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 had to admit he was fascinated by the medical first aid. He watched every pair with his shields partially down so he could see what was going on. The way the person being the healer interacted with their patient was fascinating. When it was finally his and Draco's turn (Madam Pomfrey had left them until last) he was quite excited.
"Mr Potter," Madam Pomfrey said as Harry and Draco retook their seats, "I believe it will be better if you use the scalpel, rather than myself. Remember, a small touch."
[If only everyone was so understanding,] Draco said and Harry saw his soulmate's shoulders relax just a little when he picked up the blade.
[Ready?] Harry asked, because this was going to upset Draco more than it was him, even though it was his hand that was going to be injured.
Draco nodded and Harry touched the blade to his hand. It really did only take the lightest of connections and then Draco was using the gauze to stop the blood flowing.
[Ready?] Draco echoed his question back at him and it was his turn to nod.
As ever he felt it when Draco cast a spell, but he also felt his own magic reply. It was as if the spell called to his innate power.
When Draco wiped the back of his hand, there wasn't so much as a hint that there had been anything there.
"Well done, Mr Malfoy," Madam Pomfrey said, "although, I do have to remind everyone that you have an advantage."
Draco inclined his head in acknowledgement and managed a small smile, although Harry could sense his soulmate's discomfort at the whole exercise. If there was one thing Draco did not react well to, it was Harry being hurt, even a little bit.
"Now, if all of the patients will use the numbing counter agent and then wash their hands, we will swap roles," Madam Pomfrey instructed.
[You know,] Harry said, as he let everyone else bundle for the counter agent first, [I don't think this would work on Muggles.]
[Why not?] Draco asked.
[Because I think it uses a person's own magic as well. When you cast the spell on me, I felt something, and I don't think it was just me reacting to you.]
[Are you sure?]
[No,] he had to admit, [but we can test it when I try the spell on you. It might be why friends have an advantage; they're used to each other's magic.]
Draco made a thoughtful sound.
* * *
Madam Pomfrey was being very diligent about writing down everyone's performance, but the care and attention was taking time. It was a long while before Harry's turn to try the healing spell came around. He had taken to sitting at his and Draco's desk watching, because he'd pushed the close attention a little too far and it had taken a toll on his shields. The last thing he wanted was to mess this up because he was distracted.
Of course everyone in the room wanted to see how he would do. Even people who had kind of given up paying attention stood up when it was his turn.
[I am not an exhibit,] he complained as Madam Pomfrey finished off recording Seamus' result before walking over to their desk.
[Maybe not, but you are spectacular,] Draco replied and gave him a small grin.
Harry refused to rise to the bait.
"Mr Malfoy," Madam Pomfrey said, "we will use a similar procedure as last time in that you will use the scalpel."
Harry graced her with a smile of thanks for that.
He was taking no chances with this and he lowered his shields enough so he could see all the magic that was going on. The death grip he had on his wand was making his fingers hurt. That wouldn't help anything, so he put it down for a second and flexed his hand.
[Okay?] Draco asked.
With a nod, Harry gave his consent and Draco used the scalpel. Seeing Draco's blood had a very distinct effect on Harry and it wasn't a good one. His mind flashed back to the torture Draco's father had inflicted on his son and he reached out without thinking. The healing spell was in the front of his thoughts because he had witnessed it so many times, and he acted instinctively.
His finger touched the back of Draco's hand, his magic moved and Draco's reacted. When he pulled his hand back the cut was gone and not even a drop of Draco's blood had been spilled.
"Well that's one way to do it," Draco commented.
Harry looked at his hand and then up at Madam Pomfrey.
"Um, sorry," he said.
He was pretty sure he had just completely bypassed whatever it was Madam Pomfrey was actually testing.
"Not to worry, Mr Potter," the healer said, "I believe my hypothesis may have been flawed in the first place. I have a better idea. If you are agreeable, I would like you to attempt the spell on myself."
The knot of terror this caused in Harry's stomach was sudden and undeniable. The idea of anyone performing healing magic on Madam Pomfrey was just fundamentally wrong. It was totally contrary to Harry's world view.
[Oh Merlin,] Harry said silently.
[Breathe,] Draco said unhelpfully.
"Okay," Harry eventually said out loud, because it wasn't like he could really refuse.
If he did this wrong he was so dead.
Madam Pomfrey smiled at him kindly, as if she was perfectly aware of his fear. It didn't stop her picking up the scalpel, however.
Harry picked up the gauze and his wand.
[Heaven help me,] was his silent prayer.
He focused on nothing except the back of Madam Pomfrey's hand. As she used the blade, he moved in with the gauze. Before he could question himself he raised his wand, concentrated, spoke the spell and willed the tiny cut to go away with everything he had. He felt Madam Pomfrey's magic respond to his casting and then it was all over.
"Thank you, Mr Potter," she said, lifting her hand and examining it. "That will do nicely."
Harry hadn't even seen the result himself because he hadn't dared look.
[How'd I do?] he asked Draco.
[Not even a mark,] Draco replied and smiled at him, [but then how many times have you been Madam Pomfrey's patient?]
Harry couldn't argue with that.
"Now class," Madam Pomfrey called them all to order, "I would like to discus everyone's insights into experiencing healing magic."
Harry decided he deserved to sit back and let other's talk for a while; he needed time to recover. He also wasn't sure he wanted to blurt out what he had felt because it was likely to derail the conversation for everyone else. Which was the last thing he wanted to do.
* * *
Lunch was a hurried affair, because the discussion in Madam Pomfrey's class ran long. Harry was still finishing off a sandwich as they walked to their next meeting point and Draco was torn between being glad Harry was restoring his reserves and despairing at the plebeian way Harry was going about it.
[You're a snob,] Harry said and at least talking mind to mind with his mouthful was acceptable.
[I have standards,] Draco replied, [and you have just spread lettuce all down the hallway.]
Draco shook his head; it was a losing battle.
They had been asked to assemble in one of the corridors towards the back of the castle, but, unlike the hospital wing, the location gave away no clues. What did give it away was the presence of Madam Hooch. The man standing next to her looked vaguely familiar, but Draco couldn't place him.
[Any idea who is with Madam Hooch?] Draco asked Harry because he was sure he should know who it was.
[Auror Duggan,] Harry replied. [He was in on the raid at Brancepeth Castle.]
Draco always did his best never to think of that place. He had been completely out of it for the Order and Ministry rescue, so it had to be Harry's familiarity with the man that he was sensing.
[Good or Ministry lackey?] Draco asked; he wanted to know the lie of the land.
[Seemed to know what he was doing,] Harry told him. [We'll find out soon.]
"Welcome class," Madam Hooch said as they all gathered in front of her. "My apologies for the cloak and dagger, but we all have to bow to the headmaster's eccentricities."
[You can say that again,] Draco commented.
"This is Auror Duggan," Madam Hooch explained, "and if you will all follow us, we will be going to the Quidditch pitch where we will explain further what this class is about."
"I'm guessing flying," Seamus said.
"And you would be partially correct, Mr Finnegan," Madam Hooch replied. "Shall we go?"
It was a lovely day outside and Draco slipped his hand into Harry's as they followed the crowd into the open air. The walk wasn't long, but it was pleasant.
"I hope the weather holds," Hermione said as they neared the stands; "it's so changeable in these parts."
"Working on your tan?" Lavender asked from just up ahead.
"I prefer not to risk carcinoma," Hermione replied, which just earned her a confused frown from the other girl.
Draco grinned to himself; if anyone could put someone in their place it was Hermione, even if that person didn't understand what she'd said.
"I just go red and blotchy," Ron complained. "It's better for flying when it's sunny though."
"The forecast is for clear skies all week," Padma said.
"And when has the forecast ever been right?" Dean added.
"Worse than the Muggle one," Hermione agreed.
Draco had no idea how Muggles went about forecasting weather, but weather divining in their world was a fool's game. It worked until it suddenly didn't and no one had ever figured out why.
"Gather round," Madam Hooch interrupted their conversation.
She was standing beside the pitch where the school brooms had all been lined up.
"What we will be testing you on today is defensive flying," Madam Hooch began when she had everyone's attention. "Now those of you who are Quidditch players may think you know what this is, you would be wrong."
She looked to Auror Duggan and nodded at him.
"Defensive flying is, simply put, duelling from the back of a broom," Duggan said. "The Quidditch players will have an advantage with their broom handling skills, but this is as much about focus as flying."
"For this class we will be using standard issue school brooms," Madam Hooch continued as Duggan passed back the control. "We don't want anyone having an advantage in these tests."
"We will be starting with simple blasting and shielding spells and straight line flying," Duggan took over.
[And apparently they have worked out their double act,] Draco commented.
"There are numerous safety charms on the pitch to prevent injuries," the man told them.
"From there we will move up to more complex spells and manoeuvres," Madam Hooch finished. "Are there any questions?"
"Are you sure those brooms are safe?" Seamus asked and Draco couldn't help agreeing; he'd much rather have been allowed to use his own broom.
"Perfectly," Madam Hooch replied.
[This is going to be fun,] Harry said and smiled at Draco.
Internally Draco sighed; his soulmate actually seemed to mean it.
* * *
If there was one thing Harry really loved, it was flying. When he was on a broom he felt free. The school broom was not as comfortable, manoeuvrable or responsive as he was used to, but being in the air was still fun.
To begin with they were working in pairs, just like they had been in the previous class, and Harry was paired with Draco.
It was interesting, because, with the simple duelling, he had no problem firing spells at Draco and Draco seemed equally happy throwing them back at him. Eventually he had to come to the conclusion that they both simply had complete faith in each other's abilities, hence it was just fun.
Neville was the first to go down, knocked off by a hex from Dean. Even though the safety measures meant he was completely unharmed, when they moved to the next level, he was one of the four people who decided to sit the rest out.
Harry could respect a person who knew how to play to their strengths and accept their weaknesses. Flying had never been Neville's strong point.
The next set of exercises involved flying an undulating course and three different hexes and their counter spells. They all practiced on the ground first before Madam Hooch and Duggan took to the air to give them a demonstration.
Harry loved every minute of it, even firing hexes at Draco, because Draco could dodge or counter anything. It was playing a game with the perfect partner, and Harry found himself grinning in pleasure as they, almost, flew rings around each other.
They lost a few more after that round, including Hermione.
"This is fun," Harry said as they waited for Madam Hooch to explain what would be coming next.
"So far," Draco agreed.
They were both natural born flyers and Draco's colour was up as much as Harry's.
"Need a new partner," Ron grouched.
"Goyle knows how to fly and he just lost his partner as well," Draco pointed out.
Ron's eyes opened and he went to say something, but stopped before frowning and then glaring across at Goyle as if the Slytherin had personally offended him. Draco opened his mouth, but Harry put his hand on Draco's arm and shook his head minutely.
"What is the world coming to," Ron muttered to himself, but actually took a step in Goyle's direction; "pairing up with a Slytherin? Bloody insane, that's what it is. And it's all your fault," Ron added over his shoulder at Harry.
Harry did his best to look completely innocent, but grinned once Ron's back was to him.
"For once, Weasley may have a point," Draco said.
* * *
For the third round of testing only two pairs were going at a time so Madam Hooch could keep an eye on one and Duggan could keep an eye on the other. Harry was just hovering, watching the second set of pairs get ready to go. There were an odd number so he and Draco had, yet again, been singled out to go on their own at the end.
This time there was no given course to fly, just instructions on which spells they were allowed to use. Given his work with the DA, Harry was familiar with them all.
He was watching Dean and Seamus making rude wand gestures at each other when something changed. He looked around.
[What is it?] Draco asked, instantly aware of his reaction.
[Don't know,] he replied, scanning the pitch to see if he could see anything.
He wasn't sure what had caught his attention, but something had just happened. Due to the nature of what they were doing he had all his barriers tight shut, but he lowered them to look around.
[The safety charms,] he said the moment he realised what was going on, [they're gone.]
He looked up to where the next members of the class were hovering, but it was too late as they set off before he could do anything about it. This was the hardest section yet; people were bound to fall off. There was nothing between them and the sun baked, very hard ground.
Harry didn't hesitate. He put his broom into a dive and headed straight for the pitch floor. Out of the corner of his eye he caught a magical signature he did not recognise, but he didn't have time to pay attention to whoever it was. Even as he landed he felt, rather than saw the first spells firing off.
Draco had followed him down, but his focus was not on his soulmate.
He placed his hand flat on the grass and concentrated.
The carefully woven safety spells were gone, blown apart by a counter incantation. However, there were still traces of them, residual magic that had not yet bled back into the environment. Contrary to what most magical people thought, cancelled spells did not just disappear completely, and like a forensic analyst at a crime scene, Harry found all the little bits left behind.
He heard the yell of someone being caught by an offensive hex and he knew he was out of time. In this class it had become a familiar sight to see pupils tumbling off their brooms, only now the consequences would be much direr. There was no time to cast new charms.
Harry did the only thing he could think of: he pushed magic back into the residue of the old ones.
It was crude and, if he'd thought about it, it probably wouldn't have worked, but his own magic obeyed the traces left by the previous spells. The charms sprang back into life, glittering in the sunlight as he pushed far too hard, just in time to catch Seamus as he plummeted to earth.
"Mr Potter," Madam Hooch came into land beside him, "what is going on?"
"Someone cancelled the safety charms," Draco answered for him as he got his breath back. "Harry just reignited them."
"What?" the indignant response came from Duggan. "How is that possible?"
"I saw someone," Harry said between breaths, "actually I saw their magic; they were hiding over there, behind the stands."
Duggan immediately set off in the direction Harry pointed. He didn't have a chance to tell the Auror the person was gone.
Everyone was gathering round and Harry climbed to his feet.
"How did you know, Harry?" Madam Hooch asked in a much calmer tone.
"I felt something change," he admitted, "so I looked."
"That's another one I owe you, Harry," Seamus said in perfect seriousness.
"This class is suspended," Madam Hooch decided immediately, "but I am afraid I will have to ask all of you to stay. If anyone saw anything, we must find out."
Harry could only agree. If someone was trying to sabotage the summer classes it definitely could not be good.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/373150.html.