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 spent a good five minutes putting up security charms of various sorts around the classroom as soon as he and Harry arrived. They had decided that their friends needed to know what they had been working on before someone asked the wrong questions in the wrong places and gave the game away to the wrong people.
Looking around the room, Draco was pretty sure that he had everything covered, but he waited as he felt Harry shifting his barriers to check in a much more direct manner. If he had not been quite so focused on the upcoming meeting he might have let himself enjoy the sensation that always ran through him when his soulmate allowed more of the world in. The feelings that had terrified Harry and worried Draco were now somehow comforting to Draco when they occurred in safe surroundings.
"Perfect as ever," Harry said with a smile when he finished his scan.
"What's perfect?" Pansy asked as she walked through the door.
"Silencing, anti-scanning and anti-eavesdropping charms," Draco said, knowing that his friend would understand the implication.
"Oh, it's that kind of gathering," was Pansy's response. "Finally going to tell us why you two have been sneaking off to the library and the Room of Requirements when you think no one is looking."
There was no way to completely keep a secret in Hogwarts, all anyone could hope for was to keep people misdirected or wondering until you were ready to tell them. Draco has accepted this many years ago. That he and Harry had managed to keep what they had been working on away from public knowledge was what had been important to him, rather than other's knowing that they were actually up to something. It was easy enough to produce a believable cover story for their antics, but if the truth came out there would be danger to the whole Wizarding world.
"What else?" Draco responded with a superior smirk.
[I shouldn't be surprised, should I?] Harry commented silently, and Draco could not help his smirk turning into a loving smile as he looked at his soulmate.
[No, you shouldn't be,] he said honestly, [but you're getting better. Back in sixth year you'd have been flabbergasted that anyone had noticed.]
That made Harry laugh and Draco turned back to Pansy to find her watching both of them.
"Some people would consider that rude," she said in a mild tone.
"And others would consider it very useful for having private conversations," Draco replied in kind. "I am training Harry to find his Slytherin side, and I really don't want the rest of the world to know how far I have yet to go."
That most definitely amused Pansy, and she shook her head and smiled. Draco let himself enjoy the moment. There had been a time when he was sure he would never be able to relax in the presence of his house mates again. No matter their peculiar rules of conduct and the games they played, the Slytherins had been his friends for years, some of them from before school, and he was glad to have at least two of them back.
Ron, Hermione, Neville, Ginny and Seamus chose that moment to appear together and walked through the doorway.
"Ooh, better watch it, the Slytherins are conspiring," was Seamus' first comment, which drew a haughty expression of disdain from Pansy.
What caught Draco's attention was the flicker of a smile that threatened on his friend's face before the other expression fixed itself in place. Now a Gryffindor might have missed it entirely, or put it down to the fact that Seamus had a habit of spreading around his seemingly, perpetually amused mood when he walked into a room, but Draco was definitely not a Gryffindor.
[Does Pansy fancy Seamus?] now Harry sounded shocked.
[You saw it too?] Draco asked, quite surprised, but very pleased that his lessons had begun to working on his soulmate.
[Well, actually I saw something, and felt you react, ] his lover confessed, [but am I right?]
Draco watched as the Gryffindors spread out around the room and kept an eye on where Pansy was looking. His fellow Slytherin did not seem to be aware of the scrutiny, and she had looked at Seamus three times before finally turning back to Draco.
[Oh, I think you may be,] he said with delight, and could not contain his mirth as it produced the slightest of smiles on his face.
Pansy's eyes opened slightly in shock, and then she glared at him for good measure. This was going to be fun; Pansy knew she was caught, and Draco was going to enjoy this. He had taken a lot of ribbing for being with a Gryffindor, and the fact that Pansy had a thing for Seamus, who was the epitome of Gryffindorish act-first-and-think-later behaviour, was too good to pass up.
[Want me to check how much?] Harry asked, amused as well.
[No, that would be cheating,] Draco replied, enjoying every moment, [but hold that in reserve just in case.]
Their conversation was interrupted by Greg arriving, and he looked around at everyone already there.
"Not late am I?" he asked apologetically.
"No, Greg," Draco assured his one-time bodyguard, "we haven't started yet."
With a flick of his wand, Draco sealed the final charm on the door. Now nothing could make it in or out that they did not want to. No one commented on the obvious security arrangements, which rather spoke volumes about their mental attitude at the moment.
"Most of you have probably noticed the Draco and I have been ..." Harry started to explain and then looked at Draco for help.
"Sneaking around," he offered and drew smiles from most of those present.
Harry rolled his eyes and turned back to the others.
"Well that's because we found something out, something that could be incredibly useful and incredibly dangerous until certain things are in place."
Draco was happy to let his soulmate start and he let Harry take the lead, but it seemed that his Gryffindorish lover did not quite know how to begin.
"Harry found a new way to Apparate," Draco said bluntly, "which makes every anti-Apparating ward or spell useless."
That produced shocked stares from everyone in the room.
"Bloody hell," Ron said and vocalised what everyone seemed to be thinking, "that means Hogwarts is defenceless."
"It was," Harry put in quickly, and Draco could feel the nervous excitement in his soulmate, "but that's what we've been doing; trying to figure out how to protect places like this."
"With Professor Dumbledore's help we added to the school's wards just before the N.E.W.T.s results arrived," Draco explained, "and there are plans to do the same at the Ministry and other secure locations."
Now the group seemed to be of one mind in their relief, except for Hermione who appeared to have gone beyond worried, and into trying to work out what on earth her friend could have discovered.
"There's also another reason not to worry too much," Draco continued once he had let the news sink in; "we think it is highly unlikely that anyone without Harry's abilities could figure out how to travel this way. That's the other thing Dumbledore has us doing, trying to see if there is any way we can teach this to other people. Hence Harry has his first new spell project. Until then, no one outside of Hogwarts is being told what he's working on, only that places need protecting."
"So how does it work?" Hermione, it seemed, could not contain her curiosity any longer.
Draco gave Harry an encouraging smile and handed back the reins. This was his soulmate's discovery and he wanted Harry to explain it.
"It uses the same principle as Apparating," Harry began, "only it connects the two places differently. When you Apparate you blast a hole in the fabric of the universe; that's the bang, but it's a very brutal way to go about things. Considering how delicate the disassembling yourself and putting yourself back together is, it's rather barbaric."
Draco only just managed to keep a grin off his face at the sound of outrage in Harry's voice. It never ceased to amuse him how his soulmate could be so incensed about magic these days. Harry's eyes flicked over towards him, and Draco knew his amusement had been noticed.
"What we found and managed to use," Harry continued, looking back to the group, "is another route for the matter you convert yourself into. The universe is energy, and energy has memory, and connections remain where energy has touched other energy. These connections can be used like wires from one place to another."
Harry stopped talking, and Draco couldn't blame him since every face in the room was looking completely amazed and several were staring at Harry in something akin to awe. Even Greg appeared to have picked up on the enormity of the revelation, and he was known to be a little slow about these things at times.
"Harry," eventually Hermione spoke, "you do know that that is one of the most unique concepts I have ever heard?"
"What?" as usual, Harry did not seem to realise that he had stepped over some very high boundaries.
It occurred to Draco that maybe he should have thought about it a bit more, but he had been so busy doing, that he had not stopped to consider what it was that his soulmate had found. Looking at it from an outside perspective it was quite a radical proposition.
"Energy has memory, Harry," Hermione said as if explaining to six year old. "How on earth did you come to that conclusion?"
"I saw it," Harry said rather helplessly.
"You mean one day you just woke up and it was there?" Pansy sounded incredulous, and Draco could not blame Harry for looking suddenly nervous if he was being tag teamed by the two girls.
His soulmate frowned and Draco moved a little closer to offer his support, but there was no way he was trying to explain this.
"No," Harry replied, honestly, "it was when I was watching the Apparating practice. It caused such a backlash every time someone did it that I was rather desperate to find an alternative. Then it was just there."
"And you went hurtling out of the Animagus lesson like you were being chased by a dragon," Pansy concluded, looking at Draco now.
He just nodded.
"It was rather overwhelming," Harry admitted honestly, "at first I couldn't stop it."
"That was when we proved the theory," Draco decided it was best if the others knew everything. "Harry was like an open flood gate and he passed all the information on to me and in my panic I used it. I disappeared from outside the Transfigurations classroom and reappeared next to Harry. We have used it since as well, but we haven't figured out how to let others see the connections yet."
"We wanted you to know so we don't have to keep lying and making excuses," Harry added.
"And we were hoping you could play interference for us so no one else gets too curious," Draco said.
"Interference is me middle name," Seamus said grandly and broke some of the tension in the room.
"And there's me thinking it was Paddy," Draco shot back in what, even he, had to admit was the worst impression of an Irish accent he had ever heard.
Luckily Seamus took it in the humour it was meant.
"So what are we supposed to say?" Hermione asked the practical question.
"Something about Harry and I studying his condition," Draco explained. "No need to be specific, just be vague and make it sound as if we don't really want to talk about it."
"Blame it on me being embarrassed at still being so far behind where I should be," Harry suggested. "That will completely put off the Hufflepuffs and the Gryffindors at least. If necessary we'll leave out some fake clues for the Ravenclaws and Slytherins."
Draco had been brought up in the Slytherin mindset all his life, but even he realised that the way their friends just accepted that as if it was perfectly normal said a lot about what they had all seen in their childhoods.
"Do you think you'll be able to figure out a way to teach the technique to other people?" Ginny asked and snapped him out of his reflection.
"Maybe," Harry said.
"But at the moment we're really more focused on making sure everywhere is protected, just in case," Draco added.
"What do these connections look like?" Hermione asked.
As Harry tried to explain, Draco stood back and let his soulmate talk. Of course Hermione wanted to know the details and, surprisingly, Neville joined in the conversation as well. Draco allowed himself to enjoy Harry's enthusiasm as he got into the topic, even though it was so potentially dangerous.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/380020.html.