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Ch24: The Company We Keep


The longest chapter yet! Please read the important Author’s Note at the end, as it concerns all readers of this story and anyone interested in how long the story will be and when it will finish, plus future stories from me etc, ~Sam.

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was deeply troubled. He sat behind his large desk, his long, wizened fingers arched in front of him as he surveyed five of his students, who stood nervously before him.

All of them were of Slytherin house, and therefore their head of house was professor Severus Snape. However, the crime that the students before him had committed was of such severity that it fell to him, the headmaster, to decide on their punishment.

Albus sighed as he looked upon the five Slytherins, each of whom came from notably renowned dark families, some of whom were known Deatheaters or supporters of the Dark Lord Voldemort. Any punishment that resulted in their expulsion from the school would only work against those who opposed the Dark Lord and his followers; they would undoubtedly all become young Deatheaters and that was not a desired fate that he wished upon them.
However, their acts against another student of his school did warrant a punishment, and a harsh one at that.
The sparkle of Albus’ eyes was the only exterior indication that an idea had set upon him, and it was with this new idea in mind that he addressed those present.

‘The act that you have committed tonight was no more than a display of cowardice and cruelty and I am severely disappointed in each of you,’ Albus announced seriously as he eyed each Slytherin in turn. One by one they squirmed like fish caught on the end of a hook, as his blue gaze pierced their own.
‘As Headmaster of this school, it is my duty to create a safe haven for all those inside this castle’s walls, and I will not accept such displays of vulgar animosity to reign within them,’ he spoke deeply, ‘You have overstepped the boundaries by the deeds that you have committed tonight against Mr Potter, and so, you shall each receive a months worth of detention, separately. Mr Malfoy, as you were the main conspirator, you will be given a choice,’ Dumbledore paused as the platinum blonde-haired boy looked up to meet the old, blue eyes of the Headmaster.

‘Sir?’ Malfoy prompted.

‘You have a choice, Mr Malfoy,’ Albus reiterated, ‘You can either forfeit your prefect duties, or your place on the Slytherin Quidditch team,’ Dumbledore surveyed the angry faced teen before continuing, ‘It is your choice. However, I expect you to report to either myself, or professor Snape with your decision, first thing tomorrow morning. You are dismissed.’

Draco looked outraged as professor Dumbledore dismissed them back to their dormitories, but dare not voice his frustrations in front of the Headmaster. Walking along the stone corridors that led to the entrance to the Slytherin common room, the five Slytherins each silently vowed to get their own back on Harry Potter, once and for all.

***


A quill scratching was what initially awoke Harry. Although, he was confused as to why Ron, Seamus, Dean or Neville would be writing something so early in the morning, as from the lack of light piercing between his bed hangings he could only assume that it was still too early to wake-up as the sun wasn’t up yet.
Maybe Neville’s just realised he has homework for tomorrow morning due in Harry thought to himself as sleep fogged his brain and he succumbed to the darkness once more.

***


‘Potter?’
Potter? Why’s Ron calling me Potter? Harry mused.
‘Potter?’
Wait, I know that voice, it’s…
‘Mr Potter!’
‘SNAPE!?’ Harry cried as he recognized the voice ordering him from sleep.

‘That’s professor Snape, to you Potter’ Snape sneered. He was stood before him, holding out a vial of potion. Harry sat up so fast that it made his head spin.
‘W-What… W-Where… am I?’ Harry asked anxiously. The room was very dark with only a single candle flickering on a nearby desk. Its wax had dripped onto its metal holder creating a pool of newly melted wax at its base, with tear-shaped droplets inching down its length. Harry turned back to face his most hated professor in apprehension.
‘Where have you t-taken me?’ Harry asked, he couldn’t keep the fear from his voice and hated himself for appearing so weak and vulnerable in front of Snape.

Severus surveyed Harry, a sneer plastered across his face. ‘Really Potter, you’d think a bit of gratitude wouldn’t go amiss after all that I’ve done for you,’ Snape drawled, still holding the vial out to Harry.
Harry’s brow furrowed in confusion as he attempted to keep his anger in check. He didn’t know where he was or what had happened and Snape was holding all the cards, he had to tread carefully if he wanted to find out what was going on, and getting angry wouldn’t help.

Deciding to change the subject he inquired about the vial in Snape’s hand, although his suspicions didn’t waver as Snape merely answered that it was dreamless sleep potion. At Harry’s reluctance to take the potion, Snape impatiently placed it on the desk behind him. It was only then that Harry noticed he was lying on a couch and had presumably been sleeping there for quite sometime, probably with Snape watching over him at that desk. The possibilities for the reason why he was in such a situation, reeled inside his mind, filling him with more fear than he’d care to admit.

Snape watched with part amusement, part irritation as Harry scooted further away from him as his eyes grew wide in fear. Choosing to ignore the display of un-Gryffindorish behaviour he decided to explain.

‘Potter, in-case your addled, little mind is incapable of remembering the events of just five hours ago, I’ll refresh your memory for you,’ Snape sighed as Harry remained at the far side of the sofa, although his small insult had exchanged Potter’s look of fear to one of hatred.

‘You, being the foolish Gryffindor that you are, decided to wander the corridors at night, after curfew,’ Snape began lazily. ‘Merlin knows why you would choose to haunt the dungeons of the castle, but you came across your friend Mr Malfoy and a few of his own friends…’
‘Oh,’ Harry interrupted with dawning recognition as the memory of last night flooded his senses.
‘Yes, Oh, indeed, Mr Potter,’ Snape replied sarcastically.
Harry frowned. ‘But then,’ Harry began looking up at his potion’s professor, ‘But then, why am I here, and where is here?’ Harry asked curiously.

Snape replied, ‘This, Mr Potter, is my personal living quarters, and you are here because you begged me not to take you to the hospital wing, and I could not very well leave you in the corridor with a concussion, could I not?’ Snape asked nastily.
Harry had flinched at the word, ‘begged’, before he asked, ‘But then why didn’t you take me back to Gryffindor Tower?’

Snape thought for a moment before responding. ‘As I told you, I could not leave you with a concussion, and I was not prepared to carry you up seven flights of stairs either!’ Snape responded, agitated at all of Harry’s questions. Why doesn’t the boy just drink the damned potion!

‘C-Carry me?’ Harry gulped, hoping against hope that he had heard wrong even though he knew he had.
‘Yes, Mr Potter, carry you!’ Snape huffed in annoyance, ‘What would you of liked me to of done? Dragged you?’ Snape snarled.
‘How about levitate me!’ Harry yelled, now angry at this new revelation. If what Snape had said was true, and Malfoy had given him a concussion, and if Malfoy were to find out that he, had been cradled like a baby by Snape… He would never hear the end of it.
Snape seemed flummoxed for a second at the admission that he should have just levitated him with the use of his wand. I did it again! I can’t believe, I, of all people carried Harry Potter, TWICE!! Snape screamed in his own mind. His pallid skin became tinged with faint pink; the only colour Harry had ever seen Snape turn.

‘Drink the potion, Potter. The Headmaster will allow you the morning off anyway, and I’ve had enough of your screaming for one night,’ Snape said venomously as he roughly handed the potion vial back to Harry.
Harry, embarrassed by the knowledge of Snape hearing him call out in his nightmares, drank the potion down in one long gulp. He had just enough time to hand the vial back before his eyelids fluttered shut.
Snape quickly moved away, not bothering to recover the boy with the blanket that had slipped to the floor, before blowing the candle on his desk out and entering his own room.

***


‘Ron, where’s Harry?’ Hermione asked as she scanned the cover of the Daily Prophet as she and Ron ate breakfast in the Great Hall.
Between mouthfuls of toast, Ron replied, ‘ Dunno, he wasn’t in the dorm this morning either, I just thought he’d come down to breakfast early,’ Ron shrugged.
Hermione frowned.

‘Morning Ron, Hermione,’ Gabey smiled as she sat in the seat next to Hermione.
‘Morning,’ they chorused.
‘Hey, where’s Harry?’ Gabey inquired as she noticed the empty seat next to Ron.
‘Dunno, we were just saying we haven’t seen him since last night,’ Ron replied as Hermione continued to scan the morning paper.
‘Well, I’m sure he’ll show up in Potions class,’ Gabey replied as she moved to stand.
‘Is that all you’re having?’ Ron asked, indicating the buttered slice of toast that she held in her hand.
‘Oh yeah, I’ve got somewhere to be before Potions. I’ll see you there,’ she smiled as she walked off towards the doors again.
Ron reached over Ginny who was sat on his other side to grab another slice of toast. As he did, he noticed that Hermione had stopped reading and was staring at an article on the second page of the newspaper.
‘What is it?’ he asked.
Hermione read the article aloud.

MINISTER FUDGE IN TALKS WITH MUGGLE PRIME MINISTER
Report By Special Correspondent, Rita Skeeter


Last night at a secure location within Muggle London, Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge met with the Muggle Prime Minister to talk about recent events involving the speculated return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, which was originally rumoured to be true by professor Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and Harry Potter, The Boy Who Lived.

Many believed both Dumbledore and Potter to be ‘troublemakers’, stirring up gossip in order to make others believe them and ultimately join their secret organization, founded by Dumbledore, whose main aim is to overthrow the Ministry and become Minister of Magic himself.


‘So I guess Skeeter got her job back then; and she’s already stirring up trouble,’ Ron sighed.
‘So it would appear, but listen to this,’ Hermione continued.

However, the Prime Minister’s fears were laid to rest last night that You-Know-Who had NOT returned, and that any Witch or Wizard to say otherwise was either extremely confunded or their brains had been addled by the likes of Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore’s rumour mill.

Last night, Minister Fudge had this to say:

“The rumours that you have all doubtless heard are not true. It is preposterous lie that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned. He died many a year ago, and it is upsetting to learn that members, figureheads even; within our Wizarding community would say otherwise, in an attempt to create public hysteria. The words of Albus Dumbledore and his cohorts are not to be listened to or reasoned with, and it is with great regret that I say this, but perhaps it is time for Dumbledore to step down from his position of Headmaster at Hogwarts, as it is clear that he is incapable of running a school.”

The Muggle Prime Minister was unavailable for comment but it is said that he enjoyed a meal with Minister Fudge at a local restaurant, where the two had an enjoyable discussion about the differences and similarities of the politics of “Magic Folk” and Muggles, before returning to his home in London.


‘So Fudge is still denying the return of You-Know-Who?’ Ron asked surprised, ‘But I thought he was there in the Ministry atrium when He returned? He saw him come back! How can he deny he’s back when he saw him with his own two eyes!’ Ron exclaimed, enraged at Fudge’s denial.
‘Yes, I know. And now he wants Dumbledore removed from the school,’ Hermione answered sadly as she turned to look at the head table, noting Dumbledore’s absence.
Ron nodded, dropping his half-eaten toast on his plate, it having grown cold.
‘We can’t let that happen, Ron,’ Hermione stated determinedly. ‘We have to do something.’
‘What d’you mean? What can we do?’ Ron asked baffled at his girlfriend’s suggestion.
Hermione thought for a moment before replying, ‘I know just what to do,’ she replied smiling as she rolled the paper up and placed it inside her satchel.

***


‘Uncle?’ Gabey called as she entered the already open door to Snape’s living quarters. She was surprised to find it already open, and so assumed that he must be still inside. She stepped further into the room before softly closing the door behind her.

‘Uncle Sev?’ she called louder than before. She squinted through the darkness. There were no candles alight and the heavy drapes that were covering the charmed window were tightly drawn. Not receiving a reply, she moved closer to the drapes and felt along the edge of the sill until she found the velveteen rope, and pulled. Immediately, the room was flooded with early morning light, allowing her to see the door to her Uncle’s bedroom across the room. It was still shut, but she would be surprised if he were actually still sleeping as he hardly ever slept in late, and so she began to walk across the room toward the door.

***


Harry awoke when floods of light attacked him, forcing him to roll away from the offending light before squinting to see who had opened the drapes.

‘Gabey? What are you doing here?’ Harry asked sleepily.

Gabey stopped mid-stride as she turned toward the sofa at the side of the room. Her mouth hung open like a fish out of water for almost a whole minute before she realised what she was doing. ‘Harry? I think the question should be, why are you sleeping in here?’ she asked still in shock to find the Boy Who Lived sleeping in her surly Uncle Sev’s living room.

‘Huh?’ Harry asked dazedly. He looked around and realised that he was still in Snape’s rooms. ‘Oh… Um… It’s a long story,’ Harry replied sheepishly as Gabey raised an eyebrow in perfect imitation of her Uncle. It was at that moment that the door to the master bedroom opened and Severus Snape entered the room to find the two teenagers staring at each other.

‘Gryffindors,’ he muttered coldly under his breath as he walked over to the kitchen area of the large room to make himself a much needed coffee.

***


‘Today you shall brew a potion that alleviates the effects of acidic boils. The potion is called the Bouyellers Potion. You have two hours; the instructions are on the board. Begin,’ Snape instructed from the front of the class to his sixth year group, which unfortunately for him, consisted of both Potter and Malfoy, and was likely to not be the most pleasant class of the day. His eyes drifted to the offending two, Malfoy, who was sat in his usual seat at the front of the class, the perfect teachers pet when it came to sucking up to his most favourite “Deatheater” professor. Snape returned him with a nod of the head as he inspected his near-perfect potion. He continued to patrol until he reached the back-rows, where Potter and Granger sat, pretending as if they couldn’t see him stood there watching him. He felt a small smile grace his lips as Potter stirred the potion one too many times in the wrong direction and the contents within started to bubble.

Harry had refused the offer of the morning off by Snape, who had allowed him to return to Gryffindor tower to get grab his books and get changed before running to get inside the dungeon classroom before he yelled at him for being late. As ever, Snape was patrolling the many cauldrons in the room, Harry watched as he looked upon the Gryffindors with distaste for no apparent reason, the Slytherins with pride as they sniped at the other houses and how he outright ignored the Ravenclaws. Fortunately there were no Hufflepuffs in the class for him to torture, but in their stead, he already had the Gryffindor students.

Harry ladled the potion he was supposed to be working on with Hermione absentmindedly, but if he were to be fair, he wasn’t doing much; Hermione was doing all the hard work. It was only when Hermione squeaked, that he turned his full attention to the cauldron and noticed that it had started to bubble and froth at the edges. He gulped as he noticed Snape observing them out of the corner of his eye.

‘Tut, Tut, Mr Potter,’ Snape admonished, successfully gaining the full attention of the class as he approached the spluttering cauldron.
‘Please, Sir,’ Hermione began flustered as she attempted to add another ingredient to the potion, ‘I-I can fix it!’ Hermione furiously tried to gain control, but the potion was too far gone and before she could try anything else, Snape had vanished the contents with a swish of his wand, leaving the Slytherins of the classroom to laugh at Harry and Hermione’s empty cauldron.

Harry couldn’t even bring his self to look up at Hermione’s embarrassed face and so turned to look at Snape instead, who was still looming ominously next to him.
To everyone’s surprise, Snape said, ‘Start again.’
Hermione smiled so brightly that Harry couldn’t help but hide a small smile as well, ‘Thank you, Sir!’ Hermione exclaimed as she bustled back over to the ingredients tray at the side of the room.
‘Do try not to mess this one up, Mr Potter,’ Snape said as he began to move away.
Harry nodded even though Snape couldn’t see him, before walking over to Hermione to help her collect the ingredients together.

Gabey raised an eyebrow as Snape past her, for his unusual display of forgiveness. He scowled at her in return before returning to his desk, robes billowing.

***


‘Mate, where were you this morning?’ Ron asked at dinner.
‘Um, well…’ Harry began awkwardly as he rubbed a hand across the back of his neck.
‘What is it Harry?’ Hermione asked interestedly.
‘Well, last night I didn’t get back from flying before curfew. So I decided to take a short cut through the dungeons,‘ Harry began. He turned to Ron as he asked, ‘You know, that secret passageway behind the portrait of Wilfred the Wriggler?’ At Ron’s nod Harry continued, ’Well, Malfoy was there, with four others, and, well… I kind of got in a fight,’ Harry paused at Hermione’s gasp and Ron’s cheer.
‘Oh, I hope you kicked his little ferret a-‘
‘Ron!’ Hermione admonished giving Ron a furtive look.
‘Sorry ‘Mione,’ at Harry’s raised eyebrow, Ron sighed and whispered to Harry, ‘’Mione wants me to stop swearing, part of a deal. Says I can’t kiss her with a “mouth like that” says she’ll “wash it out with soap.”’

Harry raised both eyebrows as he turned back to Hermione who had blushed to a shade similar to the colour of Ron’s hair. ‘Well, I’m not kissing something that has something so foul come out of it as that!’ Hermione replied indignantly.
Harry sniggered as Ron rolled his eyes.
Hermione cleared her throat before asking Harry to continue, ‘Well, no Ron, I didn’t. In fact, it was the other way around… five against one Ron, it was hardly a fair fight,’ Harry tried to explain. ‘Anyway, Snape came and all I remember is waking up in his lounge this morning,’ Harry answered as he took in Ron and Hermione’s shocked expressions. ‘Oh and Gabey was there this morning too,’ Harry finished as he ate a mouthful of mashed potato.

‘What Snape had Gabey sleep in his room too?’ Ron replied in shock, as he swung round to eye his ex-potions professor who was sat at the head table. ‘The man’s a pervert!’ Ron exclaimed at the top of his voice causing many students’ heads to turn in his direction. Snape merely glowered at his behaviour before returning to a discussion he was having with professor McGonagall.

Both Harry and Hermione rolled their eyes at Ron before Hermione asked Harry why Gabey was there too.

‘I don’t know. I think she just came to speak to him or something, she definitely didn’t spend the night, but Snape didn’t seem too surprised to find her there?’ Harry pondered.
‘Hmm. Well, when we saw her this morning at Breakfast, she said she had something to do before Potions class, maybe she did just have to ask Snape something? I wonder why she went to his private rooms though? Surely students aren’t allowed? Not without a teacher?’ Hermione questioned.

‘Why don’t we just ask her?’ Ron asked.
‘Well, alright, I’ll ask her later…’Hermione began.
‘…And why you?’ Ron interrupted with a quirked eyebrow.
‘Because Ronald in case you haven’t noticed yet, I am a girl, and so is Gabey, and you are not. You are a boy,’ Hermione explained as if she were talking to a two year old, causing Harry to laugh into his pumpkin juice.
‘So?’ Ron argued.
‘Gabey might not feel comfortable talking to a boy as much as she might do with another girl,’ Hermione concluded in an annoyed voice.
‘Oh,’ Ron said stupidly. ‘Well, okay then, but you have to promise to tell me and Harry everything that you find out!’ Ron called as Hermione was already walking towards the entrance hall. She nodded her bushy head in confirmation before leaving the Great Hall.
‘Girls,’ Ron sighed to Harry.

***


Hermione entered the sixth year girl’s dormitory and found Gabey laid back on her bed reading a book.

‘Hi Hermione,’ Gabey smiled as she noticed another’s presence in the room.
‘Hi Gabey,’ Hermione began, ‘Do you think we can talk for a bit?’ she asked uncertainly as she sat on Lavenders bed, which was the one next to Gabey’s.

‘Sure,’ Gabey replied as she finished reading the page that she was and replaced the book mark before snapping the cover shut and sitting up to face her bushy-haired friend. ‘What do you want to talk about?’

‘Well, Harry told Ron and me about what happened to him last night and…’ she began.
‘Wait, what happened?’ Gabey asked concernedly.
‘Malfoy,’ was all Hermione replied before she continued with what she had been saying. ‘Anyway, he also said that when he woke up in Snape’s lounge, you were there too…’ Hermione drifted off, hoping Gabey would fill in the blanks for her without extra prodding.

‘Oh right, yeah that was funny. I was just visiting Sev to talk about something and I think I woke Harry up when I opened the drapes,’ she laughed.
‘Sev?’ Hermione questioned Gabey’s use of informality.
‘Yeah, Uncle Sev,’ Gabey answered as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
‘Professor Snape’s your uncle?’ Hermione asked horror-struck.
‘Um, yeah… I guess I forgot to tell you, huh?’ Gabey asked. Hermione nodded slowly, still trying to take in the information of Snape having a niece, and that person being Gabey.
Gabey laughed. ‘You’d think I just told you I was going to die the way you’re staring at me!’
‘Sorry, I just can’t get over the fact that you’re Snape’s niece!’ Hermione explained.
‘Yeah, I guess it is a bit of a shock. Anyway, I’m gonna head down to dinner, you coming?’ Gabey asked as she headed toward the door.
‘Um, no, I’ve already eaten, thanks,’ Hermione said distractedly.
‘Okay, see you later, Hermione,’
‘Bye,’ Hermione replied still in shock from the information that she had learnt.

***


As soon as Gabey made it out the portrait hole she checked to see if anyone was watching first before morphing into her animagus form of a black cat. She pounced down the corridors until she finally made it to the dungeons. Knowing that she couldn’t risk anyone see her enter, she stood next to the tapestry that led to the Slytherin common room. She didn’t have to wait long before the person she was suppose to meet

‘Well, aren’t you a pretty little pussy,’ drawled a cold voice, ‘Why don’t we see if there’s any catnip hanging around inside my dorm, huh?’ The 16-year-old Slytherin picked Gabey up in her animagus form as he said the password, and entered the Slytherin common room, taking the sleek black feline into the depths of the Slytherin domain.

***


As the weeks past and the weather turned slowly bitter, the first Quidditch match of the season took place. Hufflepuff Vs Ravenclaw. It was an easy match as far as the Ravenclaws were concerned, who won the match 280 to 50 points. Harry had also learnt that he had only been made Quidditch captain because Katie Johnson had grudgingly turned the position down on account of fearing her grades would slip even further than they had the previous year because of her dedication to the Quidditch team. However, Harry had suggested that perhaps it would be better if both he and Katie came up with training sessions and such, as they both agreed that it would be unfair to both of them if Harry had to think up game strategies by himself, having not much experience as a captain. Ron also offered to help as he spent most of his spare time thinking of and playing Quidditch at home.

The team needed to find two new beaters and two new chasers. Ron had already said that Ginny should get a place on the team as a chaser and later remembered that Gabey had said she would be interested in a position as a beater.
After having argued for almost an hour about who should be on the team and who shouldn’t, it was Harry who decided that they should advertise for extra players in the Gryffindor common room, as the only had three weeks before their first match, and as it was against Slytherin, no one on the team wanted to loose.

‘Okay, so we’ll advertise on the notice board, and then we’ll hold try outs on Wednesday, agreed?’ Katie opined. Both Ron and Harry nodded, and Harry appreciated her taking charge of the situation as his mind kept wondering to his next Occlumency lesson with Snape which would be at 8 o’ clock that evening.

It seemed that lately he wasn’t improving at all with his Occlumency and both Snape and he were getting annoyed at his lack of progress in his attempt to block Snape’s attacks on his mind. Of course, Snape just thought that Harry wasn’t practicing or trying hard enough, the truth was that Harry was trying so hard that he even had Hermione and Remus helping him whenever they could, and yet he still couldn’t successfully throw off the Legillimens when it was spelled at him.

‘Hey mate, something wrong?’ Ron asked as they tramped across the lawn back towards the castle. Katie having offered to return the Quidditch chest of balls on her way back after practice.

‘Occlumency,’ Harry sighed tiredly, as he rubbed his eyes underneath his glasses.
‘Oh right,’ Ron replied, not really knowing what to say. ‘How’s it going?’
Harry huffed as he kicked at a stone in his path. ‘Terrible,’ he answered.
‘It can’t be that bad, can it?’ Ron asked, but kicked the same stone Harry had when he approached it as a mini game of pass between the two friends.
Kicking the stone once more, Harry replied, ‘Oh yes, it can. Snape’s not as bad as he used to be, but he still doesn’t believe me when I say I practice, he just thinks I don’t want to try,’ Harry revealed. Ron nodded sympathetically, kicking the stone further ahead again.
‘I mean, you’d think I didn’t want to protect myself from Voldemort the way he carries on sometimes! Doesn’t he understand, that I just can’t do it!’ Harry exclaimed, finally managing to release some of his pent up anger, which was reiterated when he forcefully kicked the stone away from him clear across the lawn.

Ron sighed. ‘I know, mate. My training with Firenze isn’t too fun either,’ Ron commented as he stopped to turn and face Harry.
Harry suddenly felt guilty. Ron had been having classes with Firenze for almost as long as he’d been having Occlumency lessons with Snape, and yet he had failed to ask him how they had gone, and if anything had happened, or if he’d progressed lately, to See anything.
‘I’m sorry, Ron. How are you? Are you still getting visions? Are they bad?’ Harry asked tentatively. Ron combed his hair with fingers. ‘Some. They’re not all as bad as each other but I do get some bad ones. Like my last one, a couple of weeks ago, I saw all this blood and I could smell it too. It felt like I could even taste it! It was horrible. I don’t ever want another one like that, ever again, it was unbearable,’ Ron shuddered.

‘I’m sorry I…’ Harry began.
‘Will you stop apologising already!’ Ron exclaimed as he clapped Harry on the back. ‘I understand, you’ve got plenty going on in your own life without the burden of my own problems too, It’s alright, I understand,’ Ron finished as he began walking again.
Harry smiled before he jogged to catch up with Ron’s long stride, his Firebolt over one shoulder the other swinging at his side as he walked side-by-side with his best mate, back inside the castle.
***


Soon it would be the Halloween feast, and all of the students were buzzing with excitement as the days drew closer and closer.
The Great Hall was decorated with floating pumpkins and all the ghosts were invited, including Peeves who was under the close watch of the Slytherin ghost, The Bloody Baron, much to Peeves chagrin.
As Harry, Ron and Hermione took their seats at the Gryffindor table they were greeted by a wave from Hagrid to which they replied, and a Hello from Remus, who telepathically promised Harry that he would speak to him properly, after the feast as he made his way to the head table.

‘Welcome all, to the Halloween Feast!’ Dumbledore announced as he rose from his large chair. The teachers gave polite applause whilst most of the students cheered uproariously at the prospect of a treat-filled feast.
Dumbledore smiled down at all of the eager faces before him and was just about to tell them to “dig in”, when the large hall doors were pushed open and a pair of identical voices interrupted him.

‘Cor, does it feel strange to be here again or…’
‘…Does it feel strange…’
‘I wonder where ickle Ronniekins is?’
‘Probably stuffing his face…’
‘…Full of cake…’

There were scattered giggles as the mystery voices floated through to the hall. Where the occupants were yet to see the owners of those voices.

Dumbledore smiled as Ron’s ears reddened and Harry, Ginny and Hermione fought to keep from laughing. ‘Students, teachers, may we welcome back two of our previous students, who left us last year to make their own way in the world, along the path of jokes and pranks. As I’m sure many of you know by now, Mr’s Fred and George Weasley’s…’ Dumbledore announced as the twins began walking down the aisle between the Gryffindor and Ravenclaw table, ‘… store, “Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes” was destroyed in a Deatheater attack, and have since been working to repair their loss. And so, it is with great pleasure that I welcome them here tonight, as a customer myself, to allow you to try free samples of some of their new confections and other products that you will find scattered in bowls along the house tables,’ Dumbledore announced as Fred and George were offered a seat each at the head table, which they accepted as the students clapped and cheered excitedly at the prospect of having such a treat.

‘Dig in!’ Dumbledore exclaimed over the rising chatter.

***


‘Merlin, I’ll be surprised if they’ll fit through the castle doors by the end of the night,’ Ron began. ‘Their heads are going to be so big from that speech Dumbledore made about them,‘ Ron sighed.

Harry laughed. ‘Yeah, but it was a brilliant idea. All of the students liked it, especially when Snape ate the colour changing candy and kept turning pink and blue!’ Harry laughed, Ron and Ginny joining in with him.
‘I have to agree, it was a good way for them to get their business running again after what Bellatrix and Malfoy did to the store,’ Hermione opined as she took a bite out of a Fizzing Whizzbe back in the Gryffindor common room.
Ron moved so that he was sat next to Hermione on the sofa in front of the fire. He wrapped an arm around her shoulders and she hesitated before snuggling closer into him, causing Harry and Ginny to smile as they caught each other’s eye.

‘So what did Remus talk to you about afterwards Harry?’ Hermione asked in an attempt to take the focus of everyone’s attention away from herself and Ron.
‘Oh, he just wanted to make sure I was alright seeing as we haven’t had much of a proper chance to talk lately,’ Harry began cagily. Hermione nodded, obviously looking for more information as she held Harry’s gaze.
‘He also asked me if I wanted to meet up with him at the Hogsmeade weekend coming up ion November, and if you three wanted to come too?’ Harry asked.

‘Sure mate, we’ll come,’ Ron replied before he turned his attention back to Hermione. ‘It could be fun, you know a weekend away from the castle… away from prying eyes…’ he whispered suggestively, making her blush as she noticed that Harry and Ginny were sniggering at them, having heard every word.
‘Ronald Weasley! I will do no such thing!’ she spoke indignantly. Ron just laughed.
‘Do what, ‘Mione? I didn’t suggest that we do anything, you did that,’ he sniggered knowing that he was making her flustered.
‘Yes you did!’ she exclaimed.
‘Uh-uh,’ Ron replied smiling. ‘You’ve a very dirty mind, Miss Granger! He exclaimed making everyone laugh.
Ginny was laughing so hard she had tears coming to her blue eyes as she rolled onto her side, knocking into Harry, who held her as he tried to control his own laughter at the scene.

Hermione was still sat cuddled up to her boyfriend, Ron when Fred and George made a surprise visit to the Common Room.
‘Ah, look at the ickle love birds, George!’ Fred exclaimed.
‘Aww, ain’t they sweet!’ George cooed.
Ron and Hermione shifted nervously under the twins’ gaze but didn’t change position. ‘Fred, George, what are you doing in here?’ Ginny asked from her spot on the floor in front of the fire, still in Harry’s arms.

The twin’s stammered over their words before they actually managed to gasp in shock at the realisation that Harry Potter was obviously their youngest, and only, sister’s new boyfriend.
‘Oh wait ‘till Mum hears about this!’ Fred said, although he sounded slightly annoyed, causing Ron and Ginny to look at him questioningly. Fred rolled his eyes as Fred and George attempted to act out a scene where George told his mother, played by Fred that Ginny was dating Harry Potter. It ended with everyone who had seen the hysterical act rolling around in fits of laughter and the twins’ identical grins plastered across their beaming faces.

‘Welcome to the family, mate,’ Fred offered his hand to Harry who accepted it with trepidation before having to shake George’s hand too, before they moved over to do the same to Hermione.
‘Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?’ Hermione asked as she gratefully pulled back her hand. ‘I should think that marriage is a long way of, just yet,’ she replied sarcastically.
Causing Ron to grin and hug her tight, making her have to bang her fists against his chest to make him let her go.

‘Anyway, we’ve gotta go. Order business and all…’ George began, only to be interrupted by Ron.
‘Anything you can tell us? I mean, you must know what’s going on, being members of the Order and all. What’s happening?’ Ron asked eagerly.
Fred and George shared a look.
‘Oh what? Now that your big Order members, you can’t tell us anything? What a load of horse sh-,’ Ron fumed before he was interrupted by Hermione hitting his arm at his use of the English language.
‘Ronald!’ Hermione said in a warning tone.
George sighed. ‘Well, actually, yeah that is the reason. We’ve been sworn to secrecy of what we do know, so we can’t tell you guys anything,’ Ron looked outraged and Harry and Ginny weren’t far behind him. ‘I’m sorry, Ron I wish we could,’ George said earnestly.
‘Bollix!’ Ron yelled vehemently.
‘Ron!’ Hermione yelled back at him.
Fred sighed. ‘If it’s any consolation to you, we don’t know that much anyway, things have been pretty quiet lately and no one’s saying much. So you’re not really missing out at all really,’ Fred attempted to calm Ron.
Ron just sniffed and turned away from them both. It wasn’t long before they heard the portrait hole close again and then there was silence.

***


It was Wednesday morning and Harry, Ron and Katie had inspected the list of people who were interested in the tryouts for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and were surprised to find so many. Harry was glad to see that both Gabey and Ginny had added their names to the list, as was Ron and Katie.
‘Okay, so tryouts are tonight at seven. That’s okay with you two isn’t it?’ Katie asked. Both Harry and Ron nodded although he didn’t like the idea of being late to dinner.
‘Right, so if you turn up half an hour early, Harry and get the chest and the field set up, I’ll book the field with McGonagall for the rest of the week so we can work with our new players, okay?’

Harry mused at the thought that Katie was taking charge even though it was he who was Quidditch Captain, but she seemed to be calling all the shots. Not that he really minded but he just couldn’t understand why she had turned down the badge in the first place because of schoolwork, as she was practically Acting-Quidditch Captain anyway. Maybe I should offer her the badge? Harry thought to himself.
‘Harry?’ Katie asked concernedly as she had been trying to get Harry’s attention for a full minute without luck.
‘Huh?’ Harry asked distractedly, ‘Oh, yeah, yeah that’s fine see you at seven Katie,’ Harry smiled to her as she walked off shaking her head at him.
‘What’s up mate?’ Ron asked as he noticed that Harry was acting strange.
Harry looked Ron in the eye. ‘I’ve just realised something. I can’t hear Remus’ thoughts!’ Harry exclaimed worriedly. ‘What do you think that means?’
‘Um, that he’s not thinking of anything at this precise moment?’ Ron said stupidly.
Harry rolled his eyes impatiently at his friend. ‘No, I haven’t heard any of his thoughts… in ages!’
‘Maybe the Link’s gone, or something?’ Ron shrugged.
‘No. No I don’t think so, he spoke to me with the Link on Halloween, said he wanted to talk to me, and the other day in class he said “Hi”,’ Harry remembered.
‘He said “Hi”?’ Ron asked strangely, ‘Why would he say Hi using the Link, why not just say it?’ Ron laughed. Harry gave him a look that silenced him. ‘Right, not important, sorry,’ Ron said sheepishly.
‘I’ve gotta go see him, Ron. See what’s going on. I’ll catch you later; tell ‘Mione for me?’ he called as he raced toward the portrait hole.
‘Sure, see you later,’ Ron called after his retreating back.

***


‘Remus?’ Harry called slightly out of breath as he reached Remus’ private chambers. ‘Remus?’ he called again.
‘Harry?’ Remus replied as he came from another door into the main area where he was stood. Just how many doors are there in here? Harry thought to himself, not expecting an answer.
Remus chuckled to himself as he walked towards Harry and answered his un-voiced question aloud. ‘Seven.’
Harry looked at him strangely for a second before he realised what he meant. ‘Oh, so you heard me think that?’ Harry asked.
Remus nodded in reply. ‘Of course,’
‘Oh,’ Harry replied, trying to think of why he couldn’t hear Remus’ thoughts if Remus could hear his own.

Remus frowned at Harry’s sombre expression and led him to the sofa to sit down. ‘What’s wrong Harry? Your thoughts are racing a mile a minute, not even a Firebolt could keep up with them!’ he laughed trying to make light of the situation that he realised wasn’t going to be.

‘I can’t hear you anymore,’ Harry sighed. Remus looked puzzled. ‘I mean, your thoughts. I can’t hear your thoughts anymore; I don’t know what’s wrong. Maybe something’s happened with the Link, I don’t know. I thought you were, I thought…’ Harry attempted to continue but couldn’t.

Remus pulled Harry into a one armed hug. ‘You thought something had happened to me, and that’s why you couldn’t hear my thoughts anymore because I was too far away, or unconscious, or dead?’ he asked earnestly.
Harry nodded as he suddenly found his hands incredibly interesting to look at.
‘It’s okay, Harry. I’m not going anywhere, and I’m certainly not dead.’ Remus sighed as he tried to console his charge, to be honest he didn’t know why Harry couldn’t hear his thoughts anymore, and it was more than slightly unnerving, seeing as he could quite clearly still hear Harry’s.

Standing up, Remus sighed as he said ‘I think it’s time for a chat with Snape. Maybe it has something to do with the potion that he made you?’ Remus offered.
Harry nodded reluctantly, not really wanting to visit Snape at all, but reasoned that it might not be so bad if he had Remus with him.

With that thought in mind he followed Remus down into the depths of the castle leading to the dungeons.

***


Snape was beginning to think that it was his unlucky day for visitors, firstly was the Headmaster wanting him to come to his office for tea and cakes which had undoubtedly meant he was to attempt some suicide mission for the Order involving him spying on the Dark Lord. You could always tell how serious the talk would be by how much sugar Albus laid out in front of you, tea and cakes was the worst, and so his assumptions had been correct. A new and dangerous spying mission at Christmas, to be carried out while most of the students were on holiday and to return before the start of term as not to rouse suspicion, fantastic he thought to himself.
Then, there had been the letter by Owl, from Lucius. It was not entirely unexpected, as he often did receive a letter of invitation to Malfoy Manor at Christmas time, as were few others within the Deatheater ranks, Crabbe and Goyle Senior indefinitely.
Now, the wolf and his boy haunted his home, asking inane questions about their Link to one another. The mere thought of the two linked to each other in any way, making him want to give up his lunch.

‘Severus, perhaps the potion that you created for Harry has something to do with this?’ Remus suggested as Snape looked down his nose at the two intruders.
‘Perhaps,’ he relented. ‘But perhaps also, Potter is coming down with some illness and that has effected it also? Or, perhaps it is because you are a werewolf, Lupin and the thoughts of a wolf do not transmit as well to a human?’ Snape offered snidely.
Remus considered each suggestion seriously, even deciding to overlook the maliciousness behind the words, but in the end it was no use, unless Harry was ill, which he didn’t look ill, or Snape botched the potion, which was much more likely, then there was nothing that they could do. However, just as things were starting to look unfathomable, Snape did the unexpected and was almost nice.

‘Would you like me to brew the potion again, with some slight adjustments, Potter?’ Snape asked Harry who had so far remained silent throughout the conversation.
‘Well, if it’s not too much trouble,’ Harry began nervously. Why did Snape always make him feel so nervous lately? What’s wrong with me?
Remus raised an eyebrow at Harry’s thoughts but didn’t comment, they were still waiting for Snape’s response.
‘Of course it is of no trouble; I am a potion’s master am I not? This is what I do, Mr Potter. It is not a favour, I am doing you, I am doing my job,’ Snape stated defensively.
Harry only nodded, he didn’t know why, but he just didn’t feel like arguing with the potion’s professor before him.
Remus, deciding to speak up for Harry in his shyness, said, ‘Thank you Severus, it is most appreciated,’ Remus placed a guiding hand on Harry’s back as he made to leave the dungeon.
Snape nodded as they turned and left.
Maybe now he could loose himself in a much less frivolous task of saving Harry Potter as he brewed the potion.

***


That evening at seven, Harry and Ron met Katie who led the hopefuls onto the pitch. Those that didn’t already own their brooms used Comet 260’s, old school brooms, that weren’t very fast and hard to do tricky manoeuvres on such as the Sloth-Grip-Roll.
Harry hung in mid-air on his Firebolt with a stopwatch around his neck and a clipboard in hand as he watched the chasers attempt to take the quaffle from Katie’s tight grip and score against Ron who was playing his own position as Goalkeeper.
Ginny, at first struggled to grab the quaffle from Katie, but then went on to make an easy score against her brother, Ron. Having played against him so much over the past summer back at the Burrow had it’s advantages if your brother was on the school team, was what Ginny told Harry as she flew over to him to watch the next Chaser take her go.

After the Chasers had all tried out, it was time for the Beaters to take their go. Ron and Katie watched as each Beater attempted to hit a Bludger at Harry who also chasing the golden Snitch. Gabey came close, as did a boy in fifth year called Jack Nectar. He was of stocky build, tall for his age, wore wire-rimmed glasses, and had short, spiky fair coloured hair.

When the tryouts were finally over and Harry was afraid he might be frozen to his broom; it was so cold, the group lowered to the ground and huddled together in the middle of the pitch.

Again, it was Katie who spoke to the potential teammates. ‘Okay, that’s the end of the tryouts everyone, as you know, we need two chasers and two beaters, we may also post reserves should we need them, but it is unlikely. You’ll be able to see who made it on the team and who didn’t, on the notice board tomorrow morning in the common room. Thanks to everyone for coming to tryout, we’ve seen some good skill from each of you, and will certainly consider each of you seriously,’ Katie stated.
‘You’re all free to go,’ Ron called as he began walking over to the chest with Harry to gather up the balls again and take back inside. Katie followed the others up to the castle as Harry and Ron headed toward the side of the greenhouses where the Quidditch equipment was stored.

‘Who d’you think then?’ Ron asked as they locked the small shed up again.
Harry shrugged. ‘Not sure about the other chaser, but I think Ginny, Gabey, and that Jack from fifth year were all good. You?’ Harry opined.
‘Hmm, yeah Jack was good. Ginny I expected seeing as we’ve been practicing Quidditch with her all summer, Gabey was a bit of a disappointment though.’
‘Really, how do you mean?’ Harry asked curiously.
‘Well, I was certain she would of knocked you off your broom! But nah, she didn’t,’ Ron replied.
‘Thanks mate!’ Harry said sarcastically. ‘Why did you want me to get knocked off my broom!’
‘Nah, that’s not what I meant! Merlin, Harry! I’d never want that, but I just mean, she seemed to be holding back… didn’t you notice? She was using a Nimbus 2001 she should have been faster than Jack, he was only on a school broom, for Merlin’s sake!’ Ron exclaimed.
‘Hmm, yeah that’s true,’ Harry agreed. ‘Maybe she was having an off day or something?’
‘Pretty poor choice of a day to have a sicky if you ask me! Trying out for a new team and all,’ Ron opined.
‘Well, maybe it was just too cold for her or something? I don’t know? I think I’m getting a headache, we should get back in, it could snow it’s so cold out here!’ Harry proclaimed.
‘Alright, come on then.’ Ron led the way back to the castle, they were just walking past the Great Hall towards the staircases when Gabey came into view, running up a moving staircase heading toward Gryffindor tower.

‘Wonder why she’s in a hurry?’ Harry said aloud as he watched her leap onto the last staircase before her current one moved away. Shaking his head, he turned back round to Ron again.

‘What’s the matter?’ Harry asked as he noticed Ron was holding his head protectively as if someone had just hit him across it with something heavy. ‘Ron?’ Harry asked, growing more worried by the second as Ron started to convulse slightly.

‘Ron!’ Harry called helplessly. It was late, close to curfew, and no one was around to help, he was alone and helpless and his best friend was having what looked to be a very nasty vision.
Harry shook Ron by the shoulders trying desperately for him to look at him, to break the hold that the vision had on him.
Finally, the vision seemed to end as the convulsions stopped and Ron dropped to his hands and knees exhausted. Harry knelt down beside him, ‘Ron? Can you hear me? Are you okay?’ Harry asked frightened that something was seriously wrong when Ron didn’t answer him. He was still looking at the ground, his face hidden. ‘Ron please!’ Harry pleaded as he tugged on Ron’s sleeve to try and get him to move his hand away from his face so he could see that he was okay.
Suddenly, Ron sprang up, Harry jumped back in surprise and fright as he looked at Ron’s face. His hands now by his sides, as Harry stared into Ron’s all blue, pupil-less eyes more terrified than he’d ever been before in his life as Ron stepped toward him his hand out stretched, stepping blindly toward Harry, who scooted all the way back until his head banged against the stone wall.

‘They are gathering,’ Ron said ominously in an un-earthly voice. Harry looked at him with a mixture of fear and confusion before finally, Ron crump[ed to the floor again and this time when he rose up, his eyes were his own, and his voice was normal, yet groggy, when he asked, ‘What happened?’

***


After having forced Ron to go talk to Firenze about his vision and then to take a dreamless sleep potion once he had reached the Hospital Wing, Harry returned to Gryffindor Tower long after curfew, feeling drained and worried about Ron and the vision that his friend had just had.

‘What had he meant when he said, “They are gathering?”’ Harry thought aloud to himself as he wound his way up the staircase leading to the sixth year boy’s dormitory.

Whatever it meant, Harry decided that it would have to wait until morning. His headache was growing steadily worse and tomorrow would undoubtedly be another long, arduous day so he fell fully clothed on top of the covers of his bed, falling into a fitful sleep almost immediately.

Had Harry not of been so preoccupied with the night’s events, he may have remembered to clear his mind free of emotion, or he may have even realised that his scar had begun to prickle, as he was now deeply entwined in his very own, Voldemort-induced vision.

***


As soon as she had made her way back to her dorm room, Gabey practically threw her broom onto her bed before sneaking back out of the portrait hole again, much to the Fat Lady’s chagrin who called angrily after her, ‘Make up your mind, some of us would actually like to get some sleep you know!’
Gabey transformed into her animagus form of a black cat and ran all the way to the Dungeons, using all of the secret passages that she could remember in order to get there quicker. Finally, she made it to her uncle’s door, she morphed back into her usual, human self and knocked impatiently on his office door, knowing that he would be preparing for his nightly patrols and so would be awake still.

‘Gabrielle? What are you doing out of your dorm after curfew?’ he asked silkily.
‘Let me in,’ she ordered in a mere whisper, causing Snape’s lips to twitch.
‘And why should I do such a thing, Miss Newton?’ he asked her almost lazily.
She glowered at him in true Snapeish style. ‘Cut the crap and let me in, now!’ she demanded.
Snape narrowed his eyes at her dangerously as he continued to block her entrance. ‘Do not even attempt to take that tone with me, Gabrielle. It will get you know where. Especially not in here,’ he said menacingly.

She huffed, agitated as she kept looking up and down the corridor as if expecting someone to come. ‘Please? I really need to talk to you. It’s important,’ she pleaded.
Snape raised an eyebrow but stepped aside to allow her entrance. He stepped outside his door slightly to take a quick look up and down the corridor to see whom, if anyone was there. It was empty. He turned and snapped the door shut behind him.

‘So, what is so important that it brings you here in the middle of the night, after curfew to my dungeons?’ Snape asked in a surly mood. He was sure he was missing the perfect opportunity to dock ten’s of points from Gryffindor in this time wasting and what made it worse was that it was his own niece putting him in such a foul and unbecoming mood.
‘Well?’ Snape snapped impatiently when the answer wasn’t forthcoming, ‘What is it you want?’
Gabey took a steadying breath as she pulled an envelope from the inside of her robes, and looked directly into her uncle’s eyes. ‘It’s a letter from him, my Father. He wants to come visit me, says he has something to tell me,’ Gabey replied holding the letter out for Snape to take.
Snape stepped forward uncertainly. He didn’t know what to say, he hadn’t expected something such as this and was unprepared with how to handle it. He accepted the letter stiffly, as Gabey moved away to sit on the far sofa where Potter had resided over a month ago, as he began to read.

Dearest Gabrielle,
Please accept my apology for not awaiting your return before I left so abruptly in late August. Your Mother and I finally realised that we were not meant to be, and decided that some time apart would be for the best, for both yourself, and us, Gabrielle.

Forgive me for not writing sooner, but I have had much business to attend to and my priorities as ever have to be that of my Master, the Dark Lord. He has called for me, Gabrielle. He wants me to help build his army for him, to help him win this war against the Mudbloods, Muggles and Blood-traitors - those that contaminate our world, that rightfully belongs to us, the Purebloods.

I have spent many an hour thinking of you, my sweet. Determining on how best to break this most glorious news to you, my Gabrielle. For I have a gift, a gift of power to give to you.
I have spoken of you to my Lord; he seems keen to know more about you and your fascinating powers. I have explained your position of under my brother’s watch at Hogwarts and my Master seems pleased to hear of this knowledge. He has asked that I remain in contact with you, and possibly to meet with you if possible?

I ask you, Gabrielle; will you meet with me at Christmas time and join with me to worship our most Dark Lord and Master? I await your answer by Owl. Use caution when you send your reply, this letter is bound by my blood, and only a true Snape heir may read its contents, but I fear that your reply will have to be brief for there are many spies that oppose us, that are true, my sweet, such as your Mother did when I asked the same of her. Please be careful, Gabrielle, I do not wish upon you the same fate that your Mother made for herself.
Your loving Father,
Sumner Snape.


Severus looked up from the letter written in his brother’s hand to gaze at Gabey who was bent forward, her head in her hands as she sobbed silently on the sofa.
Placing the letter back in it’s envelope and upon his desk, he moved toward his young niece and placed an awkward hand on her shoulder. Leaning into the touch, Gabey used the opportunity to wrap an arm around Snape’s neck and sob into his shoulder. The words, ‘What am I going to do?’ were barely audible as Snape lightly stroked her shivering back, as he contemplated on what he should do.

***


Hey Guys! Whoa, Monster of a chapter or what, huh? Sorry if you thought it was a bit too long, but I had a plan of all the things that I needed to fit into this chapter and it just ended up growing to this mammoth size, lol :p

Anyway, as everyone should know, ‘cos of the release of HBP on Saturday, this story is going to become AU. For those of you who aren’t sure what that means, there is a glossary of fanfiction terms on the HPFF homepage, but in any case it basically stands for: Alternate Universe, (non-cannon).
This also means that once everyone has read HBP, and there are all these new subplots floating around in the HP universe, you won’t be seeing any of those plot lines in Harry Potter and The Link, AKA, this story. Hopefully, that won’t bother any of you as you’ve read this far anyway, so I don’t particularly see why it would, but just in case, now you know ;p

Also, you are probably wondering how much longer this story is going to continue for? Well, I don’t have a definite answer at the moment, but I can safely say that my two previous time scales that I had been telling everyone before are now out the window and so, Not July, Not August, Probably Not September… maybe sometime after that? In some ways this is good, ‘cos it leaves you with a familiar story to continue reading alongside all the new 7th year fics that are soon to pop-up after people read HBP.

I also wanted to say that for those of you who haven’t checked out my Author’s page recently, should; the banner advertising the story called ‘The Sandman’ will be coming v.soon! ~Sam.

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