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Chapter 7: Wrath of a Toad

“So, if Luna is right then I can contact the not yet living?” asked Harry, after a few moments silence.

“Oh no, Harry, I think it might be more like you can contact V-Voldemort and his relatives maybe, but that wouldn‘t make sense, his horcrux is gone,” suggested Hermione, slightly unsure of herself.

“What’s a Horcrux?” asked Mrs.Weasley, quietly.

No one heard her.

“Is that everything that happened, Harry?” asked Ron, looking up at his friend who had just stood up.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s it,” he replied, as he started pacing the floor and rubbing his head.

“It’s sort of a game, isn’t it?” spoke Luna, in her dreamy voice.

“A game?” asked Hermione, not quite sure what her friend meant.

“Yes, like a word game, a riddle.”

“You’re right Luna, maybe we should try to figure it out? Obviously we have her name, that part was easy.”

“Yes,” said Neville, speaking for the first time. “While two things may look the same? What is that supposed to mean?”

“I’m not sure,” mused Hermione, scratching her head with her wand.

“What was the next line Harry? Something about a clue?” asked Ginny, looking at her boyfriend.

“Finding the answer is finding the clue,” he said, suddenly realizing that Mrs. Weasley was still on in the room. “Can we not do this now please?” he asked, his eyes shifting to a confused Molly.

Hermione immediately caught on. “Okay Harry.”

***

Later that day after lunch, Ron, Hermione and Harry were up in Ginny's room.

“Should we finish talking now? Since it’s just us?” asked Ron.

“Only if we can wait until Ginny gets back, she will go ballistic on me if she is not here with us when we talk. You know how mad she was that she didn’t get to go with us to get the horcruxes.”

“Okay, I'll go and get her,” said Hermione, just as Ginny walked into the room.

“Never mind then,” replied Harry, smiling at his girlfriend.

“You said the next bit was ‘finding the answer is finding the clue’, I wonder what that means. Maybe that the answer will not be found by clues?” asked Ginny, as she sat down next to Harry.

“Possibly. 'While two things may look the same' would fit in with that,” said Hermione. “Perhaps that is what it means, or maybe that was just saying not to assume something will be what it looks like?”

Ron looked at her as if she were talking nonsense. "In English please, Hermione?" he asked.

"Well, I think it means that things may not be as they appear. Things are not as they seem," said Hermione, feeling annoyed that nobody understood her.

“Maybe the next part will make it clearer? What you need is an answer true. What does that mean, though?" asked Harry.

“I think it means that the answers that are clues are not the same as the final answer,” said Hermione, feeling rather pleased with herself.

“One question,” asked Ron jokingly. “What is the question?”

“Oh, um…” Hermione trailed off, disappointed.

“Let’s just figure out what is going on before we try to decipher a demented girls poem, okay?” asked Ginny, deciding that this conversation was getting them nowhere.
“Don’t call her demented!” cried Harry loudly, jumping to his feet.

“What the hell is wrong with you?” asked Ron, looking up to his friend.

Harry relaxed slightly, realizing that he had overreacted, and sighed. “I don’t know… it’s just that she- I don’t know…” he trailed off. “Sorry Gin. She isn’t really evil sounding in the “dream”. She is kind of just like a little girl. Know what I mean?” he asked hopefully.

“Not really Harry, but its okay." she replied, smiling understandingly.

Suddenly, Harry’s eyes grew wide with realization. “I just remembered!” he exclaimed.

“What, Harry?” asked Hermione excitedly, as though she thought he had come up with a question to be answered.

“She said help! Or rather, she didn’t say it, but she mouthed the words!” he explained.

“Well that doesn’t help us much,” said Ron, with sarcasm in his voice.

“Ronald!” yelled Hermione, fed up with his attitude.

Just then there was another owl tapping at the window. Harry walked over and got the letter from the owl.

Dear Mr. Potter,

We have scheduled your press conference for 2 hours from now. Sorry for the short notice. Please respond as soon as possible. The conference is at the ministry. We have decided on adopting her baby out, or if we cannot find a family for the baby we will send her to an orphanage. The mother requested that the baby be called Lorianna. We also have a surprise for you. We just found out this morning.

Sincerely,
Minister Kingsley. 


"Read this," Harry said, passing the envelope on to Ginny.

There was a slight pause whilst she studied the contents of the letter. "Wow," she replied, looking at Harry with wide eyes.

He nodded in agreement. ‘We were right.’

“What?” asked Hermione, looking at Harry and Ginny curiously.

"Let Ron and Hermione read it,” replied Harry.

Ginny tossed them the letter.

"So, it was the Carrows’ girl in the vision," stated Hermione, looking up from the letter and handing it to Ron.

"Yeah," Harry replied.

"Bloody hell mate," exclaimed Ron, having read the note now too.

"This is never going to end is it? It will never be over," said Harry sadly, looking into his girlfriend’s chocolate eyes.

"It will, you just have to give it time," replied Ginny, wrapping her arm around him.

“Let me write back,” said Harry, as he grabbed a piece of parchment off the dresser and jotted down a quick response.

Dear Minister,

That will be fine. Good luck on finding Lorianna a home. I am bringing Ron, Hermione, and my girlfriend Ginny with me.

Sincerely,
Harry Potter. 


He folded up the letter, and sent the owl off with it.

***

At the press conference, the minister stood next to Harry and Ginny. Ron and Hermione had both already said what they had done for the downfall of Voldemort, and it was Harry’s turn to talk.

“Hello, I’m Harry Potter,” he said into the microphone, thinking to himself, that was kind of obvious Harry. “There were several items that needed to be destroyed before we could destroy Voldemort. Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley each destroyed one of them and were key elements to his death. If it weren’t for those three, and several other people, he would still be terrorizing us. He is gone, and I would appreciate it if all of you would say his name, because frankly, he’s dead now. Why should you live in fear of a dead man? Also, I would like to say that Severus Snape is the bravest man I ever knew, and was actually very helpful to Lord Voldemort’s downfall, so I request his name be cleared of all charges. I would like to thank all of those who have served the wizarding world. Many brave people lost their lives and I ask that they be honored. The war is over and now is the time to recover from our losses and celebrate the new beginning. I will now answer questions,” he said, ending his little speech.

A short and rather stocky wizard spoke up first. "Mr. Potter, you said that Severus Snape was a help to the downfall of V-Voldemort. I thought you swore he killed Albus Dumbledore, care to clarify?" he asked, stuttering a bit when saying the name.

"I have recently learned that he and Dumbledore had planed his death in advance, he died no more a Deatheater than you or I," Harry answered, remembering the words of Dumbledore in the memory of Karkaroff's trial.

Another wizard spoke now. “What items did you have to destroy exactly and why did you have to destroy them?”

“They were just everyday items that had been cursed with dark magic. That’s all I have to say on the matter,” he replied, knowing that he was stretching the truth almost to the point of lying.

A witch in a lime green hat spoke up next. “Mr. Potter, Why did you collapse in Diagon Alley?”

He was ready for this. “I have chosen not to speak on the matter,” he stated, as a wave of voices erupted from the crowd.

“What are you planning on doing now that you have a life without Voldemort being a threat to you everyday?” asked a tall wizard, who seemed to be comfortable saying the name.

“I am going back to Hogwarts for my seventh year and after that I plan to become an auror,” he said confidently.

He answered several more questions before he had to answer a very awkward one.

“Mr. Potter, are you single?” asked a younger witch in pink robes.

“Erm, no,” he said, slightly taken aback by this question, and looking towards Ginny for support.

She was glaring at the witch who had asked the question, and seeing Harry’s look, stepped up to him and kissed him full on the lips. “I think that is enough questions,” she said firmly into the microphone, ignoring the mutters and many shocked, disappointed faces now on every female present.

Harry and Ginny backed away from the microphone and the minister stepped up to it.

“I would like to introduce you to Alastor Moody!”

Much to The four’s surprise, a very much alive Mad-Eye Moody stepped up from the shadows to the microphone. He had a new wooden leg and a new lime green magical eye, and looked even more worn than when he had disappeared.

“Hello,” he began gruffly. “My role in this war? I was kidnapped and injured in battle by Death Eaters, thought dead by everyone. What really happened after that battle was that old toad, what’s her name? Dolores Umbridge, found me and kidnapped me from the Death Eaters. She locked me in a magically enlarged desk drawer in her office and took my eye and put it on her door. I spent six months in that drawer and almost starved to death. The ministry was going through her things and found me. I am alive,” he said in a gruff voice, then he took a swig out of his hipflask and went to stand near Harry.

“How many places do I have to get locked in before they are convinced I am not paranoid?” he whispered to Harry, who stifled a laugh with his hand, passing it of as a cough.

***

After the press conference they all went back to the burrow, including Mad-Eye Moody.

“Glad to have you back, Alastor,” said Mr. Weasley as Mad-Eye walked in the door of the burrow.

“Nice to be back. That drawer may have been enlarged, but it was still a bit cramped. What are you cooking Molly, it smells good.”

“Roast beef, we have quite a few guests to feed today,” she replied from over at the stove.

“Nice to see you Andromeda,” said Harry, looking at Tonks’ mother who was sitting in an armchair holding her grandson.

“I thought Teddy might like to see you,” she replied, running her fingers through his bright blue hair.

“Can I hold him?” asked Harry, looking curiously at the little boy.

“Of course you can!” said Andromeda with a smile.

Harry took the little blue haired boy from her arms, and sat down beside Ginny on the couch.

“Aww, he is so cute,” she cooed, leaning over to ruffle his hair.

“Yeah…” said Harry, who was looking at how much the small child already resembled his parents. Then he murmured to Teddy, “I am going to make sure that you will always have someone who loves you. You may not have any parents but you have a godfather and a grandmother to take care of you. I am going to do for you exactly what Sirius would have done for me, had he been around when I was young. Remember that you will always have someone who loves you, no matter how deserted you may feel.” The little boy, however, wasn’t in the mood for advice; he didn’t appear to be paying much attention as he was playing with Ginny’s hair.

“Andromeda,” began Harry, turning to Teddy’s grandmother instead. “I would like to help out raising him in any way I can, so if you ever need help with anything just tell me. It’s my fault he doesn’t have any parents and I am going to make sure he always has anything he needs, okay?”

“Of course, Harry,” replied Andromeda. She was still very upset about her daughter’s death and not very talkative because of it.

“Look Harry, I think he likes you,” said Ginny, pointing to the little boy’s now jet-black hair and lightning shaped scar.

He laughed in response, then leaned over to kiss her.

***

“I told you he wasn’t dead,” said Ron, rather proudly, as he and Hermione left the warm and crowded kitchen for the peaceful garden.

“Yes, but all the evidence pointed to him being dead,” said Hermione matter of factly.

“Go tell him that then,” replied Ron, grinning.

“Ronald,” said Hermione, smiling. “What did you ask me out here for anyway?”

“Alright,“ he told her, looking at her pretty teeth, and remembering when she had them shortened in his fourth year. “I got you something special.”

“Oh Ron, you shouldn’t have,” she protested with a smile.

“Here you go,” he replied, handing her a golden box.

She opened it, and gasped when she saw the necklace with the five diamonds and the little gems inside.

“It’s gorgeous, Ron!” she whispered, taking it out of the box to admire its beauty.

“Their properties change with the seasons,” he explained. “Topaz is for fall, opal for summer, sapphire for winter, and peridot for spring. Let me put it on you,” he said, looking happily at his girlfriend’s expression.

“Okay,” smiled Hermione, lifting her hair, and Ron put the necklace around her neck, where it sat delicately, glinting on her soft skin.

“That is really awesome magic, I love it Ron.”

“I knew you would,” he replied softly, looking into her shining brown eyes. Then he kissed her, and put an arm comfortably around her waist. “I love you Hermione.”

She smiled, and leant her head against his shoulder. “I love you too, Ron.”

A/N: Thanks for reading!!! I hope you liked this chapter. Thanks to my betta Rose. You are such a huge help. Read and Review. I love gum!!! I really enjoyed writing that bit with harry and Teddy. It was very cool. That's about it. Until next time!
Thanks,
Mira, Laura, and Saves.

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