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.
Preventing pupils killing themselves on brooms, with potions or in the DA kept Harry and Draco busy for the rest of the week, but the worry about Sirius would not leave Harry. When the weekend came around again there was only one thing to do and Draco dragged him to see Hermione.
"What do you need?" Hermione asked as soon as she saw them.
"How did you know we need something?" Harry asked.
"I recognise that look on your face," Hermione said, "and it means something is important. Come on in."
Draco let Harry enter first and then followed.
"We need everything ever written about Primrose Bluebottle?" Harry said without preamble.
"I thought Hilde said the records were lost?" Hermione said, giving them what Draco had silently named her intrigued look.
It involved open, questioning eyes, with the tiniest frown between them. When he saw that look he knew Hermione was about to launch a quest for knowledge.
"Hilde has been doing some more digging, she hadn't mentioned it because she didn't want to get our hopes up," Draco explained, "but she thinks Primrose may just be missing, not lost. She found another reference To a spell called the Industriamorphius Curse."
"I've never read about that one," Hermione said. "Well Hogwarts has one of the best libraries in the world and you would not believe how many of the books aren't even catalogued. Sometimes I think someone deliberately spelled the library to make some things difficult to find. Madame Pince has needed an assistant for years; she's been fighting a losing battle in some sections."
"If anyone can get it in order you can," Harry said.
Ever since Hermione had taken her post as Assistant Librarian the complaints about the Hogwarts library had been common place in their conversations. Of course it was totally obvious that she was enjoying every minute of it as well. If there was one thing Hermione loved it was knowledge at her fingertips. Draco could empathise.
"So why now?" Hermione asked.
Harry was concise and to the point and Draco saw Hermione realise just how important this actually was.
"Come on," she said, walking over to her desk. "Tell me everything about what you want to know and I'll put it through the new charms we're trying out and see what comes up."
* * *
They had told Hermione everything they knew and taken her to their room to look over the information Hilde had sent through. From what Harry could see, Hermione had made a list of keywords as they went on, before leading them off towards the library proper.
Most of the library was neat and ordered and as well kept as any library could want to be, however, when magic was involved nothing was ever quite straightforward. Hermione took them straight past the books the students were likely to want, although not to the Restricted section.
"Good morning, Madam Pince," Hermione said as the Librarian appeared from among her precious stacks.
"Good morning, Hermione," the woman replied and then disappeared again.
"I think you are the only person she has ever trusted with her books," Draco whispered, careful to keep his voice down.
"Well, unlike most people who come through here, I know how to treat them," Hermione said with a superior smile.
Hermione led them to the back where she had created herself a small office between two book shelves. The table she had set up as a desk was, of course, perfectly organised. She opened what looked like an ordinary roller deck to Harry, but the cards inside seemed to have infinitesimally small writing on them.
"Hmm, let's just try her name first," Hermione said, pulling out her wand and writing 'Primrose Bluebottle' into the lid of the box.
The cards in the roller deck began to undulate and then flipped round all by themselves. One card in particular popped up from the mass and part of the writing on it expanded so it was readable. Harry almost sighed, it said 'Hecatema: the Greatest Loves in History', a book that he had read and that had had no interesting information in it as far as he remembered. Of course he hadn't been looking for anything specific back then.
Hermione tapped the deck with her wand and it flipped again.
This time a different book came up: 'Transfiguration through the Ages'.
Another tap and another book; Harry had a feeling this was going to take a while.
"Look," Hermione said when she had six titles written down, "you go and find these and I'll keep searching."
Draco took the list from Hermione and immediately duplicated it with a quick spell.
"You go that way," Draco told Harry, "I'll go this way. Thank you, Hermione."
"Yes, thanks," Harry said, clutching his copy of the list.
The Library was so big it was a little intimidating and Harry just hoped this wouldn't turn out to be a wild goose chase.
* * *
"There you are."
Harry looked up from the book he was reading to see Ron standing in the aisle.
"Hi, Ron," he said and smiled.
"Do you realise what time it is?" Ron asked, coming over.
Harry glanced at the window and to his shock realised that the sky was orange; the sun was setting.
"No," he said, "I didn't."
"You three have been in here all day," Ron said. "Where are Hermione and Draco?"
"Restricted Section," Harry replied, leaning back in his chair and stretching his back. "It was giving me a headache so I volunteered to come back out here and go through these."
He indicated the stack of books on the table. It was only then he realised that his to-read pile only had two tomes left in it and all the others were in the finished pile. No wonder it was so late. Possibly Hermione and Draco were rubbing off on him; he hadn't remotely noticed the time.
"Find what you were looking for?" Ron asked.
"Not really," Harry replied; "it was just so long ago."
"Well, dinner is going to be a long time ago if I don't dig you out of here," Ron said. "Are you lot coming?"
At the mention of food Harry's stomach gave a distinct gurgle. Since eating was strictly forbidden in the Library and none of them had been paying any attention to time, they had missed lunch.
[Draco, it's dinner time,] Harry sent to his soulmate. [Are you two ready to give up for today.]
[Really?] came back. [Merlin's beard, I had no idea.]
[Me either,] Harry said.
[We'll be right out.]
"They're just coming," Harry said.
"Better than the floo network you two," Ron said with a grin.
Harry smiled back.
When Draco and Hermione arrived they seemed to have feet of parchment between them, all covered in neat notes. Harry looked at his couple of pages and felt rather inadequate.
"Ron," Hermione said and beamed, walking over and giving her boyfriend a quick kiss.
"Um," Ron said clearly pleased, but having seen what Harry had also spotted, "you have something in your hair."
Hermione put her hand up and felt around, coming back with something green.
"Oh, it's moss," she said and put it in her pocket; "one of the books hasn't been opened in a very long time. The cover seemed to be petrified."
Harry was continually amazed by the books in the Restricted Section. There was bizarre and then there was some of the tomes hidden in the recesses of that part of the library.
"Come on," Ron said, "I'm hungry and I have to tell you what happened in Hogsmeade today, you are not going to believe it."
The way Ron grinned, his story was going to be good.
"I could eat," Draco agreed. "How about we regroup in our room after dinner to go over the notes? There must be something in here."
Harry nodded as he stood up. He hoped Draco was right.
* * *
It turned out Ron's story was just Seamus being Seamus, who had ended up falling into a pond that had previously been a puddle. No one was still quite sure how Seamus had managed to transfigure the tiny expanse of water into one that would have been suitable for ducks, but he'd ended up in the middle of it up to his neck.
"You know," Harry commented as he followed Draco into their room, "if we could harness Seamus' bad luck into repeatable magic we'd be on to a real winner."
"No," Draco said very firmly. "You are not experimenting with the Irish idiot. Now pick up your underwear from this morning, Hermione will be here in a minute."
When Harry blushed and hurried to do as he was told, Draco counted it as a win. Harry wasn't exactly the untidy sort, thank heavens, but when he had something on his mind he tended to forget some of the more mundane things in life. Draco accepted this, but he had standards and to have an untidy room when visitors were due would just be mortifying.
For his part he went to the desk and spread out his notes on top of it. There had been plenty of references in various books, the problem was, most of them were virtually the same. He began crossing things out as he scanned what he had written.
A few minutes later there was a knock on the door.
"Come in," Harry called and Hermione walked in. "Pull up a chair," Harry invited and conjured two identical ones to the one they usually had at the desk.
Draco moved some of his parchment so Hermione could put her notes down as well.
"So," Draco said as he scanned the pile of information, "what we have to do is decant all the pertinent information from all this waffle."
They had decided early in the day, when they had realised how many books they would be looking at, that simply scanning quickly and copying every entry was the best way to go. When Harry put down his two sheets of parchment Draco realised that maybe he had forgotten to mention that part to Harry.
"Okay," Hermione said and handed some of her notes to Harry, "cross out everything that is duplicate information on the pages you have, then we'll come back together and see what we've got."
Draco nodded and pulled up his chair. The desk helpfully expanded as the three of them sat down.
"Did you do that?" Hermione asked, looking at Harry.
"No, it does it automatically," Harry replied.
"We discovered it when Harry wondered why the desk glowed," Draco added. "Yours probably does it too."
There were identical desks in each room so he assumed they were all charmed in the same way. He was surprised Hermione hadn't already figured it out given all the books she usually had around her. Then again she was very tidy with such things.
"Useful," Hermione said, before turning to her task.
Draco went back to what he had been doing when Hermione came in.
It took them an hour before they had a definite list of all the information they had found. It made a pathetic half page of writing.
"All that and this is all we have to show for it," Harry said and Draco could feel the despondency coming off his soulmate.
"At least it's something," he said, trying to be the positive one since he knew how much this meant to Harry. "Hilde gave us everything she thought existed until recently and we have found more, so there's hope."
"Exactly," Hermione agreed. "Primrose sounds like a fascinating woman. Can you imagine actually talking to her?"
"It would make this a whole lot easier," Harry said, but managed to raise a small smile.
Draco scanned their list one more time.
"So we know she studied the Industriamorphus Curse, which was originally an ancient form of execution. These two sources agree it was because she met a victim of the curse," he said, pointing at the notes on the page. "This reference indicates that the Veil was partially based on her research, but all the details have been lost. She was a Transfiguration expert, but completely changed disciplines after working on the curse. No one is quite sure what she did after that. She was bonded to Thomas and they lived in what is now Kent."
It was pathetic really.
"So we have more information," Harry said, "but none of it is any use."
"But it is," Hermione said. "We have proof that the curse and the Veil are connected. This is important; it gives us a basis to work from."
"The Unspeakables aren't exactly going to give us everything they have on the Veil though," Harry said.
"No," Draco agreed, "but we know the information must be out there. All we have to do is find it. Harry, this might take time, but we have a start."
Harry didn't feel as if he believed that.
[Honestly, Love, this is important,] Draco added silently. [We know we're on the right track.]
* * *
Harry's eyes snapped open as he sensed the world around him shift; his vision only backed up this feeling as he found himself standing. Not sure what had happened, he looked around, trying to discern if he was in a dream or if he had somehow, accidentally moved locations while asleep. The room he was in looked very old fashioned, even more so than he had come to expect from the Wizarding world.
There was a chair and a table to one end of the room, both of which looked handmade and the books on the bookshelf looked more primitive than even some of the really old ones he had seen in the Restricted Section. It was dark through a lead lattice window and there was light because of floating candles, but even they looked somehow more individual than the ones he was used to from Hogwarts.
"Welcome to my home," a voice said from behind him, "whoever you may be."
He turned to find a woman he did not recognise standing at the top of a set of wooden stairs. She looked like she had just woken up. She was wearing an off white night gown and a thick robe over the top. Her hair was long and blonde and plaited down her back in the longest braid Harry had ever seen.
"I'm sorry," he said, feeling totally unalarmed by her for some reason he couldn't fathom, "I don't know how I got here."
"No matter, young gentleman," the woman replied, "I am used to strange magic at my time of life."
As she stepped further into the light cast by one of the candles he realised she was older than he had thought at first glance. She had wrinkles by the side of her eyes even though he could not see any obvious grey in her hair. There was something about her that felt familiar.
"How might I address you, Friend?" she asked.
"Oh," he said, realising he was being incredibly rude, "I'm Harry."
He only just stopped himself giving his full name. Something made him feel at ease around the woman, but he had enough self preservation instincts to keep his identity to himself.
"Prim," the woman offered in return.
"I'm so sorry for waking you," Harry said, "I really don't know how I managed to get here."
Prim stepped a little closer and Harry felt power tingle up his spine. His companion stopped at exactly the same time, a look of surprise on her face. Then she looked at him hard as something about her expression changed.
"By gods, you're a boy, but you're like me," Prim said. "I've been expecting a visit for a while, the signs were right, but I never suspected something like this."
Harry really didn't understand, so he lowered his own barriers a little, very carefully, to see what he could see. Prim was awash with magic that continually flowed around her and out to touch everything she was close to. Several facts all clashed together in Harry's head, but he didn't believe what he was thinking.
"Are you Primrose Bluebottle?" he asked.
"That would be I," she replied, "but surely you knew that if you've come travelling?"
Harry shook his head.
"I don't know what travelling is," he said, because he was having trouble comprehending what was going on.
"You mean you didn't seek out the knowledge of those who came before?" Primrose asked.
"Well I was trying to find more information on you and your work," Harry admitted, "but I never guessed this, whatever this is, was possible."
"Dear boy," Primrose said, "who trained you?"
"No one," he replied, "well at least not until recently. No one expected me because I'm a boy. It's all been rather complicated and I'm still learning everything. I'm from ..."
His voice caught in his throat as he tried to say Hogwarts. It was the most bizarre sensation.
"Don't try and tell me specifics, Harry," Primrose said, much more kindly, "the magic won't allow it, since you are the future and I am the past. You have travelled in time, well at least your mind has, and you've managed to produce a very strong likeness, I thought you were really here when I first saw you. It is an ability all Hecetamae have through the magic that binds us, although it is not something usually done lightly or by accident."
"I don't think we know about this anymore," Harry admitted, "I'm sure Hilde would have mentioned it."
"It is not something the families allow known outside their number," Primrose told him, "the knowledge is passed very carefully. Is Hilde not of the families?"
"You mean the families who are there to train us?" Harry checked.
"It's ..." Harry tried to explain it wasn't done that way anymore, but found the words stuck once again.
"Too much detail," Primrose said, "sorry, Harry, I should not have asked. Anyway it is nice to meet you. How may I help you?"
"Just like that?" Harry asked.
"Of course, Harry," Primrose said with a smile, "your need must be great or you could not have travelled."
He was about to say more when he felt a spike of worry that was not his own. There was no doubt in his mind it was Draco and he could feel his soulmate as if they were still close, but he couldn't quite communicate. Panic flared in his chest almost immediately.
This entry was originally posted at http://beren-writes.dreamwidth.org/382096.html.