Third Time's a Soul Bond?

BY : Wilde_Guess
Category: Harry Potter > Slash - Male/Male > Harry/Ron
Dragon prints: 3717
Disclaimer: I do not own the Harry Potter franchise, nor the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Chapter 8. Mum? Where family issues are dealt with.

I awoke to some degree of confusion, with Harry doing the same.

"Not a morning person, Old Man!" was my 'good morning' greeting.

I replied with "Good morning to you too, Brat. Or afternoon. Give me a sec?"

I opened the bed curtains and Lumos'ed the lights. I wandlessly summoned all of our wands, and used my second wand to quickly and silently cast a Tempus charm. The result was a glowing '10:47 ante.'

"Still morning, Brat!" I told Harry as he became more coherent.

He replied with 'Gotta pee real bad! It'll hurt if we stop touching. Hold my hand and walk me to the loo?"

So, Harry and I started the day with our own version of "Skip to my Loo," complete with bouncing "morning wood."

We entered the common room to find Neville fully awake, fully dressed in his uniform, and trying to eat a rather tasty looking continental breakfast that was laid out on the coffee table, including a pot each of tea and coffee, along with Pumpkin Juice, Orange Juice, and water. Lucky Boy was quietly eating by the wall near the entry door.

I noticed this in a fairly quick pass through, though. I said "Sorry, Neville," as we passed through.

Harry added, "Look away if you don't want to see!" We made it quickly into the loo, "bouncing" as we went. It took us both a few seconds to "relax" enough to pee into the commode instead of straight up. This gave me the time to flip up the seat and lid. We had closed the door enough for modesty but left it open enough to talk.

Harry said in a slightly raised voice, "How did you sleep, Neville?"

"Good," he answered. "And you two?"

"Never better! JINX!" Harry and I answered in unison. The levity finally did the job, and we "deflated" enough to pee. After we finished, we both realized we had other business to attend to.

While we both were blushing bright red, we took turns sitting down and attending to that. We decided afterwards that a quick shower was called for. We washed and rinsed each other quickly, and stepped out of the show to dry off.

As we dried off, with Harry's leg wrapped around mine like the night before while we stood, he asked "Hey, Neville? How bad is our being naked freaking you out?"

He answered, "Not that bad, though even that is more seeing you both naked and hard. Why? And, uhm, were you guys that big before yesterday?"

Harry answered, "I never noticed."

I added, "Harry and I are both 'early bloomers.' I started a little early this time around, but not by much. We'll both be bigger still if what Harry and I grew to in my first lifetime holds true."

"But I thought you guys didn't do anything before yesterday?"

"We didn't. Guys do talk even if they don't show each other. I got up to 19cm in my first lifetime, and Harry told me he got up to 24. I got up to 19 in my second lifetime, too. In that one, though, Harry was a girl, bisexual, and her lesbian girlfriend wanted me dead. The psycho girlfriend was in fact the one that pushed me through to this lifetime. So, really big turn-off between the female Harry and me, though she had the 'hots' for me like no one's business.

"I'd have tried seeing if it would work even with the lesbian girlfriend, except for the whole 'death' thing. Icing on that cake was that the psycho bitch was the double to my affectionate if bossy wife of thirty-eight years who bore me two children and became Minister of Magic."

"You got it on with Hermione Granger?" Neville and Harry exclaimed in unison.

"Hey, it worked for us, for thirty-eight years! That's longer than both of you two have been alive put together. But how did you guess it was her?"

"Smart and bossy! JINX!" Neville and Harry answered.

"Back to clothes!" Harry interrupted. "Neville, like I was saying before we got sidetracked. We want to hang out with you, but we can't get dressed yet. Sharing a bed-sheet like we did coming down here will be a bother, but we'll do it if nothing else works. We can try putting on our boxers, but you noticed that we have a little 'more' than most guys our age, and Ron and I will probably be hard almost all of the time, so we'll really be uncomfortable, and you'll still see our 'stuff.' We can wrap towels around our waists. Easiest for Ron and me would be to just say 'to heck with it' and be naked, which we'd do if you weren't here, and have a towel each in case McGonagall or someone stops by. We want to hang out with you, but we don't want you freaked out. What do you think, Neville?"

Neville was silent for a minute or so. He finally answered, "I guess you guys can go naked and have the towels handy. I understand a little bit of what you guys are going through, and I already used it to skive off of lessons for the rest of the day. Just, if I have to get naked with you, let's wait until we've all eaten, okay?"

"Great!" Harry chirped. He almost took off into the common room, but thought better of it. Our finally sharing a "good-morning kiss" also clued him in to the fact that our breath wasn't exactly "minty-fresh," and an appointment with tooth-paste and a brush would also be a wise use of our time. We both had to share Harry's toothbrush and paste, since the house-elves couldn't get into my trunk. For that matter, I was going to need to key Harry into it before too long, but anyway…

After we were both dried off, teeth brushed, and each had a pair of dry bath towels in case we needed to get "modest" as well as being polite by not sitting bare-bummed on furniture that others would also sit on, we walked out holding hands. Harry was rock-hard and I was not too far behind. I was blushing a lot more than Harry was.

We sat down on the sofa facing the coffee table. Neville had moved one of the chairs to the other side of the coffee table, and was facing us.

As we served ourselves, Harry asked, "How did you manage to get orange juice in this place?

Neville answered, "When Professor Dumbledore told my Gran everything that happened last night, including my introduction during the sorting feast, she was not only stunned, but she told me that she was 'prouder of me than she had ever been in her life.' She not only agreed to get me a new wand, but she agreed to have Dad's wand framed, so I could hang it in my bed to wake up to every morning. She also sent one of our house-elves, and that's how we got the orange juice. A lot of purebloods sneer at it, but part of the Longbottom fortune was built upon, and still comes from the citrus trade. Mipsy!"

Mipsy, Neville's house-elf, joined us. She was of average appearance for a house-elf, and wore a tea-towel toga with the Longbottom coat of arms on it. She said, "What is Master Neville wanting of Mipsy?"

While Harry watched in bug-eyed shock with his mouth open, Neville answered, "These are my friends Harry Potter and Ron Weasley. Muggles raised Harry, so this is the first time he's seen a house-elf. They are both nice people, though. While Gran has you here helping the Hogwarts elves, you are to answer to them as well as to me. We're not done with breakfast quite yet. I just called you to introduce you. We'll be done in a few minutes, though. You may leave until one of us calls you again."

She answered, "There is being no hurry, Master Neville." She then popped away, leaving us alone again.

Harry asked, "Another busy day?"

I answered, "We'll have a lot of them for a while, too."

We finished eating all the food on the table between the three of us. Neville and Harry finished off the orange juice, I had two glasses of pumpkin juice, and we each had one (or one more in Neville's case) cup of coffee. I enjoy coffee, and Harry discovered that he did, too. But we limited it to one cup each because the bond was tending to keep us wired, and we didn't want to scare Neville off. He called Mipsy again, and she cleared away the remains of our (now) brunch.

Neville said, "Professor McGonagall has already been by, too. When I told her that I could do magic pretty good with your second wand, she left us some matches, with the instruction that you were to teach Harry and me to transfigure them into sewing needles, and that you were to do some yourself." He pointed to a box of matches on the end table closest to the door. She said that she wouldn't be back until after supper, and that no one else would likely be coming by before then, either. But I think that if you guys want to do anything other than talk, that you had better do that first, and then clean up before we do anything else."

I said, "I don't think we'll need to do anything like that right away. We can talk for a while and then try out the transfiguration lesson.

"I'll also have you read the text out loud to Harry and me. I found out last night that Harry's prescription for his glasses is crap, to the point that he probably gets headaches from reading…

"How did you know that?" Harry asked startled.

I answered him, "I could tell by looking through your eyes. Have you ever been to an optometrist?"

He answered embarrassed, "No, I just grabbed the best pair out of the charity bin at the church that I could find."

I said, "We'll get that sorted in the next day or two. But Neville will need to get better at public speaking, and his reading the Transfiguration text to us will help him with that, as well as helping us."

"Mipsy." I called.

Neville's house-elf returned with a perfectly sized blanket for what we needed and spread it over Harry and me. By this time, Harry had "migrated" into my lap.

"Thank you, Mipsy; you are a credit to your house."

The house-elf blushed slightly, answered, "You are being welcome, Master Ronald," and vanished back to whatever else she was doing.

I continued, "After Neville's reading, I will give a short lecture on Transfiguration itself. After my talk, we will try the Transfiguration exercise.

"By the way, Neville, do you think you would want me to try reconditioning your father's old wand? I think that there is enough 'life' left in it that I could do so. If the wand is set back to rights, your children might be able to use it years down the road. Even if just a mantle piece, it will be a fitting memorial to your Dad's bravery to set it back to rights for him."

Neville asked, "You actually worked on wands?"

I shook my head slowly, but with a genuine smile on my face. I said, "I didn't make a fuss about it last night, but I did say that I was a part-time apprentice under Master Garrick, didn't I?"

He nodded, and I continued. "I started apprenticing under Master Garrick on the third of March in 1987; that was my seventh birthday present from Mum and Dad. For the first week, I only cleaned the shop and listed to Master Garrick talk about wands and wand-lore.

"He figured out before the week was up that I was an unwilling time traveller, and had bonded with wands in both of my previous lifetimes. After he decided that I was trustworthy which was the Friday of my first week, he started actually training me.

"I was officially a twenty-five hour per week part-time apprentice. The only reason that that 'flew' at all is that wand-crafters get a lot less 'interference' from the Ministry. I oftentimes worked longer then twenty-five hours for Master Garrick. But, unless someone actually complained, no one was going to do anything about it.

"Since I mowed lawns in the Ottery after I got off of work with Master Garrick anyway, the only concern Mum had was that I wasn't skipping meals. So, if 12:30 tuned into 2:30 in the afternoon, so long as I was keeping up with my home–school studies, and wasn't 'burning myself out,' no one complained.

"By 1989, I was making new wands and reconditioning old ones brought in to the shop without any direct supervision from Master Garrick, though he always inspected or tested my 'end product,' to make sure it was up to snuff and wouldn't give the shop a bad name. Out of the forty-three students who started first-year Sunday, ten were carrying wands that I had made, including both Hermione Granger and me. Five others were carrying 'heirloom' wands that I myself had reconditioned, including Zacharias Smith, and me again.

"The wand you used on the train was originally my Grandfather Septimus Weasley's wand, and then it was my brother Charlie's. After I reconditioned it, there was an 'incident' at the house where the wand rejected Charlie and blasted a hole in his hand because he chewed on it, and then ripped it out of my hand when I was checking how bad he damaged it. This put Mum into a flashback from the war, and she beat my arse with my father's trouser belt.

"This would have just been an embarrassment otherwise, but the buckle end of the belt, which was the end she was using on me, had battery acid on it from where my father had spilled battery acid from our Ford Anglia on it. With her getting my blood on it, and being in a 'flashback' of attacking the people who murdered my Uncles Fabian and Gideon with it, it became a very powerful wand, and basically ripped the skin off of my arse down to the muscle.

"That was in Mid-August of 1989. Even with magical healing, I spent three weeks in Hospital, oddly enough in the Hospital Wing here at Hogwarts. I wasn't able to go back to work for just over a month, and it was December before I could honestly say I was fully healed.

"The scars I have left are still fading, two years later, because I use scar reducing cream on them every day, or at least I had up to now. I should get them to go away completely before second year. If I had been abused, I wouldn't give a shite. But I wasn't, and every time Mum even thinks about that day, it breaks her heart anew, so I am getting rid of those scars so I can perhaps heal the rest.

"Back to the wands. That was my secondary wand. It is now blood-bound to me, and it's the one I use most of the time. It's the one I let you use on the train, since if I ask it to work for someone else in my presence, it will without complaint. My primary wand is the seventh one I made all by myself. It accepted me, and me alone, the day and hour I finished making it, which was seven in the morning on the First of March in 1989. It stayed on the bench until the end of last June, because that was the earliest that Master Garrick could sell it to me.

"Hermione's wand was the eleventh wand I made. I hadn't said anything to her, because I don't think that she would accept that her wand was made by a boy who is six month younger than her, at least as far as the calendar reads. Out of a wand-crafter's early works, the seventh is the most powerful, followed closely by the eleventh, and then by the ninth.

"So, if you want, I can quietly refurbish the wand for you, and your Gran will never find out and still get you a new wand. Your father's wand will be like new. Did the wand ever let you cast with it?"

Neville answered, "I could get a Lumos out of it, but I had to 'fight' to get that. That's why I thought I was almost a Squib."

I said in reply, "No problem, Neville. That's why I stressed quiet. If the wand doesn't accept you, it will still look its best in a frame, and your Gran will never know unless you tell her. Do you want me to try working on it?"

"Sure, if you can. How will you get to Ollivander's, though?"

"If I can at all, it will be fairly easy. We also have a 'trade' secret that allows to do top quality work much faster than other shops on the Alley, and for that matter other wand-crafting shops."

I then said, "Enough of the wand-lore." I cast a quick Tempus spell, and continued. It's now almost one o'clock in the afternoon. We can call for Mipsy, have some sandwich points and crisps for lunch, and then on we go to Transfiguration and public speaking. With Neville's nodded agreement, and Harry coming around as well, that is just what we did.

§§§

It was one thirty before we finished lunch. It was almost four in the afternoon before we had read through the first three chapters of the Transfiguration textbook. I answered whatever questions Harry and Neville had as best as I could, while Neville read the text aloud, slowly gaining in confidence as he went.

I said, "I'll give a short lecture and introduction to close this up. After that, we'll eat an early supper, and try our first actual Transfiguration exercise—the matchsticks Professor McGonagall left for us.

"Transfiguration is the magical science and art of changing one thing into another. While the changes will fool the senses, and the changed items can often be used as the item they are changed into, the changes produced by Transfiguration are only temporary. In fact, one of the most important laws of Transfiguration states precisely that when it states that you cannot Transfigure an inedible item into edible food. While the Transfigured item will resemble food in every way, most such Transfigurations will fail with the first bite. The most dangerous Transfigurations will fail well inside your body, causing you grievous injury or even death.

"Professor McGonagall is famed for telling every first year class at their first meeting that Transfiguration is some of the most dangerous magic we will learn here, and that anyone fooling around in her class will be expelled from it. She is all too right in this!

"While the practical exercises Professor McGonagall has us do have almost no chance of going dangerously wrong, especially the ones she has us first-years doing, even they can go wrong and hurt you if you are too careless. The principals we learn, if carelessly or wrongly done on other things can kill you.

"Headmaster Dumbledore is famed for being a Transfiguration Master even greater than Professor McGonagall. In fact, he taught her the art when she attended Hogwarts, and she was his immediate successor when he became Headmaster.

"Before Professor Dumbledore began teaching Transfiguration, Hogwarts averaged between three and seven Transfiguration students crippled per decade, and between one and three of those dieing a lingering and agonizing death! It was 'just the cost of doing business.'

"Hogwarts hasn't lost or seriously injured a Transfiguration student since just before Professor Dumbledore started teaching. Both Professor McGonagall and he intend to keep this up. If Professor McGonagall throws you out of class for good, Professor Dumbledore will not override her. It takes a four-fifths majority of the Hogwarts Board of Governors to override the decision of a Headmaster, if they even agree to hear the case, which they are under no obligation to do.

"So, if you are going to do stupid shite in a class, do not do it in Transfiguration. You have been warned. "

This saw us to growling stomachs at almost half-five, and a quick round of sandwiches and pumpkin juice saw us to five o'clock and our first actual Transfiguring.

Neville had the brilliant idea of having Mipsy expand the back of Harry's bathrobe, and add an extra pair of sleeves, so both Harry and I could wear it at once. It was better than the sheet or towels and much more polite for anyone who we needed to have visit us, since it basically hid everything below our necklines, past mid-forearms, and above mid-calf. With Harry in front of me, we were both able to use the robe without our breaking contact or "take turns" with who could use their arms.

Harry claimed his wand out of his holster, I claimed my primary to use, and took out my secondary, Charlie's former wand, and gave it to Neville to use. He was somewhat frightened at first, after having heard what the wand had done to a previous wielder. But, between my assurances, and the wand's docile and responsive behaviour in Neville' hand, he was calmed down and able to trust the wand again, since neither he or it had actually done anything to each other to lose that trust in the first place.

Speaking again, I said, "Our introductory lesson is a relatively straightforward transfiguration, with practically no consequences other than a stern talking-to from Professor McGonagall if we fail. Neville, the matches, please."

Neville retrieved the matches from where they were set. I continued, "The object is simple. We transfigure a match into a sewing needle.

"The basic incantation for any Transfiguration is 'Transfiguo.' For this transfiguration, Professor McGonagall will give the modifier, but the modifier is less important. In fact, after around second year or so, you will not actually use any incantations. The most important thing, other than your magic itself, is the will to convince your magic to cause the change. You trace the length of the match slowly, while pronouncing the incantation. You will need to pronounce the incantation several times during your transfiguration. I will try to 'take it easy' with this, since my actual speed would be beyond what you can do, Neville; or what you can do, Harry, without tapping into my magic. Great job Enervating Hermione when she fainted last night, by the way. It should look like this.

As I felt Harry's blush and muttered 'thanks,' I took my wand and a match, and started the Transfiguration. Like I told Harry and Neville, I used almost no power, and tried to 'dumb-down' my speed and visible effort to that actually needed by a first-year. I took five passes and audible incantations, and produced a perfect sewing needle.

I said, "This is the end result. Neville; relax, focus your will to make the match become a sewing needle, imagine the match changing into a sewing needle, and try it."

Neville took nine passes, and sweat was beading on his forehead. And, the result of his effort was good. The match was now a needle, though it was slightly square-sided and the point was rather dull.

"Neville, even not being in class, I can honestly say that the only student who did any better was Hermione Granger. I doubt if anyone else did remotely as well.

"Now, Harry? Did you feel my magic move through the bond?"

I felt Harry nod in reply.

"Ok, Harry. Your turn! Transfigure the matchstick into a needle."

Harry took seven passes, but wasn't winded. His needle was perfect.

"Not bad, Harry" I said. You have the advantage over Neville that you can tap into my memories and senses to help you learn magic more easily. You are also the type of learner who learns most easily by doing, once you have a basic understanding of what you're trying to do."

Neville asked, "Ron, how well did you do your first time through?"

"Honestly, Neville? I stank big-time. In that lifetime, only Hermione completed the Transfiguration. A few other students got the matchstick to change, but not into a needle.

"So, with a wand that actually somewhat chooses you, and with confidence and intent, you have roughly equalled the smartest witch in our year! I've been doing transfiguration longer than you've been alive if you count the portions of both of my previous lifetimes where I was eleven or older. Harry, though our soul bond, now shares on at least a subconscious level, all of my power and experience. Your work is all you and you have every right to be proud of it!"

-KNOCK KNOCK—

"Start of a corny joke…" Harry started.

"Neville, please check who is at the door?" I asked, not ready to explain Harry's joke with the person I expected waiting outside.

Before he could move, Professor McGonagall opened the door and let herself in. She saw the needles on the table and asked, "How easy was it?"

I replied, "Only Neville's answer counts, as I'm sure you can figure. I think I got the explanation right, but I'm not a Transfiguration Master."

The professor replied, "At first glance, you have two students, and two passable student-transfigured needles. This morning, I had eighteen students, and one needle for the lot. That needle was only slightly better than Mr. Longbottom's. Neville, please take another matchstick from the box and transfigure it for me?"

As Neville selected his matchstick, I reminded him, "You can do this! You are a wizard, and you've already done it once. Just remember: Relax. Focus, Imagine, Intent."

Neville set his matchstick on the table. Seven passes and more sweat later, he had a needle just as good as mine.

"Excellent, Mr. Longbottom! Five points to Gryffindor for a wonderful Transfiguration while under pressure.

"Mr. Potter, your test will need to be a little bit different." Professor McGonagall stated, as she set a fresh matchstick on the table.

She suddenly did a complete one-hundred-eighty degree change in demeanour.

"MR. POTTER! YOU WILL TRANSFIGURE THAT MATCHSTICK INTO A NEEDLE BEFORE I COUNT TO ZERO! FIVE, FOUR, THREE," Fwwp!

The fresh matchstick was now a perfect needle. The rest of the box of matchsticks was now perfect needles. The coffee table was now made of mirror-polished stainless steel with wicked-sharp spikes for legs. Each spike had a pinkie finger sized slot in it just below where it joined with the top. Harry was trembling like a leaf in my arms and quietly sobbing. Fortunately, the knock that then sounded at the door was immediately followed by the entry of Professor Dumbledore.

In a way unique to a professor who has spent over seventy years in education, Dumbledore sized the situation up in an instant. "Professor McGonagall, please see to your student. I'll see to reversing this Transfiguration." He set his effort to examining the table and needles, both with his senses and spell-work.

Professor McGonagall knelt down so she was at Harry's and my level sitting on the sofa. She quietly and gently said, "I am so sorry, Harry. As strong and upbeat as you are, it is unfortunately too easy to forget that you were treated so poorly before coming here. I normally use the method I did with you to startle a student into doing his or her own work, to prove the work done was theirs, even under stress. I didn't mean to hurt you, and I won't try that way of teaching or testing you ever again. Would you please be willing to forgive me?"

He raised his head off of his chest, looked her in the eye, and nodded once. He gave her a half-whispered sob. "Yes, Professor McGonagall." He then laid his head back on his chest and was immediately in a sound if slightly troubled sleep.

Professor Dumbledore spoke quietly now, so as not to wake Harry after what was obviously a rather unexpected emotional trauma. "Professor McGonagall, were there any needles transfigured when you entered this room?"

"There were three, Professor Dumbledore. Mr. Weasley's was in the centre of the table, and appeared nearly perfect. Mr. Potter's needle was closest to the sofa, and was of the same quality as Mr. Weasley's. Mr. Longbottom's needle was closest to his chair. It was of outstanding quality for an actual first-year student. Hermione Granger's needle this morning was only slightly better.

"I had Mr. Longbottom transfigure another matchstick in my presence. He was nervous since I was standing over him. His second needle easily surpassed Miss Grangers, and was of nearly the same character as that of Mr. Weasley's or Mr. Potter's.

"I had tried to have Mr. Potter 'startle-cast' his second Transfiguration, to see if he could cast under stress, and also see if I could tell how much of Mr. Potter's work was natively his. There is no teaching manual for combining soul-bond relationships with disparate experience levels that include time and dimensional travel. Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in that Mr. Potter came from a very harsh home life, and is also in the middle of a major life-altering event. This leads us to what he produced. How durable a Transfiguration is it?"

Dumbledore answered her, "Professor McGonagall, it is not a Transfiguration at all, but a Transmutation, full, correct, and complete. While the detail of the form and material composition of the table was changed, its basic shape and functionality was not. All the needles produced had their form changed from that of a matchstick to that of a needle, but they are also transmuted.

He added in explanation to Neville and me, "Transmutation is the true and actual purpose of Alchemy, not brewing potions or seeking a Philosopher's Stone. Transmutation involves permanently and absolutely changing something into something else, the only restrictions being that creating an actual living subject is dangerous, and attempting to create a living human with Alchemy is a self-enforcing taboo and prohibition. With Alchemy, unlike Transfiguration, you can make some edible foodstuffs from non-edible biological materials.

"Alchemy typically relies on a Transmutation Matrix, or more commonly called a 'Circle' since most are in fact round. Harry's Transmutation does not appear to have used a circle. However, I have quietly checked Harry while checking his work, and I can happily say that this Transmutation is purely accidental.

"I say 'happily,' because almost all alchemists who can transmute without a circle have attempted to create a living human being using alchemy. This is not only Dark Alchemy, but it actually removes pieces of the alchemist's body in such a manner that they cannot be replaced by any means. Oftentimes, this reaction is fatal to the alchemist. Those who survive can perform any non-Dark transmutation without a matrix

"The other group of alchemists who can transmute without a matrix are those who have lived and practiced alchemy for many, many decades. I am a journeyman alchemist. I can only perform two or three transmutations without a matrix. Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel can produce a fair number more than I, but they still find their limits fairly quickly, and in turn write the needed matrices."

Professor Dumbledore decided to set the room to rights, as it were. "Tansy" he called.

A house-elf appeared and replied, "Master Headmaster called for Tansy?"

"Yes, Tansy. This table along with the sewing needles on it are now the property of Mr. Harry Potter. I want you to put them in storage where they may be quickly reclaimed. If Mr. Potter does not want to keep the table himself, the school will sell it on his behalf at a Muggle Modern Art Museum, where it should bring a rather attractive price.

"I also need you to bring a replacement coffee table of the correct style and size for this room."

The house-elf answered, "Tansy will do this right now, Master Headmaster." With two snaps of his fingers, 'Harry's' coffee table was gone, and a replacement wooden coffee table identical to the one that Harry had Transmuted was in its place.

Professor Dumbledore turned to me and said, "Ron, I talked to your mother earlier today. Despite my telling her about the current situation, and that it was not a good idea to do so, she insisted on visiting the castle today at eight o'clock this evening, or just under one hour from now.

§§§

I did not think that "having Mum over for a visit" was a particularly good idea. Neither did Professor Dumbledore. But Mum thought that it was a good idea. So, short of barring her entry to the castle, which was a Very Bad Idea, Mum was coming over.

First things first, time to wake Harry. Between the emotional strain, and the "snap transmutation," I figured he could use a few minutes. I wasn't able to reliably gauge his magical reserves yet, but I could tell that when he threw power around, he threw it around, so he would have to learn to pace himself.

He was also going through an emotional roller coaster that was at least the equal of the one I was living beside him, with only eleven years of total life experience to fall back on. And his life experience consisted mainly of being the victim of emotional and at least some physical abuse.

Harry came around readily enough. I asked, "How are you feeling?"

"Like garbage. I think I listened in while I was asleep. Is your Mum coming over in just a little bit?"

"Yeah, at eight o'clock."

"How bad is she going to lose it?" he asked.

"I don't know. Hopefully not bad if at all.

"Professor Dumbledore, what time did you talk to my Mum?" I asked.

"I talked to her at four o'clock this afternoon."

"Harry, she's had four hours to calm down. Besides, it's not like either one of us is going to come home pregnant."

"What does that have to do with anything?"

"Harry, kids conceiving and raising kids is generally a Very Bad Idea. Most parents want the best for their kids, and so they try to stop Very Bad Ideas from happening. This is often a Very Good Idea. But, with a bond like ours, all the rules change, or at least have to be used much differently than normal.

"For us, the idea will actually be to keep our relationship a secret for as long as possible. Not because I'm not proud to be with you, or you with me, but because male-to-male relationships are frowned upon in general, and eleven-year-olds having a continuing relationship like that even more so.

"Of course, she might still be upset since we are both eleven, and you certainly are. Most people that are older than eleven think that eleven-year-olds entering into a sexual relationship is also a Very Bad Idea. But in our case, that is one of the choices that the bond did take away from us.

"Mums want to see their kids do well, and not poorly. Since we need to do well together in order to do well, she'll come around eventually."

I decided to "handle" the other eleven-year-old in the room, while I, and he for that matter, might still influence the decision. "Neville, will you be willing to stay for this? Mum might have some questions that you may be able to answer better than us, since you have some experience with soul bonds, and are also Harry's and my age."

"Harry's age, certainly. Harry? I can stay if you want. You guys are going to need me until at least tomorrow afternoon anyway, and if Ron's Mum gets you guys upset, I'll be helping you anyhow, and hear about whatever happens eventually?"

"Thanks, Neville!" Harry answered. Can we have your house-elf set up a tea and coffee service? I've got maybe twenty-five minutes, desperately need a cup to wake up for Mrs. Weasley, and I need to visit the loo and wash up afterwards?"

"Light brown, two lumps?" Neville asked as Harry and I stood up.

"Yes, please and thank you Neville!"

"Ron, does your mum take milk or lemon with her tea?"

"I don't know if she takes either. I guess Mipsy will have both available, since she's good at that kind of stuff?" Harry and I went to the loo and took care of necessities.

We got out at ten minutes to eight, and sat upright on the sofa. I had my legs spread about as wide as I could get them, with Harry sitting between. Harry and I were still "sharing" the four-armed bathrobe, with Harry snuggling his back into my body as much as he could without pressing on my bits.

We were each drinking coffee; Harry to wake up, and me to calm down. Part of me wished for something stronger, but the smarter part agreed that my not yet used to alcohol body would get blitzed on one shot of Firewhisky, and it was bad enough meeting Mum with my new male lover (?!), as well as being basically starkers with him in my arms sharing the same robe without being drunk as well.

At the top of the hour, Professor McGonagall escorted Mum, and surprisingly Dad into the room. Both of them looked rather ill at ease. Mum, while composed right now, appeared to have been crying. Dad was rather tough to read. But then again, I would have been rather tough to read if I had been called to the school because Hugo had found a life-long live-in male lover on the train as a first-year, too.

Before either Harry or I had realized, Mum had moved the coffee table away from the sofa, knelt down in front of us, and grabbed both of us into a hug! She kissed each of on the cheek, and held us (mostly Harry since I was behind him) to her chest. She spread our upper halves out just enough extra so she had one head on each shoulder.

I cried silently as I held both Harry and her. I could feel in my magic that she had not completely accepted things as they were, as indeed on some level they now had to be. But she set that aside to comfort her two youngest sons. I could feel that she had already accepted him into the family.

Harry, however, broke down completely. He cried and sobbed as if he were a three-year-old, constantly repeating, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" as he did. He did this for about ten minutes before he cried himself out and fell into a deep slumber. Mum released us, dried both of our faces with a handkerchief, and put Harry's glasses on the coffee table. She then crossed over to the love seat, and sat down next to Dad, putting the coffee table back as she did so.

Mum asked, "Ron, who is your classmate, and how much does he know?

"Mum, this is Neville Longbottom, the Longbottom Heir. He is Harry's chief political ally, is now Harry's closest non-lover friend, and is also knowledgeable about soul bonds. Since his parents were soul-bonded, he has instinctive knowledge on recognizing and evaluating them. He has also studied the material his family library had about them as a way of connecting with his parents. He probably knows as much or more than you, since I don't know what Professor Dumbledore has told you. Neville, these are my parents, Arthur and Molly Weasley."

Neville crossed the room and shook Dad and Mum's hand in turn, saying, "It's a pleasure to meet the both of you, though I wish it were under less stressful conditions."

Mum asked, "Does he know about the other issue you told the Headmaster about?"

"Yes, Mum. He was present for every word I spoke to Professor Dumbledore.

"While part of me wanted to tell you about my 'travels,' that knowledge is dangerous to even know about. Had I not soul-bonded with Harry, which never happened before, by the way, I would have taken the knowledge of my travels to the grave, though I would have acted on that knowledge to do what was right as best I understood that.

"Before I go on, I'll answer the question you haven't asked yet. Both moves were against my will, and both times I 'moved' had me 'land' more or less at the point I was conceived. I was the only 'Ronald Bilius Weasley' in this world, so I was always your Ron even if I had two lifetimes before that.

"My first lifetime was more or less 'typical,' other than helping Harry Potter defeat Voldemort. I remember the second lifetime and this one from the point where I grew enough brain cells to actually think with on. That's two passes at 'in the womb,' 'sailing the birth canal,' everything.

"My second lifetime was fairly different from the first. You were so fixated on having a girl that you weren't nearly so affectionate with your sons, particularly me. 'Harry Potter' was also a girl, and no, I didn't have a relationship with her. She had a girlfriend who hated my guts, and devoutly wished to see me dead.

"The knowledge I gained in fifty-six years of my first life was different enough to almost be dangerous, apart from my training as a Field Auror and Battle Mage. Because of the 'girlfriend' thing, I wasn't able to help Girl-Harry like I wanted, but we did defeat Voldemort that time as well, so in the end it was almost all good. Girl-Harry Potter's psycho girl lover deliberately threw me into an unstable time-vortex when I was twenty-five, and I came here.

"I was able to save Pandora in my second lifetime, but not the first. In that lifetime, Luna was 'shattered,' and while was still alive and living a good and fulfilling life when I left my first lifetime, she never did get over it. Pandora died in my first lifetime, with Luna watching helplessly as her mother's body was consumed before her very eyes. I'm not so sure anyone could get over that.

"I guess that all of that together is part of why I'm the 'me' you raised. I studied as hard as I could most of the time because I knew that the best time to learn would be when the physical side of my mind was flexible enough to learn easily. I am still a kid, so I had to play once in a while.

"That's also why I insisted on learning as much as I could about the Voldemort and Grindelwald wars, so I wouldn't be 'surprised' in this lifetime like I was in the last.

"It's also why I trained myself as an Auror, and also how I knew how to do so.

"It's why I insisted on earning money outside of the house, and half of why I insisted on getting the job with Master Garrick. During my first lifetime, I just did chores around the house and got jealous of other kids whose parents could give them more pocket money than the two of you gave me. The second lifetime, I was too busy training and learning, along with being Luna's friend so I had a chance at saving Pandora to care.

"This time, I wanted to earn money that was mine first, and was only yours at all because you were my parents and were making sure I didn't blow it. In my first lifetime, and my first time at Hogwarts as Harry's friend, I was at times jealous of his wealth and fame. Sometimes, this hurt him badly, though he always forgave me.

"By working and earning my own money, I believed that it would help me not be jealous of money. I had already long-since lost any jealousy of fame. I believed that by not being jealous of what Harry had, and by appreciating what I had, that I might be as good of a friend to Harry as he truly deserved, as he had been to me, and that I might share my wealth, my family, love, and affection, with him.

"The other half is exactly like I told you when I asked Master Garrick and you to let me work for him. I was, and am really interested in Wand Lore, to the point of learning how to make them. I was a Field Auror and Battle Mage at heart and not a wand-crafter then, but knowing how magical foci work in those lines of work can make the difference between coming home at the end of your shift, and not. I am now a wand-crafter as well as a warrior, and I believe that I am happier for it.

"It's also how and why I was able to force Pettigrew out of his rat form and banish his sleeve wandlessly. I knew Pettigrew was up to no good, whatever he was actually up to, and he had no place in our home.

"I learned enough wandless magic in my first two lifetimes, and it all carried over to the point where I could use it, so I just 'did it' as if everything was more or less normal and let it 'hide in plain sight.'

"Having Grandfather Septimus' wand reject Charlie was truly an accident. In my first lifetime, it was my only wand until second year, where it was broken in an accident. In my second lifetime, I ended up getting a different wand completely from either that I carry now, and never used the old one.

"This time around, I wanted it to still be in decent shape when I got instead of being beat to hell. Since I learned how to recondition wands from Master Garrick himself, since Charlie never paid attention to where his wand was, and since it was the 'best fit' on any of the wands in the house, I didn't see any problems. At least not until it did the wand equivalent of running away from an abusive home-life. And besides, only that wand 'turned.' All the rest just 'soaked up the attention' and magically stayed put.

"In my first lifetime, I was Harry's closest male friend. We did not do anything like what this Harry and I have, either with each other or with anyone else, ever. I was a good friend in that lifetime, but there were times when I let that Harry down, and badly. Even though I came through when I really need to, and even though that Harry had long since forgiven me and 'called the books either even or in my favour,' I couldn't leave it be. I resolved 'never again, ever.'

"In my second lifetime, the whole 'psycho girlfriend' thing prevented me from helping 'girl Harry' very much, even though I think that 'girl Harry' not only wanted to be my friend, but also wanted to at least try dating me. I ended up marrying someone else, in no small part because of the psycho girlfriend, and also because the Sorting Hat deliberately put me in Slytherin for my personal safety!

"Once I learned that Harry was a boy this time, and was reasonably certain that there was no 'psycho lover' in the wings, I thought things would be easy. I got the Auror Holster for Harry, because I knew he would need it. I kept the cooking skills I learned in my second lifetime sharp, and packed the basket of food, hoping that this time I would share it with my closest friend. I even suggested the second plate of sashimi so that Harry and I could have a treat along with Pandora's favourite Kneazle, since I knew both 'first Harry' and I loved it.

Harry, who had been dozing less and less deeply as our talk went on, decided to take over for me. "Welcome to my life, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. I'm sorry…"

"Nonsense, son" Dad answered. "And it's either 'Arthur and Molly' or 'Dad and Mum.' Molly and I are upset right now, but at life, not you and not Ron. While we are really uncomfortable with the idea of two eleven year old boys having the type of relationship you have now, we know that it is now a part of both of you. We'll have our 'issues' sorted quick as we can so we can help the both of you, Harry. For what it's worth, your… lover… is a far better person now than the boy or man or whatever my son is that I saw off from my home Sunday morning. I had an emergency call about a biting wok in Wokking, and wasn't able to see them off at King's Cross.

Harry answered, "Ok… Arthur?" Dad nodded at Harry, who had just put on his glasses after I wandlessly summoned them and handed to him. Harry pressed on.

"I wasn't looking for a soul bond, or a lover, or anything other than a train at Kings Cross. While it wasn't at the front of my mind then, I had already decided that if I missed the train, that I would send my post-owl Hedwig with a note to the school so she wouldn't get hurt. Then, I was going to leave the rest of the junk where it sat, go a mile or so down the tracks, and catch a train, before the driver could catch his brakes. I have a fair tolerance for pain, and I knew that at least I would see Mum and Dad again in the afterworld, and that unlike what Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon told me, they wouldn't be drunk!"

Quicker than I can describe it, though somehow without being in any way startling or frightening, Molly was right there in front of us. She gently cupped Harry's face in her hands, and kissed him on the forehead. She said, with emotion choking her voice, "You are my eighth living child, Harry. Please tell us how the rest of that day went for you; it will help you feel better. But Ron and I would never have forgiven ourselves if you had caught that other train. I'm sure your first Mum and Dad loved you, and are in no hurry to have you join them."

My voice was gone, I could only rest my head on his shoulder and whisper in his ear, "Please don't leave me" as my tears streamed down my cheeks and onto his shoulder and neck.

Mum sat back down as I gave Harry a quick squeeze, letting him know that I would always be there for him. He swallowed, found his voice, and spoke again.

"It was 10:44 and 44 seconds when I heard Molly's voice and saw Ron. It was as if everything else went grey and out-of-focus, with only Ron being clear and in colour.

"I wasn't exactly looking for a lover. While I thought about trying 'that kind' of stuff with a friend to see what it was like, I had no friends at all thanks to the Dursleys, and while Dudley could wank with his friend behind some bushes in the park, I had no friend, and couldn't imagine doing something like that alone. I didn't know what it felt like, so I thought it was just 'truth-or-dare' stuff, which is really lame to play by yourself. Believe me, I tried, though nothing to do with stuff like that.

"But I hoped and prayed to whomever or whatever that I had found a friend, and I quickly discovered that I had. He waved me over to him – me!"

"I was scared to tell him my name at first, with all the 'Boy Who Lived' junk. I was relieved, really, when he seemed to forget that you introduce yourself first most of the time. He just told me that he needed a friend just as badly as I did, and that he was going to help me get on the train.

"Ron had me look at the barrier just in time to see the last of the Twins run through it, and gave me the confidence to chase him through the barrier as well, assuring me that his Mum and little sister would help me if I went 'spat.'

"I made it through, and Ron slowed down so we were together again. And I couldn't begin to take in all the wondrous sights! No nosy noisy crowds, no idiots praising me for being orphaned and dumped in hell, just magic, and it was magical.

"Just as I started to worry about having to share a compartment with strangers instead of my new friend, Ron suggested that we go to the rear of the train so we can share a compartment! I was so astonished and happy that I could only nod and blush at him as we walked toward the rear of the train.

"He loaded Hedwig first, making sure that I introduced him to her, and he said that she and her name were pretty! His Kneazle miao'ed at me happily, too. I was confused how you got a cat into a cage with no door, but I figured it was magic somehow.

"After we got all of our stuff on the train, we sat down to catch our breaths, since our trunks weren't light. He then asked me my name. I tried not to show my fear and embarrassment as I answered him, "Harry Potter" and shook his hand. I got jolted by a spark of something, and waited to have my life to go to hell again.

"At first, things were starting to look pear-shaped. He asked, 'Do you have, you know…' I got starkers for Ron later, though we did it at the same time. I was more scared and embarrassed at lifting my fringe than I was dropping my boxers to my ankles with my hard penis pointing directly at his face! I lifted my fringe anyway, expecting the axe to fall.

"But it never did! Instead of gushing 'oh, the scar!' like the magicals do, or saying I was ugly like the kids at primary did, he just said that it was 'cool,' and left it be! I was so relieved, and so happy that I could have kissed him! Of course, I didn't think Ron wanted to be kissed by me then, and he probably didn't, then, so I let it be.

"He then asked to take me off the train, and say goodbye to his Mum and little sister – and he even offered not to say my last name when he introduced us! Of course, Molly was smarter than that, but she hugged and kissed me just like one of her own. She even got Ginny to treat me like a real boy, instead of a comic-book hero! By the way, Molly, how mad was Ginny?"

Mum answered, "Not mad at all, Harry. She actually thanked me for making her not embarrass you, and also get her not to embarrass herself as well. She had a crush on 'The Boy Who Lived' for years, since someone made a series of fanciful and unfortunately untrue children's books about you. She now has a crush on you. Too bad, honestly…"

Harry said, "Molly? I know it's way too early, and we're way too young, but Ron told me that when we're actually grown-up, if our soul-bond-thing will let us, that I am going to have to try to marry a woman and father children with her. I don't know if it's even possible.

"But Ron also said that his 'first Harry' and his 'first Ginny' got married at twenty-one and twenty, were very happy together, and had three kids! She'll never be 'Mrs. Boy Who Lived.' But if she can be happy being married to 'just Harry' and handle being 'just Harry's sister in law' at the same time once we're all grown up, it will be easier than trying it with a stranger. I'll be respectful with her no matter what. She seemed like a nice person who would be a good friend when we met, anyway, and I'll be happy to be in her life however she'll have me."

The phrase "you could have heard a pin drop" fits nicely here, because it was absolutely true. Dad and Mum were both stunned speechless, but amazingly enough were not disapproving. Somehow, they must have felt or sensed what I did. Harry wasn't trying to suggest anything weird or perverted. He was simply saying that if he had to do something he wouldn't like, that he'd like to do it with someone he did like, but only if she wanted to, and not anytime remotely approaching 'soon.'

Harry noticed none of this, of course, or very little of it. He had taken his glasses off right after Mum had cupped his face in her hands, and left them off. From what I could tell with my chin over his shoulder, he hadn't opened his eyes since. He spoke again.

"Back to the train ride. You guys said to talk so I'd feel better, right?" With the moment of silent assent, he swallowed, and continued his tale.

"The train took off, and the 'scar' was 'my little secret,' along with my new best-friend's. As the train sped up, he explained how his Mum helped lost Muggle-borns and those who were Muggle-raised this year get on the train when they couldn't find the platform. He also told me that I was his friend, not the Scar or the fame's, and he told me about his family. I finally made a friend!

"My new friend was also kind of scary at first. While he didn't even try to pretend he knew me, unlike all the people ogling my scar, he knew more about my history than I could possibly imagine! But he also wanted to know about me, for me, not just because he dumped some filthy creep in prison two weeks after Mum and Dad were killed with the creep's help. He even told me lots about it, including the blood wards, my godfather, Remus Lupin, and all of that.

"By the way, when I meet my godfather, I want to meet Mr. Lupin too, if he still wants to have anything to do with me. Ron says that he is a 'good Werewolf,' not like Fenrir Greyback, so it's just like a very serious illness that's only contagious once a month. I don't bully or shun sick people, and I understand Professor Dumbledore blocking all Werewolves as well as Death Eaters with the blood wards, so I don't blame Mr. Lupin.

"Anyway, Ron was also throwing wandless magic about left, right, and centre like it grew on trees, and all without saying a word! But he told me that his circumstances were different form most guys, and that I'd do fine when we got to school. He even offered to teach me some of what he knew and help me study!

"I got things just a little out-of-order. He told me about being stuck behind the blood wards during at least part of the summer last, and I lost it completely!

"At first, I cried because I was guaranteed at least one month of Hell every year, if not three months, until I left school! After a moment, I was about to cry even harder, because I was sure Ron would ditch me for being a crybaby.

"But he hugged me! And he let me hug him back! As far back as I can remember, though I'm sure Mum and Dad treated me right, I was never touched except by a nurse at school giving us our shots, or by the Dursleys to give me pain. While I got a small public 'taster' from Molly, I now had the real-deal. Touching and hugging felt nice! It didn't hurt! I was still bawling my eyes out quietly, but I was now happy as well as sad.

"Quicker than I can say it, my face was dry, there were six inches between Ron and me, and I felt a happiness that I knew wasn't mine – and the trolley lady was standing in the door selling snacks off of the cart. I figured out that Ron cleaned me up, hit me with something that would keep me from embarrassing myself in front of the trolley lady, and he did it all for me!

"I looked at the cart, which was chock-full of only wizarding treats. I guessed that either she had started from the front of the train, or that she had more than one cart. So, I told her, "I'll take the lot! I wanted to share the entire cart with Ron, since he had shared so much with me already, and it wasn't even noon!

"Fortunately, Ron knew better, and so did the trolley lady, though I'm pretty sure that I did have the money to buy her out completely. But, two of everything, plus an extra dozen Chocolate Frogs, and we were good. Ron insisted that we eat the food in his picnic basket first, which was a good idea, since I wasn't allowed to eat the breakfast I cooked that morning, and he had eaten his real early. He sat the basket between us longways, and I looked inside, while he and his Kneazle (who I thought was a cat until we were introduced) argued and cleared the candy-strewn bench into a bench with a neat tall stack of candy and plenty of room for a hungry Kneazle.

"I looked in the basket and found a boxed tube of a jelly I'd never heard of before. What was a K-Y? Was it some strange magical treat like Pumpkin Juice? Was it like marmalade for breakfast or mint jelly for lamb? I read the small print, and it hit me – Ron liked boys! He might like me! As much as it might scare you guys or make you sad, I only had to think about this for a second.

"When I had the chance, I'd become Ron's friend that way, too! But I wasn't going to have him use cold stuff to get it into my bum! I swiped it from the basket and started trying to think of an excuse for him to get us naked.

"He gave me the excuse right away with that raw tuna stuff?"

I interjected at his prompt, "Tuna sashimi, Harry. Pandora packed the sashimi, and had to have packed the personal lubricant as well. Mum didn't. The sashimi I knew about, the 'jelly' was a surprise for me. When I saw you hide it under the serviette, I didn't make out the package and thought it was wasabi."

"Good thing it wasn't wasabi, right?" he retorted.

He continued the tale. "Anyway, I had 'our excuse.' Ron ate half of the small dab of wasabi on the plate of tuna sashimi that was for us to share, and asked me to try it. I made it into a 'dare game,' told him that the next dare was mine, and ate a piece of the tuna before he could say anything different.

"I made sure I wasn't facing him before I actually put it in my mouth so that if I spit out like I thought I would, that at least I wouldn't hit him with it. But, it was great! The wasabi was like overpowered horseradish, just like Ron told me. But I like horseradish, and the tuna was fabulous.

"Ron insisted that we eat before doing any dares, or any more as I counted them, while he gave Lucky Boy his tuna, had us finish eating ours together, and drank the Pumpkin Juice Ron packed. We ate the sandwiches and the potato salad too, leaving only dirty plates, full bellies, two more bottles of Pumpkin Juice, and a bottle and a half of water.

"While he ate, Ron told me all about the houses. We ended up making a magic promise to both try for Gryffindor, but that he would try to get sorted into my house no matter what it was, and that we would remain friends no matter what. The magic promise part was an accident for both of us, but we both meant it, so it didn't matter.

"While I listened closely as Ron told me about the sorting hat, I quietly snuck off my trainers and socks. I was excited that I would actually do something, and it wouldn't just be pulling my stuff down and wanking!

"Ron had just finished telling me about the sorting hat when I showed him my feet and wiggled my toes for him. I was in the middle of telling him that we were going to get starkers for the 'first part' of our dare, when there was a knock at the door.

"It was Hermione Granger, and she had Neville Longbottom with her. She's in our house and year, and she's nice. But, she's also bossy, as in 'acts like a grown-up' bossy. And, she's nosy, too!

"She barged right in, dragging Neville behind her, and noticed that I was barefoot even though I'd slid my feet back under the seat. She told us later, but anyway.

"She and Neville were looking for his pet toad Trevor. By the way, Neville, where and how is Trevor?"

Neville answered, "He's in my room. Mipsy has brought me food for him, plus a tank for him from home."

"Good, Neville. As I was saying, Hermione brought Neville along because Trevor went on walkabout, and Neville was afraid he wouldn't find him without help.

"She was also looking for the 'Boy Who Lived," and I was hoping like anything that she did not find him.

"Ron stopped her in mid-rant! He told her, 'First, my friend Stubby Boardman and I haven't left the compartment since we left London, and we got here at the last minute!' He then told Hermione and Neville how to find Trevor with a 'point-me' charm, saw that Neville's confidence was pounded down almost as bad as mine because he had a wand that hated him, let Neville try his second wand which does like him a bit, and taught Neville his first magic spell in less time then it took me to tell you about it.

"He also told both Neville and me about how my Mum and Dad were his godparents, how his Mum was my godmother, and told us about how we were probably playmates as toddlers! He also told us about how our families were political allies for like ever! And he did all that without making Neville sad about his parents, or making it sound like I was not actually Stubby Boardman!

"Neville got it! And, he let me keep playing 'Stubby Boardman' and still told me I was his friend if I wanted to be. I had two friends now, and one of them was a friend that I was getting back! I never got anything back before!

"I grinned at him in pure happiness and nodded to him Between having Ron prove to him that he was really a good wizard instead of just better than a Squib like he thought, and making friends with me again under Hermione's nose, I swear he grew four inches taller right in front of me!.

"I also messed up, and wiped my forehead, allowing Hermione to get a glimpse of my scar. And, while I could sense that she wasn't actually trying to be mean, she didn't get that I was trying to not be gawped at like an animal at the zoo, and she shouted out my name.

"That brought in Draco Malfoy. He's a Slytherin in our year. I had already met him at Madame Malkin's the day Hagrid took me around to get my school things. He insulted Hagrid, who I consider a grown-up friend, and basically said that my Mum had it coming to her for not being a pureblood.

"Malfoy barged into the compartment like he owned the place, and was just about to spout off more of his pure-blood-bigot garbage. Key word here is 'was.' I was having none of it. I wanted the compartment empty except for me and Ron, and I started with Malfoy. I punted him square in the chest and sent him flying back into the hallway. He decided that whatever he wanted, he wasn't going to get it free, so he left.

"I convinced Hermione and Neville to leave, after Ron showed Hermione the 'point-me' spell so they could find Trevor, since he wasn't going to loan Neville his second wand to keep with him.

"They left, and Ron locked and charmed the door and wall so no one was going to barge in or snoop on us.

"I finished telling him the first part of our dare. He kind of hesitated, but took off his shoes and socks. I told him to take off his shirts next, and got naked myself Like I said, I was nervous, especially about my feet, since they started growing this summer to the point that I had to find a pair of trainers in the garbage since Dudley's cast-offs were now too short. But Ron's feet were almost the same size as mine, and I could tell by the look in his eyes, that he was happy seeing me naked and being seen naked just like I was with him! I was so happy!

"I stood with my hands on the top of my head, spun around slowly so he could see all of me, than faced my bum towards him, bent over, and spread my cheeks for him so he could see my anus. I asked him to do the same for him and he did it without hesitating. I asked if I could touch him, and he told me 'not yet.'

"We sat down with our legs slightly open so we weren't 'hiding' from each other. I asked him if he was into boys too since I was definitely into Ron! He answered that his body was into me, but his mind hadn't caught up yet.

"I didn't know what to think. He had a tube of K-Y jelly in his hamper, but he wasn't sure he was into boys? I started to think that he was taking the Mickey, and asked him if he was.

"That's when he told me about the time and dimension travel stuff. He also told me that he would do anything I wanted, whatever I wanted, from getting dressed to going 'all the way,' but begged me to remain his friend, and told me from his heart that he loved me!

"I decided that I would take him up on his offer, at least until we were doing something he truly hated, though I still wasn't completely sure why he would pack something so obviously 'sex-only' as K-Y Jelly if he really didn't like boys.

"I told him that I wasn't sure about going all the way, but offered something closer to that than wanking.

"He said that that was fine, since while he knew a charm that worked like personal lube, he wasn't that good at it.

"I pulled the serviette off of the tube of K-Y Jelly, and he went white as a sheet. He later told me that he was feeling my feelings as well as his all morning, and didn't know what they were at first. He said that the K-Y must have come from Pandora Lovegood, and since she was some kind of a seer, that it was a soul bond and that we were supposed to go through with it. My world was spinning and flipping so fast that I didn't know what I was feeling, only that I wanted Ron more and more by the minute.

"He told me that it was a soul bond, and what he knew about them. He thought we might still be able to break it, or at least slow it down. He offered to do whatever it took, but he insisted and would not budge, that only I would make that decision.

"Since he told me that part of what a soul bond did was to change things in your head, and had also told me that he had done more with me in that last few minutes than he had done with any guy in three lifetimes, I looked him in the eye and asked how much of what he said was really him, and how much was the bond.

"He looked me in the eye, and told me that the only thing the bond had changed in him was that he would actually feel good himself from the sex instead of going along only to make me feel good.

"I told him that I had decided, but hadn't yet. I could see it in his beautiful eyes, and feel it in his heart as well as mine. At my word, he would march off into eternity just to prove his love for me. I would let him prove it to me – for the rest of our lives together, not by his leaving me to bear his sorrow away from me.

"I told him that I wanted and needed the bond, and him. I claimed his body and gave him mine in return…

"As many details as I've shared, I won't share the details of those next precious hours. If you can remember a cross between your actual first time doing it with someone you truly loved, and set a mark between that and your wildest fantasy you ever had about doing that before you had actually done it, then that's more or less what Ron and I shared."

He paused in speaking for a moment. He rifled through the parts of my mind that held vocabulary and history, for some strange reason before he spoke again.

"We started by kissing, as almost all lovers do. We kissed, and we hugged. We talked each other and ourselves through how we wanted to share each other's bodies. We groaned in anticipation. We marvelled as we experienced the pleasures of each other's bodies. We did 'boy on boy' versions of what you've probably done. We did 'boy on boy' versions of stuff you may have wished you have done, or vowed that you would never do. We cried tears of pain and tears of joy. Our voices hitched as we each 'changed things up' on the other while he was talking. And we did all of this at a whisper so quiet that a hummingbird's wings would have drowned it out, though the sounds our bodies made would have surely been heard and unmistakable were it not for the spells Ron cast on the door and wall of the compartment. We loved. We shared. We lived, to the tune of our own beating hearts and the sound of steel wheels on steel rails and the hum of ensorcelled ventilator fans in a first-class commuter railway carriage that was bought from the Muggles when Churchill was still a leading man instead of a fading memory."

As he paused for a moment to regain his composure, Mum asked, "Harry, who said the last part just now?"

Harry answered, "I did, though I hope Ron agrees, and that I got it right? I wasn't allowed to do well in primary. Ron's vocabulary is much better than mine, and he remembered from his first lifetime where the Hogwarts Express Railway Carriages came from, and when the Ministry bought them.

"I couldn't think of the words to describe how it felt, or what it meant. And if I just said what we physically did, you wouldn't really get it. It's also really embarrassing…

I added, while giving Harry a light hug of encouragement, "I think Mum and Dad understand how you feel, and how we feel. How about talking about after we finished with that."

He sighed in resignation, and replied, "I guess. I am feeling a little better talking about it."

He carried on with his view of our trip.

"After we did all that we did, Ron did the spell work and taught me as much as I could handle of it to take warm soapy showers and shampoo our hair, dry our bodies, get the entire compartment clean and dry. He helped me get dressed and even shared some paracetamol, since we are 'adult size' in front but not in back, and since it was the first time for both of us to be with another guy.

"He mentioned the potions he kept and offered me one if I wanted, but said he wouldn't use one no matter what since they were for emergencies. I followed Ron's example. The paracetamol took the 'edge' off, and beyond that I was proud that Ron made me sore, and even more proud that Ron let me make him sore…"

Harry started to cry with about fifty different emotions. Then it finally hit me. While I had lived two lifetimes already, and still had the memories and magical cores to go with them, they were both in my past, and in other worlds. I wasn't eleven, and thirty-six, and ninety-two. And, while I might actually be a Master Field Auror and Journeyman Wanded Battle Mage, that's because that was all knowledge and skill, and the day you stop learning your craft either starts or ends with the nails driving home in the lid of your coffin. I might have had the experience of two previous lifetimes, but any and all old debts were done away with in those lifetimes, and did not follow me to this one.

I was now Ronald Bilius Weasley. I was eleven years and six months old I had a soul-bonded male lover who was eleven years and one month old, who would move Heaven and Earth just to see me smile, just as I would for him. I had a libido that my body wasn't used to not exploring now that it had figured out it was there, just like Harry did. I was in a relationship that had that libido, and everything else sloshing around back and forth, driving me to distraction with Harry, just like he had with me. We were the same.

As far as we could sense at the moment, we were alone together. We stood as one, shed our four-armed bathrobe, and faced each other. We embraced, and kissed passionately. This was not foreplay, though we were both rock-hard, and always slightly horny. We were each truly greeting and accepting each other for the first time, as equals.

Between kisses, I said aloud, "Harry James Potter, my lover. I am Ronald Bilius Weasley. I am eleven years and six months old. I am your lover, as you would have me. If you desire, and if our bond allows, I will take a wife with your permission only if she can truly accept that we will always be us, and only because you will need heirs of your own flesh. Otherwise, I am satisfied with you alone, and will be so for the rest of my life. Will you still have me?

He answered between kisses, "Ronald Bilius Weasley, my lover. I am Harry James Potter. I am eleven years and one month old. I am your lover, as you would have me. I grant your boon and accept yours in return. I ask you to accept my boon, should our bond allow, even if I do not accept yours. Beyond you, who has already passed the test for all time, I am a most particular lover, and will only take for a wife someone who loves the both of us, though you only as family and not otherwise, and will accept that we will always be us. Otherwise, I am yours alone, and will be so for the rest of my life. I will still have you. Will you still have me?"

I answered him, "I will."

He answered likewise, "I will"

We felt a burst of magic. We also found that while we still craved each other's touch, we no longer had to be all wrapped around each other to avoid saying, 'Hello, PAIN.' We also both realized that while we could see each other just fine, everything else was 'whited out.'

Harry asked, "Do you know what I love about touching you right now, Ron?"

Not being sure where he was going, I answered, "No, Harry. What?"

He replied, "I can completely break contact without feeling like I'm being boiled in oil while being beaten with cricket bats, and touch you again, again!"

"Me, too!" I replied.

Harry spoke again, this time formally as if we had an audience, and for all I knew, we probably still did.

"I, Harry James Potter, of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Peverell-Potter, do claim the Lordship and Headship of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Peverell-Potter from this moment forward. I demand of Magic the Delivery of the Ring of Office as my father wore, and as my Grandfather wore before him. As I am both Adult and Child, and since I freely admit that I have not the time, knowledge, or experience to attend all duties as are properly required for the good of my House, all proxies, managers, and guardians, including any of the Goblin Race, but explicitly excluding the Muggle Petunia Dursley shall with their consent and my gratitude remain in place unless and until I fairly evaluate their performance and justly find them lacking. I do solemnly charge Magic to deliver unto their hands their rightful Rings of Office, where their office has a Ring. So I demand on Magic with my Magic, so mote it be!"

With that, I saw the flash of magic on Harry's left ring finger, as his Head of House Ring appeared upon it perfectly sized for both wear and removal. The gasps in the 'background' strongly suggested that Harry's was not the only ring to enter the room. Harry continued to speak formally.

"Ronald Bilius Weasley. You are my lover, my friend, and my life! Though my heart screams otherwise, my mind reliably tells me that should I publicly claim you as the spouse you are, or were either of us to keep each other openly as a 'mistress,' that it would bring shame to us that would be even more difficult to bear as eleven-year-olds than for adults.

"However, as the Head of a Most Ancient and Noble House, I may keep one or more Seneschals to manage the affairs of my House. And while being my 'mistress' would bring you shame, being always by my side, as my Seneschal would bring you honour, even if behind the scenes you would be the lover you will always be. We are both children, and if there is an incumbent Seneschal, they would remain in place as your public subordinate and private instructor and superior, since our circumstances require us at each other's sides far more urgently than my needs for the tracking of cattle, vassals, and shampoo bottles. Knowing this, would you be my Seneschal? Would you wear the Ring of this Office should it have a ring? Would you wear my badge on your clothing when you are wearing clothing where badges are worn?"

I answered, "You, Harry James Potter, are my lover, my friend, and my life as I am yours. I, Ronald Bilius Weasley accept your appointment as Seneschal as you have bid me do. I accept your Ring and Badge of Office as and where your Chief Seneschal wears them, at your bidding. I am your liege in public as I am your lover always. So mote it be!" I felt the magic on my left ring finger as my Ring of Office 'arrived.'"

Harry asked, "Ron, where are we?"

"I think we're still in the sitting room of the guest apartment."

"Is anyone else there?"

"No one has left" Neville replied.

"Ron, Is Lucky Boy here? If so, can he 'bring us around' like he did last night?"

Our answer was a quiet but happy 'miao' and the winding of a Kneazle against the outside of my right and Harry's left legs.

Our vision returned, and we were both grateful for the screen that wrapped around the sofa from wall to wall. We were standing on a bath towel to catch our "drippings," since while we weren't trying to actually do anything, we were still both hammered with hormones, iron-hard, and were starting to "drip."

I decided to take over for a bit. "Thanks to whomever for the screen, by the way?"

Neville answered, "Mipsy and I both say, 'you're welcome,' as well as everyone else."

Taking a chance, I asked, "Neville, do you wear pyjamas, or night-shirts?"

"Nightshirts, why?"

"Do you have a couple that Harry and I can borrow? We can go without being naked and wrapped around each other, but we're still afraid to try for even pyjamas, much less regular clothes. Also, may we borrow a pair or two each of your clean 'y-fronts?' I noticed when we were figuring out who had which bedroom last night that you wore those based on what Mipsy had set out for you on your bed. Our boxers aren't quite big enough or absorbent enough for 'modesty.'"

Neville answered, "Sure. Mipsy will have to go home for them since I only packed enough for me, but it will take her less than a minute once I send her. You can return the nightshirts when you get your own. If you don't want to keep the y-fronts once you get your own, you can burn them."

"Mipsy is knowing, Master Neville, and is back with his clothes to loan to Masters Harry and Ron. Mipsy will be helping Master Harry and Master Ron now." Mipsy was now behind the screen with a nightshirt and pair of y-fronts each for Harry and me.

Harry whispered, "Mipsy, can you make the fronts of the nightshirts moisture-proof from the inside to the outside on the fronts from belly-button to knee?"

She answered so only Harry and I could hear, "Mipsy has already done. Mipsy has also used flannel on Master Harry and Master Ron's legs. If Masters can use the flannel on their family parts so Mipsy can send it away and masters can get dressed?"

Harry and I cleaned ourselves, got dressed, and allowed Mipsy to vanish the towel. Harry and I hugged, and he whispered in my ear, "Don't blush too hard, but if we have any petrol in the tanks once we finish with our guests, I can now undress you! We both blushed scarlet, kissed, and recovered just as Mipsy vanished the privacy screen.

We were now sharing the room with Professors McGonagall and Dumbledore, Neville, Dad, Mum, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin, the last two of whom were standing by the door.

I said, "I'm pretty sure I know who you two gentlemen are by the door. But could you introduce yourselves? Also, could you name whatever rings you are wearing?" And could someone have whatever house-elf is responsible bring two more chairs, along with Butterbeers for Neville, Harry, and me and a service of something stronger for the adults?"

Looking at my watch, I added, "It's almost nine-thirty, and after Harry's tale, we could all use something. If your circumstances allow, we should also continue our talk for a while longer, even though we will surely have enough to need to meet earlier tomorrow evening to finish up?"

Professor Dumbledore replied, "As I speak, it will be done by the Hogwarts Elves. They will also bring a full decanter of my Armagnac, along with a decanter of Firewhisky and crystal service for both."

Biscuits, cheeses, and the liquors, along with a bottle of Butterbeer each for Neville, Harry, and Me, joined the coffee and tea service on the table.

Dumbledore added, "Unless you have already partaken at some other point in life and found that Armagnac does not agree with you, I would encourage you to try a snifter if you are adults. Neville, we will drink one toast once we finally adjourn for the evening, and I know that your Grandmother would insist you at least try the Armagnac the one time with her blessings. Harry and Ron, you may partake with Arthur and Molly's permission and restrictions for Ron, and Sirius's permission and restrictions for Harry."

The introductions started as the adults served themselves either coffee or liquor. First up was "I am Remus Lupin, Harry and all. I arrived right as Molly cupped your face.

"For what it's worth, I apologize for not being there before. But like Ron already told you, I was blocked out by the blood wards, and stayed away for your safety. While I had a 'feeling' that the Dursleys weren't treating you right, I also knew for a fact that one of the attacks against your house in Surrey was led by Fenrir Greyback himself! Had I any choice, even understanding the sorrow your life was with the Dursleys, I would have still preferred them to Lycanthropy.

"I wear the Seneschal Ring for House Black, and the Deputy Seneschal Ring now for House Potter. The estates were frozen right after your parents passed, so you would remain with the Dursleys, your life being more important than other things. Sirius had the estates unfrozen four years ago and set back to rights." He also preferred tea, lemon slice floated on top, one lump.

Next was "Sirius Black, Prongslett. While less than a month in the high-security wing of Azkaban with constant Dementor exposure doesn't require eighteen months of hospitalization at St. Mungo's, having the Dementors try sucking your soul out through your mouth to kill you a dozen times in less than four hours, with three times making mouth contact and actually starting to remove your soul does.

"Eighteen months saw me free from St. Mungo's, but sill every bit an invalid. You were seven before I had actually recovered, but I still have an occasional Terror Attack, and will for the rest of my life. I didn't care about the court order. I did care about Fenrir Greyback, though. I suspected that things were worse than Dumbledore let on, and I knew that if it weren't for the wards you wouldn't be there at all even with what Dumbledore admitted to, but I'm sorry. And, though I don't deserve it, I beg you to –OOF—"

Sirius was greeted by a godson who forgave his dogfather without begging, thank you very much! Five minutes after the wet flying tackle hug with arms-full-of-eleven-year-old chaser, Sirius found his voice and finished for my benefit rather than the wet "I love you, don't leave me!" of my lover, "I wear the Lord and Head of House Ring for the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black, and the Regent-Guardian ring for the House of Peverell-Potter. While he will live with your Mum and Dad since they won't let you move in with me, and I'm quite happy with him moving in with you, I am his guardian. I give him permission to drink the Armagnac tonight SPARINGLY. You can give him as much as you like, but since I'm sure that this is his first time having alcohol, the puke, crying, and hangover are on you if it gets that far, as an 'object lesson.'" Yepper, Same old Padfoot. He is also a Firewhisky on the rocks drinker when not holding a very clingy godson.

Mum served Dad and herself some of the tea, taking black for both. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall both went straight for the Armagnac, and surprisingly Neville did as well.

"Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall?" he asked. "Gran has had me drink once in a while. Harry and Ron will also need me all day tomorrow at least, even with their breakthrough tonight, just in case there is a 'setback." With both of your permission, I'll gently nurse one snifter, with water on the side, and charge it back just enough for courtesy when we end the evening. Gran speaks highly of your Armagnac, and would be disappointed if I failed to responsibly enjoy as much as my body and requirements for decorum will allow." With both professors nodding approval, Neville served himself a decent snifter, particularly for an eleven-year-old, and his first sip brought joy to his face.

I asked, "Professor Dumbledore, is that House of Flamel?"

He answered, "Yes, it is. Nicholas, Perenelle, and I are quite close, after all. You know about House of Flamel?"

I replied, "Know of it, yes. I had it seven times in my first life before the investment bankers took over and ruined it. In my second lifetime, the Flamels were somewhat more durable, but I only had it twice, despite running in a more 'moneyed' crowd. It's not the kind of stuff an honest Field Auror brings home, and even the husband of the Minister of Magic can not drink what no longer exists."

I turned to Mum and asked, "May I follow Neville's example, please?" acting more like the eleven-year-old I finally accepted myself as being.

She shook her head and sighed, "I guess so, under the same restrictions as Harry. Plus, if either of you get sick or hung-over, you both will write formal letters of apology to Madame Longbottom for the grief you will put Neville through, and to Headmaster Dumbledore for abusing his hospitality and misusing his liquor. How many lawns would you have to mow for a bottle of that stuff, anyway?"

As I claimed my snifter, I answered, "Every lawn in Devon, Mum." I asked Professor McGonagall, "Can the house-elves send Neville's and my bottles of Butterbeer to Fred and George with my compliments and no other explanation, please?"

Our Head of House allowed a slight grin and answered, "Yes, Mr. Weasley, they can and may." The bottles vanished.

A now shiny-eyed lover came up to me as I finished pouring my fill. He asked, "May I take a sip? I'm not going to pour a BMW-priced glass of alcohol only to find I don't like it. Sirius says that Remus seldom drinks, and that he prefers Firewhisky on the rocks when he drinks at all anymore."

I nodded and handed him the snifter. He sniffed, shrugged, and took a sip. He didn't spit it out or drop the glass, but he did make a bit of a face.

He handed the glass back and said, "It was very good. But it burned, so I think I'll stick with the Butterbeer. Is Butterbeer like lager or ale?"

I answered, "No, Harry. It's like homemade Muggle Root Beer, except it's actually made with real butter and extra milk sugar. It has half of a percent of alcohol or so, where most ales or lagers have about five percent. It tastes like butterscotch."

We both sat down with me on the right, and Harry on the left, holding my hand and drinking left-handed while he gently caressed my left foot with his right. He answered my unasked question, "Dudley would hurt my right hand sometimes, and a time or two it felt broken and I couldn't use it. It was easier to learn to be ambidextrous than to be beaten for not doing my chores."

He then went back to speaking to the whole room. "I've actually finished most of my own story. After Ron and I were dressed, he quizzed me for a few minutes on the spells he taught me.

"Hermione came around, all bossy but actually meaning well, to tell Ron and me that we needed to change into our uniforms. When she saw us, in uniform, it took the wind out of her sails, and the sales with them! We both apologized to each other, and now I had three friends in my year, and one is a smart girl! Although if our bond will let us find a woman each to make children from our own bodies, she might be Ron's girl, since the version of her in his first lifetime married him.

"We got to Hogwarts, and crossed the Black Lake. On the way to the boats, I noticed that I could kind of see the Thestrals, but only when holding Ron's hand. He said that I should be glad that I couldn't see them by myself. He told me why, and I agree with him.

"We crossed the lake, went into the castle, and saw some of the school ghosts while waiting to be sorted. When it was my turn, the hat tried to talk me into going into Slytherin, but I refused. The hat told me that I would be great there. I told him in return that I didn't want to die, and that it only took one bigoted son or daughter of one Death Eater to make a mistake they couldn't take back, and that Voldemort recruited mostly in Slytherin because he was the last direct living descendant of Slytherin. The hat peeked at Ron through our bond and sorted me into Gryffindor.

"Everybody went wild for 'The Boy Who Lived,' but I had spent a great enough time being appreciated for just being 'Harry' that I was able to be nice about it. Percy, Fred, and George welcomed me to Gryffindor, and Neville waived me over to sit next to him. He whispered into my ear, and told me to take off my left shoe and sock, put them in a robe pocket, and roll up my trouser leg. When I asked him 'why,' he said that he knew Ron and I were soul-bonded, that his mum and dad were too, and that we would need to do more than just hold hands, and still needed both hands to eat. Even though Ron and I had a nice lunch, we were both hungry again.

"By the time Ron was sorted, Neville had written his instructions for Ron down on a scrap of parchment. Ron did it, and we wrapped our near legs around each other, since Neville had Ron sit between us. Nobody but Ron and Neville paid attention to me, which was great!

"When dessert came, Neville started everybody talking about their backgrounds. His story was sad, but I was proud that Neville was brave enough and strong enough to not only live through it, but to talk about it, too.

"After Neville finished, Lucky Boy popped up in his face to cheer him up, before going to Ron to get some attention and dessert. Ron told his story, including his stopping the Evil Rat Man, and his apprenticing with Ollivander's. He took long enough, that everyone else rushed in to tell their story, and they forgot all about me, again! It was great!

"When it was time to sing the school song, Neville made Ron and me follow him up to the front of the Great Hall while none of the students were looking, so we could get help from the Headmaster. Ron and I both knew we were going to need to see the Headmaster quickly, but we didn't think it would be anything like it would end up being."

Neville said, "Harry, if I may, I'll 'talk' us up to the Headmaster's Office. Did you notice how I made the funny face at Professor Dumbledore, with my eyes bugged wide open, and a big smile on my face?

"The two main pieces of the magical mind arts are 'Occlumency," or the sorting, ordering, and defending of your mind, and "Legilimency," or the reading of another's thoughts, after defeating or going around that person's shields. While most students have no idea, Headmaster Dumbledore is a master at both arts, and the Headmaster is allowed to read the surface thoughts of students without any notice or permission. I know this because Gran is on the Hogwarts Board of Directors, and it really isn't a secret – just something students don't know. It's no different from a Muggle Headmaster being allowed to and able to search a student's locker at a Muggle School. If the locker is open, and the Headmaster sees something, he can deal with it as he sees fit. Same here, just that none of our lockers have doors, though I don't know of any first year who knows how to look, other than Ron?

I answered, "I have the ability, but I don't. I'm out of practice, Field Aurors have much greater restrictions, and if I tried it right now, I'd be as subtle as a brick to the head." I'm not actually that bad, but only Harry needs to know, and only if he "stumbles upon it" before we agree on "privacy."

Neville took over again. "Anyway, I knew, and Professor Dumbledore had a pretty good idea that I knew. You have to be pretty good at both Occlumency and Legilimency to 'push' a message to someone. You only need to get their attention and have your message at the front of your mind to get them to 'pull' it. With the face I was making, who wouldn't take a quick look?

"My message was this. 'Ron Weasley and Harry Potter are soul-bonded. Their bond is almost a 'runaway.' They've already had sex, and they seem to have only met on the train. They will crash within the hour.' Professor Dumbledore knew I should know what I was talking about, but only if my magic was working ok, which he probably wasn't sure about. My next surface thought was my borrowing Ron's wand, throwing sparks, and casting Lumos with it with only ten seconds of instruction.

"And no, guys, I couldn't have told you exactly what was going on. If I had, you'd have crashed right there in the Great Hall. As it was, with you guys only thinking about a private room together, we didn't have that much time to spare to get you out of sight without getting you where you couldn't be helped."

Professor Dumbledore added, "I read more deeply than that, but only enough to know that you were really telling the truth. I got the three of you out of the Great Hall after sending Percy Weasley to attend to his prefect duties. I believed it was between Molly, Arthur, and Harry and Ron when Percy would find out, but that it would do no one any good for Percy to find out Sunday Night.

"It's getting late. I suggest we continue this conversation tomorrow starting at suppertime? I believe that Professor Flitwick can handle the Great Hall, and that both Harry and Ron will appreciate the night and tomorrow to catch up with their thoughts, particularly Harry. Molly, will Arthur and you be able to make it?"

Mum answered, "We can be there at half-five. Ginny is sleeping over with Luna. Hopefully, Pandora will 'see' fit to have Ginny over for another night."

Neville said, "Mrs. Weasley, from what I saw on the train, and what Harry just told us, they would have done what did with or without Pandora's 'gift.'"

As Mum calmed down and nodded, Professor Dumbledore asked, "Sirius, can Remus and you make it as well?"

Sirius answered, "We'll be here at half-five. Will you want us all to meet you at the gate, or Floo into your office?"

Professor Dumbledore answered, "The Gate will be fine. I'll see to it that Hagrid has a carriage waiting at the gate, so you don't have to walk." Translated: 'I know the Weasleys aren't made of Floo powder, but don't want to make a show of it.'

We drank our "toast," the liquor, other refreshments, and trash 'left,' and so did our guests except for Professor McGonagall. She said, "Mr. Longbottom, I will stop by at half-eight tomorrow with an assignment for the three of you to work on. You will also tell Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley more of what you know about their bond, and help them if they need it. If Messrs Potter and Weasley aren't up by ten, wake them. Otherwise, let them sleep in. I bid the three of you a very good evening." With that, she left Neville and us alone together again in the room.



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