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.
Draco knew a thing or two about interrogation techniques, he'd made it his business to investigate such matters in the time between first meeting Voldemort and when he and Harry had bonded. He hadn't had much use for the knowledge since, but he was in awe of Albus Dumbledore.
Even though the headmaster had Fitzsimons right where he wanted him and susceptible to Legilimency, Dumbledore still interrogated the man like a master. And he made it look so easy. Fitzsimons spilled information like it was going out of fashion, even if most of it was useless. The man didn't even know who else was or was not part of his section of the Unspeakables.
By the time Dumbledore was done, Draco only mostly wanted to strangle Fitzsimons.
"You'll spend the rest of your lives in Azkaban for this," Fitzsimons snarled as the headmaster finally turned away from him.
"Of course we won't, Mr Fitzsimons," Dumbledore said.
"Everything you have just done is illegal. I operate with the highest authority."
"Oh, My Dear Boy," the headmaster said and Draco thought the headmaster almost felt sorry for his prisoner, "if you did, do you really think they would have removed their identity from your mind. You will be filed away as a rogue agent on an insane mission. If you are very unlucky you may even be implicated as an agent of Voldemort himself."
Fitzsimons frowned, worry etched in his features. Draco was pretty sure the man had never thought about it like that. The Unspeakable remained that way for several seconds before wildly shaking his head.
"You'll still be going down with me," he snarled.
"Wrong again, I'm afraid," Dumbledore said and for just a moment the twinkle in his eye looked anything but friendly. "Tonks, Minerva, Remus if you would be so good as to take Mr Fitzsimons back to the History of Magic classroom. He's going to have a small accident."
"You would never kill me," Fitzsimons said, clearly stunned by the headmaster's words.
"Oh, nothing so dramatic," Dumbledore said. "You are going to hit your head while attempting to escape. This, of course, will cause considerable concussion and an unfortunate short term memory lapse. Our upstanding Aurors will immediately transfer you to the proper authorities within their department for processing. I doubt very much that the Minister will want a thorough investigation, and you will very likely be on the way to Azkaban by lunch time tomorrow."
Fitzsimons paled at that.
Dumbledore lifted his wand and spoke one word: "Obliviate."
It seemed that the headmaster was a whole department of experts all rolled into one.
* * *
The previous evening, Dumbledore had sent everyone except himself, Tonk, Remus and Professor McGonagall off to bed while they dealt with Fitzsimons. By the next morning the summer students were all abuzz about something happening in the depths of the night, of course.
"What's our first class," Harry asked Hermione as he sat down at the Gryffindor table, "I'm all turned around after the last couple of days."
"Defensive flying," Hermione provided without a pause.
Draco and Harry had given Ron, Hermione and Pansy the heads up that the need for secrecy was finished, but, so far, they were the only ones who knew the truth.
"You joining us mere mortals again?" Seamus asked from over his porridge.
"The saboteur was caught last night," Draco answered for them both, "there's no need for everything anymore."
"So this was really all about you blowing a gasket?"
Draco rolled his eyes and Harry snorted a laugh.
"Actually it was about making sure no one else got hurt," Hermione said as if it should have been perfectly obvious to everyone at the table. "The saboteur was after Harry the whole time."
Harry wished Hermione hadn't said that as everyone's eyes fixed on him.
"Oh, for heaven's sake," Draco said, "wasn't it obvious. Every single incident just happened to be something that Harry could fix, but he had to put himself in the line of fire to do it. Some idiot was terrified he isn't as noble and pure as the driven snow, like we all know he is."
Seamus nearly choked on his porridge as he tried to laugh and swallow at the same time.
[Thank you,] Harry said as most of the table laughed or, at least, smiled.
"So you left the main classes so the saboteur would target just you and not us?" Lavender was looking at Harry with vague hearts in her eyes; it was unsettling.
"That and we only used one classroom so it could be staked out at night," Draco replied.
[Thank you again,] Harry said, as Draco effectively minimised the whole self-sacrifice angle. "It was the easiest way to make sure we knew where they'd try something next," Harry added out loud.
"And it's all over?" Neville asked.
"Who was it?" That came from Dean.
"Don't know," Draco said, since everyone had agreed it would be better if Harry and he not be associated with the clandestine part of the affair. "We just got a note this morning to tell us we can return to normal classes because the perpetrator has been captured."
"Maybe there will be an announcement this morning," Harry suggested.
"Probably," Ron agreed, "Dumbledore does like his speeches."
Everyone nodded, even though it had been a joke. With that all settled, Harry focused on eating and he was in the mood for a full English. Sitting up until after midnight two nights running and then going through full days of summer classes had taken its toll. He was going to need the calories to get through the day fully alert.
When Draco added more food to his plate even after he had filled it from the dishes on the table, he decided he probably needed it even more than he thought he did. Not that he didn't make sure Draco had plenty to eat too.
He was sitting back with a mug of tea and a round of toast and jam when the headmaster finally stood up at the front of the hall.
"Good morning," Dumbledore said, "I see we are nearly all finished, so I believe now is a good time to announce some most heart warming news. As all of you are aware, there have been certain incidents involving the seventh year pupils attending the summer school. I am very happy to report the party responsible for these acts of sabotage has been arrested and taken to the Ministry for questioning. I have it on very good authority that this person has been proved to have been working alone and all danger to students and staff at Hogwarts is over."
Of course a cheer went round the room, as was customary. Harry was just incredibly pleased the headmaster had seen fit to leave him and Draco out of the explanation. He knew Dumbledore did his best to make sure Harry's name was kept out of things when possible, but he was also aware that if the headmaster thought everyone needed reminding that Voldemort was opposed, Harry's name could be very useful.
Now all he had to do was get to class before anyone outside their immediate group could start asking questions.
* * *
It really was extraordinary how rumours travelled around Hogwarts. Sometimes Harry was sure the walls themselves must whisper them, because that was the only way he could explain that Fitzsimons' name was being bandied around by lunchtime by members of their class. He was positive none of the Order would have given it away.
All the Aurors who had been acting as extra security had been recalled, which made for a much brighter atmosphere around the castle. The shadow of someone trying to undermine everything they were doing was gone, however, it had left its mark. The bright enthusiasm of the first few days was still gone. No one was about to quit, but it felt like a shame to Harry.
"Come on, I am starving," Draco said as they trudged back from the Quidditch pitch.
It had been a long hard morning, but so worth it as far as Harry was concerned. The speed with which the class was progressing was amazing. Of course they were all the best flyers, but they were trying formation flying now and it was amazing. There was nothing quite like being in the air.
[Really, nothing?] Draco asked and Harry realised his soulmate had picked up his last thought.
[Well, nothing I can talk about in polite company,] Harry said and grinned.
"God, you're talking about sex again," Ron complained.
"At least we're not doing it out loud, Weasley," Draco said, eyes sparkling with mischief.
"Makes no difference," Ron replied mournfully, "I can see it on Harry's face. Can we go back to when he was innocent, please?"
"And where would the fun be in that?" Draco shot back.
Harry smiled to himself and let Draco and Ron bicker; it was relaxing. After the last couple of days it felt good. He hadn't realised quite how much tension he was carrying around until it wasn't there anymore. Now all he had to worry about was what was for lunch.
"Hey, thanks, mates," a fifth year Hufflepuff who was just coming out of the Great Hall said as Harry walked towards the door.
Then the boy patted Draco on the shoulder as he went past, causing Harry to simply stop and watch the Hufflepuff go.
"What was that all about? he asked.
"I have a sneaking suspicion," Draco said.
They walked into the Great Hall and the closest table stopped.
"Let's hear it for Harry and Draco," someone said and then everyone was applauding. "Thanks for catching Fitzsimons," another voice added.
[We didn't,] Harry said mournfully.
[Apparently we did,] Draco said, [just go with it and smile.]
Harry did his best, but the whole grinding his teeth thing made it hard.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/377777.html.