Year 6: The Usual Suspects
Harry, Lily, Ron, Hermione, and Leanne sat in Professor McGonagall's office with several Aurors.
Leanne was hysterical because Katie may have been put under the Imperious Curse and didn't realize it until it was too late. She felt she should have acted sooner.
Leanne told the story: how Katie went to use the girl's loo in the Three Broomsticks and suddenly came back with the parcel in her hands.
Katie didn't say how she came across the parcel or who it was for, only that it was meant to be delivered to someone in the castle. Leanne argued against it, and the two got into a little scuffle as she attempted to take the parcel from Katie's hand.
A part of the Opal Necklace brushed against Katie's skin during the scuffle, causing the curse to activate.
Ron was there because he claimed to have 'seen the entire thing.'
"Thank you, Leanne. Go to Madam Pomfrey and drink some Calming Draughts. What happened was not your fault," said Professor McGonagall.
Leanne nods her head, trying to stop the tears from falling from her eyes. Finally, she turns and walks away.
"Why is it whenever there's trouble, it's always you four," said Professor McGonagall.
"Interesting question, Professor," said Harry.
"Very well, Mr. Weasley, on what grounds do you believe Mr. Potter is responsible?" said Professor McGonagall.
Everyone knew Ron would cast blame on Harry for everything in hopes of getting him expelled.
"I saw him point his wand at Katie, Professor. I think he cursed her as he walked behind her," said Ron.
Professor McGonagall didn't look like she remotely believed Ron.
"Why were you walking behind Ms. Bell, Mr. Potter?" asks Professor McGonagall.
"It wasn't intentional," Harry said honestly.
"I was returning to the castle for an early dinner with Lily, and we happened upon Katie Bell some distance in front of us. I did see Katie Bell and Leanne Clarke arguing, but I didn't pay any attention to what they were saying. That's when I saw Katie rise up in the air as if she was magically crucified," said Harry.
"How did you know about the necklace being cursed and its location?" said Auror Jenkins, the Auror in charge of Hogwarts security.
"I stumbled into Knockturn Alley once before. Accidentally, back in my second year. I came across that shop and saw the necklace on display," said Harry.
"Oh, Severus," said Professor McGonagall as Professor Snape comes inside the office.
Snape quickly rushes forward as he comes to look at the cursed necklace.
"What do you think?" said Professor McGonagall.
"I think Miss Bell is lucky to be alive," said Snape.
"Will she make a full recovery?" said Lily.
"This curse is not so easy to remove, Miss Morris. Furthermore, I'm going to have to find a way to stop this curse from spreading around the school," said Snape.
"You mean it's not over?" said Harry.
"It seems once activated, it will continue to curse others who come in contact with the victim. Almost like a scarab," said Snape.
Scarabs were nasty little bugs, capable of multiplying by eating their victims.
"How long will it take?" said Professor McGonagall.
"A day at best. The curse seems to work best once it comes in contact with its victim, but it takes time to affect others from its victims," said Snape.
The students were dismissed, allowing them to return to dinner.
Harry and Lily instead grab their dinner and quickly retreat to Perfect's Bath to eat their dinner there.
"So what do you think?" asks Artemis taking a bite of Harry's hog.
"The Three Broomsticks have hundreds of people going in there daily. So anyone could have simply waited for the first student who was alone," said Lily.
"I don't think so," said Harry.
Harry takes a swing of his pumpkin juice.
"Katie Bell wasn't simply chosen at random. Whoever cursed her knew her. Meaning whoever the necklace was for someone Katie knew," said Harry.
"Because Katie was carrying a parcel meant for someone else," said Lily.
"Who does Katie know that someone wants dead?" said Lily.
"There are several people in the school who could have a death mark upon their heads. Old grudges from the previous war that could still exist," said Harry.
"Or new ones that we don't know about," said Artemis.
"Still, it's disturbing that there was an attack but not one I thought of," said Harry.
"Well, you were half right," said Artemis.
"What do you mean?" said Harry.
Artemis pulls out the evening edition of the Daily Prophet.
Harry reads and sees that Fenrir Greback was seen attacking a village near Hogwarts. Another werewolf pack led by an unknown werewolf attacked Fenrir Greyback and his pack.
Both werewolves' packs attack each other viciously and eventually ended with Fenrir Greyback retreating.
Minister Rufus Scrimgeour assured the wizarding communities that his Aurors were tackling the situation. They would end the reign of terror of Fenrir Greyback.
Harry tosses the paper aside.
"He doesn't even know what is going on," said Harry.
"Rufus Scrimgeour has been an Auror all his life, but he's not a politician. He's presenting a strong front, but he's not taking any real action against the Death Eaters," said Artemis.
"So he's worse than Fudge," said Lily.
"Not really. He's been stealing credit for the Order. He's also been hounding Isabelle relentlessly to have a private meeting with you," said Artemis.
"We should assume the Ministry has already fallen. I'm willing to bet every level within the Ministry has been infiltrated," said Harry.
"How's Lupin?" asks Lily.
"He's okay as far as I know. Though I suspect you'll hear more about Lupin from the Lycans," said Artemis.
The Acromantula colony moved on and vanished deeper into the Forbidden Forest. The thousands that made up the colonel were now down to barely a hundred.
Hagrid was upset regarding the death of his pet Acramuntla, Aragog.
He shed many tears when the Aurors and members of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures set fire to a large portion of the Forbidden Colony, killing countless Acramantula's.
"Have you've spoken to Hagrid?" asks Harry.
"No. He's still depressed over the Acramantula's deaths," said Lily.
During their first couple of years, Lily got along with Hagrid well. She kept her distance last year because of Umbridge.
Though the truth was, as Ron and Hermione. She began to drift apart from Hagrid.
Lily didn't miss Hagrid, though she still likes him. She wished he would understand not all magical creatures are harmless.
Not everyone is half-giant.
Hermione Granger sits down at her desk, trying hard not to fume that Lily and Potter began besting her at every academic record again.
She couldn't understand why they were better than her.
Hermione has heard the stories regarding Harry and Lily's adventures. The things they've done since they first arrived at Hogwarts.
Last year, when Potter murder Dolores Umbridge in front of the entire school without a wand. He revealed he was a Water Elementalist.
Elementals Wizards and Witches were very powerful. Controlling the very power of nature itself.
It only grew worse once she realized that Lily was a Fire Elementalist.
A secret she never knew about Lily.
Hermione felt hurt that Lily never shared this fact with her. Feeling hurt and almost unworthy. Hermione began to wonder how Lily felt towards their friendship.
It got worse, as Lily wasn't talking to Hermione.
In fact, Hermione has barely seen Lily outside of class.
Hermione has studied and memorized almost every spell she's come across.
Harry and Lily were still years ahead of her.
Hermione's frustration only grew, and for the first time in her life, she was at a loss as to why Lily and Potter were better than her.
Hermione didn't know how Lily and Potter were moving around the castle without being seen.
No one knew anything about their whereabouts or location.
Ron attempted to corner Lily in the common room one evening, but he only got in trouble. Lily wasn't so forthcoming about her activities. She no longer spent any time with Ron and herself.
Hermione and Ron have been attempting to shadow her. The moment they would get into an argument, Lily would disappear.
It had become more frequent, as her arguments with Ron would only increase.
Lily's interaction with them only continues to diminish.
If anything, Lily was seen hanging with Potter more frequently.
They sat together during their classes.
Last year, Hermione couldn't deny that Potter was a skilled teacher and a skilled duelist.
Hermoine read the entire rules regarding duels.
Potter beat her at every turn.
Hermione began the count of three one duel, but before she even said one, Potter sent her back flying with her wand falling out of her hand.
Hermione protested that Potter cheated, but Potter replies coldly in a duel with life and death.
You don't wait for your opponents to start counting.
During the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Hermione didn't keep her opponents down as Harry had suggested.
She managed to petrify Dolohov and turn to face one of the Lestrange brothers. Only for Dolohov to get back up and cast an unknown dark curse that nearly claimed her life.
Hermione nearly died if it wasn't for the quick action of Madam Pomfrey and several healers who had to nurse her back to health.
Hermione overheard some Aurors talking while she was in the Healer Wing getting healed. Apparently, Potter dueled You-Know-Who and nearly beat him.
Lily ended up taking off Bellatrix's arm.
Earning the dark witch's envy and wrath.
Rumors began to spread that Bellatrix was seeking to kill Lily personally.
Lily had a mark on her head, but she walked around the school without a care in the world.
In fact, she longer played Quidditch.
Gryffindor was in an uproar because Lily was no longer playing Quidditch. Instead, she chose to focus on her academics.
Everyone blamed Umbridge, who ruin Hogwarts last year.
Hermione took a deep breath and decide to try, somehow, to talk to Lily once more.
Then again, she came to the realization that she didn't have any friends.
She was alone, as she has been throughout her years.
"You are never going to believe who returned to Hogwarts," said Daphne.
"Who?" said Harry.
"Weasley. He's here as a Minister Envoy to help with security at Hogwarts," said Tracy.
"Weasley?" said Harry.
Harry turns to look at the High Table and sees Percy Weasley sitting there.
He had better robes and look far better than his time at Hogwarts, but he still had that same arrogant smug on his face.
"Oh no," moans Harry.
"What is Weasley doing here?" asks Blaise.
Harry suddenly remembers the new Minister, wanted to speak to Harry to publicly support the Ministry.
"He better not be here for what I'm thinking," mutters Harry.
"Artemis is going to freak," said Tracy.
"Freak?! Percy cost her her career. She's going to be pissed," said Daphne.
They knew this was to be true.
Harry's mind didn't focus on Percy.
There were others, but they were unknown.
Harry gets up and walks away, knowing he had to see Professor Dumbledore once more.
Lily also appeared around the corridor as they both made their way to the Headmaster's Office's central tower.
Harry pauses as he turns back and looks behind in the deserted corridor.
Harry pauses as he senses someone was watching him.
Harry's always had this sixth sense whenever another was near him.
It came from fleeing from Dudley's Harry Hunting Game he had with his little game.
"What is it?" asks Lily.
"Nothing," Harry said, turning away.
Both of them turn into mist and disappear.
Ginny Weasley appears from behind the statue and glares at the spot Harry had disappeared.
Ginny hated that Lily, the witch she thought was her friend, was stealing Harry from her.
Ever since she was little, her mother promised her to marry Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived. The Chosen One.
Ginny grasps her left forearm.
The Dark Mark began to itch as Ginny holds it carefully.
Ginny Weasley said nothing as she turns and walks away.
She'll kill Lily one day, then she and Harry will finally be happy.