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Chapter Nineteen
April Fool!

The weeks after the Death Eater meeting passed rather quietly.  The time travellers and Marauders had become closer since that first full moon together, and spent more time planning pranks together.  Sev and Harry continued to work on weapons training and duelling skills, as well as apparition.  Harry had no desire to have a repeat of the last meeting.  The sooner Sev could go on his own, the better.  Like most things, the fifth year picked it up fairly quickly, and soon the pair was escaping to Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley at the weekends without anyone noticing.  They felt they needed some relief from their hectic lives, and didn't see the harm in taking a few unauthorised excursions.

By the time April rolled around, everyone had become a lot more relaxed.  Voldemort had been particularly quiet, which seemed to lull everyone into a false sense of security.  Even the ever vigilant Alastor Moody was relaxing his constant guard a little, although he was still as paranoid as ever.  The joys of the springtime months came to a head on the morning of April 1st.  The students were dismayed when all they found for breakfast was sawdust and hay.  Looking to the teachers, they saw the staff to be equally confused.  Eventually, Sirius took pity on them and stood up, coughing to grab everyone's attention.

“ Happy April Fool's Day!” he said with a grin.  The whole student and staff population, with the exception of the Marauders, Ron and Harry, groaned.  The pranksters all smirked evilly and exchanged knowing looks.  The Marauders had been working tirelessly for the last couple of weeks with Ron, Harry, Peeves and Gallatea to come up with enough pranks for the day to be unforgettable.  Harry got out his Mischief Making Kit, the one he received from the Weasley twins before he came on the crazy trip, and used some of the products in there on the teachers.  As the things in it were original to Ron's brothers, no-one knew where they came from, making them original and highly amusing.

By the time lunch came around, the students were highly irritated.  Potions had been a disaster when everyone found their cauldrons to be lined with an invisible substance unknown even to Professor Sewell.  Whenever students tried to make a potion with a combination of Asphodel and unicorn tail hair, the effects of their work would be a little different to usual.  The potion would release a vapour, leaving those unfortunate enough to have had the subject that morning speaking nothing but ancient Aramaic.  People who had Charms were also affected by an irritating charm.  Anyone who passed through the door would be spelled to attract anything metallic.  Chairs, tables and cutlery all went flying toward the unfortunate few who had entered the classroom before Professor Flitwick had arrived.

At the end of lunch people started to get a little worried when the Marauders, past and present, all pulled out umbrellas.  Everyone looked at the roof of the Great Hall in trepidation, some even trying to run out before the inevitable prank began.  Those who tried found themselves thrown back into the room by an invisible force and covered in eel slime.  Some of the girls squealed at the mess, but everyone grew silent as it started to rain pencil shavings.  Those from pureblood families couldn't understand what the small pieces of wood were.  The slimy people, though, groaned in frustration as the shavings started to stick to them.

At dinner, Harry chanced a glance up at Professor Dumbledore.  It was obvious he found the day's events amusing by the twinkle in his eyes.  When he spotted Harry watching him, he tried to send a disapproving look, but the twitching of his lips gave him away.  Harry just grinned back at him and clapped his hands.  Instantly, a drum kit and several electric guitars appeared in the corner of the room.  Most people didn't notice them until the end of dinner, when the tables disappeared with a wave of Ron's hand.  The headmaster looked to the Boy-Who-Lived, who simply smiled back innocently and gestured to the instruments, which instantly came to life.  The students and most of the teachers were confused until Dumbledore stood up to address them.

“ It seems, everyone, that our resident pranksters have organised a party for us to celebrate April Fool's Day.  Although I didn't know about this, I can't see the harm.  Have fun!”

Dumbledore waved his hands a few times and simple decorations filled the Hall.  With some help from the time travellers, even Hermione, the Hall was soon looking wonderful.  Although the students were a little wary at first, they soon got into the spirit of things, and started to dance.  Harry looked around the Hall in satisfaction.  It had been his idea to surprise the school like this, and he was glad he did now.  Although there had been few Death Eater attacks, the young witches and wizards deserved some fun.  The Days of Darkness were upon them, and any relief from the terror was welcome.


The following Saturday found Harry and Sev heading to Hogsmeade via the Honeydukes passage.  As soon as Harry felt they had passed the anti-apparition wards, he signaled his friend and the pair apparated to Diagon Alley.  After a quick trip to Gringotts to get some money out of the Order vault, the pair headed back out into the bright sunshine.  Sev had been hesitant at first to leave the vicinity of Hogwarts, as he didn't like so obviously flaunting the school rules.  He didn't mind breaking them in emergencies, or bending them a little, but to leave the campus and travel to London without permission was an expellable offence.  Harry assured him that Dumbledore would never expel either of them, and that he could protect the younger boy if the need arose, but Sev wasn't convinced.  This time, though, he got a little concerned when Harry started to head for the Dark Wizard district.  The other times they had come, they had remained strictly in Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron, and slightly into Muggle London.  The latter had been a revelation to Sev, who had never had the chance to interact with Muggles before.  

“ Harry, where are you going?” he asked as he rushed to catch up.

“ Knockturn Alley.”

“ But that's for Dark Wizards!”

Harry simply raised his eyebrow at his companion before continuing on.  It suddenly occurred to Sev that his friend had been deadly serious when he said he was a Dark Wizard.  Of course, he had seen him do a little Dark Magic before, but this was the one thing that confirmed it in Sev's mind.  There was a big difference between knowing something and believing it.  He now knew without a shadow of a doubt that Harry belonged in that place.  He easily navigated his way through the hags and assorted dregs of society gathered in the Dark District.  Of course, Sev had been there several times with his father, but never without an accompanying grown up.  To see Harry so at home there was a bit shocking.

When he finally caught up with the sixth year, Harry was just entering a tattoo parlour.  The younger Slytherin knew the older boy had a tattoo, but he never though he'd be getting a new one.

“ What are we doing here, Harry?”

“ I want a tattoo.”

“ You have a tattoo.”

“ I know, but I need to add something to it.”

“ Why don't you just create one like the Order tattoos?”

“ They're not the same.  They aren't permanent, and don't move around.  Have you ever looked at any of the Order tattoos?”

“ I've seen you friends'.  Ron has a thestral on his back, Ginny has a phoenix on her ankle, and Hermione has a unicorn on her shoulder.”

“ Yes, those are their Order marks.  Have you ever seen them move?”

“ No…”

“ And do they look life like?”

“ Not really.”

“ Well, there you go.  I want something permanent.”

“ Sure.  If that's what you want.  How long will it take?”

“ About an hour, I'd think.  It's not going to be as big as the other one.”

“ What are you getting done?”

“ Well, you'll just have to wait and see.”

Harry walked into the side room with a smirk in Sev's direction.  When he came out fifty minutes later, he was beaming.

“ I feel better for that.”

“ Why?”

“ You wouldn't understand.”

“ What did you get?”

In response, Harry lifted up his shirt and showed Sev his scarred back.  Beneath the ouroboros encircled raven was a roaring Gryffindor lion.


Three hours later the two Slytherins were just finishing off their ice creams at Florean Fortescue's when people further down the street started screaming.  Leaping to his feet, Harry shrank all of the pair's purchases and shoved them in his robe pocket before taking off down the street to investigate, Sev hot on his heels.  What he saw made his blood run cold.  About fifty Death Eaters, backed up by a dozen Dementors and the Dark Lord himself, were attacking witches and wizards left, right, and centre.  When he felt the other boy come up beside him, Harry dragged him into a shadowed doorway and turned the horrified Sev towards him.

“ Sev, look at me.”

“ Harry!  Attack!  What do we do?!”

“ Calm down and listen, Sev.  I need you to concentrate.  I'm going to go and fight them.  I need you to erect an anti-disapparation ward around the whole Alley.  Remember, only an anti-disapparation ward.  People still have to be able to apparate in, just not out.  Then I need you to herd everyone out of the way and put a shield around them.  After that, conjure a Patronus and see if anyone in the crowd can do the same.  Try and get the children into the shops and ward them against blowing up or collapsing.  Can you do that for me?”

“ What are you going to do?”

“ Don't worry about me.  I'll be keeping them back, and calling for reinforcements.  Make sure no-one tries to play the hero.  They'll probably end up getting themselves killed.  Do you understand?”

“ I'll do what you ask, Harry.”

“ Thanks.”

As Harry started to head into the mass of black cloaks, he turned one last time as he heard his name.  Sev had a worried look on his face, but Harry could see determination shining in his eyes.

“ Good Luck.”


Dumbledore was startled out of his afternoon snooze by a frantic calling in his head.

~Calling all Order members.  Calling all Order members.  Diagon Alley is under attack.  I repeat, Diagon Alley is under attack.  All able fighters needed immediately.  About fifty Death Eaters, a dozen Dementors and the Great Bastard himself present.  No civilian casualties as yet, but I can't hold them off forever.  They're…~

The connection was broken off suddenly, making Dumbledore start a little.  When Harry normally broke mental connections, it was a gentle process.  This felt as if the link had been ripped apart, which wasn't a good sign.  Dumbledore tried not to dwell on why Harry was at Diagon Alley as he created a door in his office wall and prepared to head for Domus Corvus Corax to apparate out.  In Harry's room, he met up with Filius, Minerva, Alastor and the other three time travellers.

“ Albus!  What's going on?”

“ I don't know, Alastor.  I know as much as you.  It sounds urgent, though.”

“ Harry wouldn't call like that if it wasn't,” Ginny added.

“ I agree.  I just hope we're in time….”


As soon as he started to attack the Death Eaters, Harry began to call the Order for help.  He knew they would realise this wasn't a prank, and would come as soon as they could.  He would just have to hold the enemy off until backup arrived.  Looking up, he noticed Sev was doing as he was asked, and most of the onlookers were getting out of harm's way.  Concentrating on the task at hand, he sent spells flying in all directions, cutting through the ranks of Death Eaters.  However, their numbers were overwhelming, and soon he was in the middle of a sea of black.  His mental message was cut off suddenly when he was stabbed in the shoulder with a wicked looking blade.  With a cry of pain, he fell to the floor in agony, but was lucky enough to be able to pull the dagger from his flesh before he was overwhelmed by the Death Eaters.  Stopping his attack, he took a few precious seconds to erect a powerful shield around himself while he regained his breath.  It was strong enough to hold for several minutes and keep out all but the worst of spells.  Harry could feel himself being hit with several Unforgivable curses, but he was protected by his immunity necklace.  As soon as he regained his senses, and felt his shoulder begin to heal, he leapt to his feet and started once more on the offensive.  

After a few more minutes, Harry was vaguely aware of more people joining the fight.  When he saw a familiar Patronus gallop by he looked around and saw Hermione and Ginny fighting nearby.  Across the battlefield, he saw Ron staring at Sev's Patronus, mystified.  Harry had forgotten that his friend's Patronus took his own animagus form.  The red headed Gryffindor had been thrown a little at seeing a silvery winged leopard sprinting towards a group of Dementors.  After a few more minutes, it became apparent that the Order was starting to win, but it was close.  As anticipated, Dumbledore was on the other side of the battlefield, fighting Voldemort.  Harry strengthened his shield before doing what he did best.  Within seconds, the Dark Lord was clutching his arm in pain, and Dumbledore gained the upper hand.  This time when Harry was attacked from behind, he was ready for it.  He still agonised over the result of the last time he was in this position.  He wasn't going to be caught out again.  When the sword came swinging towards the back of his head, he pivoted around and hefted his own sword.  The Death Eater was obviously surprised, but soon regained his cool.  The pair started fighting viciously, Harry all the time trying to send pain through Voldemort's Dark Mark.  Eventually, the other man made a mistake, and Harry sank his sword into his belly.  The Boy-Who-Lived stared in horror as the Dark Wizard fell to the ground, clutching the bleeding wound.  The man soon lost consciousness from blood loss, and when he saw the body go limp, Harry sprang into action.  Kneeling down, he held his hands over the wound and started chanting an elven healing spell.  The wound closed up slightly, leaving the fallen man in a critical but not fatal condition.  As soon as Harry's energy ran out, he collapsed to the floor in exhaustion, seeing Ron running in his direction before he passed out.


When Harry came to he was in the hospital wing at Domus Corvus Corax.  Sitting at his bedside was a weary looking Albus Dumbledore, who seemed to sit up straighter when Harry looked his way.  The boy figured he had been waiting for him to wake up so he could question him about the battle.  Wanting to be the one who opened the conversation, Harry asked the obvious question.

“ What happened?”

“ That's what I would like to know, Harry.”

“ I asked first.”

“ That you did, my boy, that you did.  All I know is that you disturbed me in my office by calling for help, claiming that Diagon Alley was being attacked.  I joined the fight with some of the Order members, losing sight of you quickly.  The next I saw you, young Ronald was leaning over you and you had lost consciousness.  The Death Eaters were fought back and Voldemort retreated.  Now, I want you to tell me what happened.”

Harry let out a sigh before telling his story.  He confessed to the unauthorised trips to London, his teaching Sev to apparate and using the excursions as practice, and what happened when the Death Eaters turned up.  Once he had finished, he sat in silence waiting for the elderly headmaster to pass judgment.  After a tense couple of minutes, Dumbledore put Harry out of his misery.

“ First, Harry I want you to know how disappointed I am in you.  You deliberately broke one of our most prominent school rules over and over.  Not only that, but you encouraged a younger Housemate to join you on these jaunts.  That was very irresponsible of you.  I would also like to say that despite your gross disobedience, I will not be expelling either you or Mr. Snape.  This is only because you have redeemed yourselves by saving the lives of over two hundred witches and wizards who were present at the attack.  If you had not worked together to keep people from being hurt, and taken on so many of the enemy single handedly, we could have been facing a massacre.  I would like to know, though, why you healed the Death Eater you collapsed on.”

Harry blanched when he remembered the man he had impaled on his sword.  

“ I'm sorry, Sir.  I couldn't let him die.  I knew as soon as I wounded him that he could die, and I couldn't let it happen.  I've never killed anybody, despite the number of battles I've been in.  I always make sure I stupefy or incapacitate the enemy, and never kill them.  It's something I won't let myself do.  I may be classed as a Dark Wizard, but I will never be evil.  If I ever take a life, it will lower me to Voldemort's level, and I will never do that.  Even if I have to die in the process.”

“ Noble words, Harry, but you have to understand that these people don't deserve your sympathy.  On the battle field, it is sometimes kill or be killed.  They are evil people, and the world has to be saved from them.”

“ Evil acts carried out in the name of good are no less evil.  I will never become a murderer.  I'm sorry.”

“ For now I will respect your decision, but I implore you to reconsider.”

“ Professor, you said that Death Eaters were evil and deserved to die.  How is you judging them like that any different from Voldemort judging Muggles worthy to die?  Tom Riddle was abused by Muggles in his childhood.  They hurt him, and he judged them for it.  He hurts them, and you judge him for it.  But who judges you?  Where does the line between good and evil blur?”

“ A valid point, Harry, and one I will not pursue at this time.”

“ Why not?”

“ Because we have a more pressing matter to discuss.  And at the moment, I have no answer for you.”

“ Alright.  But this isn't over.”

“ I know.  Now I want to ask your opinion on something.  I believe that we need to start recruiting Order members from the student body.  Fifth years and above. Do you have any ideas for how to go about it?”

“ Well, you have to be sure of their loyalties before approaching them.”

“ Yes, but how do we do that short of taking them to my office one by one and administering veritaserum?”

Harry sat deep in thought for a few minutes, thinking over his time in the past as well as in the Muggle world.  After a few minutes, a grin spread across his face as he thought of the perfect solution.

“ Would it be best if they didn't know we were testing their loyalty?”

“ Yes.  That way we could root out any Death Eaters as well.”

“ Well, then I have the perfect solution.”

“ What?”

“ The Hollerith System.”

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