Harry Potter

Lord of Light and Darkness

Book1

Life's a Prophecy

Chapter 16

Explanations and DA Revisited

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Standard disclaimers apply.

Chapter Beta'd by: RPMcMurphy from 'Perfect Imagination

Special authors note: Please excuse the missing ruler lines between story parts. For some reason the story editor will not allow me to add them and I have no idea why. Once I figure out how to add them successfully I will repost the chapter.

For now ruler lines will be replaced with 'LAP'.

I apologise for any inconvenience which may arise from this unfortunate issue.

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During all of this time Harry had been waiting quietly outside of the pub, under an advanced Invisibility Spell, watching the reporters alternate between questioning his double, or whomever else they felt they could ask for information about the incident in the pub.

Since the murder, the amount of reporters had nearly tripled and Harry watched, amused, as his double continuously repeated some same answers over and over again to newly arriving reporters. No one seemed to think it abnormal for a young lad to have so much patience. Or maybe they just didn't care.

Apparently Lily had long since given up waiting for him and had left to take care of her shopping as she was no where to be seen. Once again Harry hoped that James had somehow succeeded in winning her heart.

Keeping an eye on any Aurors, Harry would covertly read their minds whenever one left the pub. Once in a while Harry would also cast a time showing spell to check the time and would get more and more worried the longer it took for the Aurors in the pub to finish their business.

Oh oh...not good, not good at all, please hurry up guys, Harry thought to himself after a while. After all, it's only my life you're playing around with there…and that of the future world, so no hassle, really.

He was becoming increasingly more nervous every time he cast a time spell to check the time. I only have half an hour left before…well maybe more…I hope, he reminded himself.

Harry was scanning the Aurors minds for a particular item…a cup.

The same cup which Bellatrix had drunk from the moment before she had dropped, dead.

That's what Harry was staying behind for and what he was going to get his hands on next, at all costs.

It was the second part of his mission in the murder of one Bellatrix Black and probably the most important and crucial part, besides the actual murder itself.

The problem was, he had a time limit to retrieve it. This was the most dangerous part of his mission for a reason and the part which he knew had the greatest chance of failure. If he didn't retrieve the cup soon all would be lost.

Scanning the mind of a particular Auror, Harry sighed heavily in relief as he found out that the man carried the cup.

Quickly noting the time, his expression turned grim.

Without another thought Harry flicked his hand and cast the strongest Imperious Curse which he could muster on to the Auror who had the cup.

The Auror never had a chance as Harry ruthlessly invaded his mind and smashed his control.

One moment he was walking towards a designated Apparition point to Apparate to Auror headquarters, the next it was as if he had completely lost his mind and all free will attached to it, completely under the control of his assailant.

Harry didn't lose another moment.

"Follow me," he quickly ordered the Auror, while still under the Invisibility Spell, and led him to a near by deserted alley.

Somehow, even though the Auror couldn't see him he instinctively knew where Harry was.

"Give me the cup," Harry ordered and so the Auror did.

Quickly Harry took the cup and cast a spell on it.

Sighing deeply, a sigh of great relief as he realised he wasn't too late and that he still had at least ten minutes to spare, Harry gave the Auror a final command:

"Now, go back to the pub and forget what happened here." he commanded the Auror.

He felt fairly angry but nonetheless fairly relieved too. He had nearly failed, partly because of these dawdling fools and partly because he hadn't planned well enough for the situation.

A few seconds later the Auror was gone and so was Harry: with a nearly silent pop he disappeared.

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Harry reappeared in the Shrieking Shack and after canceling the Invisibility Spell around him he quickly put the cup on to the ground.

Almost immediately the cup started to change and morph into a direct copy of Harry.

For the first time in the past few hours Harry allowed himself to relax.

"Hey there, number two, glad you could make it," he said, smirking.

The second Harry simply grunted in reply then said: "I'd ask you what took you so bloody long but I already know, so don't bother answering."

This statement made Harry laugh.

"Damn…that was far too close for comfort," said both simultaneously before both started laughing again.

Just then a third Harry Apparated into the building.

"Ah, good, number three's here… since Bellatrix is dead that means everything worked out fine…right?" first Harry asked third Harry.

Third Harry simply gave a simple nod to which first and second Harrys smiled.

"Well, gotta go," said first Harry as he took a Time Turner out of his pocket.

With a small salute to his double and triple, he waved his hand then turned the Time Turner over four times. With a small flash of light he disappeared.

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Harry watched his doubles disappear as he left the timeline, then he waited for what seemed like three minutes.

Looking into the darkness of the now empty shack he waited immobile until he felt himself able to move again, meaning that the time travel had been successful.

Happy, confident that the Time Turner had done its job, Harry put it away and turned himself invisible once more.

With another inaudible pop Harry then teleported back to the front of the pub.

Quickly glancing around, Harry took a moment to observe his surroundings.

Yes, there were the same reporters questioning his double, yes they were asking the same old stupid questions… questions which were actually still new at this point.

And there was Lily doing her best to ignore James.

Damn…that's not good, Harry thought before he looked away.

He didn't have time to worry about those two... not now at least... he'd have to trust in James wooing skills.

Thinking about that made a shiver run down his spine.

James and wooing skills? Better not think about it, he thought.

Looking away from James and Lily, Harry inhaled a small breath to calm his nerves then peeked into the pub.

Bellatrix was once again sitting at her place, once again very much alive and drinking her beer.

And there was Harry, number one, enjoying one of his own.

So far so good.

Quickly stepping away from the door, before someone could knock into him, and also away, out of the line of sight of Moody's mad eye, Harry took another look at the ever important time and noticed that he had about twenty minutes left before Bellatrix was due to leave for the ladies' room.

Harry knew that Moody wouldn't expect him, or anybody for the matter, to appear twice or even three times, and certainly wouldn't be looking for it, but why take any chances.

Only fools took uncalculated chances, and Harry hoped he was not one of them.

Deciding to spend the next ten to fifteen or so minutes looking around, Harry decided to look at a nearby clothes shop and smiled at the out of date (for his time) clothes which were on offer.

"Makes me look old," he murmured to himself, before quickly stepping away from a nearby patron as he noticed her look behind her back to see who had spoken.

For the next few minutes Harry checked out the wears behind several store window glasses, then, with just about five minutes to spare he quickly made his way back to the pub.

Just in time it seemed, as Bellatrix was just leaving her seat.

Anticipating the end of the hunt, Harry waited for Moody to follow her, then watched as Harry number one waved his hand to cast the Notice-me-not Charm on the table.

Since it was he who had cast the spell, only at a different time, Harry wasn't affected by the spell and could still see the table.

Still invisible, he used his shape shifting skills and quickly changed into a fly.

The moment he completed his change to his fly shape, his invisibility spell collapsed and he became visible once more.

No one seemed to notice or care about a seemingly unimportant ordinary fly as it started to fly towards a certain table.

Not taking any chances, Harry quickly flew straight to the table, making sure all the way to keep near to the ceiling, so as to avoid any passing patrons.

Silently, safely, he landed beside Bellatrix's cup.

Harry took one last look around, then, satisfied that the Notice-me-not Charm would protect him from any wandering eyes, he changed directly from a fly into a cup. The same cup in fact which his other self had only just rescued from the Auror hours in the future.

That done, Harry settled down to wait for his past self to reclaim him hours from now.

Harry wasn't worried, he knew from his future, past self that he had already successfully succeeded, or rather that he would succeed in acquiring the cup back from the Auror before he could freeze into his current form, so that wouldn't be a problem.

Besides, his other self, Harry number three, had said that there had been no complications for his part of the mission.

Seeing that Bellatrix had died, or rather was about to die, also pointed towards the successful completion of his mission.

No, Harry wasn't worried, Bellatrix would die today, that much was certain now. After all it had already happened and the time line could only be changed so much and anything which had happened before would stay that way.

Too bad that he had only just realized that he would have to wait for over two hours, as a cup, most likely bored out of his mind, before Harry number one could rescue him.

Harry was still scolding himself silently about this little annoying fact, when he suddenly noticed himself fill up with a very cold foaming liquid which seemed to appear over him out of thin air.

Harry knew the butter beer look alike potion was in fact the poison which Bellatrix was going to drink in a few minutes…just as he had planned.

Righty oh…the stage is set,…

Harry paused in his thoughts just long enough to see the other cup, Bellatrix's first cup disappear, then continued:

… pieces are placed and obstacles removed…

Harry noticed the Notice-me-not Charm disappear from the table, which meant Bella and Moody were on their way.

…Let's play the game…once more, he finished thinking just before Bellatrix and Moody came back into view.

Harry watched with bated breath, for even in his cup shape he had to breath, though through very small, very hard to see holes.

Slowly Bellatrix raised him up to her lips…shuddered slightly as her lips touched him…ignored a small twinge of pain as her teeth nipped at him…suppressed the urge to cower and run, screaming, for cover as her tongue glided over him and finally, smiled inwardly as she took a sip.

Got ya… see ya, my baby Bella …time to die...bye bye, Harry thought snidely as he inwardly waved his prey goodbye.

Seconds later Bellatrix gasped, spluttered then shrieked, and finally simply fell over, dropping him…

…to the floor.

Harry winced in pain, or would have had he been able to, as he hit the ground.

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The next few minutes were a hectic blur.

Harry was very thankful that he didn't break, even as a cup he was made out of stronger, sterner stuff.

Moody, however, swore and after checking Bella he Apparated away. His face was comical to look at, or so Harry thought.

In his time it had been fairly rare to see him fail. At least to fail without a clue about what had happened.

Harry was fairly sure Moody would never forget this day. He'd have to be wary of him once he found out about his little coup.

Under the circumstances the man might even hold a grudge worse than Snape's would ever have been.

Still, it would always make good black mailing material if that were to occur.

Perhaps he would simply acknowledge him as a worthy opponent and accept it as a good training exercise.

AFter all, a person could always hope.

Aurors came, Aurors went, some prodded him, one even named him 'evidence item number two.'

Number one was to be the poison which had been in the cup, he was named number two since the poison had been inside him.

What joy. Now I even have a name, what's next? Harry asked himself sarcastically as he mentally started to tick off the seconds to freedom. With a pang Harry realized just how many seconds there were in an hour…a lot… and he had a few of them to wait.

Then he was suddenly sealed up and placed into a bag.

Ohhhh… shit!

I thought number three said there hadn't been any complications... how in the name of hell am I supposed to breath?

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#In heaven, Universal office for ethereal problematic issues…once more.

"Oh…it's you!…," said the same bored clerk as before, as James rushed into the room for the second time that week.

"What did he do this time…NO!...wait!…I don't want to know…you know the way…up the stairs to the 16340th floor then along the corridor to the 18903rd door on the left ….NEXT!"

With out another word James rushed off, down the corridor and up the stairs.

Quite a few beings sighed in relief as he left the room. None had forgotten the last time he had been there.

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#Back down in...well you know where…

Harry was already feeling himself suffocate in his little airproof bag and wondered how in the name of merciful hell he was ever going to get out of this mess.

After all, he had got out. Harry number three had been proof of that…right?

He couldn't have turned up at the shack if he was dead…right?

So...something had to happen…before his air ran out…RIGHT?

At least he hoped so.

It's said the body acts in strange and mysterious ways and makes you think stupid things when it's close to death. The experience was fairly similar with Harry.

Knowing that he wasn't going to be able to change back from within the bag, not safely at least, and not without being seen, (He was, after all, stuck in a bag which was much smaller than himself, and which was being held by an Auror) Harry was just about to start laughing stupidly, his brain overreacting deliriously due to the lack of air, thinking about what would happen if he were to some how pop out of the Auror's pocket, when he was suddenly able to breathe again…only he didn't notice it…yet.

In his small cup-like body, within a few split seconds, a small change had occurred which now enabled him to be able to breath in a place without breathable air…a vacuum as it were.

Now, any normal person, would agree that that surely isn't possible… How can anything survive without breathing?

'Normal,' being the key word, Harry as such was never going to be normal, how could he, being a cup of all things and an apprentice to the devil to name just two.

Something changed in Harry's body that day. At that brief moment of panic his lungs changed and grew into something different…something more…unique.

A miracle….indeed, but what would you expect from a fool like him.

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The first signs Harry noticed that he wasn't dieing came quite suddenly.

One moment he was cursing and nearly panicking, then, he was panicking as his lungs started to burn due to the lack of incoming oxygen.

The next moment he tried to take a small breath… which he thought would be his last, and which it should have been had he been anybody else, he found that it came easily…too easily, for a place with little or no air.

It took a moment for his panicking brain to process the thought, but finally it did.

Harry had seen, and felt, some strange things in his brief eventful life, but growing a pair of unique lungs had so far not been one of them, until now.

As it is common for people in his position, first comes a moment of stunned surprise.

This period is then followed by a moment of disbelief, disbelief, which is then soon followed by the brief period when the mind tries to make sense of the situation.

Known as 'the voice of reason'…this moment, which when overwhelmed is followed once again by another moment of disbelief … and the circle continuous until finally…

...the brain is so overwhelmed, that one of two things finally happens:

It either stops functioning completely… which is…quite bad to say the least… or it simply accepts what it can or can not understand….which is usually better (since you can't change it anyway).

This is the moment the person develops the strong desire to make the best of it.

That's directly what Harry felt like when his brain finally realized, that yes, he wasn't going to die, not yet at least, that yes, he had survived again, miraculously…and over all, that YES, he had a different pair of lungs than before …since you would surely feel and not possibly miss such a change.

A miracle…

…Strange!…

…but useful…

…very useful…

… how wonderful indeed!...

Now he would even be able to breathe under water…something he had not been able to do before. Or in a vacuum…

…oh how he was beginning to love being a freak.

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The remaining time went by slowly.

Too slowly.

Aurors continued to come and go.

He was even graced with a few interesting and highly amusing minutes of a fairly heated row between three Aurors and a furious looking Mrs. Black. At least from his point of view, the Aurors didn't think so, and neither did Mrs. Black.

Now THAT was fun to watch.

Finally the moment he had been waiting for arrived.

The same Auror he had Imperio'd, what felt like, oh so many hours ago, finally took him, and with a wave and comment of good bye they left the pub.

The Auror only just made it out the door before he froze.

The next Harry knew he was in the possession of number one and being brought to safety.

With the familiar pop Harry found himself once again inside the shack.

As soon as number one placed him on the ground Harry happily changed into his former self.

He felt very weak and the change came slowly and difficultly.

The change into the fly and cup had taken a lot out of him and for a second he felt like he was about to collapse to the ground.

The feeling quickly passed however, as his magic started to return to him.

Harry knew it would take at least three to five minutes, maybe even longer before he would be able to use normal magic again. It was the only side effect of being a shape shifter.

"Hey there, number two, glad you could make it," came the voice of his former self.

Too tired to speak, but knowing that he had to make an effort nonetheless, and since he had already said it anyway, Harry gave a quick grunt in reply then said, "I'd ask you what took you so bloody long but I already know, so don't bother answering."

Just like in the original time line this statement made the first Harry laugh.

"Damn…that was far too close for comfort," both said simultaneously, before both started laughing again.

The situation was just too weird not to be funny.

Just as before, third Harry took that moment to Apparate into the building.

"Ah, good, number three's here. Since Bellatrix is dead that means everything worked out fine…right?" first Harry asked third Harry, just like before.

Harry watched as third Harry simply gave his nod and allowed himself to smile.

That was it…they had succeeded…now he had only one part left to do, the easiest part, and then he could go home.

"Well, gotta go," said first Harry as he took the Time Turner out of his pocket.

Harry waved good-bye and watched first Harry leave. With a small flash he was gone.

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Turning to face third Harry, Harry gave his final self a long look, then satisfied with what he saw he nodded.

With a small shake of his head, hopeful that there would be no further problems, he grabbed the bottle of poison which he was about to use from a nearby table and with a few twists of the his Time Turner, Harry was gone once more.

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The last part of the mission turned out to be fairly easy.

At the right moment, just when Bellatrix and Moody left, Harry, back under his Invisibility Spell, walked into the pub for the final time.

Having successfully recovered from the effects of his shape shifting, Harry was now able to perform magic again and it was a fairly easy task for him to walk up to the table and pour the poison into what he knew was Harry number two.

Happy that the poison was in place Harry touched and took the cup which had recently been Bellatrix's real cup.

The moment he touched the cup it disappeared as the effects of the Invisibility Spell surrounded it.

That done, Harry simply turned around and left the pub, all the time careful to never bump into anybody on the way out.

There, that's it…now all I have to do is give this cup to the Auror who had me and relieve my double from the clutches of the media…simple…and then I can go home…mission accomplished.

That's just what he did.

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Harry waited for the shuffle and bustle of the murder to pass by. The moment he saw the Auror who had the cup come out of the pub, he followed him. He watched as Harry number one Imperio'd him…then just as the Auror was about to walk away after giving first Harry the cup, he slipped his cup into the Auror's bag.

That finished, Harry walked away. The murder had been completed successfully.

A short while later, after having finished his final encounter with Harry's two and three, Harry successfully rescued 'illusion Harry' from the media.

Or rather he simply canceled his illusion making it disappear as if he had Apparated away.

No hassle, no worry. The reporters, seeing that their juicy piece of news had vanished, soon also left when it became clear that he was gone.

That completed, Harry, having realized that all of the students had also already gone, left to go back to the castle.

Mission accomplished… this time for real…and he even had the perfect media alibi. The perfect crime so to speak.

Bellatrix Black was finally dead.

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#High in the heavens

"I thought this would never end," said James, exhausted, as he sat warily in a nearby armchair, still fairly hot and dabbing at his sweaty brow, having only just completed his trip back from the problems office.

"Remind me to pay him back for this when his time comes...ok?" James added as he let his hand fall limply to his side.

He was absolutely exhausted.

Sirius watched him with amusement in his eyes, he had something to say to that, but chose not to comment.

He could only guess what it must have been like for James to ascend all of those thousands of steps.

He did feel like asking James why he hadn't thought of using the escalator, but wisely chose not to. Now was definitely not the time.

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#Interlude,

Meanwhile, twenty or so years in the future, approx five months after the trio's death.

Ginny Weasley was a very, very unhappy girl.

Only recently, she had lost eight very important people in her life. Eight people, all in a relatively short amount of time.

Four of them had been brothers, her brothers in fact. Now she only had two left and one of them, Percy, was a traitor.

Four of the others to die had been her friends from school. Two of them her best friends, … all were now dead.

It all happened so swiftly.

In a matter of weeks her number of friends and family had drastically decreased.

All because they all had one single thing in common:

They were all actively against a self styled Dark Lord with the name of Voldemort.

'Flight from death'.

The name suited him perfectly. Even Harry who was named the Boy-Who-Lived couldn't say that.

Not anymore.

After all 'he' was now dead.

That man had cheated death more times than anyone else.

Sadly, the same couldn't be said for her family.

They, at least those who were now left - and that number had been decreasing each week - had already lost all hope, or so it seemed, as everyday word came of another death.

Somehow, even hidden under a Fidelius Charm, they knew it was only a matter of time until they were next.

After all, a person could only run from death for so long until it finally claimed them.

In retrospect Ginny guessed the old saying really made sense.

You could run… perhaps, but you could never hide.

At least not for long, and never from death.

It had all started that faithless first day back from school.

Ginny had only just arrived home from the Hogwarts Express and had been busy, in the process of unpacking her school chest, when the unthinkable had happened.

Five devastating words had changed her life for good: The golden trio had died.

Voldemort had done it again and it seemed this time for good.

It may have taken an hour or two for the dreadful news to reach her - ten owls from ten different newspapers - but in the end it had completely devastated her.

Nobody had been able to tell her directly what had happened, nobody seemed to know what had happened, but in the end, it had soon been all too clear… 'dead-fully' clear: Ron, her brother, Hermione her best female friend, and, a person who had incidentally not only saved her life once, but who she had been secretly planning to spend the rest of her life with, together, as future husband and wife, Harry, had all been brutally killed.

At first she didn't believe it… she couldn't believe it… she didn't want to believe it, hoping that it was all a lie and that Harry, Ron and Hermione would soon appear happy and very much alive. But when after a while, none of them came back home and no news of their survival reached her, she knew it had to be true.

She only had to take one look at her parents' and remaining brothers' faces to know it had been true.

It had been a solemn week. When she finally realized and had accepted that it had really happened - that they were really gone - , she had been inconsolable…utterly devastated.

That night…and the following nights, she cried herself to sleep.

Ever since, she had locked herself away into her room and would only come out for meals, and only then when her parents came up to get her which in itself was fairly seldom as food became quite rare.

Her remaining brothers hadn't known what to do.

Sure, at first they had tried to talk to her, to comfort her in any way, but Ginny just didn't feel like talking to anybody.

Not then, not ever.

Bill had come home the moment Gringotts had closed. That had been the moment the Ministry fell, sending the wizarding world into complete chaos.

Fudge, that traitorous idiot, had been the first to turn to the Dark side the moment it became clear that all was lost. It seemed he had only been waiting for Harry to die so that he could safely join the Dark side.

Ironic it seemed, having denied all claims of Voldemort's return before that. As such the Ministry and all of those still willingly attached, were now working for the Dark Lord.

A Dark Lord who had returned again only three weeks after his second death…if anybody could call it that.

That man just didn't die.

Those that didn't, or rather those who weren't fast enough to escape in time had been captured and fed to the dementors.

As if that hadn't been bad enough, it got worse, much worse.

A month later, after the Privet Drive massacre, it had been the twins' turn.

A raid on Diagon Alley saw their shop completely destroyed. Burnt to the ground.

Annihilated!

There had been nothing left of it, not even dust when they had been finished with it.

They never made it out alive.

In the end, there were simply no brothers left to comfort her.

From her once, six brothers, seven if she included Harry, only Bill and Charlie had been left at that time and those had received explicit orders to stay away, to go abroad and hide….

…or join the resistance forces, either the decimated and decreasing 'Order of the Phoenix,' (the adults) or the now slightly more organized and unofficially militarized DA (the students) who were lead by Neville and then the Creevey brothers after his death.

Percy, the traitor, had been one of the first to kiss the Dark Lord's robes the moment Fudge had joined his cause.

Indeed very few did choose to run and hide, Bill included…only Charlie chose to stay away, the rest of the wizarding world simply lived in denial.

Idiots, the lot of them.

Not that it did him a lot of good.

A few days later, it somehow came as no surprise for the remaining Weasleys, when word came that Charlie had also been murdered while working at the Dragon reserve.

It seemed Voldemort had issued a high bounty on anybody with any ties to the former Order of the Phoenix, or the DA.

The Order had already been nearly annihilated in the first week, mostly by bounty hunters and other crazed individuals. Only a few of the attackers had actually been Death Eaters.

Finally, even more recently, two more of her last remaining close friends had also been killed, but at that stage Ginny hadn't cared anymore.

Both Luna and Neville died soon after the Diagon incident by the hands of a mercenary group, who were looking for that extra bit of cash, when Neville had been visiting Luna at her house.

They had recently become a couple and they never really had a chance, or so she had been told.

Ginnys only condolence in that regard was that they hadn't gone easily and managed to take out two-thirds of the whole squad with them, before they were finally subdued.

There had just been too many.

Money was so hard to get ever since Gringotts closed up. People were willing to do almost everything to get their hands on some.

Not that Ginny had really cared anymore at that stage, the results were all the same.

To keep her last remaining sanity, Ginny had to constantly remind herself that at least Bill was left, but Ginny knew that could change at any moment.

He and her father were constantly away, bunkered up in meetings at the castle, (Grimmauld Place had gone to Bellatrix the moment Harry died) or on missions for the nearly diminished Order.

On the rare occasions when he actually did come home he was either too injured or too tired to speak anyway.

Arthur and Molly only seemed to be waiting for him or one of them to die next and both had long since lost any trace of a smile.

Molly always stayed at home to look after Ginny…when she could… and an otherwise empty house.

Only Mad-Eye, a few desperate Aurors, and a few other willing lost souls, fought on against what now seemed like an unstoppable force. Which indeed it now was.

No…Ginny Weasley really was not a happy girl at all, as she sat alone in her room.

Her tears had long stopped falling, exhausted in that first week of Hell. Because that was what it was. There really wasn't another name for it.

Slowly she put aside another letter from the DA, begging her to lead or at least join the group and took another look at the family photo album - this one and only link of a once wonderful past, to the family she had once had, a better life, now never to be - which lay on her bed.

She sighed as she once again looked at her now dead brothers.

All of a sudden she heard a loud bang, then suddenly, the whole house started to shake, then crumble around her.

With a sinking feeling, Ginny realized that they had somehow been compromised.

Somehow the Fidelius had failed.

With an almost inaudible sigh of defeat and also a little relief that it was all going to be over soon, Ginny closed her eyes as she started to fall with the rest of the house.

Opening her arms, she greeted death to claim her. A second later she released a sharp scream as she felt a sharp pain as her legs broke, then another as her breast was impaled by a wooden beam …then all went dark.

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#Meanwhile, back in the past, Harry has his own little problems.

Harry returned to the castle only to find two particular people waiting for him.

None of whom he really wanted to see, and definitely never together.

"Ah Mr. Granger, how nice of you to return to us…I presume you had a nice time?" said Hogwarts' new educational overlord, otherwise known as Mad Dog Maddox, the moment he saw Harry walk through the castle doors.

Thornton, who was still a Hogwarts professor, even after the recent potions incedent, was standing by his side with what could only be called an eager, vicious, victorious looking grin on her face.

Due to a mere technicality during her trial, namely a signature and bribe from a certain Malfoy, she had not been fired, much to Harry's, and that of must of the schools student bodies everlasting ire.

"Sir?" Harry replied, grimacing slightly as he saw who it was. This could only mean one thing, one word: …

Trouble.

"Care to explain why you were still out after we had explicitly told everybody to return to the castle the moment there was even a sign of any problems," Thornton asked with a smirk.

Oh… Harry thought…no wonder why there were no other students around…must have missed that.

He didn't know that everybody…no exceptions… was supposed to return to the castle in the event of any trouble happening during the visit to Hogsmeade, no matter how little.

The murder in Hogsmeade would of course have classified as one.

"Did you think the rules didn't apply to you? Mr. Granger?" Thornton added sweetly.

"Er.."

"Did you think you were special?"

"Er…em..."

"Now, now…Adi…I'm sure young Mr. Granger has a very valid excuse why he was still out there…," Maddox said with a sickly sweet smile.

"…If not…well…then he can just as well start packing."

"You do have one… right?" Maddox asked Harry, as he pierced him with his eyes, daring him to say otherwise.

"Er..," was all Harry managed to say.

What could possibly help him get out of this mess?

For a second Harry froze dismayed at a loss, as Thornton's smile grew wider and wider, while Maddox's smile turned into a frown, then…

"Ah whatever… who cares!…," Harry said out loud and pointed his hand at the two professors and gave his finger a small twitch.

Taken completely by surprise, the two professors only had time for their eyes to widen and neither had a chance to fully realize what was happening before:

"Obliviate!"

"Mr. Granger? What are you doing out here…you're supposed to be in the dorms…detenti…"

"Obliviate!"

"GRANGER! What are you…"

"STUPEFYObliviate"!

"Now shut up," Harry snarled furiously before he walked away, leaving two unconscious, Obliviated professors behind to wake up hours later with a few altered memories.

He really had no time for this crap.

He never noticed two wide-eyed Gryffindors watching the show from behind a nearby statue.

Both had seen him knock out the Dog and the Thorn with wandless magic…and at a very high level at that.

Completely shocked with what they had witnessed, they quickly sneaked away to tell their mates what they had seen.

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#Next Morning, Breakfast

The next morning a lot of students from all years and from all four houses looked at Harry as if he were a god.

Harry could practically feel the awe which was surrounding him from all sides of the hall… only problem was, he didn't know why.

Sure, he was used to a certain amount of people looking at him as if he was a world wonder, which he probably was…being an unofficial founder, Quidditch star, captain and otherwise very powerful person, not to mention practically a half god sent to earth to do Heaven and Hell's bidding.

It came with the territory…but this…surely this was overdoing it.

"What?" he asked a staring fellow Dragon somewhat loudly.

Said Dragon, blushed and quickly looked away.

What the blooming hell is going on here, Harry wondered just as he spotted James and Sirius arguing from across the hall. It seemed to be a fairly heated discussion.

I wonder what's wrong with them? he asked himself as Sirius walked away from James and started to head towards him instead.

Talking about James…did he succeed with…

OH...BLOODY HELL! Harry nearly screamed as he saw Lily walk up to James and nearly smack his head off, before turning and practically running away.

I guess not.

James roared out in rage, tried to fire a spell at her, but missed.

"JAMES POTTER! LILY EVANS!" McGonagall screamed from the head table as she saw what happened.

Harry simply sighed and covering his face with his hands he groaned loudly.

Loudly enough for the whole hall to hear it.

"WHAT?" James roared before he could stop himself…he was red-faced and practically roasting with anger.

The whole hall gasped. It was a dumbfounded, disbelieving gasp.

McGonagall stood at the head table with her mouth open before she could comprehend what had just happened.

James on the other hand became ghostly white as he realized what he had just done.

From the hall door where Lily who had stopped after hearing McGonagall's scream could be seen watching with an equally horrified expression on her face.

It took a few seconds before McGonagall was able to speak again, but speak she did...or rather shout, at least a bit.

"RIGHT…both of you… come here?" she said dangerously.

The whole hall, Harry included, held their breath as James slowly complied.

Lily, now also fairly white-faced, followed shortly.

"Out...off to the Headmaster's office..." McGonagall said furiously.

The hall gasped again and Harry froze in horror. James became even whiter and Lily started to tremble.

McGonagall seemed to realize what she had just said and what its impending outcome would have meant for the two students and so quickly changed her mind…

"No…wait…my office instead," she said, altering her command. She clearly didn't want them expelled after all…not for something relatively small and stupid like that.

That would have been directly what would have happened had James and Lily gone to Maddox.

Harry could visibly see the expressions of gratitude and relief in his future parents faces as they left the hall, but even so they didn't look much happier at that. It was clear both knew they were in real deep trouble.

The moment McGonagall left the hall with James and Lily following her closely, several people started to whisper amongst themselves, obviously to discuss what had just happened, others simply resumed their previous whispered conversations about Harry and what had happened the night before.

Harry couldn't hear them, and as such didn't know what was happening.

Harry noticed Sirius take a seat beside him. He was shaking his head and mumbling to himself.

"I told him to leave her alone…I told him," he said to no one in particular.

"What happened," Harry asked him.

Sirius looked at Harry and gave him a small weak smile.

"James messed up…big time….and I heard you messed up too."

"I somehow caught that…what happened?" Harry asked annoyed. He should have known James would botch it all up with Lily. Well he had guessed it…but that's beside the point. How was he ever going to get them together now?

"And what do you mean by I messed up?" he asked a second later after realizing the second part of what Sirius had said.

"Well…" said Sirius solemnly.

"…It all started the moment…"

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#Later that evening, Dragon Dormitories,

Harry was furious. Scratch that…he was more than furious…he was boiling raving mad.

What was he thinking, he asked himself again, thinking of both James's and a little bit about his own actions the day before.

Taking a moment to zone out of Thornton's impromptu speech, Harry glared at his future father, a future title which was becoming more and more doubtful with each passing minute.

From where he stood at the other side of the room Harry was questioning himself how his parents ever managed to get together in the other past.

Sirius had told him at breakfast that James had totally messed up his free afternoon with Lily.

Lily had not been impressed with him… at all.

According to Sirius, the moment he, Harry, had left to talk to the gaggle of reporters, James had started to suck up to Lily as if there were no tomorrow.

That by itself wouldn't have been so bad, if done right, that is if Lily had not expressly ordered him to leave her alone...or else…

Already in a bad mood before, due to a certain boyfriend with media problems, she had vented her anger, with, what according to Sirius, could only be expressed in no uncertain terms as 'extreme un-lady like and excessively vulgar language'.

She expressly told James to 'stuff himself', to 'go away' and that she would never go out with an arrogant… prick… like himself.

Sirius emphasized that the words she had used had however been no where near as nice, but refused to say them for fear of having to wash out his mouth afterwards.

Needless to say James's already over inflated ego took quiet a bruising. So much so that he finally snapped.

The outcome? Harry would never have thought it possible…

Things went swiftly from bad to worse…and now even, due to the hall incident, from worse to devastating.

According to Sirius, when Lily refused to go out with James, again, James lost it.

He completely lost it.

Harry knew that James had been going through a very bad time lately, with him being constantly jealous in a way which made Ron, back in his own time, look like a debutant beginner.

In James's mind Harry had been going out with what he considered to be 'his rightful girl', and only his girl.

Nobody else's.

But to actually go as far as to call her a 'Mudblood' to her face, something which he had sworn never to do, ever…to anybody…

…and to hit her after she had slapped him for it.

That had even been for Harry a great surprise.

Lily of course had been very distraught and holding her bruised cheek, she had run away without another word.

As if that hadn't been bad enough, James had then decided to play a…rather vicious prank on her.

That same evening after curfew, James, in his complete frustration and utter stupidity, completely vanished her clothes in front of the others. Luckily for James, it happened when both were in the common room and not in the Great Hall.

For some reason, probably due to embarrassment, Harry guessed, Lily didn't complain to a professor about it, choosing instead to act as if it had never happened, though James did get hexed pretty badly by the other girls in the dorm.

Instead, all she did in her horror and embarrassment was to rush up the dorms and not to come down again until breakfast the next day…the outcome of which…well… he had seen what had happened at breakfast, hadn't he.

Harry never thought it would ever get so bad.

Lily now expected 'him', as her boyfriend, - Lily had quickly forgiven him for being sidetracked by the reporters - to pay James back for what he had done to her.

HE… he, Harry James Potter, son of James Potter, the same accused, had to pay his father back for what had happened.

Harry felt like banging his head off a wall.

Luckily for all parties involved, McGonagall got to James, and in connection Lily, first.

Harry later heard that James and Lily spent the next few hours after classes that day scrubbing the 3rd and 4th floor corridors toilets, by hand, without magic, under the strict supervision of Filch, and would have to do so for the next few weeks after classes for an undisclosed amount of time.

Harry only hoped this new closeness, which the two now served, would somehow bring them together, though at this stage Harry was beginning to doubt it.

Still, he could always hope… couldn't he?

If not he would have to think about using more drastic measurements.

An Obliviate or two after the end of the year might handle it.

It simply wasn't possible to do so during the school year. People would notice something was off.

Harry couldn't Obliviate the whole school…well, he could try, but the risk of missing somebody or people finding out would be too great…and that would become messy.

Too messy.

No, he'd have to wait until after school and when they were alone.

Another development from the Breakfast showdown was that James also lost his Head Boy badge.

Now that was a blow for him.

Lily was allowed to keep her badge, for now, but was nevertheless put up for a review.

According to the school staff, anybody who simply rushed out to hit or slap, any body, even if deserving, had some issues they needed to resolve first which would surely take precedence over their Head duties.

Her fate as a Prefect and Head Girl would be decided at the next board meeting which would take place in two weeks.

All in all it had been a disastrous day for the future Potters, Harry included.

The new Head Boy would also be decided at the upcoming meeting. For now the senior prefects from each house would take over the Head Boy's tasks for their respective houses.

Lily still had her badge and duties.

To top everything up, Mad Dog Maddox also found out about it too.

Luckily though, which surprised Harry, he didn't expel them.

Just as well, by not doing so he saved Harry from doing something really drastic to get them back.

He did, however, order them to stay away from each others while they were not serving time in detention, not to mention send a letter home to each of their parents.

The Howler which came that evening for James was quite an earful.

Lily didn't receive one, but whether that was because her parents were Muggles and therefore didn't know how to make a Howler, Harry didn't know.

She would probably get hers at the end of the year… though in a different sort of way.

Finally, what had totally made Harry's day… to top the whole crowning achievement up, Harry found out that somebody had seen his little escapade with the Dog and Thorn that last night.

Obviously it didn't take long before the whole school found out about it, professors included.

Luckily though, for Harry, the professors thought of it to be a rumor, and nothing more but a rumor, not that they really minded anyway, as most hated Maddox just as much as the students, and so nothing else was done about it…

Well nearly nothing.

As a result, purely as a precaution of course, according to Maddox, the Dragons had received a head of house.

Thornton.

Thornton was the new, first, official Dragon Head of House.

It couldn't have been any worse.

That was why Thornton, of all people was now giving her first impromptu speech in the dormitories, telling the Dragons that she would not take any 'crap' from them, or from anybody, and that she would send anybody straight to Maddox if they did.

Harry's life was about to become a personal hell.

Scratch that...it was already a personal hell.

How could things get any worse.

Harry had had just about had enough!

Any more, he vowed and he wouldn't care anymore.

Any more and he would not, could not accept this new development.

Any more and he was going to take everything into his own hands.

The future be damned.

As far as he was concerned he had already changed to a lot of it anyway. What difference would one more person do?

One thing was clear:

If Thornton didn't behave herself, then the Thorn in his side would be next!

Little did Harry realise that that moment would come soon.

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#A few days later

The big day had arrived.

The Dragons were about to play in their first Quidditch match of the year and it was going to be against none other than the house of the great thinkers, Ravenclaw.

Harry wasn't too worried.

Through out all of Hogwarts many years of existence, Ravenclaw house had never been much of a contender for the Quidditch cup, preferring always to do better at school work than at the school game.

Never the less, once in a blue moon, the Claws were known to get a few great players amongst their strategic thinkers, like in seven memorable years during the 1700's, when they took the cup seven times in a row before their star player 'the great thinker' Jason Scott McNimbus graduated from the school.

The same Jason who later founded the famous Nimbus company which recently created the Nimbus 200 racing broom and would in his time create the Nimbus 2000 and 2001.

This year's crowd was not looking like much though, so Harry wasn't worried…much.

Not that he really had any reason to be worried. Thinking about this year's Nimbus, the fastest broom of this era, Harry had to laugh.

My, was he going to show them what a real broom looked like.

It would be a great way to start off the first Dragon team in existence in their maiden Quidditch match.

Not only the Quidditch team but also what Harry was sure would soon become the one and only, unbeatable, legendary, 'fastest broom in the world,' The DragonFlash.

After thinking about it for a few days Harry had decided to rename his creation from DragonBolt to the DragonFlash. He just thought the word bolt didn't seem right…it just seemed too similar to his old Firebolt.

All he and the Dragons needed now was a team mascot, but Harry somehow doubted that he or the team would be allowed his idea of a team mascot…a dragon.

Any other animal just didn't seem worthy enough…unless it was a Gryffin perhaps, but Harry had no idea where to find one on such short notice. It wasn't important anyway.

Harry was looking forward to riding his new broom so much that he never noticed a certain head of house waiting for him in the corridors while on his way to meet his team in the Quidditch changing rooms.

Ever since she became the Dragons head of house, Thornton had been looking for any reason to give Harry a detention or any other sort of sanction.

She would have docked points too, presumably, for simply looking at her in the corridor if she could have, but as the Dragon house was not official it still had no points to take away from.

So Thornton had to make do with other forms of punishments to deal with her most hated student, no matter how unfair it may be, and that was the only reason why she was waiting for him now.

The moment Harry came into view she walked over to him.

"Mr. Granger, what is that you're holding in your hand?" she asked immediately the moment she was close enough to be heard by him, even though she knew perfectly well what it was.

Taken slightly by surprise by the stupid question, Harry turned to face her.

"It's my new broom, Ma'am" Harry answered. He was trying to keep his voice polite and well mannered but somehow failed miserably once he saw who it was.

"I can see that, boy," Thornton answered scornfully, a phrase which made Harry scowl angrily as it reminded him of what Uncle Vernon would say.

"Give it to me. Now!"

Not happy about it but seeing no way put it off, short of Obliviating her, Harry handed over the precious broom.

He would have risked it had the corridors been empty, but with students walking past on their way to see the match it just wasn't possible.

Without even really looking at it Thornton took it and smiled.

It was a sickening smile.

Seeing it, Harry got even angrier.

"I have been hearing rumours that it may have been cursed or a spell may have been put on it, therefore I can not allow you to use it in today's match. You can have it back in a few days once I've had a chance to test it… besides I'm sure you have added a few illegal spells on it anyway," was all she said before she turned around and walked off, leaving Harry without his broom.

Harry was so stunned with disbelief at what he was hearing and what had happened, that he didn't even think about arguing as Thornton simply walked away with his broom in her hands.

He was so shocked that he just stood, rooted to the spot for a few minutes before snapping himself out of his stupor.

With his mouth wide open Harry slowly turned around and continued his walk to the changing rooms.

He didn't know how to act. But seriously what did he expect?

One moment he held the world's best broom in his hands, ready to ride it into the battle of Quidditch, the next it was simply taken away from him.

Just like that.

And the worst thing of all was that Thornton was even fully in her right to take it.

That is, if it really had been jinxed, which it hadn't been, but try explaining that to somebody.

Besides, by the time he did that the game would already be over.

Stunned, Harry realized that Thornton simply didn't care if they won or lost the match, all she cared about was making his life a misery.

And she had the nerve to call him juvenile during classes…

Harry never really noticed when he entered the team's changing rooms and had to be physically stopped and shaken by Sirius who had been waiting for him when he tried to walk through the next door which led to the pitch and that without a broom.

It was only then that the circumstances finally caught up with him and he went from a shocked cold stupor to a red lava hot temper tantrum.

For the next few minutes Harry cursed Thornton in over sixty languages, including Troll, which sounded rather rough and ugly and Mermish, which had kind of a squeaky ring to it.

It took a while before his frightened teammates could quiet him down enough to stop him from destroying the building. Even so the whole room shook from his anger.

Finally one minute before the game was supposed to start, Harry angrily grabbed his spare Nimbus 200 from his locker and stormed onto the pitch.

Even without his broom the match went fairly well.

The Dragons won, without any 'real' problems and the end score was 310 to 120.

An acceptable score at any standards, especially for a completely new team, but the damage had been done.

So enraged by Thornton's actions was he, that Harry found it really difficult to concentrate during the game.

His heart simply wasn't in it.

Instead, at least until he flew right into an opposing Chaser, while not looking where he was flying, which caused a five minute timeout while both players recovered from the crash, Harry had only one topic on his mind.

Thornton had to go.

After that he quickly caught the Snitch, ending the game.

He never stopped to celebrate and without another word he stormed of the pitch.

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#Things just got serious

That same evening saw Harry dodging Aurors in the corridors.

They had been told to keep an eye on him. However, none of them knew about his powers and so it was easy to, once again, avoid them and leave them none the wiser.

Slowly, he made his way to his heavily used meeting/planning room and base of operations, otherwise known as the fabled Room Of Requirement.

During the past few weeks, the 'room of relief,' as he had now dubbed it had quickly become Harry's Headquarters inside Hogwarts.

Indeed all he ever really did in there was moan about what was happening in his life and plan what he would do about this or that person if he could.

Anything to get things off his chest.

Ever since the disbanding of the Marauders, Harry had recreated a Fidelius Charm over the Room of Requirement, to insure complete privacy from any innocent ears.

Now even the former Marauders didn't know where it was anymore.

Entering the room Harry, still in a rage about the outcome of an otherwise excellent Quidditch match, immediately ordered the room's lights to turn on to their usual military reddish glow, showing that they were on high alert.

After summoning his favorite type of military chair over to him he practically threw himself into it and swiveled around so he could face his advisory council.

Pry as usual, slithered to attention the moment Harry turned to face them. She knew what was about to happen. One look at his enraged face told her all she needed to know.

It was about the only thing which ever happened anymore whenever Harry entered the R.O.R anyway, these days, besides the moaning, which Pry happily joined into too.

Being the most eager one of the group, she was wondering expectantly who the next person to die would be.

Icey blinked at Harry for a second then put her head back under her wing. She didn't really care what Harry had in mind and thought it more interesting to go back to sleep instead.

Ever since the Hogsmeade incident, she had given up on being his good conscience…

What for, it wouldn't work anyway.

At this stage she was only counting her days and waiting for Harry to finish up his missions, if he hadn't improved by then, she would be gone.

Portrait Harry seemed to wake up from a slumber the moment Harry entered the R.O.R.

He, like the other, living Harry, had the same goal – having been created that way- and would do whatever it took to help Harry in his battles for what he hoped would soon become a better world.

"Right ladies… and portrait, I guess, it's time to decide what happens next," Harry announced after a few casual seconds of observing his advisors.

A line which was becoming a rather common topic in the room.

"We have three main topics to discuss tonight, one, getting my damned parents together.

"Two, disposing of that bitch called Thornton.

"And three eliminating the Mad Dog named Maddox…

…I WANT DUMBY BACK!"

"Now… bringing my stupid parents together, has the highest priority, however, even I don't think we will have much success it doing so while the Dog and the Thorn are in town.

"Therefore, until that happy moment can be reached, they are what we will focus on first.

"First topic:…THORNTON," he screamed out furiously making everybody jump.

"How do we get rid of Thornton?

"I want my house back and I want it now….

"…But overall I want revenge…

"…As an old Muggle saying goes, revenge is a dish best served cold…well I want to go one step further…

"I want it freezing.

"THE THORN HAS TO GO!

"Now…"

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#Corridor 6th floor.

A small flash of light was all Maddox noticed that evening as he walked back from visiting his new Dragon head of house.

With an altered memory he looked around before shrugging.

Not noticing a small shadow, creeping away quietly, he halted for a second, then turned around.

Slowly he headed back the way he came.

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#Thornton's suite, near the Dragon dorms, five minutes later.

"Oh… did you forget something?..,"

"Yes, I just had an idea of a dueling club…. I think it would be nice if we…

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#Breakfast…

The moment Maddox stood up the whole school quieted down.

"I have a special announcement to make," he said.

"I believe the murderer of Hogsmeade is amongst us."

Hearing this, the whole hall gasped and a few looked around themselves nervously.

"Yes…yes…I know…but don't worry, you will be protected…" Maddox continued to speak.

"However, even so, mistakes may happen.

"It is almost impossible to protect each and every one of you around the clock, therefore due to the troubles of the last few weeks and the fact that people are in danger of being attacked at any moment I, and the staff have decided to hold special defense and dueling classes for third to seventh years, starting tomorrow until the end of term."

"For the lower years a special curfew, which will be explained afterwards by your heads of house, will be installed to insure your continued safety."

"For third years and above it is my hope that once you have completed the course, you will be able to defend yourselves and others around you and you will therefore be in less of a chance of being surprised by an attack, which will in turn insure less chance of another murder taking place

"Hopefully whoever he or she is will then think twice before attacking again.

"Starting tomorrow, after classes at six until eight, the great hall will be made available for anybody of third year and above who wishes to improve their skills.

"The classes will be taught by professor Thornton…."

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#Unofficial Dragon House meeting, Dragon Dorms, that evening

Harry stood up on a nearby chair after casting a privacy charm around the room, and shot a few sparks into the air to get everybody's attention.

Nearly everybody was arguing about the upcoming dueling club which was going to be taught by none other than the hated professor Thornton.

Everybody seemed very annoyed that she, of all people, had to be teaching it, and therefore, most of them had already decided that they were not going to go, knowing full well that she would be unfair to them and only train the Slytherins anyway.

Even if it would ultimately put their lives in danger.

That, however, was not good enough for Harry.

Noticing that their official leader, –Thornton was the unofficial leader in the Dragons' eyes- wanted to say something, everybody quickly quieted down to listen.

Their respect and admiration towards Harry had only increased in the last few days, following the rumour of what he had done to Maddox and Thornton.

While the staff chose not to believe them, the students however did.

A fact which Harry was going to use to his advantage.

"Thank you," Harry said as soon as he had everybody's attention.

"By now I believe everybody knows that it is the Thorn of Hogwarts who is going to be teaching the Dueling clubs."

Everybody nodded solemnly. It was pretty clear nobody seemed happy about that fact.

"May I also assume that none of you are in any way happy about it?" Harry asked.

Again nods and a few yes answers came to confirm what Harry already knew.

"Will any of you attend these classes?" he asked.

Very few people nodded, most didn't .

"Presuming for a second Thornton were not to teach the class, would you go?"

Everybody seemed to nod their heads.

Harry smiled. That was just what he had hoped for.

"In that case I propose to create our own defense group. A group which will be better than hers, a group which will humiliate hers, a group which will show her just what Hogwarts is all about!"

Harry was greeted with a loud applause and with numerous cries of yes.

"It won't be easy, I'll tell you that now, but we can succeed…ARE YOU WITH ME?" he cried.

Roars of approval met his ears.

Harry smiled.

"In that case…everyone …please read this piece of paper," he said handing a small piece of paper to Sirius. "I'll see you there tomorrow evening…seven o'clock.

Sirius looked at it.

"The Dragons training room, otherwise known as the Room of Requirement is situated on the 7th floor opposite the statue…"

Having read what was written on the paper Sirius smiled.

It was going to become a good week.