PROLOGUE - September, 1998
The sitting room at 12 Grimmauld Place was dark except for the flickering light coming from the fireplace. Harry sat sideways in a leather armchair, staring into the flames. A glass of firewhiskey in his hand that rested on his leg. The supper that Kreacher had prepared lay uneaten on a small table to the side.
"It could have been worse, Harry." Ron said, from the sofa where he and Hermione sat holding hands.
Harry turned and stared at Ron in disbelief, "How, how could it have been worse? In front of the entire Wizengamot, while watching along with everyone else on a three meter high projection screen, I found out that I'm not a virgin."
"Erm, good point." Ron muttered, "At least Kingsley cleared the gallery before allowing..."
"And it was just bits and pieces of images, Harry." Hermione said softly, "It was hard to tell exactly-" Ron squeezed her hand and shook his head. Harry closed his eyes trying to erase the images of those "bits and pieces" from his mind. Again, he thought with a bitter laugh.
Just then the flames flared up and Ginny's voice came through the floo. "Harry, please, I just want to find out if you are okay." Harry groaned but didn't respond.
Hermione looked at Harry, "Do you want Ron to go and talk to her?" Harry sighed and nodded.
Ron threw back the rest of his firewhiskey and gave Hermione a quick kiss. He stood up and went over to the fireplace.
Looking over at Harry he asked, "What do you want me to tell her?"
"Just tell her that...I'm okay. Tell her not to come to the trial tomorrow. I'll talk to her later." Harry finished tiredly. Ron nodded and smiled over at Hermione and threw a handful of floo powder into the flames and vanished. Hermione and Harry watched as the flames returned to normal.
"Harry, you had no recollection of those memories at all?" Hermione asked.
Harry looked over at her with a sigh, "No, well, yes. Parts of them were familiar... I'd seen them in dreams. But I never thought they were real...but now I guess..." Harry turned his head and looked over at Hermione. "You knew something though, didn't you? That's why you told me that Ginny should leave when they cleared the gallery."
Hermione hesitated. He didn't sound angry; she realized worriedly. It was like all emotions had drained out of him. He was still in shock. They had barely gotten him out of the courtroom before he had started to shake. He had turned back towards the flickering fire and was making green and silver sparks rise up in the fire, they blended with the red and gold flames and disappeared up the chimney.
"I didn't know, Harry, nothing for certain." Hermione closed her eyes as if looking back. "During fourth year, that seems like a lifetime ago now, I suspected that something was going on..."
"What." His voice had sharpened but nothing showed on his face.
"Something changed that year, you were happy. You were really happy despite everything with the Triwizard Tournament and even with Umbridge the next year. You would have a smile on your face and you would be humming some old Muggle song. And with Malfoy, even though you were still fighting each other, the fights were different. Almost orchestrated, like you knew exactly what the other was going to do."
Hermione sighed and looked sadly over at Harry. "And then all of the sudden it was over and everything was back to the way it was, even worse and..." she shrugged, "I thought I must have imagined it."
Harry looked are her curiously, "What Muggle songs?"
"Oh, I don't know, really old stuff from the Stones, Beatles, Hendrix..."
"No, it can't be..." Harry shook his head and then suddenly jumped up and ran out of the room.
Hermione heard him pounding up the stairs. She found him in Sirius's old room sitting in front of his school trunk. He was pulling everything out of the trunk until he got to the bottom. Hermione gasped as he pulled out a stack of old Muggle record albums. A bright yellow submarine shown on the cover of the top one.
"I found these when I was clearing out my trunk, when we were getting ready to go find the Horcruxes. I couldn't figure out how they had gotten there. I had no idea whose they were..."
Harry sank down on his knees, staring blindly down at the cover. "And these groups...oh sweet gods, Hermione. What did he do to me?"