Harry Potter and the Gemini Curse @ghostandmiracle42
Act IV, Chapter 9

Authors Notes: Housekeeping

Hi guys, Miracle here! We've gotten numerous questions concerning Malfoy's actions in Act IV, Chapter 5. Specifically, his use of an Unforgivable Curse against Harry being both out of character and implausible. We feel the need to point out to the Draco fans out there, that this is not a good Draco story. There is no redemption for him here. Here, he is the spoiled brat child who thinks everything is owed to him and is verbatim regurgitating his father's views. There is a place for good Malfoy stories, but this one isn't it we're afraid. Draco using an unforgivable in a rage about his favourite game being taken away is in character for this Malfoy. As for the Aurors showing up, Umbridge has gridlock control over what gets in and out of the school, and you think she'd honestly care that Malfoy tried to curse Harry? She tries herself to use the Cruciatus on him in the books and the movies.

Hopefully, that clears things up.

In much better news, you get this chapter early for two reasons. One, Ghost and I are going skiing this weekend, so no new chapter until next week. Two, its San Diego COMIC-CON this weekend! Have fun, everybody!


Updated Disclaimer:

"Hold on!" Hobbs yelled as the Enterprise ploughed through another wall of rainbow light. Ghost slammed his eyes shut from his position on the floor as glare flooded the Bridge. Then it was gone, and Ghost opened his eyes.

Beyond the main viewer was quite possibly the most incredible thing he'd ever seen.

The Enterprise was hovering above a sea of rainbow-coloured water, rippling under the engines. Not more than 100 kilometres in front of them was a continent covered in forest and grassy fields. It stretched as far as the eye could see, with what should have been the ocean surrounding it replaced by the rainbow light of the Speed Force. In the heart of the continent was a giant ash tree. And when he said giant, he meant GIANT. It towered up into the sky, stretching farther than any mountain, and nestled in its great branches were entire kingdoms. Ghost could see a storm covered planet surrounded by rings of pure white energy, a mountain covered in marble buildings, a city of golden towers, forests of the greenest he had ever seen, mountain ranges that looked cold and unforgiving and pits of darkness that swallowed all light. If he looked directly up and squinted high enough, he could see clouds flitting through the uppermost branches, and the shimmering white aura of the Aether Force, beyond which he knew lied the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ghost helped Miracle to her feet, and Oracle fell from the roof, landing with a thud on the floor. Phoenix gracefully lowered herself back to the floor. Ghost couldn't help but notice she was standing closer to Hobbs than was strictly necessary.

"Told you I could do it," Toretto said smugly. Annabeth, who had banged her head quite hard on her chair, glared at their driver.

"Shut up and dock us with the Multiversity. I don't want to be too close to the Fair Lands for long."

"No problem," he winked at Annabeth and started angling the ship up into the sky, away from the forested continent where the roots of the World Tree lay.

"What's wrong with the Fair Lands?" Phoenix asked softly as Miracle rubbed her head and Ghost checked on Oracle, who was groaning softly on the floor.

"The Faeries of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts aren't the most hospitable of peoples. They don't like it when outsiders get too close to their shores, especially outsiders who have can't touch the True Source. In other words, us," Miracle explained softly.

"True Source?"

"We'll explain later."

The Enterprise rose up through the air, soaring past the golden city of Asgard, and the megalopolis of the Ascended Ancients. The ship glided through the towering branches of the tree. They passed the Enchanted Forest and the Dragon's Nest, and Ghost got a good view of Mount Olympus through the brush. Eventually, they pulled up sharply to avoid the trunk of the tree, which appeared through the leaves out of nowhere, and they spotted a cavernous hollow, right in the centre, with dozens of vessels from pirate ships to spacecraft docked against smaller branches extending out.

"Take us in, Toretto," Annabeth said coolly.

"Aye, aye, captain."


Act IV, Chapter 9: The Gathering of the Clouds

Harry spun around, bringing himself to full height in an instant. Fear was rippling through the entire group, and the Slytherins were already eyeing the exits.

"Everybody don't panic!" Harry yelled. Matt pushed his way through the crowd and grabbed Dobby by the shoulders, ignoring the looks of shock on Danny and the rest of the Ravenclaws faces as he moved without his cane.

"Dobby! How much time do we have! Does she know we're here right now?!" Matt asked, shaking the tiny elf. But Dobby was incoherent, balling into his tea cosy.

"We need to get out of here!" Someone yelled. That was all it took for the entire group to begin bolting for the doors. Harry made to speak, but MJ beat him too it.

"Everybody stand exactly where you are!" She screamed, and everybody stopped still, turning to face her.

"If we run out that door like a bunch of headless chickens Umbridge will catch us for sure! We need a plan! And fast!" Hermione exclaimed.

"As High as Honour!" Danny yelled, pushing through the crowd with Luke, Fred and George, "If ever there was ever a time to do it, now's it." Harry nodded, "Agreed. Defenders! High as Honour is in effect!" As one, all the Defenders reached into their robes and pulled the hem within their sleeves. Their school robes all transfigured themselves automatically into the hooded red-cloaks of the Defenders, and several people gasped as they realised just who the people behind the hoods were. But almost every eye in the room fell to Jessica as the crowd parted to let her, decked out in red just like the rest of them, reach the centre.

"Harry! The Home! It's the only way! It's close enough we should be able to get everyone there if we hurry!"

Harry hesitated for a second, debating whether exposing the Home's secret to the entire Army was a good idea, then disregarded it. They trusted him, so it was about time he started trusting them.

"Agreed. Defenders, ten to a group! We'll stagger the run ten seconds apart. That way if one group gets caught, the rest will be safe. Brains, take Dobby. Cage, ten Gryffindors first. GO!" Luke quickly gathered up ten of the Gryffindors around him, including Demelza, Colin, Dennis, Lavender, Dean, Neville and Seamus and made a run for the door. Harry took off at a run as well, stopping at the door and watching Luke and his party vanish down the stairs to the sixth-floor corridor. Peter, Gwen and MJ followed him.

"I'm going to look out, watch for anyone who shouldn't be there," Peter said. He pulled back the sleeves of his jumper, and 'thwiped' a web to the roof. Then he jumped off the ground and swung up into the rafters.

"Clear!"

"Okay, Iron Fist next group!" Danny, with his group of Hannah, Susan, Ernie, Eloise, Megan and Justin, raced to the door and ducked out into the corridor.

"Filch is coming!" Matt hissed, sliding to a stop next to Harry.

"Where!"

"Fifth floor. He's coming from the other direction. Malfoy, Parkinson and Blaise Zabini are on their way too! Via the Grand Staircase.

"We need to speed this up. Alias! You're next!" Jessica ran up to him with Daphne, Tracey, Lance, Emilie and Astoria.

"Cassius and Maria have vanished!" Jessica exclaimed.

"They went out the other way! They're headed straight for Filch," Matt said, twisting his head.

"Crap," Tracey muttered.

"Fuck them. Let's get to this safe house now!" Lance intoned. Harry nodded to Jessica, and Alias led her Slytherins towards the stairs.

"Mystery!" Harry called, now very scared about the time.

"I'm here!" Luna exclaimed, running full tilt with most of Ravenclaw House behind her.

"Someone's coming up the stairs!" Peter hissed, Harry slammed the door before Fitz could exit and wished it away.

"It's… I don't know… I can't…" Matt was stuttering, placing his ear against the wall. Then he gasped in frustration. "It's the bloody cat!" Harry shoved the door open in time to see Peter wrap Mrs Norris up in a cocoon of spider-webs and affix her to the roof.

"Go!" Harry yelled, and Luna all but pulled Jemma out into the hall, bolting with her charges.

"Malfoy's at the Sixth-Floor corridor!" Matt yelled, then he swore and ducked out into the hall on his own.

"Matt!" Harry yelled.

"I've got him!" Gwen exclaimed, jumping out from behind him and chasing after Matt. Harry forced himself to pay no heed.

"Brains!" Hermione rushed towards him, still cradling a sobbing Dobby, accompanied by Fred, George, Alicia, Katie, the last Gryffindors, as well as Padma and Anthony from Ravenclaw.

"Go now!" He begged. Hermione and her group charged into the breach, the last group – save him and MJ.

"Come on!" Harry yelled, jumping out into the hallway with MJ. He slammed the doors closed, and the Room of Requirement vanished as if it were never there. Peter dropped down from the ceiling, landing without a stumble behind them. They raced down the stairs, and Peter gasped. He pushed them to the ground just in time for a spell to fly over their heads. They looked up, and watched in awe as Matt flipped over a curse before cracking one of the red sticks he kept attached to his leg at all times on Malfoy's head. Gwen flung a web line at Blaze, jerking him forward straight into her waiting fist. Then with her wand she slammed Pansy Parkinson – whom she had suspended with Wingardium Leviosa – into a wall.

"Come on!" Susan yelled. She was standing next to the open portrait with Ron, beckoning them with her hand. They raced towards the picture, and Ron ducked inside. Just as they were about to reach it, Matt cursed.

"Umbridge!" Susan, a look of horror on her face, slammed the portrait closed before they could reach it. Peter jumped over Harry and MJ's heads, slinging a web to the ceiling. He flung across the gap and latched a web onto Malfoy's unconscious body before hoisting him to the roof and sticking him there, while Gwen did the same thing with Blaze and Pansy. They disappeared out of sight the second Filch and Umbridge came running down the stairs, Cassius Warrington and Maria Hill floating suspended behind them.

"Potter and Bones! I'll have you expelled for this!" Umbridge pointed her wand at Harry, MJ, Matt and Susan, but Matt was faster on the draw. He pointed his wand skyward and yelled.

"Obliviate!" A bright flash filled Harry's vision, accompanied by Umbridge screaming, "NO!"

When it cleared, Harry found himself stumbling into a wall in the Sixth-Floor corridor. He looked around, confused. Mary Jane Watson was sitting on the ground wearing a parka and winter pants, and Matt and Susan were leaning against the wall on the other side of the hall much the same way he was. What was MJ doing here? She wasn't supposed to show up for the DA lesson for a few hours at least. Harry glanced at his watch and blanched at seeing the time of 9:30pm. How had it gotten so late!? He was supposed to be at the DA meeting!

"What?!" Umbridge's high pitched whine filled the hall. Harry groaned and turned towards the stairs, where Umbridge was standing with Filch. Cassius Warrington and Maria Hill stood up on shaky legs behind them. Then, seeing Umbridge's attention fixed on Harry, they bolted in the opposite direction.

"You!" Umbridge screeched, seemingly coming to some conclusion that eluded Harry. The Firebrand burned on Harry's arm, and he leapt into action, slinging his wand out and summoning a shield charm between his friends and Umbridge before she'd even finished casting her stunning spell. The spell ricocheted off the shield and hit the roof. Harry followed its impact and had to force himself not to gasp at the sight of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy sticking to the underside of the roof, three bodies wrapped in Spider silk stuck next to them, all of them unmoving. He dropped his eyes back to Umbridge, and lazily defended against her weak stunners.

"Harry behind us!" Matt yelled. The Firebrand twinged again, and Harry spun around, raising his free hand.

"Protego!" Cornelius Fudge, Kingsley Shacklebolt and John Dawlish were standing on the other side of the corridor, wands drawn. Susan, MJ, and Matt drew their own wands, pointing them at the newcomers.

"Potter, drop the shield now!" Fudge commanded, but Harry wasn't paying him any attention. His gaze was fixed on his sleeve. His red sleeve. He was wearing his Defenders Cloak. A quick glance to Matt confirmed he was wearing his cloak as well. And at that moment, he realised that something must have happened. Something he couldn't remember, for there was no other reason for him to be in the Sixth-Floor corridor in Defenders garb. He chanced a look at the portrait of the silver city. It was firmly closed, and he needed to keep it that way.

"Yeah, I don't think so," Harry said, pushing more of his strength into his two shields.

"Fine. If you're going to be like that. Shacklebolt, Dawlish, teach this boy a lesson about respecting his superiors!" Fudge snapped, his anger evident for all to see. Shacklebolt and Dawlish rolled their eyes and sent off quick stunners. Both seemed quite shocked when they shot back at them faster than they impacted, and both had to duck to avoid being hit.

"I'm not so easy to take on Minister. Perhaps you should have thought about that before you decided to disregard my help to take more of Lucius Malfoy's bribes," Harry snarled, the image of the Malfoy's smug face as he tried to seize the Weasley property flashing into his mind.

"You, disrespectful…"

"Enough!" Everyone turned towards Umbridge's side of the hall, including Umbridge herself. For standing at the top of the stairs was Albus Dumbledore, wand in hand.

"I quite agree!" Professor McGonagall exclaimed, running down the hallway on Fudge's side.

"Dumbledore! Good of you to come. Care to explain to me how it is that Potter has been building an army from amongst your students! Are you that incompetent that you didn't notice? Or were you a willing co-conspirator in Potter's plans to overthrow the Ministry?!" Fudge proclaimed.

"Everything Harry did was under my direct instruction," Dumbledore said matter of factly, "This army that Harry has built was my idea and conceptualised entirely so that I could overthrow the Ministry." Fudge started spluttering stupidly, and Harry rolled his eyes. He really was a moron.

"You… you admit it!" Fudge exclaimed.

"Indeed," Dumbledore said cheerfully. Harry had to admit, seeing in an instant Dumbledore's plan for what it was, that it was a good idea. But he couldn't help wondering why he was doing it. Harry hadn't said a word to the Headmaster since their meeting at the beginning of term, and Dumbledore hadn't attempted to speak to him either. Not even after Ginny had disappeared. So, Harry let Dumbledore take the fall, and he didn't feel in the least remorseful about it.

But Fudge was now grinning like a kid in a candy store as if realising something incredibly important. "Well, well, well – I came here tonight expecting to finally have Potter expelled, but instead…"

"You get to arrest me. It's like losing a Knut and finding a Galleon isn't it?"

Fudge spun around to face Kingsley and Dawlish. "You two, arrest Dumbledore and escort him to Azkaban to await trial for treason and sedition."

"But what about Potter!" Umbridge exclaimed.

"What about him?" Fudge snapped.

"You said he'd be expelled!"

"Oh, not now, this is far more important!"

Fudge, practically giddy with excitement turned to Dumbledore, "Come now, Dumbledore." Kingsley and Dawlish started to move around Harry's shield, but Dumbledore held up a hand.

"Ah. It seems we've hit a bit of a snag," he said thoughtfully, stroking his beard.

"A snag?" Fudge repeated dumbly.

"Yes. You see, you seem to be under the impression I'm going to, what was the phrase? Come quietly. Well, I can tell you this, I have no intention of going to Azkaban." It happened in a split second, Dumbledore whipped out his wand and sent a shockwave through the hall. Dawlish, Kingsley, Fudge and Umbridge all collapsed like puppets with their strings cut, leaving Harry, Susan, MJ, Matt and McGonagall to stare in awe at the Headmaster as he descended the stairs. Harry let the shields drop, and took a deep breath.

"Excellent shield work Harry," Dumbledore said, deliberately stepping on Umbridge as he approached them. Peter and Gwen dropped down from the ceiling, scaring the crap out of Professor McGonagall.

"Ah, Mr Parker, Miss Stacy, Miss Watson. Good to see you're well," Dumbledore said, taking two people lowering themselves from the ceiling with spider cables as the most natural thing in the world. Malfoy's cocoon fell from the roof, which Peter caught one-handed, before unceremoniously letting him fall the last metre with a thud.

"Hi, Prof Dumbledore. Lovely school you've got here. Just, quick question. I have literally no memory of how I got here," MJ said, raising her hand in the air awkwardly.

"Matt cast an Obliviation when Umbridge came down the stairs. Pete and I were just outside it's affects," Gwen said as Peter lowered Pansy and Blaze down as well.

"So that's what I did. Thought it might be something like that," Matt admitted, scratching his head.

"Thank Merlin, I thought I'd gone mad for a second there," Susan said, breathing a sigh of relief.

"An excellent idea, Mr Murdock. Now, allow me." Dumbledore swished his wand in an arc, and half an hours' worth of memory suddenly flooded back to him. The Patronus lesson, Dobby, as High as Honour.

"Everyone made it into the Home except us," Harry breathed.

"Albus, what's going on?" McGonagall begged.

Dumbledore sighed, "I'm afraid I'll have to leave the school in your capable hands, Minerva."

"Where will you go?" McGonagall asked, "Grimmauld Place?"

Dumbledore shook his head, "No. In fact, this could not have come at a more fortuitous time." Dumbledore turned towards Harry.

"I believe I've managed to uncover what happened to the Dragons at last." Harry breathed a sigh of relief. "It seems Voldemort lured them into a trap on the Wakandan Border and transported them into Hell, literally, not figuratively. Not a place one goes for a holiday. Hopefully, I'll be able to rescue them in time, and that Satan has not had the chance to get his claws into William and Clarissa, or worse, the Dragon Force itself."

Harry swallowed hard. Hell? Apparently, that was a real place. Who knew? Pushing the thought out of his mind for now, he stepped over to the portrait, brushed his fingers over the Home Rune and whispered, "As High as Honour." The picture swung open, revealing Ron, Danny, Luke and Jessica, wands pointed straight at them.

"Oh, thank Merlin it's you," Danny exclaimed, dropping his wand in relief.

"We thought for sure Umbridge got you," Luke admitted.

"Not yet," Harry said.

"Harry, mate there's someone you need to see," Ron said, scratching his head.

Harry frowned, "In a second. But everyone's okay?"

"Yeah. Everyone made it." Jessica confirmed.

Harry turned back to the teachers.

"So, what should we do?" Harry asked, directing the question at Dumbledore.

"Well, I suggest you all be gone by the time Madame Umbridge and the Minister wake up, which should be any minute now. They'll have no recollection of what has occurred here. I'd also say your clandestine meetings may need to take a break, but aside from that, I have no advice for you. I'll attempt to contact both of you when I've located the Dragons." Dumbledore nodded to McGonagall and Harry before whistling. Fawkes flew from across the hall and landed on Dumbledore's shoulders. The Headmaster vanished in a tongue of flame, and McGonagall retreated down the hall she came after giving Harry a curt nod. Peter, Gwen, MJ, Susan and Matt followed Harry inside, and they shut the portal.

Jessica elbowed Matt in the arm as they proceeded down the corridor. "Don't do that again!" She snapped, "You gave me a heart attack, running off like that!"

"Sorry, I needed to buy us some time," Matt said unapologetically.

"No need to be such a daredevil about it," Jessica huffed. Luke laughed and slapped Matt on the back, forcing him to stumble forward a few paces.

"That's it. Daredevil. Done deal."

"What! No way, that's a terrible name," Matt huffed.

"So's Alias, Daredevil. Deal with it," Jessica beamed. They rounded the corner, and Harry stopped short. His throat constricted, and his heart-rate, which had been finally returning to normal after the nights' events, went through the roof.

The kitchen and living rooms were crowded with people nervously chatting away, and in the centre of them was a fire-haired figure with a gaunt face, pale and shallow. She was thin as a rake and looked like she'd lost inches from her height, but it was her. He'd know her anywhere. Ginny.

He didn't think. He just bolted. Step after step. Ginny spun around, and her face lit up like Christmas morning. She rushed towards him too, and he made to take her into his arms and twirl her around in the air. But they phased straight through each other, and instead, Harry crashed into the couch. He went arse over tip, smashing into the coffee table. But he didn't care. He jerked upright and vaulted back over the couch. Ginny was standing there, tears streaming down her face. No. No, no, no, no, NO! He was so close. She was right there. He reached out to her, but his hand slipped through hers as if she wasn't even there, and he saw the scars mangled into her hand. The words, 'I will not disobey my betters', but cut over that was the bloody image of the Sagittarius rune. Tucked in the pocket of her robes was a grey-furred kitten with a pink nose, looking up at him with suspicion in its eyes.

"Gin…"

"Harry, I'm so sorry." Her voice was far away, as if coming to him from the other side of a telephone, and Harry wasn't sure how long he'd be able to stop himself from collapsing from a mixture of relief and dread. He couldn't stop himself. He reached up and ran a hand over the Gemini Rune. Hers was as faded and washed out as his was. And, even with her right there, it remained lifeless. No more than a bad tattoo.

"Don't you dare, apologise!" Harry exclaimed, tears of his own threatening to leak from his eyes, "You did what you needed to do to get away from that hag."

"And now I'm stuck like this," Ginny retorted.

"We can get your wand, I can use the Sagittarius to bring you back. Now that we know where you are, we can…"

"No, Harry. It won't work. It's not about reapplying it, this scar on my hand won't let me get back. Trust me, I tried to reapply it." She bared her arm, where dozens of scratch marks featuring the Sagittarius Rune were clearly visible, many of them covered in dry blood. Harry shook his head, "But you didn't have a wand. If you did…"

"What happens to me doesn't matter right now!" She growled, "There are bigger problems. I know what Voldemort's after! The thing in the Department of Mysteries that Dumbledore's guarding. The thing that got Dad killed. It's a fucking prophecy. And it can only be removed by you or Voldemort himself!" Harry's mouth clamped shut, and everyone started whispering frantically. Harry fell flat on his ass, leaning his head against the couch. Ginny flopped down next to him.

"Come on, everyone, park it would you," Fred said, sitting down opposite Harry and Ginny with George, Ron and Hermione. Everyone slowly started sitting down, some on the bar stools and couches, the rest on the floor.

"What happened outside Harry?" Hermione asked.

"Umbridge caught us, but Dumbledore took the fall," MJ said, shaking her head, "He's fled the school to find out what happened to the Dragons. Let's hope he finds them."

"Then whose Headmaster? McGonagall?" Fitz asked, though Harry couldn't pin-point where his voice came from within the crowd.

"Umbridge will take it. With her as Headmaster, no one will be safe. Flitwick will be packing his bags by morning. McGonagall not long after. Harry, I wouldn't wait for her to kick you off school grounds, I'd get the hell out of dodge before then," Jessica said, taking a seat within the inner circle. Several people cast her odd glances – Gryffindor's included, as though realising it was the red-hair she used to wear as 'Lily Potter' that was the disguise, rather than the other way around.

"She's got a point, Harry. She might not be able to expel you, but she can sure as hell kick you out of the grounds. No one will be safe from her Detentions either. It's hopeless," Hermione said bitterly, swirling a coffee cup in her hands.

"Then there's this prophecy," Ginny said, "I overheard Malfoy and Allisandra talking about it that day at the hospital. Voldemort wants it badly. It has something to do with you, and he's laying a trap of some kind to trick you into getting it. I've given it a lot of thought, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Death Eater students like Malfoy are tasked with grabbing someone important as a hostage, to force you to retrieve the prophecy for him. I say he'd use me, but, well…" Ginny gestured to her gaunt self, and Harry had to swallow down the bile that threatened to revisit him.

Everyone was silent for several minutes.

"Is there anything we can do?" Susan asked, eventually.

Ron took a deep, harrowing breath, "We have to stop You-Know-Who from getting this prophecy. If he wants it so bad, we need to make damn sure he doesn't get it."

"Wait a second, hold the phone. You mean Dumbledore's been right the whole time? He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is actually back?!" Zacharias Smith said, adopting a face somewhere between horror and disbelief.

"He was resurrected at the end of last year. I saw it with my own eyes," Peter said, staring angrily at Zacharias.

"It's the truth," Jessica said, turning to look at the crowd, "My Mum helped him do it. Her and Lucius Malfoy."

"They're right," Emilie Brindle said from her position cross-legged behind Jessica, "my parents were Death Eaters that got off last time, and they've been acting super strange."

"Every piece of evidence points towards it. The disappearances, all the strange things happening. It's what you've been training us for from the beginning, isn't it Potter?" Lance Hunter said, giving Harry a firm nod.

Harry took a deep breath. "It is. I'm sorry for lying to you. All of you. But given what the Minister did to Dumbledore, can you blame me? If I had come out and said it was Voldemort that abducted us," he waved to include Peter, "would you all have believed me? We, that is the Defenders and I, needed a way to make sure people realised there was a threat, and this was the only way. I'm sorry. I truly am. I never wanted to lie, and I hated every second of it. But if I had to do it again, I would. Because it allowed me to see all of you, sitting here in front of me, and know that Voldemort and his sycophants won't find it easy to murder you. I'm so proud of all the work you've done." Everyone was silent again until Neville stood up from towards the back of the room.

"We're with you, General. Defenders Army remember?"

"Defenders Army," Harry agreed with a smile. Then Susan rose from her stool and looked him the eye.

"I knew from the beginning what we were training for. I'll admit it. My Aunt's the smartest person I know, cept perhaps Granger here, and she says to stay close to Harry. But I don't need her to tell me that, cause I'm Defenders Army, all the way."

Then Jemma stood up from the other side of the couch, and Harry had to twist his head around to see her.

"I'll admit. I don't like being lied too," she said, "But I'm glad you did it. Because if you hadn't, I think I would have never joined the Defenders Army. I wouldn't have believed. But now I'm prepared for what's out there, all thanks to you Harry. So, thank you for being willing to make the hard choice, to protect the rest of us. I'm a member of the Defenders Army, and you can count on me."

And Lance Hunter.

"Look, Potter, I wasn't originally on board with this. I figured you were gearing up for something, but I didn't see how you'd be able to do anything about it. Even guessed you had a mole in Slytherin." He turned to glare at Jessica, who winked slyly at him. "But this thing you've put together is something else. It's something I can get behind, and when it comes down to you, old man Dumbles, or He-Who-Must-Be-Hyphenated, my money's on you. So, it looks like I'm in for the long haul. Defenders Army," He said with a resigned air, though Harry could tell it was fake. That was all it took. Everyone launched to their feet chanting at the top of their lungs, "DEFENDERS ARMY! DEFENDERS ARMY! DEFENDERS ARMY!"

It was possibly the proudest moment of his life. He looked to Ginny, who was staring in awe at the crowd. She smiled and nodded at him, and Harry pulled himself to his feet, standing tall and proud as his friends all pledged their support.

"OKAY!" Matt yelled at the top of his lungs, bringing the cheering back under control.

"The way I see it, we've got three problems. One, we have to get the prophecy before You-Know-Who can. Two, we have to not get caught in the trap that he probably has waiting for us. Three, we have to get rid of Umbridge. So, we need a plan, anyone have any ideas?"

Fred and George looked to each other, communicating softly using a number of hand gestures. Finally, it seemed Fred won whatever argument they had because he turned back to the group and said, "We've been preparing something since Umbridge started going psycho at the beginning of term. It's almost ready…" "And by almost he means could possibly malfunction terribly," George interjected while Fred continued, "We could use it. It'll cause a lot of mayhem, we'll definitely get expelled, but it could be the match that lights the fuse of whatever we use to get rid of her once and for all."

Several people murmured softly between themselves.

"I like it, but that won't be enough to get her the sack," Harry said.

"What if we use it as a distraction?" Luna asked, jumping up and down so everyone could see her at the back. Harry gestured with his hands, and she slipped to the front through the parted crowd. "Use the twins' project as a mass distraction. That way, while Umbridge is dealing with it, a group can sneak out undetected using the anchors and get the prophecy!"

"Anchors?" Someone asked, Harry thought it might have been Fitz.

"There are portals in this place that can take you to Hogsmeade, London, or Gringotts. The London Anchor will get us within eye-shot of the guest entrance to the Ministry!" Hermione beamed, "Brilliant Luna!"

"But what about all the people in the Ministry? There's no way a group of students or Defenders would make it down to the Department of Mysteries without getting caught," Susan pointed out. Hermione and Luna deflated.

"Then we need a second distraction, divide and conquer. One group gets Fudge's attention while another sneaks down to the DoM," Lance said, nodding his head.

"Like what?" Neville asked. More nervous chattering broke through the crowd.

"What about a protest?" Foggy asked.

"A protest?" Matt repeated, confused.

"Exactly. It's not illegal to protest on Ministry premises. And think about it, what started the American Magical Revolution?!" Peter gulped hard.

"A protest! Of course! It's the perfect way to bring heaps of people into the Ministry. Clog the arrival hall with Anti-Umbridge and Fudge protestors during the morning rush hour, and people will get seriously mad. They'll be crowded, jostled, less likely to notice who's in an elevator compartment with them!" Jessica exclaimed.

"Do we have enough people?" Anthony Goldstein asked.

"Not on our own, but the younger years could help!" Lavender exclaimed, catching on to the idea and running with it, "They hate Umbridge as much as we do, the more bodies, the better!"

Harry beamed. This was why having a team around you was the best anyone could ask for. First among equals. One person had an idea, and then another person built upon it, until they had a fully comprehensive plan structure for how to spread the word to the first, second and third years, where to place Fred and Georges packages for maximum damage, how they'd get to making signs and posters to make the student protest authentic and many, many more. It was only when Jessica stepped up to Harry and intangible-Ginny that they realised there was a major flaw.

"If we get into the Department of Mysteries, how are we going to make sure we don't fall into the very trap we're trying to avoid?" Harry was stumped at that, but Ginny apparently wasn't.

"I've been thinking about that," she said, "what if we only make it look like we've fallen into Tom's trap? I know him better than anyone else, and if there's one thing Tom will never consider, it's that we saw through him. If you spring the trap, he'll assume you fell for it hook, line and sinker. Then we set a trap of our own. An ambush, as it were. Once we know what Tom has planned, we send in the back-up, and in the confusion, you get the prophecy out of there. Then you make like a bat out of hell back to the populated areas of the Ministry. The Death Eaters either expose themselves to the public, or they let you escape. It's a win, win."

"It's a good plan. We'll help anyway we can," Peter said, stepping forward with MJ and Gwen, and drawing Harry, Jessica and Ginny's attention.

"Thanks, guys."

"Anything to give that piece of shit a piece of my mind."

Then Harry felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned around to see Ron standing there looking very uncomfortable.

"I'm going with you," he said firmly.

"Ron…" Harry began.

"No. I need to do this, Harry. I… I've had a long time to come to terms with how much of an asshole I was last year. Especially what happened that night. I have no excuse for what I did. It was wrong, but I was just so mad and so jealous of you, and you Ginny," he said, directing part of the statement to Ginny's ghost-like form, "I've spent the last nine or so months, knowing that I destroyed the best thing I ever had: my friendship with you. And knowing that it's something I can never get back, all because of my mistakes, eats me up inside. But let me do this. Let me do something to make up for all the stupid shit I've done. Let me stand beside you again." Harry, head-spinning a thousand miles an hour, held out his hand.

"Just like old times," Harry said, a smile creeping across his face. Ron's face lit up, and he gladly took Harry's offered hand.

"I'm going with you too," Hermione said, slipping in to stand next to them. "If we're going to walk headfirst into something we know is a trap to save the world from Voldemort, we may as well do it properly." She grabbed their clasped hands, and Harry, grinning like an idiot, held his other hand over hers. Ron did the same, then Hermione again.

"The Golden Trio lives again," Harry said.

Ron laughed, before gesturing to the cloaks Harry and Hermione still wore. "I don't suppose you've got any spare cloaks lying about, do you?"

Anonymous reviews have been disabled. Login to review. 1. Act I, Chapter 1 2577 0 0 2. Act I, Chapter 2 3857 0 0 3. Act I, Chapter 3 6839 0 0 4. Act I, Chapter 4 3517 0 0 5. Act I, Chapter 5 2759 0 0 6. Act I, Chapter 6 3646 0 0 7. Act I, Chapter 7 3123 0 0 8. Act I, Chapter 8 3749 0 0 9. Act I, Chapter 9 3592 0 0 10. Act I, Chapter 10 4635 0 0 11. Act II, Chapter 1 4795 0 0 12. Act II, Chapter 2 4912 0 0 13. Act II, Chapter 3 4596 0 0 14. Act II, Chapter 4 4033 0 0 15. Act II, Chapter 5 4695 0 0 16. Act II, Chapter 6 4878 0 0 17. Act II, Chapter 7 5376 0 0 18. Act II, Chapter 8 4393 0 0 19. Act II, Chapter 9 3716 0 0 20. Act II, Chapter 10 7982 0 0 21. Act III, Chapter 1 8563 0 0 22. Act III, Chapter 2 3926 0 0 23. Act III, Chapter 3 4739 0 0 24. Act III, Chapter 4 2324 0 0 25. Act III, Chapter 5 5812 0 0 26. Act III, Chapter 6 6900 0 0 27. Act III, Chapter 7 3211 0 0 28. Act III, Chapter 8 6466 0 0 29. Act III, Chapter 9 2888 0 0 30. Act III, Chapter 10 7371 0 0 31. Act IV, Chapter 1 6177 0 0 32. Act IV, Chapter 2 6862 0 0 33. Act IV, Chapter 3 6360 0 0 34. Act IV, Chapter 4 7018 0 0 35. Act IV, Chapter 5 9640 0 0 36. Act IV, Chapter 6 4531 0 0 37. Act IV, Chapter 7 2345 0 0 38. Act IV, Chapter 8 7242 0 0 39. Act IV, Chapter 9 6161 0 0 40. Act IV, Chapter 10 11288 0 0 41. Act V, Chapter 1 12170 0 0 42. Act V, Chapter 2 3204 0 0 43. Act V, Chapter 3 7727 0 0 44. Act V, Chapter 4 3213 0 0 45. Act V, Chapter 5 7099 0 0 46. Act V, Chapter 6 8061 0 0 47. Act V, Chapter 7 5544 0 0 48. Act V, Chapter 8 5414 0 0 49. Act V, Chapter 9 6046 0 0 50. Act V, Chapter 10 7849 0 0 51. Act VI, Chapter 1 6040 0 0 52. Act VI, Chapter 2 3614 0 0 53. Act VI, Chapter 3 4633 0 0 54. Act VI, Chapter 4 4638 0 0 55. Act VI, Chapter 5 2781 0 0 56. Act VI, Chapter 6 6382 0 0 57. Act VI, Chapter 7 4027 0 0 58. Act VI, Chapter 8 7169 0 0 59. Act VI, Chapter 9 4260 0 0 60. Act VI, Chapter 10 5574 0 0 61. Glossary and Appendices 10011 0 0 62. Update: A potential podfic 265 0 0