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.
It was apparently as obvious to everyone in the class as it was to Draco and Harry that what had happened with the spell had been no accident. All eyes were on Pansy.
"What did you do Miss Parkinson?" Auror Parma demanded, as she strode from the other end of the range.
[It wasn't Pansy,] Draco said, absolutely sure from the shock on Pansy's face that this had not been her doing.
He knew his friend very well and her reaction was as genuine as the rest of them. Just for a second he felt doubt from Harry, but then it was gone.
[Then how was it done?] Harry asked. [She cast the spell, so everyone is going to think it's her fault.]
"I didn't do anything," Pansy said, face turning into a blank mask that wouldn't help her with any of her fellow classmates.
[It has to be something here, something timed,] Draco said looking around. [No one could have fired off a hex without one of us noticing.]
Harry nodded, also scanning the area, and of course Harry had more than just his normal senses to work with.
"Auror Parma," Harry said, before the woman could start to interrogate Pansy, "there's a spell on Pansy's target."
Parma glared at him, but did look towards the other end of the range where there was a scorch march in the middle of the paper target.
"What do you see, Mr Potter?" Professor Flitwick stepped in.
"All the other targets are just paper," Harry replied, "but Pansy's has been charmed. I don't know what it is, but I'm willing to bet it's what turned Pansy's shot into a ricochet."
"What spell is it, Miss Parkinson?" Parma asked, apparently sure Pansy was to blame.
"It couldn't have been Pansy, Auror Parma," Draco spoke up next. "She didn't have time to cast anything on her target and they were given out randomly. Someone must have charmed the target before you brought them here."
"Quite true," Flitwick said, nodding. "I know of only a few spells which could be used to create the effect we saw today and Miss Parkinson has not had the opportunity to cast them."
That definitely didn't please Parma at all.
"Everyone will remain here," she said with the tone of someone used to being obeyed. "I will summon the proper authorities."
[Let's hope they're not idiots,] was all Draco could think to say.
* * *
Luckily for everyone concerned, Professor Flitwick saw fit to alert Dumbledore of what was going on before Parma could take over completely. The headmaster arrived at the same time as an Auror Harry vaguely recognised from the raid on Brancepeth Castle, but whom he'd never spoken to directly, who appeared to be in charge, and two others.
As with the Quidditch pitch incident they were all asked to give their account of what happened. Also as with the Quidditch pitch incident, it didn't really help.
Parma and the man, who appeared to be her superior, catalogued the spell on Pansy's target and marked up each point where the errant shot had collided with something. It all looked very proper, but not very useful.
Pansy had the indignity of having her wand checked, but, under Dumbledore's eagle-eyed supervision, the check did, in fact, prove her innocent.
[Sometimes you have to wonder if Aurors can see beyond the end of their noses,] Draco said, as he and Harry waited with everyone else.
[I suppose they're just doing their job,] Harry replied, but he wasn't convinced either. [I think the Ministry could take a leaf out of the Muggles' book really; they need better techniques.]
He would never forgive them for what they had done to Sirius. Nothing he had ever seen of the Aurors made him believe that a lot of them did more than point their wand at the most obvious suspect and not look any further.
[Do you think anyone could have made sure Pansy got that target?] Harry mused.
[Not unless someone in here did it,] Draco said, [and everything that happened on the Quidditch pitch couldn't have been one of the seventh years because everyone was accounted for. It's more likely that Pansy getting that target was a lucky break for whoever did this to cause more suspicion. It would have been just as dangerous if any of us were firing at it.]
Harry nodded; that was kind of what he had been thinking too.
[So not a conspiracy?] Harry checked.
[Not until I see more evidence, at least,] Draco replied.
"Ladies and gentlemen," Dumbledore called them to order. "I am afraid that I must announce we appear to have a saboteur among us this summer."
That sent a murmuring all round the group.
"It would appear the incident in the Defensive Flying class was not as accidental as we had hoped," Dumbledore went on once the sound died back down. "However, I must ask a great deal of you now."
Harry had rarely seen the headmaster so serious.
"This appears to be an attempt to undermine the good we are trying to do this summer. Whoever is committing these acts, no doubt, wishes these classes to be cancelled and panic spread among the pupils remaining here. Extra Aurors will be drafted in to make sure this cannot happen again, however, I must insist that none of you reveal what has happened today to the younger pupils."
"I assure you I will give the school a personal account of all events, should I deem it to be necessary. For the moment, however, it will only cause panic and disruption. Never fear, the culprit will be discovered."
[We have some investigating to do,] Harry told Draco, and on that point he was very sure.
* * *
Thursday evening had been tense. As far as Harry could tell no one had blabbed about what had happened in their class, but that didn't mean no one could tell there was something wrong. All he could do was hope the situation was resolved before someone asked what. The whole air of Hogwarts was subdued, but that didn't stop there being Friday classes.
There were two people waiting for them when they walked into the Charms Classroom. One Harry had never seen before, he was short, but very compact and he had biceps any weight lifter would be proud of sticking out from a short sleeved shirt. He looked just a little bit dangerous. The other person was very familiar and Harry waved at Remus.
"Hello," the other man greeted, "my name is Leo Periculum, please call me Leo. I am an Auror and I specialise in defensive spells and shielding. I am sure you all know Mr Lupin, as I believe he was once your DADA professor."
Remus nodded at the class.
"Many wizards concentrate far too much on the fancy attack spells, when it is defensive magic that can actually save your life," Leo continued. "We're here to make sure none of you make that mistake."
Harry was pretty sure none of the DA would ever think like that in the first place, but he held his tongue. He was beginning to think many Aurors thought they were better than everyone else. He only hoped Leo was not as pig headed at Fitzsimons. At least the man definitely didn't look as annoyed as Parma.
"Of course," Remus added in his usual calm tones, "there is also the option of ducking."
"If you can teach Harry that I'd be very grateful," Draco commented, which got the class off to a good start with a laugh.
With all the tension in the air, Harry didn't mind being centre of attention for a good joke.
"Running away is also a very viable defence," Periculum added with a grin, proving that he did, in fact, have a sense of humour, "however, today we will be learning and testing your abilities with Protego, or the basic Shield Charm."
Harry glanced around the room.
[Do you think we should mention that almost everyone in here already knows it?] he asked silently.
[No,] Draco replied, [he's in a good mood and we should let him have his fun. If he realises and asks why no one mentioned it we can always say we weren't sure everyone did know it.]
['kay,] Harry agreed.
"There are several versions of the Shield Charm, which can also be combined with other charms to provide even more protection," Periculum continued to explain. "Today we are here to find out who may have an aptitude for this kind of defensive magic."
"Don't worry if you have any trouble with the charm," Remus said, "many adult wizards and witches cannot master this discipline."
Given that Harry had seen some prototypes of Fred and George's for filling that particular hole in the market, he was well aware of that already.
"Mr Lupin and I will give you a quick demonstration of how the charm can be used," Periculum took over again, "and then we will help each of you individually until you all have a basic understanding. Then we will test you one at a time."
It was going to be just like most of the other classes then. Harry hoped at least the demonstration would be a little bit exciting.
* * *
Their last class of the week was in, of all places, the Arithmancy class room. However, when they walked in, it looked nothing like it usually did.
[Well that's new,] Draco commented, looking around.
All the desks were gone and there was a familiar looking platform in the middle of what was a much extended classroom.
[Do you think the Ministry used a ridiculous amount of magic or Dumbledore just asked the room to change shape?] Harry asked.
Draco could feel Harry lowering his barriers a little to take a proper look at their surroundings.
[Probably the first,] he replied; [the headmaster doesn't like to give too much away to the Ministry.]
[True. I can't really tell, it just looks like a lot of magic and Hogwarts uses that all the time anyway. I'm guessing duelling.]
[And I'd wager you are right,] Draco agreed, taking a place over by the far wall where he could see everything, but not be in the middle of it.
The last thing he wanted was for someone to get an idea like Fitzsimons and try to make Harry their guinea pig.
[At least it can't be Lockhart or Snape,] Harry said with a grin.
Draco just shuddered; that was one memory he would rather have forgotten for good.
It seemed that this time the class had arrived before their tutors, because all the seventh year were inside the classroom before the door opened a second time and two more people walked in. A murmuring immediately went around the assembled students. The unknown Auror type wasn't really a surprise, but his companion was.
[Professor Sprout,] Harry said, surprise clear in his mental tone. [Maybe this isn't about duelling after all.]
Draco didn't comment, he wasn't so sure.
"Well good afternoon," Professor Sprout greeted in her ever cheerful tones, "I do hope everyone had a good lunch."
There was something of a muttered agreement.
"I must say I am enjoying the jam-rolly-polly," the head of Hufflepuff added, which made everyone laugh. "This is Instructor Gladio, who is joining us from the Auror academy. He is their assistant head of practical duelling."
"Good afternoon, class," the man said formally and nodded his head to them.
"Now don't worry, I am not a stand in," Professor Sprout said and Draco couldn't help being reminded of Hilde's exuberance at the woman's enthusiasm, "I'll let you all into a little secret, I was school duelling champion two years running when I was your age."
[Who could have guessed,] Draco said and was honestly shocked.
[I'm beginning to think all our teachers have hidden depths,] Harry added.
[You and me both,] Draco agreed.
"This class is not about form or using the spells everyone would expect to see in a duel," Gladio finally had something to say. "The class I teach is called practical duelling for a reason. We will aim to teach you how to duel in the most unexpected ways. There are a few housekeeping charms that can do significant damage if applied in the correct manner."
"Sometimes winning is all about doing something your opponent will not predict," Professor Sprout agreed. "Today we'll refresh everyone's memory on a few common spells and then we'll see how you all do one on one."
[Just promise me you will not volunteer to go first,] Draco said as he saw the light in Harry's eyes.
He never would get used to how excited Harry could be about throwing himself into danger, even if it was minimal.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/374939.html.