Amelia Bones sighed and rested her head against the cool cherry wood of her desk. There were some days where she really wished that she’d taken any other career path than this. Since Harry Potter had by fortune’s favour captured Peter Pettigrew, she’d had more sleepless nights and dates with a coffee maker and Pepper-Up Potion than she’d ever wanted in the short time she’d been Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
First, immediately out of the gate following the man’s arrest, people within the Minister’s office (specifically a pink-clad nuisance) had tried to intervene and insist on Pettigrew being pushed through the veil for all the subterfuge and clearly being the guilty party in an assault and attempted murder—Amelia had pointedly refused on the grounds that Pettigrew’s potential guilt in mass murder had a very large amount of influence on other actions the Ministry had taken since the death of He Who Must Not Be Named, and thus needed to be taken into account in the inevitable review of convictions since then.
After some cajoling and things that may or may not be considered borderline torture, Pettigrew had, in tears, confessed his guilt in betraying James and Lily Potter over a decade ago, on top of his conspiracy to kidnap Harry Potter with the help of Bellatrix Lestrange—thereafter openly admitting that he had killed and imperioused numerous people in the process of the attempt.
The admission of his guilt in the deaths of the Potters had been grounds enough to exonerate Sirius Black, but the Minister’s office had at first put up quite a resistance—Sirius Black had escaped from prison and could therefore be consigned to Azkaban permanently just for the crime of escaping.
Amelia wouldn’t stand to see anything of the sort happen. Injustice in the name of ineptitude would not stand.
First, she convinced Minister Fudge to withdraw the “kiss-on-sight” order for Sirius Black. It had taken some cajoling, but she’d managed to pull it off by convincing him that by refusing to exonerate Black, he was setting himself up for a public relations fall when it inevitably got out as to all the circumstances around Black’s incarceration.
Once that executive directive had made it into the papers, Sirius Black had surrendered himself to the DMLE at her home in London. A brief questioning later, Amelia had uncovered a conspiracy within the DMLE and Ministry to liquidate the Death Eater population at Azkaban—and had presented these findings to Minister Fudge.
She was never able to determine who had authorized the executions, though she had ideas (side-eyeing the pink-clad Undersecretary to the Minister for Magic as she smugly stood in the corner of the room)—but Minister Fudge had been damn near horrified, and had quickly moved to ensure Sirius Black was properly exonerated, and declared a free man, with all his rights and titles and what have you restored by Ministry decree.
It ultimately was a fairly… shabby gesture of mercy and kindness for a man who had been illegally incarcerated for eleven years, but the Ministry was… always like that, really, so Amelia was at least satisfied that some semblance of justice would be demonstrated, even if she’d ended up nearly having to drag the Ministry kicking and screaming into admitting they were wrong.
Sirius Black’s trial took place during a late morning in early June, the spectator stands full of people, including Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts, Minerva McGonagall and her wife—though, one person she noted who was absent from the trial, was Harry Potter, the man’s godson.
She’d taken statements from Harry just after Hogwarts dismissed for the year, and had half-expected the young man to be present, but he wasn’t. She idly wondered if he was ill, or something.
But the trial itself was fascinating!
After being cross-examined, repeatedly put back and forth and on top again, Sirius had kept to his story, accusing the Ministry of trying to kill him without a trial, and never granting him proper rights as an accused.
He was exonerated in record time, but it had certainly started investigations—into potential impropriety of Albus Dumbledore, the actions of the late Minister Bagnold, and the actions of former DMLE head, her predecessor, Bartemius Crouch, Sr.
She had a feeling that this wasn’t even the start of the iceberg that would let loose a deluge that irrevocably changed some things within the Ministry, or fundamentally broke something that would never be healed. Time would tell.
While Sirius Black was being exonerated, Harry Potter was on a forced vacation.
And she wasn’t sure she was happy about it.
On the sunny shores of Toletania, young men with a taste for women, and perhaps even some young sapphic women enjoying the sun were paying close attention to two dark-haired girls walking the beach having animated conversations.
The taller willowier brunette was wearing a silver bikini, her sharp blue eyes playing on a very strong air of self-confidence, mixing well with her confident smirk. Nobody could tell if the smirk was malicious in intent, or simply cocky and self-assured.
The shorter of the two was raven-haired, and had bright, almost glowing emerald green eyes. Unlike her more confident counterpart, she was wearing a one-piece dark green swimsuit—she seemed much more controlled on top of that, but positively radiated happiness and warmth, like the sun on a perfect summer’s day.
These two girls were Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter.
“Draco, I don’t want to hear about what you and Weasley are up to,” Harry whined, pushing her friend, nearly causing the taller Slytherin to fall into the wet sand.
“Oh, like I don’t have to listen to you about Granger all the time?” Draco asked, raising one of her eyebrows. She took on a faux Scottish accent. “Oh, Draco! Hermione’s so beautiful, so graceful, so cute, I love her so much! I want to snog her until the end of time!”
“I don’t sound like that,” Harry said, her ears reddening. “And at least I don’t sound like I’ve had a silver rod up my arse since I was a wee sprog, you cunt,”
Draco snorted, before grinning. “But I’m not wrong, am I?” She said, sticking out her tongue at her cousin.
“Regardless,” She continued. “I’m so glad Mother insisted we come along with her to Toletania this year. She wouldn’t have let you say no, even if you’d wanted to,” She said, pivoting away from her ribbing in favour of more pleasant things.
“Well, with Hermione’s parents taking her on holiday to Bactria and making it clear they wanted to spend time with their daughter, and all the nonsense going on back home with Sirius, Peter and the Ministry… I guess I am sort of grateful to have some time off,” Harry said, happily.
“And you get to experiment with being a girl,” Draco said confidently.
“Right! Though, I’m sort of surprised you joined in so readily,” Harry said, running her eyes down her friend’s body. “Not that the bikini looks bad on you, really—just… I’m surprised?”
“Gender’s one of those things I couldn’t give a toss about, really,” Draco said, smiling. “Sometimes it’s an escape from being Lucius Malfoy’s perfect son, sometimes it’s to bond with Mother, sometimes it’s just for my own satisfaction. I’m not a picky person.”
“I totally get that,” Harry said.
Draco nodded. “Also, to be honest? It’s nice to have someone around this time. I was dreadfully bored last summer with Mother sending me out all day while she entertained paramours, flirting with boys was about the only thing I could do to not go spare.”
“Hmm, right, d’ya think she’ll leave your old man and marry someone else?” Harry asked.
“It’s possible?” Draco said, thinking. “She’s definitely not happy with Father, and to be honest, neither am I—but I couldn’t say if she’ll actually divorce him or not. I’ll play a large part in that. She’d never voluntarily let him retain custody of me long-term.”
“Yeesh,” Harry said, rubbing her neck. “That’s terrible. I’d have thought you’d spend the summer in England snogging Weasley.”
“Ronald and his family are on holiday in Egypt, they won some prize from the Daily Prophet,” Draco said idly, picking at her painted nails. “Ron promised to send me a postcard and snog me when he got home.”
“Funny, Hermione told me the same thing,” Harry said, snorting.
“Mmm,” Draco said. She suddenly smirked. “Hey, Harry—there’s a boutique not far from here that I like. Mind if we pop over and visit?”
“Sure, I’m following your lead, Dray,” Harry said, smiling at her cousin. “Lead on!”
The boutique in question had been a rather high-end clothing shop. Harry had given in to her baser impulses and allowed Draco to pull her around and have her try on a whole bunch of things of varying design, ranging from simplistic to complex.
Harry thoroughly enjoyed the attention, and enjoyed the way she looked. After some pleading from Draco, and the eventual bribe of some delightful parfaits, finally convinced to buy a few things, just for the future.
Rufus Scrimgeour popped into existence on the fringes of the Crouch family property, a group of Aurors standing with him. He reached into his robe pocket and pulled out the parchment. The contents of the parchment were a warrant for the detaining of Bartemius Crouch Sr. for questioning regarding his actions during the Death Eater War and subsequent criminal trials that were pursued after the fact.
Approaching the door, Rufus knocked repeatedly, waiting for a response.
Eventually, Barty arrived at the door, looking a bit deranged and frustrated. “Rufus,” He said, seeming surprised, any coarse words for the person knocking on his door dying on his lips.
“Barty, you’ve been ignoring summons from Director Bones, Minister Fudge and the Wizengamot. I’m here to bring you in for a deposition,” Rufus said, looking bashful at the idea of having to arrest an old colleague.
“Ah… yes, right,” Barty said, turning on heel and retreating into his house. Rufus and a couple aurors stepped through the door, and saw Barty frustratingly flinging papers around, a watery-eyed house elf standing around looking nervous and jittery, as usual.
“Barty, you seem worried. Is everything alright?” Rufus asked, raising his eyebrows and peering at his friend carefully.
“I’m not worried about anything—this is just a criminal waste of my time when the Triwizard Tournament—” Barty began, indignation in his voice.
“Right, look mate, we’re not going to put you in Azkaban, we just want to figure all this nonsense out—Sirius Black’s already walked free, but it’s raised a lot of questions about you and your actions during the Trials,” Rufus said to calm his friend down, though this seemed to have the opposite effect, as Barty’s face turned to an unpleasant shade of puce.
“I still don’t know how that murderer managed to convince everyone he was innocent—I swear to Merlin—” Barty said, again going on a tangential rant.
“With all due respect, Barty, we’ve got a tight schedule to keep, so if you’d mind…?” Rufus said, cutting the man off and furrowing his brow. He was getting impatient, and Barty was acting like a proper pillock. He had half a mind to just stun the bastard and drag him kicking and screaming to the Wizengamot, but he had to be diplomatic about it, because it looked bad for an Auror to be arresting a high ranking government official of high public stature.
As Barty turned toward him, the sound of thudding downstairs in the cellar caused raised eyebrows among the Aurors.
“Barty, have you got something in your cellar?” Rufus asked, raising an eyebrow again. Barty, already clammy and sweating, tried to avoid making eye contact. Rufus glanced at Kingsley Shacklebolt.
“Auror Shacklebolt. Take Auror Tonks and investigate that noise,” Rufus said plainly. “We’ll wait here for you,”
Kingsley and Nymphadora crossed the room towards the door to the cellar, and opened it. They both cast strong lumos spells, and descended the stairs. A few minutes later, a voice came up.
“Sir! There’s someone down here!” Nymphadora’s voice called back, and before Rufus could reach for his wand—
“Stupefy!” Barty shouted, blasting Rufus back, before attempting to bolt from his house. Unfortunately, thinking ahead has never been one of Bartemius Crouch Sr.’s strongest traits, and he ended up getting bowled over by the aurors standing right outside the front door of the house, before being bound in magical restraints.
After helping Rufus up onto his feet, he proceeded back inside, rubbing the spot on his head where he’d most definitely develop a right goose egg.
“Right. Bartemius Crouch Sr., you’re under arrest for assaulting an Auror. Anything you say can and will be used against you before the Wizengamot,” Rufus said in a low growl before gesturing for them to take him away to the Ministry for processing, while Rufus headed back into the house and towards the cellar.
Descending the stairs, he found Kingsley and Nymphadora standing quietly, looking at someone inside of a cage.
“Barty had someone in a cage? What sort of depraved lunatic was this man?”
“It’s not just that sir—look,” Kingsley said, putting the lumos directly onto the person in question.
The haggard, pale and dishevelled face of Bartemius Crouch Jr. peered back, his eyes vacant and expressionless.
“Bloody hell,” Rufus muttered. “Heads’re gonna roll for this.”
“That’s underselling it,” Tonks muttered.
Harry slipped deeper into the bathtub, feeling quite confident in the waterproofing charm on the parchment. Hermione had a lot of things to say about her holiday in Bactria thus far, even this early, and went on and on about some of the sights and historical sites, but also some of the culture shock that came along with the natural confluence of the Hellenistic and Vedic worlds.
She also responded to Harry’s last letter, positively gushing with praise for the picture of herself that Harry had included. She hadn’t been quite daring enough to expose herself to Hermione (they were still taking things quite slow), but she didn’t see the harm in sharing the photograph Narcissa had taken of her before they’d gone out to a wixen opera.
It turns out Hermione really liked the sight of her girlfriend with a high bun and a gorgeous dress. Go figure.
After finishing the letter, Harry set the parchment aside and laid her head back. She didn’t have nearly as much to say as Hermione did about her holiday. So far it's just been her cavorting around al-Mariyah playing “rich girl on holiday”. Her mother and Hermione would both tell her she deserved some time off, given how much she had on her shoulders throughout the past three years, but still. It was a hard adjustment to deal with.
Eventually finishing her bath, she wrapped herself in a towel and padded into the bedroom she shared with Draco. The other teenager glanced up at her and frowned.
“Are you okay, Harry?”
“I’m okay, Dray,” Harry said, scratching her head. “I think it’s a bit of… not being overwhelmed.”
“What do you mean?” Draco asked, raising an eyebrow.
“For the first time in three years… I haven’t got any problems. No… dark lords to deal with, no questions about my identity, nothing like it. For one summer, I’m… just a girl named Harry. It’s… sort of unnerving, actually,”
“You’re stressed about not being stressed? Potter, are you daft or what?” Draco said, slack-jawed. “What’s wrong with just… taking time off and being you?”
“I’m not used to it, is all,” Harry said, rubbing her forehead. “I’d like to practice some of the material we’re set to learn next year, though—maybe then I’ll feel like I’m being productive.”
“Mm,” Draco said. “Alright, first thing tomorrow we’ll have Mother walk us through some advanced Charms. In the meantime, though, you’re sitting right here, eating some sweets, getting a facemask, and getting your nails painted.”
“Shut up, Potter,” Draco said, shaking her head. “You’re on holiday. Act like it, would you?”
“By majority vote, this esteemed body finds you, Bartemius Crouch Sr., guilty of the following charges. Sustained use of the unforgivable curses, interference in the due process of law, and criminal conspiracy, the Wizengamot hereby sentences you to life imprisonment in Azkaban,” Fudge said, staring down at the one-time head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
It was an unfortunate circumstance, Amelia thought, as she watched Bartemius Crouch Sr. lead away by Aurors. What an interesting change of circumstances.
Just a day prior, it had been publically accepted that Crouch Sr. had been a hero of the war, and Crouch Jr. had died in prison, miserable and guilty of torture—now, Crouch Jr. was healing in St. Mungo’s and had been granted a full pardon (with evidence of his involvement in the Death Eaters being very thin or non-existent, really), and Crouch Sr. was heading for a stay in Azkaban until his death.
Since the Dementors had been destroyed, Azkaban wasn’t nearly as miserable, but a life in the Northern Tower was not going to be something Crouch enjoyed.
But this raised an immediate issue, that being the planned Triwizard Tournament resurrection, as well as that of the continuing Quidditch World Cup. Both events fell under the jurisdiction of Bartemius Crouch Sr.’s department in the Ministry (along with Ludo Bagman’s department, of course)—with him gone, this would complicate matters significantly.
After the Wizengamot dismissed, she managed to corner Minister Fudge in the corridors just outside the courtrooms.
“Minister, what’s our plan now that the DIMC office is empty?” Amelia said, frowning. “We’ve got enough problems going on here without having to organize the Triwizard Tournament and Quidditch World Cup with no head of the DIMC.”
“What about that new lad in the DIMC office? His assistant, erm, Weatherby?” Fudge asked, looking contemplative. “I’m sure he’s capable of running the fort for now?”
“Weasley?” Amelia asked, raising her eyebrow. “He’s a bit young, isn’t he?”
“Oh, I’m sure he can do a fine job. Besides, it’ll just be temporary until we find a proper replacement,” Fudge said, waving his hand. “If he has any questions I’d be more than happy to field them. There’s other people who can help run the Triwizard Tournament as it is, I’m sure. There’s that bloke that Hogwarts just hired on for Defence Against the Dark Arts—the famous author, Gilderoy Lockhart. We’ll reach out to him and have him consult on the project,”
“Yes, but,” Amelia said, frowning.
“Tcha, it’ll be fine,” Fudge said, dismissing her concerns outright with a wave of his hands. “Keep up your investigations, Madam Bones. Keep in touch about any new developments. If you’ll excuse me, Dolores and I have a meeting with other department heads.”
Harry’s fourteenth birthday was largely uneventful—she’d spent the day with Draco and Narcissa window-shopping and being dragged to the salon of all things, and then they’d gone to a very nice restaurant for dinner, accompanied by Harry’s mothers and Sirius.
It had been a very pleasant experience, but it had passed in the blink of an eye, and now it was getting to be August once more.
Hogwarts was preparing for another term, this time the supplies list suspiciously included “dress robes” as some form of a requirement.
Suddenly, Harry had understood why Narcissa had dragged him and Draco to the high street one morning before they took their dose of the Tiresian Tonic—she insisted on them both having high quality dress robes for both forms, with no concrete reason given as to why.
If she was implying Harry was going to come out publically about being transgender so soon, she was in for a rude awakening. Harry knew she was a girl, but she was still utterly terrified of coming out and being one full-time. She certainly felt like an impostor compared to Draco, whom navigated the concept with far more precision than she felt like she ever could.
That, and Harry had seen plenty of instances where smart, brilliant young women had been outright dismissed or snubbed because of the fact they were women.
Misogyny was still a thing in the wixen world, and Narcissa’s horror tales of being groomed from a young age for marriage to a man much older than her had done nothing to assuage Harry’s fears of losing credibility and strength in the eyes of people.
But putting aside existential crises for now, Harry fully intended to interrogate her mother as soon as possible about the reasoning for the dress robes, and what Dumbledore was planning. She loved the old man like a grandfather, but he was a sneaky one.
Harry assumed that she’d probably know what was going on, given that her stature within the faculty, being Dumbledore’s deputy and all.
However, another important event that was set to take place as August waned on, was the final match of the Quidditch World Cup. Harry and Draco had been following it intently from the beaches of Toletania.
Harry and Draco had woken up one morning in the weeks prior to the match, and stumbled out of their shared bedroom, bleary-eyed and dishevelled, to find Minerva, Rolanda and Narcissa sharing a kettle of tea and having a rather intense conversation, Narcissa following along with the elder Transfiguration professor almost reverently, staring at the two with eyes gleaming with idolatry and admiration for the Scottish professor.
She noticed their presence, however, and craned her head with her usual smile.
“Girls! Come, please, join us,” She said and waved her hand.
Harry sat down in one of the plush chairs and accepted the offered cup of tea from her mother. Her mother always made tea just right. It was just a little sweet, but not so much as to hide the natural undertones. There was nothing better than a nice cup of tea at breakfast time.
“We were just waiting for you two sleepyheads to wake up,” Narcissa said with a smile. “We’ve been having a chat, and I know you two have been so wanting to go to the Quidditch World Cup finals in a fortnight...”
“...and how could we resist and say no to you two?” Minerva finished for Narcissa, before reaching into her robe pocket. A small set of tickets for the final match clapped onto the coffee table, and both Draco and Harry lit up and jumped to their feet sharing the most girlish, excited screams ever.
“Are you serious, Mum?! We’re going?!” Harry said, looking very much the part of an overly excited fourteen-year-old.
“Of course! And we’ll be sharing a tent with Miss Granger and Miss Parkinson,” Minerva said with a smile. “It took some cajoling to get Miss Granger’s parents to release their daughter from their Bactrian adventures a bit early, but they know how much you’ve missed her, and how much she’s missed you, so… small mercies, I suppose,”
Harry leapt in the air, hovering very briefly before landing on her feet. She blushed.
“I still have problems with accidental magic like that,” Harry said, sitting back down. “This is going to be so much fun!”
“I hope so, it’ll be fascinating to see Viktor Krum in action against Ireland,” Narcissa said. “That young man is quite talented.”
She seemed pleased, before blinking. “I also had a little idea I wanted to propose to your mothers. I know you’re not very fond of the press, Harry—you’re very particular about keeping your privacy, and since you’re already taking the Tiresian Tonic… I had this small idea,”
“You and Draco staying as young women until the end of summer,” Minerva said, adjusting her glasses. “It would also allow young Draco to avoid his father like a bad dragonpox outbreak. It is your choice if you wish to do this, but I can’t guarantee you’ll have such free access to the Tonic after the beginning of the school year. The Ministry regulates it quite strenuously, and it is immensely difficult to brew on your own.”
Harry and Draco looked at each other briefly.
“Well, I haven’t any objections,” Harry said with a grin. “I rather like being a lass. I’ll be right sore to go back to being a bloke.”
“You’ll always be a young lady, Harry—just… in a different form,” Minerva said, waving her hands. “If you know what I mean,”
“I know, Mum, just… it’s been interesting this summer. For the past few months I’ve been able to be… someone who isn’t the Master of Death, Heir of Slytherin, etcetera, etcetera, and then some—I’m just some rich girl on holiday. Lounging about on a beach with a big sun hat or getting a tan. It’s… unnervingly relaxing,” Harry said, rubbing the back of her neck.
Draco punched Harry in the shoulder. “I told you, you’re on holiday! Enjoy it and don’t be such an old woman.”
“Meanie,” Harry said, sticking her tongue out at Draco, who simply rolled her eyes in response.
“Well, don’t you look cute?” Draco said as she appraised Harry’s outfit as they made their way into the foyer of the summer house they’d been staying in as they prepared to leave for the Quidditch World Cup match site.
Harry blushed and stuck her hands into the pockets of her jeans. The Muggle world had been getting quite into the whole flannel scene, and so now Harry was wearing a flannel blouse and a pair of jeans she’d gotten from one of the Muggle clothing shops in al-Mariyah.
“Shut up, Dray,” She said, folding her arms and huffing, blushing all the while.
“Are you wearing makeup, Harry? Trying to preen and make yourself look good for the missus, I take it? So vain, Potter, so vain,” Draco said, smirking and giving Harry a wink.
“Says the girl wearing a push-up bra,” Harry retorted, pointing at Draco’s chest. “Are you trying to entice Ron into a quick shag in some bushes at the match? I thought you were in it for Quidditch, Malfoy.”
“No reason a girl can’t do both?” Draco offered, grinning ear to ear. “I definitely want to see the Quidditch match, but if I can pull it off, I actually would like to go for a round with Weasley, see if he’s as good at shagging as he is at chess. If I’ve only got a few days until I’m back to being a bloke again, I’m going to enjoy it while I can. Besides, it compliments my outfit, wouldn’t you agree?”
Seeing Draco wearing anything muggle would’ve caused Harry to double-take just a year ago, the young wix always seemed to favour intricate, very nice robes made to order, but now… Draco was wearing a very snug fitting black shirt made of stretchy material and a flannel skirt, looking very much the part of a high street fashionista.
Despite that though, her outfit was very functional, she was wearing the same pair of Muggle trainers that Harry was—just in a different colour. Both pairs were charmed to stay clean no matter the environment. No fashion was worth being rendered ineffectual in trying to navigate crowds at the Quidditch World Cup.
That, and well, Harry was well aware that Draco was… already quite aware of what a young man in the throes of pubescence would be interested in, and shoving a pair of breasts in front of him was certainly the way to grab one’s attention. Ron would probably be left drooling over himself at the sight of a leggy version of his boyfriend. Poor bastard.
Harry wasn’t jealous of Draco—not at all.
She was just rather perturbed that Draco was taking the whole “femininity” thing far better than she was. It wasn’t her fault, though—Draco was just having fun. She was the one being… she supposed rather unreasonable about it?
Well, not unreasonable. Just… a little overwhelmed by how easy it seemed to be for her friend, and how… unfamiliar but comfortable it was for her.
Harry growled to herself internally—would this impostor syndrome shite knock it off?!
Maybe Draco had some experience with this already, and she’d never known? Draco never did go into great detail about what she did while on holiday with her Mum last year—she could totally believe Draco doing this sort of thing.
It was fun. Who wouldn’t? Honestly?
A lot of people, but who cares? Being a girl is fun!
Narcissa had returned with a portkey shortly afterwards, indicating it would take them to one of the rendezvous locations for the portkeys to the actual arena. After being swept off, they were deposited on a hill, and were only there for a few minutes before they were once more swept off to the arena.
The arena grounds itself was teeming with wixen, and Narcissa, looking nothing like the pureblood Lady Malfoy (with her short, well-coiffed black hair, and Muggle attire), lead them through the crowds to their tent location. As they approached a large green tent, Dobby emerged from the entrance and bowed.
“Mistress, Dobby has set up the tent,” He said. “Is there anything further the Mistresses require of Dobby?”
“No, thank you, you’re dismissed,” Narcissa said with a smile. Dobby popped out of existence and Narcissa strolled in, Harry and Draco following behind her.
“Here you go, girls! All the amenities we could need for a short stay for the Quidditch match tomorrow,”
“Excellent,” Harry said, grinning. “I love these tents—one of the best parts of being a wix, honestly,”
“Fancy camping much, do you?” Draco asked.
“Of course I do,” Harry said, rolling her eyes. “I’ve always fancied the outdoors—but these sorts of tents really make it a much easier experience. I’ve seen Muggle tents before, they’re cramped and uncomfortable. These are nice.”
“Right,” Draco said. Glancing at her mother she said nonchalantly. “So, um, when d’ya think the Weasleys will arrive?”
“They’re slated for the spot next to us,” Narcissa said, jabbing her thumb to one side of the tent. “I think when I spoke to Minerva, she said she’d be ensuring the Weasley family arrives soon after us.”
The Weasley family was very nice, Hermione thought. She’d been picked up from Bactria by Harry’s mum after much pleading and begging, she’d been given permission to go to the Quidditch World Cup (not that she gave a toss about the sport itself, but any time to spend with Harry was more than welcome in her eyes).
They’d taken a portkey to The Burrow, the Weasley family home, where she’d gotten more than acquainted with the large bustling Weasley family. All but one of the immediate family was present—Charlie Weasley, their second son, had been unable to attend due to work obligations, but their eldest, Bill, was there.
Much to the surprise of Hermione, so were Fred and George’s significant others. Danielle Terrence was sitting at the family table, drinking tea when she spotted Hermione entering with Professor McGonagall.
“Professor,” Danielle said, blinking, before glancing at Hermione. “and Hermione. Hi! Uh,”
“Miss Terrence,” Minerva said with a smile. “So good to see you. I hope you’re not tormenting poor Mister Weasley too much,”
“Me? Torture him? Of course not,” She said with her own smile. “He’s in the loo right now but he’ll be back. What brings you two here?”
“We’re heading to the World Cup later,” Hermione said. “Professor McGonagall insisted that we catch a ride with you lot.”
“Not the worst idea ever,” Danielle said. “Is Potter going to be there?”
Hermione nodded, grinning. “Oh, yes. I should hope so,”
Molly Weasley descended the stairs and greeted the two of them, and Hermione felt that the Weasley family was very friendly and warm. As it was, everyone seemed to get along despite the shouting and cajoling. She greeted Ron when he landed at the foot of the stairs, and giggled when he jumped in fright of Professor McGonagall standing a few feet away.
After some cajoling and quarrelling among the Weasleys, the large family and friends made their way to the St. Ottery Catchpole portkey, which whisked them off to the grounds. As they crested the small hill overlooking the large arena grounds, Hermione took a deep breath of shock at the sight. Dozens of tents, and people milling about like it was the most normal thing ever.
“How do they hide all this?” she asked in a breath, glancing at Arthur Weasley.
“Rather strong notice-me-not charms and the like,” Arthur said with a smile. “Come on, then. We’ve got a nice spot for the tent, Minerva had it put on hold for us.”
As they made their way through the mass of people, Hermione kept her eyes out for the familiar glowing emerald of her girlfriend’s eyes. It would have been far too long since she last got to gaze into those beautiful things.
They eventually reached the appointed spot, and Hermione noticed the tent next to them was a rich green, and there was the sound of girls laughing from within. As they started setting up their tent, Hermione got so involved in participating and watching the patchwork tent go up that she barely noticed someone approaching her from behind.
She was briefly startled by someone tapping on her shoulder, and she turned around to come face to face with a beautiful pair of emerald green eyes.
“Well, hello there,” Harry crooned. Hermione took several moments to drink up every inch of her girlfriend. The Tiresian Tonic definitely agreed with Harry. Her natural beauty was only magnified by her fashion and makeup choices, and Hermione felt decidedly under-dressed in comparison.
“Earth to Hermione,” Harry said, waving her hands in front of Hermione’s face.
“Sorry,” Hermione said, blushing. “You’re just… beautiful,”
“Thank you,” Harry said, hugging her tightly and kissing her cheek. “I’ve missed you!”
“I missed you,” Hermione said. “I see Toletania’s been good on you.”
“Oh, like you wouldn’t believe…” Harry trailed off, and Hermione looked to see what Harry was staring at. She was watching a dark-haired girl with chilly blue eyes emerging from the tent, glancing around. Harry jerked her head, and the girl looked past Hermione. She smirked and began to walk towards the object of her focus.
Hermione raised an eyebrow, before Harry pulled her close.
“Draco,” She whispered into Hermione’s ear and Hermione’s mouth fell open.
Ron Weasley was beyond excited. He was at the Quidditch World Cup! He never dreamed in a thousand years he’d get an opportunity to go to the Quidditch World Cup! That was the sort of thing the really rich and really lucky got to do, but this time the fortunes had turned for his dad and he’d gotten enough tickets not just for the family, but for Fred and George’s partners too—he knew he’d see Draco at least once, he’d likely be in the company of his father. Even if they couldn’t go about snogging, well, he’d still find time to talk to him and maybe snog a bit.
While he was ruminating on what he’d like to do when he finally saw his boyfriend, he felt a presence come up behind him and slip a pair of soft hands over his eyes.
“Guess who?” A soft, breathy voice crooned in his ear, making him shiver.
“Uh,” Ron started, before he felt someone kiss his neck. “Draco?!”
He whirled around. It was definitely Draco, but boy was this a different Draco. His boyfriend was a girlfriend right now and had huge… Merlin!
“My eyes are up here, lover boy,” Draco said dryly. “Not that I mind, really,”
“Draco, you…” Ron stammered, gesturing.
“Decided to do something a bit different this time, yeah?” Draco said, taking her boyfriend’s hand in her own. “I hope you’re not disappointed?”
“Me? Disappointed? Why the bloody hell would I be disappointed?”
“Just the answer I wanted to hear,” Draco said, before grasping Ron’s head and kissing him deeply. “Merlin, I’ve missed your lips, Ron Weasley. Want to go see if those trees over there are private?”
“You’ve not got to tell me twice,” Ron said, before being yanked away by Draco as they ran off towards the nearby woods.
While Ron and Draco went off to shag, probably, Harry was perfectly content to sit and talk with Hermione, enjoying the fact her girlfriend was staring at her like she was an angel. That was something she could most certainly get used to.
She blinked as she noticed Danielle.
“Is that Dani?” Harry asked, and Hermione nodded in response.
“Yeah, Fred invited her to come along with us,” Hermione said. “Cedric’s around here also, somewhere,”
Danielle had noticed them and had walked over, squinting at Harry the entire time. Realization flooded her face as she got close enough to see Harry’s eyes.
“Bloody hell, that is you, isn’t it, Potter?” She asked with a gasp.
“Oh that’s right, you… don’t know yet, do you? Uh, I’m a girl,” Harry said with a sheepish grin. “Trying it out for a bit with Tiresian Tonic, I think it suits me quite well, wouldn’t you agree?”
“You look like you stepped off the cover of Witch Weekly,” Danielle said with a snort. “Now I see why you’re so eager to jump her bones, Hermione.”
“Well, not quite as ready to jump her bones as Draco is to jump Ronald’s. They ran off into the forest not too long ago to do… whatever it is they wanted to do,” Hermione said, glancing at the trees in the distance.
“I’m sure they’ll have a great time with that,” Dani said with a shake of her head. “Well, don’t get into any trouble, you two,”
“We won’t,” Harry said with a smile.