Just as they were about to step onto
them, the stairs moved, stranding them on the second floor.

"Going somewhere?" came a dark and dead voice. The twelve of them turned at the sound of
the voice while all the torches died, casting the hallway in darkness.

"Who's there? Show yourself," the leader announced, his wand out. "Lumos," the man said
quickly. The wand lit up, only to show a figure in black and gold robes standing not inches from
them. It had two sword in its hands, that quickly swung forward, taking two of the cobras
down. The others shot spells but the figure seemed to disappear.

"Where did it go?" one of the men yelled as they all backed into a circle, lighting their wands.
They waved their wands, looking for the attacker, their wands casting shadows through the
hallway.
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"You think you can stand up to the Phantom?" came the voice. They looked around wildly for
the source, but it sounded as if it came from everywhere. "I'm your judge, jury, and
executioner. You have been judged by my jury. It is time for your execution."

Nicolas Flamel grinned as he swung his war hammer around him, slamming one of the cobras
into a wall. While Phantom was on the second floor rounding up the patrols down there, he
and Perenelle had taken the third floor to head off the remaining patrols. It was about twenty
four in all but with the thin hallways, only about five fought them at once. The two of them
were systematically tearing through the ranks of the Cobras, their superior magical power and
abilities overpowering their enemies.

"Watch your left dear," Perenelle said as she danced away from a curse, one of her own taking
the hand off of a Cobra. Nicolas lifted his hammer, the curse bouncing off it. He quickly
responded with his own curse.

"Thanks love," he said, dodging another curse and lifting his hammer over his head. He
slammed it on the ground, a magical shockwave launching forward and knocking several of the
Cobras to the floor. "I haven't had this much fun since we fell into that trap in Egypt!"

"You mean the one where we were surrounded by inferi?" she asked with a bit of laughter.

"Exactly! I nearly died three times, it was a record," Nicolas announced.

Cobras were standing around the gates, talking and waiting for orders. Several were over by
the Whomping Willow, while others still were by the lake.

"How long do you think we have to wait before Venom gives us some orders?" one of them
asked.

"Don't know. He already has Hogwarts. If it was this easy to take the school, can you imagine
how easy it will be to take the Ministry? The school has supposedly never been taken,"
another replied. It was then they felt the ground begin to shake slightly.

"What the hell," one man began as the shaking got stronger. He didn't have much time before
a giant snake burst from the ground, devouring the Cobra unfortunate enough to be right
where it came out of the ground. The sixty foot snake swung around, its tail lashing out and
knocking several Cobras off their feet. Spells began to fly at it but they merely bounced off, the
scales of the basilisk too strong.

"Salashra, take them out. Don't open your eyes though," came loud hissing behind the snake.
Four people dropped invisibility charms from behind Salashra, Ginny having been the one to
speak to her.

"Of course Ginny. They will not harm my school any longer," Salashra announced, fury evident
in her voice. Ginny, Albus, Severus, and Flitwick quickly jumped out, curses flying. Ginny quickly
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shot down a rooster that one of the more clever Cobras transfigured before it could make any
noise. It wasn't long until she saw someone leave the main doors of the castle.

"Albus, watch out for roosters!" she yelled before she dissolved into smoke.

Organized chaos. That was the best way to describe it. The entrance hall of Hogwarts had
definitely seen better days as spells flew everywhere, many impacting on the walls. Harry
could feel the ancient wards and construction spells working furiously to keep the walls in
place. Harry could also feel the massive amounts of magic Hogwarts had available and knew it
would take much more than this to bring Hogwarts to the ground. As it was, he and Venom
were trading some of the most dangerous and lethal spells known to the world, most of them
charged stronger than most wizards could hope to achieve. Harry was invigorated beyond his
dreams. He felt the power Hogwarts was slowly feeding him to keep him at top condition. It
was intoxicating. He needed to throw all his might into his spells just so that he didn't overflow
with magic.

Neville was squaring off with the third Saple brother, Nick. He was throwing up shielding
charms left and right as the older boy seemed to always use some type of explosion hex or
curse. He was certainly fond of them.

Hermione had split herself into two and was currently tangled up with Brandon, Holly, and
Jasmine. She immediately took notice that Holly wasn't very skilled in dueling and that Jasmine
wasn't much better. Brandon was doing most of the attacking, the two girls merely using shield
charms. Knowing what she needed to do, both Hermiones sprang to the left, aiming their
wands at Holly. "Reducto!" they both yelled, overcharging the spell. Holly's eyes widened as
her shield was shattered by the first and she was blown off her feet by the second, slamming
into the wall behind her. She didn't get up.

Luna fell into place against the youngest Saple, Zack. Zack was content to standing a distance
away, shooting spells at her with incredible accuracy. Luna however was anything but slow and
kept dodging his attempts while sending her own spells. While not pinpointed accuracy like
Zack, they were enough to make him lose focus and have to dodge or raise a shield.

Ron and the oldest Saple, Chris, were locked in a deadly close combat fight. Throwing punches
and spells at each other, it looked like a deadly dance. Ron spun, his foot lashing out at Chris'
head but Chris ducked, his wand pointed toward Ron's stomach. Ron slapped the wand away,
the spell missing his midsection by inches.

"Looks like you're tiring Venom," Harry grunted as he dodged another curse that would have
caused his internal organs to painfully shut down one by one. Harry flicked his wand expertly,
black flames shooting at Venom. Venom whipped his wand to the left, the flames turning into
ice and falling to the floor. Venom whipped his wand around, bright flames shooting out and
turning into a massive serpent. Harry jumped back as the snake lunged at him. "Same old
tricks," Harry muttered, waving his wand like a sword, causing the snake to pull back in
apparent pain before it lost its figure. He then flung the large ball of fire toward Venom, who
dove away. This unfortunately put Nick Saple right in the path of the flame. Neville watched
A Second Chance

Nick was consumed, charred remains of him left after it dispersed. Venom didn't have time to
contemplate that as he was busy dodging fast and furious curses from Harry.

Matt took a few steps out the main doors before they slammed shut behind him. Quirking an
eyebrow at that, he turned back to the massive serpent fighting with the Cobras. He noticed a
couple Cobras conjure roosters, only for the birds to be killed by one of the people in black
robes. So far, ten Cobras had been killed and Matt knew that if the basilisk was able to open its
eyes, the battle would have been long over. He began to quickly make his way to the fight,
watching as the smallest of the black cloaked figures took a killing curse to the chest. He
grimaced at the death, but it was necessary. He noticed several of the Cobras attacking the
basilisk with the same spell, although it barely even slowed the snake down. The basilisk had to
be centuries old and a familiar to a powerful wizard to be that resistant to magic. With Potter
being the only known Parseltongue in Britain, Matt's guess was on him being that wizard. It
was then black mist appeared in front of him, quickly forming into none other than Ginny
Weasley.

"Going somewhere?" she asked coldly, her wand out and ready. Matt knew she wouldn't fall
for the same tricks as she did last time. Not only that, but they were in the middle of Hogwarts
grounds and there wasn't much for him to transfigure anyway.

"Only to help my men," Matt replied.

"You aren't going anywhere. You helped them attack defenseless children. I thought you had a
decent heart Saple, but you're just as bad as the rest of them," Ginny spat, her wand beginning
to glow an ominous orange. "By the end of this, your little friends and yourself will be either
dead or rotting in Azkaban."

"Very well Ginny. I guess I can't change your mind about fighting me?" She didn't even dignify
that with a response. He sighed. A split second later, several spells were flying at Ginny, who
merely waved her wand and sent them flying in a different direction. She responded in kind
and before long, spells of every color and type were flying between the two combatants. Matt
was soon astounded by her speed. When they had fought last, he had the advantage, being in
a small room with ample items to transfigure. Now they were in a wide open area. She was
fast and accurate, and it seemed nearly as good at charms as he was. He went to dodge a spell
but unknowingly put himself right in the path of another, which blasted him off his feet. He
rolled to his left, a heart-exploding curse slamming into the ground next to him shooting up
dirt and grass. He conjured a brick wall, buying himself time to stand again.

Ginny blasted down the wall, only to find no one behind it. Her eyes widened before she
quickly spun around, looking for Matt. She ducked at the last second, a blasting hex flying over
her head from her left. She looked but found no one there again. She knew then he was
invisible. She stayed perfectly still, waiting for his next move. She felt his presence right behind
her and dropped. Spinning, she lashed out with her leg, tripping him to the ground. She fired a
disarming charm, causing a wand to appear and fly away from her. She was suddenly thrown
away as a wandless spell caught her in the stomach. Sitting up, she shot a powerful cancelling
A Second Chance

charm, causing the invisibility charm to drop. Matt was standing there, his hands glowing
slightly with magic. It was obvious he was skilled with wandless magic, but how well she didn't
know. He turned to summon his wand but she was quicker, a flame hex sizzling it to a crisp.

Ginny began throwing every curse in the book at Matt but he kept moving, dodging and
blocking them with wandless shields. He threw up another powerful shield but was not ready
for when a silver dagger shot right through it, digging into his stomach. Matt fell to his knees as
blood began to pour out his stomach. He pulled the dagger out and tried to force some of his
magic to heal the wound but he couldn't do much. It was a magical dagger. He looked up to
see Ginny standing over him, her face a cold mask. Her eyes however held a sympathy and
sorrow.

"I am sorry I had to do this Matt," she said quietly, the dagger flying to her hand and
disappearing. Matt began to lose focus, his vision fading as he lost blood.

"I chose my side, you chose yours," he choked out. "I only regret choosing the wrong one," he
whispered before he fell to the ground.

Harry ran forward, slamming spells left and right as he quickly summoned Gryffindor's Sword
and took a swing at Venom's midsection. Venom was too quick however, jumping away. A
silver scimitar appeared, before their swords slammed together, sparks flying. The strained
against each other, both glaring.

"Are you up for this Venom? You already lost two people," Harry spat. There was a sudden
scream and Venom smirked.

"So have you," he said before giving an extra push at Harry's lapse in concentration. Harry
stumbled backward, throwing up a hasty shield which blocked a spell. Harry burst into shadow
before appearing behind Venom, slashing his sword forward. Venom tried to jump away but
the blade just caught his back, leaving a long but shallow cut on his back. Venom bit back a yell
as he spun and began fighting with renewed intensity.

Luna fell to the ground with a scream of pain as he left leg was shattered. She suddenly was
lifted and slammed into the nearby wall, falling to the ground unconscious.

"Such a shame to kill such a good looking girl," Zack Saple said with fake annoyance. "Well we
can't always get what we want," he said, his wand tip beginning to turn a bright green. Before
he could utter a sound however, there was a loud roar as a lion pounced on his back. Crushed
on the impact, Zack didn't have much of a chance of fighting back. Neville quickly changed
back, running up to Luna.

He reached around her neck and grabbed the necklace she wore, activating the portkey.
Neville then turned back as she disappeared to see two Hermione's blast away another girl
before turning both of their wands onto the remaining fighter. Ron and the elder Saple were
still fighting, a good collection of bruises and cuts on both of them. Harry and Venom were
A Second Chance

taking magical dueling to new heights however. He was about to help Hermione when he
heard a loud clang. He turned to see the Sword of Gryffindor on the ground ten feet behind
Harry, who was on the ground. He ran forward drawing his katana as Venom managed to get a
shot in on Harry, a bone-breaking hex breaking Harry's left arm wrist. Venom rose his sword
and went to bring it down on Harry but Neville jumped forward, Venom's scimitar slamming
against his katana just a foot over Harry. Venom turned to him with a snarl.

"Brave of you Longbottom," he sneered. "But after what happened to Potter here, I thought
you would have learned a lesson." Neville smirked.

"I always was a slow learner," he replied before pushing Venom's blade away and jumping
forward in an all out assault. Harry got up and ran over to his sword as he healed his wrist. He
turned back to Neville who was putting Venom's sword skills to the ultimate test. This fight
was going nowhere. He needed to end it soon. He may be getting energized by Hogwarts, but
Venom was just too good. They were perfectly even, although it seemed like Venom had even
more raw magic than he did. If it wasn't for Hogwarts, he would be much more tired. A
thought came to him and he knew that even Venom wouldn't be able to stop this attack.

"You ready for this Hogwarts?" he thought. "I'm going to need a lot of power for this." He lifted
his wand, his sword disappearing. He raised his wand over his head and began chanting.
Steadily getting louder, he watched as Neville clashed swords again and again with Venom.
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Ron land a punch in Chris Saple's stomach. As Chris bent
over in pain, Ron brought up his knee, slamming it into the man's nose. Chris was sent to the
ground, his nose broken and bleeding. He saw one of the Hermiones on the other side of the
room get hit with a piercing charm in the stomach, causing her to blend back with the other.
The single Hermione never stopped, continuing the battle. He finally hit a crescendo in his
chanting.

"Ex divum adveho flamma!" he roared, swinging his wand in a circle over his head before
slashing it in front of him. Flames suddenly swirled through the hall. Hermione, Ron, and
Neville instantly knew what Harry was doing and disappeared with their portkeys. Harry was
practically glowing with power as he poured magic into the Hellfire Tempest Curse. He could
feel Hogwarts pouring her magic into him as fast as she could so he could keep the curse under
control. Venom's eyes widened at the waves of flame flowing around the room as he threw up
his most powerful shield.

"Potter! Are you crazy?" he yelled. "You will kill everyone!"

"I'm in control," Harry's voice echoed from the flames that battered his shield. There were
screams as the few that still remained were unable to shield themselves from the flames.
Venom winced as he forced more magic into the shield. He was weakening quickly from the
attack. His only hope was to hold out longer than Potter. How he was able to control the spell
and last this long was beyond him. His eyes lit up in understanding though as he thought back
to what Matt had said.

I don't think Albus Dumbledore is the Headmaster any longer. Potter wasn't alone. Hogwarts
itself must be helping him. He looked through his shield to see Potter slowly walking toward
A Second Chance

him, the flames swirling around the room as his robes billowed around him. Those emerald
eyes glowed with an otherworldly power as Harry stopped a few meters away.

"It's over Venom. Say hi to your dear old dad for me," he said before flames slammed into his
shield. Venom screamed as his shield buckled, the flames consuming him.
A Second Chance

Epilogue:
With the death of Venom, the students and teachers in the Great Hall came to their senses,
the potion having no more effects. Hogwarts allowed the doors to open and the professors
rushed out to find Harry standing there, his robes smoking slightly, looking completely
exhaustion. There were many within the Ministry that felt the way Harry and his friends
handled the attack was wrong, but Harry brushed it off, later giving good reasons why he
didn't involve them. The surviving Cobras were taken to Azkaban and the cleanup of Hogwarts
began, starting with the Entrance Hall. It was a mess, but the house elves were up for the
challenge.

It came to a surprise by many when Albus announced he was no longer the Headmaster. Harry
calmly took over the position after sitting his NEWTs just weeks later. While still an
Unspeakable, he would put the school first, taking a mission or two from the Department of
Mysteries when he had time. Professor Flitwick had been killed during the fight, much to the
dismay of all the students at Hogwarts. The small, eccentric, and happy man would be missed.
Albus decided to take over the position until the next year, where he could retire and find a
suitable person to take over. Luna had taken several weeks to fully get over her injuries during
the battle, but was soon back baffling students with her odd logic and knowledge of weird
creatures.

The six time-travelers graduated with flying colors and Ginny was asked to take over the
Charms position, which she graciously accepted. The other four, besides being part time
Unspeakables, found jobs in other places. Neville took over for Perenelle at Defense Against
the Dark Arts while Ron went to the Aurors. Hermione became a spell researcher and Luna
took control of the Quibbler. They all took control of the Wizengamot, making swift changes to
many outdated and barbaric laws. Albus had retired, acting as an advisor to the Minister and
Harry until he quietly began the next great adventure.

Harry and Ginny finally got one of their fondest wishes just years after they graduated. They
began a family. They had several children, their names James, Lily, and Andrew. Ron and
Hermione and Neville and Luna went on to have families of their own as well. They had many
quiet years to raise them and soon Hogwarts was hosting several of them for school.

It had been sixteen years since the fateful battle with Venom. Harry was sitting at the kitchen
table in Potter Manor, sipping some tea while reading the Daily Prophet. Ginny was making
breakfast for the kids. It was September first, and they would be taking all three of their kids to
the platform in a couple hours. James and Lily were fourth and third years respectively and
Andrew was going to be a first year. They suddenly heard a scream from upstairs. Harry and
Ginny locked eyes for a second before they disappeared. Harry appeared in Lily's room, his
wand out and a curse on his lips. Seeing no threats, he turned to the redhead sitting in the
bed.

"Lily, what's wrong?" he asked softly, putting his wand away. She looked at him, her emerald
eyes filled with awe.
A Second Chance

"D-dad?" she stuttered. It was then two black blurs flew into the room, solidifying into two
boys. The taller one had messy black hair and dark brown eyes, the tip of his wand glowing
dark blue as he looked for a threat. The other had a ball of red light resting in his open hand,
his bright green eyes scanning for someone under his messy red hair.

"Dad?" the taller one asked, his wand pointed at Harry. "Dad, is it really you?" he whispered.
By then, Ginny was in the room as well, looking at her children in confusion.

"Yes James, Lily, it's me. What's going on here?" Harry asked. James lowered his wand, the ball
of light in Andrew's hand disappearing.

"We are younger, you're alive, Potter Manor is still standing," James murmured, his face taking
on a look of concentration. "I just don't get it," he said, turning to his father. "The last thing I
remember, we were in a room underneath Stonehenge…"
A Second Chance

Conteúdo
PROLOGUE ___________________________________________________________________________ 2

CHAPTER 1:HOW TO CONTINUE __________________________________________________________ 6

CHAPTER 2:HAVEN'T I DONE THIS BEFORE? _______________________________________________ 14

CHAPTER 3:HALLOWEEN _______________________________________________________________ 19

CHAPTER 4:TONIGHT__________________________________________________________________ 26

CHAPTER 5:PHASE ONE ________________________________________________________________ 33

CHAPTER 6:SUMMER FUN _____________________________________________________________ 40

CHAPTER 7:SECRETS REVEALED _________________________________________________________ 47

CHAPTER 8:THE CHAMBER EXPLAINED ___________________________________________________ 53

CHAPTER 9:LET THE HUNT BEGIN ________________________________________________________ 61

CHAPTER 10:BACK TO SCHOOL__________________________________________________________ 71

CHAPTER 11:OF RITUALS AND WEREWOLVES______________________________________________ 79

CHAPTER 12:LOYALTIES UNCOVERED ____________________________________________________ 88

CHAPTER 13:PRANKSTERS UNITE ________________________________________________________ 98

CHAPTER 14:WINTER BREAK __________________________________________________________ 107

CHAPTER 15:THE LONGBOTTOMS ______________________________________________________ 115

CHAPTER 16:MEMORIES ______________________________________________________________ 124

CHAPTER 17:HOW 'BOUT A LITTLE FUN? _________________________________________________ 139

CHAPTER 18:THE START OF ANOTHER YEAR ______________________________________________ 155

CHAPTER 19:SO IT BEGINS ____________________________________________________________ 164

CHAPTER 20:THE FIRST TASK __________________________________________________________ 174

CHAPTER 21:LET'S DANCE _____________________________________________________________ 186

CHAPTER 22:THE SECOND TASK ________________________________________________________ 197

CHAPTER 23:THE THIRD TASK __________________________________________________________ 205

CHAPTER 24:THE NEW WAR ___________________________________________________________ 222

CHAPTER 25:PREPARATIONS __________________________________________________________ 233

CHAPTER 26:PLANS AND THEORIES _____________________________________________________ 246

CHAPTER 27:FLAMES OF BATTLE _______________________________________________________ 252

EPILOGUE __________________________________________________________________________ 266