Content Harry Potter Trixie Belden Star Trek: TNG My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
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With a Little Help From My Friends

Chapter 3

Dumbledore was as good as his word.   As soon as I Apparated into Hogsmeade, a carriage with the Hogwarts crest stood before me, thestrals harnessed to it.   I climbed in and soon found myself before the great doors to the castle, where I was met by the headmaster.

"Mrs. Malfoy, it is good to see you," he said pleasantly, lying as well as he always could.

"We don't have time for niceties," I said quietly.   "There is information you need to know, and I need to give it in a secure location."

"Let us go to my office then, dear lady," he said, and escorted me to the infamous gargoyle, which was already aside.   In his office, he set several wards before turning to me and saying, "What do you know that is so important?"

In answer, I pulled Harry's wand out of my handbag and placed it on his desk.   "Do not trust Severus Snape under any circumstance.   He was directly involved in the seizure of Harry Potter from the Dursley residence."

"Have you any proof of this?"   He picked up Harry's wand with a broken look in his eyes.

"Severus was found stunned, with Harry missing.   He informed you that Harry had somehow found a way around the monitoring charms on his wand.   He had decided to run away from the Dursley household, and upon finding Severus there, stunned him unconscious.   Severus could only assume that the Death Eaters found him then."   I paused.   "If you check the finances of the Dursley family, I believe that you will discover that they suddenly came into a windfall of roughly twenty-five thousand pounds right about the time that Harry disappeared."

"Why have you become involved?" he asked me bluntly.

I sighed.   "Because I seem to have become something of a pervert, Headmaster.   I somehow fell in love with a man young enough to be my son.   I have even sworn an oath to see him to safety, even at the cost of my own soul.   I will verify this under Veritaserum, if you have a trustworthy batch."

Dumbledore stared at me for a long time.   "The fact that you have Harry's wand in your keeping is proof that you have been near him."   My mind slid momentarily to some of our activities, and I could not prevent myself from blushing at his unintentional double entendre.   "Indeed?   Quite interesting.   What do you suggest we do?"

"The thought that comes to mind is to wait until I have had a chance to travel to Diagon Alley today.   My husband has decided to protect the Malfoy money by giving me power of attorney.   My intention, which he knows, is to transfer all Malfoy holdings, and I mean all, into the name of Narcissa Black.   What he doesn't know is that I fully intend to file divorce papers immediately after this.   Voldemort will go from well funded to non-funded."


I took a deep breath.   "I have spent two months ministering to a young man whom we now know is destined to kill or be killed.   Harry faces each torture session with a sense of resignation.   He knows that one day he won't return, and that Voldemort will have won.   He holds on for the simple fact that he knows that it will sentence Miss Granger to a living hell if Voldemort is still alive when he dies."

"Headmaster, there are things I would like to say to you that I am holding my tongue on, because they will serve no purpose.   What I will talk about however … I wish to have a long conversation with the Gryffindor Head of Household, to be honest.   The Head of House for the House known for courage informed one of her students that cowardice was a far better thing to have when faced with opposition from those in power."

I was warming to my subject.   "The man lived with relatives that mentally tortured him, and he faced tortures here at Hogwarts.   Is there anyone on the staff who has ever given him the feeling that he is worth something?   You treated him like a grandson until last year, when you couldn't be bothered to give Harry the time of day, for fear that Voldemort might read your mind.   Can I assume that this forcing him to endure the Dursleys and the last year's events are a method of mentally toughening him for fighting Voldemort?   If so, you may be succeeding beyond your wildest fantasies, because as of this point, the only ones he seems to worry about at all are Miss Granger and myself.   He certainly has no sense of self worth, Dumbledore, and it is squarely upon your shoulders that this rests."   I was actually on my feet and pointing into the elderly old goat's face.

I gathered my wits about me and sat back down as he spoke.   "Your fervour on the subject of Harry lends far greater credence to   the truth of your statements than you believe."   He sat back to think a little.   "Are the wards likely to drop as soon as the property can no longer be considered Malfoy property?"

"The wards should come crashing down the moment that I put my signature on the divorce papers.   We'll need to put Harry somewhere safe before I can sign them, to be honest."

"We may be unable.   We might well require a team of Aurors waiting just outside the wards, ready to stun and capture anyone involved."

"The sooner the better.   Harry isn't scheduled to be tortured this soon, but they aren't big on keeping to a schedule, to be honest.   I want him safe."

The headmaster looked past me for a long moment before saying, "If I gave you a portkey, could you get it to Harry easily, without being detected?"   I nodded.   "Excellent."   He reached into his desk and pulled out a wrist band.   "Put this on him and tell him to activate it the way that his father might end a prank.   He will understand.   It will bring him to the Hospital Wing."

I nodded.   "Will you contact the Aurors for me?   They are far more likely to believe you.   Besides, I still need to give Lucius his surprise."

"Will you return here before going back to the Malfoy home?"

"No, that would be suspicious.   If you have someone you trust to tell the Aurors when to attack, that would be good.   Please make sure that they are aware that I … well, I am attached to my own skin, and would rather appreciate remaining within it, relatively unharmed."

His eyes twinkled.   "I shall pass that sentiment along.   I look forward to seeing you soon, Miss Black."

I smiled at him.   "I find that I look forward to seeing you again as well.   We still need to converse about Harry's upbringing."

He lost the twinkle for a moment.   "It seems that I have trusted some of the wrong people.   I will see if there is anything I can do to make up to the young man.   First we need to get him to where I have the chance, however.   Good luck."

I stood and nodded at him.   "Thank you.   I have the feeling that I will need it, sir."   He activated his Floo connection and put his head through for a moment.

"If you need to travel to Diagon Alley, you may do it from here."   I nodded with a smile, and quickly was in Diagon Alley, walking purposefully to Jonathan Auberthwaite's business suite.

I was greeted by Mr. Auberthwaite himself.   "Narcissa!   Good to see you!   Did you tear a few strips off the headmaster?"

"He's still a charming old bastard, but I believe that I made my point quite well.   As I was walking here, Jon, I had a thought.   You know what is intended, correct?"   He nodded.   "Are you specifically hired by the Malfoy's or do you … well, do you transfer with the money, if you know what I mean?   It may be offensive, but I can't think of a better way to ask it."

He looked at me for a long moment.   "I am on retainer to the Malfoy's.   I suppose that in one way of looking at it, once the money is no longer officially Malfoy money, I no longer am employed by the family."

I cast some fairly thick wards against being overheard.   "What is your opinion on Voldemort?"

He shuddered.   "Bad for business.   I'm neither Dark nor Light, Narcissa.   If you want to hire me for Voldemort, though, I'm afraid that I'd need to decline.   He's known for excessive punishments if someone displeases him."

He was obviously pleased by my smile.   "Excellent.   Could you get a goblin here so that we may conclude our business with them once the power of attorney is in effect?"

"Certainly.   I expected as much, and I have one waiting in the other office."   The transfer of all Malfoy assets went without a hitch, and the goblin was quickly on his way.   Jonathan looked at me.   "So, what other business do you have for me that you don't want Lucius to know?" he asked with a smile.

"Betray me on this and you will not live to regret it," I said quietly.

"You're the one with the money, Miss Black."   He looked warily at me for a moment, and then his eyes widened.   "That's what you want, isn't it?   Clean out old Lucius after all his years of …"   He sat back and laughed harder than I'd ever seen.   "I told him he'd regret the way he treated you!   Give me a moment …"   He rolled his chair toward a cabinet and pulled out a small sheaf of papers.   "I love these finding charms.   Are you on a schedule, or can we get this divorce out of the way now?   It'll take about ten minutes."

"By all means, Jonathan," I replied with a smile.   Fifteen minutes later I was signing a stack of papers ordering my divorce from Lucius Malfoy, since he was a known Death Eater and escaped criminal.   I was now both a free woman, and on a terribly important timetable.   "Forgive my haste, Jonathon, but I must be leaving to deal with some things."

"I'll see you later, Narcissa," he smiled at me.   "Client confidentiality rules here, in case you are curious."   I nodded and headed downstairs to Apparate back, but not before nodding to the crowd, hoping beyond hope that the person would understand.

I arrived to a house in chaos.   The house elves were running around trying to figure out what to do now that the wards were in shambles.   "Snari!" I shouted, and she arrived.   "Where's Harry?"

"In the dungeons, Mistress. Lucius decided to torture Master Harry after you left."

I was intrigued that Lucius was no longer her master, but she considered Harry to be a Master now.   "I need you to find Harry and place this on his wrist and tell him to activate it the way his father and Sirius would end a prank.   He should understand."   She disappeared with the wrist band just as Aurors burst into the home.   I turned to face a dark haired man who fired the Cutting Curse at me.   I wasn't able to get a full shield up in time, and the world went black on me in extreme pain.


I awoke in a hospital room with curtains surrounding me.   I wondered where I was until I heard a familiar voice rasping, "I want to know the name of the Auror who tried to kill Cissy.   I want his badge.   Hell, I want his fucking head."

"Harry, language please.   You need to understand that he was appearing in a believed combat zone," Dumbledore replied.

"Stupefy, Petrificus Totalis, Stupefy, Incarcerus.   If he caught her off guard or without a wand, that's all he needed to fire.   The Cutting Curse is intended to kill, pure and simple.   I saw Dolohov cast it on Hermione."

"Please try to understand - " Dumbledore responded, but Harry cut him off.

"Please leave, Professor.   Right now I'm too angry and worried to think straight.   Perhaps after I know whether or not she'll survive the attack …"   I heard him breath deeply, a ragged sound that promised tears.   "May I see Hermione when she eventually gets here, Professor?"

"Yes, Harry."   Dumbledore sounded profoundly unhappy at the moment.   I heard a chair scrape, and then someone shuffled past my bed.   A moment later, I heard other movement, and closed my eyes.   I was curious as to what he might say if he thought I happened to still be unconscious.

I heard the curtains move slightly, followed by a chair close to me scraping.   "Cissy, please wake up.   You saved my life by coming to Dumbledore, and if you die because of this rescue, I don't think I could forgive myself.   Everyone I love gets killed or badly hurt.   My parents are dead, Sirius is dead, Hermione almost died, and now you seem to be at Death's door.   Please come back."   He I heard him move, and then his lips brushed mine.

I couldn't resist the slight humour of the situation, so I smiled slightly and put my arms around him.   "Thank you, my prince, for waking me with a kiss."

His relief was physical.   "Oh thank God!" he breathed, relaxing against me.   "I was so worried."

"So, what do we do now?" I asked quietly.   "You want to speak to Miss Granger, and so do I, to be honest."

"What do we do now?   We heal from our extensive wounds.   You'll likely be up and around before I am, thanks to your husband's 'loving' ministrations."

"Ex-husband, thank you very much," I replied with a smile.   "That was how the Aurors were able to get in to try to capture people.   I divorced that unrepentant Death Eater."   After a moment's silence, I said, "I heard what you said, Harry.   Do you really love me?"

"Yes, and that's what really bothers me right now, because you know how I feel about Hermione.   In a perfect world, I could marry you both, and both of you would be happy with the situation.   We both know that won't happen."

My heart skipped a beat.   I wasn't about to mention to him that he had just talked about marrying me, for fear that it might chase him away.   I heard someone outside the curtains, and then a female sigh.   "Mister Potter, what is it going to take to keep you in bed?   Every time I come to check on you, you're out of bed and looking in on Mrs. Malfoy," Poppy Pomfrey said with more than a little asperity in her voice.

"Miss Black, please," I replied.   "I divorced that good-for-nothing maniac and took all the Malfoy property in the process.   A large portion of his usefulness to Voldemort went away."   I paused for a moment.   "What day is this, by the way?   How long have I been out?"

"Sunday, September 1st," she replied.   "The students are on their way here on the Hogwarts Express."

"Not that I'm complaining," I asked her, "but why aren't I in St. Mungo's?"

Harry blushed furiously.   "Apparently I threw a hissy fit.   I don't remember doing so, but that's what they tell me.   I wanted my Cissy near me," he finished in a put-on petulant voice.   Madam Pomfrey was fighting to hide a smile.

"How long am I to be bed bound?" I asked her.   "I still hurt, I admit, but since I seem to have been out for several days, I am hoping that I might be able to at least get up and walk around a bit."

"If you're careful, Miss Black, then you should be able to move around some."   I smiled and sat up carefully, wincing a little at some small pain.   Once upright, though, I carefully stood and walked over to Harry's bed and sat in the chair next to him, after he had returned to prone position.

She looked at him for a moment, and then relaxed.   "Miss Black, I just might ask you to sleep there, if you're willing.   That's the most relaxed that I have seen Mister Potter since you two came in."   In fact, he responded with a light snore.   Much more quietly she continued.   "If I ever get my hands on the people who did this to him, I'd be sorely tempted to forget my healer's oath."

"Two things, Madam Pomfrey.   Call me Narcissa.   Second, one of them is a teacher here, or at least used to be."

"Unfortunately, he still is," came a soft voice.   "At the time, he could not face his accuser, so I was unable to simply let him go.   I have not even mentioned that he is under suspicion.   If possible, I would like to have Mister Potter eat in the Great Hall, just so that I may see Severus' reaction to his survival."

"Snape is still working here?" Harry asked coldly, surprising me, since I'd thought he fallen asleep.

"Yes, Harry," Dumbledore responded.   "With both you and Miss Black to accuse him , however, I believe that should change imminently."   He looked at us with the most open look I have ever seen on the man, and I could feel Harry relax.   It was then that I realised that I had taken hold of his hand at some point.

Rapid footsteps pounded into the room, and I felt Harry tense up again.   A head of bushy hair came into view, and the girl it belonged to squealed, "Harry!   You're okay!" and fell to her knees beside the bed on the side opposite me.   I released his hand, and his arms went around her as she hugged him.   I could hear her crying softly.

"It's okay, Hermione.   I'm all right.   Don't cry.   Please don't cry."   He was suddenly out of his depth.   He could fight dark wizards and deal with torture, but a crying woman flummoxed him.   He patted her back gently, if with confusion.

I decided to cut through a lot of the grief that allowing them to dance around each other might cause.   "When she's done crying, I think that Miss Granger and I need to speak for a few minutes."

The girl looked up, blinking away tears.   "About what?"

"Cissy," Harry warned me.   More precisely, with one word, he pleaded for me not to bring his world crashing down around him.

"About things that need saying, Miss Granger.   And before we go any further, please call me either Miss Black, or Narcissa.   Lucius is no longer my husband."

I had made the girl blink again.   "Why not?"

"Multiple reasons, one of them involving why I need to speak with you, even if it means that Harry decides never to speak to me again."

"You're that set on this conversation?" Harry asked.   "Even if it … even if it destroys my friendships?"

"From her reaction, I'd say it would only improve things, Harry."

She was looking between the two of us, and I found it interesting to actually see someone thinking.   Her brow furrowed (prettily I might add), and suddenly her eyes widened, her gaze snapping to Harry.   She bit her lower lip for just a moment before saying, "I love you too, Harry."

His jaw dropped, making her laugh softly.   "How did you … how could you possibly - "

"Simple, silly.   I've known you for five years.   You take the world on your shoulders.   Plus, those Dursleys have never made you feel loved.   Therefore, you'd feel that any girl that fell in love with you would have to be stupid.   Unfortunately for you, you have a thing for smart women, evidenced by that crush on Cho Chang last year.   You trust me with things I know you've never told Ron.   We are the best of friends, and I noticed over the summer that it seemed to have slipped slightly across a line, as far as I was concerned.   Mom referred to you as my boyfriend, and I didn't exactly correct her.   In fact, I told her I might have to strip naked to get you to notice me as a girl."

I couldn't help but laugh as Harry's eyes bugged slightly, and he choked out, "No, trust me, I knew it already."   He cleared his throat before continuing, "Hermione?   I won't ask why, because you probably have as much understanding of it as I do.   I have a problem, though."

I knew where he was going, and stood carefully.   "No you don't, Harry.  Don't ruin a good thing by too much honesty."

"But …"

"They call it Florence Nightingale Syndrome.   That, and a bit of Stockholm Syndrome.   You were in a hostage situation, and you identified with a captor, who nursed you back to health."

"Is that all I was - a patient?" he asked, looking hurt.

I stared him in the eyes and thanked the deities for being Slytherin and able to lie with a straight face.   "Yes, Harry.   I was your nurse - that's all.   Now if you don't mind, I think I need to lie down again.   That Cutting Curse was a bit painful."   I carefully walked back to my bed behind the curtains.   When I saw my wand there, I chose to carefully cast silencing spells and locked my curtains together as best I could.   As I lay down on the bed, the tears were already starting.

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Author Notes:

Awakening at Hogwarts.