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Stories from Sixth (and Seventh) Year
Storm Clouds (Summer after Sixth Year)

By kokopelli

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June 15, 1997
Dear Diary,
I’m worried about Harry — which isn’t new by any means.   This year has been brilliant in so many ways, and then June hit.   It’s hard to get excited about winning the Quidditch Cup when the Headmaster isn’t there to award it.   Harry had been dreading the approach of June — he had an uneasy feeling that the usual end-of-year snake-lips-surprise was coming, he just didn’t know what it was going to be.   When the Giants began to attack Hogsmeade during the last Hogsmeade weekend of the year, Harry was ready — Ron and Hermione organized an evacuation of the younger students while Harry and I made short work of the Giants.   The Giants in Hogsmeade were just a diversion, however.   Death Eaters had been let into the castle by our good friend Draco Malfoy, who had used the Vanishing Cabinet in the Room of Requirement like an oversized Passbox.   As far as we could tell, the raid had two objectives: murdering Dumbledore and kidnapping Harry.   Harry didn’t get the memo, however, and wasn’t where he was supposed to be that day to get kidnapped. When Harry and I returned to the grounds, Draco made the tactical mistake of firing first at Harry, which pretty much confirmed to us what was going on, and more importantly, who was flying the dark flag.   Harry stunned him and then stuck his wand hand to the flying boar gatepost.   When Snape led the remaining Death Eaters outside the wards in retreat, he had to sever Draco’s hand, as the sticking charm was truly unbreakable.   Maybe Snake-lips will make Draco a silver hand to match Wormtail’s, and then the ferret and the rat could be a matched set.
We had Dumbledore’s funeral the next to last day of the term.   I could feel Harry’s rage boiling off of him during the service, but by the time we left Hogsmeade the next day on the Hogwarts Express, he seemed more or less back to normal — as normal as Harry ever is when going back to Privet Drive.   I thought it was a cruel insult to send him back there, but Harry said that he didn’t mind, it was something he could do to honour Dumbledore’s memory.
So, Harry is back at Azkaban South for the month, riding through Surrey again.   He bought me a bicycle over the Christmas hols, so I’ve been Apparating with the bicycle to a pre-arranged rendezvous point and joining him most every day, playing Muggle tourist and Muggle boyfriend and girlfriend.   Harry was supposed to live with the Lupins after two weeks at Privet Drive, but I’m not sure that’s going to work, which is odd, because Harry’s last day at Privet Drive is tomorrow, but that’s how things are.
Tonks made the announcement at the end of May that she was expecting, which took us all by surprise.   According to Hermione, Werewolves are normally considered sterile, and Metamorphagus women are more or less barren as well, given the odd effects their shape-shifting magic had on their reproductive equipment.   Remus, of course, was in seventh heaven with the notion that he was going to be a father.   Tonks’ plan was to work through her second trimester of pregnancy and then take an open-ended leave of absence from work.   She’d been finishing up a rather routine job in Cornwall and then was reassigned to serve in Madam Bones’ security detail, which was normally considered a rather plum assignment.   Last night, Tonks dropped Madam Bones off to her flat, started to go back home to Grimmauld Place, but then, following a hunch, went back to Bones’ flat.   Madam Bones was dead of course by the time she got there, the Death Eater assassins having already made their exit.   I don’t know exactly what happened, but in all the action, Tonks miscarried.
It seems a bit odd, but baby Lupin’s death has hit Harry much harder than losing Dumbledore.   Remus was quick to point out that this wouldn’t change anything for Harry’s lodging arrangements, but Harry thinks the Lupins need to be left alone to process their grief.   Mum, of course, wouldn’t mind having Harry here for the summer, if for no other reason that it would be easier to keep an eye on him (and me) if he’s sleeping under her roof.   Harry left me a note this morning that he wasn’t up to company, so I didn’t join him on his ride today.   He’s pretty much bottled up everything.   When I touch our bond all I can feel is a bunch of roiling rage and sadness, but nothing much beyond that; it’s hitting him that hard.
Snape had been sniffing around the special project, but according to Jasmine, he never got a tumble as to what’s going on.   The only people read into the story were two Weasleys (me and Bill), Jasmine, Abelard, Harry and Dumbledore.   Ron and Hermione don’t even know the details of the project.  
Well, on to happier subjects.
I can’t think of any either — at least not in my life.  
Bill and Fleur are going to get married this summer, right between my birthday and Harry’s.   On the whole, I’ve got it good — the family is together and everyone is healthy — although things are still a bit patchy with Percy.   Hermione’s keeping my youngest brother sufficiently busy that he’s staying out of my life.   I haven’t received my OWLs yet, but I’m fairly certain that I’m going to beat Ron’s old record.   And yet I still worry about things I can’t control.   Where will Harry be living this summer?   What’s going on with the rest of the Order?   When will the final shoe drop?   And most importantly, what am I going to do when Harry finishes Hogwarts and I still have a year to go?
I broached that subject to Mum once — she breezily stated that I’d finish school, of course.   I’ll be of age by the time I start my seventh year, so I could drop school if I’d like, but long term, I don’t see that working out so well.   Harry thinks that snake-lips is going to try something during the school year, next year.   Riddle’s losses were pretty high in Hogsmeade, but then again, we lost Dumbledore and Bones too.   Riddle has tried, and failed, with the spectacular operations, so now he’s going for assassinations.   Hermione says that it’s like the Muggle civil wars where both the government and the rebels use death squads to take out supporters of the other side.   I wasn’t at all comforted when she told me that the side that killed the most people usually won.
That’s it for now.
June 30, 1997
Dear Diary,
I can’t believe that I haven’t written in you for two weeks — but as Harry is so fond of saying ‘it is what it is.’
Harry did end up with the Lupins — which I suppose was for the best.   He’s been helping Dora (who doesn’t want to be called ‘Tonks’ any more) do a lot of makeovers at Grimmauld Place.   She’s still out on leave, but that will end soon.   The one room that they haven’t touched is the room that was supposed to be the nursery.   Harry’s not so distant now, but just below his calm façade the rage and sadness are still there.   He’s still the man who marked me, my mate for life, but I’m worried.
I’ve been training with Abelard — not so much the warrior stuff I did with Jasmine last summer, although I do sparring with Mary and Martha, who have wicked sense of humour that so reminds me of another pair of twins.   Jasmine doesn’t live there any more, in fact, she’s not too far from Grimmauld Place, but she’s still popping in and out, reporting in to Abelard and picking up new assignments.   She says she went shopping for rings (wedding and engagement) with Beckman last weekend.   They weren’t happy with the stuff they could find in London, so they went to Brussels instead.   She is so smitten with him it’s not funny.   I haven’t caught her practicing ‘Jasmine Gupta’ as her new signature yet, but I’m sure she’s done so.   The odd thing is that Beckman hasn’t proposed yet.   That doesn’t seem to bother either one of them, however, and their trajectory seems rather sure.   I’d be very surprised if they last through the summer.   Two weddings this summer?
Fleur hasn’t turned into Bridezilla yet, which is a good thing, but I think that Mum is getting rather tired of Madame Delacour.   Fleur rather pointedly asked Mum to arrange the details of her wedding, which hasn’t stopped Fleur’s mum from dropping in at all hours, armed with rolls and rolls of "suggestions."   Some of the stuff is all right, I suppose, but the majority of it is more suited to a garish circus, and the gowns she "suggested" for the bridesmaids — yecch!
Well, Mum’s calling again, I’ll write more, later.
August 8th, 1997
Well, The Wedding went off without too many hitches — I shall attempt to memorialize my thoughts on the subject, using as my theme, "the good, the bad, and the unexpected."
The Unexpected:
·               Although this should have come as no surprise, there were tonnes of people at The Wedding — Weasleys, of course, as we are a rather prolific lot, most every member of the Order, although I’m sure that there are some members I haven’t met yet, a tonne of French wizards and witches, including a sizeable number of Veelas, and an equally sizeable contingent of goblins from Gringotts.   It was the last that was unexpected, to me at least.
·               I knew that Bill spoke passable Gobbledegook, but Fleur speaks it as well, although when she speaks it, it’s elegant, and just a little bit sexy.   Who knew that Gobbledegook could sound enticing?
·               Gabrielle showed up looking cute, curious, and all of eleven years old, although I’m sure that very few of the eleven year olds in my class ever looked as good as she did.   My French is passable, so we could talk, Gabrielle pulling out her French-English dictionary when either one of us got stuck.   Gabrielle knew enough Gobbledegook that she asked one of the younger, taller goblins to dance.   They were an odd looking couple, but they danced together for most of the faster numbers, and they both seemed to enjoy it immensely.  

                  The Bad:

·               Madame Delacour totally lost it the morning of The Wedding, going so far as to retreat into the loo off of the kitchen, where she hogged the toilet while she emptied her stomach of everything she’d eaten over the last year.   After that, she was much better, glowing like the other female Veelas in attendance, declaring how much she loved us all.   It sort of made up for the mad berk that she’d been in the days prior, but not by much.
·               The gowns that Gabrielle and I had to wear were indescribably hideous.   Words could not express our gratitude when we were allowed to change out of them, into more normal and more comfortable clothes for the rest of the reception.
·               Charlie and Percy got into it an hour or so after dinner.   Harry saw it coming and was able to flag Ron’s attention, which was a good thing.   Ron and Harry separated them before they began duelling on the dance floor.   I don’t think we’ve heard the end of this one yet.

                  The Good:

· Harry seemed to have declared a moratorium on his rage for the day, and was chipper and pleasant.   Other than a dance with Fleur, another with Gabrielle, and a somewhat surprising dance with Dora Lupin, we spent every moment together on the dance floor when the music was playing.   Dora pulled me aside and expressed her gratitude for all the comfort that Harry’s given her after losing the baby.   Yea — Harry!

· After the whole shootout in the basement of Gringotts, the goblins opened a vault for me in my name, the first deposit being their reward money for services rendered.   I was able to go shopping for a proper gown for the wedding without having to deal with the spending-Harry’s-money issue, which was a relief.   The gown was stunning, although Mum questioned the wisdom of displaying my "tattoo" for the entire world to see.   Tk’lch assured me that he could make it less noticeable, so rather than being a lovely shade of indigo, my marking was pale and spotted, just like the rest of me.   Tk’lch thought it was appropriate and quite amusing for a snow dragon to disguise himself in such a fashion.

· About a minute before the service started, Jasmine and Beckman arrived.   They’d both been invited, but they were doing something that they said might keep them away, so they’d told us not to expect them.   It was good to see them together.   Jasmine looked fabulous, of course, giving the assembled Veela a run for their dainty French money, but I’m fairly certain she didn’t care — Beckman noticed, and that’s all that mattered.

So, there it is: the good, the bad and the unexpected.   Eating, dancing, and schmoozing with friends, relatives and allies.   If Jasmine ties the knot before the end of the summer, I imagine we’ll do it all over again!
August 28, 1997
Dear Diary,
I can hardly believe that the summer is almost over.   Harry’s been on a retreat with the Grey Friars (he assures me that lifetime vows of celibacy are not contagious) and I’ve been finishing up my tutoring with Abelard.   I won’t say what I’ve been doing, other than saying that many nights when I got home, I couldn’t perform the most elementary acts of magic, I was that tapped out.   Usually by the morning, however, my levels would replenish.   Abelard says that it’s good to drain and regenerate in this fashion, as it builds up my capacity and reserves, but I think that’s just adult talk about how something is so good for you.   It does explain, however, why Abelard’s house has Muggle appliances for everything.   Jasmine once explained that if Abelard overworks himself, he’ll often go for weeks without doing any magic at all while he rebuilds.   He hates to have to rely on others, so thus the completely Muggle alternative.   I imagine that I’ll probably furnish my house in the future that way too, as it would be a shame to starve in my own kitchen if I couldn’t work the magical appliances.   Dad, of course, would be over the moon to be able to fiddle with all of that sort of stuff — we had a hard time dragging him away from Abelard’s on New Year’s day.
It’s going to be weird returning to Hogwarts without Dumbledore.   McGonagall has been appointed as the new headmistress, which means that we’re going to need to have a new Head of Gryffindor House, as well as a new Defence Against the Dark Arts instructor.  
Harry’s just returned — I’m going to draw this to a close and see if he’s game for a fly in the orchard before dinner.   If I’m lucky, maybe I can convince him to go star-watching after dinner too. (Hey, I come by these scarlet woman tendencies naturally, I’ll have you know.)


Copyright © 2007 J Cornell — all rights reserved

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Author Notes:

Thanks, as always, to Runsamok and Michelle for betawork.