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The Summer Like No Other

So much of the room was familiar. There was the twin bed; the table lamp alongside with
the yellowed lampshade belying its age; a beat-up closet that a frantic but valuable house
elf once visited; a precious white owl in her cage; all sorts of magical textbooks not-so-
magically piled everywhere; and a teenage boy. Not just any boy, but The Boy Who
Harry Potter sat at one end of the bed, his hair mussed, clothes wrinkled, and a new
shadow making itself known to parts of a face famous throughout the wizarding world.
Across that face were looks that changed as regularly as the waves breaking upon cliffs of
stone. That image from just a few months ago, like so many others, was never out of
Harry's mind for very long. Looks of sadness, looks of consternation, looks of wonder -
all had a right to be there, and each owned his face at any given time.
Here he was, 'home' at the Dursley's once again, keeping a promise to that great Wizard,
Mentor, Protector, Friend: Albus Dumbledore. Try as he might, almost every thought,
every plan, every decision was made with images of Professor Dumbledore flashing
through his mind. Memories constantly brought tugs to his heart, and Harry could not see
himself clear of that. In fact, he really wasn't sure if he wanted to avoid them. He was
now driven, with only one goal in mind. The Prophesy stated that Harry must kill the evil
Lord Voldemort, and as part of that process, Harry also wished to extract revenge on
Professor Severus Snape. Snape, his tormentor. Snape, the killer of Professor
Dumbledore. Nothing else truly mattered, nor was anything or anyone truly safe, until
both of these were accomplished.
This was not the summer of years past, in which Harry suffered at the hands of his
relatives. Harry was different. The world was different. Even the Dursleys were different.
Harry's cousin Dudley was changed. Already grown stronger and leaner than his piggish
younger days, his countenance had matured. Harry attributed this to his and Dudley's
encounter with the dementors a few years earlier. The terror turned into a blessing that
Harry was thankful for. Uncle Vernon had grown quiet, as if his verbal exchanges with
members of the Order of the Phoenix had convinced him that there was much more out
there that threatened him, and he had better pay attention. Aunt Petunia, sister to Harry's
mom Lily, was just plain scared. She clearly knew more than she was letting on, and
Harry felt confident that in time all she knew would be revealed. All this was trivial at the
moment, though, for Harry had many things of great consequence to deal with. Harry felt,
whether it was correct or not, that he was in charge; and even if he wasn't 'in charge', he
was very well going to do what he thought needed to be done. After all, everything
depended on him in the end, anyway. Or so he thought.
Harry and his best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, had ended last term at
the funeral of Professor Dumbledore. At that time they made a pact, a commitment to
each other. Whatever it took and wherever it took them, they would do what was
necessary to accomplish the mission. To kill Voldemort was the goal that every living
thing counted on, whether aware of the fact or not. Evidence of this mission was
everywhere around Harry.

Strewn across the bed were dozens of messages and correspondence that were coming in
from all corners of the earth now. On the table and below the lamp, always within Harry's
reach, was a gold coin. To the untrained eye, it looked like your normal Galleon, if you
could consider those coins normal to anyone but a wizard. Along one edge of the design,
barely noticeable, were the letters "DA" written in ancient runes. Harry's idea,
Hermione's expertise. This was the emergency communication method for the growing
numbers in 'Dumbledore's Army'. Harry had put his best friend Ron in charge of
organizing the DA. Ron would help in another chess game with very real outcomes. After
the years of head-in-the-sand neglect by the likes of Cornelius Fudge, former Minister of
Magic, it was time for all the pieces, and more, to be put into action. Most important to
Harry was the large piece of parchment hanging on the wall across from the bed.
For the moment, all that was written on the parchment was visible. Harry had asked
Remus Lupin, member of the Order of the Phoenix, werewolf, close friend of Harry's
father, James, and one of the original creators of the Marauder's Map, to help Harry make
a similar parchment for the war at hand. Harry picked up a recent message from the bed
and read it. A quick glance at just the related part of the 'war parchment' revealed boxes
and circles with such labels as "Giants", "Schools", "House Elves", and "Order of the
Phoenix". Three other messages brought Harry's eyes to other parts of the parchment, all
equally revealing and no less important. In particular, "Horcruxes" was written in bold.
Things were happening, and for Harry to get the normal life that he had always craved, he
had to make it all succeed. This was a summer like no other, as Harry organized and
planned with the gathering storm clouds overhead. This would also be a year like no
other, as the battle lines were drawn in the effort to defeat the most evil wizard in history.
Outright war was approaching.
Harry's heart pounded as he picked up a quill and a small piece of parchment. He sighed
as the realization struck him that his whole life had brought him to this moment.
Clenching his jaw, Harry began to write yet another message. Many such moments were
coming, for the war had now begun.

Minister Morte
At those words, the large wooden door swung silently open, and a tall figure cloaked in
black entered the room. Seemingly gliding across the floor, all that was visible were
bony, almost taloned fingers, creakily extended from equally white hands, and two red
eyes glowing ominously from beneath the hood.
Bound by a rope that seemingly had no knots, the man sitting in the chair glanced up.
Though he could see little but those eyes and hands, he had seen enough; more than he
ever cared to, for the knowledge that accompanied what he saw sent shivers up his spine.
Beads of sweat began to gather across Fudge's brow, and the shivering cascaded
throughout his body as Voldemort approached. When he got near, Voldemort leaned over
and faced Fudge. The sound of Voldemort's breath, slow, raspy and almost inhuman, was
practically drowned out by the pounding of Fudge's heart. Though scared countless times
throughout his life, Fudge was discovering a whole new meaning for the concept of fear.
"Minister, welcome," Voldemort hissed. "How kind of you to accompany my two Death
Eaters on their travels to join me." Voldemort did nothing else to acknowledge the two,
who stood at attention behind Fudge. Though full of anticipation, both knew better than
to let their excitement show when the Dark Lord was possibly circling in for the kill.
Unless told otherwise, these moments with special enemies belonged to him and him
alone. As Voldemort spoke, his fingers constantly curled and opened. Fudge watched
those fingers do their slow dance front of his face, and he could not help but feel like a fly
in a web being gloated over by the spider. The moment was not lost on Voldemort either,
and he swooped lower, now face-to-face with Fudge.
Looking into those narrow red eyes, Fudge was vaguely aware of that hissing voice
speaking once again. Wishing beyond all hope to be anywhere else but here, he knew he
must focus if he were to have any chance at all. "… woman worked at the Department of
Mysteries," the voice hissed. "Although she and her miserable husband deserved to die, I
had wanted to save her for but a few more minutes so that I could extract the information
I needed. Unfortunately, she chose to sacrifice her life for her son. And although he did
not die just then, I promise you that he will soon." Voldemort stared into Fudge's eyes and
continued, "I need to know, Minister. What is behind the locked door adjacent to the
room that contains the Veil of Death? Rumors abound, but you know how rumors are. So
tell me, Minister, what is so well guarded there? It does concern horcruxes, I hear."
Fudge caught his breath, and the words practically choked in his throat as he tried to
speak. "I, I am sorry Tom. I cannot tell you that. It is a secret so important that no more
than a dozen wizards and witches even …" The sentence was never completed as
Voldemort's rage erupted.
"Idiot. Do not think that you can avoid telling me the truth."
Fudge mustered up every once of strength he had, which was never known to be very
much to begin with. "No," he stammered. It was barely more than a squeak.
Voldemort stood up, his eyes wide and glowing red, his breath even sharper. Without ever

taking his eyes from Fudge's, he spoke to the tall blond Death Eater. "Lindgren, come out
from behind the Minister." Lindgren obeyed and moved around to Fudge's right, just
within his view.
Voldemort leaned forward once again. "Minister," he spat, "I want that information.
Nothing will stand in my way of getting it." With that, a tortured sinuous ribbon of green
light forked its way from Voldemort's wand and struck Lindgren square in the chest. He
dropped on the spot, dead.
"Not even, Minister, my servants."
Fudge's eyes bulged. The point was taken.
Voldemort backed away from Fudge, whose color was a crimson red slowly changing to
blue as he fought himself to take a breath. The Dark Lord's fingers began to curl once
"Let me introduce you to my other Death Eater." She stepped over Lindgren's body and
came forward without so much as a word from Voldemort, and Fudge could see a pale
slender face framed by straight glossy-black hair. "I took her years ago, before my
unanticipated demise, from a muggle leader in Europe. The fool considered himself to be
a great leader of muggles. So much so, in fact, that he named this daughter after the
daughter of another muggle king. An ancient king, one who lives on in muggle lore even
today. He named her Electra. Not only did he not realize how insignificant he was, but he
had no idea about the power within this girl . . . but I did. From miles away I sensed her
potential, and I took her away the first moment I could. I trained her in the dark arts,
making her more powerful than any other of my Death Eaters. And not until my
resurrection in the cemetery did I even allow her to be seen by any other of my followers.
But now, here she stands, ready to do my bidding."
Voldemort stepped back, and Electra stepped in front of Fudge, mercilessly staring into
his eyes. As she reached into her cloak, Fudge could see a necklace around her neck. The
chain was silver with sapphires, and hanging from it was a silver eagle with black enamel
claws. The incongruity of such beauty being in a situation like this amazed Fudge, and he
forget for just an instant the grave danger he was in.
"Crucio," Electra whispered. A jet of red light shot from her wand and struck Fudge. He
screamed as needles of pain shot through every nerve in his body. Never had he felt
anything else like this, and never would he again. The terror and the pain were too much.
In perhaps the bravest thing it had ever done, Fudge's heart ended the agony.
Voldemort and his Death Eater stood there, silently contemplating the prone lifeless
minister before them. Finally, Voldemort spoke. "It seems that you are in death, Minister,
as you were in life. Worthless. No matter. It is an inconvenience, but nothing more."
As he and his Death Eater left the room, a small glint of silver could be seen reflecting off
the hand of a shivering terrified object hunched deep in the recesses of the dark corner.

The War Parchment

An 11" wand made of holly touched the parchment. Light of touch but firm of purpose,
the hand that guided the wand placed it where it had been dozens of times before.
"Neither can live while the other survives."
Only three people knew to use these words…
From one corner of the large parchment, a thin black line began to trace its way along the
surface. Green eyes watched intently as the parchment revealed all that it had to offer.
Words, seemingly drifting into consciousness as they emerged from nowhere, were
connected by hand-drawn lines placed with careful thought but not with care.
As headings such as "Hogwarts", "Order of the Phoenix", and "DA" appeared, Harry's
mind wandered as much as his eyes. While it seemed like so much was going on, Harry
knew the wizarding world would soon be enveloped in turmoil that would crescendo
from the current levels into a virtual cacophony of fury.
In just a few months, the battle between good and evil had accelerated. Lord Voldemort
had become even more bold, sending his Death Eaters on missions to places that could
not yet have been anticipated. Voldemort himself seemed to have become equally active
if the disappearance of Fudge was an indicator. Spies of The Order were actively trying to
substantiate every morsel of information that could be gleaned from every tidbit
overheard or gathered.
Harry told himself to focus. He had assumed the role of 'leader', not by the actions of
others but by his own. No one, not by age or experience or knowledge, could deny
Harry's right for resolution. 'Revenge' would be no less accurate a description, revenge
for Harry's parents, for Dumbledore, for countless others. For all the arguments that could
be posited against his active role, this is where circumstances had led. Harry would move
from this point, and everyone, from Ron and Hermione to The Order to the DA, would
follow. It was a matter of necessity; it was a matter of respect.
Ignoring all the headings that deserved attention, Harry once again, as he always did,
brought his formidable attentions to "Horcruxes." 'Seven,' he told himself for the
hundredth time.
One, the diary. For all the mayhem it had caused during Harry's second year, most
especially the near-death of Ginny, it was now destroyed as was one incarnation of
Voldemort himself. Harry's plunging the tooth of the basilisk into the diary was a
momentary inspiration for which Harry had no real explanation, yet he could not deny the
appropriateness and effectiveness of the action. However, the nagging thought remained
that each horcrux might have a similar incarnation associated with it. There was no way
to know just yet, but Harry and everyone else could only hope that such was not the case.
Two, the ring. Dumbledore had destroyed it with the apparent sacrifice of his hand and
likely his life essence itself.
Three, the locket. Much had been lost in the recovery of its shocking replacement, and
much mystery was still attached to the disappearance of the original. However, Harry and

The Order had an excellent idea as to its location, and the authentic locket would soon
follow the ring into oblivion.
Four, the cup. The subject of much rumor, some fact, and an enormous amount of
conjecture, its location was a mystery at the moment.
Five and six were complete mysteries. Resources were being expended, more than some
thought prudent, to discover their true nature and present location. Harry was of the
opinion that too much effort could never be enough if it meant the destruction of the
horcruxes and Voldemort along with them.
Seven must surely be the last portion of Voldemort's soul; the one that still resides in his
reanimated body. That could only be effectively dealt with when the other six were
destroyed, clearing the way for Voldemort's final demise. This was one of those concepts
that was as clear as day when conceived but would be the devil to put into action. The
irony of that thought was not lost on Harry as Voldemort could well be considered the
Devil himself.
With a blink of the eyes and a snap of the head, Harry cleared his mind and tried to guide
it to more pleasant thoughts. Those green eyes once again moved but this time with
purpose and forethought. He first looked at the name 'Hermione', and he knew that
somewhere, most likely still in the comfort of her home, she was poring over book after
book after book. Given an assignment, Harry knew of no one who was as studious and
tenacious as Hermione when it came to academics. For now, she was trying to surmise all
connections between the known horcruxes. She excelled at this work, but it was by no
means her only strength. To underestimate her sheer magical powers as a witch would be
any opponent's last mistake. Harry couldn't help but smile at that thought, having
benefited as much as anyone from the "cleverest witch of her age". But Harry was wrong,
for at that moment Hermione was running a brush through her hair, smiling as she looked
in the mirror. Harry next looked at 'Ron', his best friend, and his smile broadened even
No words could properly describe the value that Harry put on Ron's friendship and the
feelings that he had towards him. Harry knew that, and just the knowledge that Ron was
there was all the reassurance that any best friend could want. At that, Harry knew it was
time for his last full night's sleep at 4 Privet Drive.
Harry lifted his wand and gently touched it to the War Parchment. In a voice of calm
resolve, Harry said "for Lily and James," and all that the parchment contained slipped
into invisibility. Harry rolled up the parchment and laid it in his trunk. He hopped off his
bed and went to Hedwig's cage. He opened it, and she fluttered onto his arm.
Green eyes stared into yellow eyes as they nuzzled each other. Harry could no more
imagine life without Hedwig as he could without Ron, Hermione, or Ginny. He walked
the beautiful white owl to the window and launched her into the night. As she soared off
into the night, Harry's heart soared with her. Such moments, brief as they were these
days, were so very valuable. Harry knew all too well that tomorrow was promised to no
one. It was sad that one so young must learn that lesson, so Harry had come to savor

every uplifting moment that he could. Not only had he grown, but he had matured beyond
his years - a fact not lost on Dumbledore even in Harry's first year. With that, he hopped
back onto the small twin bed next the old night table and lamp and turned the light off.
Back at the Burrow, Ron was rummaging through his closet for his dress robes. As he
pulled them out, he noticed his old and very dreadful hand-me-down frilled robes he
would sooner be tortured over than wear again. He smiled, still marveling at the fit of
uncharacteristic generosity and civility that had prompted Fred and George to buy Ron
these dashing new robes two years ago. One more look at the old robes, and Ron realized
that he really didn't care why they did it. All that mattered was that he had them.
At that same instant, Harry smiled as he drifted off to sleep.

Gold and Red

The first ray of sunshine shot its way through the dusty old blinds, creating a taut beam of
golden light that attached itself to the closet door across the room. Though silent, it
announced the new day as it always did to those who looked upon the morning rays as
things you hang your hopes on.
Harry's eyes shot open as the beam entered the room. Full of anticipation, Harry reacted
instantly to the quiet singular grandeur of the day's first arrival.
Jumping out of bed, Harry pulled the blinds up to see the Ministry vehicle patiently
waiting for him on the street below. Standing alongside the driver was the auror on
protective detail. While relations with Rufus Scrimgeour were strained at best, the
Ministry knew what was at stake. Begrudgingly, Harry would be given added protection
until Lord Voldemort was destroyed. With equal reluctance, Harry accepted it on a part-
time basis. In what seemed like one beat of the heart, Harry was showered, packed, and in
the car on his way to the Burrow.
Thanks to a little magic not unlike what Harry had seen on the Knight Bus, the car soon
pulled over the hill and within sight of the Burrow. Harry caught his breath as the beloved
Burrow had been transformed from the frumpy old home of the Weasley's into the
centerpiece of a resplendent medieval scene complete with open tents, banners and
carriages. Hedwig hooted her approval.
Nary a head save for one turned as Harry entered the crowded bustling kitchen. Harry's
presence was felt instantly. It was the kind of feeling people have when so deeply
'connected' with another living soul. Ginny turned and their eyes guided each other into
open arms. Mrs. Weasley, as mothers do, immediately felt their embrace. At her reaction,
all the room turned to Harry and Ginny. Flustered by all the hellos and a million
questions, Harry smiled, shook a few hands and begged off to Ron's room. After all, he
said, there are more important matters at hand.
Harry burst through the door, prompting Ron to rise up from the edge of his bed. They
shared a best friend's hug, a manly kind of hug - the kind that speaks of commitment, of
shared danger, of an undying trust. The young men were at that point now. Although it
had always been such, their friendship had now crystallized with maturity tempered by all
they had seen, all they had done. Reassurance was no longer a matter of words, and both
were grateful.
They chatted away as they distractedly cleaned themselves up. Hours later, having
breathlessly discussed all the issues of the wizarding community, they finally donned
their dress robes. By the time they hit the bottom stair and had bounded into the kitchen,
many of the people had made their way to the large open tent. Only Mrs. Weasley and
Mme. Delacour were in the house. They were on mother duty, and nothing in the world
would dissuade them from their last-minute attentions to Fleur and Bill. In fact, no one
with any modicum of sense would dare interfere.
In the large open tent, Harry and Ron saw many familiar faces as they approached their
seats in the front row: friends and faculty from Hogwarts, The Order, distant relatives of
Ron's, and many Beauxbatons friends of Fleur's. The Veela present practically stopped

Ron in his tracks, and Harry reached back with a smile and a tug to keep him moving
along. The Ministry was also well-represented, and every auror present was there for
pleasure and business both. Looking ahead to the front row, Harry spied Ginny and sat
himself in the seat next to her. Ron slipped in next to Hermione and gave her a warm
smile that was returned in kind. Harry felt sure that red ears were hidden beneath that
cascade of curls. The world was indeed changing, and some of it for the better.
Bagpipes signaled the beginning of the processional, and those in attendance ceased their
anxious buzz. All heads turned to the end of the aisle. First, Charlie Weasley and
Gabrielle Delacour, as Best Man and Maid of Honor, came down the aisle arm-in-arm.
No one found the differences in age or height anything less than 'simply charming,' as the
whispers once again increased. Next down the aisle, Bill and Mrs. Weasley walked
slowly. Looking at Mrs. Weasley, it was impossible to get past the smile of pure joy that
radiated her intense love for her eldest. Bill, for his part, walked with equal pride, not
only for the mother who had his arm but also for the man he was. And on this one day,
that mother would not even notice the long red ponytail braided with bones and teeth,
origins unknown or unspoken.
Next came Fleur and her father. She was the quintessential beautiful bride, dressed in a
simple satin white gown with her neck adorned by a single strand of blue aquamarines,
chosen in homage to the water and all that it meant to her. Her fine blonde hair was in
two braids wrapped around her head, making her look for all the world like a goddess
wearing olive branches. And who could say that she wasn't? Bill, who now took her hand
from her father's, felt deep in his heart that she was indeed that goddess, and he was the
luckiest man in the world.
Once the ceremony actually began, Harry and Ron found it most difficult to concentrate
on the proceedings, and both fidgeted. Hermione and Ginny looked at them, then at each
other and rolled their eyes as if saying, 'Boys!' Some things never change.
As the vows were exchanged, Harry found his attention once again back on the bride and
groom. The Minister, in his final official act of the ceremony, had Bill and Fleur turn to
all the celebrants as he said, "Relatives and friends, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. William
Weasley. May their love and devotion serve as an unwavering beacon of hope in these
troubled times." In that instant, as if every witch and wizard had bent their combined
wills to make it happen, the setting sun dipped below the edge of the tent, sending a sheet
of red light across the wedding party. The red light made Bill's red hair look lighter and
Fleur's golden hair distinctly redder as they took on nearly the same tint.
Everyone from the most cynical old warrior to the most innocent of children held their
collective breath, for it was the most sublime of moments, the kind that dreams are made
Late into the night, many revelers were dancing to hypnotic songs spun by a chorus of
Veela. Harry danced slowly with Ginny held close, her head resting against his shoulder
as they luxuriated in all their senses had to offer. Harry's hand felt as if it had been made
to curl around Ginny's waist, and it fully assented in its own way. Over her head, Harry
could see Ron and Hermione dancing, as well. He smiled, his heart so glad to see that

they had finally gone beyond the immature bickering that had characterized the tentative
early years of their 'courtship.'
As Harry and Ginny slowly rotated around the floor, following no particular orbit other
than what they felt was right for their universe, Ginny began to talk about recent dreams.
These were not just any dreams but ones concerning her First Year and her days
intertwined with Voldemort. Harry held her closer, reassuring her with the warmth of his
Feeling her angst, Harry gave his lip an empathetic bite. He had not wanted to broach this
subject with Ginny if he could have avoided it, and that made the bite just a little bit more
poignant. One does not always choose the moments for things to occur, Harry thought to
himself, so he took a deep breath and stepped onto the path where he had clearly never
wanted to take her. Harry gently pulled Ginny's shoulders away so he could look into her
eyes. "I know how these dreams must be upsetting you," he offered. "Even in my waking
hours the connection with Voldemort brought me terror and pain. But I have been
thinking about them of late, trying to fathom if we can somehow turn them to our
purpose. I have an idea…"

House and Home

The next morning broke as the curtain of darkness slowly rolled down the gentle hills.
Illuminating the very tree tops, the new golden honey of the day dripped down from
bough to bough, bringing warmth and promise with it. An undulating layer of mist
wrapped the floor of the dale in gray serenity, and the dew-laden grass found itself pock-
marked with the footprints of scurrying garden gnomes. All evidence of tents, carriages
and the throngs of guests had been magically whisked away. Skirted by the mist, the
downstairs windows of The Burrow glowed brightly through the suspended drops of
Inside, Mrs. Weasley glanced at the family clock, patiently waiting for the children to
come down for breakfast. While they wrestled with sleep and hunger upstairs in their
rooms, she prepared a hot breakfast of pancakes, sausages and syrup. Although she was,
by rights, exhausted from the previous day's wedding, Mrs. Weasley was determined to
stretch her wave of motherly nurturing just a bit longer in order to see all the kids safely
and happily off.
The breakfast table was satisfying and the conversation spirited, but soon Ron, Harry,
Ginny, and Hermione excused themselves up to Ron's room for some discussion. Mrs.
Weasley understood completely and would not have allowed them to leave for school
without that time together. She was aware of how important the coming days and months
would be, and her stake in these matters was more than most.
"Neither can live while the other survives."
Four pairs of eyes gazed at the War Parchment as Harry touched his wand to it, and its
contents came into view. Ron, Hermione, and Ginny, sitting on the edges of the two beds,
were astonished at all that it now contained, and they were beside themselves as the
temptation to ask questions bubbled to the surface, but each waited, maybe not patiently
but mindful of their roles and the job that Harry had to do. They also waited for
Hermione to perform silence charms on all the posters and photos inhabiting Ron's walls.
Although they could probably trust the eyes and ears of Viktor Krum, other Quidditch
teams and various tourists in the snapshots taken near the pyramids in Egypt, they all
agreed that it would be wise to not take any chances. "Better to be safe than sorry" was an
idea that would underlie many courses of action in these times where trust was a luxury
they could ill afford.
Harry appreciated the silence of his friends, and he showed them as much respect as they
afforded him by carefully reviewing most of what was happening and was going to
happen in the wizarding world's conflict. As he began to explain what was to transpire, it
dawned on Harry that these were all plans and nothing more. It would be sheer folly to
assume that all would occur according to plan, but he had to start somewhere. The biggest
unknown would be Voldemort and the plans he must be formulating this very instant,
indeed, plans that he might already be putting into action. To think otherwise would be
dangerous, and every witch and wizard had now seen where that would lead.
Each listened intently as Harry described some of the entries on the War Parchment.
"During the summer, Hagrid and Mme. Maxime were actively contacting Giants in

various regions of Europe. They traveled to the mountains of central Europe as well as
the Urals in Russia. From what I've heard reported back, little progress has been made.
The Giants are very divided over what path to follow, if they were to choose any path at
all. Considering that their temperaments, let alone mental limitations, often get in the way
of their decision making, that is not a surprise. It is, however, a disappointment
Much more progress has been made with the House Elves. It seems that Hermione has
created a great deal of good will with them." At this, Hermione could not help but beam
and give Ron a good-natured jab in the ribs with her elbow. Harry continued, knowing
full well that he deserved an equal dose of Hermione's righteousness, "Dobby has been
actively working with the House Elves, and most seem ready to help when asked. Their
peculiar variety of magic is quite powerful, and I believe that it will be very useful to us
in the fight against Voldemort."
Each part of the War Parchment brought its own bit of fascination and intrigue. Harry
knew that now was the time to designate the roles of Ron, Hermione, and Ginny. He
hoped they would not balk simply on the unavoidable necessity that each would be
separated from the others. He went on determinedly, "Ron, I need you back at Hogwarts
to run the DA. They need greater levels of organization and skill, and there is no one I
trust more to do the job than you. Please set up weekly meetings in the Room of
Requirement, and each week I will have an auror or member of the Order come out and
give a lesson on specific charms, deep, dark and powerful ones that we will doubtless be
needed - and soon. Many of the aurors are, by their nature, more wary and far less
political than the Minister. They will help.
Hermione, we need you to continue your research into the possible horcruxes and any
connection that exists beyond the obvious one of Voldemort. He simply does not do
things randomly, and there must be some symbolism to his choices. We just don't see it
yet. If you need to, please access the libraries at Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Mme.
Maxime and Professor Nedkov, the new Headmaster at Durmstrang, are expecting you
and say you are most welcome. If anyone can solve the riddle, you can."
"For Lily and James."
At this, Harry turned to Ginny and reached out to her, his hand resting gently on hers. Her
mission had already been discussed the night before, and he was sure she had shared it
with the others. The relationship of the four encouraged complete and open
communication, and Harry knew they could not survive without it. It was now time for
all to head out on their appointed tasks.
Harry, preparing to leave for 12 Grimmauld Place, stood outside the front door of The
Burrow and gazed at the vista that represented so much of what he loved. Archie
McClendon, the auror who was now stationed at The Burrow full time, was walking
through the garden area enjoying the beauty of the country but nevertheless warily taking
its pulse.
That was his job, and Harry felt secure he was good at it. The Ministry knew Harry would

be spending much of the next year there, and they considered this one of the necessary
precautions. Harry trotted over to McClendon and shared a few words, followed by a firm
handshake and pats on respective shoulders.
As Harry walked to the clearing, he clutched his DA galleon in his hand and sent a
message. He sighed wistfully at the prospect of leaving The Burrow, but the house at 12
Grimmauld Place was his, and right now it represented much more than that.

Kreacher Comforts

The bright light of day caused Harry to squint as he emerged from the train station onto
the tainted limestone of the plaza. Muggles, and more than a few wizards and witches,
interwove as they went about their business, hardly looking up at each other or even at
the stone obelisk with the cross that signified the station. Having ridden the train and
being here at King's Cross made Harry miss Hogwarts station all the more. Simply
thinking of Hogwarts gave Harry an added boost, and he quickened his step as he crossed
the plaza, mindlessly avoiding the throngs of people. Emerging from the plaza onto the
street, he turned away from the river and walked toward 12 Grimmauld Place.
Harry's strides were long and purposeful, and he soon found himself crossing Grimmauld
Place's square and stepping onto the pavement as he approached The Noble and Most
Ancient House of Black. As many times as he had run through this moment in his head
and tried to convince himself otherwise, Harry still ached at this reminder of the loss of
Sirius. There was no getting around it, so Harry raised his head, threw his shoulders back
and took a deep breath as he walked up the stone stairs that brought him to the
weatherworn black door.
The coiled snake that was the door's knocker as well as a recurrent motif within the house
perfectly represented the great conflict that tore through the Black family. There was such
good as well as such evil within the very same branches of the family tree, and much pain
and anguish had resulted from that. Members of the family had felt it, innocent victims
had suffered for it, and Harry's loss was even greater for it. All the ironies were not lost
on Harry as he surreptitiously drew his wand out from underneath his jacket and gently
touched it to the door.
Musty air and oppressive darkness greeted Harry as the door quietly swung open. Harry
stepped across the threshold into the solitude and despair that was the Black House, and
no amount of sunlight streaming through the door could change that. If anything the
contrast intensified the expectations of what lay ahead. The light felt like nothing more
than a false hope as the door swung closed, and Harry had to light the lonely candles of
the candelabra by wand. No one should have been here since the Order abandoned 12
Grimmauld Place as its headquarters.
Harry glanced down the entrance hall as it danced in the flickering light of the flames. At
the end of the hall was a wide but steep stairwell that led down to the kitchen and beyond
that his target. Before Harry would head that way, he wanted to be certain that all was as
he remembered it. A mistake in memory now was a risk he did not want to take, so he
turned and headed up the stairs.
The banister felt smooth under Harry's hand as it slowly inched its way upward, and his
feet nestled into the gentle grooves worn into the stairs by years of use. Each floor was as
it should have been, from dusty neglected bedrooms all the way up to Buckbeak's den in
Mrs. Black's old bedchamber. Satisfied that everything was as expected, Harry made his
way back downstairs into the dining room.
Habit made Harry glance around one more time before he descended the final staircase
into the large kitchen. Mixed memories greeted Harry once again: bright warm fires,
important people, conflict, pain, Snape.

Had Sirius still been alive, this was a house he could have loved, but now his heart was
filled with loathing. That disgust was only accentuated by the knowledge of many deeds
yet undone - acts of vengeance and acts of necessity all standing in Harry's path. Harry
reached into his pocket, grasped the DA Galleon once again and sent a message.
Within moments, two house-elves appeared out of nowhere. Dobby was dressed in an
orange and brown checked shirt, green woolen socks and a blue knit hat that almost
certainly had been made by Hermione. The sight of Dobby could not help but bring a
brief smile to Harry's face. Harry already knew of the other house-elf, Rekky. Carefully
chosen by Dobby for his trustworthiness as well as his youth and skills, Rekky was
dressed in more normal garb for a house elf, even one from such an enlightened
institution as Hogwarts. Harry had been very careful to impress upon Dobby that this was
all business, and he appreciated their help and considered them virtual equals. It took a
direct order even then, but the two house-elves accepted Harry at his word.
Thus, with plans already in place, nothing more than a nod of acknowledgment needed to
be exchanged among the three. Harry lit his wand, walked to the door of the boiler room
and entered with Dobby and Rekky close behind. Carefully and deliberately, Harry
walked to the doorless cabinet along the wall, crouched down, and reached over to the
filthy rags below the pipes that Kreacher, Harry's inherited house-elf who was now
assigned to Hogwarts, once called home. Harry lifted one corner of a rag, revealing the
edge of a picture frame. This was not at all a surprising sight considering Kreacher's
penchant to preserve all things Black, particularly objects related the nastier side of the
As the rag was lifted, more and more of the red frame was revealed until, at last, Harry
could see the face of Arcturus Black. Tension made the silence even more overbearing,
but it was broken the moment light from Harry's wand touched the eyes of the figure in
the picture. At that instant Arcturus Black let out a loud call of alarm which was
immediately echoed by a blood-curdling scream from upstairs. Mrs. Black had picked up
the alarm, and her shrill voice filled the entire house and beyond.
Harry, Dobby and Rekky all stood up and looked around out of sheer habit. In that
moment of weakness, they heard a 'pop' behind them, followed by a familiar sneer. Harry,
Dobby and Rekky spun around only to see the back of Kreacher as he disappeared into a
secret door in the wall behind his rags. Surprised but not unprepared, Rekky dove through
the secret door with all the intensity of equal purpose.
What Rekky saw was so unlike a house-elf that he had to put his amazement aside and
concentrate on chasing Kreacher. The path wound through the walls of the house, lined
by old curtains and bedsheets discarded over the years by the family. Looking ahead,
Rekky scampered through the twisting turns, barely able to keep Kreacher visible. As
Rekky emerged onto the first floor, the wall opened up into a small sanctuary hidden
somewhere between the rooms.
The floor of Kreacher's hideout was covered with old clothes, many from eras of days
gone by but all tied together by threads of the Black Family Tree. With Kreacher nowhere
to be seen, Rekky raced through the opening at the other end and continued his pursuit

upward. The second floor sanctuary was lined with repaired pieces of the Black Family
china, all the seams expertly and lovingly sealed together once again. The chase
continued with the third-floor hideout covered with more clothes and the walls lined with
knives and swords dating back hundreds of years. As Rekky sped upwards, there was no
way for him to know that one particular dagger had been removed from its perch. . .
Harry and Dobby raced up the main staircase of the house, Dobby actually in the lead as
he sensed the location of Rekky and followed it as best he could. When it appeared to
Harry that the two house-elves might be heading to Kreacher's old lair in the attic, he
raced to the top room and waited, both he and Dobby on high alert.
. . . nor could Rekky have foreseen what was awaiting him on the fourth floor. He flew
out of the tunnel and emerged into a brightly lit room, the walls covered with Black
family portraits and jewelry everywhere. Nearly blinded, Rekky raised his hands over his
large protruding eyes, needing a moment to adjust. That hesitation, along with the
element of surprise, was all that Kreacher needed against the agile young house-elf.
Instantly, a dagger was sent flying through the air, and it found it's target in the chest of
Rekky, driving him backwards and pinning him to the wall. Rekky looked down in pain
and shock as the cross guard of the dagger was firmly against his chest. The handle of the
dagger, composed of a snake with emerald eyes, was the last thing Rekky ever saw as his
head slumped forward.
Kreacher cackled, grabbed a golden object off the wall and bounded through the tunnel
up to the attic where Harry and Dobby awaited. As he emerged from the tunnel and stood
up, Dobby gave him no chance whatsoever as he shot out both his hands, fingers curled
forward, and two green sparks shot straight into Kreacher's chest. The look of surprise
was frozen on his face as he died on the spot, slumping to the floor. Dobby, knowing that
Rekky was dead, walked over and stood above Kreacher, glaring but saying nothing.
Harry realized it too, and a tear fell from his eye as he walked over to Kreacher and
removed the golden locket from his hand.
Harry placed the locket on the table, aimed his wand, and said "Soulus Exctinctus." A teal
light shot from his wand and enveloped the locket, causing a vacillating glow that lasted
for nearly a minute as it destroyed the Horcrux within. Slowly, the light dissipated as the
locket returned to normalcy. Harry found the light entrancing while it went bright and
dim, and also perversely satisfying as it did its job.
Somewhere, Lord Voldemort was gripping the edge of a table in a rage as his one-seventh
soul screamed in silent agony at what had just occurred.

The Headmistress
The silhouette of a solitary figure framed below the iron and stone gate drifted to and fro,

barely illuminated by the day's fading light. As Harry approached the school grounds, the
excitement of seeing Ginny and the prospect of being back at Hogwarts played a duet that
made his heart race. Harry's shoes scratched softly against the cobblestones, making just
enough sound for Ginny's acutely tuned ears to pick up. She spun and raced toward the
sound, throwing her arms around Harry's neck the moment his features emerged from the
grey of the evening.
Harry and Ginny talked rapidly in hushed tones as they walked hand-in-hand toward the
castle, and once they entered, they wound their way toward the late Professor
Dumbledore's office. Only four people at Hogwarts knew that Harry would be arriving
this evening, and he made sure that only Ginny actually met him. Harry hoarded each and
every precious moment with her that he could. They arrived at the gargoyle-guarded
entrance to the office, and Ginny spoke the password, "Quidditch Tabby."
Like Dumbledore's, Professor McGonagall's chosen passwords brought a smile to Harry's
face. The rotating spiral staircase with the golden eagle at the top delivered them to the
impressive old oak door of the office, and Harry knocked. The door swung open
immediately, and there stood the Headmistress adorned in her new gold and black robes.
Even the old bent hat she'd worn for years had been replaced to better represent her new
office. Professor McGonagall strode forward at the sight of Harry and gave him a
massive hug that would have made Hagrid proud. The sincerity of her warmth pleased
Harry, and her emotions were equally reflected in her watery eyes as she stood back and
looked at him.
Professor McGonagall motioned Harry and Ginny into neighboring chairs and then gave
Harry a brief overview of the goings-on at school. Harry's attention grew keen when the
Headmistress came around to their shared passion of Quidditch and how Gryffindor was
fairing in its quest for the Cup. Throughout the previous months, Harry had kept
Professor McGonagall abreast of all things war related and appreciated her counsel
whenever she offered it. The time they now spent talking brought smiles and laughs as
Hogwarts was truly home to both. When all the pleasantries were finally finished,
Professor McGonagall pointedly asked what she could do for Harry, knowing full well
there was a specific reason for his journey.
Harry took Ginny's hand as she sat in the chair next to his and explained his ideas to the
Headmistress. The thought had occurred to him that since both he and Ginny had suffered
mental connections with Voldemort, perhaps there were subconscious bits of information
buried deep in their minds they were not aware of - memories and information that
perhaps had entered without their knowledge or even Voldemort's. Harry became
introspective, "What I would like, Professor, is for Ginny and me to use the Pensieve to
see if we could retrieve those memories and somehow put them to use." Professor
McGonagall's eyebrows rose in surprise, and then she smiled.
"Harry," she offered, "I think that is a brilliant notion. However, seeing Professor
Dumbledore retrieve memories is not nearly the same as doing it yourself. Pick up your
wands, both of you, and follow me." Professor McGonagall rose to her feet and walked
straight to the cabinet containing the Pensieve which she threw open and then turned to
face them. "Now then," she said, as a silver aura traced her outline from behind, "let's

have at it." Harry recalled how imposing Professor McGonagall had looked the day of the
final competition for the Triwizard Cup when she and Professor Dumbledore and Snape
had saved him from certain death at the hands of Barty Crouch, Jr. At this moment, with
the silver light riding her shoulders, the Headmistress looked majestic, and Harry would
have followed her anywhere.
The next hour was spent in lessons on how to retrieve memories, and both Harry and
Ginny needed every minute to get it just right. Each in turn began to pull the silver
threads of 'Voldemort' memories from their minds. The process proved to be slow and
frustrating as the young minds didn't have the mature development necessary to focus
properly. Finally, both Harry and Ginny had extracted every memory they could root out.
They discussed each one they could recall retrieving then both slumped in their chairs.
Ginny was the first to verbalize what both she and Harry were thinking, "That was awful.
Not nearly enough. Those memories were ones we already knew were there. How can
what we already knew help us? There must be more, lots more!" Ginny jumped out of her
chair and continued to ramble on as she paced the floor out of frustration, arms
gesticulating and fists clenched. Professor McGonagall stood up, an understanding smile
on her face. "Both of you come with me."
She led them up the winding metal staircase to the second-floor room of her office,
explaining her ideas the whole way while expertly guiding ahead of her the levitated
Pensieve. Once in the room, Professor McGonagall placed the Pensieve next to the
brown, cracked-leather couch toward the back of the room by the bookcase. She
motioned Harry onto the couch, and he lay down. Professor McGonagall walked over to
the couch and slowly waved her wand the length of Harry's body, and then twice around
his head.
Harry instantly fell asleep, and as soon as he did, Professor McGonagall placed her wand
to his temple. She withdrew it slowly, and a set of fine interlaced silver tendrils
containing many subconscious memories wove their way through the air from temple to
tip. She guided the memories to the Pensieve and repeated the process over and over until
her wand told her all was done. Harry was awakened, and Ginny then took his place.
Soon the expert hand of the Headmistress completed the task.
Back downstairs in the Headmistress' office, the three decided the following day would
be a good time to discuss how best to use these memories. Clear minds would make the
best decisions. Ginny stood up and went to the door, but pressing down on the large
handle she found it locked. She turned and looked to Professor McGonagall with wide-
eyed alarm. Immediately, the Headmistress swept from behind her desk with a
commanding sense of urgency, her wand at the ready.
Up in the Owlery, three owls were landing at that very moment, including a tawny owl
whose wingtip had apparently been clipped.

The Serpent and the Blade

Up in the Owlery, the elder Crabbe, Draco Malfoy and Peter Pettigrew used Dark Magic
to transfigure back into their normal forms. The three figures moved to the landing at the
top of the stairs where Pettigrew took his silver hand from his pocket and reattached it to
the stub of his arm. They paused a moment to look over the stone balustrade and down
upon a dark Hogwarts, accented by the occasional brightly-lit window and outlined only
by a half-moon now dropping toward the horizon. If Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle
had completed their assignment successfully, Professor McGonagall would now be sealed
in her office. Nonetheless, they knew that time would be of the essence, so they rushed
down the stairs and headed for the main building.
Harry reached into the pocket of his robes the instant that Ginny spun around from the
door. Hesitation was no longer an issue for Harry, and before Professor McGonagall
could even utter a word he had grasped his DA Galleon and sent out an alarm. Experience
and great depths of magic had finely honed Harry's intuition, and he knew that danger
was at hand.
Ron and Hermione received the alarm instantly and sprang into action. All those sessions
of practicing charms and all those meetings on procedure would now be put to the test.
Hermione raced from the Gryffindor dorm and went to get Luna while Ron had but a
short run up the stairs to get Neville. Established procedure dictated that only five would
do the initial response to any emergency. The rest of the DA were aware of the alarm,
though, so everyone knew to prepare.
Crabbe, Malfoy and Pettigrew threw open the large wooden double doors of the building
and went straight up the main staircase. Malfoy took the lead at the top of the wide stairs,
a place where he had once made overtures of 'friendship' to Harry at the start of their first
year. The group went up one more flight and then turned down the long hallway where,
three-quarters of the way down, they turned once again and burst into the second-floor
girls' bathroom. It appeared empty, as expected, so they went straight to the sink that
contained the engraved snake on the brass faucet. Crabbe had been taught the necessary
amount of Parseltongue by Voldemort, so he uttered from memory the correct phrase to
open the surface entrance to the Chamber of Secrets. The rumbling of all the sinks
moving aside sent vibrations throughout the whole room. Moaning Myrtle, disturbed by
the commotion, poked her head through the wall of the last stall as Crabbe, Malfoy and
Pettigrew jumped down the entrance into the Chamber.
Myrtle was astonished to see that blonde-haired boy back here at school. She was
infuriated and hurt by all that had transpired at Hogwarts the previous year, not only the
murder of Professor Dumbledore but also the pretense of Malfoy's poor pitiful acts as
well. Angry and aghast, she stretched her ethereal body through the wall and out into the
hallway. The first live person she came across was Neville Longbottom as he ran around
checking the second floor. At Myrtle's behest, Neville charged into the girls bathroom,
only to find the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets open and no one else around. He
stood there waiting. Two years of dedicated practice had made his mind keen, but his
shaking wand hand told the story that his experience battling at the Ministry wasn't quite
Professor McGonagall raised her wand as Ginny moved back away from the door.

Silently, she uttered the same charm that Professor Dumbledore had used to blast Mad-
Eye Moody's door open two years earlier. When nothing happened, Professor
McGonagall stood there as wide-eyed as Ginny had been moments before when she
found the door unexpectedly locked. All three feverishly began to think about what to do
Crabbe, Malfoy and Pettigrew dodged the piles of loose boulders that littered the
subterranean entrance to the Chamber of Secrets and made their way to the locked vault
door. Crabbe once again uttered his rote phrase of Parseltongue, thus sending the
bewitched metal snake on its journey to unlock the vault. Pettigrew squeaked as the long
line of stone snakes came into view. One could not help but be awed and intimidated by
the sight. It was now Pettigrew's job to finish the mission, so he left the others behind and
waddled down the stone path to the main chamber.
As he emerged from the tunnel, he looked up at the giant serpent's stone head that loomed
menacingly above the pool of mirror-like water. Pettigrew worked his way around the
pool to the stone wall and clambered up the rocks to the serpent's head itself. The mouth
was beyond his reach, so he took out his wand and charmed it into a long pole with an
adjustable noose on the end. Balancing precariously, Pettigrew reached out and placed the
loop around the nearest large fang. The loop tightened around the stone tooth, and he
yanked with all his might. The stone fang came loose far easier than expected, so much
so that he nearly fell backwards at the release of the tooth. Catching himself, he
contracted his wand and took hold of the fang. He scurried back to his nefarious
companions, and they headed up to the girls' bathroom with all possible speed.
Harry looked from Professor McGonagall to Ginny, as perplexed as they were by the fact
that all of them were still standing there. Quickly, they tried the same opening charm,
together this time. The door did not budge. Harry thought a moment and then spoke
Parseltongue. The door quietly opened. "Stupid Slytherin gits," Harry muttered. "Neither
they nor Voldemort had any idea I would be here." Without another word, Harry, Ginny
and the Professor rushed out of the office and into the main corridors of Hogwarts.
Luna was urgently checking the outer buildings of Hogwarts while Hermione checked
each of the houses, and Ron took up his post outside the Great Hall. Neville's post was
now dictated by circumstance as he waited, but a nervous placement of his free hand into
the side pocket of his robe chanced upon the DA Galleon. Exasperated by his foolishness,
he sent out a call for the DA to come to the second-floor girls' bathroom and none too
soon, for moments later three people emerged from of the Chamber of Secrets.
Luna and Hermione screeched to a halt at Neville's call while Ron, the nearest member of
the DA, leapt up the stairs three at a time and made his way down the second-floor hall.
Neville's wand hand shook even more as he now tried to stare down Crabbe, Malfoy and
Pettigrew. Realizing the odds, the three slowly separated across the bathroom, forcing
Neville to look back and forth and hesitate even more than he already had. Crabbe made
eye contact with Malfoy, then immediately called, "Longbottom." At that, Neville turned
his head toward Crabbe. That one moment of miscalculation was all Malfoy needed as he
forced his voice to speak the most horrible of the Unforgivable Curses, a curse that sent a

jet of green light into Neville's right side. Moaning Myrtle, peeking through the transom
out of pure living habit, screamed.
Ron stopped well short of the girls' bathroom, completely horrified when he saw the
streaks of green light flash across the hall as they escaped through the cracks around the
door. He didn't need Myrtle's scream to tell him what happened. Taking a deep breath, he
raised his wand and aimed it down the hall. Three figures scrambled through the door,
turned right and headed toward the end staircase that led to the building's side entrance.
Knowing what had just happened made Malfoy's back a perfectly justifiable target; years
of torment made this easy. Ron screamed, "Avada Kedavra," and Malfoy fell right on the
heels of Pettigrew.
Pettigrew froze in his tracks as a second jet of green light shot past Ron's left shoulder
and slammed into Crabbe's chest as he turned to look at Malfoy. The Killing Curse from
Professor McGonagall's wand sent Crabbe's lifeless body tumbling down the stairs.
The scene outside the girls' bathroom was almost surreal as Hermione and Luna came
charging down the hall, wands at the ready. Myrtle wailed, Ron stood in the hall
muttering, "Bloody hell." to himself over and over, and Professor McGonagall stood tall
over a cowering Peter Pettigrew, who clutched in his only real hand the ruby-handled
knife of Godric Gryffindor himself.

Debt Unintended
"It's not here. . . It's not here."

Peter Pettigrew muttered that same phrase over and over as he sat bound to a plain
wooden chair, secured upright by Professor McGonagall's invisible rope. Harry,
Hermione and Ron stood near the door, while Ginny was remaining outside the Great
Hall to pass on information and instructions to the faculty. Harry and Hermione were still
reeling from Malfoy's murder of Neville, a painful shock that left them feeling a loss
neither had anticipated. Ron had his own shock - killing another person, even one so
deserving as Draco Malfoy.
In the middle of the bare room, her body just a few feet in front of his, Professor
McGonagall faced Pettigrew, tall and taut with her arms raised slightly from her body.
Her wand was gripped tightly within the straining fingers of her right hand, silently
showing the anger the Headmistress felt. This was fury at a level she had never quite
experienced before, pain coming to the surface: the murder of Harry's parents, the
Longbottoms trapped within their own insanity at St. Mungo's Hospital, the crippling loss
of Professor Dumbledore, the tragic murder of innocent young Neville Longbottom.
As cloudy as his mind was and as sad as his heart felt, Harry noticed something about the
room. He wasn't quite sure what it was, but there was familiarity to it.
Professor McGonagall's eyes narrowed with ferocity as she raised her wand, a jet of red
light striking Pettigrew squarely in his chest. Harry, Hermione and Ron all jumped,
surprised at Professor McGonagall's action and terrified by Pettigrew's screams of
anguish reverberating throughout the stone room. Following the echoes around the room,
it suddenly dawned on Harry what this room reminded him of: a miniature version of
Courtroom Ten at the Ministry, one that Harry had visited both in person when he was put
on trial for using magic in front of Dudley and through the memories of Professor
Dumbledore contained in the Pensieve. Whether intentional or completely accidental, it
was a stroke of genius to bring Pettigrew here just on the chance he was aware of the
courtroom and its history.
Reaching inside her robe, Professor McGonagall withdrew the ruby-handled dagger
found with Pettigrew earlier. She raised it and, speaking in a sharp, understated voice,
said, "Explain yourself. Now." Pettigrew sobbed again, this time more reflective of
despair than physical pain.
His words were jumbled, and Harry had to listen hard as Pettigrew blubbered, "Oh,
please, do not hurt me any more. The Dark Lord has done enough to me, I promise you. I
have suffered greatly from his cruelty. Just look at was my hand." Professor McGonagall
raised her wand again. "Nooooooo," Pettigrew cried, and he continued speaking as fast as
he could spit the words out of his mealy little mouth.
"The Dark Lord sent us here to recover Gryffindor's Dagger. Seventeen years ago the
Dark Lord had it with him at Godric's Hollow; it was intended to be one of his
Horcruxes. I made sure that it was found after his demise and hidden for safe keeping.
Ginny Weasley brought it back into the Chamber of Secrets years ago. With the recent
loss of a Horcrux, the Dark Lord thought it best to keep it under his own protection. That
is why we came."

A look of wretchedness swept across his face at the thought of the dagger. He sputtered,
"But it's not in there. The moment I had the Dagger in my hand and followed the Dark
Lord's instructions, I knew that the Horcrux was not in there like it was supposed to be.
Oh, he is going to be so angry. But where could it be? He must not even know the answer
to that now. But there is more, and I will tell you, kind Professor McGonagall. One of the
remaining Horcruxes is in the Hufflepuff Cup. And it is well-hidden in Bulgaria. Where, I
do not know, but perhaps that will help you." He looked up at her, a pitiful expression on
his face.
Pettigrew remembered Lindgren and the capricious way that the Dark Lord had tossed
away his life. He did not want to be next, so he looked at Harry and spoke once again,
"Kind Harry, you spared my life once, and I am in debt to you for that. There is one more
thing I can tell you. It is all I know. There is a lady, very powerful, a Death Eater who has
no rival but one. Around her neck is a necklace, something so important that the Dark
Lord trusts only her with it. You must watch out for her." He looked up with what could
only be assumed as his pathetic version of hope. "Will you protect me? I have helped
you; now I need you to help me."
Professor McGonagall stepped forward and began talking in stern hushed tones to
Pettigrew. Hermione and Ron stepped forward to listen, but Harry just stood there. In his
mind he was recounting each and every word Pettigrew had spoken tonight. Over and
over Harry mixed and matched each bit of information until it began to resemble images
fitting together like pieces of a puzzle.
Slowly, the murkiness in his mind began to clear as the pieces came together. Harry's
mind suddenly was emblazoned with the light that only accompanies a stunning
revelation. He stood there, the knowledge of this revelation spreading through his body,
both tingling and numbing at the same time. Nothing - not learning about the death of his
parents, to discovering he was a wizard, to facing Voldemort face-to-face, quite matched
this moment.
And no one, absolutely no one, could yet know what he now knew.

Hermione Dives In
Death and betrayal hung over Hogwarts like an oppressive, fear-inducing fog of night. A

fog so thick, so still, that to chance into it would disorient the wanderer, causing feelings
of hopelessness and despair. Professor Dumbledore's death was one thing - the murder of
innocents like Cedric and Neville quite another. Each death struck the heart and mind in
its own way, but all were too close to home and, therefore, too painful, too destabilizing.
Every person's psyche had been sent reeling into the mist, and no one knew where they
would come out.
Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny all sat in Professor McGonagall's office, the sullen
looks on their faces clearly indicating that they felt that same gloom. The Headmistress
sensed the anger, despondency and mistrust that pervaded the school, and she could not
blame one single person, be it student of faculty member, for having those feelings. All
she could do was lead the way and hope that many, if not all, would follow.
Her first act was to expel Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle from Hogwarts, then turn
them over to the Ministry for their crimes associated with the invasion of the school.
Immediately afterwards, she closed Slytherin House, not only to mollify most of the
students and parents, but to protect those members of the house, blameless or not.
Harry could not stand the silence in the room, so he began to force himself forward. . .
not physically, but mentally and emotionally. All he could think of to do was talk, so
Harry simply began to recount all that had just occurred, from the attack on the school to
the interrogation of Pettigrew. Ginny paid close attention as Harry kept going over the
details again and again. Hermione sat there quietly and listened, taking in each fact and
integrating it with all the research she had been doing at Harry's request.
During Harry's third iteration of recent events, Hermione lifted her head, eyes open wide,
and placed her hands on the long, leather-bound arms of her chair. No one in the room
noticed the sparkle in those eyes, nor did it even register to anyone that she had gotten up
and moved across the room. It was Ginny who finally noticed Hermione opening the
cabinet that contained the Pensieve, and she shrieked when Hermione plunged her head
down into the shimmering silver liquid. Professor McGonagall, Ron, and Ginny all
leaped to their feet as they watched Hermione's shoes slip down into the Pensieve. Harry
could only sit there and smile knowingly at 'Hermione being Hermione'.
Hermione was astonished at this world of memories. As she drifted around in the ethereal
nebula of silver, hundreds of people in dozens of images were floating by. Hermione
recognized some people, but the vast majority of the faces were completely unknown to
her. It took very little time for her to realize that all these memories were associated with
Professor Dumbledore - and that was not why she was here. Unbeknownst to Hermione,
no one had ever attempted what she was now trying - to capture and coalesce the
memories of several people whose only relationship to one another may have been
scattered strings of shared memories. In another time, another place, the sheer uniqueness
of her idea would have given a sense of pride to Hermione; but her concern now was to
make her plan work - only she felt totally lost: a stranger in a vast crowd, in which not
one single person was capable of either seeing her or helping her.
Hermione thought hard - Voldemort, Ginny, Harry. How could she possibly capture all
those disparate memories, let alone tie them together into something useful? "Think," she

told herself. "How can I get capture these memories and string them together? Come on,
think. How can I do it?" Hermione floated around some more, making a concerted effort
not to land in any specific memory. She didn't want to be trapped, particularly in one of
Professor Dumbledore's memories, and that was most likely of all.
Then it dawned on Hermione: "These are Professor Dumbledore's memories, linked
together by their one common thread - himself," she said to herself. "These other
memories - Harry's, Ginny's and Voldemort's, have no common thread, no way of
knowing that each of the other memories are even here - assuming they could know that
at all. But I know they're here. I'm the common thread!" Hermione focused all her mental
might on Harry, Ginny, Voldemort, and everything that she knew about their connections
and shared paths.
With that, Hermione placed her wand next to her temple, withdrew silver threads of her
personal memories, and exuberantly threw them out into the strange world around her.
With her wand, she spun the threads around like lassos, spinning and snapping at wisps of
memories that were somehow associated with her own. That was the plan - and it was
Hermione looked up as her memory threads slowly did their work. Memory after
memory, fact after fact - all these gathered around her: ruby-handled blade, horcruxes,
Cup , Agamemnon, Troy, mountains, Bulgaria, murder, Ginny, Death Eaters, Harry,
monastery, necklace, Electra, Pettigrew and so many more. Each had its own importance,
each had its own role in the past and in the future. All around her, the subconscious
memories of Harry, Ginny and Voldemort himself were coalescing into images. As each
one became clear, it took its place in a glittering sphere surrounding Hermione.
And with that, there was a dawning awareness inside of Hermione of everything that had
happened - and much of what very well might be happening. Suspended there amongst
all these memories, Hermione giggled hysterically like a little girl. She couldn't help it.
No birthday party had ever equaled the thrill and excitement of this moment. There they
were: the memories of Voldemort pieced together all about her. As she took in what each
memory told her, the excitement turned to wonder. The wonder soon turned to resolve.
Some questions remained unanswered, but she knew what was to be done next.
Hermione looked upwards and focused on the thought of the Headmistress' office.
Slowly,ihe floated upwards through the memories, dispersing them back in the silvery
world of the Pensieve. Harry, Ron, Professor McGonagall and Ginny stood breathless and
overwrought, subconsciously pushing closer and closer to the Pensieve as they watched
Hermione emerge and get to her feet.
Hermione's face reflected the mixed emotions she was feeling. Elation was mingled with
fear, knowledge fought with the unknown and strength was battling inexperience.
Looking from face to face, Hermione wasted no time in speaking. "There was one
Horcrux for each founding member of Hogwarts, and it seems that there were two for
Slytherin. The ring and locket, as well as the diary, are now destroyed. The Hufflepuff
Cup is one, and the Gryffindor Blade was intended to be one. That remains an unsolved
mystery. However, I know where the Cup is hidden. Follow me. We must get to the

Owlery as soon as possible. I will explain on the way."
Ginny, Ron and Harry turned to follow Hermione as she strode through the door. As soon
as Harry had taken his first step, Professor McGonagall called to him, "Harry, a moment
of your time, please." Harry turned and looked at her, surprised but open to anything she
would say to him. The Headmistress continued, "I have a final message for you from
Professor Dumbledore." Harry could not prevent himself from glancing up at the portrait
on the wall. She continued, "I had planned on giving this to you at a later time, but
circumstances seem to dictate otherwise. I cannot predict when I will see you again. Very
simply, the message states that you must go see your Aunt again. She has something of
importance to give you."
Harry looked at her, his raised eyebrows showing his surprise. Harry did not know what
he was expecting to hear, but it certainly wasn't that. He thanked Professor McGonagall
and, before he turned to race after his companions, he gave her a hug. Partly in thanks,
Harry found that he needed that little bit of emotional grounding. Harry gave the
Headmistress one more small, knowing smile, and then left.


Folds of black cloth swayed back and forth in a determined rhythm as Hermione strode
down the hall toward the West exit. Her gesticulating arms followed no pattern but that of
an animated and agitated dialogue. While the words may have seemed syncopated to her,
but Harry, Ron and Ginny had all they could do to concentrate on her talking, let alone
keep pace with her walking. Hermione was operating on a different plane now, shot
through with adrenaline and driven by the clarity of thought from her new knowledge.
Harry strained to listen.
". . . of the plan are really quite clever, everything that we should have expected from
Voldemort. The Horcruxes - at least five of them, anyway - were supposed to be
contained in heirlooms of the Hogwarts founders. Why Voldemort would show such
affinity to the school is beyond me, but that's where we are with it. Perhaps both the
locket and ring, being Slytherin-related, are his way of showing dominance. . . maybe
attachment. . . no, definitely dominance," Hermione rattled on. She continued, barely
taking a breath, "The Hufflepuff Cup is hidden in Bulgaria - inside the Troyan Monastery
at the base of Stara Planina, to be exact. That's in the Balkans, by the way." Hermione
couldn't resist throwing that in, and Ron rolled his eyes just as naturally.
Hermione didn't miss a beat as she continued on, "That's where his new Death Eater,
Electra, is from. Don't you see it? Electra, Agamemnon, Troy. That's why Voldemort
chose that monastery - because of her and her background. It is a clever word association
but definitely a surprise that Voldemort would show anyone any type of consideration
whatsoever." Hermione paused, and then looked pleadingly into Harry's eyes as she said,
" Harry, beware. . . she is powerful, she is important - and she wears the Ravenclaw
Hermione's oratory had taken them all the way to the Owlery at the top of the West
Tower. As she burst thought the door, the noise sent the owls flapping off their perches in
fright. A look of anticipation and great concern still on her face, Hermione turned to
Harry, Ron and Ginny who staggered up the final steps. She was excited to have
successfully learned what she did, but with that knowledge came deep distress. Matters
were becoming graver by the day, an unavoidable fact upon which they were all focused.
Plans were formulating in Harry's head at every word spoken by Hermione, but he never
got the chance to verbalize any of them. Before they could even begin to catch their
breath, Hermione took out her DA Galleon and placed it in an envelope. She went over to
the Owlery's desk and jotted off a quick note, which was placed in the envelope before
she sealed it, and wrote the name "Viktor Krum" on the front. The envelope was secured
to the leg of a large Barn Owl, and off it went. Hermione then turned to Ron and told him
to send a message to Charlie, asking him to set up within twenty-four hours a Portkey
landing site in a secluded spot near Troyan Monastery, Stara Planina, Bulgaria. Ron
dutifully took out his Galleon and silently sent the message.
Hermione led the group out to the landing where she leaned against the stone and
outlined her plan for the Hufflepuff Cup. She, Harry and Dobby would use a Portkey for
transport to rendezvous with Charlie and Viktor at which point they would begin to hunt
down the Cup. A wave of her hand somewhat diminished the Weasley protests for being
left out, and even Hermione's saying that their time would come still did little to mollify

Ron and Ginny.
The next day brought decidedly bad weather, and early that afternoon Harry, Hermione
and Dobby met in Professor McGonagall's office. Hermione was glad for the dreary, wet
conditions outside. She wanted everyone to be focused and serious; not that they wouldn't
be, but even the slightest optimism brought upon by bright, sunny weather could lead to a
mistake later. There were no margins for error anymore, and Hermione had created an
edge she intended to keep. She had no idea about Harry's revelation, and that gave them
an even greater advantage, or at least Harry hoped as much.
Lying on Professor McGonagall's desk was the Gryffindor Dagger which Hermione had
converted into a Portkey. The significance of her choice was clear, and her cheeky
effrontery gave Harry an inner lift. On Hermione's count, all three grabbed the dagger at
the same time and were whisked away to whatever fate the Cup had waiting for them.
That thought sobered Harry and brought him back down to earth as he, Hermione and
Dobby landed with a thud in a small grassy clearing.
Experience had taught Harry plenty, and he was on his feet with wand out in an instant.
Dobby already had his hand out, prepared for whatever might await them as Hermione
scrambled upright. Charlie Weasley, standing alongside a tall fir tree that skirted the
clearing, let out a soft whistle - just enough to get their attention but not enough to cause
alarm. All three turned to the sound and quickly made their way over as soon as
recognition took the place of wariness.
Charlie turned without a word and led the way through the woods. A few minutes later,
with a hillside on their right, the group came upon an old, three-story building just
beyond the trees. The façade of the monastery was stone and white stucco with two
wooden balconies facing out to the town. A lone figure stood on the upper balcony
keeping a close watch on the area. Hermione recognized the figure as Viktor Krum,
waving not in recognition of Hermione, but in response to Charlie's wave up to him. At
that Charlie led Harry, Hermione and Dobby through the main entrance and into the
Troyan Monastery. Krum joined them immediately and all exchanged quiet, serious nods
- everyone's expressions full of respect and purpose both. Satisfied with the team in front
of her, Hermione pulled her shoulders back with pride as she explained exactly what the
mission was, and why.
Although the monastery was extensive, all agreed that the church itself was the logical
place to look for the Cup. Voldemort may have had some symbolic reason for the choice,
but just as likely it was chosen for its central location within the monastery; therefore, it
was the easiest position to defend. Krum turned and silently led the party through the ring
of the building and into the courtyard which contained gardens, statues and a small stone
As soon as Krum stepped into the courtyard, the air turned bitter cold and became as still
as death. Wands out, each person walked slowly and cautiously. Halfway into the
courtyard, a soft singing began to waft through the air. From a large, previously
unnoticed tomb tucked behind some bushes to the side of the courtyard, a covey of
silvery Veela ghosts drifted toward the group. Their singing mesmerized the young men,

all of whom stopped dead in their tracks, eyes glazed over, arms limp at their sides.
Hermione grabbed Harry, trying to shake him put of his stupor, but as she looked over his
shoulder, she cried out in horror.
Lying on the ground by the tomb were her parents, throats slashed, lifeless. Floating
above the bodies, drifting their way, were a dementor, a giant and Lucius Malfoy. Harry
began to hear his mother's screams again, Viktor fell to his knees muttering and covering
his head and Charlie clasped his hands over his ears as tears streamed down his face. For
Dobby, Lucius Malfoy represented the terror of servitude mixed with anger for the way
Dobby had been treated and the things that Malfoy had done - trying to hurt Harry Potter
among them. Hermione's wails echoed around the courtyard, surrounding each person's
pains with her own shrill agony.
It was his anger that kept Dobby somewhat focused and therefore the only one to notice
the swords and silver ropes in the hands of the Veela. As the ghosts approached the group,
Dobby raised his hand to them and silently said 'Apparitious condensus.' Blue-white
streaks of lightning shot from his hand and struck the Veela ghosts, instantly causing each
apparition to condense into a tiny spot of white powder that hung in mid-air before falling
to the ground and impacting with a tiny puff of white smoke. The swords and ropes fell
harmlessly into the herb gardens nearby. Dobby shook his head, trying to keep the
cobwebs out and his mind focused as he loped over to where Harry stood. A quick snap
of the fingers and a "Pay attention, Harry Potter, sir!" brought Harry's eyes down to
Dobby's level.
Once Harry noticed his dementor, he knew exactly what was going on. Harry raised his
wand, propelled the charm "Riddikulus' with a firm loud voice, and destroyed the boggart
which exploded into wisps of smoke and vanished. Harry, now in total control of himself
once again, stepped in front of each member of the party in turn and destroyed his/her
boggart. As they all sat along the low stone walls and gathered their wits about them,
Harry walked over to the gardens and gazed down at the swords and rope that had been
brought by the Veela ghosts. Real enough, he told himself.
Voldemort had left two layers of terror for anyone who approached the Cup. While the
ghosts and the boggarts were meant to incapacitate, the swords were surely meant to kill.
Harry wondered about the ropes. . . perhaps their purpose was to add a little sport,
torturing the victim before the kill. Certainly, Voldemort and his vicious slaves would not
be above inflicting pain and gaining pleasure while doing so. Harry walked over to the
group and took charge once again.
From high atop the church, a figure draped in black seemingly floated alongside the
narrow stone steeple. Incensed at what had just happened, she dared not do anything now.
Too much was at risk if she attacked, so she must follow her master's instructions. Electra
watched silently as the group moved toward her family's ancient tomb.

Family Surprises

Harry walked over to the grey limestone tomb situated along one side of the monastery's
central courtyard. Pushing branches aside as he approached, Harry surveyed the tomb
carefully. Like many places of burial, there were fine, ornate carvings along the lower
edges of the tomb's roof which sloped upward at a low pitch to a central ridge that ran the
length of the burial vault. At one end of the roof, a carved stone eagle, flanked by a
gargoyle at each corner, stood guard.
The sides of the tomb were spotted with the black stains of time. Without really thinking
about it, Harry ran his hand along the stone wall finding, to his surprise, that it was
rougher than he would have expected. He stepped back as far as the tall bushes would let
him and, taking a more careful look, noticed that whatever names may have once been
carved along the walls were now obliterated. Harry doubted that nature had been the
cause, not when the carvings above appeared to have survived just fine. Curiosity as well
as wariness were heightened by this observation, and his fears were confirmed as he
rounded the side of the tomb only to find the vault's wrought-iron gate sealed by a metal
snake woven through the vertical bars.
Hermione, Charlie and Krum came up alongside Harry, and the meaning of the snake was
not lost on any of them either. Where reservations may have lingered before, none any
longer doubted the location of the Hufflepuff Cup. Hermione's knowledge and Harry's
instincts had proven to be accurate once again.
Harry pointed his wand at the gate and said, "Fusio!" The iron of the gate yielded beneath
the onslaught of the charm's arcing orange light, melting instantly and running down and
along the cracks between the ancient cobblestones. For a moment the members of the
party found themselves entranced by the glowing red rivulets that wound around their
feet. Hermione realized it would be prudent to be done with it and not tarry any longer, so
she stepped around Harry and cautiously entered the tomb. Harry followed moments later
only to find Hermione staring at the Hufflepuff Cup which was sitting atop a stone pillar.
Light from the entrance streamed into the tomb, illuminating the dust-filled air with hazy
beams that cast an eerie glow throughout. Remembering the dangers that surrounded the
locket in the cave, Harry grabbed her arm and dragged her out of the burial vault. He
seriously doubted that things would be this simple - if ghosts, boggarts, rope and swords
could be called simple.
Hermione stepped next to Krum, who had remained outside with Charlie. She turned
back toward the vault, her right shoulder up against Krum's left arm. Harry had already
turned to face the entrance, his wand raised and pointing in the direction of the Cup. With
a voice of authority none of them had ever heard from Harry, he once again bellowed
"Soulus Exctinctus," and a jet of teal-coloured lightning shot into the tomb. The light that
Harry had seen emanate from the locket now cast that same eerie glow throughout the
small chamber, easily visible from the outside.
As he had suspected, Voldemort was not done. Undoubtedly designed to kill anyone who
may have touched the Cup, Voldemort's last layer of protection was triggered as Harry's
charm destroyed the Horcrux. Within moments, the tomb began to lose its solid
appearance. What was once hard, opaque stone now began to take on a translucent
appearance and, right before their wide-open eyes, the surfaces of the tomb began to

Seconds later it collapsed in upon itself and became one solid, indistinct mass of stone,
lying on the ground looking like any other boulder from the neighbouring mountain.
Designed to kill, it may have crushed the Cup as well, but it would have still protected
the Horcrux within had it not already been destroyed by Harry's charm.
Watching from above, only Electra could see the ghosts of her ancestors expelled from
their final resting place, driven to wander aimlessly for all eternity. What little heart may
have remained in her left to follow her relatives, ripped out by the sight of her family, and
now every bit as forsaken as their ghosts. Her transformation was complete.
Two days later, Harry found himself standing outside Number Four Privet Drive. He had
no real idea what Professor Dumbledore's message meant, but Professor McGonagall
thought it important; she clearly wasn't worried about the message per se - she just
wanted to make sure Harry got it. Reminding himself that this was Professor
Dumbledore's last message to him, Harry took a deep breath and made his way up the
neatly trimmed walkway and between the tall bushes that stood beneath the windows of
the house.
Harry knocked on the door which was answered by Dudley, now tall and muscular - well
built and strong for anyone his age. Dudley greeted Harry and ushered him into the living
room, the site of many misadventures in years past. Harry could not help but smile as
thoughts of zooming envelopes, floating puddings and engorged tongues flashed through
his mind. Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia were sitting there waiting and were as cordial
as when Harry had left at the end of the summer. Indeed, times had changed.
Never having been close - in fact, just the opposite - Harry and the Dursleys kept the
small talk to a minimum. It felt like an eternity to everyone in the room, however, so
Aunt Petunia dispensed with the uncomfortable silences. "Harry," she explained, "soon
after you were left on our doorstep as an infant, another package arrived."
Harry and Aunt Petunia never actually had a civil discussion until now, and he absorbed
all she said as he felt no small amount of amazement. It seems this particular package
was inanimate and filled with objects that belonged to Harry's mum, Petunia's sister, Lily
Potter. Dumbledore's instructions were simple: when the time came, Harry was to be
given the one package that was wrapped in leather and tightly bound. It felt all the world
like a book to Harry, but the string would not allow itself to simply be untied.
Harry thought for a moment, took out his wand, and pointed it at the binding. Sure
enough, the string became undone. As his hands shook and his heart raced, Harry slowly
removed the string and carefully unwrapped the leather from around the book. The
silence in the room was deafening and the tension palpable as Harry finished unwrapping
the book. There it lay on his lap, cover facing upward as the leather draped down over
Harry's thighs, and the magical string dangled down toward the floor. Harry looked with
astonishment at the cover, which simply read:

The Diary of Lily Evans Potter

Meanwhile, at The Burrow, Molly Weasley was keeping herself busy with the daily
chores of house and home, but her eyes never strayed from the Weasley family clock for
very long.


Thin curls of grey smoke rose from The Burrow's small exhaust vent which exited
through the faded, weather-worn clapboards just above the kitchen stove. From the smell
of food that drifted along with the fine particles of smoke, one would think that Mrs.
Weasley was busy preparing breakfast for the entire red-headed Weasley clan. However,
even on the best of mornings these days, it was only herself, Mr. Weasley and Archie
As the smoke of breakfast and the early haze yielded their coveted positions as guardians
of the morning, a rare English sun took it's rightful place high in the morning sky. Molly
Wesley bustled around the kitchen, the enchanted brushes having finished washing the
breakfast utensils. Try as she might, Mrs. Weasley could never keep herself from
glancing at the Weasley family clock. It was bad enough that Mr. Weasley worked for the
Ministry of Magic and would always be at some risk, but many of the children were
involved in some form or fashion, in the war against Voldemort. Mrs. Weasley worried
incessantly about her family, but she could not begrudge the wizarding world, or Harry
Potter, their help.
Mrs. Weasley was particularly concerned about the hand of the clock that represented her
estranged son, Percy. The 'Percy' hand had been fixed in the 'Mortal Danger' position for
the past week, and Mrs. Weasley could do nothing but worry and think back to her
dreadful experience with the boggart at number twelve Grimmauld Place.
After a day of housework, Mrs. Weasley found herself, as usual, at the kitchen sink
preparing vegetables. Her preference might have been to wash with magic, but, when it
came to cooking for the family, it was her hand that took the credit. As she
absentmindedly glanced out the window while preparing the evening's greens, Mrs.
Weasley was completely astonished to see her third child, Percy, walking down the lane
toward the house. Accompanying him were two young men of about the same age - early
twenties she thought in snap judgement.
Putting aside Percy's lack of favor within the family as only a mother would do, Mrs.
Weasley tossed the vegetables down into the sink and raced out the door. She greeted
Percy with a huge bear hug, tears flowing down her rosy cheeks and barely coherent
blubbering. Percy acknowledged her with a cursory, standoffish hug of his own and then
introduced his two companions as friends from the Ministry. Once the idea of guests
penetrated her excitement, Mrs. Weasley shepherded the three young men into the house
and plopped them down at the kitchen table.
In no time at all, she had mustered three bottles of cold butterbeer for Percy and his
friends along with some bread and cheese, fussing at the 'boys' to eat and drink. Mrs.
Weasley turned her attention back to the greens in the sink, talking as she worked, asking
Percy why the visit? Even though she was pleased as could be that he had shown up, Mrs.
Weasley was equally aware that this was completely unexpected and out of the ordinary.
Up until this time, Percy had done nothing that warranted any actions by his being called
a 'good surprise.'
"Well, Mother," Percy explained between swigs of butterbeer, "we are actually looking
for Harry. We had heard he was staying here, and my friends needed to ask him some

questions concerning Ministry business. They asked me to help them." Mrs. Weasley's
heart practically stopped in alarm as she heard this, and it took every bit of composure
she could summon to keep working as if nothing was wrong. The hairs on the back of her
neck stood up as she furiously thought about what to say. Percy's companions eyed her
carefully as they awaited her response.
Mrs. Weasley opened her mouth to answer although she still wasn't sure what was going
to come out. Before the first word could escape her lips, Archie McClendon innocently
walked through the kitchen door, and all hell broke loose.
Archie McClendon was well-trained and experienced enough to immediately realize
something was very wrong, so wrong, in fact, that he withdrew his wand instantly and
took aim at one of the strangers. Urgency propelled Archie to fire his first curse right
away, but being caught somewhat by surprise forced the rushed yellow beam to be
slightly askew and the curse struck the table instead. Shards of china went flying off the
table all about Mrs. Weasley, who screamed as she covered her face.
These strangers, however, were fully prepared for the Auror. Before a second curse could
be uttered, Auror McClendon was felled by a fatal ribbon of green light as "Avada
Kedavra!" echoed through The Burrow. Archie slammed back against the tall oak hutch
and then slumped forward onto the table, dead.
Percy jumped from the table and backed against the wall, a look of shock on his face as
terror sparked throughout his entire body. Molly Weasley froze by the sink, terrified.
Coherent thoughts were barely possible as she surveyed the scene in front of her: Percy
safe but in danger, Archie dead and two figures now draped in black approaching her.
The two men grabbed Mrs. Weasley, threw her down into a chair and charmed a rope
around her. Pleasantries were the furthest thing from their minds as they began to grill
Molly Weasley on the whereabouts of Harry. Each time she refused to answer, one of the
men moved closer and closer to her face. At her third refusal to answer, his frustration
took over, and he took out his wand. Without even asking a fourth time, he aimed it at
Mrs. Weasley's chest and yelled, "Crucio!"
Birds fluttered from the trees, and garden gnomes went diving into their holes as Mrs.
Weasley's screams pierced the silent dale. The pain shooting through her body was
agonizing - more than she could bear - as she fainted dead away in the chair. Before the
black figures could decide what to do next, they heard several 'pops' outside near the
garden. The two Death Eaters immediately apparated, cursing to themselves at the
reception they were sure to receive upon their return to Voldemort.
Mr. Weasley and two Aurors burst through the door to find Mrs. Weasley, Percy and
Archie McClendon in the kitchen, no explanations forthcoming as to what had happened.
One of the Aurors immediately said, "Arthur, we must get them all to St. Mungo's.
Please, as quickly as possible!"
The scene around Mrs. Weasley's bed was one of great anguish as she lay there
unconscious. Each member of the Weasley family save for Percy, who was elsewhere in
the hospital, was feeling deep personal strife. Loss in battle was one thing, but an attack

on one's wife/mother was taken personally. Harry held Ginny's hand as tears rolled down
her cheeks, and the look of anger on Fred's and George's faces was the last thing anyone
would ever have normally expected to see from them.
Harry released Ginny's hand and gave her a hug. After whispering something to her, he
went and kissed Mrs. Weasley gently on the forehead. Without another word, he left the
hospital room and headed straight for the Gryffindor common room. He had reading to
do and, with Voldemort now searching so intently for him, the journal could no longer

Day of the Blue
As much as Hogwarts was 'home' to Harry, the Gryffindor common room was his
sanctuary within. Harry's memories there stretched to his very first days at school,
moments of pain, anger, learning, camaraderie or joy. They encompassed Harry's
experience of being where he wanted to be, making each and every memory special in its
own way.
Although Harry had actually spent very little time at Hogwarts during this seventh year,
the students were aware of everything going on both outside and inside school. They gave
Harry the wide berth and privacy he needed without having to be asked. Harry was not
sure if this was out of respect or fear or both, but he was grateful for it. Even Colin
Creevey resisted severe temptation and held his tongue and, more to the point, his
Harry settled himself down in the large armchair by the hearth, and a casual glance into
the fire brought a twinge to his heart. One of those many memories was talking to Sirius
in the fire. That longing, and the bond they shared, brought Harry right back into focus
with an even greater determination. Harry looked down at the journal he had placed on
his lap. With a deep sigh, he read the cover for the hundredth time but actually broke it
open for the very first time.
There was no real plan in Harry's mind on how he was going to approach his mother's
journal, so he stood the book with its binding along his thigh and thought about where to
start. One part of Harry said to start at the very beginning; another part of him was so
anxious to read everything he just wanted to flip through it and absorb each and every
word instantaneously. As Harry balanced the book between his hands, he found it parted
on its own and fell open onto his lap. Harry looked down and saw the page facing up at
him was shimmering like no other page, and in one corner the letters "AD" were
scribbled. With a warm knowing smile, Harry realized that the decision had been made
for him, so with his heart pounding he began to read:
"Tomorrow is the big day, and I'm so excited! When Professor Slughorn helped get me a
job in the Ministry and then on the 'Department of Mysteries' research team, he always
said that someday I might be allowed into 'The Secret Room.' Well, tomorrow the team
will finally enter for a fortnight's worth of research. I guess I am nervous, too, not
knowing at all what to expect. James is excited, but he just wants to know what is inside. .
. Oh my word, I couldn't believe what I learned today in 'The Secret Room!' It is a small
room, barely large enough to fit the seven of us into it. And it is so bare - the room
contains only three small black columns, each about one metre tall, arranged in a
triangle within the room. But that isn't what's important - it's the glass prism standing
upright on top of each column. Together they are called the "Prismata Vita", the "Prisms
of Life." Apparently, no one knows exactly how old they are, other than they are about a
thousand years old; nor does anyone know who created them. All anyone knew was how
to make them work. It was the power that the Prisms yielded which prompted the
Ministry to secret them away all these years. And I saw it work today! The team Leader
placed a plant in the middle of the Prisms, aimed his wand, and said "Prismata Aqua!"
At this, the Prisms turned from clear to a glowing pearly translucence and sent a

lavender beam from each Prism to the plant. The lavender light enveloped the plant and,
within seconds, removed every bit of water from the plant. In short order the plant
collapsed into a tiny mound of powder - all that remained once the water was removed.
The demonstration of this power inspired such awe. . . Today we took a mouse and used
the Prisms to remove its bones. It made me so sad to do that, but we gave it some
Skelegrow to help the bones grow back. . . I wasn't supposed to, but I finally did tell
James about 'The Secret Room,' under the promise that he must absolutely never tell
anyone. He did promise (I love him so!). James did have an idea, though. He suggested
that the Prisms might be used to remove Remus' tainted blood so that he would not have
to bear the pain of being a werewolf. That is such a thoughtful, and brilliant, idea. It is
also a very dangerous one. What if something went wrong? But I wonder. . . I've decided!
Tomorrow I will try my idea! I am so scared, though. What if it doesn't work? What if I
die? But I must find out . . . I went in early this morning to the Ministry and headed into
the Department of Mysteries, as usual. This time, however, I went to 'The Secret Room'
and let myself in. I was so nervous as I stepped in between the Prisms and aimed the
wand at myself. I even left a note for James by the door, just in case. Taking a deep
breath and closing my eyes, I said "Prismata Occula Pigmenta!' The lavender light
enveloped me, but I felt only a slight tingle in my eyes until the light dissipated, then
nothing at all. I took my small hand mirror out and looked at myself. It worked! I had
successfully turned my eyes from green to blue! The rush from this success was
incredible. I just couldn't help myself, so I walked around all day with my eyes blue!
People looked at me funny as I passed them in the halls - they could tell that something
was different, they just weren't sure what it was. Ha ha ha. James would have been proud
of me! At the end of the day, I pretended to work late. When everyone was gone, I went
back to the 'The Secret Room' and reversed the process. It wasn't easy, but I did it. I
gazed in a mirror for a few moments - just staring at my green eyes. It was late then, so I
Harry closed the book as he came to the end of this page. The look of wonder on his face
would have been clear to anyone who glanced his way. Inside Harry the picture wasn't
quite so straightforward. The logical de facto leader of the wizarding world's war against
Voldemort was trying to process what he had just learned while the emotional orphaned
boy felt himself torn apart by this encounter with his dead mother. One thing was certain,
however: the world was not yet ready to see this journal or read its contents.
Racing through the halls and up the stairs, Harry wound his way through Hogwarts to the
seventh floor. Glancing at Barnabas the Barmy, Harry proceeded to create a Room of
Requirement solely for the safekeeping of his mother's journal. Should he die, no one
would ever find it, and that would be just as well. When he emerged from the room and
sealed it, things were churning once again in Harry's mind. Harry reached into his pocket
and placed his hand on his DA Galleon, sending a message for Ron and Hermione to
meet him back at the Gryffindor common room.
By the time they had arrived an hour later, the emotional boy had exited, and Harry had
regained full control of his senses. Harry was settled into his favourite armchair by the
hearth when Hermione and Ron found him. They pulled their chairs close, facing him,
anxiously awaiting to hear why Harry had called for them. Little did they know that
Harry was about to reveal how they were all about to end the war.

Plans Within Plans
The flames' flickering lights danced across the faces of Ron and Hermione as they
listened intently. Harry needed to tell them everything. Each burst of life from the
glowing embers revealed wonder and surprise while the shadows of the embers' gasps
exposed the sinister side of the world, etched in the recesses of their faces. The fate of
magical folk and Muggles alike hung in the balance, and they now bore that
responsibility with maturity and dedication.
As Harry described his evolving awareness from recent event and and greater perception
of Voldemort's plans, neither Ron nor Hermione said a word, as if there were anything
they could - or should - say at this critical juncture. Hermione was captivated, and Ron
simply awestruck, as Harry outlined his plans to destroy Voldemort. Ron and Hermione
would have gladly laid their lives down for Harry, but now all he needed was for them to
be the necessary partners. They had always been there for him, so Harry had complete
faith in their abilities.
Harry leaned toward Ron, speaking in a subdued voice, "Ron, there are two things I need
you to do. First, go to your dad and tell him to meet us outside 'The Secret Room' at 10
a.m., two mornings hence. He will understand. Second, ask Fred and George to be here
this afternoon; 2 p.m. should do the trick. Perhaps they might consider trading their
dragon skin jackets for something a bit less flamboyant." Neither could help a small smile
thinking of the red-headed twins in bright green dragon leather. "I will see you next in
two days." A brief look of disappointment swept across Ron's face, but he pushed himself
up from the cushioned depths of his armchair and with a crisp "Right!" Harry reached out
and shook Ron's hand, making sure to look him straight in the eyes and give him every
bit of reassurance that he could. Ron spun on the balls of his feet and left the commons
room. Harry was glad to see that the handshake had created a renewed feeling of
importance in Ron, judging by the crisp manner in which he left.
By the time Hermione's head had turned back from the image of Ron's exit past the Fat
Lady, Harry had pulled his chair closer to her, their knees side-by-side. He once again
leaned forward and, although he began to talk in hushed tones, he was placing great trust
in his beloved Gryffindor by even speaking at all.
As Harry outlined more of his plans and Hermione's pivotal role in them, he could see the
flames reflected in her spellbound eyes. Students in the room, stealing furtive glances,
saw the silhouettes of Harry and Hermione outlined with a soft orange glow while the
daydreamers in the room who let their thoughts and eyes roam were rewarded with
images of two shadows nose-to-nose flitting back and forth on the stone wall. When
Harry was done, Hermione looked deep into Harry's eyes, their spirits touched knowingly
and warmly, and she immediately left for the kitchens, via her room.
"Dobby!" called Harry, speaking to the air. Instantly, the bony, seemingly misshapen
house-elf appeared, dressed in a conglomeration of purples and reds, plaids and stripes,
that would do a Muggle-imitating wizard proud. "Dobby," Harry said gently, "please
inform Winky and the other house-elves that you will be accompanying me to the
Department of Mysteries in three days. Please, go and do it now." Before Harry could

blink, Dobby was gone.
Recent events had provided Hermione with experiences and emotions she could never
have conceived, but now those were replaced with the greatest sense of purpose she had
ever known. She had always worked hard to help Harry and had even used a smidgen of
mischievous magic to help Ron at Quidditch tryouts, but now she was on a mission at
Harry's request. Very simply, nothing else mattered, and she proceeded with focus and
intensity beyond any she had exhibited before.
Her first job was simple: to go get one of her infamous knitted hats, black this time, and
meet Harry at the Room of Requirement. She grabbed the last remaining black cap from
the S.P.E.W. box under her bed and rendezvoused with Harry in the seventh-floor
hallway. He magically opened the door and quickly went inside, Hermione on his heels at
almost a trot. As soon as she was inside, though, Hermione's canter came to a complete
halt, her feet frozen to the floor.
Completely stunned, Hermione's jaw dropped open as she looked down at Kreacher.
Harry took the black knit hat from Hermione, handed it to the house-elf, and said with a
great sense of urgency, "Now, hurry - you have little time. Be careful and be quick!" At
that, the house-elf was gone. Harry turned to Hermione and said, simply, "Polyjuice
It took a few moments for Hermione's head to clear as Harry's simple pronouncement
sank in. She wasn't aware of every plan but quickly realized that Harry was setting all the
wheels in motion, and she must get on to her next project. With that, she turned and
headed straight for the library. There would be no more distractions now.
Two mornings hence, Ron and Hermione went to the Great Hall while Harry went to
meet Mad-Eye Moody, Tonks and Kingsley Shacklebolt - Harry's escorts - by the front
gate. Harry and Moody gave each other a respectful nod then all walked together into
Hogwarts. Going to the fireplace in the Great Hall, they all used Floo Powder to transport
themselves by means of the Floo Network to the Ministry's Atrium - Moody and Tonks
first, Shacklebolt taking up the rear. There they met up with Remus Lupin, Charlie
Weasley, the Weasley Twins and three other Aurors, all of whom waited by the Fountain
of Magical Brethren.
Harry took the time to greet each person eye-to-eye, a sign of his growing leadership.
With that, he spun on his heels and strode down the corridor towards the elevators,
everyone else following in pairs behind him. The group took the elevators down one level
and exited onto Nine. Kingsley Shacklebolt emerged first and led the group down the hall
toward the Department of Mysteries; Harry now walking in the middle. To this point
everything had been prearranged, and all concerned were going to do their best to ensure
it stayed that way for as long as possible. Only Harry, though, knew every plan that was
now in place.
Shacklebolt opened the door, and everyone entered with wands drawn. According to plan
or not, taking every precaution would now be the paramount issue. One of the Aurors
remained on guard inside the door as he locked the entrance behind him - no one was to

have any inkling anyone was in there. Another of the Aurors froze the Rotating Room in
place then remained on station as the third Auror led the way through the correct door to
the hallway beyond. Emerging into the small area between the door and the Time Room,
Harry saw Mr. Weasley to his right, standing as asked outside the Secret Room. Harry
nodded and turned left, Fred and George by his shoulders.
Harry had gone over this moment many times in his head, but nothing prepared his heart
for what he saw. There, at the bottom of the room surrounded by all the benches, was the
Veil of Death. Harry's heart ached at all the memories the scene evoked, but for all that he
remembered, one stood out - the memory that was his eternal nightmare.
Closing his eyes for a brief moment, Harry tried his best to put the pain aside. Only
marginally successful, he opened his eyes and walked down to the centre, followed by the
twins. Moody, Tonks and Lupin spread out, while Shacklebolt, Ron and Hermione just
watched from above. Charlie stood by his father.
Down by the Veil of Death, Hermione could see Harry talking intently to the twins as his
hands moved about, creating images and exclamation points to highlight his words and
ideas. At one point Harry made Fred and George move about as if to completely
memorize each aspect of the room. Minutes later, after the twins had walked to the top of
the room by the Hall of Prophecies, Fred and George descended back down and talked to
Harry some more, looking unusually intent for them. After a few nods and handshakes,
Fred and George walked back up and immediately left the Department of Mysteries.
Left alone, Harry turned to the Veil of Death, running his hand slowly along its side.
Harry knew that this might be his one final chance - perhaps forever - to reflect on Sirius.
Beyond the Veil Sirius floated with many other beings, all bereft of their souls.
Dispossessed by the Veil, left to wander the ether for eternity, Harry was sure death
would be preferable to their fate. He placed his forehead against the Veil's frame and tried
to send a message of love out through the disconsolation that racked his body. As Harry
turned and slowly, dejectedly made his way up the benches to Hermione, a single tear
wound its way down Harry's cheek. Harry's tear was not the only one in the room.

The Veil of Death
Nine pairs of wet eyes watched Harry slowly ascend from the Veil of Death to the Secret
Room's level, where Mr. Weasley, Charlie Weasley and Hermione stood. Harry's gaze
was focused on Hermione, and when he arrived at the door, he took her free hand in his.
Harry turned to Mr. Weasley and said, with dead calm in his voice, "Thank you, Mr.
Weasley. Fred and George will be returning shortly. They will know what to do." Mr.
Weasley gave Harry a small nod and a warm pat on the shoulder then silently swung the
door open for Harry and Hermione.
Not even Ron raised an eyebrow when seeing Hermione's hand slip into Harry's. Battles
have always engendered deep bonds and camaraderie, and Hermione and Ron both had
been the ultimate troopers by Harry's side. None of them would have had it any other
way. However, both Harry and Hermione knew it was much more than that now.
Hermione had helped protect Harry on many occasions and may even have directly saved
his life. But now, Harry's life was literally in Hermione's hands, and the significance was
not lost on either of them.
Hermione's entire life of intense academia had helped prepare her for what was about to
occur, but the last twenty-four hours of virtually living in the library - researching,
practicing, hoping - was the figurative cramming before the final exam. This final exam,
however, would encompass Harry's life and the future of the world.
As the door swung closed behind them, a soft light illuminated the room from below.
Hermione sucked in her breath and threw her shoulders back in formal deference to the
moment, much as she had carried herself with a stiff, haughty air the first time she met
Harry and Ron on the Hogwarts Express. Except now any trace of that once-young hint
of arrogance was replaced by the tiny adult chill that accompanies the prospect of failure.
Harry's already-heavy heart sank even lower as his skin crawled. Here in front him was
the room his mother had spoken of - whose words Harry had read, whose descriptions he
had translated into visions, yet no amount of imagination could adequately prepare Harry
for the reality of the Secret Room. It was not that the room had any particular grandeur to
it; it was simply that Harry was now actually here, practically inside one of his mother's
most intimate and important memories. . . here because of that memory. It was the reality
of this situation that gnawed at both Harry and Hermione - each of their minds and hearts
dealing with completely different issues yet, in the end, knowing those issues and paths
would join.
No hesitation, no amount of time, no prodding of the winds on which the magical
ancestral brethren that occupied Hogwarts and the rest of the world seemed to float like
gossamer, could change the nexus that was this room. Accepting that, Harry released
Hermione's hand and stepped into the middle of the room, standing evenly within the
three black columns upon which rested the "Prismata Vita" - "The Prisms of Life."
Harry knew what the next few minutes might bring, so he had sent every message,
trained every person and created every situation from which each part of the plan would
be set in motion. He made sure everyone on the 'good side' was prepared for what the
next day would bring. Whether Harry was there or not, the final battle would occur.

Nothing could stop that now.
Hermione continued to fulfill her critical role even as Harry stepped within the "Prismata
Vita". She lifted her hand and opened it, palm upward, to expose the empty Prophecy
Sphere that Mr. Weasley had handed her earlier. Hermione lifted her wand and, in a quiet
voice reflective of Harry's earlier timbre, softly intoned, "Leviosa." The sphere rose from
her hand, suspended in mid-air, protected by her simple charm. There it would await its
solemn duty.
That task done, Hermione turned and faced Harry with the same determination that Harry
had shown by resolutely entering the "Prismata Vita". Harry had stepped into the future,
and Hermione must follow. Without thinking, without giving herself a chance to debate
the dozens of reasons she could probably think of not to follow Harry's instructions,
Hermione aimed her wand with the swift decisiveness of an Auror and pronounced,
"Prismata Horcrux!"
Instantly, each prism took on the same pearly luster that Lily had described in her journal.
The lavender light that grew within emanated toward the centre of the triumvirate - the
exact spot where Harry knew to place himself. In seconds Harry was completely
enveloped in a light purple chrysalis, no longer visible to Hermione through the
brightness. Feeling terrible isolation, her eyes watched with anxiety, her breath stood at a
standstill and her heart felt practically rended from her chest, yet almost before she knew
it, a small red light floated out toward the periphery of the bright lavender corona that
surrounded Harry.
Fully prepared, Hermione forced air into her lungs then, with great urgency and complete
desperation, practically screamed, "Preservus Orbus Horcrux!" A tight yellow beam shot
from Hermione's wand and attached itself to the lavender-encapsulated Horcrux. Holding
her breath once again, Hermione guided the small glowing globe to the suspended glass
sphere that she had levitated earlier. Thankfully, the charm took effect, and the red ball of
light slipped into the glass, now preserved as many prophesies were, within the silica orb.
Shaking uncontrollably, Hermione practically collapsed forward from the tension that
racked her body. She paused to catch her breath and regain some amount of composure
then told herself she must now face the truth. Terrified, she forced herself to stand upright
and turn toward the centre of the room. There, as he had minutes earlier, stood Harry.
Hermione rushed to him, threw her arms around his neck and sobbed unabashedly onto
his shoulder. It was the most terrible ordeal of Hermione's young life, and no number of
'Right thens' from Harry was going to mollify her. Harry waited patiently as it took a
solid half-hour before the adrenaline wore off, and Hermione could function. She had
earned every minute of that time.
Ready for the next step, Harry carefully plucked the glowing red sphere out of the air and
purposefully slipped it into the deep, inside pocket of his robe, opposite the one in which
he kept his wand. Once again he took Hermione's hand and led her out of the Secret
Room. Outside the door, within the Veil of Death's own chamber, Harry found all in

Moody had seen to it that the Aurors had completed their assigned tasks: the twins had
returned to prepare their own special roles, and Hermione had now done her major part.
Without so much as a word of prompting, Charlie escorted Ron, who, not wanting to
leave Harry's side again, was quite reluctant to go into the Secret Room. Hermione
followed, and a few minutes later the three emerged, each carrying a long leather-
wrapped package. Charlie led the way toward the exit to the Department of Mysteries but
not before both Ron and Hermione looked back at Harry one final time.
It was shortly after the witching hour when Harry heard the first sounds of battle coming
from the outer rooms. Harry felt the same grim satisfaction that all generals throughout
history have known: your plan was working, but you could only minimize the rueful
deaths of the brave soldiers. The Aurors on duty in the outer hall were surely
outnumbered and would just as surely fall, but Harry was bolstered by the knowledge that
sending Dobby as Kreatcher to Knockturn Alley had worked. Voldemort and his Death
Eaters had arrived early in anticipation of Harry's arrival the coming afternoon finding,
instead, the trap laid for them.
Those who remained with Harry moved to their designated positions: Moody,
Shacklebolt, Lupin, the third Auror and Fred faced the door of the Rotating Room; Mr.
Weasley and Tonks donned invisibility cloaks on opposite sides of the room, high above
but even with the Veil of Death; and Harry moved back down the benches and stood
alongside the Veil. Every step, every movement on Harry's part, was taken with the
steady assurance that comes with correct foresight. Harry's insides told another story,
however, as his racing heart and rapid, shallow breathing belied his outward calm. It took
a great force of will for him to keep the inner turmoil and his outer countenance separate.
Just a short time later, the door from the Rotating Room burst open and four Death Eaters
entered: Electra, Bellatrix Lestrange, Snape and one whom Harry did not recognize.
Dobby and the Gryffindor house-elves had established a perimeter around the Ministry,
with instructions to seemingly 'allow' only Electra and four others through. Upon seeing
the Death Eaters stride through the door, Harry could only assume that the house-elves
had done their job, and one other Death Eater had fallen to the Aurors in the outer hall.
As the fourth Death Eater stepped from the Rotating Room, the door behind them
slammed shut, sealing the room. As if at a prearranged signal, the closing of the door
precipitated an immediate and all-out escalation of hostilities. The final battle had begun.
Bodies moved around the room, ducking and jumping as needed to avoid the spells being
fired in every direction. During the battle for the Prophecy, the air was filled with beams
of every colour imaginable as curses and jinxes of all types were being shot from the
wands. Now the air glowed with an eerie green that meant only one thing - this battle was
to the death.
Harry stayed put in his position alongside the Veil while Mr. Weasley and Tonks
maintained their positions. Most everyone else on Harry's side was fighting for one
reason and one reason only - to kill time. It was Harry and his team who were the key to
this portion of the final fight. As the battle continued, Harry found himself ducking the
occasional errant curse. He undoubtedly was the true target of the Death Eaters, but they

were under too much duress to focus on Harry at the moment. They thought they were
merely trying to survive.
All the while Harry kept a keen eye on Electra as she battled furiously. He had guessed
that she liked to observe from above as was her want in Bulgaria. At some point Harry
had hoped Electra would follow that pattern to observe and plan her next sortie amidst
the ongoing battle. As she fought, and as she moved, Harry's left hand kept his DA
Galleon firmly in his grip. Mr. Weasley and Tonks did likewise. Indeed, Electra did tend
to move about in the battle from the highest points possible, but each time she shifted, it
was never quite to the position in which Harry needed her. Finally, Electra moved high
and perpendicular to the face of the Veil of Death. Harry immediately sent a signal to Mr.
Weasley and Tonks who threw off their cloaks and, with wands aimed directly at Electra,
both forcefully yelled, "Petrificus Totalis!"
Electra froze on the spot, petrified by the double jinx. Quickly and according to plan,
Tonks and Mr. Weasley both silently said 'Leviosa.' Electra rose into the air then was
guided down toward the Veil of Death. Mr. Weasley and Tonks deposited her stiff body
upright and in front of the Veil.
In the ultimate battle between good and evil, fairness and limits have no place. Evil
would not care what method it used, as long as it won. Good, on the other hand, might
care greatly about the methods it employed, but the wise among them would look at the
long term and realize it must win. There was absolutely nothing to be gained by losing.
Harry had suffered too much loss, and had matured all too quickly, to give evil any
quarter whatsoever. As soon as Electra was in place, he spun out in front of her, raised his
wand, and shouted, "Percussus!"
A thunderous shock wave, projected out from the tip of Harry's wand, slammed into
Electra's chest and sent her body careening through the Veil of Death. As countless
soulless creatures looked on with detached curiosity, her soul was ripped from her body.
More importantly to all the living souls who existed back beyond the Veil, they saw the
Horcrux similarly ripped out of the Ravenclaw necklace. The Veil had done its insidious
There were now only two portions of Voldemort's soul remaining. Behind Harry, from
high in the room, he heard a screeching hiss that could only reflect the pain, dismay and
rage of one person: Lord Voldemort himself.

Shadows and Lights
The trap for Electra and the Ravenclaw necklace was executed to perfection, but there
was no time to savor it. The victory felt fleeting as Harry was taken aback by the sudden
appearance of Voldemort. Not that Voldemort's participation in the battle was unexpected
- it was just that something struck Harry as odd - and he couldn't quite put his finger on
what felt so strange.
That moment's hesitation: pondering, questioning, analyzing - something Harry had
successfully overcome until now - was broken by that same hissing voice high in the
room spitting out, "Avada Kedavra!" Harry turned carelessly, years of habit once again
taking over and drawing his attention to the curse's origin. As he spun around, a figure in
black jumped between him and Voldemort, great urgency in his tone as he cried, "Potter!
Watch out!" With the figure's arms spread wide, Harry's mind instantly flashed a long-ago
impression of a black bat, only this bat in front of him now had a green glow spreading
across its back.
As the figure fell to the ground, Harry looked down to see the pallid face of Snape, whose
lifeless eyes looked back in a way that Harry had never seen before, nor had he ever
Time seemed to stand still for Harry, the room spinning in a hazy slow motion about him.
He stood there, staring incredulously at Snape, as long-cultivated hatred and conflict were
dissolving away, leaving Harry shorn of his internal walls of protection. Indeed, inside
Harry's head it felt like Snape's shocking sacrifice served to echo Dumbledore's many
words of trust, with each silent retort knocking one more brick from Harry's belief
system. No longer would the memories of his parents retain the clear-cut simplicity that
had driven Harry all these years. Bewilderment brought its own form of shock, and Harry
just stood there.
Looking down, Voldemort raised his wand, refusing to be denied yet again. As he opened
his reptilian mouth to cast the Killing Curse, an extraordinary white flash flooded the
room, blinding everyone who still stood.
The burst of light brought a dazed and confused Harry back to his senses, the familiarity
taking hold and refocusing his mind. Harry now put full faith in the twins. Once the light
dissipated and Harry's pupils began to dilate, he immediately turned and rushed through
the Veil of Death, disappearing completely from the Ministry of Magic.
Lord Voldemort stood at the top of the room, looking down with astonishment as Harry
disappeared. His red eyes narrowed as fury replaced amazement. Too many times over
too many years, Harry Potter had escaped death. Voldemort would not allow his revenge
to be denied this final time, so he launched himself through the air, gliding headfirst
toward the Veil. Any risk of entering the Veil was outweighed by the desire to kill the
Prophecy once and for all. As Voldemort entered, a small piece of the Veil broke off and
attached itself to the shoulder of his body as it passed through. Like Harry, Voldemort
simply vanished.

George stepped from behind his hiding place, a smile of grim achievement on his face -
he and Fred had successfully converted the Veil into a portkey. As he stood next to his
father, his heart ached, knowing what he had just done to Harry.
The air rustled the leaves of the trees as it wound its way from hollow to hillock, carrying
the moisture of the night and scents of the nearby countryside. Standing among those
trees was an old, mutilated two-story cottage, long-abandoned in terrifying memory of
murders most foul. Harry's ears picked up the soft sonic shiver from the leaves, and he
felt the cool air caress his face even as his cheek pressed against the decade-old
pavement. His senses told his brain that the ruse must have worked, and that knowledge
set off an immediate alarm ringing in his head.
Wary of imminent danger, Harry vaulted to his feet and scrambled out beyond the
perimeter of the columns. If the Dark Lord were true to form, his rage would prod his
perception of invincibility to act. And, indeed, Harry had no sooner raised his wand in
preparation than Voldemort appeared on the pavement in the very same spot that Harry
had occupied but moments before.
Long had the world hoped for this moment to happen. Harry remembered Voldemort's
sham in the graveyard - tormenting Harry by pretending to follow the niceties of the duel,
all the while extending the agony as he circled in for the kill. Harry would take no such
chance now, nor would he even entertain the idea that history's most terrible wizard
deserved such consideration.
Wand aimed, Harry roared "Prismata Potter Hemo!" the instant he was sure that
Voldemort had fully materialized. Too early, and the spell might not work. A split-second
too late, and the consequences might be too dire to even contemplate. In fact, Harry did
not even dare to let his mind consider what might happen if he failed now.
The Prismata Vita began their work, turning lavender and immediately encapsulating
Voldemort in their light. Struggling against the crushing embrace of the Prismata Vita's
spell, Voldemort found himself moving as if in molasses, becoming more entwined in the
energy the more he resisted. The light penetrated his body and searched out every
molecule derived from Harry's blood, taken by force in the graveyard and used for evil.
Once found and identified, the light took back that which was once stolen.
Voldemort screamed in agony, a pain so debilitating that it brought back memories of
seventeen years ago. With one crucial element of his life force now gone, Voldemort
collapsed back onto the lane, his wand clutched in a hand no longer capable of following
his will. With a raise of his own wand and a "Prismata Disseminus" spell spoken with
soft assurance, Harry saw to it that the pirated blood would be gone forever.
Before Harry dared approach the crippled Voldemort, he removed the red glowing sphere
from the inside pocket of his robe. Harry levitated the sphere, subconsciously fostering a
feeling of magical mastery, then aimed his wand again and said in an even voice, "Soulus
Extinctus!" The light from Harry's wand crackled through the air and struck the sphere,
likewise turning it teal and bathing the area in a soft blue-green light. Soon, Harry's
Horcrux was no more. He grasped the sphere, laid it on the ground and, with an element

of finality more for emphasis than anything tangible, Harry crushed the sphere under the
heel of his shoe.
Harry walked deliberately over to the prone Voldemort, feeling safe now but, nonetheless,
completely focused and alert. There was one more thing he wanted to do before ending it
all. He reached down and, with one quick determined motion, whisked Voldemort's wand
out of his hand. Harry looked at the wand and considered it for just a moment,
remembering Ollivander's words on the perverse greatness of this wand's deeds, before
plunging the wand's handle into the pavement using force and spell both.
Backing outside the perimeter again, Harry illuminated each of the Prismata Vita with a
simple "Lumos", then aimed his wand at its brother and commanded, "Prior Incantato!"
The two wands connected with arched red lightning, just as Harry had seen in the
graveyard three years before. Slowly, as expected, the spectres of Voldemort's victims
emerged from his wand. Harry fervently hoped to see his parents one more time and,
when they appeared, he resisted the temptation to talk. Harry simply reveled in his love
for them, tinged with sadness though it may be.
What Harry did not expect was for Albus Dumbledore's apparition to also appear from
Voldemort's wand, preceeded by Snape and followed by Amelia Bones and Lindgren.
Harry was thunderstruck to see Dumbledore, and the pain he felt increased two-fold.
Harry could only surmise that Voldemort sent Snape with his own wand on that fateful
night - that Voldemort must have truly hated Dumbledore to take such an enormous risk
in order to maintain some direct part in his death. Surprise was followed by even greater
animosity, and Harry's resolve became deeper yet.
Voldemort's victims made a ring about the prostrate body, their shadows, cast inward by
the glowing Prismata Vita, pointing at Voldemort's body as it struggled to maintain its
tenuous grasp on life. Each victim, in turn, approached Voldemort and had one final say
to him. Harry was moved to tears, his heart touched by each victim, not simply his
parents and Dumbledore. When they were done, they completed the circle one more time,
nodded to Harry in thanks, then slowly evaporated into a peaceful existence.
The time had come. Harry walked up to Voldemort's wretched body with slow, measured
steps. As he stood over him, Harry heard a strained weak voice as Voldemort tried to
speak. Harry bent his knees, knelt on the ground and leaned over Voldemort. Harry's eyes
widened when he finally could hear what Voldemort was saying. With a faint smile on his
face, and with the utmost deference to his beloved Professor Dumbledore, Harry simply
answered, "Yes, Tom."
With that, Harry backed away, aimed his wand and shouted "Avada Kedavra!" Seventeen
years of venom and pain lent their combined force to Harry's Killing Curse. Hermione,
who had been standing among the trees with Ron and Charlie, their wands at the ready
the entire time, screamed as the green lightning bolt from Harry's wand destroyed the
final portion of Tom Riddle's body and soul and, along with it, Lord Voldemort.
As the echoes of Hermione's scream rolled along the hillocks surrounding Godric's
Hollow, the morning sun climbed its way over the easternmost point. Harry looked up at

the broken cottage for the very first time. With the upper right slope of the cottage's front
wall in stepped tatters, but the majority standing tall in silent memorial, the sun's rays
caught the centre tip of the roof.
It was the dawn of a new day.

5000 Days
Before long, the day of Lord Voldemort's ultimate demise became known as "Potter Day"
- unofficially, of course, but nearly universal nonetheless. Those who did not subscribe to
that way of thinking were in no position to protest; they found themselves in Azkaban,
guarded by the carefully regulated dementors.
In the years since that day, the magical world found itself enjoying a tranquility it could
hardly have imagined just a decade ago. Even as the Muggles continued to plunge their
world into chaos, the witches, wizards and squibs found their lives so much more serene.
Each day for them seemed better than the last. And it was.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was enjoying a similar renaissance unlike
anything seen for generations. Despite the tragic loss of its great Headmaster, Albus
Dumbledore, the school's stature had grown considerably as it had become the most
highly-respected centre of wizarding education. The classrooms and hallways teemed
with a sense of camaraderie and purpose while the bucolic grounds provided an
environment for all manner of diversions.
First year Glynis Weasley, bedecked in her new black robes and scarlet and gold tie,
made sure that she arrived early to her most anticipated subject - her uncle's Defense
Against the Dark Arts class. Glynis had bushy brown hair, overly-large front teeth, more
freckles then one could ask for and, just like her mum, a voracious appetite for reading.
With plenty of time before class began, she pulled out her most-read book, The Fall of
the Dark Lord by Luna Lovegood.
Luna was one of Glynis's favourite people, as she had known her all her young life. When
Harry Potter had finally vanquished Lord Voldemort, it was Luna and her father's
magazine, The Quibbler, that had been given the exclusive story. From her initial articles,
Luna had developed this book, which had become an instant best-seller. To this day no
book in the magical world sells more copies.
Glynis began thumbing through the purple and gold book, each page adorned with 24K
gold lettering and copious photographs. No expense was spared in the production, and it
showed. Following the complicated and tense history of Harry Potter, Luna chose to have
a section devoted to those characters involved, each with his or her own page. No person
who helped in the fall of the Dark Lord could be discounted, for no role was too small
nor any less brave than anyone else's. Simply titled "Vitae," this was Glynis's best-loved
section, and she soon found herself idly flipping through some of her most revered
"Neville Longbottom, who through the years matured beyond all expectations, had the
greenhouses at Hogwarts posthumously named in his honour. His grandmother, whose
personal losses had been almost beyond comprehension, was deeply proud of all that
Neville had finally accomplished.
Every week, no matter what the season, Hogwarts sees to it that fresh flowers are
delivered from these very greenhouses to Alice and Frank Longbottom at St. Mungo's

Hospital. Alice and Frank could never understand the importance of the flowers, but they
did enjoy the sweet fragrances and the pretty colours."
The photograph shows Neville examining his Remembrall, alternating quizzical looks
with his broad smile.
Glynis, as she always did, passed right over Draco Malfoy and the Malfoy family.
"Sirius Black, godfather to Harry Potter and best friend to James Potter, is one of the truly
tragic figures in this history. Unjustly imprisoned in Azkaban, he eventually escaped only
to meet his end in the Veil of Death. Total vindication came too late for this tortured soul.
Harry Potter included Sirius Black in his personal family book, seen only by family
members and a few close friends."
The photograph shows a young Sirius horsing around with James Potter and Remus
Lupin during their student days at Hogwarts.
"To this day, Severus Snape, Professor at Hogwarts and enigmatic member of the Death
Eaters, remains a mystery. While he clearly absolved himself by saving Harry Potter's life
in the Department of Mysteries on that fateful day, historians have never been able to
discover the basis for Albus Dumbledore's legendary trust in Snape. This also remains in
direct contrast to Snape's apparent killing of Dumbledore on the lightning-struck tower at
Hogwarts. Nonetheless, Snape bore out this trust in the end, and for that reason Harry
Potter has seen to it that a portrait of Professor Snape hangs in a prominent place in the
Potions classroom."
The photograph is of Professor Snape lecturing as he stands over his bubbling cauldron.
The next few pages were devoted to members of the Order of the Phoenix. Glynis always
liked to read the part about Remus Lupin and Tonks, now married and based at the
Order's still-secret headquarters.
"Muggles have never been able to figure out the meaning of the golden statue of that
strange little creature simply engraved "Rekky" that sits in the park across from 14
Grimmauld Place. Having never been able to remove it, they have simply come to accept
Needless to say, Tonks's hair is a vivid pink in their honeymoon picture taken in
Transylvania. A happy Tonks is not above a little gleeful irony, Glynis reflected, smiling.
Right after that was Alistair Moody, legendary Auror and now Special Advisor to the
Minister of Magic. Glynis always found herself giggling as she recalled stories of Moody
and the 'amazing bouncing ferret'.
Glynis finally reached the pages that dealt with her family, so reading found itself
transforming into 'daydreaming.' Grandfather, Arthur Weasley is now Minister of Magic,
and the Ministry is enjoying years of efficiency and good work. Of course, Grandad has
added his own little touches such as enchanted Muggle artifacts all over the offices. It is
hard to avoid at least one good laugh each day working there, and most everyone
wouldn't have it any other way. Nan is completely throwning herself into the role of

'grandmother' and is currently in Egypt helping take care of young Auria, whose
resplendent golden hair conjures up immediate thoughts of her mother.
Uncles Fred and George are becoming even richer thanks to their wizarding-world-
famous joke shop. Birthdays in the Weasley family are always exceptional affairs, and
'Potter Day' is celebrated with no less enthusiasm. Parents and professors alike always
hold their breath on that day but somehow manage to also turn a blind eye to the goings-
on. Turning a deaf ear is quite another matter, however. Even an aging Argus Filch
manages to relax the Hogwarts rules just a bit on that day. His treasured ghost, Mrs.
Norris, finds the day worthwhile just hanging out with the other ghosts rather than
roaming the halls.
Father has gone to work for the 'twins' as older members of the family still refer to them.
Soon after Potter Day they purchased Zonko's Joke Shop in Hogsmeade and established
it as their second location, and upon graduation from Hogwarts, Father took it over. The
new shop is doing nearly as well as the original Diagon Alley location, thanks in part to
a thriving owl-order business, particularly with Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang.
Glynis suspects that this is no coincidence, knowing Father's early affection for both
Quidditch and the veela. Mum teases him often about that, and Father's red face always
brings a smile.
Mum's renown continues to this day as she is now the Deputy Minister for Magical
Creature Affairs. Her early campaigning on behalf of the house-elves never leaves her
heart, and her fantastic work in her Ministry role has brought great peace and respect
among all the magical creatures. Her Special Assistants, Dobby, Firenze and Grawp
work tirelessly for her, and their efforts have paid off handsomely - those on the side of
good are stronger and more united than ever before.
Students began to file slowly into class, breaking Glynis' reverie as they entered in small
groups, chatting nervously before their new class. Glynis recognized her twin cousins,
who spied her from the door and returned her brisk wave. Their mum, Aunt Ginny, has
proven to be a very powerful witch. Glynis, being around Ministers, Aurors and members
of The Order almost constantly, has overheard many an adult conversation in which
people said that Aunt Ginny may very well be the most powerful witch or wizard since
Dumbledore. Glynis did not doubt that, for Aunt Ginny is now in charge of training the
'elite of the elite': Dumbledore's Army. No one who becomes an Auror does so without
going through this training.
Soon all the students were in their seats, the tension almost palpable - not only for Glynis
- as this was the class every student wanted to take. Moments later, the side door clicked
open and in walked Professor Potter, whose black hair, green eyes and lightning-bolt scar
accented the face of the most famous person in the wizarding world.
Silence accompanied his taking of attendance, but that only lasted briefly into Harry's
introduction into the necessity and subject matter of 'Defense Against the Dark Arts.' As
they did every year, the first years practically begged Harry to tell them the story of his
early years: the battle with and eventual downfall of the Dark Lord.

Glynis leaned forward with intense excitement. No matter how many times she had heard
this story, even as a youngster on Uncle Harry's lap, this was going to be different, and
she knew it. This was where all her friends would hear it first-hand, and they would be
'allowed' into her family. Nothing in her life thus far would equal this hour, and she knew
with complete certainty that her cousins were sharing this very same exhilaration.
Harry wound his way through the narrative with each first year completely absorbed in
the tale. Their eyes were wide and their mouths open as they hung on every word, every
nuance. When Harry got to that fateful moment when he leaned over the doomed
Voldemort, he took a long and dramatic pause. One brave first year thrust his hand into
the air and stammered, dying to know but completely intimidated, "B-but P-Professor P-
Potter, what d-did Lord Voldemort say?" The words shot out of his mouth before his fear
took over and choked him into silence.
Harry took a moment and reflected. As he looked around at all of his students, he could
not help but make eye contact with the twins. Young Lily, with red hair and green eyes,
and her brother James with black hair and intense blue eyes, both returned his stare with a
love that Harry simply could not describe. No parent really needed to.
Harry was home, and he knew it. As he looked around at his impressionable charges just
a bit more, a small smile broke across his face. In a quiet even voice that totally belied the
moment, Harry said, "Tom Riddle's last words were, "Was it the scar?"