This Harry Potter FanFic is copyrighted by the author (me!).
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.
Enjoy! And thanks to Chris my new editor for the editing job!
"I-I'm sorry Albus," Liam sobbed as he sat in the headmaster's office. "I had the chance to prevent all of those deaths, but I... I couldn't stop him."
As soon as he had heard the news about the Irish Ministry of Magic Liam immediately knew it was Cassius from the fact that the wizard only needed one spell to take the place. He had wrestled with his conscience for a few moments before making his way to the stone gargoyle guarding the headmaster's office and requesting a meeting with the headmaster. He told him everything, no longer lying about why Cassius was still alive. It was hard to confess the fact that he let loose one of the most dangerous wizards in existence and as he talked he couldn't bring himself to look Dumbledore in the eyes.
Dumbledore sighed to himself when Liam had finished, feeling his many years taking their toll on him in times of trouble, like right now. "So you let him go, twice?" he asked in a soft tone, trying to hide his disappointment.
"Yes," Liam whispered in reply. "Both times he used my feelings against me to ensure his survival. I have the power to defeat him, just not the heart."
Liam looked up and saw that Dumbledore had now gotten up out of his seat and was standing at the back of his office, staring out the window in silence. Liam waited for the old man to say anything but he continued to just stand there. Finally Liam got tired of the silence and said something,
"W-what are we going to do Albus?" he asked nervously.
Dumbledore slowly turned around and looked his dueling professor in the eyes,
"Fudge has finally admitted that he was wrong. There was no way he could continue to deny the return of the Dark Lord while two of our closest wizarding nations are in such peril. He has sent envoys to the United States, asking for extra staff and aurors, however as usual we cannot be sure when they will arrive. For now I think it is best to keep the school functioning normally. Naturally the students would already know about the attacks overseas from their parents and the Daily Prophet. So I think the best way to calm their nerves is to start voluntary special magical defense classes at night for all years."
"But we already have a dueling class and a defense against the dark arts class," Liam noted.
"True, but I believe we need a class that will specially prepare students for a run in with a death eater, and even Voldemort himself in some cases. If we can minimize the fear that the student body has against Tom and his followers, than we have a better chance of repelling an attack against the school."
"You believe Tom would attack the school before the Ministry?" Liam asked.
Dumbledore gave him a serious look, "Within this school are the two things that Thomas Riddle fears the most, myself and Harry Potter. Once we are out of the way he believes that this country is his for the taking."
"But why Harry?" asked Liam in confusion.
Dumbledore sat down behind his desk again and looked at Liam, "I'm afraid the only person I can ever answer that question for is Mr. Potter himself."
Liam just nodded and got the impression that this meeting was over. As he got up he spoke,
"So apart from those classes its just business as usual?"
Albus smiled and popped a Lemon Drop into his mouth, "It's always business as usual old friend, always."
Breakfast at the Great Hall was a somber affair the next morning. As expected Dumbledore had gotten up and given a brief speech about Voldemort and what had happened in Ireland and France. Seamus Finnegan had gotten up and left in tears halfway through the speech, none of the teachers tried to stop him and a few moments after he left Professor McGonagall got up out of her seat at the head table and also left the hall. The only smiles in the entire room were on the faces of the Slytherin students, excluding Draco of course who was sitting at the Gryffindor table with Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Harry had to restrain himself from getting up and wiping that wide grin off Goyle's face halfway through dinner. The Weasley twins didn't look angry at all for some reason and were actually grinning at the Slytherins. When Harry asked them why they were so okay about everything they just told him to stick around and watch the show.
As Harry sat there looking at his empty plate he noticed Colin Creevy who was sitting on the other side of the table looking at him.
"What?" he asked, a tad annoyed at the way the young boy was gawking at him.
"A-are you going to eat anything Harry?" he managed to stammer.
Harry's mind went blank as he tried to come up with a reason when Draco, who was sitting beside him, leaned in really close to the Fourth Year Gryffindor,
"What are you? His dietician? Now piss off and leave us alone!" he said grumpily.
But for some reason Colin chose to pursue the matter,
"I haven't seen you eat in nearly six weeks Harry, are you on a rapid weight loss program? And why are you suddenly friends with HIM?" he said with a look of disgust on his face as he pointed his fork at Draco.
Harry grabbed Draco's robes before the blond boy got up and punched Colin in the face and quickly replied,
"Look Colin, what I eat and whom I sit with is none of your business, got it?" he asked angrily.
Colin's eyes widened and then he looked down at his plate, "Sorry," he muttered in apology.
It was at that moment when loud laughter broke out from the Ravenclaw table. Harry and his friends looked over and saw what everybody was laughing at. The rest of the Great Hall bar the Slytherin students, that Umbridge woman and Professor Snape roared with laughter at the sight of the older Slytherin students, whose ears had grown to an enormous size, nearly dwarfing the rest of their body in comparison.
Harry and Draco nearly fell out their seats in laughter at the sight of Pansy Parkinson trying to get up out of her seat but tripping over her own ears as she stood up and ending up face down on the floor. Harry looked to the head table and saw amused looks on all of the teacher's faces and could have sworn that he saw a small smirk form on Snape's face for a split second. He turned to the Weasley Twins who were now writing something on a bit of parchment,
"That's a nice little joke item. What do you call those?" he asked.
"We haven't thought up a name for the powder yet and would you believe we found it by accident while trying to perfect some of our other jokes?" replied Fred who was watching George writing on the parchment.
"Last night we asked Dobby to put the powder in their meals as they apparated them up and it looks like he came through for us. That's one house elf that's gonna be getting a heap of clothes for Christmas this year. Their ears will go back to normal in an hour or so, because we gave one of the first years Michael Craven some last night and that's what happened to him. It was a bit of a shock really, we were expecting him to turn a nice shade of green but instead his ears started to puff up. But I think it works out for us in the long run, judging by the amount of laughter that we got around here."
"You two will put Zonko's out of business if you keep making stuff like that," Draco said as he laughed at Crabbe and Goyle who were stepping on each others ears as they tried to leave the Great Hall.
"Yeah, it feels good to wipe the smiles of those bastards' faces. After all they were only smiling because of all the stuff happening overseas. But now everybody else is smiling except them," Fred said as he and his brother got up and left the table. Probably to go and work on some more jokes in their room.
"Those two shouldn't be using first years to test their products," Hermione said to Harry, Draco and Ron in a hushed voice. "Ron, as prefects for Gryffindor shouldn't we say something?"
Ron looked uncomfortable, "Hermione its only jokes, there's no need to get worked up about it."
She sighed, "I guess you're right but I'm telling them they're not allowed to test it on first year students anymore. Only on unsuspecting Slytherin students," she added with an evil grin.
"AHEM," a voice behind them made them all jump. They turned around to see Ms. Umbridge standing over them. "Mr. Potter, Mr. Malfoy I hope you both had nothing to do with that shameful display that just occurred."
They all just looked at her for a few seconds before Draco spoke, "Are you implying that Harry and I are rule breakers Ms. Umbridge?"
"I don't know Mr. Malfoy, are you rule breakers? You seem to get so much special treatment around here I just believe that you think that you are above the rules."
"Well you're wrong," Harry said before Draco could open his mouth. "And I see your boss Minister Fudge has finally admitted the return of Voldemort," (Umbridge and all of the students around Harry flinched) "it's about time he opened his eyes."
"How dare you!" she exclaimed as was about to say more when Dumbledore appeared at her side,
"Is there a problem Dolores?" he asked simply.
Umbridge glared at Harry and Draco, "No Albus, there is no problem. I will be returning to my quarters," and with that she strode off.
Dumbledore turned to both Harry and Draco, "I would like to see you both in my office boys, perhaps we could walk up there now? Or if you haven't finished your meal yet you can join me up there later," he said with a twinkle in his eye.
"No we're both finished," Harry replied, smiling at the old man's sense of humor. And they both said goodbye to their friends and joined the headmaster on the walk up to his office.
Neville walked out of the boys' showers in Gryffindor Tower feeling very refreshed. He may have missed his breakfast as a result of waking up late for his run but he didn't care. He walked into his room that he shared with the other Gryffindor boys in fifth year and threw off his towel and started to get dressed. Just as he pulled his shirt on he heard a muffled sob come from the bed next to him, Seamus' bed.
"Seamus?" he whispered as he pulled back the drapes around the bed. He was shocked to see Seamus lying down on his bed, sobbing into his pillow. "Seamus, Seamus what's wrong?" he asked as he gently touched the shoulder of probably his best friend at Hogwarts. Out of all of the other guys in his year, Neville found that Seamus had always been there for him more than anybody else to help him as he struggled with magic.
"Me Mam," Seamus sobbed, never raising his head from his pillow. "Me Mam was working in the Irish Ministry of Magic."
"So?" Neville asked, he was confused, as he hadn't yet heard the news as he had missed breakfast and hadn't had a chance to read the Daily Prophet yet today.
"Mr. Longbottom," Neville jumped slightly and looked up to see his head of house, Professor McGonagall standing right beside him with a sad, yet stern look on her face.
"Something wrong Professor?" he asked.
"Could we talk outside for a moment please? But first I have to talk to Mr. Finnegan," she asked him, Neville was surprised at the tone of her voice, it seemed... kind almost.
"Of course professor," he replied as he got up off Seamus' bed, "I'll be waiting outside."
"Thank you," she answered with a kind smile, Neville reached over and gave his friend a supportive pat on the back, just so that Seamus knew he cared and then got up and left the room.
"So I take it that you're not going to punish the twins for their little joke at breakfast this morning?" Draco asked with an evil grin.
"No Mr. Malfoy, I don't plan to say anything at all. In fact you may be surprised to find that I asked them to do something of that nature last night after the Order of the Phoenix had adjourned."
Harry and Draco exchanged shocked glances, "Sir, may I ask why you did something like that?" Harry asked in confusion.
"You may Mr. Potter," Dumbledore answered as he got up out of his seat and walked over to Fawkes the Phoenix who was perched in his usual spot next to Dumbledore's desk. "After the events of the past few days, what the general student body needs are certain... distractions to keep the school morale up. The jokes that the Weasley twins are working on at the moment are what we really need, something to stop people thinking about the workings of the Dark Lord and also something that puts a smile on people's faces."
"The Slytherin students weren't smiling," Draco said with a smile on his face.
"Well apart from your laughter which I could hear from where I was sitting, that statement was accurate Mr. Malfoy. However I also observed that the Slytherin students were looking very pleased with themselves after reading the headlines in the Daily Prophet... so maybe dampening their moods would provide a sense of... satisfaction in all of the other students."
"But I thought your primary concern was supposed to be the well being of all of the students in the school? Including those with... ambition," Draco said with a serious expression on his face. Harry looked over at the blond boy and wondered why he was sticking up for his house that had treated him so badly.
"Oh it is Mr. Malfoy, I assure you," Dumbledore replied as he looked at Draco with that trademark twinkle in his eyes. "While I am aware that a prank like the one that was done this morning was against the school rules, I'm also aware of the... animosities that exist between the houses, namely the huge rift between the Slytherin students and the rest of the school, in particular Gryffindor house. I knew that due to the events over the past couple of days the Slytherin students would be walking with an extra spring in their step and the rest of the school would be moody and on the edge of attacking those students who found the headlines in the Daily Prophet amusing.
"So I decided to ask Fred and George Weasley to lighten the mood a little with their joke items so the tension would decrease and no serious incidents would occur. If one hour with slightly larger than usual ears is all the older Slytherin students have to endure today, then I believe I have somewhat achieved my goal."
"I guess you are right, forgive me for doubting you headmaster," Draco replied after Dumbledore had finished.
"So what did you really want to see us about Professor?" Harry asked, he and Draco had taken already taken care of their thirst earlier in the week, so he knew that it had to be something important to make him and Draco late for Transfiguration class, not that Harry minded.
"Well you may find this surprising, but I have a request and some good news for you both, actually the good news is just for Draco but I'm sure you'll both be pleased," Harry looked over at Draco and knew that the look of surprise on his face matched his own. Good news was the last thing they were expecting...
Neville's eyes widened in shock as he got the brief details on what had happened recently in Ireland and France from a very tired, but patient Professor McGonagall. Hundreds, maybe thousands of wizards and witches had been killed and it seemed that You-Know-Who was now back in full force with his army of death eaters.
"... and so Mr. Longbottom, Mr. Finnegan's mother was working as a secretary for the Control of Magical Creatures section in the Irish Ministry of Magic building, and unfortunately was one of the many victims of the Dark Lord's assault. I've tried to talk to and comfort Mr. Finnegan but he doesn't really want to listen to me and I have a class to teach in ten minutes, so I was wondering if you could keep an eye on him for me today? I just want to make sure he has a friend nearby to comfort him as he grieves and I also want someone whom I know is responsible around him so he doesn't do anything foolish."
"Okay, I'll do that for you Professor," Neville answered, shocked that she had referred to him as responsible. Actually, he had always thought that she hated him for some reason...
"Thank you, I'll talk to your teachers so you don't have to worry about any questions from them and you can see me later on tonight and I'll give you all of the work that you will miss today."
Neville thanked her and opened the door to walk back into the room to talk to Seamus,
"Oh, and Neville?"
Neville turned around to see Professor McGonagall smiling at him, "I've noticed how much you have changed since last year. All of your teachers including the headmaster and myself are pleased with your progress so far. All of the work you have submitted so far has been O level material. I'd just like to say that I'm proud of you, and I know that your parents would be proud of you too."
"T-thank you Professor McGonagall," Neville replied, the mention of his parents and the compliment bringing great sadness and joy to his heart.
"I taught both Frank and Alice and have compared their past results with yours and found that your results are nearly identical to theirs, and they were two of the best aurors this school has ever produced."
"Thank you, I hope to be an auror like they were someday," Neville admitted.
"Well keep up the good work and that goal will be easily reached," she said with a hint of pride in her voice. And then her smile was replaced by her normal serious look, "I've got a class to attend to, I'll check how Mr. Finnegan is coping later on today, good day to you Mr. Longbottom," and with that she walked down the stairs that led to the Gryffindor common room.
Neville stood there for a few moments thinking about what she had said, and then walked back into his room.
"I don't know why Dumbledore wants us to start up our own little Magical Defense class," Harry said as he and Draco hurried to Transfiguration. One they had finished their meeting Professor Dumbledore had given them a note to explain their lateness but Harry knew that Professor McGonagall would be annoyed at them for disturbing her lesson, with or without a note.
"It's because you're Harry Potter," Draco answered, "If you start to talk about defending oneself against attacks from the Dark Lord I'm willing to bet that nearly all of the bloody school will turn up."
"Except for the Slytherins," Harry added.
"Even some or maybe even most of the Slytherins would come if they knew it was you, and not a teacher taking the class."
"Why?" Harry asked, he thought that all of the Slytherins hated him, except for Draco of course.
"Because not all of the Slytherins support the Dark Lord," Draco answered, "I know of at least three in our year who would like to see You-Know-Who pay for what he did to their families. Oh that's right," Draco added quickly when he saw the look of disbelief on Harry's face, "You-Know-Who targets anyone who stands in his way, even those who serve him."
Harry just looked at him, "I-I didn't know that," he said after a few seconds.
"That's why I was a bit pissed at Dumbledore for turning a blind eye to the prank on the Slytherins at breakfast, because chances are that half of those who were hit with the powder hate You-Know-Who. The fact that you didn't know shows how big the problem is. There are many potentially powerful witches and wizards in Slytherin house who would join our side if we would just learn to trust them and treat them better."
"Like who?" Harry asked out of pure curiosity.
"I know for a fact that Smith and Zambini in our year have each had one of their parents killed by You-Know-Who when they were young and I'm sure that there are a fair few more, and not just in our grade. Being a Slytherin doesn't mean being evil Harry, the main trait for the house is ambition, but because we have a bad rep and the Dark Lord was in our house people tend to stereotype us."
"Then why doesn't Dumbledore do something?" Harry asked.
"I don't know Harry," Draco sighed, "I guess that Dumbledore is human, and he does have his own flaws like everybody else. Also the fact that he was in Gryffindor probably has a lot to do with it," Draco finished just as they reached the transfiguration classroom. Harry had a feeling that he wouldn't get much work done in this class... He had too much to think about.
"At least you've finally been allowed to join the order," Harry said, remembering the good news that Dumbledore had told them.
"I knew they'd come around," Draco answered cockily as they opened the door to the classroom.
"Seamus, do you want to go out to the Quidditch Pitch and have a fly around?" Neville asked, trying to cheer his friend up.
Seamus wasn't crying anymore, but he still hadn't raised his head from his pillow. Neville didn't blame him, if he was in that position he'd probably be doing the same thing.
Neville sighed, he wasn't very good at these situations, he did care for Seamus but why did McGonagall have to ask him to do this?
"Look Seamus," he started, "I know how you feel..."
"You have no idea how I feel you idiot!" Seamus yelled, raising his head from his pillow and glaring at the boy who was sitting on his bed next to him. "You're Neville Longbottom, not Seamus Finnegan! You still have both your parents with you, so don't you DARE try and make it like you can feel any of the pain I am feeling right now."
Seamus stopped before he went too far, that little outburst helped release a little of the pain that was jabbing at his heart but he didn't want to loose his friend. He looked up at Neville and was surprised to see an expression of rage on the boy's face as he stared at the floor. Seamus looked down at Neville's hands and was shocked to see that he was clenching his fists so tightly that his nails were starting to dig into his palms, causing them to bleed.
"Neville?" he asked timidly, forgetting about his own grief as he watched carefully.
"You're half right," Neville said suddenly, his voice contained no emotion, and his eyes never rose from the floor as he spoke.
"W-what?" Seamus asked nervously.
"You're half right; my parents are still with me. But only in body, not in mind."
"It happened when I was nearly one; I wasn't young enough to remember. My parents were aurors, some say the best in the business, and I like to think of them that way. The war between the Dark Lord and the forces of light was at its peak, and my parents were responsible for many losses on the other side. That's why one night... They... They..." Neville, tried to speak as the tears came, he'd never told anyone about this before.
"Neville, you don't have to..."
"They broke into our house," Neville sobbed, ignoring Seamus. "It was Bellatrix Lestrange and a few other death eaters. Instead of killing my parents they put them under the... the Cruciatus curse. When help finally arrived they managed to catch all of the death eaters but it was too late. My parents were under the curse for too long and they went insane."
The room was silent for nearly a minute before Seamus could get up the nerve to say anything, "Neville, I'm sor..."
"So I don't know what it feels like?!" Neville yelled suddenly, the story which he had just told fuelling his anger. "Do YOU know what it's like to have your parents sitting beside you drooling, unaware that you FUCKING EVEN EXIST?!"
"Neville, I'm sorry," Seamus said quickly. "I-I didn't know."
"Fuck this, I'm outta here," Neville said as he got up quickly, on the way out he slammed the door so loudly dust fell from the ceiling. Seamus jumped up out of bed and chased after his friend.
Neville barely made it down the stairs in the Gryffindor common room before he broke down in tears on the floor. He was glad that everybody was in class and nobody could see him like this. The tears kept coming and his body heaved with every sob, telling that story hurt, it hurt even more than when he visited his parents. He jumped a little when he felt a hand timidly grab his shoulder from behind and looked around to see a sandy-haired blue-eyed Irish boy behind him, also in tears. When he saw Seamus it made Neville feel even worse, the poor kid had just found out his mother was killed. And all Neville could do to help was yell at him.
"I'm sorry Seamus," he said between sobs, "It's just that... it hurts so much."
"I know Neville I know," Seamus replied in a hushed voice as he got down on his knees and comforted his friend. For a few minutes they both sat there crying before Neville spoke,
"God I'm hopeless, McGonagall left me here to comfort you, not to yell at you."
Seamus grabbed Neville's hand and looked him in the eyes. For a moment Neville was hypnotized by the Irish boy's baby blue eyes that were wide open and quivering as he spoke,
"I'm the one who should be sorry. I called you an idiot and said that stuff about your paren..."
"You didn't know," Neville interrupted, "It wasn't your fault; nobody knows except for a few people at St. Mungo's, the ministry and a few of the teachers here."
"I'm sorry Neville, I'm sorry about your parents," Seamus said, stroking Neville's hand as he held it in his. Neville shivered at the sensations that were flowing through his body as Seamus stroked his hand,
"And I'm sorry about what happened to your mum Seamus," he replied, "But the pain never goes away, I know that for a fact. The only way I can ease the pain is by becoming the best wizard I can and then avenging them."
Seamus' eyes widened as he looked at his friend, "Y-you mean you're going to kill Bellatrix Lestrange? But she's in Azkaban."
"She'll get out of there," Neville said, "It'll only be a matter of time. What about you?" he asked Seamus suddenly, "Do you want to get revenge on those who took your mother's life?"
Seamus wrestled with his thoughts for a moment; he wasn't sure if he wanted to kill anyone but when the face of his mother flashed through his mind he felt all feelings of hesitation about killing go away. All he could feel was sorrow, pain, and rage, rage for those who took his mum from him.
"Yes," he answered simply after a few more moments of thinking. "Yes, I do."
Neville closed his eyes and leant up against his friend, he sighed, as he smelt the soap and shampoo on Seamus' body and in his hair. "Well then let's work together on achieving our goals."
Seamus felt Neville lean against him and sighed in contentment. He shakily reached out his hand and gently ran it through Neville's silky jet-black hair. Before he could stop himself he leaned over and gave Neville a small peck on the lips. He opened his eyes and saw Neville staring back at him, his hazel eyes as wide as his. They were both silent for a few moments and Seamus was about to apologize to Neville for kissing him when Neville grabbed his hand,
"Let's go upstairs," he said in a serious voice as he helped Seamus up and they both climbed the stairs quickly to their empty room. As soon as they closed the door Seamus was about to ask Neville if he liked the kiss when Neville turned around quickly and pulled Seamus towards him. Theirs lips met and they both groaned as they started to kiss and suck on each other's lips with a fiery passion. Neville felt Seamus' tongue timidly enter his mouth and he welcomed it with his. After a minute they broke the lip lock and looked into each others eyes,
"Is this wrong?" Seamus asked with a hint of worry in his voice.
"It certainly doesn't feel wrong," Neville answered, still short of breath from their first kiss. After a few moments of looking at each other Neville leaned in for another kiss and they slowly made their way over to Seamus' bed while keeping their lips locked together.
Neville only had a shirt, shorts and boxers on and realized that Seamus was wearing the same, he broke the kiss and reached down and started to take off Seamus' shirt just as they reached the bed and the Irish boy did the same for him.
After throwing his shirt to the floor Neville wrapped his hands around Seamus and rubbed his hands all over the warm skin, Seamus sighed and leaned back, falling onto his bed taking Neville with him and they both rolled around on the bed groaning and whimpering as their bodies rubbed against each other. Somehow they both managed to get rid of their shorts while rolling around and were both reduced to just their boxers. Then Seamus, who was on top started to hump Neville with animalistic passion and Neville raised his body to meet him in the middle.
"Oh God!" Seamus whimpered, "I'm gonna... uhhh..."
"Me too," Neville gasped.
Suddenly Seamus' head lurched forward into Neville's neck and the boy wined as Neville felt the Irish boy's cock pulsate and expand inside his boxers. As he listened to the precious sounds that Seamus was making as he came Neville lost it and moaned as he felt himself shooting into his boxers. As both boys came down from their orgasmic bliss they started to kiss again,
"Oh, oh God," Seamus sighed between kisses.
"I think we're stuck together," Neville said with a laugh, "Perhaps we should go and have a shower."
"Okay," Seamus answered, still short of breath, "Let's go."
As they both made their way to the boy's showers Neville let out a contented sigh and Seamus looked at him,
"Thanks Neville," he said.
"For what?" Neville asked.
"For... for what we did back there, and cheering me up. I still miss me Mam though," he added sadly.
"Don't worry," Neville said as he gave the boy a peck on the cheek, "We'll help each other avenge our parents."
"But will that make the pain go away?" Seamus asked timidly.
"I... I don't know," Neville replied honestly
"Now listen here Dumbledore!" Fudge snarled as he rose from his seat, "Are you implying that I'm in league with You-Know-Who?"
"I never suggested anything of the sort Cornelius," Dumbledore replied calmly although his patience was fading fast. "I was just making a point about how long it took you and your administration to realize that Voldemort had returned." Fudge flinched at the name.
Minerva McGonagall sighed; she was sitting in the headmaster's office right next to Dolores Umbridge who was taking notes on the meeting. The minister for magic seemed to be getting dumber and dumber as the minutes ticked on and she was surprised that Albus was being so patient; she would have hexed the idiot into next week by now.
"And your suggestion about removing the Dementors from Azkaban is foolish. If they are removed, then it will be only a matter of time before the prisoners are able to escape," Fudge said, trying to gain the upper hand of the conversation.
"If the Dementors are not removed, then it will only be a matter of time before the prisoners are able to escape anyway Cornelius, at least with wizards there we have a chance of repelling an attack on the prison. Voldemort, (Fudge flinched again) can offer them so much more than you can, and once beckoned they will go to their new master and obey him without hesitation."
"This is madness!" Fudge yelled as he rose from his chair, "I will not try and ally with the giants and I will not remove the Dementors from Azkaban!"
"Corneous Fudge!" Dumbledore yelled in reply as he rose from his seat, the whole room started to shake and a couple of the glass instruments on the shelves around them shattered into pieces. Both Umbridge and McGonagall looked at him in shock, Minerva had never heard Albus yell before but it seemed that he had had enough. Fudge cowered and took a few steps backwards nearly tripping over his seat.
Dumbledore took a few moments to compose himself again and then started to talk in his normal tone of voice. "I have had enough of your foolish prejudices; Voldemort used both giants and Dementors to aid him with his ambitions when he first rose to power. So why do you think that it's going to be any different this time around?"
"Y-you d-don't..." Fudge stammered. Dumbledore ignored him and continued to speak,
"I have already sent Professor Hagrid to the Scottish Highlands and to France to see the giants and talk to them about my terms,"
"Your terms?" Fudge said angrily.
"Yes, my terms," Dumbledore sighed.
"So you're acting without my consent?" Fudge asked angrily.
"I have been ever since you refused to believe that Voldemort had returned after the Triwizard Tournament last year," Dumbledore admitted.
"Well," Fudge said angrily as he grabbed his cloak, "I'll be leaving now, good day to you headmaster."
"And to you Minster," Dumbledore replied with a sigh as he sat back down in his seat. This meeting had not gone the way he had intended.
Fudge and Umbridge got up and left the room and Minerva shifted uncomfortably in her seat,
"Why did you tell him?" she asked.
Dumbledore sighed again, "I had to. It is time for action Minerva; our friends in Ireland and France treated the threat from Tom just like Cornelius did just then. Their prejudices towards those who are not wizards cloud their judgment, and they paid a heavy price for their decisions."
"Do you think Fudge will act against you?"
"I have no doubt," he replied with a funny little smile. "However he'll need to discredit me further before he acts otherwise he could be left out in the open if no-one else decides that I am a threat."
"A threat to what?" Minerva asked, wondering what the hell he was talking about.
"A threat to wizarding superiority," he answered.
Over the next few weeks before the Christmas holidays Harry noticed a drop in Dumbledore's mood. The whole school seemed to reflect this for some reason and there was very little talk between classes in the halls. Meals in the Great Hall seemed almost depressing and their teachers no longer smiled during class. Harry and Draco were coping very well with their thirst and Liam even offered ask Dumbledore to let them move back to their respective house dormitories, Harry and Draco just stared at him in disbelief for a few moments until they realized that he was just having them on.
Every morning at the breakfast table they would all read the Daily Prophet to see if there had been any more attacks but apart from the predictable daily article trying to discredit Dumbledore and the occasional one mocking Harry there was nothing of any interest at all. The Irish and French ministries were now rebuilding and fighting Voldemort had now become a number one priority in both of their countries.
Harry wondered what Fudge would do after the attacks overseas but apart from finally admitting that the Dark Lord had returned, it seemed that he didn't want to do anything but attack Dumbledore and Harry in the press. What enraged Harry and the rest of the school the most was the fact that all Quidditch for the year was cancelled, even Dumbledore wasn't too happy about it when he made the announcement but it was a direct order from the Ministry of Magic and he didn't dare oppose them so openly. Apparently Fudge was worried that the large gathering of teachers and students out in the open could attract a death eater attack. However Harry and Draco knew from the meetings of the Order that Fudge had probably made that order so he could arrest Dumbledore if he went against the ministry's will. However Dumbledore told the Order that he had complied with Fudge's wishes and made it clear to everyone that they were to only oppose Fudge in a discrete fashion.
Just before the Christmas holidays Harry and Draco were sighing to themselves as they and the rest of their Transfiguration Class received another lecture about their OWLs, which they were taking at the end of the year. They had sat through this lecture so many times it started to loose all meaning and to nobody's surprise, just before the class was dismissed the only person in the class who was still sitting upright and still paying attention was Hermione. They nearly jumped out of their seats, glad that another day of classes was over.
"We'll have to start studying for longer in the evenings," Hermione said in a worried tone as her, Harry, Draco and Ron left the classroom in a group.
"Speak for yourself," Draco replied with a snort, "I'm not worried about the OWLs."
"But they're an important step in deciding what you're going to do when you leave school," she snapped back.
They stopped at Harry and Draco's room and Harry whispered the password and they all trooped in and sat down in the small common room.
"Come on Draco," Ron said suddenly, "You have to be a bit worried; didn't you ever have a dream about what you wanted to be when you grow up?"
"But I'm not going to grow up," Draco retorted.
Draco's words caused Harry's eyes to open wide, sometimes he forgot about what he really was. And for some reason, the idea of living for all eternity seemed daunting to him. He wondered what his parents would think about their son being a vampire; would they have rejected him since vampires are evil? But then again he and Draco aren't evil; neither is Liam, but Cassius certainly seemed evil.
"I don't care about overachieving Hermione," Draco's voice brought him back from his thoughts, "All I need are 5 OWLs to pass this grade and I can easily achieve that right now. I have a thousand years to hone my skills so I'm not in any big hurry."
Harry sighed and put his arm around the shoulder of Draco who stopped talking and looked at him with an intense gaze.
"Up for some more bedroom antics are we Potter?" Draco asked with a grin on his face, ignoring Ron who was attempting to stick his hand down his throat in an attempt to vomit.
"No," Harry sighed, "Well yes," he added quickly seeing the look of disappointment on the blond boys face. "But I want to talk to Liam first."
Draco's expression changed to one of curiosity, "Why? We don't have to drink for at least another week."
"It's just that, the whole vampire thing still bothers me," Harry admitted.
"What? We don't have to kill anyone and we'll live forever so what's the big deal?" Draco asked, looking at Harry like he had grown another head.
"I-I've got to talk to Professor Varslier," Harry replied as he got up out of the sofa and made his way to the portrait. Draco, Ron and Hermione exchanged confused looks with one another and then got up and followed Harry out of the room and into the hallway.
"I'll come with you," Draco said as the portrait closed behind them, "After all this involves me too."
"Ok," Harry said with a sigh, looking at his blond lover, he was very tempted to kiss him right there in the hallway but caught himself at the last moment.
"We'll see you two tonight then," Hermione said and she led a very confused Ron away by the hand.
"What is this about Harry?" Draco asked after they walked around the corner, with a look of concern that was reserved only for his boyfriend. Harry didn't answer him and started to walk towards Professor Varslier's quarters.
Neville and Seamus were both in their rooms packing, the carriages to the Hogwarts Express were leaving in a few hours and neither boy wanted to stay at the school over the holidays.
"Phew," Neville puffed, "That's all of it, now we just have to wait for the house elves to come up and collect our stuff."
"Yep," Seamus agreed and then looked at Neville with one eyebrow raised, "So, do you wanna do something for the next few hours?" he asked in a sly tone.
"Where?" Neville asked. "Not here, obviously."
"I know a place that will be deserted at this time of day," Seamus replied.
Neville smiled, he and Seamus hadn't had many chances to do anything else over the weeks that followed after their initial encounter. Seamus had attended his mother's funeral a few days after they made their pact, and as a result, he was very depressed over the weeks that followed. Late at night Neville would crawl into Seamus' bed and kiss the sobbing boy and tell him everything would be alright.
After Seamus had gotten over his grief he joined Neville in his morning runs and late night dueling and studying sessions, Neville saw the anger that was burning in him also present in the young Irishman as he trained relentlessly to avenge his mother, they were both one of a kind, avengers.
Harry and Draco reached the portrait to Liam's room and he knocked on it gently. There was nobody around as it was near the end of term and there were only around twenty students staying at Hogwarts over the holidays, which included Harry, Draco, Hermione and Ron. The portrait swung open a few moments later and Liam smiled at his two students,
"Ah, Harry, Draco, come in," he said, gesturing them inside. They walked into his common room, which was a little bigger than theirs and sat down on two comfortable armchairs.
"Can I get you a drink?" Liam offered with a grin.
Harry ignored the obvious joke, "Professor, I have a few questions to ask you about..." he paused for a moment, not sure on what to say, "About what we are."
Liam's face took on a serious expression and he sat opposite them, "What do you want to know?"
Harry sighed, not quite sure how to phrase his question, "W-what's eternity like?" he asked timidly.
Liam sighed, he was expecting a string of questions that would start with this one, but he wasn't expecting it this soon. "It all depends," he answered slowly, "It all depends on how you look at it and a number of other factors. I can understand you asking, I asked the one who turned me the very same question centuries ago. However he answered by laughing in my face,"
"Cassius," Draco said, and then flinched when he realized he had interrupted Liam.
"Yes, Cassius," Liam spat out the name like it was a sour grape. "Eternity... Eternity for me is loneliness Harry. But that's just me, since you have Draco to accompany you, in four hundred years you will probably have a different answer than me. You've read other books on vampires since that one Albus showed you at the beginning of the year, yes?"
"Well I haven't really but Draco has read heaps," Harry answered.
"And I take it that in those books, they all said how wizards killed every last vampire, `banishing their evil from the world'?" he asked with a sarcastic tone.
"Yes," Draco replied.
"That's rubbish. You did get the occasional powerful or very lucky wizard or witch who was able to kill one or two if us but actually the majority of vampires took their own life."
"Why?" Harry asked.
"Because, the idea of living for all eternity is maddening at best Harry. You've been a vampire for not even a year and you're already showing concern about it," Liam answered. He saw the looks of confusion on their faces and decided to reiterate his point further, "You cannot understand, you are both too young but in four hundred years or so I'll bet that both of you are starting to become bored with life and are starting to wonder what is on the other side of death."
"Just like Nicholas Flamel," Harry said to himself, remembering what Dumbledore had told him in his first year after he had protected the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort.
"Who?" Draco asked, both him and Liam were looking at him in confusion.
"Never mind," Harry answered quickly, "But aren't vampires evil Liam? So if we do die, and there is really such a thing as heaven, then it isn't meant for us."
Liam looked troubled as he heard those words, "Harry... I can't tell you what's on the other side, and I have no idea what is in store for us but think about this, you and Draco haven't killed anyone yet as a result of your thirst? Am I right?"
Both boys nodded their heads, "Well then you have nothing to worry about. Me on the other hand..." he said with an odd little smile on his face.
"Y-you've killed p-people?" Harry stuttered.
"Oh, hundreds, that was of course before I met Albus and was convinced to change my ways. When I was turned, there was no way to preserve blood so the only way to survive was to kill..." he sighed as he started at the ceiling. "You two have no idea how lucky you are, living in a cushy age like this."
"You said before that the idea of eternity was the reason why most of the vampires killed themselves," Draco said to Liam, "So why are you still alive? You never wanted to be a vampire."
"True, true," Liam admitted, "But there is one thing that is keeping me alive."
"What?" Harry asked.
Liam directed his gaze at Harry, who shifted a little in his seat as he was slightly intimidated by Liam's piercing blue eyes.
"One day, I will repay my debt to the world for all of the lives I have taken by killing the embodiment of evil that made me. Cassius turned me and then tricked me into killing the only person I've ever loved. Once he is nothing more than a pile of ashes then my conscience will be clean, and I can accept death with open arms."
"Well I hope you got the answers you wanted about vampires, cause all I got was a heap of weird vibes from him," Draco said as they walked down the hallway.
"So that's what you are," a young voice sounded from behind them. They both spun around and Harry groaned when he saw who it was, it was a triumphant looking Colin Creevy.
Neville moaned in anticipation as Seamus led him into one of the cubicles in one of the many boys' toilets around the school. Neville sat down on the seat and Seamus sat on his lap facing him. Neville opened his eyes halfway through the kiss and realized that Seamus had forgotten to close the door to the cubicle but before he could break the lip lock he heard angry voices outside and the door to the toilets burst open...
"I say we kill the little bastard!" Draco snarled as he held Colin by the collar. The young Gryffindor was terrified at this point,
"L-let m-me go," he stammered, "The carriages leave in half an hour and I don't want to be late."
"You should have thought about that before you decided to listen in on what we were saying," Draco replied.
"Colin," Harry sighed, "You've been following us around nearly all semester, and don't think we haven't seen you," he added when he saw Colin's mouth open to deny that fact. You constantly watch us at breakfast and continually question me about my diet, are you happy now? You've gotten your answer, now promise me you won't tell anyone and we'll let you go."
"I'm sure that it's not just curiosity," Draco snarled, "He wants something from us otherwise he wouldn't have gone to all this trouble."
"What do you want Colin?" Harry asked seriously.
"I-I want... to be your boyfriend," he replied timidly.
"My Potter, I think you have a secret admirer," Draco said with a laugh.
"You can talk!" Colin suddenly said loudly, "I've seen the not-so subtle signs between you two as you sit at breakfast. Do you think I'd be that daft not to realize that you're just like me?"
Harry and Draco's faces both whitened at those words, it seems that they may have not been as discrete as they thought.
"Oh don't worry; I don't think anybody else knows, I'm just a good observer. And I haven't told anybody... yet," he added with a confident grin.
"You little fuc..."
"Draco!" Harry hissed, "I don't think this is the place to discuss this, let's go in here," Harry said as he and Draco basically carried the terrified Colin into the boy's toilets that was just a few meters down the hall and on their left.
"So you know that we are a couple and so you want in on the action huh!? Well that's not gonna happen Gryffindor, not even in your wet dreams" Draco snarled as they opened the door.
"I-I wouldn't be so sure about that," Colin answered, and then put his hand to his mouth when he realized what he had just said.
They both let go of the boy and moved back a few paces. Colin looked past them and his mouth dropped wide open, Harry and Draco turned around and took a few steps back when they saw the scene in front of them. Neville, sitting on the toilet seat with his clothes still on, looking at them with his eyes wide open with shock and Seamus sitting on his lap with his back to them, although they could see how much he was blushing from the back of his neck that was red.
"Well, the plot thickens," Draco said with a smirk on his face.
Neville's face broke out into a snarl and he and Seamus got up and pulled out their wands. "You have nothing on us Malfoy, we heard what you said as you opened the door."
Harry groaned, why was this all happening?
"Oh no?" Malfoy said confidently as he took out his wand.
"Try it you death eater scum!" Seamus yelled, "Its worthless pieces of trash like you and your family that killed my mother I bet!"
"I'd say we have the advantage though," Draco replied, "What are you going to do Longbottom? Hit me with your wand and hope I pass out?"
"Don't judge my abilities on what you've seen in previous years you Slytherin bastard!" Neville replied. "I'm beating you in every class so far this year Malfoy. And YOU," he said pointing his wand at Harry, "What the hell are you doing with HIM?"
"And by the way, you're not beating me in every class Longbottom, I'm beating you in potions," Malfoy smirked.
"See any cauldrons around here?" Neville asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Listen Colin," Harry said turning to the now pale and shaking Gryffindor, "I want you to go back up to Gryffindor Tower and finish your packing. I'll talk to you after the holidays, however if you tell anyone what you've heard or seen today," Harry gave him a look that told the boy he was deadly serious, "You'll wish you've never been born."
Colin nodded quickly, "Okay Harry, I promise I wont tell anyone anything," and with that he ran out of the toilets quickly leaving the four of them standing there, three of them with their wands out.
"There's no need for your wands guys," Harry said once the door had closed, "Draco is on our side."
"Oh, as if we're going to believe that," Seamus replied.
"It's true Finnegan," Draco said as he looked at the boy with an expression of great dislike on his face, "My family had disowned me on the account of my refusal to receive the dark mark."
"Prove it," Neville said quickly with his wand still pointing at the blond boy.
Draco sighed and pulled up his sleeve, he pressed his wand to about where the dark mark would be if he had one. Both Neville and Seamus lowered their wands when they saw nothing appear.
"I would never bow to that fool, you can take my word for it," Draco hissed.
"Okay, we believe you Malfoy," Neville said with a smile on his face, "I must say I'm surprised, given your fathers reputation I would have thought that you'd have been in You-Know-Who's inner circle by now."
"The next time I meet my father," Draco said slowly, "I will kill him."
"You'd kill your own father?" Neville asked.
"He isn't my father anymore; he's just another one of Voldemort's pawns."
"Indeed," Neville replied, "It seems that Voldemort and his death eaters have taken at least one family member from each of us."
"Yes I know about your parents Longbottom, my Second-Aunt was responsible," Draco replied with a hint of regret in his voice.
"Lestrange," Neville spat out her name like it was venom. And Harry realized something,
"So that's why you've changed so much Neville," he said suddenly, "You want revenge."
"Don't we all?" he replied angrily. "At least they had the courtesy to finish off your parents properly, mine..." Harry's wand was out in a flash before Neville could even finish his sentence. He considered Neville a friend but if he talked about his parents like that he didn't really care what spell he used on the boy. Seamus reached over and grabbed Neville's hand, Neville looked at his lover and his mood lightened and he sighed,
"I'm sorry you lost your parents Harry, I really am. But you can have no idea what it's like to sit with your parents twice a week during the holidays, and all they can do is stoke your hair and drool all over you. I've vowed to kill Lestrange, and Seamus wants revenge on the entire death eater population as a whole."
"Then our aims are the same?" Draco asked with a genuine smile on his face.
"Yes they are Malfoy," he replied with a smile of his own. "We'd love to stay here and chat but the carriages leave in fifteen minutes and we don't want to be late. Perhaps we should continue this discussion after the holidays?"
Harry and Draco both nodded, and Neville took Seamus' hand and they both said their goodbyes as they walked out.
"Those two a couple, who would've guessed?" Harry asked himself.
"Mmmm... I must say though that Finnegan has a nice butt," Draco said with a grin on his face. Harry just gave him a shocked look and punched him playfully on the shoulder.
"What a day," Harry groaned as he lay on the sofa. Draco took off his shirt and lay on top of him,
"You can say that again Potter," he replied as he helped Harry take his shirt off.
Once his shirt was off Harry leaned in for a kiss, and another, and then another and soon their short kisses became long ones. And then they started to passionately rub their bodies against one another as their tongues wrestled for dominance as their lips locked together. Harry reached down and started to rub Draco's crotch and the blond boy started to hump Harry's hand in a fit of teenage lust. They broke their kiss and both reached down to undo their zippers on their jeans.
"Let's try it," Draco moaned in Harry's ear.
"Okay," Harry whispered in reply, finding no reason at all to argue with him, not that he'd ever want to. They'd talked about doing a 69 for a couple of days now.
Harry moved down the sofa so his body was perfectly parallel to the floor while his blond lover shifted around so that Harry's face was now directly below Draco's open zipper. Harry reached into the open zipper and undid the button at the front of Draco's green boxers. Then he reached in and grabbed Draco's fully erect cock and guided it out to the open air. He felt Draco reach into his pants and do the same and then start to masturbate it at an almost agonizingly slow pace.
Harry swallowed Draco's penis in one go and started to suck on it and massage it with his mouth and tongue. He heard Draco whimper and then do the same for him. When his penis entered the hot, moist confines of Draco's mouth Harry's eyes opened wide. They had both had plenty of time to practice their techniques on one another and were both getting quite good at it.
Harry could only last for just over two minutes in Draco's skilled mouth before he moaned with his mouth full and rubbed Draco's butt cheeks feverishly as he started to blow his load down the boy's throat. A few moments later Draco's penis expanded in his mouth and he started to ejaculate as Harry swallowed his seed hungrily. As they both recovered from their intense orgasm Draco scooted back up next to Harry on the sofa and they shared a lover's kiss.
"Mmmm... You're getting better Potter. I swear to God, that was the best one yet," Draco puffed.
"You too," Harry replied with a giggle, "So you've still got a thing for Seamus then?" he asked playfully.
Draco's replied by kissing Harry tenderly on the cheek, "Who's Seamus?" he asked with a grin and Harry knew that he never had anything to worry about. He and Draco were in love, and had all eternity to share themselves with one another. Wow! Harry thought to himself as he lay there next to the boy he loved, he realized that eternity suddenly didn't seem like enough time for them both to be together.
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