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
School had been back in session for a fortnight since the week break Hogwarts had taken after the battle with Voldemort's forces. Everything was going back to normal, even if a few student's parents had elected not to allow them to return for the last few weeks of term. All signs of damage were gone from the castle and grounds and half the time Harry found himself forgetting what they had all done.
The letter from Narcissa had arrived in the evening post on the Friday. Lucius had finally been declared fit enough to leave St Mungo's. Hence, the Saturday morning saw Harry and Draco Travelling to Malfoy Manor and from there flooing to the hospital with Draco's mother.
They had not been back to see Lucius since Harry had declared him Dark Magic free, but Draco had been writing to his father for some time now. The diagnosis from the Healers seemed to be the turning point that Draco needed, as far as Harry could tell. It had been Draco who had decided on the visit and Harry had simply agreed. Narcissa was brimming over with barely concealed delight at the prospect.
They stepped out of the floo point in the staff area of the hospital. Harry still couldn't go out in public without the fear of being mobbed and they had been granted special permission not to use any of the usual entrances.
[If you need anything, just say,] Harry said as they were escorted down the hall to Lucius' room.
[I'm fine,] Draco replied and Harry just let that lie.
Draco was not fine, he was a bundle of nerves, Harry could feel it, but Harry wasn't going to bring that up.
There were still two Aurors on duty outside Lucius' room and something very peculiar happened as their group approached. The man and woman came to attention. Harry wasn't sure how to react, they hadn't done that the last time. As he and Draco neared, both saluted: wands pointed to the ceiling in their fisted hands, against their chests.
"Mr Potter, Mr Malfoy," the woman said, "thank you for your service."
Draco felt shocked, but he recovered far quicker than Harry.
"And you yours," Draco replied, nodding at her and then the male Auror as well.
"Um, thank you," was all Harry managed before Draco shepherded him into Lucius' room.
[What was all that about?] he asked Draco silently.
[You did what they usually do,] Draco replied, [they were treating you as one of their own. Just don't get any ideas that you want to try Auroring as a profession.]
[Okay,] he agreed meekly.
At least it had taken Draco's mind off what they were doing, until Draco laid eyes on Lucius at least.
Lucius was fully dressed and he almost looked like the man Harry remembered, almost. He was thinner and still somewhat frail, but the proud Malfoy stance was back, only it was tempered. Harry had never seen Lucius look at others without some shade of superiority in his gaze. The pureblood poise was there, the pride in his name, but the haughtiness was gone.
"Draco," Lucius said and smiled the moment he saw his son.
Harry couldn't help himself, he had to lower his barriers to take a look and it was just as it had been with Narcissa: pure gold. There was a tinge of shame in there as well, Lucius would probably carry that his entire life, but mostly what Harry could see was love. He automatically shared it with Draco.
[Go on,] Harry encouraged.
[Dying has not improved your Gryffindorish tendencies,] Draco replied, but Harry wasn't having any of it.
[Just do it,] he insisted.
"Father," Draco said, stepping forward, but hesitating before closing the final distance.
Harry wanted to throw his hands in the air and push the two together, but he held himself in check.
"My son," Lucius said and stepped forward.
That was it.
[Finally,] Harry said as Draco let his father embrace him.
"And Mr Potter," Lucius said when the pair drew apart, "I am glad to see you again."
"It's Harry, please," he replied, "and it's good to see you looking better, Mr Malfoy."
"Please call me Lucius, Harry."
Harry inclined his head in acknowledgement.
"How are you feeling, really?" Draco asked.
"Much stronger," Lucius replied, "although they tell me I will be using a cane for some time."
"And how did the magical tests go?"
Draco had told Harry that some of the last tests Lucius had undergone were to check to see if he was still capable of performing magic. Under house arrest as he was, Lucius was not allowed a wand, but the Ministry had provided one under strict conditions. Everything had been so crazy lately that Harry had completely forgotten about Draco's father.
"I am perfectly capable of performing all magic as before," Lucius replied, "although I must admit it seems to take more effort."
"That's because you're reforming your magical pathways," Harry said before actually thinking about it.
He found all three Malfoys looking at him.
"Care to elaborate, Harry?" Draco asked.
It was one of those things that had just popped into Harry's head so he had to think about it for a moment.
"Y'know the magical signature I'm always on about?" he asked and Draco nodded. "It forms in magical people as they grow up. Well Lucius' was completely destroyed by, well, you know, and so he's having to rebuild it from scratch. I can see it happening. I think that's why he was so ill for so long."
"Remarkable," Lucius said.
"Indeed," agreed Narcissa and Harry did his very best not to blush.
"For once you make sense," Draco said with a small smile.
[Do you have to?] Harry complained at the teasing.
[Of course, it's my job to tease you in front of my parents.]
[I thought it was supposed to be you who was embarrassed in front of your parents. When do I get to see those baby pictures?]
[Never if I have anything to say about it,] Draco replied, [that one with the flour is bad enough.]
"Are we ready to go?" Draco asked out loud.
"I believe so," Narcissa said, "I have a car waiting at the back entrance. The healers recommend no forms of magical transport for a little while longer."
Harry was quite glad; he still wasn't fond of the floo network. His first experience with it had coloured his whole perception of the means of travel. The way he and Draco were separated was also uncomfortable, although not prohibitive anymore.
When they opened the door the two Aurors came to attention once more.
"We're ready to go to the car," Narcissa said and gave the pair a small smile.
[Ah, so we're playing it that way then,] Draco commented.
[What way?] Harry wasn't sure what Draco was talking about.
[Friendly and polite rather than long suffering and disdainful,] Draco replied. [We're pretending the Aurors are just here for Father's protection.]
[Okay,] Harry said slowly, [if you say so.]
One of the Aurors led them through the hospital while the second took up the rear. They could not move fast because Lucius was still weak, but the Aurors definitely herded them efficiently.
There was a big black car waiting for them outside one of the staff entrances. While the family climbed into the back, the two Aurors conversed for a moment before one took the front seat next to the driver. Then they were off.
Harry was beginning to get used to how grand things were when around Malfoys, but the car still felt incredibly opulent. Everything was leather and wood, giving it an old fashioned feel, even though Harry was pretty sure it was state of the art.
"I am still not allowed newspapers," Lucius said as they pulled into London traffic, "but I understand from Narcissa that you have been doing great things."
Harry found the restriction placed on Lucius somewhat ridiculous and Draco had ranted about them enough times, but the Ministry was the Ministry. Even in the letters Draco had been exchanging with his father he hadn't been allowed to write certain things.
"It has been an interesting few weeks," Draco replied. "What has Mum been allowed to tell you?"
"I understand that this Voldemort fellow," the way Lucius said it in such an offhand way made Harry want to smile; if that didn't prove the man didn't remember the Dark Lord at all, Harry wasn't sure what ever would, "has been defeated and you and Harry were at the centre of his downfall."
"That is true," Draco replied and Harry saw the Auror in the front seat turn his head slightly.
They were separated from the front by privacy glass, but something didn't feel right.
[The Auror is listening,] he told Draco.
[I noticed,] Draco replied, [they must have a listening charm on us.]
[I've had enough of this ridiculousness,] Harry said.
He lowered his barriers and took a look and he could see it immediately. There was something attached in the side panel of the door.
"Does anyone else feel that?" he asked, frowning and rolling his shoulders.
"Feel what?" Narcissa asked.
"Something's making my skin prickle," Harry said, rubbing his arm. "Like static."
[What are you doing?] Draco wanted to know.
[You'll see,] Harry replied.
"And it makes me want to ... want to ..."
Harry made a big show of sneezing and sent raw magic leaping from his fingers at the door at the same time. It was only a tiny amount, but it was enough to fry the listening charm.
"Sneeze," he finished as if he hadn't been expecting that at all. "Sorry."
The Auror in the front seat turned and opened the privacy glass.
"Everything alright?" the man asked.
"Sorry," Harry apologised, "I'm mildly allergic to some magical substances and I think I must have come into contact with one in St Mungos. No harm done though, I think."
He smiled his most innocent 'I am the Saviour of the world, did you know' smile. He knew it wasn't the Auror's fault that the Ministry were being a bureaucratic nightmare.
"No, no harm," the Auror said.
"Thank heavens," Harry said, "sorry to have disturbed you."
Leaning forward, he closed the privacy glass and gave the Auror a little wave.
[Clear?] Draco asked.
[Clear,] Harry replied.
"The listening charm is gone," Draco said rather smugly.
At least now they could talk. How everything about Lucius was going to be sorted out was still unclear, but Harry was pretty sure there wasn't anyone in their world who could say no to him at the moment. It would take some doing, but with Draco and Hermione figuring out the details he knew that an amicable settlement would be reached eventually. For now Lucius would technically be under house arrest.
* * *
It was the final staff meeting of the year and it seemed to be a very jolly affair. In fact most of them since the end of the war had been very jolly affairs because the Wizarding World still hadn't stopped celebrating. This time they had an array of biscuits that would have put a bakery to shame and Harry had his eye on a very nice looking chocolate digestive. He had to wait for the break in proceedings, but he was pretty sure he could get there before Professor Sprout when the time came.
[Just summon it over,] Draco said, laughing at him silently.
[That would be cheating,] he replied.
They didn't usually have as many interesting looking biscuits, but getting to the ones you wanted was a game of strategy all the teachers played.
"Welcome, welcome," Dumbledore said as everyone took their seats, "it gives me great pleasure to bring our last staff meeting to order."
There was a little more shuffling, but soon everyone was comfortable.
"We have very little on the agenda today," the headmaster continued, "and I am sure you have all noticed that the house elves have outdone themselves in the catering department, so I shall not keep you long."
That caused a small round of laughter; even Snape didn't look as dour as usual. Of course, Snape had looked a lot less uptight ever since Voldemort's death. The man had actually smiled in a fourth year class once and, by all reports, scared the willies out of the students.
"The roster of those who will be accompanying the students on the train back to London is on the board. Thank you to all who volunteered. I was most gratified that we had more than enough to fill the places without having to press gang anyone into the role.
"Now," Dumbledore said continued, "I have been speaking with many of the staff over the last few weeks and it has come to my attention that they very much enjoy the current arrangement of assistant professors. I believe I am correct in saying it gives everyone far more time to pursue their own areas of research as well as teaching."
His chocolate digestive was forgotten as the headmaster grabbed all of Harry's focus.
"I am therefore very pleased to announce that we will be keeping the posts of assistant professors even though the reason for which they were created is now past. All those in post will have first refusal to extend their contracts, but should any of you wish to move on to pastures new, we will advertise the positions left vacant over the summer holidays."
Harry was sure his heart fluttered and he looked at Draco.
[Do you ... um would you ..?] he tried to ask as his want to stay nearly overwhelmed him, but he didn't want to push it onto Draco.
[You're an idiot,] was what Draco replied. [Of course we can stay.]
Harry grinned and knew he looked like a complete idiot, but he couldn't help it. Hogwarts was home and he definitely didn't want to give that up yet.
"This year has been one of incredible upheaval," Dumbledore said, "with the best of all outcomes. We have been very lucky in the ending we have come to and I am so very glad to see every face in this room here, as you were here on the first meeting of the first term. The dark has been defeated once again and Hogwarts stands as a bastion of the light. I am most proud to call you all my colleagues and I look forward, with great joy, to next year. Thank you all for you service to your students and the light."
The way the old man twinkled at them just made Harry want to smile even more.
"And now I shall hand over to Professor McGonagall for the details of the end of term feast," Dumbledore said and cheerfully sat down.
Harry squeezed Draco's hand and went back to eyeing his chocolate digestive.