Neville and Tracey return to Hogswarts, Hermione learns something about Harry, Justin and herself, and other stuff happens.
Harry Potter and the Marriage Contracts.
Chapter Thirteen – Recovery
January 7, 1998
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
When Neville opened the door he was slightly surprised to find the Headmaster waiting for them. He had expected the old man to at least wait until after breakfast before starting his latest ‘does Harry understand what he has done?’ inquisition, but there you go.
“Mr. Longbottom, Miss Davis. Good of you to join us.” Oh that wasn’t good; the old man appeared to actually be angry. “Where is Mr. Potter?”
“Both the Potters are at their home, trying to heal what was done to them Headmaster.” Tracey said before Neville could answer. “They will be making the decision as to if they return to Hogwarts in a day or so.”
“Where are they Mr. Longbottom?”
“Safe Headmaster. They are both safe.”
“Mr. Longbottom. You will tell me where they are. You will tell me now or you can start packing your trunk.”
Tracey Davis was amazed at Longbottom’s reaction. The man squared his shoulders and faced the Headmaster with an intensity Tracey had never seen before. “Ignoring the fact that I cannot tell you where they are since I am not Harry’s Secret Keeper Headmaster, I would suggest that you step back and consider what you are doing. Making empty threats like that serves no useful purpose…”
“Empty threats?” The old man interrupted. “I assure you Mr. Longbottom…”
“Yes Headmaster, a pathetically empty threat.” Neville’s voice took on a hard edge of anger. “When you consider that the alliance between the Longbottoms and the Potters was an ancient one before you were born, I was required by both tradition and honor to accompany my friend and blood ally to his protest before the Wizengamot. Had his conflict gone as far as a formal duel, I would have been required to travel to him to stand as his second even if I hadn’t gone with him originally.” Neville took a step closer to the ancient wizard. “But what makes your threat empty has nothing to do with that. I am Longbottom of Longbottom. I have assumed that position and everything it entails. That means I control six seats on the Wizengamot and three on the Hogwarts Board. Harry controls four seats on the Wizengamot and two on the Board. Harry has been quietly replacing your puppets in those positions. Try to expel anyone without cause and you would be gone and your victim would be reinstated before they could make it to their Dorm.”
Dumbledore seemed to notice the audience that had been forming in the Entry Hall. “We should move this discussion to my office.”
“I don’t think so Headmaster. When you felt the need to upbraid me, it was totally in public. I know everything you’ve done to Harry. Everything. You made sure Harry grew up outside our society, ignorant of his position, ignorant of his family and its history. Harry’s far too noble to use what you did to destroy you.” Neville moved until he was nose to nose with the Headmaster. “I on the other hand grew up surrounded by some of the most able politicians in the world, and all of them made very sure that I was ready to take my place when the time came. I know my place in the world; I know my responsibilities and the history of my family. Harry made sure I learned to stand up for myself, and showed me how to reach my full potential magically. Threaten Harry or anyone close to him again Headmaster and I will use what I know to destroy you. Unlike Harry I’m not a noble man Headmaster, when I’m done with you no one will remember Grindelwald, your name will be synonymous with corruption and betrayal.”
Dumbledore worked his jaw wordlessly. Spinning in place, he stalked away with a swirl of his robes that would have made the late, largely unlamented, Severus Snape proud as the assembled students made way to allow him to pass.
January 13, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The Room of requirements:
Neville entered the room quietly frowning at what he had discovered. Harry was in the center of a dueling arena surrounded by the debris of destroyed dueling simulacrums. Harry was drenched in sweat, panting as if he had sprinted a mile, and on his knees.
“Harry?” Neville ventured. “Are you ok?”
“No.” Harry said without looking up. “I’m slow. I’m weak. I tire far too quickly.”
“You also talk in your sleep, and you have the most amazing gas whenever shepherd’s pie is served.” Neville noted hoping the insult would pull Harry out of his funk.
Harry shot him a dirty look. “What?” Neville asked. “I thought we were listing your more colorful personality traits.”
“I’ve got to get better Nev. I’ve got to get myself to a level where I can face Voldemort.”
“You will mate. You’ll do fine, because at very least those of us who went with you to the Ministry will be with you.”
“No. No, I’m not going through that again Neville. Ron and Hermione have found each other, finally. I’m not going to risk them. I can’t deal with Ginny at all and I won’t risk Luna again, what those bastards almost did to her…”
“Fine then. I’m going with you. I stood with you in the Ministry; it will be up to you to make sure I don’t break my nose this time. I’m much better now that I’ve got my own wand.”
“No Neville.” Harry struggled to his feet. You’re all your Gran has. I owe the pair of you far too much to put you at risk.”
Neville reached out and poked Harry in the chest. “Fuck you Potter. I’m older than you remember? Who the hell are you telling me what I can or can’t do?”
“Neville?” Harry asked in shock.
“I’m going to let you off this time Harry, because you don’t know your family history. If I let a Potter, any Potter go into a fight without going along, my Gran would skin me alive. There has been an alliance between the houses of Potter and Longbottom for most of five hundred years. If a Potter is in a fight there is a Longbottom at his back. If a Longbottom is attacked, a Potter takes revenge. That’s how it’s always been, that’s how it always will be. You’re the last Potter, I’m the last Longbottom, and we’re stuck with each other.” He grinned. “You’re going to have to get me up to speed so that I can be pathetic along side you.”
The pair regarded each other for a moment, and then Harry extended his hand. With a huge grin Neville took his friend’s hand.
“I never knew any of that stuff about our families. Why didn’t you say anything before?”
Neville shrugged. “I thought you knew. Hell, everyone knows about the Potters and the Longbottoms. I mean you’re Harry Potter, it’s hard to think of you as Muggle Raised. As pitiful as I was, I figured you were cutting your losses and forming an alliance with the Weasley clan. It wasn’t until that night in the Ministry I realized you didn’t have a clue about family alliances.”
The room had reformed around them; the dueling arena was gone, replaced by a sitting room.
“I guess the room thinks we need to talk.” Harry said gesturing toward the chairs. “Tell me what I need to know about our families.”
January 7, 1998
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hermione Granger watched silently from the edge of the crowd that had formed to witness the confrontation between the Headmaster and Neville Longbottom. As Head Girl she really should be breaking up the crowd, but…
The confrontation between Neville and the Headmaster was thought provoking. She had never really thought about how much had been withheld from Harry over the last seven years, much less over his life. When the Headmaster plowed through the assembled crowd, she finally spoke up.
“All right everyone; let’s clear out the Entry hall.” It was a sign of the level of respect she was held in that the crowd broke up with only a minimum of grumbling. She approached Neville who was oblivious to the appraising look he was receiving from Tracey Davis “Good morning Neville. Heading back to the dorm? Would you like some company?”
Neville nodded, and then seemed to remember Tracey was standing there. “Would you like me to escort you to your dorm Tracey?”
“Thank you Neville,” the strawberry blond Slytherin said. “I’m fine. I’ll be seeing you both in the Great Hall for breakfast.” The girl hefted her bag and left for the dungeons, and she suspected an interrogation on par with what Longbottom was about to get.
“How’s Harry?” Hermione began without preamble as they approached the first stairway heading toward Gryffindor tower.
“Harry’s… Good.” Neville said simply, knowing that an answer like that was likely to set Hermione off, but offering it anyway.
“Neville…” Hermione consciously bit back on her automatic response. Yelling at Neville didn’t work anymore. The scion of the Longbottom family wasn’t cowed by anyone, not for about a year now. “You said ‘Both of the Potters’ when you were speaking to the Headmaster. Daphne didn’t return to school, Harry, Tracey Davis, and you all disappear two days ago without a word to anyone, what is going on Neville? Who is this second Potter? Where is Harry?”
The pair had reached the portrait of the Fat Lady. Pausing before offering the password to the portrait, Neville looked deeply into Hermione’s eyes. “Not here. Not now.” Neville looked pointedly at the portraits. “We’ll find some time to discuss it, later.”
January 7, 1998
Daphne watched as Tracey and Neville disappeared in the swirl of color and the sharp crack that marked apparation leaving her alone with Harry for the first time since the Wizengamot. She had spent the night sitting with Tracey and talking. Now she needed to speak with Harry.
The organized portion of her mind was still trying to deal with Harry’s actions of the previous day. The proposal, the one-sided fight, the death of Benedikte, Harry’s admission of lying and fraud to save her. So many things to think about and deal with.
The young woman turned to face her ‘husband’ as he sat at the kitchen table his attention focused on his mug of tea. He had risked so much for her. Why? Their relationship was less than five months old, why had he done what he had done? She was grateful beyond words for his saving her from life with Benedikte Neacsu, but how did she feel about him? Before the holidays she had found herself telling Harry she loved him. During the time Benedikte was in her bed, she thought of Harry, and only of Harry, but…
If not for the events of the day before, she would have been arriving at the Romanian Embassy about now for the marriage ceremony. She would be wearing that horrible monstrosity of a dress that the Romanian court required. She would be preparing to pledge herself to a very old man…
Daphne hadn’t been happy about it, but it was what she had expected. She had been raised knowing that as a daughter of the House of Greengrass she existed to bind that house to another of greater status. It was the offer to Harry that had changed things. He had made it clear that he wasn’t interested in purchasing her in the manner her father had offered, rather to her surprise he had wanted to get to know her. With Harry she didn’t feel like a commodity to be bartered for status, but like a woman…
“I think we need to talk Daphne.” She looked down from where she was standing into his blazing green eyes. “We need to decide what we’re going to do.”
Daphne sat facing him across the table. “I agree.” She said simply. “How far are we taking this?”
“I don’t know. I don’t know who to talk to or even who we can trust. I never intended for the old man to die, what happens to you if we call this off?”
“I’m not sure what you mean by calling it off Harry. We’re married.” She smiled. “Besides, you asked. You’re stuck with me.”
“You don’t mind that I killed the old man?”
Shaking her head Daphne answered. “Only in that it bothers you Harry.”
“What if we take everything slowly?” Harry reached across the table taking her hand. “I’ve never really been one for plans. I just sort of rush in and bull my way through. This whole thing is just something Tracey, Neville and I threw together, you know? I’m still amazed that it worked.”
Daphne squeezed his hand. “I thought I was never going to see you again.” She whispered. “I thought that after you got that letter…”
“I didn’t handle that letter very maturely I’m afraid. I threw a bit of a tantrum. Cleaning up afterward made Dobby very happy.”
“Idiot.” She said. Then Daphne smiled. “It just occurred to me; at the Reading of the Banns you said you protested the wedding on the basis of Fraud and Line Theft.”
“You’ve got to admit,” Harry said returning her grin. “I committed both.”
Harry waited a few moments. “Do you think you’re ready to go back to Hogwarts?”
“I… I don’t know.”
The Daily Prophet
January 7, 1998
Printing All the News That’s Fit to Print
Violent Death Leaves Wizengamot in Uproar
Potter Announces He Has Been Married Since November
Charges Father-In-Law with Fraud and Line Theft Before the Wizengamot
By Michael Thigpen
During what was supposed to be the announcement of the linkage of two magical houses through marriage quickly became a confrontation between the Man-Who-Won and his Father-in-Law, the Wizengamot, and the Royal Family of Romania.
The Wizengamot was seated early in order to hear a Reading of the Banns proposing the union between the noted British Noble House of Greengrass to the Romanian Royal House of Neacsu. The session was begun with Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore announcing that he was reading the Banns, and in accordance with those Banns, asked if anyone objected.
Always mindful of tradition, the Chambers of the Wizengamot immediately became silent. No one expected a protest, because there hadn’t been a protest in more than five hundred years.
So, of course, Harry Potter did the unexpected, standing and protesting the proposed marriage. Chief Warlock Dumbledore asked Potter why he was there. The young Lord Potter-Black corrected the Chief Warlock, reminding the elder Wizard of the protocols of addressing individuals before the Wizengamot. The 7th year Gryffindor then went on to define the reasons of his protest of the Greengrass/Neacsu union was based upon Fraud and Line theft.
Chief Warlock Dumbledore then called Lord Potter-Black, Romanian Count Neacsu and Cyrus Greengrass before the Wizengamot, where The Man-Who-Won informed the assembled Wizengamot that he had executed an earlier Contract of Marriage between himself and the Noble House of Greengrass the previous November, and that he had paid the Greengrass family’s Bride Price without question or negotiation. These facts were quickly confirmed via the Book of Records and Gringotts Statements.
It was then that noted Potter ally and the famous slayer of Bellatrix LeStrange, Neville Longbottom discovered that Daphne Potter nee Greengrass was wearing an illegal Bridal Submission Bracelet. Lord Potter Black was aiding Aurors in the removal of the proscribed torture device from his wife’s arm when the Romanian Count Neacsu foolishly attacked the Man-Who-Won from behind.
Lord Potter-Black responded by casting the most powerful shield charm this reporter has ever seen, which resulted in the death of the Romanian. After Aurors verified that all the Man-Who-Won had cast was in fact a powerful shield, the Potters left the Chambers of the Wizengamot together.
Want to know more?
What does the union of the Potter/Black lines with the Greengrass/Moody lines mean? See Page 7.
Cyrus Greengrass found dead in Knockturn Alley Inn. Murder? Suicide? Accident? See Page 3.
Time Line of the Life of Harry Potter. See Page 3.
Biography of Daphne Potter: See Page 7.
Proscribed Torture Devices, what they are, what they do, and how to identify them: See Page 7.
January 7, 1998
Printing All the News That Fits
Harry Potter Marries
Quibbler Publisher’s Daughter Heartbroken
Claims Daphne Potter is a ‘Lucky Witch’ and Hopes She Shares
Thousands of Witches in Despair
By Luna Lovegood
Once again the truism that the all the good men are either married or gay was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. News reached this reporter that Harry Potter, known to the British Wizarding world as the Boy who Lived, or The Man Who Won, and to the Witches of Ravenclaw tower as Mr. Hot Hot Hottie is married, and widely believed to be straight.
Appearing before the Wizengamot to defend his bride against being sold by her opportunistic father into bigamistic slavery to some old foreigner, Potter 17, defended his lady love with the skills and bravery known and feared by Dark Lords worldwide. Once his Bride was safe, Potter escorted her out of the chambers, ignoring the questions of reporters, including several stringers for this very weekly.
This reporter would like to congratulate her school mate Daphne, with whom I have no classes seeing as she is a year ahead of me, and to remind Daphne that it would be monumentally selfish to keep Harry all to herself.
Foreigners, their insatiable lust for British Witches, and why they are so bad at it: See Page III
Harry Potter, his victories and the part Nargles played in them: See Page 9
Daphne Potter, what does she really look like under that Glamour? Our seers say she’s even Hotter: See Page Dodecahedron
THIS WEEKS SPECIAL GIVEAWAY:
X-Ray Specs. Not the silly Muggle Toy that doesn’t work, a special offer from Quibbler Technologies ONLY for Quibbler subscribers, see through the clothing of anyone! Find out just how lucky a Witch Daphne Potter is. Warning: Using Quibbler Technology X-Ray Specs around certain individuals may lead to nausea, loss of sexual desire, and a general need to scrub out your braincase with bleach. There are some things we just aren’t meant to know. You have been warned.
January 7, 1998
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
At the Gryffindor table, Hermione Granger looked up from her copy of the Quibbler (She had received a subscription from Luna as a Christmas gift for the second year in a row. Hermione refused to read the Daily Prophet as a matter of principle) shaking her head. She loved the quirky Ravenclaw, but this was a bit much… Harry married.
That was when it hit her. Harry was married. Neville had mentioned ‘the Potters’ as in plural in his confrontation with Dumbledore. Harry was married. Harry was married to Daphne Greengrass.
She looked down the table to Neville Longbottom, who was looking at her as if expecting the questions boiling in her mind. She glanced pointedly at the News Paper in her hands, and he nodded.
“Later.” Neville said. “After classes. A walk around the lake perhaps?”
What was going on? Why was Neville acting like it was some big secret?
The January sun had set long before classes let out. Neville and Hannah met Hermione in the Entry Hall. Bundled against the cold the trio set out on their ‘evening walk’. Once they were well away from the castle, Neville seemed to relax then looked around. He then waved his wand about in a complex pattern while the two women looked at him like he had lost his mind.
“Harry and I can see Dumbledore when he’s ghosting around the way he does, when we were training we got fairly good at finding monitoring charms. Like the one that was on your Head Girl Badge Hermione.
The bushy haired Gryffindor reflexively put her hand on the badge.
“Don’t worry, I removed it. There probably isn’t a nefarious reason for monitoring the Heads, probably there to be able to locate you if you’re needed, but why take chances.” Neville took Hannah’s hand and started on the path around the lake.
“Neville,” Hannah said quietly. “If you don’t start talking Hermione’s going to hurt you, and I’ll probably help her. You’ve been doing this secretive stuff all day.”
“When Daphne went home for the holidays she arrived to find her father had issued another marriage contract to a member of a Romanian Royal House. Greengrass needed to have the contract recognized by the Wizengamot to accentuate his status among the houses, so the actual wedding wasn’t going to be until today.”
“But the Prophet said…”
“I know Hannah. Daphne just disappeared; she wasn’t answering Harry’s floo calls, or his letters. In fact Hedwig came back hurt after being chased off by the Greengrass owls. Then Harry got a letter from Daphne saying it was over between them.”
“Harry told me about that at Christmas.” Hermione said. “He said that she had broken it off.”
“I told him to wait it out, to talk to her when she got back to school.” Neville said. “I was an idiot. It frankly never occurred to me what Cyrus Greengrass was willing to do to his own daughter. When Tracey came back to school she told Harry what was happening. Harry and Tracey and I spent Monday making arrangements to stop the marriage from happening. Yesterday we got lucky, it worked.”
“The Prophet said that the Romanian died.” Hannah noted.
“He had a Bridal Submission bracelet on Daphne. Harry reacted pretty violently to that. The man then cast a cutting curse at Harry and Daphne, Harry, well he responded with a Praecise shield out of reflex. That shield accidentally killed the man.”
There was several seconds of silence. “Harry killed someone with a shield?” Hermione asked. “How is that possible?”
A Praecise is a high energy shield intended for extremely powerful curses. When a low powered curse hit it, well, the energy just reacted badly.” Neville explained.
Hermione took on the look that her friends knew to mean she was going to be researching something in short order. “All right, but I don’t understand, if Daphne’s father had one of those vile contracts with the Romanian, how did Harry…”
Neville bent down and picked up a stone that he heaved out onto the frozen lake. “Harry and Daphne married in November.” He said simply.
“No they didn’t, Harry said…”
“Hermione.” Her fellow Gryffindor said quietly. “Harry and Daphne married in November.”
Hannah’s jaw dropped, but Hermione plowed on. “But Neville, he couldn’t have…”
Hannah put her hands on the Gryffindor Witch’s shoulders, looking her straight in the eyes. “Hermione, listen carefully. Harry and Daphne married in November. We know this because we are his friends.”
Realization finally came to the smartest witch of her generation. “Oh, my.” She covered her mouth with a mitten covered hand. “That means…”
“That means,” Neville said as he led the pair of witches on the path back to the castle, “That Harry and Daphne married in November.”
January 7, 1998
Harry entered the master suite toweling his hair dry to find Daphne waiting for him in his bed.
He stopped in the doorway to the bath, surprised, wondering what he should say. He had expected her to stay in the room that had become ‘hers’
“Quit gaping at me and come to bed.” Daphne huffed. “It’s chilly and I need your body heat.”
Harry hesitated for a moment, and then slid under the quilt. Daphne cuddled in close.
“What’s wrong Harry?”
“I didn’t think you’d want me to touch you after… Well after what you’ve been through.” Harry stammered.
Daphne lay beside him for a moment in silence. The room lit only by the banked fire in the hearth. “I need you to hold me Harry. I want… I need some control of my life. The last few weeks have been… difficult.” Daphne pulled Harry’s right arm around her, interlacing his fingers with her own and resting her head on his bicep. “I need to have you here. I need to be with someone I want to be with.”
“Whatever you want Daphne.” Harry pulled her closer. “Damn you’ve got cold feet. How can your feet be that cold?”
“Don’t make me laugh damn it.”
“Sorry.” Daphne could feel his heartbeat. “But your feet are cold you know.”
That was the final straw. Daphne began to giggle helplessly. The giggles became full blown laughter when she saw in the dim light of the banked fire that he was waggling his eyebrows at her. While she laughed, Harry pulled her closer, all the while desperately attempting to force his body to stop responding to hers.
Daphne noticed of course. After her giggles died down, she cuddled even closer. “Do you want me Harry?” she asked innocently.
“Always.” He whispered. “But I can wait until you’re ready.”
February 15, 1998
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry:
Hermione pulled herself up into the carriage. She was supposed to meet Justin at the Three Broomsticks at one o clock. The tall Hufflepuff had offered to wait while she got her Head Girl responsibilities out of the way, but she told him not to be silly, there was no reason for him to wait around the castle just to wait on her.
Today, she and Justin were ‘celebrating’ their three month anniversary, a day early. Hermione was a bit amazed at how well they had meshed as a couple. While Justin wasn’t the bookworm she was, he recognized the need to study, conversely he had introduced her to the joys of a quiet evening of talking about nothing sitting before the hearth in the Head Girl’s suite or the Hufflepuff common room. Justin had charmed her parents, and his parents and sister all seemed to be happily accepting of her.
All in all Hermione found herself to be surprisingly happy. They hadn’t gone beyond kissing yet. She had learned her lesson in that regard. She dug into her ever present book bag for something to read on the short ride to town when the carriage door opened and someone climbed in.
Hermione looked up to find Ron Weasley sitting across from her smiling. Her first reaction was to simply get out of the carriage without saying a word to him, but before she could move, the carriage jolted into motion.
“Ron.” She said quietly.
“How have you been?” the youngest male Weasley asked.
“I’ve been fine Ron, and you?”
“About the same I guess.” The carriage was passing the gates of the school. “I’ve missed you Hermione. I’ve missed you a lot. I was thinking, you know, maybe we could try again.”
“We were good together, you know… I’d like to get back together with you.”
Hermione found herself thinking about it. She smiled brightly. She leaned forward and placed her hand on Ron’s knee. She suddenly realized she was wearing a scoop necked jumper he had liked when they were together, and she saw that his eyes bugged out when her movement had presented him with a view of her cleavage. When they were dating that look had thrilled her, now… “You know what I think Ron?”
Weasley forced himself to raise his eyes from her breasts. She had fantastic breasts. “What do you think Hermione?”
“I think you’re out of your fucking mind if you think I’ll ever let you touch me again.” With that she sat back and crossed her arms.
Justin was waiting at the drop off point for the Hogwarts carriages. He had told Hermione he would meet her at the Three Broomsticks, but he found himself missing her. This caused him to wonder, not for the first time just how the hell he had gotten to this point.
The day that Hermione had spent at his parents’ home had gone very well. His father was never a worry. Dad accepted everyone without question, only one of the reasons he was so good at what he did. Mum on the other hand had high standards. In his seventeen years, Justin had brought home six girls before Hermione. His mother had disapproved of every one. Julie, the girl who had broken up with him the previous summer, Mum had deemed as ‘too flighty. She lacks the fire to make a relationship work’. Hannah and Susan from school were foolish, giggly girls who just weren’t right for him. The other three were dismissed for similar reasons, so Justin felt he was justified in his concern over how his mother received Hermione.
The day went very well. As soon as Justin had brought Hermione through the front door and introduced her to his family, his mother had taken the girl on a tour of the house. Justin made to follow, but his father placed a staying hand on Justin’s shoulder.
“Leave them be Justin.” The elder Finch-Fletchley said softly as the women mounted the staircase. “This is the first girl you’ve brought home that wasn’t a ‘buddy’ on the first appearance.”
“It’s not like that Dad.” Justin protested.
The older man shrugged. “Your mother thinks it might be, I’ve learned not to go against her on these things.” Miles Finch-Fletchley grinned at his son’s discomfort. “From what I’ve been able to find out, she’s a good girl from a good family.”
“Dad, please don’t tell me you had the Grangers checked out.”
“I didn’t have to. Marty Granger is a client. I’ve known him for years. I’m going to have to get him into my office to talk about what you two get up to aren’t I?”
Justin managed to laugh with his father despite wanting to hex him a time or two. The women returned smiling, which Justin found oddly… disturbing.
Dinner was a pleasant affair, with lively conversation and stories of Hogwarts. Hermione became somewhat circumspect when the conversation turned to the recent War and her part of it. Justin was surprised when she spoke of what she called her betrayal of Harry Potter.
Following the meal, Hermione accompanied Justin on a tour of the estate where he showed her his childhood haunts and former forts, while she made remarks about ‘boys and their toys’.
They found a quiet place in the old empty stables (remnants of previous owners of the property twice removed, the Finch-Fletchleys had never kept horses) to steal a few moments together. So it is understandable that both of them were a bit flushed when they returned to the main house so that Hermione could say her goodbyes.
Upon his return home (again, oddly flushed) Justin found his mother waiting for him in the kitchen.
“I like her.” She said simply.
Eunice Finch-Fletchley pulled her only son into a hug. “It’s about time you found a smart girl. Some of those bubbleheads you insisted on bringing home had me worried about you.” The woman smiled at Justin’s discomfort. “I’m not going to ask how far you’ve gone with Hermione; it’s none of my business. Just remember I was eighteen once. Just be careful until you’re SURE. And don’t make me a grandmother until you’re twenty one, all right?”
The arrival of the carriage broke Justin from his memories, but it wasn’t the sound of the carriage its self that captured his attention, rather it was the sound of the row taking place inside of it. He instantly recognized Hermione’s voice, and he had been in the vicinity of enough of the famous Weasley/Granger arguments to know Ron Weasley’s voice when he heard it. The carriage came to a stop and the door burst open.
“I don’t care what excuses you’ve got Ron Weasley. You just stay away from me.”
Justin rushed to help her down from the carriage. This didn’t go unnoticed.
“Him?” Ron Weasley bellowed. “You’re throwing me over for a bloody Hufflepuff?”
Justin was trying his best to guide Hermione away from the confrontation, but she whirled about to confront Weasley again. “You left me you egotistical mouth breathing moron. And yes, I’m with Justin now. Now that I’ve been with a man, I just can’t bring myself to lower my standards back down to whatever the hell you are.” She then spun on her heel and stalked away. Justin rushed to catch up.
Once he did catch up, Justin matched her pace and said nothing, just waiting for her to calm herself. She finally did, and glanced at him sideways. “Sorry.”
“Letting him get to me.” She frowned.
“Ex’s are like that. Personally I’m hoping you can find time this summer for us to ‘accidentally’ bump in to my Ex, just so she can see how much better I did after she was out of the picture.”
“Why, Mr. Finch-Fletchley, are you flirting with me?”
The tall Hufflepuff smiled. “You bet. How am I doing?”
The Head Girl took his hand interlacing her fingers with his. “Very well.” She leaned into him. “Very well in deed.”
April 2, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The Room of requirements:
Albus Dumbledore stood under an obscure disillusionment charm watching as Harry Potter and Neville Longbottom continued with their pathetic attempts to train themselves. The ancient wizard smiled. The level of their abilities had improved since their adventures at the Ministry of Magic certainly, but they would lose spectacularly when pitted against any moderately trained wizard. And they both knew it.
Yes, this was an excellent development. It wouldn’t be long before the guilt over Tom’s atrocities drove Harry back into the fold. The boy would be begging Albus Dumbledore, the greatest wizard of all time to train him to be capable of fighting Tom. It was perfect, just perfect.
The Headmaster gathered his magic around himself and passed through the hidden exit from the Room of Requirements. There were plans to make and steps to take.
Neville pivoted on his left foot and cast a spell at Harry. As was the case of most of the spells Longbottom had cast this night, the cast was wide never coming close to the stationary target. The electric blue light splashed against the wall of the Room, and spread to cover every surface in the Room of Requirements before pulsing twice and fading from view.
“He’s gone. He didn’t bother to leave any monitoring charms this time.” The sandy haired Gryffindor said.
“Good, he still hasn’t sussed out that we can see him now.” Harry posited, willing the room to start the exercise sequence that Dumbledore’s arrival had interrupted. The stationary targets started moving. Each of the fifteen target simulacrums began firing heavy curses at the two young men. “First one to eight makes the run to the kitchen for the midnight snack!”
“Your sandwiches, oh great and powerful Cheater.” Harry said through clenched teeth.
“Oooh, tuna.” Neville said with a wide smile. “My favorite.”
“I’m serious Neville; convincing the room that you needed all the drones to target me was cheating!” Harry took a bite of his own sandwich and grimaced. He hated tuna, especially at Hogwarts where the elves always used too much onion.
“You call it cheating; I call it using all the resources at my disposal.” The larger man chuckled. “We’re ready mate.”
“I agree. Now all we need is a time and place.” Harry chewed for a moment then continued. “I think I know where Riddle is. Little Hangleton.”
“Only an idiot would hang out where he’s known to have been.” Neville nodded. “So, given that it’s Riddle we’re talking about you’re probably right. So, we’ve got the place. I’ve got an idea about the time.”
“I’ll probably hate it, but what’s your idea?”
“Riddle’s been conducting all these nighttime raids, hitting several places at once, then moving and hitting several more. The Auror reports that Tonks has been getting us seem to be claiming that the same wizards are hitting several times throughout the night.”
Harry ran his hand through his hair. “Yeah, they do. What’s your idea?”
“The next time they pull one of their all nighters, we hit them early in the next morning.”
Omake Omake Omake Omake Omake Omake Omake Omake
Many people asked me what might have happened if Harry had executed his ‘Plan B’…
January 6, 1998
Ministry Of Magic
Chambers of the Wizengamot:
Daphne wrote: YES YES YES
Thank you. Now, this one is important and will decide what I do next. Please, don’t think about it, just answer.
2. Daphne, will you marry me?
The question stunned the Slytherin. She wrote: Harry, Dumbledore’s about to read the banns… I’m to marry…
Tic Tic Tic Daphne. I don’t need a lesson on current events, I need your answer. Will. You. Marry. Me? The new text shimmered into existence on the page beneath her words.
Daphne was startled at the question. The realities of the last three weeks weighed upon her. Her time being abused by Benedikte had colored her views. What ever insane plan Harry had come up with… She wiped away a tear and wrote: I’m sorry Harry… No.
Up on the dais Dumbledore gaveled the room into silence once more. “The Reading of The Banns:” The ancient Wizard announced theatrically.
There was a short pause. Then some more writing appeared in the charmed journal. Ok then, plan ‘B’
"I publish the banns of marriage between Daphne Ophelia Greengrass of the Noble House of Greengrass and…”
Dumbledore’s recitation was cut short when Harry Potter sudden appeared behind the Greengrass girl by throwing his father’s invisibility cloak from his body, pulled the girl to a standing hug, then disappeared. The Chambers of the Wizengamot erupted into chaos. Only Dumbledore noticed a smiling Neville Longbottom retrieving Harry’s cloak before leaving the chambers with Tracey Davis.
Daphne immediately recognized that Harry had activated a portkey, but the journey just went on and on. After what seemed an eternity the trip ended and they landed. Daphne landed lightly on her feet, but Harry stumbled and fell to the ground. Since he was holding her, Daphne was pulled down on top of the raven haired Gryffindor.
“What the hell Harry?”
“The young lady asks a very good question in deed Mr. Potter. What the hell are you doing here?”
Daphne looked up and gasped. Standing above them was a very naked Dark Lord Voldemort with his wand pointed squarely between Harry’s eyes.
“Hello Tom.” Harry said as Daphne scrambled off of him. Sitting up, Harry ran his hand through his hair and sighed. “I’m on the run I’m afraid. I burned a few bridges and need a place to lay low for a while.”
“The British never have treated their heroes all that well,” Voldemort said, lowering his wand and shrugging “and this IS your house. I don’t believe I’ve met the young lady…”
“I’m sorry. Daphne Greengrass? This is Tom Riddle.”
“Charmed Miss Greengrass, I love your hair. Well, we can speak later, I have company.” The former Dark Lord turned and started up the stairs.
A man’s voice floated down… “Sr. Serpente? Aonde você foi? Voltado com sua lingüeta encantadora!”
Tom Riddle smiled widely. “Eu sou Pascal de vinda, mim estou vindo.”
After the former Dark Lord was safely out of sight, Daphne found her voice. “Where are we?”
“My island in the Azores.”
“But, that was… You told my Grandfather that was just a story.”
Harry smiled. “Come on Daphne, use your Slytherin… What’s the best way to hide something?”
“By making the other sides decide not to look for it.”
“Bingo. I even offered him the use of this house.”
“So he never even thought about looking here.” Daphne said shaking her head.
“Oh I’m sure Moody thought about it… He just decided that it was a silly waste of his time… Old Mad Eye isn’t one to waste his time.”
“So.” Daphne said, changing the subject. “What happens now?”
“Well, Dobby and Winky will be going to your home to collect your things from the Greengrass elves as soon as Neville lets them know to do so. They already cleared it with your head elf, who said that the master hadn’t forbidden it, so it was fine with him.”
“So, I can’t go back?”
“Sure you can, you were kidnapped.” Harry smiled. “I’m the one who can’t go back.”
Here’s another by David Brown.
"That's Mr. Potter to you, goat-fucker."
"Mr. Potter, how is it that your marriage was recorded with the
Wizengamot, yet no one knew you were married?"
"Extreme Time Travel."
"Extreme Time Travel?"
"If you keep repeating everything I say, this conversation is going to take twice as long. Yes Extreme Time Travel. Forty-five years from now, after a miserable life, I finally danced on your grave, you manipulative bastard. Things were looking up. Then, I thought, wouldn't be great to kill you again and again and again. After another fifteen years of dedicated research, and a little bit of help from Luna Lovegood, I was able to project my mind back in time early enough to marry Lady Potter-Black. I figured that Daphne deserved a better life too, after spending the rest of her life in Azkaban for murdering her husband, the entire Romanian Royal Family, and damn near everyone else north of the Danube. Nuclear weapons are such a bitch. So, you paedo fat
fuck, will you give me a head start before you move your horcrux?"
"I knew it! Who'd you murder? I bet it was your sister, wasn't it."