AN: This story is co-written with Jaquelyne, and was an entry into the HG Live Journal Fic-a-fest.
Thanks to Michele for stepping up to the plate and beta'ing this - Tim's normal beta's being tied up with TMW!8.
Yes, we are aware that Blaise is officially male, but until JKR gives us an official female Slytherin we can use, she will continue to be written as a female by us.
This story itself is teeth rotting fluff. It has three parts, and is the first in a trilogy of stories. A lot of this was actually written pre-TMW! And needed Jaq to drag it out and put into shape.
As Harry walked into Dumbledore's office, he was surprised to see that it was bigger than normal, with most of the members of the Order of the Phoenix standing around, talking happily.
Harry threw a grin and a wink at McGonagall over his shoulder, and crept silently to a group of them.
"Wotcha, Tonks," Harry exclaimed, right into the metamorphous' left ear.
Tonks jumped nearly a foot in the air, and turned fast, pulling her wand out and preparing to attack. Unfortunately, the young Auror overbalanced, tripped over her own feet, and went flying into Harry.
Her yelp alerted the rest of the Order, who turned as one to see Tonks lying on Harry.
"You know, if you wanted to get horizontal with me, all you had to do was ask," the green eyed wizard smirked. "And I knew you Aurors were adventurous, but doing it at an Order meeting is a little much, don't you think?"
Nymphadora Tonks, who had been in the process of standing, gaped at Harry, then slowly started to blush, till her face resembled a Weasley at their best. A blush that grew even brighter when some of the other members added some ribald comments.
As he had earlier with Snape, Harry seemed to hardly move, yet he was on his feet, snapping away with a camera as fast as he could.
"What are you doing?" A now enraged Tonks demanded.
"Blackmail material," Harry explained happily, "I'm sure a lot of your Auror friends would just love to see you blushing like a school girl."
"I got Snape earlier, now I have you. Don't worry; these pictures will not be given to anyone...yet."
Tonks pulled out her wand, and shouted, "Accio Camera!" The Order members present watched, with smiles on their faces, as the camera flew out of Harry's hands.
"That's not very nice," Harry announced with a grin. As Tonks, now over her blush, smirked at him, Harry held up his hand, palm up. "You know, you can keep the camera as a present, as long as I have the negatives."
"Accio Negatives," Tonks tried again.
Harry smirked and let the negatives float out of his hand. He waved his other hand casually, creating a circle of fire between them. As the negatives flew through it, they vanished. "Whoops," the young man grinned.
"Where did they go?" The now purple-haired witch asked.
"Somewhere safe," Harry replied. "Now, let's all get this meeting going. Professor, you said something about supper?"
"Merely a ruse," Dumbledore explained with a smile. "I didn't want the junior members to accompany you."
"Ahhh," Harry said. "Well, you don't mind if I help myself, do you? Travelling several thousand miles always makes me hungry."
"Of course not."
Harry snapped his fingers, and soon started to eat a huge roast beef sandwich that appeared in front of him.
"Welcome, everyone. To be honest, I never thought I would see the day when we would meet, not to discuss the latest horrors from Voldemort, but as friends."
"Come on, Professor," Remus Lupin interrupted with a grin. "Get to the interrogation, that's why we all came here."
The remainder of the Order laughed loudly.
Dumbledore laughed gently along with them, understanding, as always, that something's are always better left unsaid.
"Would you like to be the interrogator?" The Professor asked the Werewolf.
"I'd be honoured," Lupin replied.
Harry watched the byplay with a smile, wondering whom they were interrogating. A second later, he got his answer as a spotlight suddenly fell on him. A wry smile appeared on his face for a second before it vanished, as did any sign of personality.
"Now, Harry," Remus said, sliding around the table, looking for the entire world like a lawyer in a courtroom. "Can I start by asking you to explain your absence from the Order, for the past few months?"
"Potter, Harry James, Commander, 43627," the boy replied in a monotone tone of voice.
"I'm sorry?" Remus said, looking confused.
"Potter, Harry James, Commander, 43627."
"Harry? Are you alright?"
"Potter, Harry James, Commander, 43627."
Surprisingly, it was Professor Snape who broke first. He'd lost a lot of his grudges against Harry over the summer, when the boy had defeated Voldemort, and had a grudging respect for the prank he played earlier.
The idea of Harry blackmailing him like that was a very Slytherin one, and it was something that he could appreciate. Then the way he had first caught out Tonks had made him smile inside. It looked like this new Harry Potter was going to be a lot of fun. But what Harry was doing now was the last straw for him. Lupin had said that this was an interrogation, and Harry had gone into interrogation mode. Not even Voldemort himself, when he had tortured Harry for information had gotten him to say anything other than his name, rank, and serial number. The stupid werewolf had got a lot more than he had bargained for, and now didn't have a clue what to do about it.
The first sign of Snape's reaction was a muffled cough, which soon wasn't enough to hide it. He gave in and roared with laughter, a laughter that increased as he realised that he was the only person who had seen Harry like this before, and, as such, knew what was going on.
Fred and George Weasley, looked at each other in shock. They were full members now, as well all the Weasley's who were of age. They didn't even know that Snape could laugh.
"Severus?" Dumbledore asked, looking a little concerned that he didn't have a clue what was going on.
Snape tried very hard to control himself, and placed his head in his hands to try and help his recovery. "Lupin said it was an interrogation, so Potter's treating it that way. All you'll get out of him is his name, rank, and serial number. Even Voldie couldn't get anything out of him when he's in this mode. That's what you get for trying to be clever."
A look of immense chagrin slowly over took both Dumbledore and Remus' faces, as they realised they had been out-manoeuvred by their own attempts to be clever.
Quick as a flash, Harry's hand jumped out, and his camera jumped from Tonks' hand, and as it flew through the air, a roll of film appeared and leapt into place, before it took several pictures of the two of them. The green-eyed wizard caught the camera, and then threw it in the air, creating another fire circle to send it elsewhere.
"You know," Harry grinned at the two twins. "I'm starting to get an idea for a rival to the wizard cards you get in chocolate frogs."
Fred and George's eyes lit up with unholy glee.
"Fred," George started. "Our co-owner is an absolute genius."
"That he is, George." Fred wiped a fake tear from his face. "It makes you proud to know that your high standards are being kept up after you leave."
Molly Weasley blinked. "You!" she pointed at Harry. "You gave them the money to start this?"
"Of course," Harry replied blandly. "I figured we'd need a few laughs with Voldie running amok, and it's hardly as if I, of all people, need cash."
"Thank you," Molly said with a smile. The twins business was a roaring success, making both of them very rich. The twins had insisted on fixing the Burrow themselves, so that it was now an extremely nice house, although it still had the family feel to it.
Harry shrugged. "Well, the twins insisted on making me a partner, so I've had my investment back many, many times over."
"Okay, Harry," Dumbledore, said. The headmaster's tone had changed to a serious one. "Can you please tell us where you've been all summer, then how you got through the wards when you arrived back."
"As for where I've been, I spent one night at Godric's Hollow, talking to my parents and Padfoot's graves, and then spent the rest of the summer playing with magic and sunbathing in Hawaii."
"Playing with magic?" Lupin asked, sitting back down.
"Yeah," Harry replied. He raised his hands down, and seemed to almost push. As he did, he rose up slowly until he was hovering above the table. "During the final battle, I got hit with a curse that made my brain feel like it was on fire for a second. It seemed to change me a little. I played with it over the summer." He slowly sank back down into his chair.
"What else can you do?" Charlie Weasley whispered, looking at Harry with an expression akin to awe.
Harry smiled, "Oh, a bit of this, a bit of that. Full control over the elements, bake a pie, you know, normal stuff."
"Harry, it's not nice to spring a surprise like that on an old man," Dumbledore said reproachfully. "Are you telling me that you are the first full Elemental in history and that you got the powers from an unknown curse?"
"Well, I didn't know I was the first in history," Harry looked a little grumpy at that. "But, in effect, yes."
As Harry looked around the table, he wished he hadn't sent his camera to his trunk so quickly. Oh well, there'll be other times, he thought to himself.
The morning started bright and early, which, coincidentally, were the two main things Harry had against mornings. As far as he was concerned, it was still 2AM on his body clock, and while the bright English sunlight might light up his dorm room, but it sure as hell didn't warm it up like the Hawaiian sun did.
He pulled on the same jeans and t-shirt he had been wearing the day before, and tried on his robes. With a sigh, he realised they didn't fit, and were looking a little old anyway. He'd have to ask for permission to go to Madame Malkin's later.
He yawned, and looked around to find that all his dorm mates were still asleep. With a shrug, he left them and wandered down into the common room.
The first years were all up together, and looked like they had been for hours. Harry smiled, remembering what it had been like his first night here, hardly able to sleep for the excitement of knowing that they were going to be taught magic for the first time the following day.
There was a smattering of students from other years, but no sign of the prefects or the Head Girl.
"Ready for breakfast?" Harry asked them.
They nodded eagerly.
"Well, come on then, the first people at breakfast always get the best choice of food."
Like the Pied Piper, Harry led the smaller children through the maze of Hogwarts to the Great Hall. He actually remembered being as small as they seemed now, and knew it would take them some time to relax around him.
As they were still early, the hall was deserted, so Harry decided to sit with them. It had been a long time since he had enjoyed a full English breakfast, so he took advantage to help himself to a huge one.
"I'm still a growing boy," he grinned at the awe-filled faces of the first years around him. "Eat up, the day is always a lot easier to face on a full stomach."
"Harry," one of the girls started. "I heard a lot about Quidditch, but I don't know what it is?"
The green-eyed wizard grinned at her cheerfully. "You're Muggle born?" he asked.
She nodded, looking a little scared, as if she should be ashamed.
"I was brought up a Muggle, and didn't know the difference between a wand and a broomstick the first time I came here."
"But, you're the youngest seeker in over a hundred years," one of the boys stated firmly, as if he were stating that the sun rose each and every morning.
"I know - pure luck and having good genes." Harry smiled, and launched into an explanation both of Quidditch and his first ever match, where he almost swallowed the snitch.
Professor Dumbledore was the first teacher into the Hall for breakfast. He had been surprised to hear the laughter coming out the hall this early in the morning, and had quietly entered, sticking to the shadows.
For a second, he couldn't hide a smile of pleasure and relief. He was still very worried about Harry, and knew that a lot of it was his own fault. Harry had been manipulated and pressurised his entire life, and at times, had come very close to breaking. But now, he had an entranced group of first years around him, as he told old Quidditch stories and was looking happy.
The Hall filled up rapidly, and Harry eventually stopped talking, so he could enjoy his breakfast.
As breakfast finished, Hermione, in her role as Head Girl, brought over the first years timetables, as well as Harry's.
"Oh no! Double potions with the Slytherins!" One of the first years moaned.
"What's the problem with that?" Harry asked, sounding a little surprised.
"The Slytherin's are evil?" the boy half questioned. "My brother told me all about them."
Harry nodded slowly, trying to decide what to do about this. He felt it was time for the enmity between the houses to end, and knew it was up to him to do something about it. Not that he was being arrogant, it was just that there was no one else powerful enough to get away with what he was going to do.
He hated being the centre of attention, but knew that it was the only way to start what he wanted.
He stood up, and walked to the foot of the Gryffindor table, so everyone could see him with ease. "Can you all see the blonde at the end of the Slytherin table? The gorgeous girl who looks like she should be on the cover of Witch Weekly?" His voice seemed to float around the Great Hall, attracting everyone's attention.
The Gryffindor's nodded, although everyone's eye were now on the girl in question, who was fighting a blush.
"That is Blaise Zabini. She is one of the best members of the D.A. At the final battle, she threw herself in front of a stunning spell, which was aimed at my back. If I that had hit me, the final duel with Voldemort might have turned out very different.
"She is a Slytherin. She is not evil. She is a very good friend of mine, and is a perfect example of someone who is determined to push herself to be the best that she can be. The Slytherin ideals don't say that you have to look down at everyone else, to rule – that was a corruption brought by Voldie and his friends – it's to push yourself as hard as you can, to be the best that you can.
Harry turned his voice down, so that he was almost whispering, in an intimate manner. All the students leaned in to listen to him. "The head of Slytherin house is Professor Snape. Most people here have heard bad things about him, or have experience of it. Some of you probably hate him, as I did for a while. But do you know why the Professor is like he is?"
There was a complete silence in the hall, as if everyone was afraid to breathe and break the spell Harry had them under.
"Professor Snape has been a spy for the Order of the Phoenix since he was eighteen years old. He has had to face the most evil wizard in history time and time again, and has endured more curses than anyone else alive. He sacrificed everything he had, because he believed that Voldemort was wrong and needed to be stopped.
"I picked these two members on purpose, as I could have picked most of the members of their house. The same as I could have picked people from Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. It's time for house rivalries to be put to one side. Voldemort did his best to divide the school, and it nearly worked, but in the end, people like Blaise and the Professor stopped him, and helped save the world."
Harry took a deep breath, and knew that he would need to give a big finish. He concentrated hard and started to float, so that he was 6ft of the ground, then sent a wave of fire around him, so that he was literally glowing.
"The only rivalry I want to see this year is for the Quidditch cup. If I hear about anything else between the houses, I will be disappointed."
The wizard crossed his arms, and slowly sunk to the floor, his flames dying out.
"I really don't want to be disappointed this year," he whispered before turning on his heel and walking out of the Great Hall, leaving nothing but silence in his wake.
Professor Dumbledore slowly rose to his feet. He had never been as proud of Harry as he was in that moment. The boy had accomplished more with that speech than the Headmaster had hoped to achieve in the next four years. He didn't quite know what to say: he agreed with everything that Harry had said, and didn't want to take away anything from that speech, but he wanted to give his full backing as well. He smiled, as he realised a way he could do just that.
"Please remember that Mr Potter is a professor of Hogwarts this year, and as such has the power to give and take house points." He left the rest implied.
"Now, might I suggest that you all finish breakfast and move on to your classes?"
The noise level soon rose, as everyone turned to their neighbour and started to talk about what had just happened.
The rest of the Slytherin house looked pretty shocked: with Draco Malfoy dead, along with his two bodyguards, they know longer had to pretend to be something that they weren't.
Dumbledore stood, and started to walk out of the hall next, but paused next to his Potions professor. "You've been given another chance, Severus. I do hope that you take it." The threat, politely phrased as it was, was evident.
Inside the hall, Ron turned to Hermione. "Do you think he meant that?"
Hermione nodded, "And Dumbledore backed him up completely."
Hermione sighed, she loved Ron completely, but sometimes his ability to turn off his brain irritated her. "He gave Harry carte blanche to do what ever he wants to get the school together. There have been exactly three students who have helped teach a class in the history of Hogwarts. They are normally called student Professors, and basically have the same powers and privileges as a prefect. Dumbledore just gave Harry the full powers and privileges of a Professor."
Ron took a deep breath. "It's going to be hard, but I reckon he's right. Blaise is okay, and I'll bet without Malfoy, they'll be a lot easier to get on with." He grinned suddenly. "At least Harry said we could still have a Quidditch rivalry."
Hermione laughed quietly, and dropped a kiss on his cheek. "Don't ever change, Ron."
Harry walked down to Dumbledore's office.
"Harry?" The professor was obviously surprised to see him there.
"I need to go to Diagon Alley," he explained. "I'm not exactly prepared for school."
"Quite," Dumbledore agreed with a smile. He had wondered why Harry hadn't been wearing any robes. "I'll excuse you from morning lessons; be back for lunch."
Harry smiled gratefully. "Am I going to need dress robes this year?" he asked directly.
The professor laughed softly. "There may be a Ball or two."
The boy-who-lived suddenly tilted his head. "Do you want to come with me? I'll show you elemental travelling."
"The ball of flame?"
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled excitedly. "Well, I do need some more lemon drops. Let me just tell Minerva."
"I'll wait for you in the Great Hall, sir."
Harry walked out with a smile on his face. It felt good to make friends with Dumbledore again. Their relationship had been strained over the past few years, as Harry had resented the way the professor had hidden information from him, and had manipulated him to become what he was. While he wasn't ready to completely forgive the Headmaster, he understood that Dumbledore had done his best; he was ready to move past it, and not let it run his life.
"Minerva," Dumbledore said excitedly into the fire, the floo was connected to her classroom. "I'm going with Harry to Diagon Alley, he's going to take me elemental travelling."
The transfiguration Professor looked amused; for a second she was reminded of Arthur Weasley with a new Muggle invention. "Okay, Headmaster."
He shot a grin at her, and vanished, leaving her with a smile on her normally stern face.
"Professor?" Ginny asked, wondering what was causing the smile on her face – it almost seemed out of place.
"Oh, Harry's showing the Headmaster elemental travelling."
"What is elemental travelling?" One of the Ravenclaw students asked, not going to let an opportunity to learn more pass him by.
Professor McGonagall frowned a little. "No one really knows. The last elemental died over two hundred years ago, and he controlled Earth. Mr Potter seems to travel by Fire, and there hasn't been a fire elemental for nearly a thousand years."
She clapped her hands suddenly, the smile vanishing from her face as if it never existed. "Get back to transforming your cushions into porcupines."
Professor Dumbledore walked into the Great Hall, to find that Harry had created a circular space in the middle. "Ready?" he asked.
Dumbledore nodded, his eyes twinkling happily.
"The first thing we have to do is get off the ground," Harry explained, raising his arms.
The professor found himself slowly floating into air, until he was hovering around three feet up. Harry started to float as well, arranging himself in a seated position.
"I'd recommend sitting down," the boy said, "it's a lot more comfortable."
Dumbledore moved his body, and instantly found himself in the most comfortable seat ever, as the air gave him support, but didn't force his body to take a slightly unnatural position.
"The second thing we need is fire."
A sphere of fire surrounded them instantly. The fire itself looked hot, but didn't give off any heat.
"We now need to check where we are going."
Before them, like a Muggle TV set, a small circle of fire appeared, showing pictures of their destination.
"And finally... we go!"
There was a brief sensation of unimaginable speed, before it stopped, and the fire vanished, leaving only the same smoke as earlier.
Harry cast the clear spell he had heard Dumbledore use earlier, and the smoke disappeared in a second.
"Et voilà!" Harry grinned, with an atrocious French accent. "Destination reached." He casually waved his hands, setting them both down on the floor comfortably. They were in a small side alley off Diagon Alley, and their arrival had gone unnoticed.
"Remarkable," Dumbledore said with a large smile, "most enjoyable."
Harry nodded in agreement, "It's a lot more fun than Apparating; more comfortable as well, as there's no sensation of hurling yourself into the abyss."
They walked together into the bustling alley, and meandered down slowly, just talking to each other casually. Neither was completely unaware of the fact that they were the centre of attention.
"Does it get any easier?" Harry asked softly.
"Not really," Dumbledore sighed. "We are different, Harry. We have done the impossible and will forever be looked at by others."
Harry nodded, fading into silence.
They entered Madam Malkin's to get Harry his robes. He purchased two school robes, and two dress robes in a green so dark they were almost black. The professor and the ‘boy who lived' bantered amicably, as Harry tried his best to get the headmaster into a distinguished blue robe that was all one colour. Dumbledore tried very hard to avoid it, preferring his more esoteric collection.
Dumbledore smiled, as he realised for the first time that this must be what going out with a grandson would be like. There was a sense of family between them now, one that went so much further than a professor-student relationship.
They both realised it, and both liked it.
Ginny was in hell. Or at least the closest equivalent of it she had yet to experience. Dean was avoiding her as if she were diseased, and now she had to sit here in a deserted Common Room -- in silence -- and listen to Lavender and Parvati. Much as she wanted to leave, she wanted to know what they were up to more.
"Did you see those stomach muscles?" Lavender asked Parvati with a distant look in her eyes.
"Oh yeah," Parvati agreed dreamily. "I want to spend all night exploring and seeing what other muscles he has."
"Sounds like a plan," Lavender agreed. "So, no hard feelings if one of us gets him?"
"Of course not," Parvati said. "Never let a boy come between friends."
"So, how do I look?" She asked, as she leant forwards, the modified top of her robes suddenly gaping open, revealing an impressively large expanse of skin.
"That should grab his attention," Parvati said with a smile, then undid the buttons of her robe. She walked a few steps, the robes swinging to the side, to show off her long light brown legs.
Lavender whistled. "Can you get that skirt any shorter?"
Parvati shook her head, "Nope. I had to charm it to stay down as it is." The Indian girl scowled suddenly. "I asked Hermione for a charm that would allow it to fly up when Harry could see it, but she wouldn't help."
"Why not?" Lavender asked. "It's not as if she wants him for herself, she has Ron."
"I don't know," Parvati sighed mournfully.
"Cheer up. Your legs look amazing like that - if I don't catch his attention, you're sure to."
Parvati grinned. "Unless I get to him first."
"Oi!" Lavender yelled, and chased her friend out of the Common room.
"It's not bloody fair," Ginny yelled, kicking a cushion across the room. "Slut and Sluttier are gonna make a move on my Harry, and I've still not managed to talk to bloody Dean. Gahhh!" With the scream of frustration, she stormed into her room and looked into her trunk.
She whispered a spell under her breath, removing a protective curse Bill had taught her, and opened a secret compartment. She looked around; checking no one else was around, as she pulled out the material.
She moved in front of the mirror, and held the night gown against her, and slowly smiled. The gown was pure ivory white, and would fall to her ankles demurely. Only there was nothing demure about it. It would give the impression of innocence, while revealing hints of a lot more.
It had cost her two weeks of being Fred and George's guinea pig, testing all sorts of pranks for them, but it was worth it. She had told them that she wanted the money for some new robes, she just hadn't specified what sort of robe. It was her secret weapon. She was positive that Harry would be stunned if he saw her in it - all she needed was the courage to actually wear it. It had taken her several days of agonizing to order it from her mum's catalogue, and had hidden it instantly on arrival.
She had tried it on once, and had been shocked by the outcome. With her flame red hair cascading down her back, and the way the silk slid over her body as she moved, she had felt sexy for the first time in her life. She had felt beautiful, and not even the lack of prominent bulges on her chest had been able to dampen the feeling.
Ginny had it all planned: she'd wait one night until Harry was the only one up, then she'd float down in her robe, and glide over to him - and the rest would be like a romance novel. As long as she could work up the courage to actually wear such a revealing garment in front of someone, but it was Harry, and she'd been in love with for as long as she could remember.
She sighed, and reminded herself she was a Gryffindor, and as Harry was notoriously -- and cutely -- dense when it came to relationships, it would be up to her to make the first move, and floating over to him in this gown would definitely be that.
He'd apologise for never seeing her as anything but Ron's sister, and his friend: she'd pretend to be aloof for a few seconds, then she'd let him melt her with lots of kisses.
Of course, she thought grumpily, placing the gown away securely, that depended on Harry not liking huge boobs or gorgeous legs than went from here to John O' Groats.
After the robe shops, Harry and Albus walked over to the WWW flagship store.
"Forge," Gred shouted, as he spotted his guests entering the store. "Get out here quickly; we have illustrious visitors that require our personal attention.
Forge's head appeared from behind a counter, covered in dust. He sneezed. "Excuse me."
"So, what brings the two of you to our humble abode?"
Harry smiled, "The headmaster needs some lemon drops, and I thought I'd stop by for a chat."
"Non-magical?" Fred asked the professor. "We have a new range that actually turns people into a lemon."
Dumbledore laughed merrily. "No, I'm afraid that, as the headmaster, people object to me giving them sweets that transfigure them into inanimate objects."
"Pity," George grinned. "As the headmaster, you'd be the last person they'd blame. You could be the perfect prankster."
Fred reached on to a shelf and pulled down a huge bag of lemon drops. They stocked them purely because they knew Dumbledore was addicted to them, and it saved him the hassle of getting them from Muggle London.
"What did you want to talk about, Harry?"
The green-eyed wizard hopped onto a counter and smiled at them. "Two things: First," he produced -- from nowhere -- a bunch of photos, the ones from the day before. "Can you knock me up some wizard cards with these pictures on them? We can't use them, but they're going to be my ‘get out of detention, free' cards."
The twins grabbed the photos, and laughed at Snape. "How did you get him to blush like that?"
Harry smirked. "Jumped into his arms in front of the school and pretended that we'd ‘been intimate.'"
Fred and George looked at him in disbelief, before dropping to their knees and chanting. "We're not worthy, we're not worthy!"
Dumbledore laughed again; as far as he was concerned now, he was a grandfather out with his grandson, and not the most respected Headmaster in the world.
"You said two things?" Fred asked, as he got back to his feet.
Harry nodded. "Are you guys set up for a large increase in business?"
"We have the stock," George said, his face becoming serious as they moved onto business. "But Zonko's is still our biggest competitor."
"We've got two choices," Harry explained. "We can buy out Zonko's, or try and take them out."
"We looked at buying Zonko's, but the amount of Galleons they want is more than the store and the business is worth."
"So, taking them out it is," the green-eyed wizard announced.
"How are we going to do that?" Fred asked, curiously.
"A range of Harry Potter candy endorsed by me should do it."
Fred and George's eyes lit up at the same time, before they grabbed each other and did a rather disturbing caper around their store.
When they had finally finished, they both turned as one, and spoke together, as they often did. "I thought you hated publicity?"
Harry nodded. "I do. But it's not going to go away, no matter how much I want it to. I may as well use it." He hopped off the counter. "Come up with some Wizarding Wireless adverts, and something for the Daily Prophet. We'll launch an advertising blitz. Use the money you put aside for me to pay for it."
The twins nodded, in unison once more.
"We'll see you later."
Dumbledore reached into his pockets, and pulled out some money for the lemon drops.
"Sir, you know the rules by now," Fred and George replied as one. "Your money's no good here!"
Dumbledore peered over his half-moon glasses at them, and noticed how stern they looked. "Thank you," he smiled at them both.
The professor and Harry walked out of the store, when Harry realised he had forgotten his bags. "I'll be right back," he said, jogging down to the store.
"There was one other thing," he said, as he picked up his parcels. "If Ginny and Dean break up, I'm planning on moving in on Ginny as quickly as possible."
Fred and George looked at each other, then back to Harry. "Why?"
"I had a long time to think while I was on holiday," he said calmly. "I figured that with Voldemort decomposing in a field, I can finally have a life. I did think about playing the field a little, but I think I'd rather just have a serious relationship with someone I already like and trust. I like and trust Ginny, and she's gorgeous as well."
The twins looked at each other again, and then turned to Harry. "Are you sure? She's got a right temper, that one?" George said.
"Yeah.," Fred agreed, "Not to mention she likes leaving wet towels on the floor."
Harry just laughed and turned his head, mentally storing their words for future use.
He caught up with his professor, and followed him into the Leaky Cauldron for lunch.
Harry sipped on a butterbeer, and then looked at Dumbledore. "Exactly what do you want me to teach in the D.A. class?"
"Why are we here?" Dumbledore asked, as instead of the expected Hogwarts, they had appeared in the garden of the Burrow.
"I didn't get a chance to say hi to Molly last night," Harry said with a grin. "I thought it would be a good idea. And I can't think of a better place for tea."
"True," Albus agreed. "I wonder if she has some of her apple pie available."
Harry was about to knock on the door, when it was flung open and he was embraced in an exuberant hug. "Harry!" Molly cried, her face ecstatic. "It's so good to see you!"
"Hi Molly," Harry said, as he hugged her back. He breathed deeply, realising that her hugs had lost none of their potency.
"Albus," Molly said next, beckoning the older wizard closer so he could be hugged as well. After she had finished, she asked, "What brings you two to my home?"
"Well," Harry said with a smile. "Professor Dumbledore was wondering if you have any apply pie available." He moved swiftly to avoid the casual swipe from his teacher. "And I wanted to pop in and say hi."
Harry followed the two older people into the kitchen, and then frowned suddenly as a thought occurred to him. "How did you know we were here?"
Molly blushed, and pointed at the grandfather clock with her wand. "Acclaro". An eighth hand suddenly appeared, with Harry's name on it. "I had this made last year," she admitted. "So I knew you were safe all summer."
"And you didn't tell anyone?" Albus said, looking a little disappointed.
"Of course not!" Molly said firmly. "Harry had every right to some time off, dealing with those awful Muggles and that horrid dark wizard. If he had been in danger, I would have said something."
Harry moved around the table and hugged Molly tightly. "Thank you," he whispered, his eyes suspiciously bright.
Molly hugged him back once more. "This is your home Harry, as much as any other of my children. You will always be welcome here." She released him, and turned, moving over to her oven. "I do have some fresh baked pie. Albus, be a dear and get some cream out of the fridge, then get some plates from the cupboard."
"Yes Molly," the professor -- the second most powerful wizard in the world, the most respected wizard, the chairman of more committees than any other living person -- said obediently.
After several pieces of world-class apple pie, Harry and Albus reluctantly said goodbye to head back to Hogwarts.
"Do you mind if I have a quick word with Molly in private?" Harry asked Albus with a grin.
"Of course not," The headmaster replied, walking out of the kitchen.
"So," Harry said, looking at the motherly figure. "What do you think of Dean?"
Molly opened her mouth, and then closed it suddenly; she tilted her head, and then slowly gave him the biggest smile she ever had. "No where near as good as you are, Harry. It won't last."
"Good," Harry grinned back. "As soon as they break up, I'm moving in on her, and I have no intention of letting her go once I've got her."
"You better get back to school. Good luck!"
"Has anyone seen Harry?" Hermione asked, as they sat down for the evening meal. "He's been missing all day."
"He went with Professor Dumbledore to Diagon Alley – he was showing him elemental travelling," Ginny replied from further down the table. "Dumbledore floo'd McGonagall in the middle of class to tell her."
"He spent the day in Diagon Alley? Why aren't we allowed to do that?" Dean asked, thinking it was a little unfair that Harry could just skip classes and go shopping. "He seems to be getting special treatment this year."
"Perhaps after you defeat the greatest Dark Lord in history, you too will be allowed special treatment," the smooth tones of Professor Snape, who had been walking past, hissed quietly. "However, as I am reliably informed that your D.A.D.A scores are merely average, perhaps we should be grateful that it was Harry charged with the duty to save the world, and not you, Thomas. And might I remind you that as Harry was accompanied by the Headmaster, he obviously had something more important than attending classes to do."
Snape shot a final glare at the boy -- wishing he had the right to just transfigure the boy into a toad and be done with it -- before walking off.
Dean blushed furiously red, and went very quiet.
"Did he just call Harry, Harry? And stick up for him?" Ron asked, almost in total shock.
Hermione nodded, slowly, while Ginny glared at her soon-to-be-ex boyfriend.
Snape glared down at the Gryffindor table. They had no idea at all what Harry had been through. They looked at the world through their rose-coloured glasses, convinced that healthy doses of Gryffindor bravery would get them through the world. They claimed to be the house where everyone was loyal to each other, yet whenever anything happened they were the first to complain, and turn their backs on one another. He had seen it over the years, as they had been the first to snub Potter when the going got tough.
He would hate to see any of those prima-donnas face Voldemort like Harry had been forced to. They would have folded like Pettigrew within the hour. Voldemort would have found their weaknesses in an instant, and they would have been forever lost.
Even Snape felt that Harry deserved an easy year because as much as he derided Harry's fame he did feel that the boy deserved it no. With his own fortune, Black's, and the reward money from the Ministry it wasn't as if Potter was ever going to need a job.
Add to that his new elemental powers, and the boy's potential was limitless.
This idea gave the dark professor a sudden thought. With what he knew of Harry, it was fairly likely that Harry would get fed up with the stupidity of the Ministry sooner of later, and would make moves to get himself elected, so he could take care of it. It might be an idea if he started to cultivate a friendship with the boy, or at least see if he could stand him at close range. After all, it never hurt to have friends in high places, and if one thing had happened over the summer, it had been the proof that Harry was not James Potter.
Snape's musing was interrupted by the same ball of fire appearing at the far end of the hall, as had appeared yesterday.
The fire grew into a sphere, and then vanished, leaving the Headmaster and Harry floating.
"Hey, I managed to get rid of the smoke," Harry exclaimed happily.
"Well done," Dumbledore replied with a proud smile on his face.
"Want me to drop you off at your seat?" Harry asked, with a cheeky grin on his face.
"I'm quite capable of walking," the headmaster replied sternly.
"Oh, I know you are sir. But, I thought I could help out an old man who didn't like surprises."
"I'm still young enough to take you to task for that insult." Dumbledore tried very hard to hide his smile.
"You were the one who said it, not me," Harry grinned at him.
"Fine," the ancient professor gave in.
Harry smiled and stood from his seated position. He concentrated hard; moving someone further away from him took a lot more effort. He mentally pushed the wind with his mind, forcing it to carry the Professor at a dignified pace through the hall and up to the staff table.
It took all of the restraint learnt over many years for Dumbledore not to smirk and act like a Roman emperor as he was regally transported to his chair. The air placed him down with such gentleness, that his bones only complained slightly about the chair when he arrived.
He looked down at Harry, who now had his eyes closed, and had small sparks shooting off him as he concentrated, then smiled and released.
Harry looked up towards his normal end of the table and while there were a lot of smiling faces looking at him, he couldn't see a spare space from where he was, so sat down with the first years again, not noticing the groans of disappointment from two of his female classmates.