Author: Beren (aka Tasha)
Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Warnings: This story is canon compliant until the end of Order of the Phoenix and then goes AU. None of the HBP or Deathly Hallows plot will be used, or the Horcruxes for that matter since this story was planned before we knew the details about those things, and hence has it's own fanon. This includes birthdays and other information that have since been revealed on Pottermore and in further productions.
Summary: The threat of open war in on the horizon. The Order and the Ministry are of one accord and both know that where Harry Potter is, Voldemort will eventually be. Preparations are being made and this time the side of the light will not be caught unawares.
Summer classes, sabotage, revelations about Draco's father, teaching and the final showdown with Voldemort all await Harry and Draco in this exciting sequel to Gold Tinted Spectacles (LJ | AO3 | Wattpad).
Author's Notes: This is the second story in the Hecatemae universe. It starts up just after the end of the first instalment and I advice reading that one first so you understand the premise. Thanks go to my sister Sophie for the beta reading.
It has taken me 12 years to finally get around to finishing this, I very much hope everyone enjoys it.
Link to other parts: LJ | DW | AO3 | Wattpad
New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Harry refused to take his eyes off the wizard who still looked like Duggan. Remus did the honours of moving their unknown saboteur, while Dumbledore led and everyone else followed along. Back in the headmaster's office they were met by Snape and Shacklebolt.
"That can't be Duggan," Shacklebolt said as soon as he saw the prisoner, "I just left him."
"Yes, we are aware of that, thank you, Kingsley," Dumbledore replied. "Harry provided the information."
Snape glared at Harry for that, but he was used to ignoring the head of Slytherin when the man was in one of his moods. They had declared peace, but there was still plenty of friction.
Remus set their prisoner in a waiting chair and Dumbledore then bound the man with magical ropes. Taking a quick peek, Harry was sure nothing short of the headmaster removing the spell was going to get the saboteur out of the bindings. They positively glowed in his vision.
"As you requested, Headmaster," Snape said in typical Slytherin fashion and handed over two small bottles.
"Thank you, Severus," Dumbledore said. "Remus, if you will hold our prisoner's head."
Remus didn't so much as hesitate and lifted the unconscious man's chin before opening his mouth. The headmaster efficiently poured the contents of one of the bottles down their prisoner's throat. Almost instantly he began to lose his current shape, skin bubbling and moving as all too familiar features began to form.
"Fitzsimons," Draco said, voice dripping with loathing.
Harry placed a hand on his soulmate's arm. Draco had not liked Fitzsimons since the incident in the first class, but Harry could feel the boiling rage his soulmate was now barely controlling.
"I thought he only came back to Hogwarts when extra Aurors were drafted in," Harry said, because he knew all too well when the man had originally left.
"I was under a similar impression," Shacklebolt agreed.
"So were we all," Dumbledore agreed. "Harry are you able to recognise Mr Fitzsimons' magical signature from the Quidditch pitch?"
Harry lowered his barriers again, but everything he could see was still jumbled.
"There's something mixing up his signals," he said.
"I should never have let you tell the truth to those Ministry busy bodies after the first incident," Draco said, glaring at the still unconscious man.
"Kingsley, Remus," Dumbledore said, "if you would be so good as to search Mr Fitzsimons."
Harry had never seen such an efficient search as the two men set about their task without the slightest hesitation. They started with spells, which caused Harry to put his barriers back to full strength. Some of the charms Harry had never seen before. Then the pair went in for the manual method. Remus soon pulled an amulet on a chain from under Fitzsimons' clothing.
"This must be it," he said.
Dumbledore stepped forward to investigate and Harry took the chance that there would be no strong magic flying around for a few seconds, to take a look at the amulet as well. The object made his head spin when he tried to stare at it. He had to blink and look away.
[What?] Draco asked immediately. [Are you okay?]
[I took a look at the amulet,] Harry replied. [I'm fine, but it makes my vision go all wobbly when I look at it. I think that's definitely it.]
He shared what he had experience with Draco.
[Some kind of warping charm,] Draco said, [very sophisticated.]
Apparently satisfied, Dumbledore took hold of the amulet himself and lifted it over Fitzsimon's head. As soon as it was no longer on the man's person, Harry could see Fitzsimons magical aura clearly. He still wasn't used to telling unfamiliar people apart using such methods, but he had gone over his memories of the Quidditch pitch a great many times. The magical signature of the person running away was ingrained in his mind.
"It was him," Harry said with a nod.
"Had you not already been in close contact with Fitzsimons?" Snape asked before he could say anything else. "Why did you not recognise him at the time?"
"It doesn't work that way," Draco said even as Harry opened his mouth.
"I seem to unconsciously learn the magical signatures of some people," Harry decided he had to explain, "I'm not quite sure why, but I only met Fitzsimons the once."
"And he proved himself to be useless," Draco added. "None of us thought he would be back."
Surprisingly Snape appeared to accept the explanation without question.
"Time for the other potion, I believe," Dumbledore said, "before we wake Mr Fitzsimons."
"If you are sure, Headmaster," Snape said.
"I am," Dumbledore said with a nod. "However, everyone in this room should be aware, what we have done so far had been perfectly within the law, what I am about to do now is, shall we shall, a much more grey area."
Harry looked around and it didn't look as if anyone in the room cared. Remus even stepped forward to help hold Fitzsimons' head a second time. Dumbledore used the potion and then stepped back, once again pulling out his wand and using Enervate. Fitzsimons' eyes popped open immediately.
"Welcome back, Mr Fitzsimons," the headmaster said.
The Auror blinked once, but otherwise seem unsurprised to have been unmasked.
"Would you really have allowed your fellow Auror to be caught for your crime?" Dumbledore asked.
"You have no proof I was doing anything but my job," the man said.
"Your amulet is gone, Mr Fitzsimons," Dumbledore said, for once, no smile on his own face, which Harry found unsettling. "Harry has already identified you as the person he saw fleeing from the Quidditch pitch. Now if you will dispense with the pretence."
The smile dropped from Fitzsimons' face as well then.
"I stand by my actions," he said.
"You mean testing Harry," Dumbledore said.
"After he failed the first test, I had no choice but to continue," Fitzsimons said. "In such times as these we cannot have a compromised wizard of such power running around."
"What first test?" Harry demanded.
"Wandless defence, you reacted with violence."
Draco actually laughed.
"Merlin, you're more of an idiot than you look," Draco said, tone glacial. "Not only were Harry's actions purely instinctual, they are covered by law because any other of his kind would have reacted in exactly the same way. In fact, Harry could have killed you and been perfectly justified. You attacked him in the same way as if you had been wielding a wand or a sword, you imbecile, but because he is the way he is, he threw you across the room rather than obliterating you where you stood."
That might have been overstating it, but Harry approved of Draco's style. Fitzsimons paled a little, as if the Auror hadn't thought of that.
"Mr Fitzsimons," Dumbledore said and the man's gaze flicked back to the headmaster, "you have been teaching wandless defence to Auror candidates for six years, that is a matter of record. However, the role is part time. All your other activities with the Auror department are restricted. Are you even an Auror?"
Fitzsimons said nothing and Dumbledore raised his wand. Harry felt the headmaster cast something and the way Fitzsimons eyes opened in shock suggested the Auror was privy to its effects. However the man's eyes narrowed quickly.
"That won't work on me, Headmaster," Fitzsimons said.
Dumbledore simply held up the potions bottle he had used earlier.
"I suspect you can guess what was previously in this vessel," the headmaster said.
Fitzsimons eyes went to Snape and then back to Dumbledore. Harry was dying to know what all three already seemed to.
[Merlin's balls,] Draco said, [Omniana.]
[An incredibly difficult to brew, very illegal potion,] Draco replied. [Snape must be one of the few people in the country capable of producing it. Even I didn't know he was that good.]
[What does it do?]
[It lowers a person's ability to resist a Legilimens,] Draco said, [as well as other things. If someone takes it more than once it can destroy their mind.]
[How did Albus know Fitzsimons hadn't had it before?] Harry asked.
[He didn't,] was all Draco said.
Sometimes Harry forgot Dumbledore had fought in more than one war.
"Ah, so you are an Unspeakable," Dumbledore said, "I suspected as much. I was unaware that particular section of the Department of Mysteries existed."
If that didn't sound ominous, Harry didn't know what did.
"Who gave you this mission, Mr Fitzsimons?" Dumbledore continued his interrogation.
For a few moments there was silence. The headmaster barely looked as if he was breathing.
"He has been Obliviated," Dumbledore said eventually. "He knows his orders and that they came from a legitimate source, but who the person was who gave them has been removed."
Fitzsimons smiled again.
"What is the remit of your task," Dumbledore asked next.
"To ascertain if Harry Potter is the hero he is billed to be, or a security risk," Fitzsimons said, without Dumbledore having to use Legilimency.
"That is neither your right nor your department's area," Dumbledore said, a hair before Draco exploded at the prisoner. "You actions are illegal and you deliberately endangered children."
"This summer school is a farce," Fitzsimons said. "If a few children were hurt it would have proved Harry Potter needed to be dealt with and put an end to this charade. Dealing with He Who Shall Not Be Named should be left to the professionals."
"And what you found was Harry is a hero," Draco snarled at the man. "Was the first example not enough?"
"All experiments must have a certain sample size," Fitzsimons said as if it should have been obvious.
Harry was pretty sure Draco would have strangled the man with his own hands if he could have got away with it. However, before Draco could do anything there was a knock at the door.
"One moment," Dumbledore said and walked towards the entrance to his office.
* * *
In short order Dumbledore opened the door to his office and allowed Tonks and McGonagall to slip into the room.
"Well that explains a lot," was Tonk's opinion when she saw who was in the chair. "Never did like you Fitzy; you're a plonker of the first order."
"And also an Unspeakable," Dumbledore said.
"Explains why you never seem to do any work," Tonk's concluded. "But what's an Unspeakable doing outside the Department of Mysteries?"
"It appears there is a recent addition within the department tasked with understanding the rise of Megalomaniac wizards and witches," Dumbledore added.
"I'd say that was a good idea," Professor McGonagall said, "except for the fact it appears they were testing Mr Potter. Clearly they are fools."
Harry almost blushed at the faith everyone seemed to have in him.
"And this is a despicable piece of equipment," the head of Gryffindor added and walked forward to place a small box on the headmasters desk.
"If you would be kind enough to explain what it does, Minerva," Dumbledore said, walking back to his place in front of Fitzsimons.
"It warps the Animagus transformation," McGonagall said and Harry couldn't help himself, he gasped. "The resulting mismatch of magic would trap the unfortunate Animagus between their human and their animal form, a most painful and dangerous state. In fact, such accidents have been known to permanently damage the Animagi involved. That someone would seek to cause this deliberately is a travesty."
If there was one thing Minerva McGonagall was incredibly passionate about it was the Animagus transformation. Anyone who had been in her class knew that. Harry was surprised Fitzsimons hadn't been cursed to hell and back already.
"I don't understand how that would test me," he said as he thought about it.
"I believe I can explain that," Dumbledore said. "As I understand it, Minerva, please correct me if I am wrong, such accidents have only occurred before on a battle field or during duelling when an Animagus has been struck by a spell during transformation. Usually the process of transformation would repel additional magic, however, in a few, rare cases it causes a lock between one form and the other."
Professor McGonagall was nodding along.
"The only treatment for such a condition is for an expert to unpick the locked magic," Dumbledore continued. "Usually spells would be used to reveal the problem, but, in your case, Harry, you have the innate ability to see the issue."
"So it's a test of my untangling skills?" Harry still didn't get it.
"No," Draco said, clearly understanding better than he did, "it's a test of how willing you are to get close to another person's magic. To untangle something as personal as the Animagus transformation you would have to open yourself to that wizard or witch. It would be incredibly uncomfortable for you while you worked."
Now Harry understood.
"So like the shield, only more so," Harry said.
"Precisely," Dumbledore agreed.
"Why does everyone think pain is the hardest thing?" Harry asked and shook his head.
Frankly, he found the whole thing ridiculous.
[For many people, Love,] Draco said, [it is.]
[It's utterly mental, that's what it is,] Harry decided.
"Have you planted any other devices in the school, grounds or surrounding area, Mr Fitzsimons?" Dumbledore asked.
Fitzsimons winced. It did not look as if the headmaster was being as gentle as he could have been with the Legilimency.
"No," the man said, trying to shy away from Dumbledore.
However, there was no getting away and Dumbledore did not stop for some time.
"Please excuse me for being thorough," the headmaster said when Fitzsimons finally sagged. "How do you report your findings?"
"Coded message to a registered box in the Ministry," Fitzsimons said without any need for more spells.
Harry had been on the receiving end of Legilimency and he almost felt sorry for the man, almost.
"We could obtain an order to search it," Shacklebolt said.
"Unfortunately I suspect it will provide no useful information," Dumbledore said. "No doubt there are safeguards to prevent an outside party from ascertaining the identity of the users of the box. I have used such devices myself on occasion."
The James Bond theme began playing in Harry's head of its own accord.
[What's that?] Draco asked.
So Harry shared the snippet of James Bond he had seen over the years. He had never been allowed to sit down and watch television with the Dursleys, but he had caught sneaky glimpses from time to time. At Christmas they always fell asleep in front of the TV, giving Harry a chance to watch from the doorway.
[Somehow I can't see Albus in a black suit,] Draco said with a mental laugh.
[No, more like this,] Harry said and sent his soulmate a mental image of Dumbledore in a purple suit with large orange flowers on it.
Draco reached over and took his hand, squeezing it gently.
[Thanks for lightening the atmosphere,] Draco said. [I'm only mostly homicidal now.]
[He's not worth it,] Harry replied.
[He threatened your sanity, if not your life,] Draco said. [How is it that you can be furious that he endangered others, but not that he endangered you?]
Harry didn't have an answer to that.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/37732