I sit down with the Dursleys for a late breakfast on my birthday, my presence daring them to say anything in reply. I watch Vernon and Petunia glance at each other, trying to communicate without speaking. I only have to take the barest of glimpses into their minds to see that they're each trying to get the other to speak up first.

It's sad how muggles have to use such primitive methods to communicate nonverbally. Barely better than beasts in that respect.

'A bit harshly worded, but I can't bring myself to disagree.'

Any reasonably competent mage can learn enough legilimency to speak into the mind of another.

'I think your threshold for competency is too high.'

Well it shouldn't be.

'…I can't disagree with that.'

Vernon and Petunia finish making faces at each other and Petunia speaks up. "Harry… wouldn't you prefer to eat in your room, like you usually do?"

I glance up to meet her gaze. "I'm sure you can put up with my presence at the table for one day, especially given that I'll be leaving later." I grab a rasher of bacon from Dudley's plate, ignoring his yelp of protest, and lean back in my chair with my feet on the table. I barely manage to hold back my grin as Petunia looks like she's about to have an aneurysm.

"You shouldn't put your feet on the table, Harry." She says with barely restrained irritation.

"Oh, is that so?" I reply as I sit back down. "I guess I wouldn't know. I never got to eat at the table, after all, so I suppose I never learned. Funny how that works."

Vernon stands up and points a pudgy finger at me. "Listen here you little…"

Whatever he was about to say is cut off by an explosion from the sitting room. Tam takes control and pulls out my wand instantly, though she lowers it when she goes into the sitting room and sees that it's only Ron and his dad.

"Terribly sorry about that!" A very dusty Arthur says. "We hooked this house up to the floo network, but someone had blocked the fireplace! Don't worry, we took care of that for you."

I laugh, remembering the way that Vernon had taken delight in blocking the fireplace after the storm of letters had come through it before my first year. It's always a treat to see things bite him in the arse. Petunia is staring at the sitting room in muted horror, no doubt aghast at all the plaster dust covering her precious upholstery.

Today is a good day.

"Heya, Harry." Ron says as he walks out of the fireplace. "Doing alright?"

I take back control and grin at him. "I'm doing far better than I was before."

Arthur is distractedly pestering Vernon about various objects around the house, the television in particular.

"Sorry about him." Ron whispers. "He was dead set on coming here just to get a look at the house. The twins and I tried to warn him what those muggles are like, but he was too… optemetric?"

"Optimistic." I correct. "But yeah. As much fun as it is to see them like this, things will get nasty once the shock wears off. We'd best get going."

I run up the stairs and grab my trunk, grateful that I already did my packing. When I head back downstairs, Arthur is fiddling with the remote and flipping through channels on the TV.

"And how do the people in the telly-vision decide what they're going to do?" Arthur asks. "Do they just make that decision themselves?"

I make my way back towards Ron, but Tam grumbling in the back of my mind catches my attention.

'Everything alright?'

I guess. It's just… how can he be so interested in muggle stuff? What's so fascinating about people who have to spend their whole lives making up for the fact that they don't have magic?

'I'm afraid I couldn't say, Tam.'

And for that matter, how can he be so ignorant if this is his specialty? Hell, I spent fifty years in a book and I swear my knowledge is more up to date than his. I swear, the sooner we can sever the two worlds, the better.

'You've been going on about that a lot lately. Are you doing okay?'

Yeah, I just…

She pauses.

I don't feel safe here. Even without a war going on, the muggle world has never felt safe to me. Those cretins you have the misfortune of being related to aren't helping matters.

'They talk tough, but they're cowards at heart. It only takes vague threats to keep them in line.'

I'm just worried we aren't going far enough. Well, at least we can ignore that until next summer… assuming I'm still stuck in your body by that time, that is.

That causes a twist of emotion in me that I can't quite place. I opt to ignore it in favour of defusing the increasingly tense situation between Arthur and Vernon.

"Now see here!" Vernon starts, only for me to step in between him and the object of his ire.

"Mister Weasley? We really should be going."

"Oh? Ah yes, I suppose we should. Let me just…" He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out a small pouch. "Hold out your hand, Harry."

He pours a small pile of azure floo powder into my hand. I turn around to light the fireplace, but stop. I probably shouldn't be flaunting the fact that my wand no longer has the Trace on it, especially not in the presence of a Ministry employee. I mean, I could do it anyways, but I'd feel bad if I had to obliviate him.

Thankfully, Arthur lights a fire instead and gestures for Ron and I to go through. Ron goes first, and I follow a few seconds after.

"The Burrow." I say calmly as I step into the flames, letting the fires engulf me and take me far away.

Thank gods, I was worried we'd never get out of there.

I stumble out of the burrow's fireplace, relishing in the feeling of magic all around me after weeks without it. I try to savour the sensation, but that's quickly brought to an end when Arthur exits the floo, nearly knocking us both over.

"Sorry about that, Harry." He says apologetically. "I forget that you haven't flooed much before — I suppose I should've remembered after that accident you had two years ago, but… Well, regardless, you shouldn't stand in front of the floo, especially not when other people might be coming through. It's not safe."

I actually did know that and am about to say as much, when I realise that I don't remember how I know that. I focus on my occlumency, trying to trace the knowledge to its origin, and…

It's from Tam's memories. Of course.

'Seems we need to clean up again soon.'

Ugh, this is a real pain. I hope you don't have plans for this year, because we are going to need to devote a lot of time to building a body for me.

'Not dealing with Sirius or Lupin will give us a lot of time. I'm sure we can manage.'

Not playing around on your broom several times a week would save us a lot more time.

I roll my eyes and think back to the end of my second year, when McGonagall had cancelled the final match and Oliver's response.

'You can't cancel Quidditch, Tam.'



Please never try to think in an accent again.

'Well I thought it was funny.'

I go back to reality, where Mister Weasley is looking at me with a concerned expression.

"I'll keep that in mind." I reply.

"Rightio, then. I'll take your trunk up to Ron's room, if you don't mind. Your friend Hermione has already arrived — she should be out in the garden somewhere."

I nod and head outside, breathing in the clean air. It feels so wonderful to be free from the stench of Muggle suburbia. It's practically impossible to escape the tarry smell of asphalt during summers in the muggle world, but here, the air is fresh and clean.

I find Hermione reading in the shade of a tree and wave at her as I approach. "Hey, Hermione."

"Harry." She says tersely without looking up from her book.

"How's your summer been so far? Mine's been pretty boring, but I at least managed to keep the Dursleys in line properly this time."

"Fine." Hermione replies, again failing to look up.

Real social butterfly, this one.

'Shut up, Tam.'

"I'm surprised to see you got here before me." I say. "Couldn't wait to leave the muggle world either?"

Hermione is silent for a few seconds before looking up at me. "Look, do you have something to say, or are you just going to keep bothering me?"

I take a step back in surprise. "No, I'll just… leave you to it, I guess."

What's her problem?

'Beats me.'

I decide to give Hermione some distance and sit down in the shade of a tree some ways away.

'So, what do we do now?'

I think I understand the fundamentals of alchemy enough that we can start moving onto blood alchemy. It's going to be hard, but I should maybe have enough skill to recreate a body in a year, maybe a year and a half?

'So eager to go your own way, are we?'

Make no mistake, Harry, I've really enjoyed your company — more than I can ever recall enjoying anyone's company — but having to share a body with you has been somewhat limiting at times. I treasure Hogwarts deeply, but being a student there means I have to tread much more carefully than I'd prefer to. It's certainly better than being stuck in a diary, but the world won't save itself. Not to mention that your fame puts an additional degree of scrutiny on us. I'm glad to have someone with your pull at my back, but doing this will require a lot of work in the shadows, and I'm going to be better suited to doing that on my own.

I kick at one of the rocks in the grass.

'Yeah, I guess I'd never really thought about it like that. It's been nice having you around — you get things in a way that other people don't — but I really can't keep you around forever.'

Tam laughs in the back of my mind.

I'm not going to cut you off, if that's what you're worried about. My core self might not want to work with you due to the baggage involved there, but I do. I'd be a fool to pass up an ally like you in the war for secrecy, and like I said, I enjoy your company. It might be hard to keep in contact since we'd need to find something that can't be intercepted, but I'm sure we can scrounge something up.

'No matter what, it's going to be less convenient than speaking inside our minds.'

Yes, well, there aren't any known ways to create those kinds of links outside of legilimency, and I daresay that if we're in a position where we can make eye contact, then we'd have no need for such a complicated form of communication.

'Look at you, bringing sense into this.'

Well, one of us has to have some.

'I suppose so.'

So, you really like having me around now, huh? A year ago, you couldn't wait to be rid of me.

I shrug.

'You really aren't that bad to have around once I got used to you. I thought I'd hate the lack of solitude, but… I don't know. Normally, it's exhausting to be around other people and I can only take so much of it, but I don't find myself getting tired of your presence. It's an odd thing.'

I know what you mean. To be fair, though, the people you've been around before clearly aren't as amazing as I am.

I roll my eyes.

'Keep telling yourself that, Tam.'

It takes Tam less than ten minutes of scrying to find something suitable for her purposes in the Burrow's orchard. She's looking disdainfully at the panicked mouse squirming in our hand, pressing the tip of my wand against its head. The mouse starts squealing in what I can only assume is agony as its hair doubles in length. I feel Tam wince at the sound, but she remains steadfast in her work. The mouse is still alive, which is better than our last few attempts, but it's practically comatose in my hand from exhaustion.

Well, that's progress, at least.

'Why are you trying to lengthen their hair, anyways? I mean, I'm sure you don't want to be bald, but surely hair isn't a high priority for your body.'

Hair is dead. It works well as a transition material from doing alchemy on non-living materials to living ones due to that. You'd know this if you paid attention to the blood alchemy texts I've been reading for the past year.

'That's not happening.'

Well if you aren't going to keep up with the relevant information, then I'm under no obligation to keep you informed.

I grumble in the back of my mind as Tam puts the mouse down, which hobbles over to a nearby leaf and hides under it.

'You're overlooking one small detail, though, Tam.'

And what might that be?

I press my wand into one of the tree trunks nearby. Wood is a simple material. Not chemically simple, of course, but people think of it as simple, and that's what matters here. I push a stream of magic into the wood and a smooth handle pushes out from the trunk.

I wrench the wooden sword I just made out of the tree, admiring the smoothness of the wood and the sharpness of the blade. I reverse my grip on the sword and stab it into the ground.

'I'm better at alchemy than you are.'

Oh my gods.



'What about me?'

You could have just said it, but no, you had to demonstrate by pulling a fully formed sword from a fucking tree. It's so melodramatic.

'Goodness, me, melodramatic? I wonder where I possibly could have picked that up? Who could I have learned the art of relentless melodrama from?'



Fuck off.

'You know you love me.'

That remark results in a confusing mix of emotions coming from her, but her occlumency tamps them down a moment later.

Right then.

I look down at the sword, pondering it.

'You know, I think that starting with hair is kind of a dumb idea. Wouldn't wood be a better starting point?'

How do you figure?

'I mean, wood is extremely simple — it's even a classical element in some cultures — but it's also alive.'

I press my wand against the sword and try focusing on it. I just removed this from the tree, so it's still technically alive. The process is hard — much harder than simply changing the shape of a material — but I eventually manage to find the spark of life inside it and push on it, trying to coax it out. It takes a lot of work, and I once again find myself thankful for being able to tap into Voldemort's magical power, but I eventually manage some degree of success.

I don't quite have the words for what I do here — it's almost like convincing the wood that it should be in a specific state. Patches of bark cover various sections of the sword, though not the whole thing, and a few fresh buds are poking out of the hilt.

That causes another spike of emotion from Tam, but I recognise that one immediately.

'Jealous, are we?'

Shut up.

'The great Tamelyn Riddle finds one person better than her and instantly descends into fits of jealousy?'

I hate you so much.

'She just cannot cope with the mere prospect of a mere mortal matching her abilities.'

You are so fucking lucky that I like you.

I laugh aloud as she continues to grumble in the back of my mind.

'Well, I think that's enough practice for now. We have a whole school year ahead of us, and it's not like we have anything to worry about this year.'

What about that "big event" mentioned in the journalist's notes?

'Like you said, that's more likely to take scrutiny off of us. I mean, I doubt they're going to make a whole event focused around me.'

Gods, can you imagine? "Surprise, it's Harry Potter year! A whole year dedicated just to Harry Potter for no reason!"

'That would be a fucking nightmare scenario.'

It would be horribly inconvenient, but it would also be deeply hilarious, so it's impossible to say if it's bad or not.

'Fuck off.'

Nope. This is revenge, Potter.

'I hate you.'

No you don't~

I groan as I walk back towards the Burrow. I really don't know what I expected to happen.

I don't really dream much these days. I mean, dreams can be interesting, but the memories of them are fleeting, even with occlumency involved, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't get nightmares more often than most. Some nights, Tam and I talk in my mindspace, other nights we keep to ourselves and slowly sort through our thoughts. Tonight, we're doing something else.

"Show me another memory." I tell Tam once she manifests in my mindspace.

She raises an eyebrow at me. "Hi, Harry, how are you this fine evening? I'm doing fine, thanks for asking." She says sarcastically.

I roll my eyes. "Tam, we spend literally every day talking nonstop. Greetings are redundant."

She groans. "Fine, we can look at another stupid memory…"

"You've been putting this off a lot lately." I remark.

"We're getting to the unpleasant memory." She murmurs. "This is the last major memory before it."

I raise an eyebrow. "You really don't like that memory, do you?"

Tam sighs. "It is the single worst experience I've ever had. It wasn't as terrifying as the Blitz, but it was the most unpleasant overall."

I gesture at Tam, who halfheartedly waves her hand, sending me plunging into the next memory.

Practising killing people was much easier than stomaching the real thing. It took a bit to work out the details of my plan, but it all came together eventually.

As I was well aware from personal experience, muggleborns — or those perceived to be muggleborns — don't have nearly as many rights as those afforded to purebloods. Sure, there was equality on paper, but that didn't translate to much when the entire government was almost exclusively composed of purebloods. Therefore, a rash of petrifications targeting muggleborn students wouldn't result in much, if any, action. The Ministry would put forth a token effort for appearance's sake, but not much else.

This would also work in my favour when I finally killed Abraxas. At worst, it would cast doubt on his parentage, and at best, I could frame him as the culprit. Either way, it should ensure that nothing more comes of this.

I let Tessie out of the entrance in the bathroom and cast the spell on her eyes, as I've done several times before, then disillusion and silence both of us. Time to hunt.

Mealtimes have proven the best opportunity to go about doing this, as there are less crowds, and the stragglers are more likely to be alone. I stalk the hallways for nearly twenty minutes before finding some acceptable targets.

Two girls that I know to be muggleborns are giggling at each other on a bench together. They're from different houses — Ravenclaw and Slytherin — but are still friends regardless. They no doubt sought solitude from each other for some inane purpose, and that would be their downfall.

I cast a spell at a suit of armour next to me, causing it to clatter loudly. Both girls jump and look in my direction, right into Tessie's eyes.

I laugh noiselessly at the sight of their frozen bodies before turning to Tessie. "§Well, that's it for today's attack. We should get you back.§"

"§As you wish, Mistress.§"

I take Tessie to the nearest entrance to the Chamber, one located in an empty and unused room on the third floor, and let her back in. I grin to myself and have to resist the urge to skip as I make my way back down to the Slytherin common room. I only stop myself when I spot something out completely of place.

Rubeus Hagrid, the half giant in his third year. What in the world is he doing here? Gryffindors are rarely in the dungeons except for potions class. Moreover, he gives the distinct impression that he is trying to sneak — badly, but still trying.

I check to make sure my disillusionment is still up, then start following after him. Whatever he's up to is sure to be interesting, if nothing else.

I maintain a safe distance behind him, enough that he won't catch onto any shimmer my disillusionment would leave as I move. He's obviously wary, but not wary enough. He's not doing anything to check for pursuers besides occasionally looking over his shoulder, and he's not doing anything to lose pursuers.

He's holding a plate with an entire raw chicken on it, too. That's odd even for Gryffindors. No doubt some of his peers put him up to this, so I ready myself to catch him in the act of whatever it is he's doing.

I assumed he was going to dump it on some poor girl's head or shove it in someone's bed sheets, so it's much to my surprise that he turns into a random room in the dungeon's depths. He takes one last look behind him before slipping inside. With my curiosity piqued, I quietly crack the door and peer inside.

"C'mon, Aragog." He says. "I got you some dinner." He places the plate of raw chicken on the floor and makes some gesturing noises at it.

I nearly jump backwards when an enormous, hairy spider scuttles towards the chicken and begins tearing it apart with its mandibles. I don't consider myself squeamish, but that is revolting and horrifying.

Hagrid is apparently unbothered, as he begins stroking the spider on its back as if it were a pet. "There you go, eat up. You're a growing boy, after all."

That's an acromantula. That has to be an acromantula. Hagrid has been raising a fucking acromantula in the godsdamned dungeons. My immediate inclination is to reveal myself and drag him to the headmaster, but I quickly think better of it.

Hagrid is raising an incredibly dangerous beast — a known mankiller — in the Hogwarts dungeons. Keeping this information on the backburner would be useful as a backup option to cover up Tessie's involvement in all of this. The pureblood bigots would gladly accept the guilt of a half-breed, not looking any further into whether or not Hagrid is actually guilty.

I slip away from the room and start humming to myself once I round the corner. Today is a great day.

Ron's excitement at attending the Quidditch World Cup is easily infectious. I'm not normally an early riser, but when Ron wakes up early the morning we leave, I find it easy to get up with him.

Unlike some people.

Please go back to sleep. Please.

'There's no time for that if we want to be ready.'

Fine by me. Miss the damn quidditch so we can get more sleep.

I slam my trunk closed with more force than I probably needed.

'We are not missing the Quidditch World Cup! Especially not when it's being held in our country for once! That's not likely to happen again for decades!'

It's just a stupid sport. I want to sleep.

'You've been able to sleep with me in control before. Just do that instead.'

Tried that. 'S not working. Probably soul bleed shit.

That's… concerning, but I'll deal with it later. Nothing is going to stop me from having fun tonight.

I haul my things downstairs to the kitchen, where Ron is shovelling down his breakfast at incredible speed.

"Hey Harry." He says after swallowing. "Is anyone else up?"

I shrug. "Not that I saw."

Molly slides a generous serving of food over to me. "Here you go, dear. Make sure you eat up, as you'll have a long day ahead of you."

I scoop up a forkful of eggs and take a bite, savouring the taste of home cooking. I've had plenty of good food thanks to Hogwarts, but there's a different quality to this sort of food — one that I never got from the Dursleys.

"So, how did you say we're getting there?" I ask Ron.

"Portkey." He replies. "I've taken one before, last year when we went to Egypt. They're mostly used with large groups of people, since other ways of moving about have a limit on how many can safely use them."

"And more importantly, Portkeys are timed." Arthur says as he walks down the stairs, dressed in a casual suit. "So it's easy to coordinate the arrivals of a large number of people to a big event. Would this outfit pass in the muggle world, Harry? The campground is owned by a muggle, so we're supposed to do our best to blend in."

I don't think most people would wear a three-piece suit to go camping, but… "Looks fine to me."

"Marvellous! You should probably get changed out of those robes, too. We wouldn't want to cause a scene."

I look down at my robes, resenting the idea of having to change out of them. I… don't actually own much in the way of muggle clothing. I don't have much need for it.

"I'll see what I can manage." I reply diplomatically. It would have been nice to know this beforehand.

Ginny and Hermione come down a bit later, and Molly quickly gives each of them a plate. "Oh, I almost forgot. Would any of you like anything to drink?"

Tam lurches into control of my body. "Coffee!" She shouts desperately.

'Dammit, Tam!'

Shut up and let me have this.

I try to force myself back into control, but she's extremely resolute.

Mrs. Weasley hands Tam a cup of coffee. "Would you like anything with it, or…?"

Tam ignores her and starts drinking the coffee black, leaving me cringing at the bitter taste. She chugs the entire thing in a manner of seconds, leaving me gagging once she finishes and I finally take back control.

"Gods, that's disgusting." I mutter.

Mmmmm… Coffee.

"I didn't know you liked coffee." Hermione says cautiously.

"I don't." I mutter before turning to Mrs. Weasley. "Sorry, but could I bother you for a cup of earl grey to get the taste out of my mouth?"

She seems confused but doesn't ask any questions.

"But if you don't like coffee, then why-" Ron starts to ask before I cut him off.

"It's complicated."

Hermione is giving me a suspicious stare, but I ignore her as I add the fixings to my tea.

'Because unlike some people, I'm not a barbarian who takes it black.'


'You're hopeless, Tam.'

'M not a morning person. The coffee made me feel better, though.

'Please tell me you're not going to be like this all day.'

I'll be fine later. It just takes me a while to wake up. And I can't sleep with you in control right now, which is my usual solution. We'll have to fix that later.

'That soul bleed has been really annoying to work around.'

Occupational hazard of two minds sharing a body, I suppose. We might want to stop the memory sharing until-

'Oh no, you're not weaselling out of this one. You're going to show me that next memory where you make the horcrux, then we can re-evaluate the merits of memory sharing in light of the soul bleed.'


The Portkey is some distance away from the Burrow — apparently there are other nearby magical families that might be using it so it had to be placed in between all of them. It seems pointless given that we don't even know if those other families will show, but still.

I've been desensitised to early morning exercise by Oliver's brutal training, but Tam is slower to adjust.

I hate everything about this.

'I'd say that I'm sorry, but you've kind of worn out any sympathy I'd have for you with the past half hour of complaining.'

I've come to terms with this, but you are never, ever doing this to us again.

'Yeah, yeah…'

"Looks like we're here!" Arthur shouts before checking his watch. "And with five minutes to spare!"

I peer around him to see our destination. Sitting at the very top of the hill is… a boot. A very ragged old boot.

'Is this a joke?'

Portkeys are dumb…

Seeing that I won't get any further answers out of Tam, I turn to Ron.

"Is that… normal for a portkey?" I ask.

Ron shrugs. "They like to make them look like unusable junk so muggles won't grab them and wander off with them."

I… think that there might be some flaws in that logic, but I can't bring myself to care about every piece of idiocy in the magical world.

"Looks like our companions are here. Hello, Amos!"

An older gentleman is walking up the hill with a teenage boy who I can only assume is his son. It takes me a minute, but I recognise him as the Hufflepuff seeker — Cedric Diggory.

The man — Amos — waves back at Arthur, and his eyes settle on me. "Harry Potter! What an honour it is to meet you! I should have figured you'd be attending, what with your interest in quidditch. I hear you're quite the seeker, enough that you're even a match for my Cedric here!"

Cedric seems distinctly uncomfortable at this line of conversation, but I just smile calmly. "I may be a match for him, but I'm not sure he's a match for me. He has yet to catch the snitch while I'm playing, after all."

I feel Tam's smugness at my retort even through the haze of sleep clouding her mind.

"Is that everyone?" Arthur asks, to which Amos nods.

"Should be. I don't think anyone else in the area is coming."

"Nothing left to do but wait, then."

I relax for now, waiting for the portkey to do… whatever it is that it does. Probably something horrible given that every form of magical transportation has made me want to empty my stomach.

"Hello Harry Potter!" A voice says loudly from right behind me.

Faster than I'd thought possible, my wand is in my hand and pointed at the person behind me. She's leaning… incredibly far backwards so that my wand isn't poking her in the face.

Right, she's that weird girl I ran into at the start of last year. Loony or something.

"You possess the qualities of many ants." She says.


I think she's calling you antsy?


"How is the voice in your head doing?" She asks as though it's a normal question.

I slowly pull my wand down and put it in my pocket. The girl is so perplexing that she has me off guard. I almost reply "she's fine" on reflex, and only stop because the oath catches the words in my throat.

Why do you attract weirdos?

'I have no idea.'

Maybe it's karma for your relatives being so normal.

'That makes no sense.'


I feel something shift in my mind.

There, that did it. I'm going back to bed.

I feel Tam's presence fade into the back of my mind as she goes back to sleep. I come back to reality only to find Loony staring at me with that strange, serene smile on her face, which quickly turns into a pout.

"Aw, your voice went away!"

What!? This girl is either crazy perceptive, or… outright insane. Maybe both.

"What are you doing here, Luna?" Arthur asks. "You shouldn't travel by portkey without your father."

Luna shakes her head. "Oh no, I'm just here to watch."

"…You're here to watch us portkey away?" Arthur asks, clearly just as confused by this girl as I am.

"Yes! Did you know that portkeys work by creating an elliptically curved warp field, which has the effect of creating substantial distortions in local space-time when one leaves?"

"I did not know that." Arthur says in a tone of voice that says that he has absolutely no idea what she's talking about.

"Yes, well, Daddy finished the maths on it a few days ago, and that got us thinking that maybe certain types of magical creatures would be attracted to or spawn from the locations of portkey departures. I'm hopeful that I'll see a fractaloid isoscelosect."

Yeah, this girl's crazy.

Arthur seems like he's trying to figure out how to reply when Amos taps him on the shoulder. "We need to get ready to go."

Arthur's gaze shoots down to his watch. "Right, we need to get ready. Everyone, lie down around the portkey and make sure you're touching it. It can only be a finger, but you need to be touching it for it to work."

I lie down on my stomach and stretch out a finger to the portkey. This feels very silly, but I trust Arthur knows more about this than I do.

Hermione is lying next to me, and she turns her head to face me.

"Voice in your head, huh?" She asks.

I shrug. "The girl's obviously not right in the head."

Hermione is quiet for a minute before turning back to the boot. "I see."

I'm about to ask what her problem is when the portkey lurches into action, a stomach twisting sensation that easily puts both apparition and flooing to shame.

If this is what a warp field feels like, then warp fields suck.

The campsite is a flurry of activity. I know that everyone is supposed to be acting as muggle as possible, but either magical society is worse at that than I imagined, or none of them actually care. I desperately hope it's the latter. There are multi-level tents with balconies, some floating in the air like balloons, and plenty of people flying around on brooms despite it being broad daylight.

The Ministry officials quickly move us out of the arrival area, past the house where the campsite owner lives. Arthur flags him down to ask about our campsite, but he quickly gets distracted by the very obvious magic being performed openly across the campsite.

"Are those folks… flying?" He asks, only for a Ministry official to pop into existence next to him.


"Busy day, Harold?" Arthur asks, to which the employee sighs.

"We've been doing our best to control people, but there are just too many people with too much energy. I've had to obliviate this one over a hundred times so far."

Hermione gasps from behind me. "A hundred times today!? That can't be good for him!"

The employee shrugs. "Sorry, young lady, but in cases like this, the Statute of Secrecy comes first. We can't risk them making a telephone call about it or anything."

"Do they even have a phone!?"

He shrugged. "It's not my job to check."

Hermione is practically seething at this point, so I try to get her to lay off. "It's fine, Hermione. Worst case scenario is that he gets a little brain damage."

She turns to me. "How can you say that like it's a good thing!?"

I genuinely don't get her problem here. "I mean, it won't kill him or anything. Besides, he's only a muggle."

That just seems to make her more angry, but she turns away instead of continuing the debate.

Something really seems to have gotten into her lately. I wonder what her problem is.

The Weasley's tent is absolutely brilliant. It's the most unassuming thing from the outside, but the interior puts houses I've seen to shame. There's not enough space for us to each have our own rooms, but it's still plenty big. I head into the room Ron and I will be sharing and relax in the cot. It's not luxury, but it's definitely cosy. Ron went out to explore the market with his brothers, but I want to take the opportunity to recharge and enjoy the solitude before braving the crowds again this evening.

People are exhausting.

A stirring in the back of my mind catches my attention as Tam finally wakes up.

Okay, I'm good now. I feel loads better.

'Tam, you slept for a few hours.'

And they were a nice few hours. Although, given that we're alone in a bedroom, I can't wonder if I was hasty taking a nap then. I don't suppose you plan to take one now?

'Nah, I just wanted to unwind for a bit.'

Ah. Sensible.

We sit in comfortable silence for some time, just relishing each other's presence, but half an hour in, I start to get bored and start digging through my trunk for something to do.

Flying would be fun, but I'd rather not push the rules without cause here, especially since there would be nothing to gain from it. I have a few miscellaneous books I've picked up as gifts over the years, but I've read all of them several times and don't feel like going through them again. I look deeper into my trunk and uncover Tam's blood alchemy books.

I know that I'm bored, but am I really that desperate?

I pick it up and crack it open regardless, deciding that it can't be more boring than doing nothing.

It takes me less than a minute to realise that it is absolutely more boring than doing nothing.

'Tam, how do these authors take something as cool as alchemy and make it boring?'

They suffer from an acute condition called chronic academia verbositis. They no longer know how to phrase things like normal people. The disease is terminal and there's no known cure.

I snicker at her joke.

'Right, well… say, you've read these before. Think you're up for being an interpreter?'

Gods no. Reading them once was bad enough. Sorry Harry, but you're on your own here.


I bury the book back in my trunk and decide that maybe doing nothing isn't so bad.

Ron arrives with his brothers shortly before sunset, each of them infectiously energetic. Fred and George are communicating with a series of glances, apparently not seeing the need to speak aloud. I find myself able to relate. Hermione and Ginny had arrived some time earlier, but I didn't feel the need to speak to either of them, not with Ginny's emotions still being fucked up from soul damage and Hermione being in a tiff of some sort.

Ron immediately begins gushing about how amazing the marketplace was, filled with all sorts of spectacles and quidditch memorabilia. When he begins to talk about how cool it would be to get some of them, I pipe up.

"I can get something for you if you'd like."

Ron looks abashed at my offer. "No, I mean, you know I don't like being…"

I turn to face him and point at my trunk. "All of my worldly possessions are in there, Ron. I don't have the space to commit to souvenirs. If it makes you feel better, just think of it as allowing me to live vicariously through you."

He still seems uncomfortable at the prospect, but acquiesces. "I mean, I guess. Just don't get me anything too expensive."

"Yeah, I get you. I'm trying to watch my budget after spending so much bribing Fudge into getting Sirius a trial, anyways."

Ron's mouth is agape. "You did what!?"

I blink. "I bribed Fudge so he'd give Sirius a trial. Did I not mention that before?"

"No you bloody well didn't! Cripes, mate, that's the sort of shite Lucius Malfoy would do."

I shrug. "At least getting a probably-innocent man a trial for a crime he didn't commit is a better use of Fudge's attention than whatever self-serving crap Malfoy Senior does."

"Fair enough." Ron pulls on a fresh shirt and looks at me, still dressed in my robes. "You going to change?"

"No." I get off my cot and make for the door. "I don't have any suitable muggle clothes anyways. I know we're supposed to dress muggle, but I'm sure that a child dressed in robes will pale in comparison to people flying on brooms."

As I make my way to the tent's exit, it's visible that Arthur also wants to comment on my outfit, but thinks better of it. I exit the tent and look up at the orange sky as the sun sets.

What's so good about muggle clothes, anyways? What's so good about muggle anything?

It takes a long time for us to work our way through the marketplace to the stadium. The crowds are dense — I'm not sure I've ever seen so many people in my entire life. Ron briefly pulls me into one of the tents so he can look at some items, eventually buying a few trinkets with further insistence from me, but we finally make it to the stadium.

It's massive. All the seats are oriented vertically, stacked on top of one another so everyone has the same view. It would be impractical for a muggle stadium, due to architectural and infrastructural needs, but magic solves so many problems. Our seats are on the top box, but despite being at least fifty storeys up, the walk up the stairs takes no time at all.

'I love magic.'

Tam takes a moment before replying, her tone unexpectedly soft when she does.

I do too.

The top box is obviously meant to be exclusive, filled with many of the most important people in the country. I see Minister Fudge a few rows ahead of me, and I recognise the person next to him as Bagman — he was one of the few people to make an impression on me at Fudge's gathering. Fudge is talking to a man next to him — foreign, from the sound of it — with his usual sense of bravado and bluster. When he spots me, he quickly waves me over.

"Harry! Good to see you, my boy! Doing well and all that?"

"As well as I can be, under the circumstances. The crowds are overwhelming, but I'm sure the game will be well worth it."

"Quite right, dear boy, quite right. I was just telling mister, uh, what was your name again?"

"Jan van Nassau-Zuylenstein." The man replies.

"Yes! I was just telling mister John Nosey Zulustein about your marvellous defence against that werewolf. Capital bit of work there."

"Geomancy is not a common arte, nor is alchemy taught at Hogwarts, if my memory serves." Jan says calmly, his English impeccable. "May I ask where you picked it up?"

I shrug noncommittally. "I study a lot in my spare time, and it wasn't that hard to pick up once I got the basics down."

"I know many who would disagree with that assessment. Do you have any plans to pursue it as a career?"

I have been trying very hard not to think about the future in anything beyond the abstract. There's too much up in the air, with helping resurrect Tam, dealing with the adult Voldemort still out there, keeping up with schoolwork, and protecting the world from muggles… the enormity of it all feels like too much to process at once. It feels impossible to even imagine what shape the future, my future, will take when all is said and done. The past year has been a constant string of curveballs, and it's been easier just to roll with the punches when I can.

I just shrug again. "I haven't thought much about it."

"Well, keep it in mind. Alchemists are in high demand anywhere in Europe. I know that my country would gladly employ you should you choose to pursue it."

Fudge laughs. "Now now, Mister Nasty-Zanderstain, it's hardly sporting of you to try and poach Mister Potter while he's still in school!" Fudge leans in towards me. "Mister Xenostool is from… he's Danish or German or something. One of those continental countries with a silly language."

Despite seemingly wanting to say that privately, Fudge made no attempt to quiet his voice, and it's plainly visible that the diplomat did not take kindly to the words.

"U bent echt een achterlijke ezel van een man, Minister Fudge." He says with vitriol.

Fudge laughs at it, which seems… did he think that was a joke or something? Whatever it was, it was clearly intended to be an insult.

"Quite right, old chap, quite right. Well, I'm a busy man, so I'll leave you be. I've got more diplomats to greet and bonds between nations to forge!"

"Als er vanavond geen oorlog is uitgebroken door zijn handelingen zijn de wonderen de wereld nog niet uit…" He mutters in reply.

Fudge laughs boisterously. "Thank you for those kind words of encouragement! I'd best be off!"

"It is a miracle that that man can wipe his own arse, let alone run an effective campaign." Jan mutters once Fudge is out of earshot.

"He has some advantages over other candidates." I reply.

He raises an eyebrow. "Such as?"

I grin at him. "Well, he's very bribable, for one."

Jan just rolls his eyes. "I have witnessed rotted houses with more integrity than this travesty of bribery and nepotism that you call a government."

"As long as the system is so corrupt, I may as well take advantage of it. It's not like I could change it on my own, after all."

He looks down at me somewhat disdainfully. "That is complacency with the status quo, Mister Potter. You would do well not to become complacent, or you may end up caught in a situation far beyond your control."

And with that, he stalks off, leaving me alone.

'What was that about?'

Beats me.

'We're not complacent, right Tam?'

Of course not. Complacency would be us sitting idly by while the Statute collapses. We're fighting to sustain it.

'Right, yeah. You're right.'

Of course I'm right. I'm me.

'You're an arrogant twat, you know that?'

It's only arrogance if my opinion of my skills is exaggerated. I have a perfectly adequate grasp of my own skills — I'm just that good.

'You're still a twat, then.'


Professional quidditch easily puts all my other experiences with the sport to shame. The speed, the manoeuvres, the coordination, all of it is leagues beyond everything I've seen until this point. My attention feels split in so many directions as I try to take in every aspect of the game. Tam has long stopped paying direct attention, instead trying to entertain herself in the back of my mind in various ways.

I cheer with the rest of the crowd as Krum manages to catch the snitch mere seconds after Ireland obtains a one-sixty point lead, leaving them as the victors despite losing the snitch. The entire stadium is roaring at such volume that it's nearly impossible to hear nearly anything else.

I realised much later on that, if not for Tam trying to tune out the game, I probably would have died here.

She doesn't even say anything, she just wrenches control of my body away from me and dives to the ground. I'm too surprised to reply at first, shocked by the suddenness of it and the pain in one of my ribs as she bangs my body into the arms of one of the seats. Before I can get my thoughts in order, I notice the sickly green light of the killing curse passing through where I just was, striking someone into the crowd in front of me


I never liked crowds, and this is exactly why.

Tam stands up and points my wand to the area behind my seat, but no one's there. I can hear the people near the front of the box starting to panic, but Tam's attention is focused entirely on finding the would-be assassin. She sweeps her wand in a pattern I don't recognise, letting loose an arc of lightning in the empty area, before following up with some spells I do know.

"Homenum Revelio!"

I feel a ping slightly to the right, and Tam lashes my wand at that location. "Ventus!"

With a slight fluttering, an invisibility cloak is blown clean off of a man. He looks to be around Sirius's age, although he's visibly in much better health. The man still seems dishevelled and a bit gaunt, with a mop of curly blond hair on top of his head. More than anything, though, he seems mad that his plan failed. He fires several more killing curses into the crowd, only one of which is aimed at me, though Tam effortlessly blocks it with a conjured slab of stone.

"That's Crouch!" I hear someone shout from behind me. "Someone arrest him!"

The attacker is clearly not keen on that, and instead chooses to jump off of the edge of a fifty storey stadium.

An auror runs over to the railing and looks down. He pulls a mirror out of his robe and starts shouting into it.

"This is alpha team reporting a hostile tango in sector A! Request all available units pursue outbound target! I cannot leave the package unattended! Repeat, I cannot leave the package unattended! Requesting immediate pursuit!"

Tam walks over to the railing and shoves him to the side. "Out of my way."

Before I can even process what she's doing, Tam vaults over the railing and begins falling after the attacker, shooting spells at him as he lands.

'Tam, what the fuck!?'

No one tries to kill me and gets away with it.

'Exactly! He tried to kill us, and now you're following him!?'

Listen, I have had to wake up early, navigate enormous crowds, and deal with an incredibly noisy sporting event for the past few hours. I need to blow off some steam, and something tells me that no one will care if this guy dies from some extreme "self defence".

She casts a cushioning charm beneath us as we land, but even with the impact softened, I still feel it.

The attacker is running off into the woods, just beginning to vanish into the shadows.

Are you going to be mad about any sprains or bruises you get in this ordeal?

'Um, I guess not, but why…?'

Because it is going to be a lot harder to catch him otherwise.

I feel Tam cast a featherweight charm on my body, then aim my wand at one of the trees in the forest.

"Carpe Retractum."

The molten red cord shoots out of my wand and pulls taught, but instead of pulling on the branch like it normally does, the cord going taught pulls me off my feet and sends me flying through the air.

'What the hell?'

It's momentum. If we weigh less, then we can use the tethering charm to fly through the air. They really ought to teach this in class…

Tam repeats the process, sending us flying straight at a tree trunk and only saving us by palming off of it at the last minute.

'Tam, if they taught it in class, then the student casualty rate would skyrocket.'

We fly straight through a patch of thinner branches that scrape and scratch at us as we go by.

And I maintain that anyone who died due to their own stupidity deserves it.

The attacker comes into view at last, running back into the campground area, perhaps in an attempt to lose himself in the crowd. Tam launches another tethering charm at his back and cancels the featherweight charm on us, yanking him off his feet making him fall on his back.

"You've got some nerve, trying to kill me." She says spitefully as she walks up to him. "Any last words?"

He just grins. "Fuck you."

He sweeps his legs under us and throws himself to his feet, aiming his wand our way. Tam barely manages to keep her balance, but the advantage is no longer clearly ours.

I hope you're ready for this, because something tells me this guy won't go down easily.

As soon as Tam completes that thought, I take control and leap backwards out of the way of a sickly yellow beam arcing out of his wand. I'm not sure what it was, but judging from the sulphurous smell coming from the crater it made, I doubt it would have been good.

See, this is why I keep you around. It's the little details, like the reflexes that let you dodge extremely lethal spells.

'Tam, shut up!'

Fine, fine… I was just trying to add some levity…

She takes control and launches a ribbon cutter at the man's location, the magical razor wire dicing a tree behind him as he spins out of the way. He responds with a barrage of haphazardly aimed spellbolts, each of which home in on our location. Years of dodging bludgers make avoiding them a trivial affair. As the back and forth continues, Tam and I slowly settle into an equilibrium within my body as I focus on dodging and blocking while she goes on the offensive.

I have to admit, this guy is good. Not amazing, but good. Tam and I have a lot more power to pull from than he does, what with us being able to draw from almost all of Voldemort's magical power, but for all that power, Tam only has the knowledge of a student, at least when it comes to combat. An exceptionally gifted student, to be sure, but still a student.

The tide of the battle shifts when he launches a spell at us that looks like a blue orb. I dodge it and it hits a tree, but rather than dissipating as one would expect, it splits into three identical orbs, each of which then split apart further. Seeing how quickly this could get out of control, I take full control and alchemise the earth around me. Waves of dirt sweep up and swallow the growing mass of orbs, pulling them deep underground where they explode from the pressure. While that took a chunk out of me, our opponent seems exhausted and falls over from the force of the explosion.

"You are a geomancer." He mutters. "Thought that was just Fudge talking out of his arse again."

"Who are you and why do you want to kill me?" Tam asks as she shifts back into control.

He just glares. "Probably the same reason most people want to kill you, boy-who-lived."

Tam groans. "Are you serious!? I would have thought Pettigrew would have taken care of that by now."

His eyes go wide. "Pettigrew!? Pettigrew… That's interesting…"

Tam levels her wand at his face. "Sorry, but you've used up what little good will I would have had. Goodbye."

Before she can finish him, a loud explosion sounds from behind us, followed by the sound of screaming. Tam whips around on reflex and casts a shield charm, but nothing's there. By the time she realises her mistake and turns back around, the man shoves past us and makes a beeline for the campground.

"We'll call this a draw for now, lad. Thanks for the intel!" He shouts as he runs.

Tam gives chase after him, but he seems to have taken a page out of Tam's book and is propelling himself forwards with tethering charms.

Dammit. I am not letting him get away!

The man vanishes into the panicking crowd of bystanders. Tam remains as determined to catch him as ever, but there are too many people running in too many different directions, and we quickly lose him in the throng of people.

Dammit… I can't believe we let him get away…

'C'mon. We'd best be getting back to the others.'


That thought gets interrupted by another explosion, this one also causing Tam to whip around and raise a shield. Someone in black robes and a skull mask is riding a broom and haphazardly raining explosive charms down on the campsite.

'We should probably get out of here.'

Yeah, we really should.

We start trying to make our way out, but the crowd is in a state of further panic now, and it's getting harder and harder to push our way through. We keep getting swept up in the crowd, and the claustrophobic experience is making me really want to join in the Death Eaters and start blasting them away.

Fuck this.

Tam shoves us free from the crowd and has us start moving in the narrow gaps between tents. It's a tight squeeze, but it's still less claustrophobic than the crowd.

See, this is much better. No crowds, the screaming muffled by the tents, and easy- Ow!

Tam rounds a corner and runs face first into someone else, sending us both to the ground.

"Of all the crummy… Harry? What are you doing here?" Ron asks.

"I could ask you the same." I say as I push myself to my feet. Hermione is standing just a little behind Ron, staring at us impassively.

"They evacuated the stadium after that man cast the killing curse. We'd just made it back to the tent when a riot started and Death Eaters started burning things and blowing stuff up."

"Well, I'd almost taken out the guy who tried to kill me, but that explosion caught me off guard and he escaped."

Yeah, sorry about that. I'm still not very good around unexpected explosions. Too many bad associations.

'Some emotional wounds don't heal so easily, huh?'

No, they don't.

Ron continues his story unabated. "So dad told us to run for the forest, but the crowd was crazy so we decided to go through here."

"Great minds think alike, I suppose. Well, let's get out of here. I have no intention of being collateral damage in this shitshow."

"Right… yeah, let's get going."

Sticking to the gaps in between the tents lets us avoid the worst of the crowds, but we have to take a longer route to avoid the biggest thoroughfares. We finally make it to the woods near where we first arrived this morning, and we're about to make it into the trees when Hermione gasps behind me.

"That's the campsite owner!" She says. "Are they torturing him?"

I look up and see the owner and his family being levitated and violently swung about by some nearby Death Eaters. "Whatever — It's not our problem. Leave it to the aurors."

I try to walk away but Hermione grabs my wrist. "They may not be alive when the aurors get here! And given their treatment by the obliviation squad, I'm not convinced that their safety is going to be a high priority!"

"That's not my problem."

"Well it is my problem! We have to help them!"

"No we don't!"

"Why not!?"

I twist my arm out of her grip and stomp my foot on the ground. "Because they're only muggles! Who cares!?"

Hermione's eyes widen in shock, before her expression twists into an emotion I can't place. "I see."

"Can you two please do this later!?" Ron hisses. "I'd really rather not give them a chance to notice us!"

"Ron's right — we need to be going."

"But the muggles-"

"Not our problem, Hermione." I say as I grab her wrist and start dragging her into the forest. The sounds of mayhem finally start to fade away as we work our way through the trees.

"Thank gods, I was starting to worry we'd be there for hours…" I mutter.

I'm about to relax when I hear a snap to my left and… above me? I quickly point my wand up into the branches, just in time for the figure up there to cast a spell.


Whatever that spell is, it lights the sky up green, but I can't make out the details through the trees. What I can make out, though, is the face of the caster, and he's clearly the one who tried to kill me earlier. Tam takes control and severs the branch he's standing on with a spell, but he jumps to another one without missing a beat.

"Sorry, but I've got to run. Enjoy the treat!" He says before leaping off through the trees.

"Get back here!" Tam yells, only for it to be drowned out by the sound of a dozen apparitions happening all around us. Tam shields against a barrage of stunners with a shield while I raise the earth to our left, but one spell slips through our defences and we pass out.

When I wake up, I'm sitting in a chair in a plain white room, with someone dressed in auror robes sitting in another chair across the table.

"I'm terribly sorry about this, Mister Potter." The auror begins. "We've already confirmed your innocence, but the Ministry is in utter chaos right now, so it took us longer to get to you than we'd have liked."

I blink a few times, waiting for things to come back to me. It's odd, actually. Occlumency has removed the usual disorientation I feel on waking up, but apparently that doesn't apply to being knocked unconscious. I suppose it makes sense, as Tam and I usually talk in my sleep, but that didn't happen after that stunner hit us.

Come to think of it, Tam doesn't seem to have woken up yet. I guess I'm on my own here.

"What happened?" I ask the auror. "It was really chaotic once the, uh, guy started casting spells everywhere."

"It's still chaotic, mister Potter, the chaos is just affecting the Ministry instead of the crowds. Three foreign diplomats were killed, and Fudge himself would have joined them if not for Ludo Bagman taking the hit instead."

I pause to process that. "Ludo Bagman is dead?" I'm not exactly sure how to feel about that. I mean, I never got the chance to know him, but he was one of the only people who recognised me for my skill at quidditch rather than the fame I was saddled with as an infant. It might have been nice to get to know him, but now I'll never have a chance.

I sigh. I'll deal with those feelings later. Or maybe never.

"Are you alright, Mister Potter?" The auror asks.

I shake my head. "I'm fine. So, things are a mess right now?"

He shakes his head. "His death comes mere weeks after Barty Crouch Senior was murdered, leaving two of the Ministry's departments without heads, including our International Relations department, and now several foreign dignitaries have been murdered on our soil by a domestic terrorist during a Ministry sponsored event. We are hanging on by a thread. If we don't catch Barty Junior soon…"

"Wait, the man who tried to kill me is Barty Crouch Junior? As in, the son of the Ministry department head who was killed!?"

The auror stares at me for a moment before resting his head in his hands. "Gods, I really shouldn't have said any of that, but I have been on shift for over thirty hours at this point. Let me just take your statement before I accidentally disclose any more classified information. Please start from the moment before the spell was cast and go until you were knocked unconscious by the auror squad."

I go through a rough retelling of events, omitting any mention of Tam and glossing over the fact that she clearly wanted to kill him.

When I finish up, the auror looks down at the transcript and slumps down on the table, gesturing at the door with his left hand. "You're free to go. Your friends should be waiting near the elevator. I've got to figure out how to survive the next four hours before my shift ends and I can finally get some sleep."

The auror department is exactly as hectic as he made it sound. As I make my way towards the exit, Tam finally wakes up.

What in the hell is that racket?

'The sound of a Ministry in disarray, from what I've gathered. The sleep deprived auror who was questioning me let a few things slip. Let me fill you in…'

I wave at Ron as I see him near the floo, waiting with his dad and Hermione. As I finish relaying everything, Tam finally responds.



I'm just rethinking things. I mean, if the Ministry is in this much trouble already, maybe I don't want to take it over. I mean, I wouldn't want to be the figurehead of the country when all this finally goes down in flames.

'Are you actually reconsidering your plans for world domination?'

Gods no. I'm just realising that it might be better to make my rule less… public. I wouldn't want to be the one everyone blames when things go wrong, after all.

'You know what? I'll take that. I never cared much for being in the public eye, anyways.'

Oh? Thinking you want to rule alongside me?

'Oh, as if I'd let you do it on your own.'

Tam giggles in the back of my head.

Sure, let's rule the world from the shadows. We just need to get everything sorted out. I'm sure it will be a long and prosperous rule with the two of us in charge.

A/N (Tendra): Hiatus? What hiatus? I think I'd remember if I stopped writing for a year or so.

In all seriousness, I am sorry that this took so long. I've been sitting on this mostly-complete chapter for months now, but things kept happening to get in the way of writing, whether it was dealing with a breakup, navigating family drama, or inconveniently timed panic attacks. On the bright side, I have learned that weed manages both my anxiety and my chronic pain at once, so that's been fun.

I am still going to be busy for a while, since my girlfriend's roommate is moving out and she wants me to move in with her. Ideally, living with her will be a good environment for getting some more writing done.

Speaking of which, check out her fanfic too. It's a Worm fanfic called "Not A Brute". She only posts it on SufficientVelocity, despite me begging her to post it on Ao3 as well.

If Fudge seems even stupider than normal in this chapter, then it's because I was watching Blandings before writing that segment, and Clarence Threepwood stuck me as a dead ringer for how Fudge would act. He's an utter buffoon with only the barest understanding of what's going on around him and only occasional moments of lucidity.

Harry and Tam finally had their worldview challenged by someone they might listen to (Mister Nassau-Zuylenstein), and in true form, they immediately brushed off everything he said. I'm sure that their unwillingness to challenge their preconceived notions about the world won't cause any problems at all :)

I do so love seeing the butterfly effect in motion. Harry decided to go to a party hosted by Fudge, and that small change has cascaded, and now Barty Junior is free and causing mayhem, Barty Senior and Ludo Bagman are both dead, the international situation is sitting on a powder keg, and the triwizard tournament is still happening but with some very different players on the board. Nothing's more fun than a major upset to the status quo~

Also, thanks to Foadar for his help with the Dutch from Jan van Nassau-Zuylenstein, as well as some general info on how the magical Dutch royal family is likely to act.

I have received so many comments over the past year asking if this fic would continue — more than I have for any of my other works. If you join my discord server, you can pester me there instead! Join us at 6YwQewK

E/N (Xgenje): Good morning, Afternoon, Evening. It's Storytime! I really missed getting to Beta for Ten's stories. I knew she was most of the way done with this for awhile, but I didn't want to pressure her into finishing it. What with all of the messes she has going on.

On a side note, I was beta'ing this at work and had to resist busting out laughing at Cornholio Fudged. I was dying reading this chapter.