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.
Their next class after lunch was in the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. Lunch had been interesting, but not as radical as Draco had hoped. In fact he and Harry had simply started a trend. It appeared that people had just been waiting for someone to have the guts not to stick to usual school routine and then houses were lost as year groups took over.
No one else came and sat on the Slytherin table, but one of the younger Slytherins did go and join the Ravenclaws.
Remarkably, none of the years gave away anything about their first classes to the others, so what they were in for, no one had a clue.
Draco was watching Harry carefully for any signs of fallout from his run in with Fitzsimons, but so far he was pretty sure his soulmate was just a bit tired from shielding against all the rather uncontrolled magic from the previous class.
Sometimes it seemed like only yesterday that they had been safe in their little room in the hospital wing, away from the rest of the school, and yet Harry had progressed so far since then. If he was honest they both had; he really was getting better at not trying to kill anyone who so much as looked at Harry the wrong way. Not that he was telling anyone that any time soon, of course.
Their year group walked to their next class together with several people guessing at what it might be. Draco didn't really think Albus' reasons for not telling everyone what the classes were, were particularly valid, and most likely had more to do with the headmaster finally going senile, but there was nothing they could do about it.
Who would be teaching the class was also a matter that no one had seen fit to reveal, and so he wasn't particularly surprised when they walked into the DADA classroom and found a complete stranger sitting on the desk at the front. He just hoped that the woman wasn't as incompetent as Fitzsimons had been, or he was going to have to have words with the Ministry on their choice of employees.
What did rather make him sit up and take notice was Harry's reaction. Upon seeing the strange, middle aged witch his soulmate brightened with recognition and smiled broadly. Not the usual reaction to someone totally unfamiliar.
"Hi Tonks," Harry greeted cheerfully, as they walked in.
"Wotcha, Harry," the previously unidentified female said with a laugh, "thanks for blowing my cover."
At that Harry stopped, blinked and seemed to realise for the first time that Tonks was not wearing her own face. The stab of worry and guilt that flew through Harry as he realised what he had done caused Draco to move in protectively. However, Tonks was still grinning as she screwed up her face in concentration and the usual, although blue haired, Auror was revealed.
"Don't look so down, chuck," she said, hopping off the desk and almost falling on her face as she stood on her own shoe lace, "or your blond bombshell might kill me. Hello everyone, I'm Tonks, please make yourselves comfortable."
Harry still felt unsure about whether he had just ballsed up the beginning of their friend's class, but Draco was pretty sure she had been joking. He steered Harry to sit down.
"Note well, class," Tonks said with a bright smile, "even metamorphmagi abilities are bog all use against a Hecatemus. How did you know it was me, Harry?"
There was a familiar blank look on Harry's face that made Draco smile; if anything could be relied upon it was that Harry would do something that he could not explain.
[You probably saw her magical signature without thinking about it,] Draco offered helpfully. [I suspect a metamorphmagus is somewhat distinctive.]
"I don't think I was really looking with my eyes," Harry admitted sheepishly, but finally began to relax. "Sorry."
"Not to worry, mate," Tonks said with her usual cheerful demeanour. "It might be interesting to see what else you can see through too."
[Useful to know as well,] Draco commented, although Harry appeared dubious.
[I'd really rather just be one of the class,] Harry replied in a resigned manner.
[Love,] Draco replied and sent a mental hug at the same time, [you will never be just one of the class.]
His comment was met by silence, but Harry did squeeze his hand. Always being singled out was not something either of them could get away from anymore, and sometimes Harry did not take it well.
"Okay," Tonks drew his attention as she began to speak, "this lesson is going to be all about how to change how you look and hide from those you do not want to find you. I'll be teaching you charms, hexes and even some Muggle methods so that you can appear to vanish into a crowd or become someone else at will. You may ask yourselves 'What use is that at Hogwarts', to which I will reply, 'not a lot, but you won't always be within these safe halls'. Being able to disguise myself has saved my life on several occasions; and I've had to do it without magic as well, so don't think being a metamorphmagus is my only talent."
Draco had no doubt that there were people under Voldermort's employ who would be able to spot him and Harry through any disguise. They were just too important to the Dark Lord for the wizard not to have some specialists on it. However, Draco settled in to see if he could learn anything useful. If there was one thing Draco was a great believer in, it was being prepared.
* * *
The previous day had been interesting to say the least. Draco could have lived without the stress of wandless defence with Fitzsimons, but he had enjoyed it once Hilde had taken over. His cousin Tonks had been more than entertaining as well. This morning they had been asked to congregate in the hospital wing, which gave them all a hint as to what kind of thing they might be doing.
Unfortunately the whole episode with Fitzsimons had managed to unsettle both of them and they hadn't had the most restful night's sleep. It had been Draco's nightmare, but he'd managed to drag Harry in, which had taken a couple of hours out of their night. He was feeling somewhat less than enthusiastic because of it.
Harry on the other hand was decidedly perky; it was a little annoying. The whole 'well I've had nightmares for years so I guess I'm used to it' explanation, hadn't exactly been the most settling of admissions from his soulmate. Sometimes he wanted to take the whole damn Wizarding World and shake them for what they had done to Harry.
[Are you okay?] Harry asked as they took their places for the class.
There were seats set out at one end of the hospital wing with a small table in front of each pair of chairs.
[Yes,] he said and realised he was being snappy, [just a little tired. Sorry, I don't mean to be waspish.]
[We all have bad days,] Harry replied.
With the words came a feeling of love and companionship. Draco felt his spirits lift, at least a little.
[I just hope this class isn't boring or I might fall asleep,] he said.
[I'll think of something to keep you awake,] Harry promised and then sent him a very x-rated mental image.
All his soulmate did was laugh. He would have said more, but Madam Pomfrey chose that moment to walk to the desk in front of them.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen," Madam Pomfrey greeted. "Professor Dumbledore has asked me give you all a grounding in magical first aid. As you are all aware, medical magic takes an aptitude, just like all other magic, but, never fear, I shall not be expecting any of you to be the next chief healer."
"Thank the lord," Seamus piped up, "me Ma's heart would never take the shock."
Everyone laughed and even Draco managed to raise a smile. At least they could guarantee that Seasmus would always be able to lift the mood, not that Draco would admit that out loud, ever.
"Now, there are not always the supplies available to help an injured friend and many of the healing spells take many years of practice to perfect," Madam Pomfrey continued. "What I will be teaching you are small spells and techniques to help a patient until proper medical aid can be obtained."
[Lockhart,] Harry said silently, [I will never forget what Lockhart did to my arm. Glad Madam Pomfrey isn't expecting us to perform miracles.]
[Very practical woman,] Draco replied.
"What we need to do today is discover who, if any of you, have the instincts for some of the more complex medicinal magic," Madam Pomfrey told them. "For this I would like you to form into teams of two."
[Well that's easy,] Draco commented.
"Preferably with someone you do not consider a close friend," Madam Pomfrey added, "except for Mr Potter and Mr Malfoy."
[Like I said, very practical woman,] Draco said as the objection he was about to voice became irrelevant.
"Why, Madam Pomfrey?" Padma asked.
"We all have greater empathy with our friends than with those we consider acquaintances," Madam Pomfrey explained. "For this test that particular circumstance could skew the results."
That made sense to Draco, but he could tell some of the class were not particularly happy about it.
"Chop chop," Madam Pomfrey said as everyone just milled around.
That got the whole class moving. Draco noted with interest that Hermione immediately made a bee-line straight for Pansy. Greg was not so lucky to be actually chosen by a partner and ended up paired with a Hufflepuff.
[Hermione seems to like Pansy,] Harry observed.
[Or she's going with the adage, enemies closer,] Draco said.
[No, she likes Pansy,] Harry told him and sounded completely sure.
[We're all doomed,] is what Draco decided at that.
Harry grinned at him.
"If someone from each pair would like to come to the front and collect a tray," Madam Pomfrey invited once everyone was settled.
Before Draco could do it, Harry was already on the move, so Draco just sighed and sat back in his chair. He did not like Harry charging into the middle of a huddle of people, and he sensed the strain on Harry's shields immediately, but it wasn't as if he could keep his soulmate wrapped in cotton wool. They were going to be teachers, after all.
"On your trays you will find a pot of numbing salve, a magical scalpel, surgical gloves and gauze," Madam Pomfrey told them.
Draco had a sneaking suspicion he wasn't going to like what came next.
"The scalpel is spelled to remain clean and sterile in all conditions," the school healer continued, "and the numbing salve is the strongest available, so please do not touch it without the gloves."
[I know what's coming next,] Draco said.
"Each member of the pair will take turns," Madam Pomfrey told them, "but decide who will be the patient and who will be the healer for the first try. The patient should apply the numbing salve to the back of their hand and wait for it to take effect. You should be able to feel very little in the area immediately and nothing at all within thirty seconds."
Draco suspected he wasn't the only one who knew what was coming if the dubious looks on people's faces was anything to go by.
"Now," Madam Pomfrey said when it looked like there might be some arguments, "we do not have all day."
"I'll be the patient," Harry said, reaching for one of the gloves and the numbing cream.
[You do know what she's going to ask us to do, don't you?] Draco said.
[She's going to get the patient to cut their hand and the healer to fix it,] Harry said, having come to the same conclusion as Draco.
[And you think that is a good idea?]
Draco did not like the idea of Harry being injured, even slightly.
[We're in the hospital wing,] Harry said, [Madam Pomfrey could fix us all up in seconds.]
He felt much more settled than Draco.
[I still don't like it,] Draco said.
[Which is why we're paired together,] Harry pointed out. [I can only imagine the disaster if we weren't.]
Draco just made an agreeing sound in the back of his throat, while Harry applied the numbing salve.
"That feels weird," Harry said out loud. "It tingles."
"It's supposed to go numb," Draco said in his best dry tone.
Harry rolled his eyes and shook his head.
"The spell we are going to use is Operio," Madam Pomfrey continued to explain. "I will come round to each pair and demonstrate how it is done. I will use the scalpel to make a small incision on the back of the patient's hand. Watch very carefully, because you will be doing it yourselves later. Under my supervision, the partner playing the healer will then attempt the spell. Before we begin, are there any questions?"
"What if it goes wrong?" Lavender asked.
"Never fear, Miss Brown," Madam Pomfrey said, "this test is one performed by all Ministry employees who take the first aid course. The consequences of even a mistake can be rectified easily."
That didn't settle Draco's nerves any, because Harry was the one he was going to be working on.
"You are all welcome to watch others at work, but do not crowd in and do not cause a distraction," Madam Pomfrey said. "Now who would like to go first?"
Draco saw Hermione and Pansy look at each other before they both raised their hands.
"Thank you, Miss Parkinson, Miss Granger," Madam Pomfrey said as she walked over to the pair.
Draco stood and walked to where he could see what was going on at the girls' desk. Harry joined him and, this time, Draco made sure he was between Harry and everyone else who also came to watch.
"Is the area completely without sensation, Miss Granger?" Madam Pomfrey asked.
Draco couldn't help noticing that several of the other seventh years thought Hermione was insane for going first, most likely, especially with a Slytherin partner.
"The scalpels are very sharp, so a touch will do."
As she gave the instruction, Madam Pomfrey touched the back of Hermione's hand with the blade and caught any blood with the gauze. Several people breathed a sigh of relief when Hermione didn't so much as twitch. Madam Pomfrey pulled out her wand, pointed it at Hermione's hand and said, "Operio," very clearly.
With a single wipe of the gauze, Hermione's hand was completely clear of blood.
"As you can see there is no trace of any wound," Madam Pomfrey said. "There is no wand movement associated with this spell for small injuries, if you were using it on a larger cut, you would move the wand tip down the wound. This spell is pure concentration and will."
She looked around to make her point and everyone nodded.
"Now, Miss Parkinson, your turn."
Pansy looked nervous, well at least to Draco's eyes. He was pretty sure the rest of the class would think she was perfectly poised. She was holding her wand a little too tight as Madam Pomfrey made another cut on Hermione's hand.
However, Pansy moved without hesitating, pointing her wand and intoning the spell just as Madam Pomfrey had done. It looked as if everything worked perfectly.
Then Madam Pomfrey used the gauze and Draco's sharp eyes caught sight of the slightest white line where the wound had been.
"Well done, Miss Parkinson," Madam Pomfrey said and Pansy actually showed surprise, "very good for a first try. You have an aptitude for this."
Madam Pomfrey wrote Pansy's result before pointing her wand at Hermione's hand as she spoke a different spell. The tiny scar disappeared.
"As you saw," Madam Pomfrey said, "there was a small reminder left behind. It is this I will be evaluating. Very few do as well as Miss Parkinson on their first attempt. As you can also see, it is very easy for me to remove any traces left behind. Are there any questions?"
"What do we do if someone forgot to put on the gloves before they used the salve?" asked a plaintive voice from the back.
Madam Pomfrey sighed.