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.
They had had a relaxing week at the Dursleys, but it wasn't doing them much good now. Draco was tense and Harry was nervous; not exactly a recipe for a great day out, but Harry had chosen to be stubborn on this point. They were staff at Hogwarts and that meant they had to be able to do everything an average wizard could and more. Going to Diagon Alley to pick up supplies for the coming year should not have been a huge deal, and yet as they stepped out into the main street, Harry felt as if he was walking into the lion's den.
There were so many people; all the Hogwarts pupils were there with their families buying their books and their robes and everything else they needed and the place was crowded. It was like a sea of people and Harry hadn't been this nervous since he had first come here when he was eleven.
Like an elite army unit, Hermione and Ron positioned themselves in front of Harry and Draco, and Neville, who they'd met up with in the Leaky Cauldron, moved to stand the opposite side of Harry to Draco. It almost seemed natural they did it so automatically, and briefly Harry wondered to himself how long it would be before his friends did not have to take special care of him. Crowds at Hogwarts had been well trained to part like the red sea, but not so much in Diagon Alley.
[They'll always take care of you,] Draco's voice sounded in his mind and he realised he had broadcast the last thought, [that's what friends are for.]
Harry gave Draco a look; that was a totally unSlytherin thing to say. Draco gave him an enigmatic smile for his trouble.
[A moment of weakness,] was the unrepentant reply.
Harry smiled and it almost chased his nervousness away, but not quite. As they stepped into the road properly, he tightened his grip on Draco's hand. They were going to Flourish and Blots first since even assistant Professors needed the year's course books. They made it halfway there before someone noticed who was walking down the alley.
"Oh my, Harry Potter," he heard from somewhere to the right, and tried very hard to ignore it.
[And Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom,] he commented snidely to Draco, as a similar phase came from another direction.
[Relax, love,] Draco replied calmly, [we knew this was likely to happen. Just keep going as if everything is normal.]
Now they had been noticed, the crowds parted for them like they had been magically moved. It made the way forward easier, but Harry began to feel even more uncomfortable. Children were looking at him with big round eyes and the parents weren't much better.
When they finally reached the shop, he had never been happier to enter a building in his life. Once inside, he and Draco managed to dive into the stacks at the side before any of the other customers realised who had just come in.
"Do you need us?" Hermione asked as they grouped away from the main crowd paying for their purchases.
"I can handle it from here, thank you," Draco said with a smile that belied his true reaction to the situation. "Shall we meet back here before we brave the counter, say thirty minutes?"
There were nods from everyone and then the five friends parted to the various places they needed to be to find what they were looking for.
[Come on Head of Extra Curricular Defence Against the Dark Arts Training,] Draco said with far more lightness in his mental tone than either of them was feeling, [DADA first and then you can be bored silly watching me drool over potions texts.]
[I'll just watch your arse instead,] Harry replied, [I'm sure I can amuse myself.]
Draco raised his eyebrow at the attempt at levity, but led him off to the DADA section anyway. Harry had had a long chat with Professor Daemon about ideas for the DA to link in with the curriculum for the fifth, sixth and seventh years. The DA was to be open to all students of fifteen and over, and he didn't want to be teaching them things they could not cope with. This wasn't like the summer classes, or even the DA from before.
Professor Daemon had been very helpful with suggestions of how to plan the meetings. Harry was looking forward to the whole thing. As soon as they reached the correct section he started scanning for the books on his list and totally forgot about his earlier nerves.
[The potions section is only just over there,] Harry said as he opened yet another book and felt his soulmate's eyes on him, [I'll be alright if you want to go and look.]
He scanned down the index looking for particular things and only looked up when he sensed the indecision and consternation coming from Draco. His lover's face was a picture of uncertainty and it did not take someone sitting in Draco's head to realise that Draco's protective urges were battling with his more self interested ones. Neither was winning.
"Honestly, I'll be fine," Harry said as earnestly as he knew how. He didn't want Draco to be bored out of his skull, "if I'm caught in a crowd I'll holler."
It was quite obvious that Draco wanted to take him up on the offer, but it wasn't that easy. There was still conflict coming at him across their link. Stepping forward, he rested one hand on Draco's arm and then leant in to kiss him lightly on the lips.
[I appreciate the worry,] he said, [and I know my limits. If too many people appear I'll come and hide behind you, I promise.]
[You're sure?] Draco asked.
[Go play with the potions books,] he replied, [this is taking longer than I expected anyway and if we want to be ready with the others we need to be in two different places.]
"Fine," Draco agreed, albeit reluctantly, "but so much as a tremor in your shields and I'll be back here like a shot."
"I know," Harry said with a fond smile, "that's why I don't mind you going."
That finally drew a smile from Draco. New places made them both edgy and it was good to see Draco loosen up, if only slightly. Giving Harry a quick peck on the cheek, Draco turned and walked away; Harry went back to his book.
He was so absorbed in what he was reading that he barely noticed the people who passed him in the aisle. It wasn't until there was an indignant screech from just behind him and the sensation of a distinct build up of magic, that he took any interest in his surroundings.
There was a very short, blond girl standing about two feet from him with her wand trained on the disappearing form of a taller, blond boy. From the completely unordered feel of the magic coming from the girl and the wand, Harry was instantly sure that whatever spell the child was trying to cast was about to go nastily wrong.
As the girl flicked her wand Harry decided that maybe she wasn't even trying to cast a spell, she was simply throwing magic in anger. He reached out without thinking. As the flash of uncontrolled power flew from the tip of the girl's wand, he caught it in the palm of his hands and dissipated it harmlessly into the surroundings.
[Harry?] Draco's worried mental voice jumped into his head immediately.
[I'm fine,] Harry said quickly, [just an incident with some undirected magic and, I'm guessing, one of our prospective first years. I think perhaps it's time to play professor before term starts.]
[Want me to come play too?] Draco asked, appeased, but not yet calm.
[Not unless you really want to,] Harry replied, [and two of us might scare her.]
[I'm watching,] was Draco's considered response.
"What did you do that for?" the girl demanded hotly.
Possibly she was not the type to scare easily; at least that's what Harry decided as she glared at him.
"I didn't think you would want your parents to have to pay for the damage," he told her reasonably, "that magic would have caused quite an explosion."
The girl glared at him a little more and then her expression softened, before suddenly scrunching up again as she burst into tears.
"Pip was right," she sobbed as her wand fell to her side.
The child appeared about ready to start wailing. Harry really did not want that so he did the only thing he could think of, he placed his hand gently on her shoulder and fished in his pocket for a hankie. Her distress became very obvious on a physical and mental level, but he blocked it out rather than removing his hand.
"Hey," he said in his best impression of Professor McGonagall in comforting-distressed-first-year mode, "it can't be that bad."
"Pip said I'd be put in Slytherin," the girl sobbed at him, "and he's right, look what I almost did."
He handed her the scrunched up, but never the less clean handkerchief, which she took hesitantly.
"And what's so bad about Slytherin?" Harry asked gently, pretty sure that the girl in front of him was most definitely either a Slytherin or a Gryffindor, and very glad that she seemed to have no idea who he was.
That question gained him a dubious look from his small companion.
"Slytherin is where all the bad wizards go," she said in little more than a whisper, "Pip told me."
Harry gave her a little smile.
"I'll let you into a secret," he said in an equally low whisper, "they aren't all bad. They're ambitious and they like to win, but that's not always a bad thing."
From the way the girl's eyes opened, Harry suspected she had just realised that is was possible she was talking to someone from Hogwarts.
"Are you a Slytherin?" she asked as if she thought she might be hexed at any moment.
That made Harry chuckle.
"No," he said lightly, "but I almost was, I'm a Gryffindor."
That brokered confusion in his companion.
"Pip's a Hufflepuff and he says that Gryffindors and Slytherins are enemies," she said.
It seemed that she put a lot of stock in what Pip said.
"Is Pip your brother?" Harry asked, just to make sure he was not assuming incorrectly.
The girl nodded.
"Well he's sort of right," Harry went on, "and that's how I used to think too, but that's not how it should be. Not all Gryffindors are reckless and not all Slytherins are evil, but that's how lots of people expect them to be. The Gryffindors had a Slytherin living with them all of last year, did Pip tell you that? Before that everyone thought he was the worst of them all."
This caused the youngster to pause and think.
"Yes, but he bonded with Harry Potter," she said almost reverently, "and that must have changed him."
"Want to know another secret?" Harry responded conspiratorially and the girl nodded. "He was kind of nasty before last year, but he was confused. It was him coming over to the good side that allowed him to bond and not the bond that made him good."
"Harry," a cool voice said from beside him, and he jumped, having been paying attention to nothing but the girl, "I was not confused, I was misguided. Are you ready yet; we're nearly out of time?"
He stood back up to his full height, having bent down towards the girl earlier, and gave his soulmate a smile. When he looked back at his small companion her eyes were about ready to pop out. It seemed she had realised who she was talking to.
"Draco, this is," he paused and smiled at her politely.
"Katherine," she said breathlessly.
"Katherine, this is Draco," he finished, deliberately ignoring her discomfort, "it was very nice talking to you. We have to go now, but we'll see you at Hogwarts, whichever house you're sorted into. For now I wouldn't wave that wand around too much if I were you; you pack quite a wallop."
It was quite obvious that Katherine was not about to recover her composure any time soon, so with a little wave Harry walked away; it wasn't until they were at the end of the aisle that Draco commented.
[I think you may have gained yourself another minion,] Draco said with a small smile.
[Draco,] Harry replied in kind, [Gryffindors do not have minions; that's a Slytherin prerogative. We have followers.]
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/380576.html.