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 had been a very long summer and with only a week and two days left before the Hogwarts pupils were to arrive back there was little time left before some would be leaving the school forever. The last week was to be a holiday for those who had worked so hard all through July and August, and Harry and Draco planned to spend it with Ron at the Weasleys. Molly had invited them almost before the holiday had been announced, and it was difficult to turn down an invitation from a Weasley, especially the matriarch of the family. Hermione was spending the first three days with them as well and then would be heading home to catch up with her parents.
It seemed like over the last week all people had done was talk about what they would be doing once the summer was over, and on the Friday evening Dumbledore finally instigated his course of action. When Harry and Draco had returned to their room they had found a note on their pillow asking them to be present at a meeting in the headmaster's office the next day at ten sharp. The postscript had requested that they tell no one about the gathering.
"Dumbledore has made his choice then," had been the closet Draco could come to a witty comment.
He had enjoyed a summer with his friends where house rivalries had been reduced to the playful one-upmanship that it was supposed to be, and he could not help but be worried that the headmaster's plan would upset that again. There were only thirteen posts left and there were more ex-seventh years at the summer school. Draco knew that Dumbledore was not as biased as he had once thought, but the headmaster was known to favour other houses above his own.
Hence when he and Harry walked, hand in hand towards Dumbledore's office the next morning, he could not help but be a little nervous. When he saw Pansy in the cluster of ex-pupils waiting outside the gargoyle he was at first filled with surprised happiness and then automatically counted the number of people to see if what they had assumed the meeting was about could be correct. There were several Gryffindors including Ron and Hermione, but not all of those who had stayed from that house were present.
[Ten so far,] Draco concluded silently as he nodded at Pansy in greeting, [would he have called us all here?]
[I don't think so,] Harry replied, and Draco was pretty sure his soulmate had been doing his own headcount. [It would be too awkward for those not chosen, and Dumbledore doesn't like to make people feel awkward.]
[Unless it serves his purpose,] Draco said and gave his lover a look.
Harry was not naïve, but every now and then he said such Gryffindor things it was almost painful; Draco considered it his duty to point them out. Looking at his watch it was only ten to ten so everyone milling around was painfully early. No one seemed to be in the mood to chat and there was only the odd whispered conversation as they all waited patiently.
At about five to Susan Bones arrived and quickly took a place next to Hannah Abbot, appearing embarrassed at turning up after just about everyone else; then much to Draco's growing delight Goyle appeared and gave him an understated smile before walking over to Pansy; and it wasn't until just before ten that Seamus can hurtling round the corner.
"Who died?" the Irish Gryffindor asked with a huge grin as everyone looked at him.
Draco fought the urge to roll his eyes; it was so typical of Seamus to be loud and totally ignore the ambiance of the situation into which he was entering.
"No one, I hope, Mr Finnegan," Professor McGonagall's calm tones put in with perfect timing, "although I am sure it can be arranged if you are volunteering."
There was amusement underlying the head of Gryffindor's voice, but Draco was pleased to see that Seamus had the good sense to blush.
"Oh, I don't think that would be a good idea, Professor," the Irish boy said lightly. "After surviving seven years at Hogwarts, me ole Da's heart wouldn't take it if I was to pop me clogs now."
"Quite," Professor McGonagall said with the smallest of smiles, and the crowd of ex-students parted for her as she walked towards the gargoyle. "Chocolate limes," she said.
The gargoyle immediately moved, revealing the stairs upwards. Draco slotted in behind Harry, shielding him from everyone behind as they followed the first few up the spiral steps. As far as Draco was concerned, Dumbledore's office was more bizarre every time he entered it. The headmaster had to be doing arcane experiments on his desk or something; it was the only explanation for the décor.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen," Dumbledore greeted as soon as everyone was arrayed in front of his desk, "and welcome."
Looking at the headmaster sitting like a king among his books with Fawkes sitting on his perch to the right, Draco had to admit that Dumbledore knew how to capture an audience. There was complete silence in the room as the headmaster slowly rose to his feet.
[It's at times like this I remember he defeated Grindelwald,] Harry's voice sounded in his mind, and Draco had to agree.
[I think we're in for a serious speech,] he concluded and glared at Terry Boot as the Ravenclaw dared to bump into Harry.
For his part, Harry did not seem to have noticed, which was both a testament to Hilde's training and the excitement of the situation, but did not mean that Harry was not going to start realising he was in a confined space with a lot of people very shortly. With this in mind Draco carefully began to move them to the edge of the group.
"Firstly," Dumbledore spoke with a warm, but sober tone, "I must thank you all, from the bottom of my heart, for your hard toil this summer. It is not often that a year group make me so proud, but I have seen you overcome house divisions and achieve magical competence in fields far beyond your years."
The headmaster paused and Draco knew that the root of the conversation was about to be revealed. Slipping his arm around Harry, he pulled his soulmate close and was rewarded with a warm smile.
"I suspect most of you are wondering why every member of your year who remained here this summer is not present at this meeting," Dumbledore continued, moving out from behind his desk until he was in front for the group.
[Do you think they'll be angry with us for not telling them?] Harry's voice in his mind distracted him from watching the carefully orchestrated manoeuvres the headmaster was carrying out.
It was so like his lover to start worrying about these things now when it was clearly too late to do anything about it, especially since they were surrounded.
[A little, probably,] Draco replied thoughtfully, [but it is all Dumbledore's fault, and he's unlikely to leave us up to our necks.]
Harry didn't exactly feel nervous as far as he could tell, but his soulmate was not as relaxed as he had been and Draco tightened his grip just slightly.
"Hogwarts will be a focus in the coming conflict," the headmaster began what had to be his explanation. "Some in the Ministry see it as merely a school, but all who have passed through it know that these walls are far more than simply a castle. I have no doubt that Voldemort will turn his attention to our beloved hallways; which is why I have advocated teaching those pupils I believe to be the strongest of character to defend themselves and their fellows, and why I and the governors have chosen to expand the staff for the coming year."
That caused a ripple of sound to pass among those gathered, but they quieted quickly when Dumbledore pulled himself to his full height. Draco was once again impressed with the headmaster's mastery of people.
"This year will see the duties of the teaching staff increase significantly as we look to the defence of our school as well at the education of our pupils," Dumbledore continued once he had everyone's attention again. "Hence it has been decided to give every Professor and head of department an assistant to aid then. The duties of these new positions will not be easy, but they will be very necessary in the coming months. It gave me great pleasure to offer two of these positions to Mr Malfoy and Mr Potter at the beginning of the summer; and it gave me yet greater pleasure when they accepted."
Every eye in the room was suddenly turned in their direction and Draco chose an expression somewhere between a smirk and a friendly smile.
"I requested that they not reveal this until today," the headmaster said after a moment's pause, "so please do not blame them."
[Told you,] Draco said with as much confidence as he could muster, but he had not failed to notice that there was a slightly hurt look in Ron's eyes.
If there was one thing that could be guaranteed it was that Harry's best friend would take anything like this the wrong way. With this in mind, Draco began to plan how to nip the whole reaction in the bud as soon as possible.
"Mr Potter has agreed to be our new assistant flying coach, as well as taking on duties in regards to the new Defence Against the Dark Arts society which will be starting next year, and Mr Malfoy is our new assistant Potions professor," Dumbledore told everyone and dragged their attention back to him. "There are thirteen additional positions to be filled."
Several people glanced around then and it did not take a genius to see when the majority of those gathered realised that there were thirteen ex-seventh years, other than Harry and Draco, in the room. For a fraction of a second Pansy appeared completely flabbergasted, but covered it quickly with her usual mask.
"It gives me the greatest pleasure to invite each one of you to join the Hogwarts staff for the coming year," were the headmaster's next words. "Please consider the offer carefully. You are the staff's unanimous choices for the positions, and although we would understand if you feel you cannot commit to Hogwarts, we would sorely miss you."
As Draco watched the faces of his year mates he could see shock and surprise melting into something else entirely.
[They'll all say yes,] Harry said silently and Draco could not help but agree.
It was now that Professor McGonagall moved up to stand beside the headmaster, and a pile of parchment scrolls appeared on the desk behind them.
[I wondered what that was,] was Harry's comment on the appearance.
[I take it you could see something before,] Draco replied, quite used to his soulmate's odd observations.
[There was this blob of magic,] Harry explained. [It must have been a concealing charm.]
"These documents are the offers of employment," Professor McGonagall said in her usual serious manner. "Please read them carefully, and return them signed or unsigned by the time you leave on Monday."
The nervousness in the room had changed from one of anticipation to one of wondering where they would be put, and Draco was beginning to enjoy it. As the headmaster picked up the first scroll the whole room held its breath.
"Miss Granger," Dumbledore began with a smile, "you have shown brilliance in all subjects that it has ever been our delight to teach you. As such it was decided that there is only one position which would reflect this diversity. Madame Pince, it seems, may be quite persuasive when she wishes, since many others wanted you as well, and so I offer you the position of assistant Librarian, and specifically, curator of the Restricted section, which I fear will be required far more in the coming year than ever before."
Hermione walked forward and accepted the document with a small 'thank you'. From her profile, which was all Draco could see, he had no doubt that the most brilliant mind at Hogwarts was already planning changes to her new domain. It was then that Fawkes made himself known, flying from his perch and landing on Hermione's shoulder, trilling softly. After nipping her ear playfully the bird hopped onto the desk. Draco had the feeling that there would be some invitations of a more secret kind going out some time in the new school year as well.
"Mr Weasley," the headmaster continued as Professor McGonagall passed him the next scroll, "I have to admit that there was almost a rift in my teaching staff as two vied for you. In the end, Professor Trelawney declared that she had foreseen your gift at Divination and would not be argued with."
That caused a laugh to go round the room, and Ron looked rather confused. Draco could not help but grin; Ron really had no idea about Divination, but sometimes the things the Gryffindor said had a strange way of coming true.
"I do hope you will consider the position of assistant Professor of Divination," Dumbledore said with a warm smile, "and Mr Potter requested you as his second for the DADA association."
When Ron glanced at Harry, Draco could see the pride shining in his eyes, and the hurt at having secrets kept seemed to have been buried, but he did not drop the plans that were still bubbling away in the back of his mind. Fawkes also gave his approval to Ron and then the invitations began in earnest.
It went on from there, with words of praise for all those present and the presentation of the scrolls. Justin Finch-Fletchley was offered the post of assistant to Madam Pomfrey; Michael Corner, assistant Professor of Ancient Runes; Ernie Macmillan, assistant Professor of Astronomy; Anthony Goldstein assistant Professor of Arithmancy; Seamus, assistant Professor of Charms; Susan Bones, assistant Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts; Neville, assistant Professor of Herbology; Terry Boot, assistant Professor of History of Magic; and Hannah Abbot, assistant Professor of Muggle studies.
Draco wasn't sure who was most shocked, Goyle or the Gryffindors in the room, when the Slytherin was offered assistant Professor of Care of Magical Creatures. Very few would have recognised the Slytherin's love of animals since Draco knew for a fact Greg's father had informed his son that it was a weakness and never to be revealed. Fawkes spent a good minute on Goyle's shoulder, singing to him softly, before the bird would let the Slytherin back into the crowd.
However, there was one big surprise and that was Pansy. She was announced about halfway through and she had been offered the post of assistant Professor of Transfiguration. That the head of Gryffindor had chosen a Slytherin above her own; that was what caused the biggest stir of the whole meeting.
"Thank you all for coming," Dumbledore said after the last person returned to their place. "I hope to see as many of you as possible returning to us for the coming school year. Now I would give a speech about quite how proud I am of each and every one of you, but I am an old man who enjoys the sound of his own voice, where as I can see you are all bursting to talk to one another, so I feel it my duty to let you go."
Everyone seemed to remember that they were teenagers at that point and noise filled to office. Draco and Harry hung back as everyone else headed for the way out and then, with a small wave to the Professors they followed their friends.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/379511.html.