Chapter 1

Summary: Sequel to "What If?"; After the Battle Of Hogwarts, Ron, Hermione, Harry, Ginny and the rest of the wizarding world tries to move on with their lives. However, after an attempted kidnapping at Hogwarts goes awry, one day after the battle, questions arise asking if the Second War is truly over.

Ships: Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, George/Angelina, Neville/Hannah, Seamus/Lavender, others.

Point Of View: Mainly Hermione, Ron, Harry and Ginny... with other minor PoVs to do some supporting roles and small story-lines.

Author's Note: If you have not read and completed the prequel to this: "What If?", please do or you will be confused. This has major spoilers to what happens in "What If?" This story will support the canon information J.K. Rowling has given us, but with a few major changes to support the prequel to this story.

Also, to those of you who read "What If?" while I was updating it know that I updated the story pretty quickly. At the time of posting this chapter, I am still in the early stages of preparing notes and ideas for the story, so I cannot promise I will always be able to update the story as quickly.

(Hermione's PoV)

High noon fell over Hogwarts on the day after the battle that brought down the end of Lord Voldemort and many of his followers.

To many of the survivors of the Battle Of Hogwarts, those involved directly in the victory, the day was known as D-Day-Plus-One. Very few described it as a day of Victory. Even less referred to it as the end of the Second War. Because, while the mood was positive for the most part, this was not the day to celebrate, but to mourn. The massive funeral would take place the following afternoon, and while most of those who died would be buried in the Hogwarts graveyard, others would be brought home for private services, and would be laid to rest in their home-towns and family graveyards.

While most of the survivors were assisting the injured, or preparing the dead for the funeral, a few who were too overwhelmed were sitting in the Great Hall, and most of those people were hoping to help with something that did not remind them of the great battle that had taken place.

While Hermione Granger was one of those sitting in the Great Hall, at one of the long tables usually reserved for students during meal-time and assemblies, she was not there because of high emotions. Many people had been lost during the last few months of the Second War, including her own parents, brutally murdered by the now-slain Bellatrix Lestrange. But Hermione had a reason to be happy, even after all of the loss. She had discovered only hours before that she had a new member of her own family.

Matthew John Granger, now eight months old to the day, had been born to Richard and Helen Granger on October 2nd of the previous year, only weeks before their deaths. Helen's pregnancy had been kept a total secret from Hermione, for her own protection and for the protection of her parents and brother. Unfortunately, Hermione's parents hadn't been given enough protection. On Halloween, they were set to travel to a safe-house with their protector, Elphias Doge, a member of the Order of the Phoenix, when Bellatrix Lestrange had attacked the three of them in Hermione's Oxford home. Bellatrix had no knowledge that another member of the family was in the house, thanks to the last-ditch efforts of magic Doge had put up, shortly before his death, around the small closet where Matthew was hidden by his mother.

Hermione had no knowledge about her new brother until that morning, when Molly Weasley had escorted her to Andromeda Tonks' house, where Matthew had been placed for his own safety. Hermione had quickly decided that she would have to take care of her new brother, but she was not alone. Her boyfriend of less than a year, and fiancee, of now two months, Ron Weasley, had offered to help Hermione out. Hermione quickly accepted and it was decided that Ron would move into Hermione's house as soon as possible.

Hermione, who was always prepared for anything, was currently writing a list of things to do in order to be ready for this unexpected turn of events. Andromeda Tonks had allowed Matthew to remain at her house for a few days, as long as was needed for Hermione and Ron to get everything ready. First, she had decided to allow a bit of a grace period and mourn the loss of those who died in the battle. Especially, she thought sadly, one of Ron's older brothers, Fred. She had to admire Ron's courage for stepping up to such a task after all of this, but she knew it would still take a while for him to recover from the loss of his brother. And she would be there for him, as she had been for so long, and always would be.

One of the other most important things on her list was to locate her parents' Will and the Deed to her Oxford home. She knew exactly where they were. Her father had never been a fan of lawyers, so he had always kept important information locked up at home in a safe which only Richard, Helen and Hermione knew about. It would take some official paperwork to set everything right, but she was sure the house was officially hers.

"Miss Granger," a familiar voice interrupted Hermione from her thoughts, though it was softer than Hermione was used to.

Hermione looked up to see Professor McGonagall standing a few feet away from her.

"Good afternoon, Professor McGonagall," Hermione said, "I hope you are well."

"Healthy as a hippogriff," McGonagall stated, "But emotionally spent."

"I understand," Hermione said, "This day is extremely difficult for all of us."

"Yes," McGonagall said, "May I take a seat?"

Hermione nodded and the Hogwarts Headmistress sat down next to her.

"Only a few minutes ago," she said, "I was told by one Ron Weasley that you recently discovered you have a baby brother."

"Yes," Hermione said, "That is actually what I am working on right now – things to do with him. At the moment, I find it more important than – well – everything else."

"I understand," McGonagall said, "It must have been quite a shock."

"Did you know about his existence?" Hermione asked.

"I was told by Remus and Dora after your parents died," McGonagall said, "Yes."

"Professor, may I ask you a question?" Hermione asked.

"You just did," McGonagall said, a rare smile crossing her lips, "But you may ask another."

"Earlier today when I met my brother," Hermione said, "I was discussing some things with Ron. And he said something about a special book you have – a book of names, I think. For future Hogwarts students?"

"You are wondering if your mother gave birth to another Muggleborn?" McGonagall asked.

"Um... yes," Hermione said.

"No future Hogwarts students were born on October 2nd of this previous year, Miss Granger," McGonagall said, "So unless you have expectations to live somewhere else in eleven years, I will take an educated guess and say that your brother is a Muggle."

"I thought as much," Hermione said, "Though it is still hard to hear."

"May I ask why?" McGonagall asked.

"Well," Hermione said, "Matthew – if he's a Muggle, he's going to be growing up around me and Ron – and, well – any future children we have, as well as wizards and witches in general. It is just -"

"If you wish my opinion, Miss Granger," McGonagall said, "I do not think there is a risk to the Statute of Secrecy if your brother grows up with the knowledge of us. As long as you teach him to keep our ways a secret from other Muggles, especially those whom he will become close with in life... fellow students when he goes to school, for example... I think you'll find that he'll be a most welcome Muggle in the wizarding world... just like your parents were."

Hermione smiled.

"As you probably recall," McGonagall said, "I was the one who informed you and your parents that you were a witch when you were eleven years of age."

"Yes," Hermione said, nodding, remembering the day.

"Well, then," McGonagall said, "I think you should just consider Matthew as you did your parents – a Muggle who has a witch in the family. If I recall, Mr. Potter's own aunt, however horrible she may be, grew up with the knowledge of the wizarding world and she herself is a Muggle."

"Yes," Hermione said, "But she is so much of a bigot -"

McGonagall smiled again. "I've known you for over seven years now, Miss Granger – going back to when I first met you. Because of you, I do not believe young Matthew would ever consider having an ounce of hatred Harry's relatives possess towards our kind."

"No," Hermione said, "I would give him a lecture if he did."

McGonagall chuckled lightly.

"Now I must tend to important matters, Miss Granger," McGonagall said, "I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors – oh! – one last thing when speaking of future endeavors. I don't know if this would qualify as you, but as you may guess, it is not going to be exactly – erm – prudent for your future Seventh Year students to take their NEWTs this term. Therefore, during the next term, in December, I am inviting those NEWT-qualified students back to Hogwarts for a couple weeks before Christmas Break to take their exams. This gives them enough time over the next few months to prepare. I'm not sure how popular the idea would be – and because of your current situation – I can hardly expect you to take them, but I am giving you that invitation if you wish to do so."

"Um – I'll think about it, Professor," Hermione said, "We'll see what happens between now and then. I do wish to complete my education, and if it wasn't for Matthew, I would have been open to return for the full term I missed. But things happen and – even if Ron would take the responsibility of Matthew for that long, I could never do it. But perhaps a couple weeks could work."

"You have time to decide, Miss Granger," McGonagall said, "I will not be sending out the invitations for a few months."

Hermione smiled and nodded. Professor McGonagall bowed slightly and stood up. Hermione watched her walk away, and she grinned when she saw Ron walking through the large oak doors of the Great Hall. She motioned toward him, and his expression brightened at the sight of her. As he walked closer to her, Hermione noticed his eyes were very red, as if he had been crying recently, and he looked rather dusty and dirty. She turned up her nose, owing to the stench surrounding him, when he sat down and kissed her, but she returned the brief kiss and enjoyed it all the same.

"How are you?" Hermione asked, caressing his closest hand with hers, "Are you okay?"

"I will be," Ron said, nodding and Hermione was surprised at such an honest answer, "You?"

"I will be," Hermione said, echoing his response. "I'm sorry I haven't been any help around here. I should be helping your family get through this and I'm -"

Ron put a finger on Hermione's mouth and she stopped and smiled.

"Nobody blames you, Hermione," Ron said. "They completely understand what you are going through."

"But I should be there for you," Hermione said, "For all of you."

"You are, Hermione," Ron said. "But if you feel that bad and wish to mourn Fred like the rest of us, then you should come back to the Burrow for a few hours."

"But we're here helping with the funeral arrangements," Hermione said, "We can't possibly -"

"We're arranging our own private funeral," Ron said, "in the Weasley Family Graveyard. Dad sent Bill and Fleur to the Ministry to get the papers prepared for what is referred to as 'the right to move a body from a battlefield'."

"But your family has every right for Fred to be buried at the Burrow!" Hermione exclaimed.

"You're correct," Ron said, "Dad just wishes to avoid the formalities. Plus it gives Charlie enough time to get here from Romania."

"Have you heard from Charlie?" Hermione asked.

"Dad sent an owl last night to him, and received a reply letter just this morning," Ron said. "It was a pretty emotional letter. Dad said he saw stains on the parchment – teardrops."

"How's George?" Hermione asked.

"Coping," Ron said, "But he has Angelina helping him out. Angelina is really the only one George will speak to right now."

"She is his wife, Ron," Hermione said.

Ron nodded.

"And how is Ginny? And Harry?" Hermione asked.

"Dunno," Ron said, "Haven't seen either of them since we all came back from Mrs. Tonks' house. I think they're trying to help out with everything else. You know how Harry is – he doesn't want people to thank him for ending the Second War."

"Is the Second War over?" Hermione asked, "I know this was an extremely big step, but – well -"

"Death Eaters are still being rounded up," Ron said, "According to Kingsley anyway. Quite a few escaped after You-Know-Who was killed."

"Ron," Hermione said, "You know you can say the name Voldemort now."

Ron opened his mouth to speak, when suddenly a loud POP was heard nearby. Hermione turned around and saw the Snatcher known as Scabior standing there.

"Hello beautiful," Scabior said, looking at Hermione with a grin.

"All around the hall, people screamed as four Snatchers appeared behind Scabior. Hermione tried to grab her wand, but Ron had his first, and he sent a Stunning spell at Scabior. It missed, and Scabior pointed his wand at them.

"Time to take back my prize," Scabior said, "Petrificus – oomph!"

Scabior was hit with a spell that sent him flying toward the ground, Stunned and unconscious. At first, Hermione thought Ron had done it, but the spell had come from the direction of the doorway. Soon, thanks to a barrage of spells, the other four Snatchers were all Stunned on the ground as well. Hermione looked toward the entrance of the Great Hall and found Professor McGonagall, Hagrid, Harry, Ginny, Neville Longbottom and Hannah Abbot standing there, their wands pointed in front of them.

"Are you two okay?" Harry said, as he and Ginny ran forward to Hermione and Ron, "We heard the pops of Apparation! Wh-what happened?"

"I-I said You-Know-Who's name," Hermione said.

"The Taboo is still up?" Harry asked, "Professor McGonagall – I -"

"I heard, Mr. Potter," McGonagall said, "Hagrid, send messages to the other Professors. Tell them to get the enchantments back up... quickly. And send a message around to survivors not to say You-Know-Who's name. Then send a message to the Ministry to get word out everyone there. The name is still Taboo!"

"Yes, ma'am," Hagrid said, and back-tracked out of the office.

"I-I'm sorry," Hermione said, "I didn't know that the Taboo was – oh, Merlin!"

She cupped her face with her hands to hide the tears coming down her cheeks.

"It is not your fault, Hermione," Ron said, putting his arm around Hermione, holding her against him, "You're okay. We're both okay."

"Professor," Harry said, "Can't Kingsley do something about this? The Taboo, I mean? He is the Minister."

"The Taboo is very strong, Harry," Hermione said, "Old magic."

"Does anyone know where Kingsley is?" McGonagall asked.

"I do, Headmistress!" a voice said.

Hermione looked up to see Percy, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Weasley walking over to them. Mrs. Weasley, who saw that Hermione was very distraught, sat on the other side of her to comfort her.

"Father and I spoke to Kingsley not half-an-hour ago," Percy said, "He said he was going back to the Ministry and he expected the two of us there by this evening. He never said why – that is all I know."

"I imagine he's there to be sworn in as the new Minister," Mr. Weasley said.

"Percy, I understand if you cannot do this," McGonagall said, "Especially with the loss of your brother -"

"Say the word, Headmistress," Percy said, "And I will do it."

"Please send a message personally to Kingsley," McGonagall said, "This moment. Tell him we have five Snatchers in custody, and in dire need of Aurors to take them to the Ministry Tell him that the Taboo is still active. Nobody should say You-Know-Who's name until we find out how to take the Taboo down. The wizarding world has to know about this."

"I will do that myself," Percy said, "Expect Aurors within the hour. Mother, Father, I will be home in time for the – er – the arrangements."

"Be safe, Percy," Mrs. Weasley said.

Percy hugged his mother and father and hurried out of the Great Hall.

"Scabior," Hermione said, "I think he was trying to kidnap me. He said – he said I was his prize."

"I will personally ask the Aurors myself to find out why, Miss Granger," McGonagall said.

Hermione sniffled and buried her head in Ron's shoulder.

"I-I thought this was o-over," Hermione said, with a hiccup, "I didn't expect – oh, Merlin, what would Matthew do if something –?"

"Hermione," Ron said, and Hermione felt Ron's lips on her head, "Nothing is going to happen to you. I promise."

"Perhaps we should take Hermione back to the Burrow," Mrs. Weasley said, "I was going back anyway to – to set everything up. Perhaps we should all just go back now, eh, Hermione?"

"O-okay," Hermione said.

"Molly, I will find George and Angelina," Mr. Weasley said, "You take Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Harry back. We'll be there very shortly."

"Yes," Mrs. Weasley said, nodding; she stood up and hugged her husband, "Be safe."

Hermione gathered her things and put them in her bag. She then took Ron's hand and followed Mrs. Weasley, Harry and Ginny out of the Great Hall and headed off toward Hogsmeade to Apparate to the Burrow.

(Kingsley Shacklebolt's PoV – twenty minutes later)

Newly appointed British Minister of Magic, Kingsley Shacklebolt, tapped his fingers on his desk rhythmically, as he listened to his secretary drone on about different announcements and urgent things needing to get done. He was staring at the back of a piece of parchment, which was floating in mid-air in front of his secretary as she read from it, and hoped this would fool his secretary into believing he had her undivided attention. At the moment, he was only listening to sections. Also... he wasn't sure if he even remembered her name.

Truthfully he just needed a shut-eye. He hadn't slept in almost thirty-six hours, and the Battle of Hogwarts had worn him out measurably. Why the Wizengamot had to name him Minister of Magic so soon!

"- and the British Muggle Prime Minister requests your presence tomorrow afternoon," his secretary continued, "so the two of you can have formal introductions."

"Introductions?" Kingsley said, with a laugh, "The man knows who I am. I was guarding his life for going on two years!"

"Official procedures, Minister," the secretary said, "Minister meets Minister, you know."

"I cannot take the appointment tomorrow," Kingsley said. "I am due back at Hogwarts to head the funeral."

"I will see if I can change the meeting," the secretary said. "I am sure he will understand your reasons. And finally -" she turned her attention to the parchment for a moment – "the Wizengamot wish to remind you that there are quite a few big job openings needed to fill, including your Undersecretary -"

"That position will be filled by the end of the day," Kingsley said, "I have the right man for the job."

"Sir!" a voice yelled, out in the room outside the office, "Sir! I must ask you to slow down!"

Kingsley stood up quickly and pointed his wand at the doorway. The secretary backed up and Kingsley saw Percy Weasley rushing into the office, followed by two Aurors. Kingsley recognized one of the Aurors as John Dawlish.

"I'm sorry, Minister!" Dawlish said, "Mr. Weasley insisted he come and speak to you."

"It is okay, Auror Dawlish," Kingsley said, lowering his wand, "He is very trustworthy, as I'm sure you know."

"Yes, sir," Dawlish said.

"What is it, Mr. Weasley?" Kingsley asked.

"I have reason to believe the Taboo is still active," Percy said, quickly, "Five Snatchers showed up in the Great Hall at Hogwarts when Miss Hermione Granger said You-Know-Who's real name. The protective enchantments around Hogwarts have, since then, been put back up."

"The Taboo?" Dawlish said, "It is still active? Impossible."

"Minerva McGonagall has the five Snatchers in custody," Percy said, "It is believed that Miss Granger was about to be kidnapped by them before they were taken down. The Headmistress requests Aurors to go to the castle and bring the Snatchers here for interrogation."

"Dawlish," Kingsley said, "You know what to do."

"Yes, sir!" Dawlish said, "Right away, sir."

"Come have a seat, Percy," Kingsley said, returning to his seat, "Since you are here, I wish to discuss other matters with you, and then I want to hear everything you know about this attack. I promise it will not take too much time. I understand your brother's funeral is going to take place in a few hours."

"Yes," Percy said, as he sat down in the chair on the other side of the desk, "Can you attend?"

"I'm afraid I cannot," Kingsley said, "I am too busy. But give my condolences to your family. I have already given some, but I feel it is not enough."

"I will pass along the message," Percy said.

"Thank you," Kingsley said. "Now, I am sure you remember that I asked you and your father to be here by this evening to discuss matters of importance with me, yes?"

"Yes, Minister," Percy said.

"Well," Kingsley said, "As you can understand, I have no Undersecretary in my office. You are highly qualified to do so, and I wish to give you the job as Junior Undersecretary. A Senior Undersecretary has already been named. He will be your boss."

"My father?" Percy asked.

"No," Kingsley said, chortling, "I have a more important job for him. No... a man by the name of Albert Runcorn will be the Senior Undersecretary. Do you know him?"

"I know of him," Percy said, "Excellent choice, though if I may say so, a little loud at times, if you get my meaning."

"He is boisterous," Kingsley said, "But he is a good man. I hope you will – to give a less bold term – play nicely with him."

"Yes, sir," Percy said, "Thank you, Minister, for this position. I will not take it lightly."

"You're welcome," Kingsley said, "Also, I know your father is going through a tough time with your brother's death, so I have changed my mind about my meeting with him. Since you are here, you may pass along the message to him."

"Message, Minister?" Percy asked.

"Your father has been promoted to the Head of the Muggle Liason Office," Kingsley said. "He will handle important meetings with the British Muggle Prime Minister, as well as other delegates."

"I'm sure he will be most delighted," Percy said.

"Yes," Kingsley said, "I'm sure he will be. Now back to more pressing issues. The Taboo."

"Annoying piece of work, I'll say – er – if I may be blunt, sir," Percy said.

Kingsley only chuckled. "But I must say the Taboo makes me wonder. If I put together a group of Aurors and told one of them to say You-Know-Who's name, could we not capture those Snatchers who drop in, and interrogate them?"

"That is quite an idea, sir," Percy said, "Perhaps we should try it."

"It was more of a rhetorical suggestion," Kingsley said, "I would dare not make such a request my first day as Minister."

"No, sir," Percy said, "Of course not."

"But what also makes me wonder," Kingsley said, "is this: if the Taboo is still up, why haven't we heard about other attempted or successful captures and/or murders today? You-Know-Who is defeated. I'm sure a number of wizards out there would say the name in victory of his defeat."

"I-I don't know sir," Percy said, "It does sound odd."

"Tell me," Kingsley said, "Did you recognize any of the Snatchers who had attacked Hogwarts?"

"The leader, sir," Percy said, "Scabior. I actually fought against him during the battle, but I guess he escaped during the – er – grace period when You-Know-Who had called back his Death Eaters and waited for Harry."

"Yes, I expected it was Scabior," Kingsley said, nodding.

"Sir?" Percy asked.

"I spoke to Harry Potter this morning," Kingsley said, "and he told me a bit about a peculiar event that had taken place in Wiltshire at the home of Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy a couple months ago. Mr. Potter, Miss Granger and your brother, Ron, were at Malfoy Manor... and it seems that Ron had been kidnapped, but rescued shortly after his kidnapping."

"This is news to me!" Percy said, his expression one of shock, "I will have to talk to him about it myself!"

"Yes," Kingsley said, "Mr. Potter also told me Scabior had been at Malfoy Manor as well and had confronted Miss Granger."

"If she escaped him," Percy said, "It would explain why he would try to capture her again."

"If I give you a theory of mine," Kingsley said, "Will you keep it quiet. Confidential? I will speak of it to those I feel need to know if the matters arise."

"Yes, Minister," Percy said, "Of course."

"I do not think the Taboo is active," Kingsley said.

"But Miss Granger said You-Know-Who's name!" Percy said, "And – and the Snatchers appeared."

"Ah, let me amend my statement," Kingsley said, "I do not think the Taboo is active for everyone."

"Sir?" Percy said.

"Scabior confronted Miss Granger at Malfoy Manor," Kingsley said. "I have reason to believe the Taboo is still active on her. A restricted Taboo... like a Trace, but only on the Tabooed word. You said the protective enchantments were down at Hogwarts, correct?"

"Yes," Percy said, "To allow help in and out. Some of the injured were being escorted via Apparation to St. Mungo's at the time of the attack. There were a few people on watch, but we never expected -"

"- didn't expect them to Apparate right inside the Great Hall," Kingsley finished, "Yes. I have to wonder... if Miss Granger said the Tabooed word before that moment – would it have worked?"

"You mean it was activated then?" Percy asked, "Why?"

"Activated or simply ignored until then," Kingsley said, "I think it could be assumed that Hermione would have wanted to help clean up Hogwarts. The Snatchers could have waited until they thought she was inside the castle – in order to heighten their attack."

"It does seem like a strategy they would use," Percy said.

"Yes," Kingsley said, "However we can only guess until the Aurors interrogate the Snatchers."

"So –" Percy said, rather breathlessly, "So you believe Miss Granger is a target of these Snatchers?"

"That is what I am going to find out," Kingsley said, "I will ask John Dawlish to bring up Miss Granger's name to Scabior when he is being interrogated."

"But," Percy said, "Why would –?"

"She is close to Harry Potter," Kingsley said, "A very good friend to him. If the Snatchers captured her, they could interrogate her, torture her for information – for example, they could have threatened her brother's life – there is a good chance she would lead them to Harry, if captured. After yesterday's actions, I believe Harry is going to be a target of Snatchers and Death Eaters who are still out there."

"But Ron and Ginny," Percy said, "Ron's his best mate, and Hermione's fiancee, and Ginny – she's dating Harry as far as I know."

"I would guess they are targets as well," Kingsley said, "But of course – this is only if my theory is correct. We will not know until Scabior is interrogated."

"It does sound like a good theory, Minister," Percy said.

"Please do not speak a word of this to anyone," Kingsley said, " I will meet up with Miss Granger, Mr. Potter, and Ron and Ginny tomorrow after the funeral. I am sure they will attend."

"Yes," Percy said, "I'm sure they will too."

"If Miss Granger does indeed still have the Taboo on her, and her alone," Kingsley said, "I will find a way to lift it. And I will also consider the protection detail for the four of them too. I know Miss Granger and Ron will be going to her house in Oxford to take care of her brother in a couple of days. I am sure that will already be a heavy burden on them."

"I know Ginny will remain at the Burrow until the new term at Hogwarts starts in September," Percy said, "Perhaps we can convince Harry to remain there as well. The Burrow is highly protected, and will be more-so with protection detail."

"Yes, I agree," Kingsley said, "You are dismissed for now. I expect you back here for your new job in one week."

"I'll be back here in less than a week if I can," Percy said, standing up, "I'll see you at Hogwarts tomorrow, Minister."

Percy bowed slightly, and Kingsley bowed in return. Percy walked over to the door, then looked back at Kingsley.

"Sir," Percy said, "If I may ask one more question."

"Yes?" Kingsley asked.

"Because Harry Potter seems to still be a target," Percy said, "Does this mean the Second War is not over?"

"I am not sure how to answer that, Mr. Weasley," Kingsley said.

Percy frowned. "Of course, sir."

He then left the Minister's office.

Kingsley stared at the closing door. Percy Weasley was right. The Second War was indeed not over. Not as long as this threat of Snatchers and Death Eaters were around. And with Harry Potter, widely known as the Hero of the Second War", a target once again... Kingsley wondered if a new threat, unknown to him and the Ministry, was rising.

Kingsley sighed audibly and sank back into his chair. This was not how he imagined starting his term as the Minister of Magic.

So is Kingsley right? Does Hermione still have the Taboo activated around her? Are Hermione, Harry, Ron and Ginny still targets? And is there a new threat to the wizarding world?

Fred's Funeral takes place next chapter! I was going to have the information about the interrogation with Scabior in the next chapter as well, but it would interfere with the emotions of Fred's funeral. It can wait until Chapter 3. I have a rather unique way of showing the interrogation and letting the main characters know about it. Should be fun!

Unfortunately I am keeping Hermione's brother, Matthew, a Muggle. I know Colin and Dennis Creevey were both Muggleborn wizards, but it has been said it is very rare when two or more Muggleborn siblings are witches/wizards (Lily a witch and Petunia a Muggle, for example). I thought really hard about this, I truly did.