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
Conversation over lunch was very deliberately kept to anything that didn't involve everything that had happened. Of course that couldn't last and Harry agreed when Draco suggested they invite their close friends back to their quarters to talk. They arranged it so Hermione and Ron would arrived slightly before Seamus and Neville, because Draco knew Harry would want to talk to his best friends first.
However, it seemed that everyone and their kneazle wanted to talk to Harry once lunch was finished, so their plans went a little awry. Draco let it go on for about half an hour, because he could tell most of it wasn't making an impact on Harry anyway. It wasn't until a Hufflepuff said something stupid about heroic battles and seemed completely oblivious to how uncomfortable it was making Harry, that Draco put a stop to it. He glanced at those who had stayed around discretely to make sure they were okay and that was it.
Frankly it still amazed him how efficient their friends could be when required. All he had to do was look at Hermione and there was suddenly a path to the door with not even an errant first year to block their path. He was all too aware that at some point Harry's brain was going to come back fully online, and he definitely didn't want it to be in the middle of the Great hall.
It didn't take them long to make it back to their quarters, at least once Draco had dragged Harry away from staring a one or two things only he could see. By that point they only had Ron and Hermione in tow.
"Now let me look at you properly," Hermione said as soon as the door to their room was closed.
It was eerily similar to Pansy's reaction and Draco couldn't help wondering how many other people were likely to do the same thing.
"We're fine, Mione, promise," Harry said, smiling at his friend's concern.
"You died," Hermione pointed out.
"Not quite," Harry said, and Draco knew that was precisely the wrong thing to say.
"Not quite?" Hermione's voice increased in volume. "Every healer in Hogwarts, which was a lot, I might add, thought you were both dead. You'd been laid out for ten minutes. How does that count as not quite?"
"Umm," Harry was as eloquent as ever.
"What Harry means," Draco said, "is we're sorry to have worried you, but we're pretty sure life lingers a little longer than traditional wisdom believes, because we did not cross over."
"What was it like, Mate?" Ron asked, placing an arm round Hermione and pulling her toward him as she sagged a little.
Draco was pretty sure Hermione was holding back tears. She had been efficient and stoic until now, but it was clearly not just Harry who was still dealing with shock.
"Peaceful," Harry replied and sat down on the bed. "Sorry, Mione, I didn't mean to upset you."
"I'm sorry too," Hermione said, "I shouldn't have raised my voice."
"It's been long few days," Draco put in. "I think it'll be a while before any of us feel normal again."
"Pansy already gave us the 'don't do it again' speech in the hospital wing," Harry added, with a tiny smile.
"How is Greg?" Hermione asked, clearly using it as a distraction.
"Going to be fine as soon as they let him wake up," Draco replied, taking the out for what it was.
There were going to be some long conversations in their near future, he was sure, but not quite yet. The fact Voldemort was dead was still sinking in. When it had, maybe they would start talking about it properly.
"Everyone has been having mini parties," Ron said, "maybe we should too."
"Not quite yet," Draco put in before Harry could respond, "but maybe soon."
* * *
It wasn't long after Draco had nixed the idea of a party, for which Harry was extremely grateful, that Seamus and Neville turned up as well.
"How are you both feeling?" Neville asked as he and Seamus made themselves comfortable.
"I still can't believe it's all over," Harry admitted. "It kind of feels like a nightmare that turned into a dream and I expect to wake up at any moment."
"Yeah, it has been weird, Mate," Ron agreed. "I don't think I've seen so many people smiling ever."
"I always suspected the whole world was demented," Draco said, "now I just know it's true."
Harry smiled at his soulmate for that one.
"And physically?" Neville asked. "We wouldn't want to tire you out if you need to rest."
"Perfectly fine," Harry said. "Phoenix tears are a miracle cure."
"Literally," Draco added.
"Don't even feel remotely tired anymore," Harry continued, "just a bit foggy in the head."
"I always thought you were anyway," Seamus quipped, to which Harry replied with the universal gesture of 'up yours'.
"That'll be shock," Hermione said and patted him on the arm, "don't worry, I'm sure you'll get over it."
He nodded and smiled at her concern. She seemed to be over her more emotional state from before, and was much calmer and more the logical friend he had come to appreciate. He hoped she was right, because it was a little annoying to feel three steps behind twenty five percent of the time.
"Did you want to talk about it?" Hermione asked next.
Harry shook his head emphatically; he didn't even want to think about it. Talking was completely out of the question.
"What happened to all the Death Eaters who were with Voldemort?" Draco asked.
The way the name that so many had been afraid to utter for so long just fell from Draco's mouth with such ease made part of Harry feel deep satisfaction. His brain shied away from why, but he still felt it.
"Snape had them all in magical ropes by the time anyone else thought about them," Ron said. "Sorry, we were all a bit worried about you at the time. Seems Snape Transferred away..."
"I told him to," Harry muttered.
"...and then came straight back when everything was over," Ron continued. "Most of them were taken to St Mungo's and the one Draco scared into next week was just put in custody. Mum says that Bellatrix Lestrange has turned into a complete raving loony."
"Like she wasn't already," Neville commented.
"Yeah, but by all accounts she didn't used to randomly laugh hysterically and drool," Hermione said.
However, Harry was more interested in the other part of Ron's description.
[Scared into next week?] Harry asked.
[They were between me and you,] Draco said in a far too casual tone, [and I was still in my Animagus form. Seems it's rather intimidating when you don't know me.]
[I can see that,] Harry acknowledged, [but I prefer magnificent.]
Draco gave him a little smile for that.
"One of them was Pettigrew," Ron said and he suddenly had all of Harry's attention.
It was ridiculous, but in everything that had been going on he had totally forgotten the rat was even still alive.
"Bill heard that as soon as he woke up he started confessing to anyone who would listen," Ron added without needing to be prompted. "Once a coward, always a coward."
"I hope," Harry started to say and then stopped, "actually, I have no idea what I hope. I just never want to lay eyes on the back stabbing little shit ever again."
"Hear, hear," Hermione agreed.
Dwelling on the man who had betrayed his parents and godfather wasn't really something Harry wanted to do right then. He knew he was avoiding things, but he couldn't help it.
"And the others?" he asked, looking for a diversion.
"Everything went really smoothly after you did the hard work," Seamus said. "When we sent the signal Dobby used the emergency exit to get all the kids out of the Chamber of Secrets. The Aurors took all of the bad guys who were still mobile and everyone ended up in the Great Hall. Parents started arriving in Hogsmeade as soon as the news got out and it's been organised chaos ever since, like normal really."
"Sirius decked one of the Minister's lackeys," Neville said, "but that's probably the most interesting thing that's happened since you two came back from the dead."
Harry found himself nodding before he caught up with what his friend had just said.
"Sirius did what?" he asked.
The last thing he needed was to have to bail his godfather out of Azkaban.
"Don't look so worried, Mate," Ron said and grinned, "the moron deserved it. He was only trying to insist that someone disturb you and Draco because they needed an official statement. If Sirius hadn't got there first I think Madam Pomfrey would have taken matters into her own hands. She reset the idiot's nose while giving him the silent treatment and then Dumbledore had a quiet word and Fred definitely overheard words like 'career suicide'."
Harry considered asking why Fred was in a position to eavesdrop, but then decided he really couldn't be bothered.
"Where is Sirius?" he asked, since that was a more important question.
"Giving his official statement at the Ministry," Hermione explained. "The bureaucrats managed to insist that everyone who isn't staff or a student at Hogwarts had to give their statement in London. He'll be back this afternoon with Remus."
It was typical of the Ministry to make things difficult, even though they had all been cooperating. Most likely it was paranoia.
* * *
Harry was positive he had been doing things since lunch, but he had no idea what they might have been. His brain really wasn't firing on all cylinders at all. Dark magic was clearly not good for his cognitive function. He remembered Ron and Hermione and Neville and Seamus, but if asked what they had talked about, he couldn't have given a clear answer. It was as if he was filing everything away for later inspection, but had no way to get at it before some unspecified time limit ran out.
"And I suggest we turn up naked."
That caught his attention.
"You haven't heard anything I have said for the past five minutes, have you?" Draco said, giving him a critical once over.
He shook his head.
"Sorry, my brain just isn't working right," he replied. "Maybe I should talk to Madam Pomfrey about it?"
Draco sat down next to him where he was sitting on the bed.
"I wouldn't worry about it," Draco told him, leaning in and giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "You've been through a huge magical and mental shock, side effects are to be expected. Madam Pomfrey will just tell you to rest and relax."
"Are you sure? You went through the same thing and you seem fine."
"I went through it with you as a buffer," Draco said, patting his hand. "And I might be more with it than you, but that's just because you're not up to full speed and can't tell how off my game I am."
He smiled and Harry couldn't help smiling back. Along with the fuzziness there was a lightness at the back of his mind that came forward every now and then in the knowledge they were now safe. Something caught his attention though and the feeling faded back.
"There's more," he said, knowing that Draco was holding something back.
"Yes," Draco said, "but I'm going to ask you to trust me, Harry. You don't need to worry about it now, okay?"
Of course he trusted Draco, but he also liked to know everything.
"Is it bad?" he asked.
"It's not great," Draco replied, "but, no, it's not bad like you mean. Please, Love, trust me."
And there wasn't anything Harry could really say to that. He just nodded.
Before he could even begin to brood there was a knock on the door. He glanced over and looked straight through the wards without even thinking about it.
"Sirius and Remus," he said, which brightened his mood immediately.
"Better let them in before your godfather knocks down the door then," Draco said and stood up.
"And your mum," Harry added as he noticed a third magical signature.
Before Draco made it to the end of the bed, the door clicked and swung open.
"Let me guess," Draco said when the door revealed Sirius facing the wrong way and saying something to Narcissa, "you have no idea how you did that."
Harry shrugged. He wasn't sure of much at the moment, but his magic seemed to be a lot more on the ball than he was.
"Please, come in," Draco invited.
Narcissa and Sirius pinned them down with identical expressions. Apparently not everyone believed in phoenix healing if most people's behaviour so far was anything to go by. Narcissa took it one step further with Draco and hugged him before examining him with her arms on both of his shoulders at full stretch. Harry had the feeling Sirius would have done the same had he not had the chance to get used to the idea of Harry being alive since the last time.
"How are you both feeling?" It was Remus who asked the obvious question.
"Fuzzy," Harry replied, at the same time Draco said, "fine."
"Don't bother with the jokes," Draco said before Sirius could respond to Harry's admission, "Seamus got there first at least three times."
"Damn Irish," Sirius responded, "too quick for us English."
"You are both well, though?" Narcissa added.
"Madam Pomfrey declared us fitter than before everything happened," Draco assured his mother.
"Not even a scratch," Harry said, "except from where I walked into a wall on the way back from lunch."
"He got distracted by the magic in the staircase," Draco said, rolling his eyes in a very exaggerated manner. "Put sparkles in the air and I think Harry would be entertained for hours right about now."
Harry grinned-it was probably true.
"Well it's about time you both had a chance to just relax and watch the sparkles," Sirius said, offering Narcissa one of the two available chairs.
Then he threw himself onto the other side of the bed from Harry, as if he owned the place, and completely wrecked the illusions he was any more than the uncouth Gryffindor Draco always called him behind his back. It made Harry smile more though.
"I hear there's going to be a press conference," Remus said and took the other chair when Draco went to sit by Harry.
"There is?" Harry looked at Draco.
"That was what I was trying to tell you about earlier," Draco said.
"Oh," and for once his brain provided the correct information, "then I don't think turning up naked would be the best plan."
He scored himself a point when Draco actually blushed.
"Naked?" Narcissa asked with an eyebrow raise so like Draco's usual ones he could only have learned them from her.
"He was off in a world of his own," Draco said as if he wasn't going a lovely pink, "I had to say something to get his attention and he's been known to respond well to certain stimuli."
It was Harry's turn to blush so they were a matched pair.
"Awww, isn't that adorable," Sirius said.
"Sirius," Remus said, "after Harry went to all the trouble of bringing you back from the dead, and you managed to survive the final battle of the war, I think it really would be a shame to be hexed into the next life for calling a Slytherin adorable."
"Harry wouldn't let him," Sirius replied.
"Harry is in no state to stop Draco doing anything," Harry pointed out, "or to be talking about himself in the third person."
For the first time Narcissa smiled. If only Harry could keep his mind on the conversation he was pretty sure the rest of the afternoon was going to go well.
"So, how was the Ministry?" Harry asked, because he knew his godfather could be relied upon to go on about bureaucratic idiots for a while.
It was always therapeutic to listen to Sirius rant.
"And I'd like to hear the story behind you decking a Ministry employee as well," Draco added.
"You didn't," Narcissa said, looking at Sirius.
"I did," Sirius replied, looking very self-satisfied.
"Don't encourage him," Remus said, but he was smiling, "but I will say, this time he was right."
Harry wanted to hear all the details too.
* * *
Harry still felt like he was wandering around in something of a haze. Everyone seemed so happy and it was almost like they had been born into a new world. When Voldemort fell, the Dark fell as well. Without its leader there was no other side to the war and most who weren't caught straight away, had surrendered, claiming Imperio or other coercion. It was amazing how many purebloods claimed to be under the influence of the Dark Lord and not acting of their own volition.
Harry was aware of all this going on around him, but he didn't really feel part of it. Draco also still seemed a little dazed as well, at least as far as Harry was capable of telling, and they never left each other's sides. Every time he thought about his confrontation with Voldemort it was as if his mind simply shied away from it. They had been interacting with everyone and enjoying it, but it all still felt like it might be some kind of dream.
Hermione said it was perfectly normal to feel like he was, but he hoped it wouldn't last too much longer.
The battle had been on the Saturday and it was already Wednesday morning. He was sure he should have been thinking straight by then. However, what he hadn't taken into consideration was what might happen when he did.
He was standing in front of the mirror in his and Draco's room, brushing his hair in preparation for the press conference that had been arranged, when he caught sight of the scar on his forehead. From the livid lightning bolt it had faded so that it was a white line on his already pale skin, only really noticeable if you were looking for it.
That, it seemed, was all it took for his mind to finally accept what had happened. With that realisation everything came crashing down and he began to shake.
The hairbrush tumbled from his hand and he stared at himself as a cold, icy feeling started in the pit of his stomach and worked its way into every cell in his body. Harry blinked as the world in general seemed to fade out and all he could see properly was the scar. The faded reminder of a dead man had every scrap of his attention. A small, hysterical laugh escaped his mouth as what he had done hit him squarely between the eyes.
Voldemort was dead and he had killed him.