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
Of course there was one fact, other than it was all over, that had Harry thinking. His wand had been destroyed along with his enemy's and he wasn't quite sure what he had to do about that. It wasn't as if he could leave Hogwarts at the moment, not with all the press and the Death Eater clear up that was going on. Yes he could do some magic without a wand, but he felt kind of bereft without it.
He had no scars from his encounter with the backlash from Voldemort's wand, the phoenix tears had seen to that, but they had also had another effect. His right hand was perfectly whole and useable, but healed into the skin were tiny shards of holly and phoenix feather. His wand must have completely disintegrated in the explosion of magic and tiny pieces of it had embedded themselves in his hand.
They didn't look terrible, just like small flecks of colour under his skin, but he was hoping there was an easy way to get rid of them.
"Gentlemen," Madam Pomfrey said as she entered the room, "I hope you are feeling rested."
"Yes thank you," Harry said, letting his hand drop back to his side.
He had slept soundly for nearly eighteen hours with Draco by his side and he was actually feeling relatively normal. The events of the previous day seemed almost like a dream.
"Your hospitality has served us as well as ever," Draco added, "thank you."
"I am very glad to hear it," the healer said. "There are many people wishing to speak with you, so I shall be as brief as I can. I must ascertain that there are no lasting effects from yesterday's encounter."
"We completely understand," Draco replied for them and sat down next to Harry on the edge of the bed.
Once they had woken they had dressed, eaten and only then announced their return to the waking world. Harry, for one, was ready to get back out into the rest of the school. He knew there had been no major casualties on the part of the defenders, but he still wanted to see for himself. That their plan had worked didn't seem quite possible.
Madam Pomfrey's medical charms were gentle and familiar and Harry was happy to just sit there as both he and Draco were examined.
"Both healthier than you were yesterday morning," Madam Pomfrey declared, "but then that is to be expected where phoenix tears are concerned. Which just leaves the question of your hand, Harry. I saw you looking at it when I came in. Would you like me to remove the fragments of your wand now, or wait until a later date?"
Harry looked down at his hand again.
[Now?] he asked Draco.
He didn't want to delay if his soulmate was feeling particularly restless.
[Whatever you want,] Draco replied. [I am sure nothing will have changed out there if we are a little bit longer.]
"Now please," he said and held out his hand dutifully.
"Just hold still, Harry," Madam Pomfrey told him, "this is a charm I have used more times than I can possibly remember. Things seem to explode in this school far more often than is to my liking. It will be slightly uncomfortable as the fragments dislodge themselves, but there should be no pain."
Harry nodded and prepared himself.
He couldn't help it, he held his breath as the school healer lifted her wand and skilfully pronounce the correct incantation. Which made it all rather anticlimactic when nothing happened.
"Unfortunate," Madam Pomfrey said after a second. "It would appear that due to the magical nature of the shards, this charm is ineffective. Never fear, Harry," she continued, "it will take a while longer, but we will just have to do it the harder way."
"Which is?" he asked.
"Numbing charms, a needle and healing salve," Madam Pomfrey said. "I will not keep you long."
As she left to collect what she needed Harry gave his hand a glare for good measure.
"Sometimes I really wish I could do things the easy way," he said and shrugged at Draco.
Draco reached over and took his left hand, pulling it towards him.
"I fell in a patch of Beats Briar once," his soulmate said. "Had to have all the prickles removed by hand too. Don't worry, it doesn't hurt. In fact, having been on the receiving end of that charm too, I'd say the manual way is less unpleasant."
"Thanks for telling me that after the fact," Harry said with a small grin.
"I would never question Madam Pomfrey's treatments," Draco replied, "I have self preservation instincts."
That drew a fully fledged laugh from Harry and he kind of marvelled at what a light sound it was. Everything had been so serious for so long.
"It's finally over isn't it," he said, as the idea began to sink in.
"For us it is," Draco replied and pulled him in to a one armed hug.
Harry would have said more, but Madam Pomfrey reappeared through the door with a small tray. It wasn't as if Harry was looking forward to the procedure, but after Madam Pomfrey conjured herself a chair and sat down, he dutifully let her take his hand. As least with magic there was no hit and miss; as soon as the numbing charm hit his hand he couldn't feel a thing.
The needle Madam Pomfrey had was long, thin and rather dangerous looking, which was why Harry turned his head away. There were many things he could deal with, but he didn't fancy watching while someone dug around under his skin with something sharp, even if he couldn't feel it.
"That is most odd," were the words that made him look back.
"What is it, Madam Pomfrey?" he asked.
"I am sorry, Harry," she said, placing her needle back on the tray and gently rubbing his finger with the healing salve, "but I am unable to remove the shards."
He wanted to grab his hand back to see what was going on, but held himself in check. Instead he pushed his spare pair of glasses back up his nose with his other hand.
"It appears they have fused with your hand," was the simple explanation. "It is possible the healing from the phoenix tears has had an unforeseen effect, or it could have been the power of the magical explosion that did it. I am not an expert in such matters, but I believe the shards of your wand are now part of you."
"Oh," was about all Harry could think of to say to that.
"Could this affect Harry's ability to use a new wand?" Draco asked.
"I'm afraid I do not know," Madam Pomfrey replied. "Have you attempted any magic since awakening, Harry?"
Harry shook his head; it hadn't been necessary.
"My hand doesn't feel any different," he said, finally reclaiming his limb after Madam Pomfrey cast the counter charm to reverse the numbing effect.
You couldn't really see anything unless you looked closely, but he really didn't want to be stuck with wood and bird feather under his skin. As he ran the fingers of his left hand over one of the small spots he couldn't feel a lump or anything either.
When it came to throwing around raw power without a wand he didn't find it a problem. He had done everything that needed to be done to combine the metal and magic for their rings wandlessly, but that had been different than a regular spell. Normal things still required a wand. One of the things he could do with a wand or without a wand, however, was move things. All that seemed to need was concentration. It was just the degree of control that changed.
Summoning things was much better done with a wand because otherwise he might end up hit in the face or even more delicate places. Closing doors and the like was easy just by himself. With this in mind he looked over at the cupboard where they had stored their things on their longer stays in the room. The door was slightly ajar.
Concentrating he reached out with his magic and pushed it closed. It shut with a bang.
His hand tingled and he lifted it, but nothing looked strange.
"Harry?" Draco asked.
"My hand felt funny," he said.
"How exactly?" Madam Pomfrey enquired.
"Tingling," he said.
"If I may," Madam Pomfrey said and used her wand to indicate his hand.
Harry dutifully held out his arm. The warm hum of the healer's magic soon hit his hand as Madam Pomfrey efficiently cast some sort of revealing charm.
"Hmm, most interesting," she said. "Harry, are there any charms which you are completely sure are beyond your capabilities without a wand?"
That hadn't been quite what Harry was expecting her to ask. It wasn't the easiest question either. Wandless magic wasn't something he had really practiced with when it came to everyday things.
"Well I tried Diffindo once," he said, "and it definitely didn't work. I haven't tried many others, mostly I work on defence without a wand, not charms and stuff."
"Would you care to try it now?" Madam Pomfrey asked and took the cloth she had had on her small tray and held it up and to the side.
Harry couldn't help the look he sent Draco.
[Just try,] Draco encouraged, [I am sure Madam Pomfrey has a good reason.]
Feeling just a little anxious because he wasn't sure what was going on, Harry brought up his hand. Since the wand movement was as important as the words he spoke the spell and used his fingers as if they were the wand, while pointing at the cloth. He had to admit he was very glad when nothing happened. He felt the tingle again, but it didn't seem to go anywhere.
Madam Pomfrey waved her wand over his hand again.
"What's the matter?" he asked, getting worried now.
Draco gently squeezed his hand in support.
"It's nothing to worry about, I don't think, Harry," Madam Pomfrey replied with a small smile, "it is simply that when I tested your hand I found magical residue. I thought perhaps the fragments were causing your hand to act as a wand. The tingling is probably magic trying to use the pieces."
"That doesn't sound good," Harry said, trying to imaging what that would mean for getting a new wand.
"It does make things a little more complicated," the healer admitted, "but I am sure an expert will be able to sort it all out. I believe it would be best to consult Mr Ollivander. If you would like I will ask the Headmaster to send an owl immediately."
"I think that might be a good idea," Harry said, staring at his hand.
[Don't worry,] Draco told him silently. [I'm sure Ollivander will just hand you a new wand and tell everyone to stop making a fuss.]
Harry just groaned and put his head on Draco's shoulder. Why, in Merlin's name, was it always him?
* * *
After Madam Pomfrey's visit Harry and Draco had spent what had been left of the previous day in the warded room, relaxing and doing nothing more strenuous that getting up to use the loo. Since they had still shown all the signs of being completely healthy the following morning, and Harry had had no unexpected breakdowns, the school healer had finally released them. The hospital wing was mostly empty when they finally dared to step out into it. There were a couple of patients still bed ridden, but it looked as if most of the injuries really had been on the other side. All those injured on Voldemort's side had already been transferred to St Mungo's for treatment in the secure wing.
It was almost as if the chaos of the previous days was completely forgotten.
Draco looked around, totally unable to break the habit of assessing for a threat, which was when he saw a familiar figure.
"Greg," he squeaked, something which he would forever deny, and began to drag Harry towards where his friend looked like he was sleeping.
Pansy who was sitting next to the bed immediately looked up.
After they had returned from the dead, it had been so surreal, that Draco had never noticed one of his friends was hurt.
"Draco," Pansy said, standing up and immediately enveloping him in a very un-Slytherin like hug.
When she pulled back she seemed to be giving him a once over to satisfy herself he was okay.
"What's wrong with Greg?" he asked.
"He took a side swipe from a blasting curse to the head," Pansy said, "but don't worry, he's going to be fine. They are keeping him asleep until tomorrow to make sure he is completely healed, that's all. I just didn't feel right leaving him."
"Thank heavens it was only a side swipe," Harry said.
Draco nodded in agreement; he shuddered to think what a full on blasting curse from one of Voldemort's elite would have done to a person's head.
"He managed to duck," Pansy said, "like a true Slytherin."
Suddenly the way she was looking at him was rather unsettling to Draco.
"Unlike you," she said and gave him a good thwack on the arm with her hand. "Don't you ever die on me again, do you hear?" she demanded. "And you," she added, glaring at Harry, "don't think I have forgotten about you."
Draco knew when to protest and when to just give in and he nodded emphatically. He was pretty sure Pansy was not overly rational on the subject. It wasn't something he had expected at all.
[I am officially scared,] Harry said.
[You and me both,] Draco replied, which was utterly ridiculous.
So much so, that he held it together for precisely ten seconds, before his lips twitched without any consent from him at all. He couldn't help it. Two days ago they had been up against the Dark Lord, today it was Pansy Parkinson.
"Don't you dare laugh at me," Pansy warned.
"Can't help it, Pans," he said, lips moving into a full smile, "you just terrified the defeater of the Dark Lord with one look. It's hilarious."
Pansy managed to look annoyed for even less time than Draco had managed to stay serious and she cracked a smile.
"I mean it," she said, but the bite was gone from her tone, "either of you gets yourself killed again and I'm going to resurrect you so I can kill you myself."
"Totally understood," Draco said. "We plan on never trying anything like that ever again."
When Pansy looked in his direction Harry nodded very swiftly as well.
"Never again," Harry promised, which made Draco chuckle a little more.
"Let me know as soon as Greg wakes up, okay?" Draco asked.
"Of course," Pansy replied, "now go and see the Gryffindors before they think something terrible has happened to you at the hands of the evil Slytherins."
"I thought you were only semi-evil now?" Harry said, clearly getting his sense of humour back.
"Oh no," Pansy replied, "still completely evil, we're just lulling you into a false sense of security."
"Ah, okay then," Harry said and Pansy grinned at him, "as long as I know."
"Come on," Draco said and linked his arm through Harry's, "before you do something stupid like actually try and get into a game of words with my best friend."
For a fraction of a second he saw Pansy look surprised and then it was gone. It took him a moment to realise that was probably the first time he had called her his best friend since he had fallen in love with Harry. Maybe things really were getting back to normal now.
"Do I look that stupid?" Harry asked as they walked away.
"Do you really want me to answer that?" Draco replied. "Bye, Pans, see you later."
"Bye, Draco," Pansy replied, "don't do anything I wouldn't do."
That made Draco laugh again.
They made their way towards the Great Hall, since it was lunch time so everyone was likely to be there. School was not officially in session, Dumbledore having declared a special week's holiday for everyone to get back to normal, and Madam Pomfrey had told them that many of the students had taken the week off as a chance to go home, but meals were still at normal times. Draco was looking forward to the simplicity of routine; it made him feel more secure.
Harry really wasn't quite himself yet and Draco was pretty sure his soulmate hadn't actually dealt with anything that had happened. He was hoping that a little normality would start to bring Harry all the way back. Everything that had just occurred with Pansy proved that the real Harry was definitely in there, it was just a matter of dispelling the feeling of unreality that was permeating Harry.
Of course, after everything Harry had done, Draco was pretty sure his soulmate deserved all the time he needed.
They snuck in the side door at the end of the hall, rather than the main doors and moved as quickly as possible to the assistant professors' table. The hall was emptier than usual, but there were still a good half of the students in residence. Most of the children were so busy eating and talking that they didn't even look up. It was almost a completely covert entrance.
Of course Seamus had to go and ruin it by greeting them incredibly loudly. Every pair of eyes in the room looked up.
[Bugger,] Draco said, while keeping his expression completely neutral.
For a little while there was complete silence; a pin would have been loud had it hit the floor. It was as if no one really knew what to do.
Then one of the Ravenclaw fifth years stood up.
"Three cheers for Harry Potter," she said in a very clear, very sure voice, "hip, hip..."
"Hooray," sounded from around the hall.
"Hooray," this one was louder.
"Hooray," the last one almost took the roof off.
Harry just stood there looking shell shocked. Draco could tell his soulmate had absolutely no idea how to react. As silence fell again, he took over.
"Thank you," he said, "as you can probably tell, Harry's still a little tired. It's been rather a long few days."
Neither of them were technically tired at all, but Draco wasn't about to go into details about Harry's current mental state with half the school there, so 'tired' would have to do.
"Feel better soon, Harry," came from the Gryffindor table.
"Thank you," Harry said far more quietly than should have carried around the hall and, yet, but Draco's reckoning, everyone heard it. "Um, I'm a little hungry, so I'll just have some lunch now."
It wasn't eloquent and it wasn't exactly normal Harry, but it was better than nothing and as Harry sat down everyone took the hint.