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He was breaking; he could feel it, the lack of strength in his arms and legs, the sharp pain that made him think his head was going to explode, and over the top of it all, a cold, high voice laughed at him.
A Bad Idea
Remus considered Grimmauld Place to be his home more than he did his cosy but lonely cottage. He’d spent summer there last year, after the attack on his cottage, and had spent the holidays – when he wasn’t required to be at school – there as well.
A Chance Meeting
Snape came to collect Draco early the next morning, and Ron Flooed home shortly after they’d left. Remus couldn’t say he was sad to see them go; much as he liked Harry’s friends, the recent full moon and his break up with Dora had left him wanting to keep to himself, and think things through, both of which were far easier said than done when there were three boisterous Gryffindors upstairs.
Old And New
“What’s this?” Percy asked, rummaging through Ginny’s cauldron of school supplies. Ginny, who’d been lying on her bed and doing her best to ignore him, glanced over.
The Cup And The Cafe
"Greentooth's a little monster, like always," Matt said, following Remus into his cottage, "but Silverear… I think Hogwarts is changing him."
The Defence Professor
“Thanks, Molly,” Padfoot said, putting a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “I sent Remus a letter, but I never heard back, and I can’t”-
Home Sweet Hogwarts
“How did you do it?” Bella’s voice was petulant, and Sirius, who’d done his best to ignore her on his other shifts in Azkaban, found himself looking at her. Marlene hovered behind him, eyes narrowed, and fixed on his cousin. She’d been pretty once, in a dark sort of way, but Azkaban had long since taken her beauty and warped it. If Sirius had to find a word to describe his cousin now, it’d probably be thin, or haunted.
Of Boggarts And Brothers
It was like the beginning to a very funny joke; an Auror, a dead man, a banshee, and an old witch are all in a bookshop, and the Auror says… Sirius chuckled.
Things That Bump In The Night
“Luna.” Luna tucked her wand behind her ear, and the feather she’d been levitated floated back down to the desk. Luna looked at Ginny, who was sitting next to her. “Do you know anything about sleepwalking?”
“… fifth year, or sixth?” Padfoot asked, looking at Moony. The three of them were sitting on one of the benches on the outskirts of Hogsmeade, that looked up at the path to the school, and out over the forest. Moony had been recognised and greeted by a few of the older students (and Harry had quickly hidden under the invisibility cloak), but no one had passed by for a few hours now.
The Chamber of Secrets
By the time Harry, Snape and Ginny arrived in Dumbledore’s office, Sirius had already Flooed through with Remus, and the pair of them, were waiting impatiently with Dumbledore and McGonagall.
Bludger Gone Rogue
When Ginny awoke, Tom lingered in the back of her head, trying to steer her attention toward the diary. He’d decided that would be the best course of action; face to face, he’d be better able to play to her sympathies, and get her to forget about catching him out about his heir of Slytherin story… not that she understood the significance of it all, of course.
A Late Night Visitor
“Sirius,” Marlene said, putting a hand on his arm. “You need to settle down.”
Someone To Blame
“… if I hear one more complaint, I’ll make it fifteen inches, Mr Smith,” McGonagall said, as the class started to throw things into their bags. Smith fell silent at once, but Harry saw him make a rude gesture at McGonagall’s back as he left the room. “Mr Potter, a moment, if you would.”
“Padfoot?” Peter said, shuffling up to the bars of his cell. “Padfoot, what are you doing here?” He blinked his watery eyes and then added. “Where is here?”
The Gaunt Line
“Kelpies can’t petrify things,” Ron announced, shutting the large book on magical creatures he’d been reading. Draco, who was next to Hermione, reading over his potions notes, just grunted. “So it’s not that.”
A Professor's Perspective
“I’ve long ago stopped trying to tell you what to do for Harry.” Dumbledore’s eyes drifted over the small pot of sweets he kept on his desk and he unwrapped one.
A Disarming Day
“So,” Harry said, when the four of them were safely tucked away in the second year boys dormitory, “I reckon you’ve got some questions?”
“Sharper wand movement than that, Weasley, or you’ll take off Mr Longbottom’s arm-”
The Heir's Heir
By breakfast the next day, rumours that Harry was the Heir of Slytherin had spread through the school and taken root in the minds of the other students.
"So what precisely is happening at Hogwarts, Black?" Sirius glanced over his shoulder at Crouch. Other than an abrupt greeting, or an occasional glance, the observation that Crouch was looking peaky of late, and the conclusion that he didn't much care, Sirius ignored the other man, and he did the same. His stare was unnerving. "There've been rumours-"
A Piece Named Tom
To Be A Host
“Is it really appropriate for Potter to be here for this conversation?” Snape asked, though not rudely. “He’s had an unpleasant experience, to say the least, and ought to be resting, not trying to understand obscure magical theories well beyond the comprehension of a twelve year old.”
Gryffindor common room was, for once, entirely silent. Even that third year, McLaggen - and his friends - who'd been playing a noisy game of Exploding Snape just moments before, seemed to have nothing to say.
McGonagall told me what you are.
He heard the low grate of what could only be the Chamber’s opening and would have turned around to look, but couldn’t even open his eyes. He still couldn’t believe what had happened, couldn’t work out how it had gone so, so horribly wrong.
Severus watched Lucius re-enter the hospital wing. Draco did not follow him. Severus started toward the door and saw Potter – who’d also stood – sit back down again, with a nod.
Falling Into Place
It was obvious that no one particularly wanted to be alone, but nor was anyone particularly chatty. The result was the entirety of Gryffindor house all in the common room, but other than the low hum of tense voices, it was so quiet that Draco thought he’d be able to hear a wand drop.
Dear Mum and Dad, Ron wrote, and then stopped and sucked on the end of his quill. It shouldn’t be this hard to write to them – he did every week or two – but this letter was different. This letter wasn’t that Snape was a git, and that yes, he’d got their last letter, and yes, he was taking care of Ginny, and yes, he’d ask Fred and George to write, and yes, he was managing to keep up with his homework. This letter was the sort of letter than Percy would write.
Sick And Tired
“Harry Potter,” Sirius said, and Harry’s face appeared in the mirror at once.
“Malfoy’s taking ages,” Ron said. Harry looked up from his letter to Moony and Tonks, and then over at the grandfather clock in the corner of the common room. His stomach twisted unpleasantly.
Out Of Time
There was a soft knock on Gilderoy’s door, and he turned away from his trunk.
“Ron?” Harry's voice came to him distorted, as if through water. Ron couldn't respond, couldn't even turn to look at him. All he could see were Riddle's shiny shoes, wavering every now and then, as if they weren't quite there. He just had to Wait quietly for the Dark Lord's instructions. “What have you done to him?” Harry demanded.
Those Few Minutes
Ron felt solid ground under his feet and the heat on his face faded until a feeling akin to sunburn. Fawkes’ bright, yellow-orange light flared before his eyes, and Ron could hear voices over the whoosh of the flames
Blood And Ink
“Are you just going to hide there, Harry?” Riddle taunted, as Harry clutched his head with one hand, and pulled the hat off with the other. “Poor Ginny’s running out of time.”
Back On The Outside
The cuts and bruises were hidden for the moment, under a familiar but still foreign skin, but they still stung. Barty adjusted his robes and looked out over the sea, heart pounding. Heavy rain beat down onto his back.
In The Office
“This is it?” Dumbledore asked, reaching for the diary, as Padfoot glanced at the hat and shot Dumbledore a bewildered look. “Tom’s… hiding place?”
“Dora, please…” Moony begged from the other side of the Evening Prophet as Tonks told Padfoot about how Moony had proposed.
Angry And Alone
“Welcome back,” Dumbledore said, smiling around the hall.
Ginny glanced around the room to make sure the doors were shut, and that it still sounded like Demelza was in the shower. Then, she pulled her curtains closed, and drew her wand. It had been two weeks since she’d found the Sound-Proofing charm in the library, but – though she’d tried whenever she could – she was yet to cast it properly.
May passed without incident, but with June came exams. More than ever, Ron felt Hermione's absence. He missed Malfoy too – Ron wanted someone other than Harry to play at chess, and joke with - but there was just something about exam time that made him think of Hermione.
The Waking World
“You don’t suppose we ought to help him, do you?” Albus asked, as he cut a slice of roast beef and dipped it in gravy. Minerva was both pleased and amused to notice he seemed to have no intention of getting up to help Fudge, despite his suggestion.
Ginny pushed gently against the doors to the hospital wing and glanced inside. It was quiet, and dark; even the lights in Madam Pomfrey’s office were out. Ginny lit her wand with a murmur, and glanced around; Draco’s silhouette – which had moved when the door opened – materialised into his usual, pale, pointy faced self, blinking in the light.
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