Act V, Chapter 7: The Defenders Army
Hermione didn't go to breakfast the next morning. What was breakfast anyway, but a waste of valuable time? Instead, she barged into Harry's Dorm and went looking for the Marauder's Map, only to remember that it had been torn by Umbridge's goons the previous year, and no longer worked.
Plan B then.
There was a secondary office next to Professor McGonagall's off the Transfiguration Courtyard, not far from the Mermaid statue. She stalked down to the office and tried to open the usually open door. It was locked. Jackpot.
"Gwen Stacy! I swear in the name of the Vishanti if you don't fucking open this door I will tell everyone in the entire school that you write pornographic fanfiction for Lara Croft! Oops, too late! Who knows what else I might say?" The door swung open, and Hermione was jerked inside. Gwen, wearing jeans and a spider-man t-shirt, slammed the door closed.
"What the fuck!?" She exclaimed, "That'll be all over the school before I even teach a single class, Hermione!"
Hermione huffed, folding her arms over her chest. "Good. That'll teach you to not tell me you were going to be teaching here!"
Gwen blanched, and Hermione realised that Gwen had let her hair grow out past her shoulders and dyed the pink highlights out of her hair. It made her look at least five years older.
"It was super last minute. Professor Dumbledore owled me last week about it, and I thought it was a good idea. Pete and MJ have started dating, finally, but now they won't stop sucking face literally everywhere we go. That, plus Pete took down another super-villain two weeks ago, this guy in a giant Rhino suit. And he didn't even call me! Since the Department of Mysteries, his ego has grown a mile. For once in his life, he's actually being confident about something, and I'm happy for him. I really am. But I needed a break. So, when Dumbledore offered me a job for a few months while Professor McGonagall gets back on her feet, I decided maybe it would be a good idea. Plus, we can keep working on our project. I've got an idea for refining the ambience sequence I think we can input…"
And just like that, Hermione's anger vanished, replaced by burning curiosity as the two girls debated when they could start with the next phase of their experiments.
Jessica waited a week before she activated the DA coins. If she was honest, she hadn't really expected much turnout.
She'd made plans for every situation. No turnout: they'd play Gobstones. Low turnout: she'd thank everyone and, depending on who specifically showed, she'd focus more on what Harry had been doing the previous year with the duelling lessons. High turnout? She had a speech she'd doubt she'd need. Who'd want to be part of an army with no Harry? The rumour she'd started in Slughorn's cabin had gone around the school as fast as she knew it would. Everyone knew that Harry and Ginny were not going to be there. Not only that, but the whole Department of Mysteries protest was undeniably a disaster.
However, when Jessica stepped into the Room of Requirement, the entirety of the Defenders Army was there – everyone that had survived Voldemort's arrival in the Ministry at least. Not only that, but all the students that had graduated the previous year who'd been members had returned and were chatting it up with the younger kids. Fred and George had set up a stall in the corner and were actually selling some of their products! Then, as if Jessica's brain wasn't struggling to process everything already, Astoria had brought a group of at least fifteen Slytherin third, fourth and fifth years. To top it all off, the younger students who'd participated in the protests in the Ministry were all present as well. It was a miracle the room changed to suit the users' needs, as, with so many people, the room they'd used the previous year would never have fit everyone. Instead, the place had morphed into an amphitheatre of sorts, with staggered levels leading down to a flat space in the centre, and a raised stage in the centre of that.
Jessica stepped up onto the raised platform where Luke, Danny, Hermione, Gwen, Luna and Matt were waiting for her. She'd gone over her plans with them the previous night in the Home, so she supposed they'd figured it was option high turnout by now. They all smiled softly at her; Luke even gave her a thumbs up. She was so fucked right now.
"Impressive, isn't it?" Matt said, stepping up beside her and brushing his hand against hers. She resisted the urge to shift her feet. She hadn't made a single move since she'd kissed him in the DoM, and if she was honest, she had no idea what to do about any of her feelings. So instead she did what she did best. She focussed on everyone's problems but her own.
"Did we vet the newcomers?" She asked back.
"100%. Hermione made all of them sign another piece of paper. No one got inside without their name on it. And this time the enchantment was much worse."
"What is it?"
"It's an intention curse. If anyone with their name on the parchment has any intent to betray the DA, their mouths will instantly seal up, rendering them unable to speak. That's to stop Veritaserum or the Imperious Curse. To break it you'd need to destroy the parchment, though I suppose Voldemort might be able to personally get around it somehow. Then, depending on the type of intent, like malicious vs they've been captured and in pain, part two of the curse kicks in. A suffocation curse. Stop trying to speak DA secrets, and you'll be able to breathe again, keep going, and I wish them luck. It's fast-acting and rare. Should take Voldemort a few seconds to figure out a counter curse, and by then…"
Jessica nodded. It was extreme, but after what had happened the previous year, they couldn't afford to take chances.
"Okay, everyone!" She called out, but the people towards the back didn't hear her. A microphone appeared in front of her, and Jessica once again thanked the magic of the room.
"Hi everyone," She tried again, and her amplified voice rippled out through the auditorium. Silence fell, and Jessica steeled herself. Time to be the leader Harry and Ginny trusted she could be.
"Thanks so much for all of you showing up. I'll admit, I hadn't expected such incredible turnout after what happened at the end of last year." Jessica took a deep breath.
"What you all did, was incredible, and you all deserve far more than I can give you." Another breath. "But what I can give you is the truth. A truth that most of you have only been able to guess at."
"Our mission to the Department of Mysteries was a success. We retrieved the Prophecy concerning Harry and Voldemort. And it was just as important as we feared. Everyone who died that day… they gave their lives for an incredibly important cause. Not only did we find and destroy the prophecy so Voldemort can never know it, but we also forced him out into the open so the whole world could see that he was back. No more hiding in the shadows."
A cheer swept through the hall as people shouted for Harry and the Defenders, and it was in that moment that Jessica truly understood just what it was she was doing, what Harry had been doing all along. They were flaming the sparks of a revolution, and regardless of if they ultimately succeeded or failed, the world would never be the same.
"But the threat is still out there. Voldemort is intent on creating his idealist world of pureblood supremacy, and to get there, he's going to murder anyone he thinks isn't worthy of living in his grand new world. The old, the young, the sick, the different, the helpless; Voldemort will see them all rounded up and slaughtered. Muggleborns, Half-bloods, Squibs, Druids, Warlocks, Mages, Dwarves, Goblins and non-magical folk alike, he won't discriminate."
Angry yells and curses erupted through the amphitheatre.
"The Ministry is only now pulling the stick out of their ass. They spent the whole of last year denying the signs. People, our families and loved ones, disappearing, and they did nothing!"
"That's right!" came the shouts. Jessica felt invincible, she didn't think she could stop now if she wanted too. The adrenaline was making her feel giddy.
"Which means we can't trust them to keep us safe. We have to turn to ourselves! Harry started this group last year to help protect us against not only Umbridge but the threat that Voldemort and his Death Eaters represented. If the Ministry had its way, we wouldn't even know any defensive spells at all!"
"Thanks to Harry, the students at the Ministry battle, were able to fight off waves of Death Eaters while Ministry officials cowered. Those who died, died protecting their friends, and right now we honour them by not letting their sacrifice go to waste!"
"So, we're going to take the fight to Voldemort! We're going to say his name! Prove to him and his flunkies like Draco Malfoy that we aren't afraid of him. Even as we speak, Harry and Ginny are gathering allies across the world to come to our aid and seeking out a powerful weapon to destroy the false Dark Lord! We need to do our part for when they return! So, we're going to keep training. We're going to build on what Harry taught us last year, and then we're going to bring the pain to Voldemort and his bootlickers!"
"DEFENDERS ARMY!" The crowd screamed, jumping up and down, hollering at the top of their lungs. Jessica beamed, and couldn't help puffing her chest out a little.
"House divides don't matter anymore. Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw united, just as the founders intended! Slytherin students! We are not Voldemort's or Malfoy's bitches!"
"No, we aren't!" came the cries from the Slytherins.
"We are our own people! And we choose to stand up for ourselves instead of doing what some pale-faced dickwad tells us! We're here for freedom and justice! Just like the rest of you! So I ask the other houses, as someone who would most assuredly be murdered the instant I stepped into the Slytherin Common Room, if a Slytherin comes to you asking for help, to sit with you during lunch, or looking for a place to sleep free from the fear of Voldemort's lackeys, help them. Treat them the way would hope to be treated if it was your parents abusing you, trying to force you to fight a war you want nothing to do with. The old rivalries don't matter anymore. It's just us and them."
Jessica stopped, letting the cries of support die down slightly before continuing.
"So here is the plan that Hermione Granger, Mathew Murdock and I have put together. We've been working through the summer to build up sanctuary locations across the country for people fleeing Voldemort's persecution. If you fear for your families, send them messages tonight. Tell them to travel to 1247, Sidmouth St, Ottery St Catchpole in Devon; 12 Grimmauld Place, Islington in London; 93 Diagon Alley; or 15 Lonsdale Rd in Oxford and ask the person outside to speak to the General. Use those words, and they'll let you in. If you can let a Defender know your family is coming, we'll make sure our people are on the lookout for them."
"From there, you can use one of the International Portkeys we've set up with the United States Department of Magic, the French Ministry of Magic and the Federated Kingdoms of the Druids and Mer to get your asses out of England. Come back when this is all over or build a new life away from persecution."
"We'll hold it against no one who wants to leave, and the offer extends to anyone who wants to take it. If you want to leave and your parents don't, that's fine. The Federation has already agreed to accept minors into their Boarding program at the Alcheringa Academy. If your parents want to leave, but you want to stay? That's no problem either."
"For those who decide to stay and help us fight, we have several missions planned against Voldemort's agents, and we've already got people hunting for his main lair. For anyone who has graduated already, report to Fred and George. They will have assignments and passkeys into the safe houses. We'll need your help to bring at-risk families in and to keep watch across the country.
"Older students will be working with Danny and Luke, Defenders Agents Iron Fist and Cage, our best combat specialists. They'll be teaching you how to survive high stake fights with Death Eaters, and some tricks they'll never see coming. Any student fifth year or above can join Professor Stacy and I for Apparation lessons, which we will start running in a few weeks. Younger students, and those of you who didn't attend last year, Mathew Murdock and Luna Lovegood, Defender Agents Daredevil and Mystery, will be your points of contact. They'll be helping you master the basics of surviving in a fight and kicking ass while you do it."
Jessica took a deep breath as everyone continued to listen in rapt attention.
"Finally, before we break up for the night, there is something I want to do. Dobby!" The tiny House-Elf appeared at Jessica's feet.
"Yesses Agents Alias!" Dobby exclaimed, standing to attention and saluting her. He was now wearing a Defenders Robe he'd made for himself, a pair of Harry's mismatched socks, and Sirius' feathered Auror cap, which he'd given the elf after declaring he would never be caught wearing it in a million years.
"Can you bring the robes I asked you to prepare?" Dobby's eyes lit up, and he vanished with a pop.
"Can the people whose names I'm about to call please come up onto the stage?" She pulled a list out of her pocket.
"Neville Longbottom, Lavender Brown, Hannah Abbot, Demelza Robins, Foggy Nelson, Padma Patil and Parvati Patil." The people she'd called began filling towards the stage as Dobby returned. He handed a pile of robes to Jessica, who in turn gave them to Matt, who was still standing next to her.
The seven stepped up onto the stage nervously and lined up facing the crowd.
"In recognition for incredible bravery and strength in the face of extreme adversity during the Battle in the Ministry, I, Jessica Jones, as acting leader of the Defenders, elevate you to active agent status. Congratulations all of you."
The crowd launched to their feet and began cheering and clapping their hands as Matt handed each of them the Defenders Robes she'd had commissioned. The purpose was twofold. First, she needed more agents she could trust, and they'd all proved that based on the reports she'd heard and read from witnesses. Second, rewarding them here in front of the crowd did exactly what she expected. The amphitheatre went wild.
Neville, his face completely red, made to retreat back to his seat, but Hermione stopped him.
"You're one of us now," she said, "You get to stand up here. Be proud. You earned it."
The blushing teens all draped the robes across their shoulders, and the cheers soared even higher. This was why they would win, Jessica thought to herself. When had a crowd ever cheered for Tom Riddle like this?
Danny knew that Draco Malfoy was working on orders from Voldemort. How did he know this? Cause Draco Malfoy was an idiot. Every Saturday night, Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle would disappear shortly before dinner. No one would see where they went, most people didn't notice they were gone. But Danny and Luke did. Three weeks into term, on a Saturday, Danny and Luke used the Defenders Army to keep a watch out in all the corridors of the school, scouting where Malfoy was going. That way, no one would be at risk by following him, and he wouldn't realise he was being traced.
The Polyjuice Potion had thrown them at first, but it hadn't taken long for Daphne Greengrass to point out that no girl would willingly step foot near Draco Malfoy these days. Apparently, Voldemort's opinions on gender roles weren't very popular with the young women of Slytherin House. Go figure. It hadn't been hard for Daphne, Tracey and Astoria to convince many of them to side with Harry, even if they weren't willing to come all out in support for the Defenders. Not being broodmares was a highly enticing proposition, after all.
Lance Hunter had then deduced that the assortment of girls watching out for Malfoy was in fact just Crabbe and Goyle, Polyjuiced to look like them. Hunter had admitted to seeing Malfoy steal some from Professor Slughorn's potions classroom.
The spy network had worked wonders, and by the end of September, they'd managed to track Malfoy to the Room of Requirement. It was at that point that Danny called in the big guns.
"Sorry, Danny," Hermione said as they stood in the Seventh-Floor corridor staring at the wall of the Room of Requirement.
"What?" He asked, confused.
"There is no way to know what Malfoy is making the Room show him, so we can't make the room replicate it."
That had thoroughly ruined his day. It didn't stop him and Luke from keeping watch on Malfoy, however. Not that it helped. Malfoy seemed incredibly subdued about everything really. He didn't talk in class. He didn't do much bullying in Slytherin, leaving the job mostly to Blaise Zabini, Theodore Nott and Pansy Parkinson. He didn't even get mad when the DA affiliated Slytherin students stopped sitting at the Slytherin table during meals. Instead, they mingled with the Ravenclaws and the Hufflepuffs. Hufflepuff House had so far taken in twenty-two Slytherins, mostly girls from first to fourth year. They were staying in a separate dormitory off the Hufflepuff Common Room. None of the teachers had said anything about it, Professor Sprout simply treating them as if they'd been Hufflepuffs the whole time. Danny and Hannah Abbot were keeping an eye on all of them, making sure homework got done and that no one turned up with new bruises. A week or so into the new term a second year Slytherin named Britney had stumbled into the common room with Astoria Greengrass and Emma Stokeworth – a Hufflepuff second year who'd been at the Ministry protest – her face bruised beyond recognition. Apparently, Nott had decided he didn't like her face. Danny had cornered him the next day and ensured he'd never have kids, curtesy of a glowing fist to the balls.
Luna, Lavender Brown and Demelza Robbins – with Jessica's help on occasion – were working with all the young girls from all four houses, teaching them what to do if boys thought they could do anything they wanted decided to try anything. Danny's face had paled considerably when he'd learned the spell Demelza was teaching them: The Cock-Blocker Hex. Not something he ever wanted to be on the wrong side of.
Snape's Defence Against the Dark Arts classes were just as bad as one would expect. Danny spent them practising his meditations. Balancing his inner magicks required total concentration, and it just so happened that he could make it appear as though he was paying attention in class while he worked through his mental forms. Luke greatly envied him – he instead resorted to a stress ball provided by Will. He said it was something the Dwarves had taught him while he was in Kata Tjuta. Everyone else resorted to stress relief with the Defenders Army, which met up after dinner every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the Room of Requirement and lasted for between one hour and three depending on what you needed help with.
Slughorn's classes turned out to be far better than Snape's. Danny had always been a deft hand with his potions – owing to the numerous concoctions he'd brewed during his stays in Kun Lun – but with Slughorn, he did even better. He actually taught things for starters, instead of just yelling, "do what's on the board" and then going into full Vampire stalk mode like Snape. He was a bit intense, and he kept asking questions about Kun Lun that Danny had to dodge, but otherwise, he quite liked the portly man.
According to the first and second years, Gwen was a very well-liked Transfiguration teacher. The third and fourth years agreed that McGonagall was perhaps a better teacher, but they preferred Gwen's attitude. Transfiguration with Dumbledore was nothing like what Danny expected. The Headmaster was incredibly hands-on in his instruction, guiding hands through wand motions and providing demonstrations whenever necessary. However, he wasn't present for most lessons; only for the first lesson on each new topic while Gwen took the rest.
At the beginning of October, Slughorn announced his first Slug Club party, and Danny found himself the recipient of an invitation. He didn't think the party would be very enjoyable, but at least it would be amusing to watch Jessica continue her mission of sucking up to the teacher, which always promised to entertain.
Hermione sat with Gwen at the bar Professor Slughorn had set up in a large open-air courtyard adjacent to the sixth floor. The place was incredible, and Hermione hadn't known it existed. Clearly, there was some sort of temperature-regulating charm, because it should have been far colder than it felt. The House Elf in charge of the bar had begrudgingly admitted that Hermione was of age and consented to supply her with Firewhiskey. She wasn't sure whether or not she actually liked it yet, as she was still getting over the burning sensation in her throat. She'd also tried to talk to the House Elf about S.P.E.W, but he'd popped away before she could get more than a word in.
"I definitely think we're ready to try the Seeker," Gwen was saying as she sipped her own drink.
"But what if it goes wrong?" Hermione asked, nervously.
"Then I hit the emergency shut off and we work out the problem. Seriously, Hermione, we can't go any further without an actual test. The device you've built is top-notch. I can't find a problem with it. It's simple. All we have to do is activate the Seeker, perform some magic, and follow Luna's music to its source. Then we can extrapolate a potential origin point and hey presto we're awesome."
"I'm just worried is all."
Gwen took another shot of Firewhiskey. "Good. If you weren't worried, I'd be shitting myself."
Jessica chose that moment to plonk down on the seat next to them. She stole Hermione's glass out of her hand and downed it in two seconds. Hermione thought Jessica had gone slightly overboard tonight. Her hair was hanging loosely across her shoulders, and she was wearing a white sleeveless top that hugged her chest and a long black skirt that barely reached her knees. She was even wearing heels! Hermione was just wearing a baby-blue blouse and white slacks - she felt very outdone.
"How goes operation butter-up Slughorn?" Gwen asked.
"Professor Slughorn," Hermione corrected. The girls ignored her.
"As well as can be expected," Jessica said, "I want to get him super drunk first. That at least seems to be working." Professor Slughorn did indeed seem to be highly intoxicated, judging from his current effort to attempt the Charleston going very wrong. Was that Hannah Abbot lying on the floor, unconscious? Well, Fitz and Simmons were taking care of it, so she shouldn't worry.
Jessica sighed, "I'm still working on that. I might be able to convince him to give up the memory if I appeal to his guilt over Lily Evans. If I do it while he's ass over tip, he won't remember what he did come the morning."
"If that doesn't work?" Gwen asked.
Jessica shrugged, "Bash him upside the head and go digging I suppose. He probably won't remember that either."
The house-elf reappeared to refill Hermione's drink. Once the glass was full again, Jessica snatched and skulled it.
She let out a breath, "That's the stuff."
"You do realise that's incredibly bad for you, right?" Hermione tried.
Jessica raised an eyebrow at her, "Tell me something I don't know."
At that moment, Slughorn reappeared at Jessica's side, a glass of schnapps in his hand that Jessica's eyes immediately fixated on in envy.
"Ah! Miss Granger! Professor Stacy! If it isn't the two brightest minds in Hogwarts. Why, in fact, I was just talking about you two to an old friend of mine. He's a writer you see, and after I told him all about you, your incredible research, and your friendship with Harry, he was just clamouring for the chance to write an autobiography." Jessica was still eyeing Slughorn's schnapps, so she was no help.
"That's fabulous Professor, but I'm afraid Harry has already promised autobiography rights to our friend, Mary Jane Watson. She's a rising star reporter with the Daily Bugle in New York City." Slughorn clapped Hermione on the back, making her feel highly uncomfortable.
"Not to worry, then! I shall look forward to reading it. You must put me in contact with this Mary Jane. Any friend of Harry's is a friend of mine. Speaking of Harry, has there been any word?" Jessica finally regained her marbles and plastered a smile on her face.
"Yes, actually. I meant to tell you. He sent a letter just a few days ago. Did you hear the news from the Federation, Professor?" Jessica asked. They had received a message from Harry a few days ago, via Will's sister and Triwizard champion Claire O'Neill. It was short, sharp, and to the point.
They've found it. Tell my brother and Clarissa to get back to Alcheringa asap.
The Dragons had left immediately. It was only the next day that the news from Alcheringa reached Britain.
"I've heard rumours. But each seems more outlandish than the next!" Slughorn exclaimed, taking a seat at the bar and ordering another schnapps. Hermione made sure Jessica didn't steal it before Slughorn could take the glass, to which she received a scathing glare from Jessica and laughter from Gwen.
"Well I don't have all the facts myself, but from what I've been able to put together, Harry showed up in Alcheringa while the Federation Senate was in session, and he managed to convince them to send humanitarian aid north to help us. No news on what help exactly, but hopefully the Federal Protection Authority will be able to lend us a hand. The Americans are being more stubborn. We've got emergency portkeys now thanks to Harry's chat with the Secretary of Magic and President Clinton, and hopefully, he'll support President Matson's decision when it inevitably gets criticised at the upcoming ICW meeting in December."
Jessica frowned and snatched Gwen's drink out of her hand with her superior speed. Gwen's spider-sense clearly went off too late, as Gwen actually jerked back a second after the glass left her hand and went toppling to the floor.
Hermione, Jessica, Slughorn and the people nearby all cracked up laughing, which only doubled when a second later, Filch barged into the courtyard – dragging Draco Malfoy by the ear.
"Professor Slughorn, I found this boy lurking in an upstairs corridor. He claims to have been invited to your party." Professor Slughorn stuttered, clearly trying to remember if he had in fact invited Malfoy to the party. Malfoy slapped Filch's arm, and the old caretaker let go of him.
"Alright, alright, I was gate crashing," Malfoy snapped, rubbing his now bright red ear as people continued to laugh at him.
Then, to Hermione's shock, Professor Snape appeared from… actually where the hell had he come from? She'd have seen him lurking around the courtyard, wouldn't she?
"It's alright, Mr Filch. I'll deal with Mister Malfoy," Snape said, before grabbing Malfoy's arm in a vice and walking him out of the room. Hermione caught Jessica locking eyes with Danny and gesturing with her head after Snape and Malfoy. Danny nodded before bracing his legs and leaping up onto the roof, vanishing from view.
"Carry on everyone, carry on!" Slughorn exclaimed, reaching for his schnapps, which he must have put down in the commotion. But the glass was nowhere to be seen. Hermione narrowed her eyes and tutted disapprovingly at Jessica, who smirked at her. Jessica's obsession with alcohol was dangerous. She'd need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation on why her apparent alcoholism was terrible for her.
Hermione was unable to deliver her lecture, as at that moment, Hagrid came lumbering up, and Gwen rapidly transfigured a chair for him to sit on. Hagrid's arrival prompted another explanation of Harry's whereabouts, which then launched into a discussion of Harry and Ginny, Alcheringa, and how fabulous Hagrid thought the pair were.
The party was dying down, with most of the guests – including Gwen – having left, when Hagrid provided Jessica with an opening so perfect, you'd think she'd scripted it. The only reason Hermione in her groggy state dismissed the thought, was that Hagrid was so drunk by this point that he wouldn't be able to get back to his hut, let alone remember something Jessica said to him hours beforehand.
"I tell ya, whenever I see em, I see Lily and James again. They're just… they're just so wonderful they are."
"You taught them, didn't you, Professor Slughorn?" Jessica asked as if she didn't already know the answer. In fact, Hermione couldn't help but wonder how Jessica was still sober.
"I did. James was never very gifted with Potions I'm afraid. Transfiguration was more his thing. But Lily! Lily was magnificent at potions! And by far, the kindest student I ever taught for sure. When I heard she'd died…"
Slughorn trailed off, lost in his thoughts.
"Harry… he told me he can remember that night. He remembers his mum standing over him, begging Voldemort to leave her son alone." Jessica's breath hitched. "Riddle offered Lily the chance to step aside, but she refused, and he killed her, creating a powerful magical shield that no one could penetrate. Harry had nothing to do with his survival that night. It was Lily Evans sacrifice to save her only son that caused Riddle's curse to rebound, destroying his body. Only Riddle's soul didn't die that night. And I think you know why."
Slughorn turned to Jessica with tears in his eyes.
"You… you know?" he asked softly. Hagrid started singing a drunken lullaby, and Hermione rather clumsily hit him with a silencing charm to prevent the gentle giant from ruining the moment.
"I need your help, Professor. Harry needs your help. The prophecy says that he can kill Voldemort, but to have a chance, he needs to know what you told him all those years ago."
"I'm not proud…" he whispered hesitantly, "You don't know what he was like, even then. I am ashamed of what… of what that memory shows. I think I may have done great damage that day."
"You'd cancel out anything you might have done by giving me the memory," Jessica told him, taking the man's hand, "Be brave Professor. Be brave like Lily Evans. Be the man who helped save the world."
Then, very slowly, Slughorn put his hand in his pocket and took out his wand. With his other hand, he withdrew a small potion vile. Raising the wand to his temple, he drew out a long silvery thread of memory and dropped it into the bottle, which he then handed to Jessica.
"Don't think too badly of me, when you see it," he said softly. Then he leaned against Hagrid and fell asleep. Hermione, feeling like she would soon be going the same way, placed her head against the bar. The last thing she heard before closing her eyes was Jessica calling for Dobby, and then she was fast asleep.
Hey Everyone! Ghost and Miracle here. We'd just like to let you all know that we have just posted the first chapter of our new ongoing story: Harry Potter and Shards of Heaven. It's a fourth-year AU and will be Harry/Ginny, though we've yet to decide on whether any other relationships will be important to the story. If you've enjoyed our introduction of new concepts and skills to the HP cannon; if, perhaps, you enjoy stories where Harry comes to Hogwarts late or is just a tad bit more intelligent and world-wise; if manipulative Dumbledore is a loved trope (no redemption this time!); or maybe you just like our writing and would like to see us tackle something new. If any of these is your alley, then this could be a story for you! Here's the synopsis:
Harry Potter and the Shards of Heaven
Years ago, two gods crashed on Earth after a brutal war in the heavens. Trapped in eternal slumber by Merlin, these gods' presence on Earth has been shaping the evolution of Wizard kind for generations. What can run-away wizard Harry Potter possibly do against a power that can kill a god?
We'd love to see you there, and we'd love to hear your thoughts. This story is serving as a trial to see if we can create a fully functional hard magic system, and we'd love to hear your thoughts!
Love you three thousand! Ghost and Miracle.