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This Means War
4 - What Is That Word?

By Jeconais

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From: Harry

To: The Marauders

Subject: WAR!

Gentlemen, I have received an official declaration of war.  It seems that certain Weasley twits thought that pranking me would embarrass me enough to make me dump Ginny.  They obviously have NO idea who they are dealing with, or the sort of resources I can call on.

They will be pranked back.  Padfoot, Moony, I know that I can count on your help when I need it.

So you know, and don't hear it from anyone else:  Ron used Portkey Paste, a sleeping potion and subtle stink bombs to make me oversleep first then, get in the shower.  As I came out of the shower, I was transported to the Great Hall wearing only a towel. 

I'll write more later; I need to get some breakfast.


From: Padfoot

To: Moony

Subject: WOOHOO

Moony ol' boy, we're back.  This is fantastic.  We're going directly up against the Weasley Twins, our successors.  It will be so good to see Prongs Junior in action.

This is the best news I've had in ages.

An ecstatic Padfoot

woof woof woof woof

From: A smiling werewolf

To: Lassie

Subject: Re: WOOHOO

The prank that the Weasleys pulled off is pretty good.  We'd have been proud of sending Snape to the Hall in a towel.  Do we have any clue if Harry can prank back?


From: I'm not female?

To: The confused werewolf

Subject: Re: Re: WOOHOO

As I've said before - He's the son of one Marauder, the godson of another, and a friend of the third.  Pranks are in Harry's blood.  We already know he can be a devious little git, and that there's nothing he won't do if he thinks he's in the right. 

The Weasleys have no idea what they've done.  It's obvious that Harry is starting to care a lot about Ginny.  I wouldn't be surprised if he's starting to realise that he can have a future with her, and maybe one day have his own rug-rats.  I bet that in his mind, their trying to break Ginny and Him up him is similar to his being forced to stay with those damn Muggles all the time.  The only difference is that he can do something about it this time.

Add that to the stubbornness we know that Harry has (and thank God he's over his moody teenage phase), and the power he holds, and you're looking at one wizard who will make the six regret they day they tried to interfere.

And, as Harry pointed out, if he needs it, he has the last two remaining Marauders who could probably think up a prank or two.


From: The literate Moony

To: You never took Muggle studies

Subject: Re: Re: Re: WOOHOO

I will admit that Harry's got the best bloodline possible when it comes to pranks.  I think you missed something though.  If you remember, Lily hardly ever pranked, but when she did, it was memorable.  Combine Lily's flair for the dramatic with James' ability to pull off pranks, and what have you got?

And yes, he's much more pleasant this year.  Still got the weight of the world on his shoulders, but at least he's handling it better.


From: A lassie is a Muggle word for a girl...

To: The book-a-holic

Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: WOOHOO

Combine the two together and you have the makings of a prank the school won't easily forget. 

I've not been this excited in years; I can't wait to see what our boy comes up with.

Padfoot (who has done some Muggle research)

Bouncing like Tigger

From: Hermione

To: Study Group, All

Subject: Breakfast


Just wanted to say a well done!  Everyone did their part perfectly, despite the ad-libbed start. 

I had a quick chat with Ginny – at times I think that girl could be a Slytherin – and she's asked that we make sure that EVERYONE is very nice to Draco today.  We want people to be understanding and supportive of his supposed sexuality.  Basically, this means standing up for him if you see anyone teasing him for being gay. 

If you see him acting himself, make statements like, "It's ok, Draco, you don't need to act like that anymore, everyone knows."  Be a little patronising, and the bigger the audience, the better.  What ever you do, don't be afraid of him anymore. 

If he does make any serious threats, just let either Harry, Ginny or me know, and we will take care of it. 


From: Hannah Abbot

To: Hermi & the gang

Subject: Re: Breakfast


This morning was the most fun that I've had since starting Hogwarts.  His expression was so funny, and when Terry said he was a good kisser, it took everything for me not to collapse in hysterical laughter.

Oh, oh, and when Snape helped out...why did he help out?  What's Ginny got on him?  I SAW him wink at her before he did it.  He knew she was making it up!

Anyway, I agree that this morning was a complete success.  When we've followed Gin's new plan, he'll be harmless for the rest of his time at school.


From: Orla Quirke

To: The girls

Subject: Harry


Oh, Merlin, he's dreamy.  I heard there were rumours of a Harry Potter fan club.  How can I join?


From: Laura Madley

To: The girls

Subject: Re: Harry

Well, from what I can tell, the founder of the fan club is the one who was rather distressed by the idea of us looking at him.

I see no reason why we can't form a new one!

Anyone interested, we'll meet in the library at seven tonight!  Spread the word!


A fully dressed Harry stalked back into the Great Hall, determined to get some breakfast.  Ron and Hermione had already left, and other classmates took one look at his face, and decided that discretion was the better part of valour and got out of his way in a hurry.

"Thought I'd return the favour," Ginny said softly.  Next to her was a plate with a warming charm on it.

"Thanks, honey," Harry smiled at her.

Ginny's eyes went wide as she seemed to realise that was the first time he'd given her an affectionate nickname.  A second later, she rewarded him with her brightest smile. 

As Harry ate, an owl swooped down and offered its leg to Harry.  While absently munching a sausage, he opened the parchment and blinked.  "It's from your dad," he commented.

"Really?"  Ginny asked, a small smirk appearing on her face.  "I wonder what it says."

Ginny has asked me to write you this letter.  While I am doing that, the content is not what she expects.  I have charmed this so that only you can read it, and I think it would be better for both our sakes if you were to destroy this as soon as you are finished, so as not to get me in trouble with the smaller of the two important women in my life.
This is a very difficult letter for a father ever to have to write, and I would have preferred being able to say this in person, but as you know more than anyone it's very rare that we get what we want.  I ask that you excuse me if I ramble on a bit. 
I am not surprised that you are now dating Ginny.  In one way or another you have been a major part of her life since she was old enough to hear the story of the Boy-Who-Lived.  I'm sure that this is no surprise to you, especially after the embarrassing crush she had on you for so long.  As her father I am privy to a little more information than most people, and I can say that she has never stopped loving you.  Michael and Dean were diversions while she waited for the right time to approach you.
Ginny told Molly and me that she was planning on waiting till she was 16, then using her, erm, wiles to get you over the brainwashing Ron has been putting you through, and at the same time, achieving a degree of independence from her siblings.
The boys mean well, but have a totally unrealistic attitude towards her.  As her father, I can appreciate the sentiment behind the idea of locking her away from any male for many years.  But, as her father, I would MUCH rather have a happy, vivacious, loving daughter, not some timid frail thing scared of her own shadow and hiding behind others.
This desire for what's best for Ginny is why I am writing this letter.  My daughter's original plan for emancipation from the tyranny of her over-protective brothers (her words, not mine) included a letter from me, absolving you of any guilt if you were to teach my boys a lesson.  I give you that absolution freely.  I know that you are neither cruel nor hurtful, and that you can teach my boys a lesson in humility without doing any permanent damage.  I only ask for photographic evidence.
Harry, Molly and I think of you as family: we have done from the start, and will continue to do so.  We couldn't be happier that you are now seeing Ginny properly, for the wonderful young lady that she is.  I am probably biased, but I can't think of a better young witch for you to become close to.  Or a better wizard for her.
As such, I am going to ask something of you that I almost hoped I would never have to ask anyone, or at least not for many years.
I ask that you keep Ginny safe, make her feel loved, stand up for her, and do everything that it takes to make her happy.
I still remember, with despair, the feeling when she was missing, and the jubilation that Molly and I felt when you rescued her, and the bravery that you showed.  It took Ginny a long time to get over the events, to get over being possessed by Voldemort.  We helped her all we could, and we are incredibly proud of the results. 
I think you already know that she is not your average witch.  She has many strengths, and one big weakness - if you want to call it that: you.  You hold in your hands something more precious and fragile than anything else on the planet:  My daughter's love.  If you break it, I guarantee that you will never have anything like it again in your life and that you will regret it for as long as you live.  I don't mean that as a threat.  You won't need any of us to make you feel bad, not when you realise what you have lost.
Please look after my daughter, Harry.
Arthur Weasley"

Harry looked extremely thoughtful as he touched his wand to the paper, burning it into ashes.

"Well?"  Ginny asked.

"Your father has said I'm allowed to prank your brothers," Harry replied.

"Are you going to?"

"Yes," Harry said firmly.  "There is no way in hell I am dumping you."

Ginny smiled and shifted a little so that her legs were over his lap, and leaned up to kiss him.  "Good," she whispered, as he placed his arms tightly around her.  "I need to tell you about Malfoy," she added, suddenly grinning as she remembered.

"What about him?"

From: Irma Pince

To: all staff @ Hogwarts

Subject: Bet

Having seen today's prank by the Weasleys, my money's on them.


From: Professor Vector

To: all staff @ Hogwarts

Subject: Re: Bet

I agree with our esteemed librarian.  20 on the Weasleys for me as well.

Severus Snape was sitting at his desk, marking Potions essays from his 3rd year students.  It was one of the chores of teaching that he hated the most.  Asking any young person to write an essay was almost masochistic.  The grammar and punctuation were nearly always appalling, and the factual content gave him nightmares.  One of the boys had mixed a few ingredients from a different potion, and the result would have been enough to destroy half of Hogwarts.

As he scowled at the latest semi-illegible missive, several of his Slytherin students entered silently.  The first he knew of their presence was when several of them cast a Silencing spell on the door.  He looked up wildly to see Blaise Zabini sitting directly opposite him.  The others, a mixture of pupils from every year, arranged themselves near her, facing him across the desk.  He placed the essay down and steepled his fingers.

"Can I help you?" he asked dryly.

"I'm not sure where to start," the blonde said, matching his tone perfectly. 

"The beginning?" Snape suggested.

Blaise smiled faintly.  "Is the Sorting Hat ever wrong?"

Snape looked a little surprised at the question.  "Not to my knowledge.  Why?"

The girl took a deep breath.  "Then how in the hell did three Slytherins end up in Gryffindor?"


"There are three Slytherins in Gryffindor at the moment.  I want to know how."

"I only know of one," Snape admitted.  He was always a lot more open with his own pupils.  "Ms Weasley."

Blaise nodded.  "Let's take her first.  Every single person has massively underestimated her the entire time she has been at Hogwarts.  I consider myself a good judge of character, and even I dismissed her.  Then this morning, she managed to do more in two minutes than the rest of us have accomplished in the time we've been here.  She neutralised Malfoy so completely that he has lost his influence and power in the House.  If that sort of revenge isn't a Slytherin’s, then I don't know what is."

"How did you know she arranged this morning?"

"That actually takes me on to the second Slytherin.  Do you have any idea how galling it is to find out that we only have the second best spy network in place?"

Snape spluttered in disbelief.  "Not possible."

"Oh, I'm afraid it is, sir.  The second Slytherin is Hermione Granger.  She has a large group of people that owe her for homework help.  She's asked little of them in return, just to keep an eye on anything interesting and let her know what is happening.  She knows more about the rest of the school than I do, and it doesn't even cost her anything.  She's also proved that we are wrong about the pureblood issue."

"How?"  Snape was getting very interested now.  He hadn't had any idea about Granger, but now that he thought about it, it made a lot of sense.

Blaise reached into her pocket and pulled out a parchment.  "I copied this from an Mmail she sent to one of the group."

"It looks like garbage."

"Try a decryption spell, sir."

Snape nodded and pulled out his wand.  He tapped the parchment.  Nothing happened.  He tried again, still nothing.

"Seven of us spent around five hours each trying to work out what it meant.  None of our spells would work.  You know why?"  She didn't wait for an answer to her rhetorical question.  "Because it's not magic.  It's a code that any Muggle could work out.  From what we could tell, it's so basic it's not even considered code by Muggles.  We wasted 35 hours of the best minds in Slytherin house trying some of the most advanced spells in the library."  Blaise was sounding extremely annoyed.  "We wasted it on something so bloody simple that a second-year half-blood who was wandering by told us the answer.  Here!"  She shoved another parchment into his hands.  "This is the translation.  There are 26 letters in the alphabet.  All she did was change each letter to one thirteen places up.  A became N, and N became A.  B became O and O became B."

The Potions professor looked at the translation.  "At some stage over the next few weeks, in the great hall, Ginny is going to state clearly that Draco is gay.  I'm then going to back her up, as if it's the most obvious thing in the world, and that everyone knew it.  I then want everyone else to agree.  The idea is to make it seem to everyone like everyone knew that Draco is gay, apart from them.  This way, it should become an accepted fact quickly."

"You knew this was happening?"

"We worked it out yesterday," Blaise said.

"And you didn't think to warn anyone?"

Blaise smirked at her head of house.  "Look who's talking.  You're the one who put the final seal on it.  Besides, as we said, she neutralised Draco.  It looks like Crabbe and Goyle are going to hang around Parkinson now, and we can handle her with our hands tied behind our backs.  Once you take away the Malfoy influence on our House, you find that most of the people have no wish to support that Dark Tosser: they were just following blindly, too scared of Malfoy to do anything else."

"Dark Tosser?" the potions professor asked, not having heard Voldemort referred to like that before.

"Oh, it's something Harry calls him in the D.A.. He figured if some of us couldn't say Voldemort, that would do."

Snape smiled faintly, laughing at the look he imagined on Voldemort's face if he ever heard that.  "You said three people?"

Blaise nodded slowly.  "I'm not quite sure how you'll take the last one."

"Potter," Snape sighed.  "It has to be Potter."

"How did you know, sir?"

"There's no one else in Gryffindor it could be.  I'd like to hear your reasoning."

"Did you know that Harry has a private army, all with total loyalty to him alone?"

"You mean the D.A.?  I thought that those initials stood for Dumbledore's Army?"

"Most of the members call it the Defence Association.  Sure, Harry might have called it Dumbledore's Army in public a few times, but in the lessons, there is no doubt exactly who we are fighting for."

"We?"  Snape looked a little surprised.

"Yes, we.  Harry opened it up this year to anybody who wanted to join.  A few of us were curious, so we joined in secret, expecting to be thrown out.  Weasley was not happy to see us, but Harry welcomed us immediately.  The two had a bit of an argument over it, but in the end Harry put his foot down and told Weasley that we were as welcome as every other person in the school.  Ginny and Hermione welcomed us as well.  Do you have any idea what it's like to see someone you've been told to treat as an enemy stand up for you for no real reason?  It was eye opening.  The boy has a way of looking at you, when he does it directly, that makes you feel like he is looking into your soul.  After a few weeks, we invited every Slytherin we trusted to join.

"You've just seen the results of what he has been teaching us.  We managed to sneak in on you, isolate you, and if we'd wanted to, we could have taken you out without you even knowing about it."

Snape tilted his head, "You seem very sure of that."

"I am."

Snape neither acknowledged nor denied the point.  "So, while this has been informative, you're here for a reason.  What is it?"

"We want you to stop being an," the word she used was extremely descriptive and to the point, "to Harry."

Snape scowled at the description.  "Does he know you are here?" 

"Of course not.  He'd have forbidden it if he knew."

"Then why?"  Snape was completely calm.  It was interesting that this was the second group to tell him he'd been wrong in a few days.  He was curious about their motives.

"Harry has to fight Voldemort.  We think he is the only one who would be able to defeat him.  When you see him duel in the D.A., you realise just how good he is.  He's light years ahead of the rest of us.  He has this ability to move suddenly that's almost freaky, and before you know it, you're staring down the end of your own wand, peering into those piercing green eyes.

"As Harry is our only chance of living the sort of life we want to lead, we decided to see what we could do to make his life a little easier.  The last thing we need is him doing something stupid because he's pissed off at the world.  Also, having Potter think of us favourably when he ends up as either Minister of Magic or Hogwarts’ Headmaster will always be useful.

"When you sealed Malfoy's fate this morning, it was the first time you actually stood up to him.  We figured it would be a good time to drop in on you."

Snape smiled sourly.  "Indeed."  He looked at his watch.  "I suggest you all get to your classes.  I will think about what you have said."

Blaise nodded and stood; the other Slytherins followed her out of the room.

"Bugger," Snape said to himself.  "That damn boy's corrupted half of my house.  I don't know what's worse: admitting that Minerva and Filius were right, or admitting that Harry's not his father.  Now how the hell am I going to stop him sending me to Siberia?"

From: Pansy

To: Mum

Subject: Draco Malfoy

Mum, did you know that bloody Draco's gay?  And no, I don't mean happy.  The little git's a full star-fish eating fudge-packer.  There is no way in hell I'm marrying him now, and I don't care what the family says about it. 

Crabbe and Goyle refuse to go near him; I think they fear for their virtue.  First sensible decision they've made. 

Even Snape knew he was gay, and gave him house points when Draco admitted it in front of the whole school in the Great Hall.

On another note, it seems that Weasley and Potter have had another falling out, they are no longer talking.

Love, Pansy.

From: Glory

To: Lucius

Subject: Your son.


I must say how disappointed I am that you failed to mention your son's peculiar leanings.  I had thought that a family like the Malfoys would be more open about it.  Why, I hear that it's almost accepted these days.

Still, you have my commiserations.


From: The right hand man

To: A follower

Subject: Re: Your son.

What exactly do you mean?  Don't make me angry; your position isn't as secure as you might think.


From: *smirk*

To: You think my position isn't secure?

Tut, tut, tut, Lucius, I'm afraid you've made me angry.  You will have to pay for that.


From: Glory Parkinson

To: Lucius Malfoy

Cc: Lord Voldemort

Subject: Draco Malfoy

Lucius, I was extremely surprised to hear from my daughter that young Malfoy is an open homosexual.  Apparently, he stood up in the Great Hall and announced it to the entire school.  I'm sure you must be extremely proud that your son has such moral courage.  I'm afraid that I am going to have to call off their engagement, as I'm sure you understand. 

My Lord, Pansy did pass on some news that you might find interesting.  It seems that Weasley and Potter have had another falling out, and that they are no longer talking.

Glory Parkinson

From: The Dark Lord

To: The boy's father

Cc: Glory Parkinson

Lucius, I am extremely disappointed in you.  It raises several doubts in my mind that you could raise such an abomination.  You will report to me immediately, where we will... discuss... this matter in great depth.

Glory.  While I was not pleased to hear about your daughter's abject failure, this information is useful, and it has not reached me through other sources; I will forgive her failure this once.  Please inform her that it is not to happen again, or I will be forced to have a discussion with her as well.


Victory or Death

From: Lord Voldemort

To: Harry Potter

Cc: Snivelling worm

Subject: Invitation

Potter, it has come to my attention that once again your friends have let you down. 

Join me. I promise you more power than you can dream of, and more people to serve you than you could ever want.

Be part of my family, my right hand.


Victory or Death

Harry looked at the Mmail in disbelief.  He thought of forwarding it to Dumbledore, and then decided not to; a vague plan was forming in his mind. 

Voldemort had just given him Pettigrew's Mmail address.

He walked across to Hermione and Ginny, who were talking near the fire.  "Ginny, can I have a word?"

"Of course."  The girl smiled an apology at Hermione as they walked off together.

Hermione frowned as she realised she had lost part of her Defence essay.  "Ron," she called over to the table where he was engaged in a chess match with Seamus.  "Do you still have a copy of that Defence essay you borrowed?"

"Sure," Ron replied absently.  "It's in my Mmail box.  Go, and have a look."


Harry pulled Ginny into one of the larger closets and cast Silencing and Locking charms on the door. 

Ginny looked pleased, she hadn't expected him to be so forward, but was going to enjoy it, and immediately started undoing her robes. 

Harry turned around, just as Ginny shrugged her robes off.  "What are you doing?" he croaked.

Ginny paused. "I can't feel anything through those heavy robes, and if we're going to have a snog session that involves silencing and locking charms, I definitely want to be able to feel everything."  Harry blushed bright red. "Erm, I didn't pull you in here for that, not that it's a bad idea, I just wanted to talk, but now I'm thinking of exactly what I would be able to feel, and can hardly remember why I wanted you in here in the first place, as it doesn't seem important but I know it was and oh God you're beautiful."  He took several deep breaths after his speech, trying to get his breath back.

Ginny blinked a few times as she tried to decipher the stream of consciousness she had just received.  She absently played with the bottom of her blouse, half aware that the material was being pulled tight across her chest.  "So, what did you want?" she asked, when she finally decided not to be mad at him for not jumping her.

Harry's gaze was attached firmly to her chest, and conscious thought was apparently on vacation.

"Harry?" she prompted, trying to keep from giggling.

"Voldemort," he gasped.

'Well, that's a mood killer,' Ginny thought to herself.  She stopped teasing him instantly.  "What about him?"

Harry visibly shook himself. "I just received an Mmail from him, asking me to join now that Ron and I aren't talking.  He offered me power and servants."

Ginny laughed loudly.  "He expects you to join for that?"

Harry nodded.

"So, what are you going to do?"

"Do you think it's possible to do some magic on an Mmail attachment?"

Ginny thought for a second.  She knew that it was impossible; anyone who had been brought up in the Wizarding world knew that.  Mmail was first developed back in the 70's, closely copying the Muggle equivalent, but with some added security.  The system was based around illusions, not actual artefacts, and as such, there was nothing there to cast a spell on.  "I think that if anyone could, it would be you," she said sincerely.

"You'll help?"

"Of course," Ginny smiled happily. 

Harry turned, pulling out his wand to take down the charms.

"Uh hum," Ginny coughed.

Harry turned back to face her.

"In case you haven't noticed, Mr Potter, we are alone in a heavily sealed room, and I've just taken my robes off.  Doesn't that give you any sort of ideas?"

Harry gulped, and then smiled.  He moved forwards and lifted the small girl onto the edge of a table.  He leant down and started to kiss her passionately, a kiss that Ginny was more than happy to receive and share.

From: Hermione

To: The Prat

Subject: Unicorn


If I were you, I would not come near me for some time, or I might say something YOU will regret!


From: One annoyed girl

To: The happy one

Subject: Your brothers


Screw neutrality, I'm on your side.  What's Harry's plan and how can I help?


From: Happy?  You haven't got a clue

To: The annoyed one

Subject: Re: Your brothers

Welcome to the team.  We have a slightly bigger problem that we need your help with first. 

What's the prat done now?


From: Still annoyed, but curious

To: Why such a good mood?

Subject: Re[2]: Your brothers

Let's just say that our relationship had proceeded nicely along regular paths, and that GIT told the OTHER GITS.

Bigger problem?


From: Harry & Ginny in a cupboard K-I-S-S-I-N-G

To: This will distract you

Subject: Re[3]: Your brothers

Yeah. Can you come down to the library ASAP?  But you're going to hear something that is impossible.  It's vital that you trust me to know what I'm doing.  So please DON'T ever mention that it can't be done.

So Ron couldn't keep his big mouth shut?  Not much new there, I'm afraid.  Still, I'm happy.  Having the cleverest witch in Hogwarts on our side can't hurt.


From: Albus Dumbledore

To: Severus Snape

Subject: Conversations


It has come to my attention that you have had a couple of fascinating conversations over the past few days.  Have you come to any conclusions?

If you have, I feel that a certain potion you postulated the creation of, would make an admirable peace offering.



Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and Chairman of the International Confederation of Wizards 

From: Snape

To: Interfering old man

Subject: Re: Conversations

I came very close to stating that we only had the third best spy network in the school.  Yours is much better than anyone else’s.

Yes, certain facts have been pointed out to me, and unless I want a rebellion from a group of students that Potter has trained to fight, I am going to have to change.

Your idea is a good one, I'll start work immediately.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: Irma Pince

To: Headmaster, Hogwarts

Subject: Meeting


I feel that I should inform you that there was chaos in the library this evening.  From what I could tell, every single female student below the sixth year turned up, as well as a small contingent of boys.  They were muttering about forming some form of club, but I couldn't tell what.

I kicked them all out, and I have no idea where they went.


"So, what's going on?"  Hermione asked as she entered the library.  Harry and Ginny were sitting next to each other at one of the desks, a pile of books she would have been proud of next to them.

"Hey," Harry smiled at his friend.  "Glad you are going to help."

A quick look at Ginny confirmed that her friend hadn't told Harry why she was helping.  She was thankful for the discretion

"Voldemort Mmailed me earlier, asking me to join the Death Eaters as he knows that Ron and I are currently having a slight disagreement over the dating habits of the drop-dead-gorgeous girl sitting next to me.

"He carbon-copied the Mmail to Pettigrew, so we're working on how to create a Portkey that I'll enchant to an Mmail attachment."

Hermione nodded slowly; internally her mind was screaming that everyone knew that sending a spell through Mmail didn't work.  It was only Ginny's earlier warning that stopped her from saying anything.  "So you want me to help you with the Portkey research?"

"Yep," Harry grinned.  "We figured if anyone could pull off the impossible in a couple of hours, it would be you."

"Flattery will get you everywhere, Harry."  Hermione smiled and looked through the pile of books.  She sighed softly to herself and picked half up, returning them to the shelves.

Harry and Ginny smiled at each other.  Hermione in research mode was like a force of nature: nothing could stand in her path as she searched for what she wanted.

In the end, it only took her two hours to find the information needed.  It had included a trip to the Restricted Section, but Hermione knew her way around the protective charms.

"Ok," Harry said nervously.  "I hate Portkeys, but, let's test it."  He followed the spell exactly, focusing on the destination point – the other end of the library, and touched his wand to an old bookmark of Hermione's. 

"Wish me luck," he mumbled, as he reached out and grabbed the book mark.  Isntantly he disappeared, and Hermione waited nervously.  She heard a pop, then a whoop of joy, and Harry came running back over to her.  He picked Hermione up out of her chair and spun her around a few times, before hugging her as hard as he could.

Hermione smiled, as she realised the changes that had happened in her best friend over the past few days.  He wasn't the old Harry or the sulking teenage Harry of last year: this was a more grown-up Harry, and she really liked it.

She watched as Harry released her, and stalked towards Ginny. 

The red-haired girl pretended to be scared.  "You're not going to hurt me, are you sir?" she asked in a little girl's voice.

Harry smirked, "I'm going to help myself to those ruby lips."

"Oh no," Ginny said, fanning herself dramatically.  She pretended to swoon in horror, conveniently landing on the edge of the table, where she could be kissed with ease.

"Ahh, caught you, my saucy wench," Harry said, seriously overacting the evil in his voice.

"Please sir, not a kiss, anything but that."

Hermione was trying very hard not to break into hysterical laughter.  She timed her moment carefully, waiting till Harry's lips were a centimetre away from Ginny's.  "We still need to find a way to attach the Portkey to the Mmail, and check it can handle distances," she reminded them.

The look that Ginny shot her as Harry pulled away would have put the Basilisk to shame in her first year.  Hermione smiled innocently.

Harry dropped a much lighter kiss on his girlfriend's lips. "She's right, you know."

"Doesn't mean I have to like it," Ginny growled.

"Any idea how we go about doing this?"  Harry asked.

"Sure," Ginny replied confidently.  "Create an Mmail."

Harry nodded, scribbled a quick note on the parchment, and picked his wand up off the table, the movement and incantation were simple, but had become so second nature to him that he hardly bothered to wave his wand, and he didn't say the words. 

An illusion of a piece of parchment appeared in front of him. 

Ginny and Hermione exchanged another long look, as for the first time Hermione started to realise what Harry could do.  Technically, what he had just done was impossible.  Every other student and teacher had to say the correct words and do the correct wand movement.  The fact that Harry just did it like that was astounding.

"Now, create an attachment for it," Ginny continued, her voice going soft.

Harry nodded and absently Summoned a piece of parchment from the desk.  A flick of his wand later and the parchment seemed to shimmer, before an exact replica appeared, attached in the corner to his original illusion.

"Do the Portkey spell on the attachment, like you did before, but put the destination as your bed.  You need sleep, as creating Portkeys takes a lot out of you.  Hermione and I will clear up here."

Harry nodded and yawned.  He concentrated hard on the spell, and his bed in the Gryffindor common room.

Hermione bit her lips, forcing herself not to shout out that there was nothing there – you couldn't attach a spell to something that simply didn't exist.

Harry released the spell, and then sent the message.

There was a brief moment's silence, as the three of them waited.  They were almost holding their breath.

A small illusion of a parchment appeared by Harry's right hand.  It simply read, "Harry Potter has one new Mmail."

Almost reluctantly, Harry tapped his wand to the small parchment.  It grew rapidly, till it was floating in front of him. 

From: Harry

To: Me

Attachment:  test.pmt

Subject: Test

Test test test test test test test test test.


Harry touched his wand to the attachment, giving it the open command.  Without warning, he vanished.

Hermione unfroze and grabbed her friend's wrist, dragging her out of the library.

"Where are we going?"  Ginny asked.

"Dumbledore's office," Hermione replied, not loosening her grip for a second.

"Why?"  The smaller girl was struggling to keep up now.

"We're here," Hermione announced, in lieu of answering.  "Harry Emergency," she said as a password.  "Dumbledore set this up for us after last year, so that if there was a problem we could reach him immediately."

The gargoyle moved back, allowing them entrance to the moving stairs.

"Come in," Dumbledore said as they reached the top, before they could knock.

Dumbledore was having a meeting with his four Heads of House.  "What's the emergency with Harry, Ms Granger?"

When she’d started Hogwarts, Hermione's greatest fear would have been getting in trouble, and being forced to talk in front of the most important teachers in the school. 

Six years of being Harry Potter's best friend had eliminated that fear, and she felt that she could call three of the heads friends.  At one stage or another she had dealt with each of the four on a one-to-one basis, normally to find the way to help Harry out of his latest predicament.  "I don't suppose I could have a drink?" she asked, looking longingly at what appeared to be Firewhisky on the desk.

Before McGonagall could refuse, Snape moved and poured her a glass, handing it to her with an expression that almost looked like a smile. 

Hermione took it as Ginny stared at her in shock.  The bushy haired girl downed it in one go, and sighed with pleasure as smoke came out of her ears.

Dumbledore waved his wand casually, creating two chairs for his guests.  He didn’t seem to be concerned about the interrupted meeting.  He was likely more concerned about what would cause Hermione to barge in and then drink alcohol like there was no tomorrow.

"Ok," Hermione said as she sat down, a stern glance telling Ginny to sit as well.  "I have just seen a student break half the rules of magic." 

She held up her hand, with four fingers up.  "One," she said as she folded her first finger down.  "He created a Portkey on his first try. 

"Two, the Portkey worked, moving him around in Hogwarts, despite the fact that only Professor Dumbledore can make Portkeys here, due to the strong wards in and around Hogwarts."  Hermione suddenly shot the Headmaster an accusing look.  "You wouldn't know anything about the Portkey Paste the Twins have developed, would you?"

"Me?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes twinkling wildly.  "Not a thing.  As Hogwarts' Headmaster I would never get involved in anything like that."

Snape snorted eloquently.  "Please continue, Ms Granger."

Hermione nodded. "Three, he created an Mmail and attachment without bothering to say the proper words or even the right bloody movement." 

All the girl had left now was her pinkie finger.  "Fourth, he then created an attachment, something which DOESN'T EVEN EXIST, and attached a bloody Portkey spell to it."

Severus was the first person to move.  He was nearest the bottle of Firewhisky.  He grabbed it and poured it into five shot glasses.  As one, the teachers, Dumbledore included, grabbed the drink and swallowed it.

"I take it we're talking about Mr Potter," Professor Dumbledore said slowly.

"Thank you for that statement of the obvious," Snape smirked.  "And here I was thinking there was another pupil in the school that could pull that sort of thing off, with the help of Hermione and Ginny."

"Severus," Dumbledore said reproachfully, his manner faintly screaming, 'not in front of the children.'

"Sorry," Snape said, acknowledging the point.

"I brought Ginny along as she knows what is going on."

"Ms Weasley?"  Professor Dumbledore asked with a warm smile.

Ginny stared at her potions professor thoughtfully.  It was obvious she was trying to come to a decision about him.  "Can I ask a question, off the record, Professor Snape?" she inquired.

Snape nodded.

"Are you going to stop being an," the word she used was exactly the same as the word Blaise had used earlier, "to Harry?"

Severus tried very hard to ignore the sniggers that came from his fellow teachers. 

"Yes," he sighed, a slightly irritated look on his.

"Ok," Ginny smiled at him. 

She took a deep breath, and started to talk.  "I first noticed something strange a few months ago.  Sometimes, when duelling in the D.A., Harry would move faster than anyone could see.  It's not Apparating, because we know that no one can do that in Hogwarts, and there's no sound.  It's so sudden.  One minute you're facing him, the next he has your wand and you’re staring up into an expressionless pair of green eyes.

"Then, a few days ago, I kinda said something a little silly while sitting on his lap.  He managed to move from under me to in front of me, before I could even notice he was gone.  He did it again the next morning, under happier circumstances. 

"I was confused about it, trying to work out how he could do that.  It wasn't till this afternoon that I put it all together.  Harry asked if he could attach a spell to an attachment.  Every one knows you can't do that, apart from Harry."

Hermione's eye suddenly shot open as she stared at her friend.  "Well done, Gin," she said with admiration evident in her voice.  "It's hard to believe, but I've seen the proof."

Filius Flitwick, head of the studious house, was the first to speak.  "I don't suppose you could explain it for those of us with mere genius level IQ's?" he requested with a teasing smile.

Ginny and Hermione both blushed at once, and faced the five teachers once more.  "Sorry," Ginny smiled at them nervously.  "Basically, I realised that Harry doesn't know what is impossible.  No one has ever told him that you can't just move through space and appear anywhere you want, so he just does it.  The same thing with the attachment Portkey: he didn't know it couldn't be done, and we didn't tell him, so he just did it."

Flitwick nodded approvingly, "An excellent grasp of psychology, Ms Weasley, take twenty points for Gryffindor.  We should take this up in class," he addressed the other teachers.  "It's most ingenious."

The other professors had taken a little longer to understand what Ginny had meant, but now realised that the girl was simply saying that Harry could do anything he believed in.

"Thank you for bringing this to us, Ms Granger," Dumbledore said thoughtfully.  "I'm going to ask that you keep acting as you have been, and don't tell Harry that he can't do anything.  I'm going to arrange a few things so that we can see what Mr Potter's limits are."

Hermione nodded, and stood, recognising the dismissal for what it was.  With Ginny firmly in tow once more, they headed to their common room and bed.

There was a silence with the five teachers, till McGonagall broke it.  "Tahiti, I think," she said with a small smile.

"Tahiti?"  Ponoma Sprout asked, confused.

"Yes, Tahiti," McGonagall confirmed.  "I shall go there for a holiday this summer."

Filius looked at her curiously.  "A holiday, with Voldemort still out and about?"

McGonagall smiled, "Oh, him?  He hasn't got a bloody chance.  We've won.  He just doesn't know it yet."

"Huh?"  Snape asked, before his jaw opened in shock.

Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts, Head of Gryffindor House, respected member of the Order of the Phoenix, was currently standing on the headmaster's desk, doing a jig of pure delight.

"I told you, Sevvie," she crowed, as she continued to shake her austere booty.  "Put a strong woman behind the most powerful magician in the world, and you have a strong force.  Put two amazing women behind him, and nothing will be able to stop him.  When Harry gets around to it, there will be no more Voldemort.  He's dead; he just doesn't know it yet."

With a huge smile, she slowly climbed off the table and sat back down, completely unembarrassed.

"What I want to know," the tiny Flitwick said, "is how did three Ravenclaws end up in Gryffindor?"

"What do you mean?" Albus asked, noting how Severus' eyes were alight with interest.

"Ms Granger is obvious; she gets better marks than all of my students.  Ms Weasley has been demonstrating her intelligence for several years now.  And of course, Mr Potter, when he isn't hiding behind his veil of wanting to be normal, is the best magical student I have ever taught.  I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't reach Ginny's conclusion some time ago."

"That's strange," Sprout said with a slight smile.  "I was going to say the same about them being Hufflepuffs.  The three of them have shown unwavering loyalty and caring.  Hermione helps anyone who needs it with homework.  Ginny has never turned her back on anyone with a problem, and Harry has welcomed all comers to his D.A. group, Slytherin included."

Dumbledore smiled at them, his eyes twinkling.  "I had a very long chat with Alistair about this very subject."

"Who's Alistair?"  Snape asked.

"The Sorting Hat," the headmaster explained briefly.  "We often have long chats, frightfully intelligent fellow he is.  He told me that the three of them were very difficult to place.  He came within an inch of placing Harry and Ginny in Slytherin, and Hermione in Ravenclaw.  They are all in Gryffindor because they asked to be placed there, a decision that, at times, I think they have all regretted slightly.  Alistair said that he agreed to place them in Gryffindor because it was the best fit for them."

"What about Ron Weasley?"  McGonagall asked.

"Mr Weasley is a classic Gryffindor, with all their virtues and faults," Dumbledore sighed.  "He has been the foil needed for the others to blossom, but sadly, little of their influence has rubbed off on him.  I had hoped that, in time, he would be less impetuous and more thoughtful.  That he would be more accepting of others.  I'm afraid that he is still living in a world where Gryffindors are good and Slytherins are evil."

Dumbledore suddenly smiled. "Still, I do wonder if the outcome of his attempts to interfere with Mr Potter and Ms Weasleys relationship will have some affect on him.  Severus, I believe you are running a book on the outcome?"

"I am," Snape smiled.

"In that case, I will place 20 galleons on Mr Potter as well."

"Just one more thing," Sprout said.  "Why does Harry want to know how to create Portkeys, and attach them to a Mmail?"

Worried looks were her only response.

From: Severus Snape

To: Potter

Subject: My office

Potter, please come to my office before breakfast.


Advocating the end of silly wand waving for fifteen years

From: The Boy Who Lived

To: The Potions professor

Subject: Re: My Office

I will be there, sir. 


From: Ron

To: Brothers

Subject: The worst day


The prank went perfectly.  I followed the instructions to the letter, and Harry arrived in the Great Hall wearing only his towel.

However, things went dramatically wrong after that.  It seems that when we considered public nudity, we all had the same image of Harry in mind – the skinny, lost little boy of a few years ago. 

Unfortunately, Harry is no longer that boy, and if I have to hear one more word from any of the witches around here about just how good Harry looks in a towel, I shall be sick.

Not only did the prank fail to embarrass him, it also failed to put him off my sister.  He is rather upset at us.  In fact, he gave an open declaration of war – something I'm sure our sister is extremely happy about.


From: Bill

To: Little bro

Cc: Other bro's

Subject: Re: The worst day

Not to worry, I'm sure we can come up with something a little better than that anyway.  Any ideas?


From: The dastardly duo

To: Five redheads

Subject: Re: Re: The worst day

Actually guys, we kinda like Harry.  He wasn't scared off by a prank that would have had most men running away with their tails between their legs.

Let's face facts.  Ron scared Michael off with hardly even a threat.  Dean, we scared off with a small threat about his manhood.

Harry?  We didn't even start with a warning, we went straight to the pranks, and pulled off one perfectly.  He's passed the Fred and George test.


Weasley's Wizard Wheezes – coming soon to Diagon Alley.

From: Percival Weasley

To: Brothers, All.

Subject: Re: Re: Re: The worst day

Fred, George,

We agreed that we would stand together in this.  This is nothing personal against Harry.

Ron, you did at least follow the instructions, so no blame is to be apportioned to you.  The priority now is the next idea to persuade Harry to move on.


The information in this Mmail is confidential and may be legally privileged.  It is intended solely for the addressee.  Access to this Mmail by anyone else is unauthorized.  If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful.

From: Ron

To: The guys

Subject: It gets worse

1.  I just heard from a reliable source that Potter and our innocent sister were seen coming out of a closet.

2. Hermione found the comment I made about the Unicorn, and I think she is going to help Potter in getting some sort of revenge on us.

Ron – getting a little depressed

From: Dragon Guy

To: Non-Dragon Guys

Subject: Re: It gets worse

Ok, I can agree that point 1 is serious, and we will HAVE to make sure our next warning to Harry is successful.  2 seems to be a problem of yours, little bro.


Draconis dominium

From: The strategist

To: The tactically naive

Subject: Re[2]: It gets worse

Might I remind you that my girlfriend is THE smartest witch, probably ever?  And that Potter is extremely powerful?  And that our sister is no slouch either? 

I wouldn't put it past her to notify your significant others.


From: Bill

To: The younger redheads

Subject: Re: Re[2]: It gets worse

Ok, that could cause an issue.  If you think Mum is scary, you've never seen an angry half-Veela.

We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it. 

What are we going to do about Harry?


From: Harry Potter

To: The Six Idiots

Cc: My love and her parents

Subject: Our relationship

Gentlemen - and I use that term as loosely as is possible.

It has come to my attention that you do not approve of my relationship with Ginny.  It seems that you felt the need to transport me to the Great Hall, dressed only in a towel, as some form of threat.

Big mistake.

If you had come to me with logical reasons why I should not date your beautiful sister, I might have at least listened to you.  Instead, you chose to prank me.

Huge mistake.

I feel that, for some reason, you have no idea exactly who you are dealing with.  I could talk about how I have faced Voldemort one on one more times than the lot of you put together, and survived every time.

But I won't.

Instead, I feel that you need a small history lesson. 

Around twenty years ago, there was a group of four men, and later, one woman, who became legendary at Hogwarts.  Three of them were Animagus, the other a werewolf.  They were all Gryffindors.  They were known as Prongs, Padfoot, Moony, and Wormtail.

Now, not a lot of people know this, but Wormtail was a traitor, so we won't talk about him any more.

Shall we take Moony first?  He was a werewolf.  His friends became Animagi so that they could spend the nights with him on full moons.  After he left school, he fought in the first war against Voldemort and ended up teaching Defence at Hogwarts.  He is a full member of the Order of the Phoenix.  It was his research and skill that enabled the creation of the Marauders Map.  He is also an extremely close friend of mine, one of the few adult people I trust and love more than life.  His name?  Remus Lupin.

Now, let's move on to Padfoot.  The legendary Padfoot.  His form was that of a giant Grim.  He was the brains behind the biggest pranks the Marauders ever pulled off, not least the time they painted the Slytherin Common Room fluorescent pink, and gave Snape a permanent hair perm.  After leaving school, he was falsely accused of murder and sentenced to Azkaban without a trial.  Many years later, he escaped, and has been fighting Voldemort and the Death Eaters ever since.  He is also my godfather, and another adult I trust and love.  His name?  Sirius Black

Finally, we'll move on to Prongs.  The leader of the Marauders.  The glue that held them together.  The person who both guided and directed the others, taking them on more adventures than any other group of people in history (myself not included).  His ingenuity and loyalty mean that he is remembered with fondness even after all these years.  After school, he married his true love, and had one child.  He was later murdered, with his wife, by the Dark Tosser.  He was also my father, James Potter.

So, you see, you've decided to start a prank war with someone who even Voldemort is scared of.  Someone who is the son of the greatest prankster ever.  Someone who loves, and is loved by, the last two remaining Marauders.

Now, as fair warning, I will be pranking you back; however, I have to deal with Pettigrew first and clear my godfather's name.  This should only take a day or so, and has been taking up a lot of my attention.  Hermione and Ginny have been invaluable.  You gits have no idea what you have gotten yourself into.

I'm falling in love with Ginny, and nothing you do or say will be able to stop me.


From: Ginny

To: My love

Subject: Mmail to my brothers

Harry, that was brilliant.  You're brilliant.  I'm so proud you told them you were falling in love with me. 

I love you, always.


From: Fred and George

To: Brothers

Subject: Oh s&%^

BUGGER!  Ron, did you know about this?

George and Fred

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes – coming soon to Diagon Alley.

From: Ron

To: Brothers

Subject: Re:  Oh s&%^

Well, yeah, of course.  Why?  It doesn't change anything.


From: The twins

To: Idiotic younger brother

Cc: Other brothers

Subject: Re: Re: Oh s&%^

IT DOESN'T CHANGE ANYTHING???? Are you bloody insane?  These are the Marauders we're talking about.  They make our pranks look AMATEURISH. 

We say again, we like Harry.  If we give a quick apology, we can call this thing off, and everyone can be happy.

Fred and George

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes – coming soon to Diagon Alley.

From: Charlie

To: Brothers

Subject: Ok, don't panic

Look, so he's the son of one Marauder, the godson of the other, and friends with the third.  So he deals with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named on a regular basis, and is currently about to grab Pettigrew.

So what?

It doesn't matter.  We are the Weasley boys.  We have never been beaten and we never will be. 


Draconis dominium

From: Percival Weasley

To: Brothers

Subject: Re: Ok, don't panic.

I totally agree.  There is nothing they can do, we will be triumphant.


The information in this Mmail is confidential and may be legally privileged.  It is intended solely for the addressee.  Access to this Mmail by anyone else is unauthorized.  If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on it, is prohibited and may be unlawful.

Well, that wasn't quite what I expected.  I needed to get some plot in there; I'm currently moving the characters into place for the finale of this piece. 

*Coming soon*:

Snape's potion

Poor Peter

Voldemort's not amused

The daily prophet reports

Harry pranks back

For those interested, the first ever email was sent by Ray Tomlinson over the Arpanet in 71, because he thought it was a neat idea :-)  American wizards developed Mmail in '72, after seeing the Muggle equivalent.  The idea of attachments didn't come until a few years later.

Special Present to everyone...

"Welcome, second years.  My name is Professor Jeconais, and I will be teaching you about Technomagic.  Now, does anyone know what Technomagic is?"

An enthusiastic girl's hand shot towards the ceiling at an incredible velocity. 

"Yes, Ms...?"

"Granger, sir.  Hermione."

"Ok, Ms Granger, what is Technomagic?"

"It's the combination of Muggle technological ideas with magical practice."

"Excellent," the professor said, "take five points for Gryffindor.  Now, can you tell me what the advantages are, when you compare Technology and Technomagic?"

No one put their hands up – some of the students looked disgusted at the idea that they were doing anything even remotely related to Muggles.

"Take out your parchment and quills," the professor said.  When everyone was ready, he continued.  "Muggle technology is reliant on devices, such as computers to work.  In its simplest form, computers are machines that take instructions and do the same thing over and over again, with 100% reliability.  However, the problems come with the instructions.  They are created by humans, and often have tiny mistakes in them.

"Technomagic overcomes these problems by having a magical layer that interprets the commands you give and checks that they are perfect. 

"Like Muggle technologies, all you need to know is the high-level creation spells: the low-level Technomagic takes care of the rest.  The Muggle equivalent is typing text into a word processor.  You don't need to understand the interactions between the keyboard, the computer, and the monitor to see the results. 

"We do offer advanced courses in Technomagic for those who would like to understand how the WizardNet works.

"Today, we are going to study Mmail.  Can anyone tell me what Mmail is?"

Again, the same girl’s hand shot up.  The professor looked around, hoping for a different volunteer.

"Mr Malfoy?" he asked.

Malfoy got to his feet, a sneer attached to his face.  "Mmail is similar to Owl post, only instant.  You create a message, give it a recipient, and send it.  The WizardNet does the rest."

Professor Jeconais nodded, "Take five points for Slytherin.  When you create an Mmail, what you see is an illusionary representation of your message.  There is nothing physical there. 

"Every wizard has a unique Mmail address, that is theirs and theirs alone.  There is no central registry of these Mmails, for privacy’s sake.  Be careful who you give your Mmail account address to, because it is extremely difficult to get a new one.

"As you are now students of Hogwarts, you are now eligible to have your own address."  He paused as a ripple of excitement swept through the students.  "The procedure is simple: You ask the WizardNet for identification, it scans your magical signature, memorises it, and then stores it.  The identification it gives back is a little complicated, but you will soon learn to use aliases.  As always with magic, it's the thought behind the spell that counts as much as the actual spell."

"Now, I want you to pull out your wands.  The first incantation is simply 'Aedifico Ego'.  You will feel a small tingling sensation as the WizardNet does its stuff.  The identification is your name, followed by the exclamation marks, then a random identification number, and your country of origin."

The second years looked at each other, before saying the words.  They all felt a rushing sensation, and then heard a voice giving them their address.  Hermione heard, "Wizard Net Identification request accepted.  New identity stored:  Hermione.Granger!434121624.UK"

"The next stage is to create a Mmail box for yourselves.  While all Mmail is delivered directly to you, no matter where you are, you will want to store them in one place, so that you can either re-read it or reply at a later date."

He walked among them, giving each student a piece of parchment.  "This is enchanted parchment.  Every time you are sent a Mmail, the subject will appear here.  Simply tapping it with your wands will show the message behind it.  To activate the box, simply write your Mmail address at the top."

As the students wrote their address, the parchment flickered, and then the address vanished, leaving only their names.  

"Excellent," Professor Jeconais smiled.  "Now that you all have Mmail boxes, it's time to send yourself a test message.  “Sending a Mmail is a little more complicated, to stop people sending them by accident. The first step is to create the message.  Simply write what you want on normal parchment, using the following format.

"The first line is the sender.  So, you write 'From:' leave a space, then a personal identification of yourself.  It doesn't matter what you write, because the WizardNet automatically adds your address underneath this when you send it. 

"The second line is the Recipient.  You write 'To:'.  It's important that you get this right, or the Mmail will either bounce or go to the wrong person.  As you write it, the address will vanish again, allowing you to put a personalised alias on top.

"The third line is the subject line, 'Subject:'.  There are a few other optional lines that we will cover in the next class.  Those are the three key lines. 

"Before we continue, I feel that I should have a quick word about Wettiquette – WizardNet etiquette.  There are a couple of simple rules to follow.  Writing everything in CAPITALS is considered the equivalent of shouting, and is frowned upon. 

"Secondly, when you reply, add Re and a colon to the front of the subject, so people are aware of which Mmail message you are replying to.  Yes, Ms Granger?"

"What does Re: mean, sir?"

"Re is Latin for 'about', although most people these days think it stands for either REgarding or REply.

"Now, when you get into a long Mmail conversation, you can end up having a long stream of Re:'s, and personally, I really don't like seeing that.  So, when you are writing your own, count the number or Re:s, add one, and put it in square brackets next to the Re:  If I see any Mmail from a Hogwarts student with multiple Re:'s, I will remove house points.

"As you now have a test message, you need to create the Mmail.  The incantation is 'Aedifico Nuntius'.  At the same time, you need to move your wand in a rectangular shape, like this."

The professor illuminated the tip of his wand, so that they could see the movements.  He dragged it across, down, back, and up, before crossing it diagonally.  "The shape is that of an envelope.  The spell also tells the WizardNet to prepare for a new message.  Next, you touch your wand to your parchment, and the spell duplicates the parchment in front of you."

The student followed the directions, and a few seconds later, illusions hovered in front of them.

"This is the last chance you have to cancel it before you send it.  Once you have sent your Mmail, there is no way of stopping it.  If you're happy, touch your wand to the corner above the From: and say, 'Dimitto'.  This will send the message through the MagicNet.

"As soon as the Mmail has been sent, two things will happen, and you will see the beauty of the MagicNet.  You will receive a small notification on your wand hand of a new Mmail, which you can read without a spell, simply by touching your wand to it.  At the same time, the Mmail will be stored in your Mmail box."

The students watched with glee as their message vanished, and then a small illusion appeared by their wrists, informing them of their success.

The professor looked at his watch.  "Ok, kids, I want a foot of parchment on the usage of Mmails for the start of the next lesson.  We'll be covering attachments and priorities."

Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked out of the lesson together.

"What did you think of Professor Jeconais?"  Harry asked.

"I liked him," Hermione said with a happy smile. 

"You would," Ron grumbled, reaching for a chocolate frog.  "He seemed nice enough, bit of a geek though."

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