HPBFL CH 28

Authors Note: I want to say the sincerest thank you to all those that have messaged me. It has kept me going the last few months knowing that there are some truly wonderful people out there. Again, I apologise for the long wait for this chapter, but I am a lot better now. It was not covid, thankfully, but it certainly did not help with the writing.

I also want to thank my fantastic editor Night Auditor, who has been extremely patient with me and encouraged me when I was at my lowest.

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: WHEN LIGHT BECOMES DARK

Previously….

“Any other notifications?” Tiberius asked.

“No, Sir,”

“Good, then we shall move on to the Trial of Ronald Bilius Weasley,” Ogden announced.

“Excuse me, Chief Warlock,” a voice interrupted the older Warlock.

“Yes, you are?” the old man frowned at the interruption.

“Warren Burke, Sir, I am representing, ah, Ronald for the trial,” the snake-oil salesman looked like a rat, Harry thought.

“Mr Burke, why did you interrupt me?” the Chief Warlock asked.

“Ronald is no longer called Weasley. He was disinherited and is now called Prewett.” Burke explained, as slick as an oil spill.

“OK, then. Let the Trial of Ronald Bilius Prewett commence; bring in the prisoner.” Harry watched as Ronald swaggered in, an air of confidence surrounding him. He was wearing orange robes, but his hands were free until he settled in the criminal chair. The chains rattled and secured him to the chair. His smile dropped slightly, but he looked around as though he knew he was getting off.

“Mr Scrimgeour, please would you read out the charges,” the Chief Warlock asked.

“Ronald Prewett is accused of Line Theft, administering Potions and Charms to a Muggle-born witch, the attempted sexual assault of the aforementioned witch. He is also charged with joining the terrorist organisation known as the Death Eaters,” as Scrimgeour read out the charges; a hush filled the room until there were gasps at the Death Eater charge.

“I must protest. I was not informed of the last charge,” Burke shouted.

“That was added this morning.”

“Then I ask for a continuance, so I may properly defend my client.”

“No, once the boy has pleaded, I will give two hours, then we shall resume the trial,” Ogden returned, annoyed at the man’s interruption.

“Thank you, Sir.”

“Now on all the charges, how does he plead?”

“Not guilty, Sir- “Burke began to speak but was disrupted as Ron spoke up.

“I only joined the Death Eaters because Percy dragged me there,” the redhead tried to appear sullen, but Harry knew it was all an act. 

“Shut up,” Burke told his client.

“Avada Kedavra,” A voice emerged from the gallery as a green light shot across the Wizengamot.

And Now…

“HARRY!” Hermione screamed, but the dark-haired boy could do nothing but watch as the emerald-green spell raced towards him. Time seemed to slow as Harry thought about the years he could have spent with Hermione. He suddenly had a vision of himself in the gardens of Hárasteorra Hall with Hermione reading a book next to a small pond as he chased two children around. One was a boy with dark hair and looked like a younger version of Cepheus; the other was a girl with wild brown hair and warm brown eyes.

Before his vision could be completed, blue light flared and spread like a wave following an invisible wall. The green Curse seemed to rebound and shot back to its original curser. Molly Weasley barely had time to scream before the dark Curse hit her, killing the woman instantly.

“Muuuuuuum!” Ron screamed as he was wrestled to the ground by Aurors. Screams echoed from around the chamber as Harry just stood there, trying to process what just happened.

“Settle down, settle down!” Tiberius Ogden banged his gavel several times. Finally, after several loud bangs, the hall had drifted into a subdued silence. “We shall have a two-hour recess for Counsel to share notes on the newest charge and to investigate the events which have happened.”

“Come on,” Sirius whispered softly into Harry’s ear, touching the teen’s shoulder, startling him. Sirius led an almost comatose Harry into his office, where Remus, Narcissa and Hermione soon joined them. She ran into his arms, but he appeared unresponsive.

A sharp smell suddenly bought Harry back to reality as his brain started firing again, and he looked around to find Hermione in tears as Remus almost shredded the back of a chair. Narcissa was stood over him with a motherly smile, a small vial in her hand. His dad looked at him, visibly upset.

“What happened?” Harry asked, trying to remember what had occurred. First, he remembered sitting in the chamber, Ron outing his brother, then a green light and a vision of him and Hermione when they were older.

“You were in a state of shock,” Narcissa told him gently.

“Molly Weasley fired the Death Curse at you,” Remus snapped angrily.

“I remember green and blue lights, then I saw Hermione with our children,” Harry gave a serene smile as Hermione looked at him, concerned.

“Will he be alright? Harry looks drunk,” Hermione asked.

“Harry will be fine; it’s the shock. His brain will be firing with all cylinders soon, then we will have a furious teen on our hands,” Narcissa gave them a grin.

“Why didn’t the Curse hit Harry? I thought nothing could stop an Unforgiveable,” Hermione’s mind became analytical now that the shock had passed. The tension in the Room dropped as Remus and Sirius shared a grin, trust Hermione to ask intelligent questions.

“The Wizengamot chamber is thousands of years old, built on ley lines; it is said there is a secret chamber below that is powered with magic that protects the Wizengamot. There is a secret ritual each summer on the solstice, though we do not know what actually happens, it involves the Chief Warlock and some people from the Department of Mysteries,” Remus lectured. “There are some that say it cleanses the Wizengamot of any bad auras, after a year of trials, while others say it is renewing the magic of the Chamber.”

“What do you think?” Hermione asked.

“I think they are renewing magic, and it was that magic that saved Harry today,” Remus returned.

“Did Molly Weasley really just fire an unforgivable at me?” Harry asked, suddenly a lot more alert.

“Someones back in the room,” Sirius laughed.

“Yes, Molly Prewitt, for some unknown reason, fired the Unforgivable at you,” Remus answered. Harry thought about it for a moment, then shrugged.

“So, what do you know about Ron being a Death Eater?” Harry now asked, looking at his father.

“After your revelation last week, I passed the information onto Amelia. Though Ronald was no longer at the Burrow, his stuff had not been sent onwards, and the Aurors raided the house. Inside they found a trunk, a veritable shrine to Voldieshorts. Moreover, there were news parchment clippings going back well over thirty years since HIS rise,” Sirius explained. “Did you ever have suspicions about Ronald?”

“Not really, never thought Ron was the type,” Hermione first said.

“He was obsessed with my scar when we first met, maybe for the wrong reason, now that I think about it,” Harry added.

“He had a very Slytherin mind,” Remus put forward.

“What do you mean?” Hermione asked with a frown.

“Everything he did was calculated. His ‘bumbling’ and looking stupid were all an act. I saw flashes of intelligence, especially during the chess matches. His Defence scores were almost equal to yours, Hermione, though he seemed to do poorly in nearly all his other subjects. He was trying to appear lazy,” Remus concluded.

“Do you think he befriended Harry to get close to him?” Sirius asked.

“He was only eleven; surely he was not that calculated back then,” Hermione protested.

“In the Mundane world, they may term his behaviour Sociopathic, which often can be misdiagnosed at a young age,” Remus replied thoughtfully. But, of course, Hermione had read many psychological journals, so she understood what Remus was saying while Harry had no clue.

“You said you would explain about the Muggle-born Committee,” Harry suggested.

“Yes, it was officially ratified today. So, Arthur starts his job as Head of the Independent Muggle-born Services Department. Today they will begin receiving petitions from First Gens and collating the information on Mundane-borns from nine until seventeen. I have already been working closely with the Department and Professor Flitwick in regard to the new Black Academy for Magical and Non-Magical,” Sirius grinned at his son.

“Have you found a headmaster?” Harry asked.

“You are looking at him,” Sirius pointed to Remus, who grinned.

“Congratulations,”

“You and Harry have talked about the school, but I do not really know that much about it,” Hermione mentioned.

“Well, it is currently a Nursery and Preparatory school located in Norfolk; we take children from age three, mainly from First or second gens that work in the ministry or elsewhere. Then we try to find mundane borns and offer them a place until eleven,” Sirius explained, “If all goes well over the next year, we may expand to Senior School level.”

“So, you’ll compete with Hogwarts?” Hermione was curious.

“Not compete but offer an alternative.” Before Sirius could speak again, there was a knock on the door.

“Your Grace, the Wizengamot are returning to session,” a muffled voice announced.

“Thank you,” Sirius returned. Hermione hugged Harry, then left with Narcissa and Remus to sit in the gallery once again as she was going to be called as a witness. Minutes later, Sirius and Harry, were again settled in their chairs, but this time Harry noticed Amelia and Susan were in the Bones chair in the Noble section of the Wizengamot.

“Quiet down, Quiet down,” Ogden banged his gavel down, silencing the murmuring talk. “Well, now, we re-commence the Spring session of the Wizengamot with the Trial of Ronald Prewitt. However, before we start, how has the investigation gone into the Attack on an Ancient and Noble House?”

“Preliminary investigation finds that Molly Prewitt, formerly Weasley fired the Killing Curse at Harry Black, of the House of Black,” Rufus Scrimgeour reported, “Initial searches of her residence has found several letters in what can only be called rants about Harry Black, ‘who has taken everything from her’.” Rufus quoted.

“Thank you, Mr Scrimgeour. Please continue the investigation. Now, who represents the Defence?”

“Mr Warren Burke, Sir, of Borgin, Burke and Bulstrode,” the slick man answered.

“Rufus Scrimgeour for the Prosecution,” the lionese man told him without being asked. Harry knew that Amelia had to be recused because she was so close to Sirius and Harry.

“Now, you entered a plea of not guilty, is this correct? Would you wish to change this?”

“No, Chief Warlock, my client does not wish to change his plea for any charges,” Burke told the Chief Warlock with a weasel-like smile.

“Noted, in that case, the prosecution may proceed.”

“Ronald Prewitt is a danger to society and the traditional pureblood values; he will stop at nothing to gain notoriety and fame,” Scrimgeour began his opening argument. “The boy has a dangerous obsession for the long-dead terrorist,” Harry snorted, “He Who Shall Not Be Named, but has worked his way into Lord Rendlesham’s circle of friends. This allowed him, with his ex-headmaster, to attempt line theft on the ancient line of Black’s. Though this was on a muggle-born witch, we cannot allow a sexual deviant to be allowed to continue to possibly pursue our pureblood daughters. I intend to prove that Ronald Prewitt is a dangerous individual, a sexual deviant that will manipulate and worm his way into even the purest of hearts.”

Sirius gripped his son’s shoulder as the dark-haired teen growled in anger. Daphne was watching him closely as Neville looked at the boy, concerned.

“Remember this is pureblood society; many see muggle-borns as a lower caste. Therefore, sexual assault on a muggle-born is a minor infraction,” Sirius whispered. “The line-theft and terrorism charge carry the maximum penalty.”

“It’s not right,” Harry returned.

“I know, but there is only so much we can do at the moment without being blocked by the purebloods,” Sirius responded as Harry heard the last part of Burke’s opening statement.

“-was simply misguided. First by his mother, then by his brother, who led him towards the neo-Death Eaters and finally by his trusted Headmaster. Mr Prewitt was too scared to go against such a powerful force. He should be found innocent of all charges and allowed to return to his peers at Hogwarts.”

Њ

Harry stood on the stands looking out at the quidditch pitch, thinking about the trial. It had gone on for three days, only finishing the day before Harry and his friends returned to school. Hermione had been pulled through the wringer during the trial. Somehow Ron had gotten away with the more severe charges and only been sentenced to six months in Azkaban’s low-security wing. Lost in his thoughts, he barely heard the boards creaking and the sounds of arguments. The dark-haired teen looked up to see Dennis Creevey and Cary Mitchell approaching him. Despite the year difference, he knew these two were best friends. The boy was small for his age; even at twelve, Dennis was under five-foot with mousy brown hair which curled, but his face had become sharper, losing the babyface, and Harry realised he would be a handsome man.

“I think I know what you want to chat about, Cary, but what can I do for you, Dennis?” Harry asked the short boy.

“Can we speak, erm, privately?” Dennis looked nervously at his best friend.

“Do you mind giving us a minute?” Harry asked Cary, who shook her head and moved further away to not hear the conversation. Harry looked at the boy. “So, what is on your mind?”

“I know you’re not a Prefect, but everyone else says your really approachable. But unfortunately, I cannot speak to Colin, he’s always off with Ginny Weasley, and well, the other boys would call me a freak,” Dennis fiddled nervously with the hem of his tee-shirt when he suddenly blurted out, “I’m gay, a faggot, queer!”

“How did you come to this conclusion?” Harry asked delicately, wishing Hermione was with him. The older teen knew the Mundane world was very harsh with homosexuals, but he thought Hermione would deal with this much better. The younger boy buried his head in his hands, trying to forget what he had just revealed. After several minutes of silence, the smaller boy finally spoke again.

“Since before Hogwarts, I’ve been getting weird feelings, all the boys around me are interested in the girls, like the size of their chests,” Dennis told his story, as he blushed bright red, “Even in Primary school, I was getting, erm, erections in the showers after
Games. The feelings have increased in the last year; I think I’ve got a crush on Seamus Finnegan; he’s well hot.”

“So, you have liked boys since before Hogwarts, and you have got a crush on Seamus,” Harry repeated, getting his facts right. The younger boy nodded, staring at Harry. ” Look, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Draco went to the ball with Theo Nott, their boyfriends. However, I know what the Mundane world is like, but our world is much more accommodating.”

“Really?” Dennis looked at the older teen sceptically, “But I see so much bigotry, the pure-bloods talk of Mundane-borns like they are dirt, everyone says werewolves are vicious beasts, and vampires are bloodthirsty baby killers. So how am I going to be looked at for liking other boys?”

“You know my father has been trying to change things, right? You have read the Prophet?” Harry asked, receiving a nod, but he panicked when Harry called Cary over. The older teen knew the girl was still holding onto the worry she would be shunned by all and sundry.

“I want you both to listen to me, everyone has secrets, whether they are big or small, but I’ve noticed the Magical world is far more accommodating than the Mundane world. Whether that be racial views, sexual orientation, or gender, though they still have an outdated idea on intelligent creatures and blood status,” Harry rolled his eyes, making the two younger teens laugh, “but Dennis has just shared a view I thought a bit hypercritical given his situation. He just repeated arguments that all werewolves and Vampires were evil.”

“Dennis, you’re my best friend, but clearly you’re just repeating old shit,” Harry was quite surprised at Cary’s language, “I’m from the Mundane world like you; I’ve seen the kind of hatred kids copy from their parents, then go on to spout it themselves.”

“Um…OK,” Dennis clearly did not know what his friend was getting at. Cary looked at the older teen, who returned her look pointedly. Then, she huffed but turned back to her friend.

“During the Christmas holidays, a friend and I were out late walking when my friend was attacked by a dog. I managed to get the animal away from her, but I was bitten in the process. I recognised the creature as a Werewolf. I was too afraid to tell my parents, but Professor McGonagall has been helping me since January; that’s why I stayed over the Easter Holidays,” Cary told her sad story.

“You’re a Dark creature!” Dennis uttered, absolutely stunned. It all made sense; his friend had been ‘sick’ three times in the last months. If he did his calculation’s correctly, it was a few days before and a few days after the full moon.

“I am a werewolf!” Cary announced proudly, “but I’m no different from you. Of course, you won’t know Professor Lupin, but he was our Defence Against the Dark Art’s teacher in my first year, and he’s a well-respected werewolf.”

“I’m sorry, over the summer, I watched my Uncle murdered by a werewolf. I don’t think I have come to terms with my brother being a werewolf yet,” Dennis admitted.

“Colin is a bit of a special case, don’t think of him as a werewolf but a Wolf Animagus. But it’s very big of you to admit you don’t understand. We will try to get together with Colin and have a chat about it. Now, Cary, you seem to want to ask me something.”

“Did Professor McGonagall and Flitwick give the go-ahead to your idea?” the girl rocked back and forth on her feet, excited at the prospect of what Harry had suggested.

“I finally got the go-ahead yesterday; the Board of Governors have agreed as long as I oversee you. Remus is going to be joining us; I’ve just got to ask the other two Animagi if they would join us,” Harry confirmed. She squealed with joy then hugged the older teen around the waist. She grinned at her confused best friend then ran off before Harry said anything. He concealed his smile as he turned back to the younger boy. “I think you will still have a best friend even if you tell her your secret.”

“I still feel dirty, like I shouldn’t fancy boys’”

“Have your parents ever given any indication that they are homophobic or your brother?” Harry asked curiously.

“No, there have been some jokes every now and again when a gay person comes on TV, but nothing outright homophobic,” Dennis answered thoughtfully.

“Have you, erm, ever experimented with anyone?” Harry asked a little uncomfortably. He really did not want to talk about the boy’s sex life, whether he had one or not.

“I knew I was different from a young age, but I knew another boy similar to me when I was in Primary School. He took me into the toilet’s one day and explained what a gay person was, then touched me down there; I touched him too,” Dennis told the teen sheepishly, then blushed hard as he said the next part. “Last year, I heard the other kids talking about wanking, erm, masturbating, then we had Sex education from Madam Pomfrey. At the beginning of the year, I caught Seamus naked; I’ve, erm, played with myself over than image ever since.”

“Look, puberty is a wonderful and dreadful thing,” Harry wondered how he was having The Talk with Dennis Creevey. “You will begin experimenting, touching your body, and learning all your pleasure points. Masturbating over a crush, whether a boy or girl, is natural. I started in the second year too when I caught a view of Hermione’s knickers, so don’t worry about that. As to your sexual preference, I am not gay or bisexual, so I can not pretend to understand what you are going through, but I can try to speak to Draco or Theo to see if they would chat to you.”

“That would be great,” Dennis answered, gulping though he had a spring in his step as he left. Harry took a couple of deep breaths before turning around.

“You can drop the charm now,” Harry told the invisible observer.

“How did you know I was there?” Hermione asked incredulously.

“I could sense you,” Harry replied with a mysterious smile. She just lifted an eyebrow at him then smacked him around the arm.

“So, Mr Black, I’ve been your fantasy since the Second year?” Harry gulped and flushed. He knew he would get in trouble for telling that story when Hermione was not far away. She gave him a wide smile as she told him, “maybe I’ll ask you to give me a demonstration of your skills,”

“Really?” Harry choked as they headed into the castle.

“The meeting is happening in about twenty minutes, so we better head up to the Room of requirements before we are late,” as Hermione completely ignored her stuttering fiancé. By the time they reached the main entrance, Harry was more coordinated and speaking in whole sentences. As they began to head upstairs, they caught sight of Seamus. Uttering apologies, Harry went up to the sandy-haired teen.

“Have you got a minute?” Hermione followed curiously as the Irishman agreed. They made their way to an empty classroom.

“So, Harry, what’s up?” Seamus leant up against one of the desks.

“Now I know we have not been the greatest friends, especially with the little upset at the beginning of the year,” Harry replied. Seamus did look guilty, “but I wondered if you liked guys?”

“Oh, Harry, I know we are friends, but you are really not my type. Plus, I thought you were already hitched,” Seamus burst out laughing, trying to answer Harry through laughs.

“I love Hermione,” Harry laughed. “I have noticed you have ignored Parvati quite a lot, and your eyes sort of roams.”

“I’ll be honest, I’m bisexual, and yes, I’m getting a little bored with Parvati,” Seamus replied, ignoring the death glare he was getting from Hermione. “Why do you want to know, though?”

“Well, I’m not sure if you know, but homosexuality isn’t exactly well-received in the Mundane world. I had a conversation with a boy today who is just realising he likes guys and feels dirty, these are his words.”

“Do you want me to speak to him?” Seamus asked, eager to help.

“Don’t let on you know; I don’t think I should have said anything, but he has a bit of a crush on you.” Seamus’ eyes glittered in interest. “I was thinking of asking Draco and Theo to talk to him too.” 

“Who is he?”

“Dennis Creevey.”

“Colin’s little brother. Twelve is the worst age to go through this shit. Well, he is kinda cute; I’ll have a chat with him,” Seamus replied. “Between the three of us, the boy should feel better at ease.” 

Seamus winked at him then walked out the door; Harry’s poor observational skills noticed he did walk a little effeminately. He wondered how he had missed it before.

“So, Lord Rendlesham, are you becoming a matchmaker?” Hermione arched an eyebrow at him. He shrugged his shoulders before pulling the girl close to him.

“The only match I want to make is with you, Lady Rendlesham,” Harry teased back then thoroughly kissed Hermione.

“I wondered where you had got to,” Hannah Abbot commented as they stepped into the Room of Requirement, “I sent Hermione out ages ago to find you,”

“Sorry, Hannah, I was having a conversation with someone and wanted to finish before heading here,” Harry apologised to the blond girl as he blushed fiercely. The Abbot Heir eyed him and Hermione carefully before nodding, knowing the couple had been snogging from the thoroughly kissed lips. Oh, to have met my own knight in shining armour, Hannah thought. Harry had time to look around the room; it looked like a medieval banquet hall with a large oak table in the centre and many chairs. Around the Room were old shields depicting the Family crest for Black, Longbottom, Abbot, McMillan, Bones and Fawley, among others. Harry was about to step further into the Room when a shiver ghosted his back; he looked around, wondering what had caused it.

“Are you all right?” Hermione asked him.

“It is nothing; felt like someone walked over my grave,” answered Harry.

“Do you think someone here might mean you harm?”

“No, I do not think so, but be on your guard,” Harry returned. Already there were people settled at the table; Neville grinned at his friend’s dishevelled appearance. Susan Bones was giving him odd looks as Ernie MacMillan made conversation with Sullivan Fawley and Daphne Greengrass. The teen noticed two dark-haired girls, identical twins wearing green dresses. They were only first years, by the looks of them.

“Lord Rendlesham, I would like to introduce you to Hestia and Flora Carrow,” Hannah noticed where he was looking. He bowed slightly and kissed their hands. The girls could not hide how impressed they were. Something tickled his mind about the name Carrow; he remembered Voldemort saying the name, he was sure.

“Their Aunt and Uncle are Death Eaters,” Hermione whispered. He would watch them carefully, but they were only eleven. He was introduced to Geraldine Ollivander, the fourteen-year-old granddaughter of the wandmaker. Isobel MacDougal came from Ravenclaw. Lavender Brown was there, as was a dark-skinned fifteen-year-old, Falcon, introduced as the nephew of Kingsley Shacklebolt. Another Hufflepuff called Thomas Higgs had joined them, as had a short boy with brown hair announced as Jacob Tremblay from the old french Tremblay family. Then the last person to emerge was another Slytherin, one he recognised as Millicent Bulstrode, a close friend of Pansy Parkinson.

“You know Millicent, of course,” Hannah said. Harry took in her nervous appearance as the tall girl wrung her hands.

“I do know her,” he answered, eventually.

“I am not like Pansy or my father. Not only have I come to be part of the alliance, but I ask for protection. I know my father is a Death Eater, and I have no wish to join the Dark Lord and his simpering fools,” her voice got stronger as she continued. Hannah looked at Harry, who seemed to be analysing the girl before he nodded. They took their seats as the door opened, and Ginny Weasley entered.

“I’m sorry, it was hard trying to escape my friends.”

“What’s she doing here?” Ernie McMillan surprised them all with the venom in his voice. Ginny reared up on the balls of her feet, reminding him of the old Ginny before she was possessed a second time.

“She is here at my request,” Harry’s voice rang across the chatter, silencing them all, “Lord Weasley is well aware, and she is representing his interests. Now, take a seat, Gin,”

Ginny took up a seat next to Lavender as Harry looked over all the teens or children in the Room from his seat at the head of the table.

“Now we are all here as the Heirs or representing our parents. Some are part of the Black-Longbottom Alliance already, others are neutral, while others have parents representing the Dark Alliance, but this is neutral ground, so we will treat each other with mutual respect,” Harry told the group. Everyone murmured their agreement, so Harry nodded and looked over at Hannah to start the meeting.

“Tomorrow is the next Spring Wizengamot meeting for 1996, where the Wizengamot Legacy Committee will be announcing which Houses have been ennobled to a higher status, but we already know who has joined which ranking,” Hannah explained, “The Houses of Tremblay, Urquart, Wilkes, Zahn and Higgs have become members of the Wizengamot after being in the Greater Houses. In addition, MacDougal has joined Ancient ranks.”

“Our family should have been there a century ago,” the Scottish-accented girl introduced as Isobel grumbled.

“So MacDougal has skipped from Greater to Ancient?” Harry asked the girl.

“Father says we should have been in Ancient since before the 20th century, but we were excluded from the sacred twenty-eight like the Potter’s because according to the author, our blood was not pure enough,” the girl spat.

“I am glad to see you have taken your rightful place,” Harry smiled at the girl, who appeared appeased.

“So, Tremblay is French?” Harry asked curiously.

“Originally, but we have lived in Canada for the last hundred years,” replied the brown-haired boy. “Dad wanted me to attend Whitestar Academy of Magic, but Hogwarts is one of the best schools in the world, plus he is an Ambassador for the Dominion Ministry.”

“Whitestar? Dominion Ministry?” Harry whispered to Hermione.

“Whitestar Academy is the French-Canadian School for magic, sister to Ilvermony. Dominion Ministry is the Ministry of Magical Affairs of the Dominion of Canada,” Hermione clarified.

“Well, I am glad you are attending here, and your family have been…ennobled,” Harry smiled at the shorter boy.

“Lastly, the House of Parkinson has been elevated to Ancient and Noble, as they are one of the oldest families beside Greengrass, Longbottom, Selwyn and Black,” Hannah continued.

“What do we know of Parkinson?” Harry asked.

“He is a Death Eater,” the Carrow twins spoke up simultaneously as Millicent and Danica Selwyn.

“Well, I guess that answers that question,” Harry tried to hide a smile. “What’s the state of the Wizengamot after the ennoblements?”

“There are ten that are part of the Black-Longbottom Alliance, ten that are said to be part of the Dark Alliance and ten neutral parties,” Susan explained. From there, the discussions were wide and varied on different subjects that mattered to the group.  Harry knew they were trying to court the neutrals like Higgs, Tremblay, Shacklebolt and Ollivander. As well as getting the Carrows and Busltrodes on their side, at least this generation.

Eventually, the meeting ended, and the group split up, heading away to their individual houses before going down to dinner.

“What did you think of that?” Hermione asked as they walked the corridors down to the Great Hall.

“It was interesting and informative; I never expected certain people to be there,” Harry returned.

“Hannah and Susan have been trying to make inroads with the Slytherins,” Neville told him.

“I saw you were watching Daphne. Have you spoken to her yet?” Harry joked. Neville went bright red as Hermione elbowed her betrothed in the ribs. The dark-haired teen just laughed out loud as they crossed the hall entering the Great Hall. It was already lively in Hall as students ate their dinner. The teachers were already sat at the Head table with Flitwick in the centre on an elevated chair. Harry took a seat at the end of the Gryffindor table with Hermione on his left and Neville on his right.

“Feels weird not having Ron here,” Neville commented.

“I do not miss his eating habits, urg,” Hermione shivered.

“Neither do I,” Harry added.

“What did you think about that comment Susan made about a vote on Fudge?” Hermione asked.

“If true, then that will be interesting. Fudge is a useless worm who only panders to the rich,” Harry replied vehemently.

“Harry, have you seen Ceph anywhere?” Mark Evans asked from Harry’s shoulder. Harry turned to find him and Riley looking at them.

“Not since lunchtime, wasn’t he supposed to have double Defence Against the Dark Arts with you?” Again, Harry felt something was off.

“He was with us at lunch, but then he had to grab something from the dorm. So, he never turned up for the lesson,” Riley supplied this time. Harry looked at Hermione, who picked up her bag; sifting through it, she pulled out the Marauders Map.

“If I hear one mention of this to anyone, you will both be in very deep trouble,” Harry growled as he whispered the password. The two first years nodded nervously. Then, they watched, amazed as lines appeared on the parchment, revealing a map.

“Can you see him, Hermione?” The trio scanned the map looking for Cepheus. Harry had a gut feeling something was seriously wrong, though.

“Would he be in the Room of Requirement? We know that does not show up on the map,” Neville suggested.

“I’m not sure if we ever told him about it,” Harry looked over the map, knowing he was not on the grounds, “Neville, take Mark and check out the Room. Hermione, just in case, go and check the Gryffindor rooms.”

“What are you going to do?” she asked.

“Let McGonagall, Flitwick and Narcissa know,” He told them as they went off immediately to check. Harry himself went up to the head table where McGonagall was sitting beside Narcissa and Andromeda having a friendly chat. She looked up as the youth approached.

“Yes, Harry?”

“I think Cepheus is missing,”

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