A/N: Don't own a thing, especially not HP. This takes place in a world where Harry and Co. never found all the horcruxes. I hope you enjoy chapter four. Italics denote thoughts. Bold is for spells.
Chapter Four: Hogsmeade
Lucius wants me to fight his battles for him...Bellatrix Lestrange smirked as she looked at the letter. Lucius Malfoy was unfortunately important to her Masters plans. The Dark Lord requires the service of Malfoy and the easiest way to gain that service is to do him this small favor..That was how it had been explained to her anyway.
"Do you understand what you are to do?" Voldemort had asked her.
"Of course my Lord. I am to go to Hogsmeade, find an out of the way place and lure the dueling instructor there. Once he is there, I am to kill him and leave the body. The discovery of his corpse will cause terror among the sheep and they will learn that there is no place where they can be safe from your grasp." She answered still kneeling before him.
"Good. When you arrive back I will want a full report. Leave."
That was what led Bellatrix to her current place, her bedroom in Lestrange Manor. She set the letter down and looked at herself in the mirror, she was still young and beautiful but she could see tiny bags under her eyes. It doesn't matter..Rodolphus hasn't touched me in months...She didn't love her husband, love after all was for the lower class. "Come now Bella, we are meant for greatness..not the insipid life of fools spitting out children to breed with halfbloods and muggles." Her husbands voice hissed in her mind. Ah well, a little murder will make me feel better..Professor Harry Fawkes, you and I are going to have a lot of fun..With a little smirk she vanished with a pop appearing in the Hogsmeade safehouse. I'll case the village tonight, find my perfect spot..then tomorrow morning I'll find Lucius's little friend.
"Excellent improvement everyone. No written assignment, but I would ask that you and your partners each get together to practice the Protego shield. There will be a special incentive for each student who can cast it." Harry said as the students filed out of the classroom. Narcissa held back, a frown on her features.
"Professor?" Her voice was tight, clipped by annoyance. Harry noticed and stifled a smirk, he had came to the decision that he wouldn't antagonize Narcissa, while he hated the Malfoy family, she wasn't Narcissa Malfoy, she was Narcissa Black..he would remember the distinction.
"Yes Miss Black?"
"May I make a suggestion for your fifth year class?" Without waiting for an answer she continued on, "You are correct that the students are making good progress, but it's good progress for a third year, not a fifth year student."
"What would you suggest then?" Harry was surprised, "I thought you were studying to be a healer Miss Black, why would you want me to allow the students to take greater risks?"
"Don't be afraid to let them get a little bruised. Let them practice more than stunning and disarming spells."
"Seems rather bloodthirsty, would you suggest I allow them to aim a cutting charm at their partners?"
"No Professor, but they need to understand what could happen in a duel. If you keep the duels so risk free, they won't take safety into consideration." That is a surprisingly fair point..Harry thought nodding, "Very well Miss Black. Mondays class we will try it your way. Now if you'll excuse me, I want to make sure I have everything prepared for tomorrow.."
"Yes, I am assisting Professor McGonagall with the Hogsmeade weekend. Two sets of eyes are better than one, besides that I need to conduct some business in the village."
"What sort of business?" Why are you so nosy?/Why do I care?
"I suppose you have heard the rumors that suggest I am some sort of vagabond who doesn't have a place to call his own? That is correct, at least the part about not owning a home. However I see myself staying with Hogwarts for at least the foreseeable future so I plan to rent a home in Hogsmeade during the summer. I figure if I start looking early I'll be able to narrow down what I want."
"Very well sir." He's going to be living in the village, you would think a dueling champion could afford something a little better than a hovel hear 'the hogs head'.. Narcissa walked out of the classroom and went on to her next class.
Harry looked at the meager pile of galleons he had in his trunk. Albus had been paying him under the table as it were, Harry was concerned about the procedures for opening a Gringotts vault. He knew it required his blood, That blood would show me as Harry Potter, who isn't born yet...He sighed and shut the lid "Three hundred and fifty galleons..It's not much, but my food is paid for here. I'll just keep socking away my pay and by the end of the term I'll have..a little over three thousand galleons..that should be enough to rent a cottage for the summer."
He turned and made his way out the door and down to the great hall. He smiled seeing his usual chair beside Minerva was open. I mean I doubt someone would have taken it, everyone seems to have their favorite spots already and I guess mine is beside Minerva. That thought always stopped him, somehow Minerva McGonagall has become his best friend.
"Did you save me any treacle pudding?" He said as he slid into his chair beside her.
"Not with an attitude like that, where have you been?"
"Just checking on something, I'm making plans for the summer." Harry said filling his glass with pumpkin juice and piling sausages and mashed potatoes onto his plate.
"In September? Whatever for?" Minerva said as she took her knife to a piece of chicken.
"Well, I don't have a place of my own. I know I could just stay in my quarters, but I want something that's mine..you know?" He said, popping a piece of sausage into his mouth and chewing it thoughtfully. Swallowing he continued, "I don't need a castle, just a little cottage where I can hang my hat so to speak."
I know better than you might think...The idea of something that was hers had always been a part of Minerva McGonagall's psyche. From the way her mother had to hide her magic, Minerva had learned the importance of a secure place where the outside world couldn't intrude.
"So you are thinking of finding a house for sale in Hogsmeade?"
"For rent at least for the beginning. If I like the place I'll work out a deal with the owner, or I'll try to." He said shrugging.
"You were a champion duelist, surely you could buy a home.."
"I'm broke Minerva. I lost all of my money when I came back from America."
Her eyes narrowed slightly, "Broke?"
"When I was in America...there was a girl..we were close..she said her mother was sick. I gave her everything I had...and then she vanished." Harry said, this was the story that he had made up for if anyone asked why he didn't have anything in his name.
"I'm so sorry Harry...I shouldn't have-"
"It's okay Minerva.." He said, placing a hand on her arm, "You were concerned, after all if I'd wasted my money on something unwholesome I would be a poor example to the students. "
"You're better than that. You wouldn't have been frivolous.."
"It's okay Minerva, really. Now what is the plan for Hogsmeade?"
At the Slytherin table Lucius Malfoy watched as Harry and Minerva spoke, That's right you bastard, enjoy her company tonight..Lucius had decided that Harry and Minerva must be having an affair, It's the only thing that would make sense...why else would he touch her like that? It didn't make sense to Lucius that a man would speak with a woman like that unless he was getting something out of it. His parents barely spoke, after the marriage had been confirmed and Lucius was old enough to stay with his father the Lady Malfoy had went back to her home in France. His father, Abraxus Malfoy, had taught him how a proper pureblood behaved, Never give quarter to those below you. Never let those above you consider you weak. You are either a king or a tool.
Lucius looked over to Nott. Cantankerous was making notes on a scrap of paper, Lucius cast his eye down and then frowned. "Hide that you fool!" He hissed, "You can't have that out where people can see it." That imbecile is writing out a list of potential students to bring before our Lord..when I am in the inner circle I will have to make sure that he is kept out. Nott is too brazen to be a proper Slytherin sometimes.. Nott put the parchment back into his robes with a scowl. "So, can we expect a guest?"
"She is already in the village, she knows what to do."
"Do you think it will work?"
"Nott, Bellatrix is incredibly strong. I'll be amazed if they find enough of him to bury."
The next morning Harry put a few galleons in his coin purse and prepared to leave. I used to love visiting Hogsmeade...He thought as he closed his quarters up and crossed through his classroom, It's still early, I'll go down and have a quick jog before I meet Minerva..Jogging gave Harry something to focus on, he'd taken it up during his time hiding from snatcher squads Though at the time it was less 'jogging' and more 'running for my life'..He thought with a rueful smile.
Making his way down to the Black Lake, he found Rolanda Hooch preparing for her own jog by the oak tree. He removed his shirt, hanging it on a branch. "Hooch, you ready to get beat today?"
"Depends Fawkes, you see a real man around who can do it?" She grinned and took off, not waiting for him to start. Harry muttered a curse and began to give chase.
Minerva McGonagall made her way down towards the gate. She paused just as she reached the final step leading to the courtyard, This was the first time she'd seen Harry and Rolanda jogging together, No wonder he was so hard to best on the circuit..Harry Fawkes had a slim musculature but it was clear that his muscles were hard as granite. Almost against her will she leaned against the rail leading up to the castle as just watched him. Sweet Maeve..I..no. Minerva Isobel McGonagall, you will control yourself. She frowned and forced herself to continue with her task of speaking to Hagrid, Ogg always lets that man do all the work..She thought as she saw Hagrid oiling the hinges of the gate with a dirty rag.
"'ello there Professor McGonagall ma'am, what can I do for yeh?" He said putting the dirty rag in his pocket and running his hands over his coat to try and clean them.
"Good morning Hagrid, I was just preparing for the Hogsmeade weekend today. Professor Fawkes will be assisting me, but I wanted to make sure everything has been quiet on the grounds."
"Yes ma'am, I was patrolling until 'alf past three this morning."
"Half past three, Hagrid it's only seven fifteen..I'm going to speak to Ogg, he can't expect you to-"
"It's alright ma'am." Hagrid said, putting a hand up in a placating gesture, "Mr. Ogg 'as just been feeling a bit under the weather lately is all. 'e'll be fine and then we can go back to splitting the duties."
"If you say so Hagrid. But once the students are back at the castle I want you to take the rest of the morning and get some rest. Do you hear me? Anything you need to do will keep until this afternoon." She said sternly. Hagrid nodded and Minerva went back towards the castle.
"You are a damned slave driver Hooch.." Harry said panting, "A monster fit only for the darkest cell in Azkaban."
"Ah give it a rest Fawkes..I took it easy on you. Normally I back around the lake fifteen minutes earlier." She smirked tossing him his shirt.
"Sure, if you have a time turner.." He muttered, ignoring her laughter as he put back on his shirt. He heard a soft 'ahem' as if someone was clearing their throat. Looking through the hole for his head, he saw Minerva standing there. Pulling the shirt back on he looked to her. "Are we ready?" He asked her.
He is very handsome like this..he reminds me of when we'd train at the academy...focus woman.."Uh no, not quite yet Harry, I was just coming down to see if you were planning on breakfast?" Minerva asked him, doing her very best to noticing how appealing he looked at the moment.
"Of course, I'm always starving after working up a sweat.."
"Good exercise is the key to a good appetite.." Hooch said offering Minerva a sly wink as if to say 'caught you staring at his pecs when he had his head in the shirt'
"We'd best hurry then, come along." Minerva grabbed his hand and half pulled him towards the gate. Rolanda Hooch smirked watching them, Old girls got it bad and she doesn't even know it...She chuckled and slowly made her way towards the castle.
The students made their way to Hogsmeade in groups of three and four. Harry was at the back of the line, keep an eye on stragglers while Minerva was up at the head. As the children dispersed into the village Harry walked up to Minerva.
"Quick question because we're friends...should I have washed before breakfast?" He asked her moving closer.
"No, you smell..delicious..uh fine." Minerva managed to keep her cheeks from turning pink, though it had been a near thing.
"Good, I'm going to the Hogs Head to see if anyone has posted about a house for rent." He started walking then turned, "I'll go to the three broomsticks afterwards, I'll pick us up something to eat." He waved and then ducked into the public house.
Tall, dark hair, glasses...that must be our Professor Fawkes...Bellatrix watched the man walk away and go into the Hogs Head. She made her way in as well and found him looking at a notice board.
"Looking for something in particular?" She asked, watching him stiffen.
I know that voice...Lestrange..Harry froze when he heard the voice of Bellatrix Lestrange, Calm down Harry, she doesn't know who you are. Hell she might not even be a death eater yet, just be calm.
"A house for rent." He said turning to see the a twenty one year old Bellatrix Lestrange Merlin's saggy balls...I know people said she was beautiful as a young woman but...what do they feed the Black women?
"Are you planning on moving out of Hogwarts so soon?" She said quirking an eyebrow, Why would he want a place to live...Professors get a free apartment during the term..maybe he needs somewhere secret.
"How do you know who I am?"
"Please, you're Harry Fawkes. It's all my uncle could talk about, Hogwarts finally getting a Dueling instructor, and a champion no less..I'd be surprised if you didn't get invited to Grimmauld Place at some point. Bellatrix Lestrange.." She said holding out her hand.
I'm an idiot..Harry shook her hand, her robes had shorter sleeves than the ones he was familiar with, She's unmarked, either she isn't a death eater yet, or Voldemort hasn't started marking them yet..."Well like you said I'm Harry Fawkes."
"My sister is helping you, Narcissa Black." She said, Just keep acting charming and friendly, get him to trust you then you can- what is that smell...he smells..Bellatrix felt a small shiver of lust run through her core..Maybe we can have some fun before I kill him..
"She's going to be an excellent healer one day. She's easily the smartest person I have in my classes.." Harry said truthfully, Narcissa really was a brilliant witch. Part of why he'd stopped antagonizing her was that he recognized her mind. She reminds me of Hermione...clever and implacable when she gets an idea in her head.
"I'm glad to see she's made an impression on you...so do you have any promising leads on that board?" She asked him carefully.
"Nothing I can see really jumps out at me, but that's why you do it early. Maybe next time I come down here I'll see something better." He shrugged.
"I know a place that's for rent, but the owners haven't posted it yet. If you want I'll give you the tour.."
"Where is it?"
"It's near Madam Puddifoots...little cottage on the corner near that copse of trees leading to the road to Hogwarts. Come on, what harm is there in looking?" She said, grabbing his hand and tugging him along.
Minerva saw Harry being dragged down the path by a dark haired witch. She seemed familiar but Minerva couldn't see her face, hmmm...She frowned and decided to make her way along the road toward Madam Puddifoots.
The house was small, but it seemed clean enough. Once the door closed he felt arms go around his waist. "I wanted to show you something...in the bedroom.." She whispered against his ear, her breath hot and her voice husky.
"And what would that be?" Harry had no idea what to do with a sane Bellatrix, old crazy Bellatrix was easy; see her, they fling curses at each other, she baby talks at him, he calls her a whore, easy. This Bellatrix was definitely different, Maybe she's not that crazy yet..
"Oh, you'll see..." She said, leaning in and taking his earlobe in between her teeth and biting it softly.
Harry froze for a moment, his path was decided when he heard the rustle of fabric falling to the ground and turned to see a nude Bellatrix standing there.
Oh Rodolphus..you are nothing compared to this...Bellatrix mused as she stared at the ceiling with a lazy smile on her face. "I don't suppose you'd be willing to go easier on my sisters future husband would you?"
"Lucius Malfoy is her future husband or Cantankerous Nott?" Harry said sitting up beside her Best to not let her know that I know who it is..also holy shit Harry, how are you this calm? You just fucked Bellatrix Lestrange..
"Lucius..you've been rather harsh on him..I like a firm hand...Sweet Morgana do I like your firm hand...but Lucius is feeling a bit...well, let's just say it would be best if you weren't so firm with him.." She said, rising and snaking her arms around his chest So many scars..Bellatrix liked his scars, she liked the way they showed that he had lived and fought for everything. She placed a playful kiss between his shoulder blades.
"I wish I could, but if I coddle him I'm showing a bad example.." He heard her sigh sadly and then he felt the pressure of a wand on his neck. Shit.
"Then I'm sorry, but you leave me no choice..my master doesn't appreciate how you've been treating his bankroll...I mean how you've been treating Lucius. If it's any consolation you are an excellent shag..I'll think about you whenever I'm laying under my husband..As if Rodolphus could be half the lover Harry is..
"Avada ka-" As she began casting the spell, Harry twisted and struck out with a fist to her temple. It stunned Bellatrix enough for Harry to scramble away and take up his wand.
"I'm glad to see I'm an excellent lay, too bad it wasn't enough to keep you from trying to kill me." Harry said, to which Bellatrix laughed.
"It could've been. But you're up and armed, so let's do this.."
The two began to fight, for Harry it was like a moment out of time. He'd fought Bellatrix once before when he was nude, she had found his hiding place as he was taking a shower. That fight had ended with the entire house being destroyed by fiendfyre. This Bellatrix is fast, but she doesn't have the same repertoire..He noted as he dodged a purple flash of light.
He is good...oh Circe, I wish I didn't have to kill him. Between his fighting skills and the way I'm still tingling...She had an idea, "Reducto" She cried, blasting the ceiling above him. Harry dodged the debris, but wasn't able to dodge Bellatrix as she hurled herself at his midsection. She connected, knocking them both down and taking the wind from him.
"I could kill you, you know. It would be so easy..." Her free hand traced up his chest to his face, cupping his cheek and drawing him close. She leaned in and inhaled deeply, "I want a little reminder when I'm back with my husband...I'll be back soon for you, when I return, prepare to begin a new career path..." She kissed him deeply, her tongue plundering his mouth as if she was afraid that he'd vanish before the kiss ended. Finally she broke the kiss, panting slightly. "Get dressed Harry, get dressed and get back up to the castle. Be ready for me, I'll send you a message as soon as I can."
She turned to grab her robes and then vanished. Harry rose and pulled his own back on. As he walked out of the cottage he saw Minerva standing there, her hands on her hips. "Where have you been? It's time to get back now...and who was that woman you were with?" She demanded.
"She wanted to show me this cottage..it might be coming up for rent soon..she apparated back to London to speak with the owner..." He said, "Come on Minerva...like you said it's time to get back."
"Bellatrix, I am disappointed..you didn't kill your target. May I ask why?" Voldemort's voice was soft, she knew that was a dangerous sign. When he's quiet, he's thinking if you're worth keeping alive or not..
"He's more useful to us alive my Lord. He is a capable duelist..AHH!" She screamed as she felt him push into her mind.
"He's a capable lover as well I see...whatever would your husband think? Cheating spouses are never good partners in an organization such as ours...Crucio!" Bellatrix screamed again as the torture curse passed through her body.
"You will contact Professor Fawkes in three days time. You will kill him, do you understand me?"
"Ye-Yes my Lord."