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Harry woke the next morning to the wonderful smell of frying bacon and eggs. Ron was alright throwing on some clothes proper enough for where they were going today. Harry put his clothes from yesterday back on, he’d have to change into clean clothes when he got back to Grimmauld Place where he’d been staying until he could find someplace better.

“Mmm, that smells wonderful,” Harry commented his mouth already salivating.

“Yeah it does,” Ron answered, “Mum hasn’t been really big on cooking lately but between last night and this morning I guess it’s two for two.”

Ron was out the door first and Harry was right behind him. Hermione was just leaving Ginny’s room as well. Together the trio traipsed downstairs. When they reached the kitchen Ginny was removing a pan of fresh baked rolls from the oven, perfectly golden brown and smelling delicious. Mrs.Weasley was plating the bacon and eggs for everyone. Mr.Weasley was sipping a cup of coffee and reading the Daily Prophet. Percy was sitting at the table and seemed lost in thought.

“Morning, you three,” Mrs.Weasley greeted them. She took her own seat as everyone else settled around the table. Mr.Weasley set the paper down and turned his attention to the food in front of him.

“Morning,” Harry, Ron, and Hermione chorused back.

“So,” Mr.Weasley began after a bite of egg, “Your mother told me your plans for your trip, and I have to admit you’ve thought it out pretty well. When were you planning on leaving?”

“Well I’ve got to go to a meeting with Kingsley today and I still have to pack so probably later this evening perhaps tomorrow morning,” Harry answered as he slathered butter on his roll.

“I thought you already gave your statements in writing to Kingsley?” Percy inquired.

“I did but I feel that although I explained as much as I could in writing there were some parts that were quite vague and apparently so did Kingsley, he asked for some clarification.”

“Well that makes what he asked me last night make sense,” Mr.Weasley commented. “He said you were stopping by at some point and wanted me to inquire if Ron and Hermione would accompany you?”

“Well, I’m already packed and everything so I’m free to join you,” Hermione said.

“Ron, I’ll pack your things so you can go,” Mrs.Weasley told him. “If Kingsley wants you there it must be something important.” She sighed heavily and continued an, “I might as well pack your bag as well, Ginny.”

“You mean I can go?” Ginny asked excitedly.

“Your mother and I have discussed it and have decided that you may go on one condition,” Mr.Weasley said smartly, “that you use the muggle felly-tone--”

“Telephone,” Hermione corrected.

“Yes, that, or some other means,” Arthur continued, “to contact us when you get to Hermione’s parent’s hideout to get a message to us that you got there safely.”

“That’s fair enough,” Ginny said jumping up and hugging her dad first then her mother, “thanks, Dad, thanks, Mum.”

“You might as well go with them to the ministry as well. I don’t think you’ve seen it under peaceful circumstances anyway,” Mrs. Weasley said.

“When are you leaving for the ministry? Do you want to travel in with me?” Mr.Weasley asked.

“No thanks, I still have to go home and change. If the others want to come to Grimmauld place later by Floo then we can use the visitors entrance.”

“You remember the number?” Arthur asked.

“Yeah, I think so; six-two-four-four-two?”

“Correct, well I best be off then,” Arthur said grabbing a roll to go and kissing Mrs.Weasley on the cheek as she handed him his lunch she had packed. “Thank you, dear. See you at work, Percy.”

“Actually, I should be going too,” Percy said getting up from the table. “Thank you for having me over,” Percy said kissing his mother on the cheek as well then bid farewell to everyone else. Arthur and Percy left for work together chattering to each other about Ministry business.

Harry finished breakfast and thanked Mrs.Weasley for her hospitality. She assured him the others wouldn’t be too far behind him and he walked out onto the lawn, covered himself with his invisibility cloak (he didn’t want any muggles to see him appear out of nowhere) and he apparated to the doorstop of Number Twelve Grimmauld Place. He had recently obtained his Apparition licence from the Ministry, a formality really considering he had been Apparating since his sixth year at Hogwarts and quite frequently during the past year.

Hurrying inside Harry ran up to his room, he was still using the one he and Ron had shared, and quickly changed his clothes. He chose a few outfits for the next few couple of days, some bedclothes, and some toiletries and laid them out on his bed. He used his rucksack to carry everything he had just picked out for the trip. He was just carrying it downstairs when he heard the others start to arrive in the kitchen fireplace. Hermione and Ron had arrived they were just waiting on Ginny.

“You know, it will be really nice when I can just Apparate with a licence,” Ginny said after she arrived dusting her self off.

“Yeah, well, Apparating is not as pleasant as it’s cracked up to be,” Ron said dryly.

“Everyone ready to go then?” Harry asked ignoring Ron. “Kreacher.” Almost immediately after he called for him the house elf appeared in the room.

“Master called for me?”

“Yes, Kreacher,” Harry told him, “I just wanted to let you know I’ll be away for a couple of days. Nothing dangerous, just some errands to run. You’re more than welcome to visit Hogwarts if you want some company.”

“Thank You,” Kreacher croaked.

Without further ado the four young adults left Grimmauld place, Harry tucking his neck pouch holding his prized possessions under his cloak. They walked to the underground railway station and boarded the subway. Ron and Ginny were marvelling at everything reminding Harry of Mr.Weasley when he had first taken a trip with Harry on the train. Harry counted the stops to make sure they got off at the right one. They walked the short distance from the station to the street with the visitors entrance to the Ministry of Magic.

It was a dilapidated red phone booth. They all climbed into the booth, Hermione closing the door behind them all, and Harry picked up the receiver to the phone that looked as though it would not work. Harry dialled six-two-four-four-two and shortly after an automated voice answered. Already accustomed to this strangeness Harry answered the voice that was not coming from the phone.

“Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, Hermione Granger, and Genevra Weasley to see Kingsley Shacklebolt.”

“What Purpose?”

“To discuss top secret business.”

“Please attach the visitors badges on you person where they are clearly visible. Submit to a wand inspection at the security desk. The Ministry of Magic wishes you a pleasant day.” The booth started to sink into the ground and the quartet attached the badges that had come out of the coin return which stated thier names and also said "Top Secret Business" to their cloaks. The woman’s voice spoke to them once again informing them they had arrived in the Atrium as the lift stopped. Walking out of the booth Harry led the group to the wand inspection booth.

Ron handed his wand over first, then Hermione, after her Ginny and finally Harry. The man behind the desk was the same as always going through the motions of weighing and examining the wands, inquiring if his information was correct. Harry noticed that the man was more attentive to the people whose wands he was examining now, however, unlike a few years ago when he didn’t look up until after looking at Harry’s wand. Because of this the man realized who Harry was when he began the inspection of Harry’s Holly and Phoenix feather wand.

“If you even think about saying out loud who I am I must tell you it will not make me happy, please just make your inspection and be done with it, Eric,” Harry pleaded rather impatiently. Thankfully the man spoke not a word unless it pertained to the inspection, although he did seem a little star struck now. He handed Harry his wand back and Harry led his group of friends to the elevator. Paper memos were flying around the light. Hermione pressed the button for the floor they needed for the Minister’s office. There were a few witches and wizards on the lift but it wasn’t too crowded.

“Hold the doors!” a voice called out and Ron dutifully obeyed. “Thank you,” a darkly cloaked man said. He had another wizard a step ahead of him that was obviously a prisoner he was escorting. “Must warn everyone this is a dangerous criminal so please don’t touch him and stay on your guard,” the man told everyone as he nudged the prisoner onto the lift. Harry had already drawn his wand just in case. As the criminal raised his head to survey everyone in the lift Harry recognized the wizard as a Death Eater. The Death Eater obviously recognized Harry as well because as soon as he set eyes on him he made a lunging movement toward him. His guard wasn’t quick enough but Harry was.

“Immobulus!” Harry cast upon the man in a quick thinking moment. The Death Eater’s hands were still safely cuffed behind his back and now the man was still and unmoving. “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Harry warned. He waited until the guard had full control of the Death Eater before he lifted the spell. Harry could sense Ron, Hermione and Ginny at his sides and back all on their guard no doubt with their own wands drawn.

“The war’s over,” Ron stated flatly.

“Not for me it isn’t! Filthy Mudbloods! Muggle lovers! You’ll meet a sticky end you’ll see! You’ll pay for what you did to the Dark Lord!” the Death Eater ranted.

“Shut it,” Harry warned in a low menacing tone. “Voldemort is dead, you chose the wrong side. You’re not in any position to make threats or insults so I suggest you keep your mouth shut,” Harry told him. There were several audible gasps when Harry said Voldemort but he ignored them. The lift stopped on the level with the courtrooms and the Guard dragged the prisoner off with him.

“See you in Hell, Harry Potter!” the Death Eater shouted just before the doors closed. There was a lingering tension in the elevator as everyone was staring at Harry.

“Sociable bloke, isn’t he?” Harry quipped and was relieved when a few people gave some nervous laughter breaking the tension in the room. The elevator’s remaining occupants shook Harry’s hand and introduced themselves in obvious awe and marvel at meeting their hero. They even greeted Ron, Hermione and Ginny with enthusiasm. The elevator doors opened on the floor that Harry and his group needed and they exited leaving their fan club behind.

The elevator doors closed behind them and blocked out the noise of the people on the lift and Harry and the others found themselves in a quiet hallway. The floor was carpeted in a shade of pale blue. The walls were painted an off-white egg shell colour. Portraits of ministers from the past adorned the walls and the occupants watched the visitors with wary eyes. At the end of he hall there was an office space with several desks and workers. Harry was reminded of what he saw outside of Umbridge’s office last year only on a smaller scale.

“Can I help you?” a short, black haired witch asked them. In one arm she held a stack of files and folders. With her free hand she was twirling a lock of her ebony hair. She as middle aged and thin.

“Perhaps,” Harry told her, “we’re here to see Kingsley Shacklebolt.”

“Your name?” the woman asked in an exhale, showing she was not pleased with Harry’s answer. “It might be a while so I’ll need to call you when he’s ready to see you.”

“He is expecting me,” Harry said, the woman’s disdain starting to annoy him.

“Is there a problem, Lisa?” a familiar voice asked. “Oh, Harry, you made it here in good time. I’ll see you to Kingsley’s office,” Percy said then made a quarter turn about to lead Harry and the rest to Shacklebolt’s office.

“Wait a minute,” Lisa gasped, “your Harry Potter!”

“Very astute of you to notice, Lisa, now if you don’t mind Kingsley is waiting for Harry and his friends for a private meeting,” Percy told the raven-haired woman. It didn’t pass by Harry the fact that Percy had made a sarcastic joke and was thankful that, after what had happened with Fred, Percy had not given up on trying his hand at humour.

Percy pushed his horn-rimmed glasses with one finger back into proper placement on his nose then squared his shoulders before knocking on the Minister of Magic’s office door. Harry tried in vain to fix his hair and somewhat flatten it with his hand.

“Who is it?” they heard Kingsley’s voice call out from behind the door.

“Percy Weasley, sir. Harry Potter is here as well as some members of the D.A.”

“Come in.”

Percy opened the door to let them in. Harry walked in first followed by Ginny then Hermione, Ron took up the rear. The office was rather plain but was large enough to hold a good number of people. There was a long antique table on one side of the room that was obviously used for meetings. The other side of the room contained the minister’s desk that Kingsley was sitting at when they entered. He was now rising to greet his visitors. There were hardly any portraits on the wall but there was a rather large picture of an older gentleman in a gray curly-haired wig.

“Harry, so good to see you again,” Kingsley said shaking Harry’s hand. “I see you’ve brought some friends as well,” Shacklebolt turned to the others to greet them. After everyone had shook hands with Kingsley he offered them seats around the antique table.

“First of all let me say that I’ve read your reports and I appreciated the information, really and truly I did, but some explanations and points were a bit…,” Kingsley began the groped his mind for the right word.

“Vague,” Hermione supplied.

“Yes, exactly, thank you,” Kingsley went on. “You eluded to something Dumbledore had said about Riddle, that he had gone further than anyone had ever gone to become immortal, what does that mean? Your report didn’t really go into detail about what your mission was either.”

“I know and I’m sorry about that, Kingsley, but I still don’t trust the information to be written down and passed along where prying eyes can see,” Harry explained. “But that is why we’re here for this meeting, so that we can clear up any confusion and allow you to ask any questions you might have.”

“I wasn’t aware that Ms. Weasley was in on the mission as well?” Shacklebolt asked and Harry could see Ginny’s cheeks turn a rosy hue.

“She wasn’t but this is information I want her to become privy to, it’s just easier this way. There’s also the matter of Hogwarts that I’d like to discuss and that’s information she has that we don’t,” Harry said smartly and Kingsley nodded his head in understanding.

“I suppose,” Harry began, “that I should probably start with the prophecy.”

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