"There's an attack every other day now," Sirius said solemnly. "Dumbledore doesn't know what to do."

It had been almost three weeks since the match between Ireland and England and things had more or less gone back to normal. Things were still a bit tense between Harry and John but at least his friend had apologized to Hermione.

"What did he do last time?" Harry asked.

"We had Snape last time," Sirius sighed. "It was only near the end, but we noticed a marked dropped in the attacks. I hate the bastard, but he was an effective spy. Every movement the Death Eaters and old Snake Face made, we knew about it in the next day or so."

"But now it's just chaos," Sirius continued. "Voldemort doesn't trust Snape anymore. Thinks he might have sympathies for Dumbledore, so he's keeping him at arm's length. Snape can tell us next to nothing now. He can't even tell us the location of their base."

"Has he not been there?" Harry asked.

Sirius shook his head. "Like I said he's being kept at arm's length which means he's useless to us right now. Apparently, Voldy is going to move to England sometime soon but who knows when that is?"

Harry sighed. It was times like this that he wished he still had a piece of Voldemort inside of him. That was an extremely messed up thing to say but it would've helped. The little tidbits that Harry glimpsed into Voldemort's head hadn't been many, but it had at least alerted Harry that the man was planning something for Harry's fourth year. "I want to fight Sirius. I want to fight, and I know I'm not alone in that. I know all my friends want it as much as I do, especially Blaise."

"Harry," Sirius said. "I understand. I understand you want to kill the bastard. He murdered your parents, my best friends! But if we killed him now it wouldn't do a damn thing. He'd just come back." Dumbledore had alerted a select few of the existence of Voldemort's Horcruxes. Sirius was one of them as he was Harry's godfather and the man who Harry had chosen to live with.

"Has he spoken to you about them?" Harry asked. "The Horcrux's I mean."

Sirius shook his head. "Dumbledore is a private man Harry. It's gotten people I know, and love killed before. But I know that he's looking for them. That I can assure you. They're not just ordinary things like a sock. They must be something personal to that Dark bastard. Maybe even that snake of his."

"The snake?" Harry asked. He had seen it before of course but that still begged a question. "Can they be sentient?"

"I'm not one hundred percent sure but I think so," Sirius said. "My family was dark alright but even that was a little past them. The very thought of someone ripping their soul apart like that disgusted my grandfather even though he was a big supporter of Grindelwald back in the day."

Harry nodded absent mindedly. The thought was still on his mind. The Horcrux's could literally be anything. Anything in the world. And that's what scared him the most.

That was when they both heard a tapping at the kitchen window. They turned and saw an impatient owl waiting to be allowed entry inside. Sirius got up and quickly opened the window and immediately the owl made towards Harry prostrating its leg to him. "Who is it from?" Sirius asked as he sat back down.

"Coach Smith," Harry said as he read the letter. "Says he's called a team meeting immediately."

"Like right now?" Sirius asked. "It's your off day though. Can he ask you to come in?"

"He's the Coach. If he wanted to, he could set practice for every day," Harry replied. "Letter says it won't take long. I'll just pop over and pop back."

"Be safe lad," Sirius said. The letter began to flash and in seconds Harry was gone, reappearing in front of the familiar training center.

"Potter!" He turned to see Jacobs who had probably arrived at the same time as he did. "You know what this is about? I was having breakfast."

Harry shrugged. "No idea Jacobs. I take it then you don't know?"

"All I know is Coach needs to talk to us," Michael said from behind them. "So, let's just get this over with so I can go back home."

"Good you three are here," Joe said as the three boys entered. The rest of the team had filtered in ahead of them. "We can start." They all took their seats on the benches and looked to Joe who looked nervous. "There's no easy way to say this but we won't be playing Wales next week."

"They forfeit?" Jacobs smirked. "Guess they saw Potter's catch against Ireland and decided they didn't want to try us." There was no venom in the boy's voice. He had taken his role as the backup well. He and Harry had even been each other's spotters in weight training. They liked to take the piss out of each other but there was a mutual respect.

"No," Joe sighed. "They didn't forfeit. The ICW cancelled the Cup."

"W-What?" Michael blinked as if that would make his coach's words come out differently. "You can't cancel Quidditch."

"Afraid they can, and they did, Lin," Joe shook his head. "With all the attacks going around they don't want to chance the bastards attacking a crowded event like this."

"Attacks," Jacobs snorted. "Just put extra Aurors on security. That'll stop anyone."

"Did it stop them at the World Cup last summer boy?" Smith raised an eyebrow. "There were Aurors there if I remember correctly. Not enough but still. The Death Eaters tore right through them and according to the Prophet, their numbers are growing."

"Coach," one of the girls asked. "Is it really them behind this? The attacks?"

"Aye Sally," he nodded. "They're getting bolder and bolder every time. They attacked a Ministry official and only just failed. Madam Bones was lucky to escape with her life."

"She was," Harry chimed in. "But her niece wasn't."

"What are you saying Harry?" Sally asked. Now the whole team's eyes were on him.

"Susan Bones," Harry continued. "She was Madam Bones' niece. She was my friend and the Death Eaters killed her. They don't care who you are they'll come after you no matter what."

"You're saying they were right to cancel the Cup, Harry?" Michael asked.

"I'm saying I agree with it," Harry replied. "The Death Eaters tore right through the security at the World Cup. With Voldemort leading them now, they're even more dangerous."

The entire room flinched at the name. "Now I know you're off your rocker Potter," one of the boys whose name Harry couldn't remember piped up. "You're saying all that stuff the Prophet is saying is true?"

"No," Harry replied glaring at the much larger boy. "I'm saying that what they're saying about Voldemort- yes Voldemort is true. I fought him in that graveyard. If you don't believe me ask my girlfriend. Ask the dozen other witches and wizards who were there including Albus Dumbledore. You're going to say that Dumbledore is a liar?"

"Didn't say that," the boy snarled as the team looked at him now. "He should say something about it in the Prophet then."

"Maybe if you actually paid attention and read the entire article and used that little brain of yours, you'd see that he has. Several times in fact."

"You calling me stupid Potter?" the boy spat getting to his feet.

"ENOUGH!" Joe snapped. "Sit down you walking Bludger," he ordered the boy who begrudgingly did so after giving Harry another venomous look. "It doesn't matter why the Cup is being cancelled. The only thing you need to understand is that it is. Now I'm really sorry about this. I was looking forward to kicking the shit out of Wales and the rest of the world. But we have to abide by the ICW's decree. Their word is final in this."

Everyone had a pissed off look on their face when they left that morning. The boy who had called Harry a liar had given him one last scathing look before leaving. "Oi Potter!" Jacobs called over to him. "A word."

"What is it?" Harry asked. Lin was with Harry's backup. Both had a look on their face that looked familiar but Harry couldn't place.

"You're serious then?" Lin asked. "You-Know-Who is back?"

"He is," Harry replied simply.

There was a different look on both boy's faces. It was one that Harry knew well: fear.

"What are we going to do?" Jacobs asked. "I believe you Potter but my dad is a Muggle. A filthy half breed like me is one of the first people to go on You-Know-Who's list."

"His name is Voldemort," Harry snapped and both boys flinched again. "And he's a filthy half breed too."

"What are you talking about?" Michael asked curiously.

"His father was a Muggle. Tom Riddle Sr. Voldemort came up with the name at school." When the boys flinched again, Harry sighed. "It's just a name. My friends used to be afraid of it too but they're not anymore. Fear of a name only increases fear of the person who owns it."

"Still," Michael sighed. "What are we going to do? Quidditch is my damn life. I was supposed to go to the National Team next year, get a contract as pro, help my younger brothers and sisters go to Hogwarts. They're all counting on me."

"Michael," Harry replied. "I know it sucks. I know they're your family. I know you had a plan laid out. But it doesn't matter anymore. As long as Voldemort is around he doesn't give a shit about your plans. He'd burn the whole world down if he could rule over the ashes."

They were both silent for a moment. "You're really go to fight him, aren't you?" Jacobs asked. Harry nodded. "I want to help."

"What?" Harry asked shocked.

"I won't just sit by and let him destroy everything that I have grown to love. I've had to fight tooth and nail to get where I am. Against Pure bloods who would rather see me under their boot than atop a broomstick or even carrying a wand. I won't let You-K- V-V-Voldemort stop me."

Michael nodded next to him. He was in as well. "You both want to fight?" Harry asked and they both nodded. "I have a proposition for you then."


"What exactly have your Aurors been doing Rufus?" Daniel thundered. "Standing around with their wands in their hands?"

"Listen here Greengrass," Rufus growled. "My men are doing the bes-"

"The best you can?" Daniel shook his head. "A Muggle-born and his family were all slaughtered just the other day. Voldemort and his minions are attacking at will. How are you planning on stopping them?"

The three of them were in Amelia's office in the DMLE. It was a Saturday morning and the Ministry was empty of all nonessential personnel. All essential personnel mostly consisted of guards which, ever since the attack by the Death Eaters had been tripled in number. They wouldn't be caught unawares again.

Which was part of the problem in Rufus's eyes. "If we can lessen the guard around here perhaps that could make a difference," Rufus argued. "We need more men out there."

"I won't compromise the security of this Ministry," Daniel declared. "But if the rest of the Heads come to an agreement that we need to move men around, I won't disagree with it."

"Did we have any success at the shop in London?" he asked Amelia who shook her head.

She sighed. "We found Selwyn in possession of more than a few banned Dark artifacts, some of which would give him more than a decade in Azkaban. At least it would if Azkaban was operational at the moment." Currently the few prisoners they had managed to capture were being held in the Ministry holding cells under heavy guard. "The problem is though he has no recollection of seeing Mr. Malfoy."

"You think the Weasley boy was lying?" Rufus asked.

"No," Amelia replied. "He couldn't have been he was under Veritaserum. There can only be two possibilities. One, they modified Weasley's memory so he would give us false information. This is unlikely."

"Why?" Rufus asked. "Death Eaters have done it in the past. Give us false information and that's another few men taken off the front lines to investigate."

"It's unlikely because they meant to kill the boy," Daniel replied for Amelia. "They were going to leave him at the scene of crime and pin it all on him. They wouldn't have planned all that."

"The second possibility," Amelia continued. "Is that Selwyn's memory was altered. We have a team working at it currently, but it will take some time."

Daniel nodded. "And the information that the boy gave us on their base? What did we find?"

"Nothing," she said simply and frowned. "There was a manor there that had traces of magical activity, but it looked like it had been deserted for quite a while. We did some digging and found that it has been owned by the Nott Family for generations."

"Xavier," Daniel muttered. "The man is a known Death Eater. I'll bet my fortune that Voldemort was there, at least for a time."

"And now he's not," Rufus said stating the obvious.

"And now he's not," Daniel sighed. "We need to find him."

"I've put several of my operatives out in Knockturn Alley," Amelia said. "What they've heard is Voldemort has sent men to the continent to recruit."

That wasn't good. On the mainland there were hundreds more wizards and witches who would flock to the side of pure blood supremacy. "We ne-"

"Mhmmm," a sweet voice came from the doorway. Daniel looked and wanted to groan. "I didn't realize that we were having a meeting today. My invitation must've got lost."

"We're not having a meeting Dolores," Amelia said coolly. "And if we were, you would not have been invited in any case. Last I checked you haven't been Head of the Improper Use of Magic Office for some time."

The sweet smile on Dolores's face fell a tad. "Very well. It is correct that I am not a Head but last I checked I was Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. That does give me just as mu-"

"I believe was is the key word in that statement Dolores," Daniel replied. "As Fudge isn't Minister, you are currently only a Ministry employee. Nothing more."

"Yes," she said her eye twitching just a bit. "But I am still curious. You say that this isn't a meeting, but I see three very important Ministry officials having what looks to be a very serious conversation. It just so happens that all three of these officials just so happen to have announced campaigns for Minister."

"Arrive at the point Dolores," Daniel said impatiently. He had no time for the woman.

"One might assume that you three were up to something," she said her eyes slightly narrowing. "Perhaps you are making plans for the Ministry after one of you has taken the office with the other two's support."

"Are you suggesting that we're colluding?" Daniel raised an eyebrow. "That's a serious accusation Dolores. And very dangerous. Especially since the three people you are accusing just happen to be among the three most powerful people in the Ministry."

"Are you threatening me Daniel?" she said slowly with her eyes now fully fixed on the man who met them in return with no fear.

"No," he said off handedly. "I'm just stating a fact."

"Well then," she cleared her throat. "I supposed I will be seeing you all soon."

"Take care," she added as she closed the door to the office behind her.

"I despise that woman," Rufus grumbled. "Greatly."

"We can't let her take the Minister's office," Daniel said. "Umbridge must be kept from the position at all costs."

"Are you trying to make us guilty of the very thing that she accused us of?" Amelia asked. "Collusion?"

"I didn't say that," Daniel said shaking his head. "But if Dolores Umbridge for some reason dropped out of the race, then it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world."

"What are you suggesting Daniel?" Rufus asked.

"The less you both know the better," Daniel answered. "Then if everything goes south you can honestly say you knew nothing." The two looked like they wanted to press for more but ultimately didn't. After the meeting was over Daniel sent for one of his top people to meet in his office. He had a job for him to do.


Dolores knew that her rivals were working against her. What else could they possibly be doing in that office? "Fighting against the Dark Lord" they claimed.

Every time they said something of that sort she wanted to laugh. She didn't believe any of the rumors that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named had returned. Dead people just didn't come back. They just didn't. No matter how powerful You-Know-Who had been, he was dead.

They were just using the Dark Lord's memory as a way to stir up trouble. For all she knew they were the ones who orchestrated the prison break at Azkaban. A clever move. She never thought that Greengrass would be capable of something like that.

The man was clearly the ringleader in their little coup. He had the most support in the Wizengamot and the most recognizable name. The other two were just there to give him control of the law enforcement. The man would be unstoppable.

She wouldn't let that happen. The Ministry needed a strong leader. One that would champion Pure-blood ideals. Right now, she had the support of the older families. Many of the Sacred Twenty-Eight had already pledged to her. They were the richest families in all of the wizarding world. She had no doubt that she would win with them.

Her only true threat was Daniel Greengrass. He had the power, a high position and the right last name. Scrimgeour and Bones could do nothing to stop her but Greengrass was a problem.

He would have to be dealt with.


Daphne awoke that morning alone in the bed. Since her and Harry had made love, they had taken to sleeping in each other's beds at night. Most of the time nothing even happened. They just wanted to be close to one another. She would rest her head against his chest, her arms wrapped around him as he rained kisses across her foreheads, whispering how much he loved her into her ear. It made her heart swoon every single time. Sirius and Hannah had turned mostly a blind eye to it. The only thing her Aunt had really brought up about it was to make sure her and Harry were being safe. "This isn't a conversation that anyone wants to have with their niece," Hannah had said. "It's up to you to tell your parents."

Right. How was Daphne supposed to tell her mom and dad, that her and Harry were shagging. That was such a horrible way to phrase it but that would be the only thing her father would hear. "Your daughter isn't a virgin anymore. The boy you sent her to live with is sleeping with her." She didn't know if her father would have a heart attack. Her mother would sigh and shake her head but wouldn't be disappointed. She had given Daphne the talk before she had moved to Grimmauld Place. Like Hannah, she wanted her and Harry to be safe. It would still be an uncomfortable conversation no matter what.

But now she was alone in the bed in the early hours of the morning for the first time in a long time. Where was Harry? Was he already downstairs eating breakfast? Only one way to find out.

She quickly put her clothes on from last night. She would get some breakfast and then take a shower.

"Morning Sirius," she said as she entered the kitchen. "Have you seen Harry?"

"You just missed him," the man replied. "Had to go to the practice facility for some meeting with his coach. I'm sure he'll be back soon."

"Oh," she said plopping herself down in a chair and helping herself to some bacon.

"That's Harry's bacon," Sirius pointed out.

She shrugged. "And I'm his girlfriend. I think he'll get over it."

"Fair enough," he replied.

"Good morning, Hermione," Sirius said as the girl entered the kitchen.

"Morning all," she said grabbing also grabbing a piece of bacon off the plate.

"Oi!" Daphne snapped.

"What? Harry isn't going to eat it. It'll be cold by the time he gets back," Hermione shrugged chewing on the bacon.

"We can just heat it u-" Sirius started.

"Like she said," Daphne said shoveling another piece of bacon in her mouth. "It'll be cold by the time he gets home."

"Eat the bacon if you wish Lady Greengrass, but slow down!" Sirius said as he watched his nephew's girlfriend shove another piece of bacon in her mouth. "There's more than enough to go around."

Daphne glared at the older man. "What are you saying Black? Are you saying I'm fat?"

He shifted uncomfortably. He had been under fire from a Greengrass glare many times in his life. She was almost as good as her aunt in that regard. "I said nothing of the sort. If I had a pig out back, I'd slaughter it just for you to feast upon. I'm only saying just save some for Hermione."

"Oh," Daphne said simply and suddenly noticed how her friend looked apprehensive of going near the plate of bacon. "Sorry Hermione."

"No big deal, Daphne," Hermione said. "Are you famished? Had a couple of late nights with Harry?" she playfully winked as she finished the last part of the sentence with a whisper as Sirius did his best to look as if he was cleaning dishes.

Daphne turned bright red, something seemed to be happening a lot lately. "I don't know what yo-"She stopped suddenly.

"Daphne are you okay?" Hermione said moving towards her friend before almost being knocked to the ground as Daphne flew by her. The plate of bacon she had been holding shattered on the floor.

"What the bloody hell is wrong with her?" Sirius asked Hermione as he was already bringing out his wand to clean the plate which put itself back together in seconds.

"Maybe you didn't cook the bacon properly?" Hermione said.

"It's me Hermione. I know how to make bacon. Plus, if that were the case, they why aren't you in there with her?" Sirius asked.

Hermione didn't have an answer. "I'll go check on her. I'm sure it's just the flu."

She got up and went off to find Daphne. It wasn't hard. She could hear her in the bathroom even with the door closed. "Daphne?" she said softly knocking on the door. "You alright in there love?"

"I'm fine Hermione!" Daphne called out before she let loose into the toilet again. "Don't worry about me!"

"What's going on?" Hermione turned to see Hannah walking towards her.

"Daphne is in there vomiting right now," Hermione responded. "She said she's fine but just the way she left the kitchen has me worried."

Hannah sighed before knocking on the door. "Daphne dear. Open up."

"I'm fine Auntie I promise," Daphne responded between a groan.

"I'll be the judge of that," Hannah said sternly. "You have Hermione and I worried out here so if you don't open the door, I'll knock it down."

There was a pause before the door opened. Standing there was an embarrassed Daphne. "I'm sorry, I just didn't want anybody to see me like this." Hannah and Hermione both stepped inside before closing the door behind them.

"It's alright Daphne. We're not going to judge you," Hermione said sitting down next to her friend who had leaned up against the wall and slid to the ground. "Did the bacon just not sit well?"

"I don't know what it was. I've eaten Sirius' bacon before and it's never caused me any problems," Daphne responded staring at the wall.

"You definitely were going after it though," Hermione pointed out. "You ate ten pieces in the time it took me to eat my one."

Daphne shrugged. "I hope I'm not catching some sort of flu."

Hannah put a hand up against her niece's head. "You don't feel warm and if you had a head cold your nose would be all congested."

"I feel fine other than throwing up," Daphne said.

"And you said that you were eating a lot?" Hannah raised an eyebrow.

"What's with everyone coming after me about how much I've been eating this morning?" Daphne barked. So what, she was eating more than usual. Who cared?

Hannah was silent for a moment before responding. "Have you been taking those potions that your mother gave you?" Her sister had filled her in on the special arrangement that she and Daphne had worked out now that her and Harry were living together. If only they had the potions of today back when she was at school. Not that she had been a slag or anything, but the amount of girls who had gotten pregnant in her year had been staggering.

Daphne nodded. "I took it when she first gave it to me, and I took the second one about three weeks ago. I should have to take the next one in about a week."

"Where are they? Did you save the vials?" Hannah asked.

Daphne nodded. "They're upstairs on my bedstand." with a crack Hannah disappeared. Moments later she reappeared with a vial in her hand.

"Is this it?" Daphne nodded and Hannah eyes quickly poured over the labels all around the vial. "Oh Jane you didn't," she groaned as her eyes finally came to rest on something.

"What is it?" Daphne asked starting to become worried.

"The expiration date for this was about a week before you and Harry moved in together," Hannah said handing the bottle to Daphne to look over herself.

Daphne didn't want to believe it, but there it was. It was small, but it did have an expiration date on it. Did that mean she could be-

"So, what does this mean?" Hermione said looking between the two of them. "Could Daphne be...pregnant?"

There it was. There was that word that the three of them had been dancing around. The one word they couldn't. The word that Daphne's father hadn't wanted to hear in relation of his two daughters till they were done with school.

"I can't be," Daphne said as if that would speak it into existence. "I can't be fucking pregnant."

"Hush now dear," Hannah said quickly. "There's a simple spell to help figure this all out." She pulled out her wand. Daphne nodded. "Paternitas" she said tapping Daphne's head with her wand as she cast the charm. After a split second, a bright light flashed briefly before disappearing.

"What does it mean?" Daphne asked before the light had even disappeared fully. "What does it say Auntie?"

Hannah was silent for what felt like an eternity. "I'm afraid you are pregnant dear," she said solemnly.

Daphne's heart felt like it fallen into her stomach. "I-I-I can't be pregnant," she sputtered. "I'm still in bloody school. I can't leave."

"It's going to be alright my dear Daphne," Hannah said quickly as her niece started to cry. Tears fell from the girls eyes in tiny streams. "It's going to be alright."

Hermione and Hannah both moved to take Daphne into their arms as she let her emotions run free. "I can't be pregnant," Daphne was barely to say as she sobbed. "I just can't!"

"Who says that you have to leave Hogwarts?" Hermione said soothingly. Comforting someone wasn't exactly her forte but she was trying her best. "There are family quarters at school for situations like this."

"And you do realize that your grandmother carried your father and I while being not much older than you?" Hannah added as she stroked her nieces back. "Hermione is right dear. These things happen. And that's if you even want to keep the baby." That whole…path had never crossed her mind and wouldn't be something that she would be okay with, but if that's what her niece decided then she would support her.

"No!" Daphne said quickly. "I won't do that. Harry has always wanted a family. He would never forgi- oh Merlin, Harry! What is he going to say when I tell him?!" Daphne broke down into a whole new fit of sobbing.

"I tell you what he'll say," Hermione said softly. "He'll remind you that he loves you and your baby." Her best friend clearly loved Daphne more than anything else in this world. He would never be angry with her.

"That still doesn't mean that I love the idea of telling him," Daphne replied using her shirt to wipe her nose. "What are my parents going to say? What if my dad diso-"

"If my brother disowns you, then I will make him regret it," Hannah declared. "I don't care if he's the head of this family. You are still his daughter and you're carrying his grandchild."

Daphne nodded. "Thank you both. I don't know what I would do without you."

"We'll always be here for you Daphne," Hermione said with a smile. "Always."

"We'll even be there when you tell Harry if you want us to." Hermione continued.

"No," Daphne said shaking her head. "That's something that is up to me and me alone."


"Come on Duffy, you little fairy! Push harder! Potter is leaving you in his bloody dust!" Moody cried.

"Sod off you one eyed bastard," John muttered under his breath, irony dripping from his voice. Ahead of him Harry was outpacing him by at least a yard, but John was steadily gaining every second. Behind him their two new additions to their training were pushing hard and fast.

"Come on now Jacobs!" Moody barked at the boy. "You said you could run five miles in your sleep! MOVE YOUR FEET LIN!"

"Crazy son of a bitch," Jacobs cursed in between breaths as he and Michael crossed the line about five seconds after Harry and John did.

"Still want to be here?" Harry asked the two. Out of the four of them, he was the only one who looked like he wasn't about to pass out. Just a bit down the track came the rest of their group with Neville and Blaise leading them.

"When's the actual training start Potter?" Jacobs asked. "Or are we just going to be running from Death Eaters the entire time?"

"HAH!" Moody snorted as he hobbled over. "With an attitude like that boy, you might as well get the hell out right now. The person who'll last longest in a fight isn't the one who knows more spells but the one who can dodge the longest. You can't dodge without stamina and you can't have stamina without running."

"Have the rest you not been keeping up with your calisthenics when you were gone?" Moody asked as the rest of the group showed up. Silence was his only response. He sighed. "We've got a lot of work to do."

This was only their fifth training session since Susan had passed. At first Dumbledore had given them time off so they could mourn their friend. None of them had wanted to take it but he had insisted. But then when the time had finally come to return, he couldn't be reached. Something had taken him away from England, an urgent mission for the Order of some sort. Moody was reluctant to do anything without the man there. Dumbledore was in charge of the training and hadn't left instructions on how to proceed next. They had only been off for a few days but still it was still time that Moody was desperate to make back.

"Gather round," he called out to them. "We're going to be doubling up our training. Now that we don't have Quidditch practice to worry about." Moody's eye scanned over Harry and John. "We're going to be training five times a week."

"Five times?" Tracey's mouth almost dropped. "When are we supposed to sleep?"

"When you're dead I suppose." Moody shrugged. "You think that's bad Davis? Auror recruits train twice a day for SIX days a week. You little bastards are only getting five."

Tracey grumbled but other than that she stayed quiet. "Know this. The Death Eaters are dangerous. What they did to Miss Bones they won't have any problem doing to the rest of you in a heartbeat."

"We're going to train like we could die tomorrow because honestly anything is possible at this point!" Moody said. "Am I understood?" The assembled trainees all nodded. "What we're going to be doing today is running a pretty standard obstacle course. You'll all need to work together to survive it. Stunners only."

"I thought you said we need to train like we're going to die tomorrow," John piped up. "Death Eaters aren't using stunners."

"We're in training Duffy," Moody snarled. John looked irritated at the use of his legal name but didn't say anything. "This exercise is just to show me if you lot can work together. No severed limbs, minimum amounts of blood. Copy?" Again, they all nodded. "Potter, you're leading the first team."

"First team?" Harry asked.

"Too many of you to work as a unit starting off, so I'm seeing what you can do with a few under your direction and we'll go from there."

"Right." Harry said. "Daphne, Neville, Cedric, and Michael. With me."

"Rest of you follow me. You'll be observing." Moody said leading the others away.

"Where exactly are we going?" Michael asked.

"Probably that," Harry said towards the center of the track. What was a wide-open field had been a replaced by a maze. It wasn't unlike the maze that had taken over the Quidditch Pitch and had been used for the last Task. Harry wouldn't know anything about that though. He hadn't been forced to take part.

"What the hell is in there?" Cedric shifted uncomfortably. If it was anything like what had been at Hogwarts, he knew that they were in for a treat.

"Pixies most likely," Daphne said as they went to the entrance to the maze. Behind her, Neville looked on with a touch of trepidation as the humor went over his head. He remembered his run in with Cornish Pixies during Second Year all too well.

"Whatever is in there, everyone be on their guard," Harry said in a very no-nonsense sort of way. "Cedric and Michael, watch the back. Daphne, Neville you're up in the front with me." They all nodded. They could do this, they would all need to work together.

"Begin!" Moody's voice rang out. He and the others in their training regimen were located on a tower located just on the northern side of the maze. From where they were they could see almost everything.

"On me," Harry said and snapped his wand out of his holster. The others did the same as they filed into the maze. Almost immediately, something shot out of the darkness. "STUPEFY!" Whatever it was crumpled to the ground. It had wings and was all too familiar to Neville.

"They actually have fucking pixies?" he grunted and leveled his wand off towards where the pixie came from. "Fantastic."

"Eyes up," Harry snapped. "Nobody gets distracted."

Before they could even blink, the darkness was lit up by red light and Cedric crumpled to the ground. "They're around us!" Michael cried and fired off a Stunner.

"We need to keep pushing!" Harry yelled. Another flash of red light from his wand and a figure fell to the ground. "MOVE!"

They pushed through the maze, their group in a circle facing outwards. They needed to cover all angles here. "Which way?" Daphne asked when they came to a fork in the maze.

"Right," Harry said automatically. It was just instinct.

Before they could continue down the path, the darkness lit up and then Neville dropped to the ground. They forced themselves to continue on. This was tough leaving their friends behind, but they had no choice.

"Move!" Harry ordered. "MICHAEL WATCH OUT!" A vine had been sneakily moving forward before wrapping itself around Michael's leg and wrenching him into the darkness.

"GO!" the boy cried.

Then it was only Harry and Daphne. They moved through the maze at a sprint. The only thing that mattered now was getting out.

"How far off are we?" Daphne asked as they came to another fork.

"It can't be much farther," Harry answered as he wrenched her towards him, crossing into the left path. "The maze isn't that big from what I saw."

They pushed up the path for another five minutes and then came to an open space. There were a million difference paths around this area but only one was right. But which one?

"Where do we go now Harry?" Daphne said her wand still at the ready.

"I'm thi- NOOOO!" He yelled as a red light flashed from the darkness. He stepped into its path as it streaked towards Daphne. It struck him center mass and then he knew nothing.

"Wake up Potter," he heard Moody grunt above him. "Come on now." His eyes fluttered open and greeting him were his friends who were all circled around him.

"You alright mate?" Neville asked.

"Yeah," Harry grunted as he pushed himself to his feet.

"The hell did you do Potter?" Moody barked. "Want to explain to me why you shielded Greengrass like that?"

"It would've hit her," Harry answered simply as he looked Daphne over to make sure that she wasn't hurt. Besides a couples scratches she was fine.

Moody sighed and then looked everyone over before his eyes landed back on Harry. "You don't seem to realize this Potter. You're the most important person here."

"I wouldn't say that," Harry retorted.

"I would," Moody said. "You're the Boy Who Bloody Lived. The world sees you as an icon. Without you our fight is over. And it's true Potter no matter what you might say." Harry didn't respond. "You did right though in there, leaving the others behind. I know what they say in the stories: Never leave a man behind and all that jazz. But it's balderdash. The only thing that matters is completing the mission. If I had to leave everyone one of you behind to finally kill Voldemort, I'd do it in a heartbeat. I'd rather sacrifice one life than millions. Copy?" Everyone reluctantly nodded. "Duffy, you lead the second group."

"MOVE OUT!"


"Well that was a damn train wreck," Harry grumbled as they all filtered back towards the main building. Oakentree was not a massive estate like others that the Black Family owned, but it was still larger than first glance. There was the main building where the floo and the dueling ring was. There was the track where they were just coming from. Then there was the pool where they sometimes went to do laps. There was also a lounge, but Moody had made them stray away from there. They were here to train not have leisure time.

"We'll get better," Daphne replied. "There's no other option."

John's group hadn't done any better than Harry's. None of them had made it through the maze and almost all of them had been Stunned from the get-go, except for John and Fleur. They both had made it to where Harry and Daphne had before the Stunner's had dropped them too.

"We'll do better next time," John said to Harry, patting him on the back as he walked by. Any venom that had existed from John had disappeared or at least the other boy was willing to look past it for the safety of the group. "Spend some time by the pool before we head back?" Moody had already taken off for wherever he called home, so the entire estate was theirs.

"You lot go ahead," Daphne answered before Harry could reply. "Harry and I need to discuss something. "

"Come on John," Hermione said pulling her boyfriend towards her, giving Daphne a comforting nod before walking away. The rest of their group followed them.

"What do we need to discuss?" Harry asked as they were finally alone. "Was it how I shielded you when that Stunner came your way? I won't apologize for protecting you, no matter what Moody says."

"It's not that," Daphne said uncomfortably, staring at the ground.

"Is it about the house?" Harry said soothingly taking his girlfriend into his arms. "Daph, I promise this isn't permanent. Just until the danger isn't around anymore."

"It's not that either," Daphne whispered.

"What is it then?" he asked. What had her on edge?

It was an eternity before she spoke and when she did, she spoke two little words directly into his ear.


"What's all that about?" John asked Hermione as they left their friends behind.

"Just something they have to discuss with each other," was all Hermione said.

"You know something." John asked. Hermione shrugged. "You have to tell me."

"I don't have to tell you a thing," Hermione replied. "Trust me when Daphne tells Harry, you'll know."

"HARRY!"

They looked back and saw Daphne trying to wake her boyfriend who was now on the ground. He must've fainted.

"I guess she told him," Hermione said.


A/N: Cats out of the bag. Now I know a lot of people are going to say "JANE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER!" Just so you guys know I had to ask my wife if birth control expired. She didn't know and she's been taking it for a fair amount of time.

Originally this was written that John would be the father and Hermione would be the teen mom, but Harry has a lot on his plate right now...why not add a bit more?!