Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Son of a Snake

Confrontations

by dark-dhampir 2 Reviews

Hermione and Daphne have a conversation about the nature of the concubine bond. Dumbledore's true colors are revealed.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Angst,Drama,Fantasy - Characters: Dumbledore,Hermione - Warnings: [?] - Published: 2013/07/19 - Updated: 2013/07/19 - 15250 words

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Author's Note: Whew, this thing is going be longer than I thought! Good news for some of you, annoying for me because I'd rather work on World Tree, but what you gonna do (especially when this thing is so much more popular than World Tree)? Sorry it's been a while. Anyway, I've been pestered about revealing the "Harem List," so I put it at the bottom of the Author's Note at the end of this chapter. Read if you are dying to know, if not, it's easy to ignore. Be Warned: not everyone will be a wife or a hetaera; some of them will be consorts and concubines.

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Chapter 6: Confrontations

It was dawn. Hermione knew this, as she rolled over in her bed, because Parvati had gotten out of her own bed and was performing her morning prayers. Out of respect of the others, she was usually quiet, by Hermione heard anyway.

Hermione opened her eyes, and silently watched as the Indian girl kneeled to the East. Even if Hermione could make out the words—and she usually couldn't—she would still have had no idea what Parvati was whispering, but the soft Arabic words sounded like poetry to her drowsy mind.

Parvati was evidently finished; she straightened up, and began rolling up her prayer mat. Hermione bit her lip in shame and rolled over again, squeezing her eyes shut. I really shouldn't do that. She's praying, not putting on a show.

The bushy-haired witch sighed to herself. Parvati had been really helpful to her, although Hermione didn't know if she would be able to utilize any of that help anytime soon.

The door opened and closed softly; Parvati had gone to the girls' loo to wash up. This, then, was probably the best time to get up without starting any awkward conversations. Quietly, so as not to wake the still sleeping Lavender, Hermione climbed out of bed.

Padding over to her dresser, she thought to herself, Should I confront Harry about the Life Debt? Maybe I should talk to McGonagall first. But, she flushed as she tried broaching the subject to the professor. There was no way she could do it. So, there was only one option left, was her oldest and most faithful stand-by . . .


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Hermione flipped through the large book until she got to the three hundredth and twenty-sixth page. The pages were stiff from lack of use; she guessed this particular tome hadn't been opened in quite a while. Its title was The Spells and Rites of Binding, author unknown;aside from this one, there were four other books piled around her on the table with titles like On the Nature of Magic; The Proper Wizard's Guide to Concubines; Wives, Consorts, and Concubines; and Laws of Magical Britain and treaties with the Greater Magical World. Currently, she was examining the eighth chapter, "On Concubines." It ran:

The taking of a concubine is a serious matter, not to be undertaken by the light of heart or purse. Some foolish persons will acquire a concubine without thinking of the consequences. They forget that they are required to think of the costs of feeding and providing medical care for their property. Also, they neglect to consider how their wives may react; while some unloving marriages have been unharmed or even aided by the addition of a new bedmate, many a wife's ire has been incurred because a wizard did not think before he acted.

"Seems rather negative to me, doesn't it?" Daphne asked over Hermione's shoulder.

"Eeaah!" Hermione cried, instantly swiveling around and bumping her head into Daphne's.

"Ouch," the blonde witch said, rubbing her forehead. "Be careful, 'Mione; that hurt."

"You shouldn't have snuck up on me," Hermione retorted, rubbing the top of her own head. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Well," Daphne said, "I thought this was the best place to find you. We need to talk, Hermione.," she said, taking a seat.

". . . all right," Hermione said. "What do you want to talk about?" Inwardly, of course, she had a very good idea what the other girl wanted to discuss, but there was no need to invite trouble that might not actually exist.

Daphne just smirked. "Come on, Hermione," she said, dragging on of the bushy-haired witch's books towards herself. "You don't need to be a koi."

Hermione just stared at the other girl. ". . . I think you mean 'be coy,'" she said.

Daphne blushed. "Whatever. The point is, I know that you know about the Life Debt you owe Harry. And, judging by what you're looking at right now," Hermione slammed the book she'd been reading shut, her face bright red, "you must know that one way to deal with it is to become Harry's concubine." She smirked as she said it.

Hermione blushed. "Listen, Daphne, I don't want to; actually, I've been trying to find a way out of this-"

"Why not, 'Mione?'" Daphne asked, smiling wider now. "Is my fiancé not handsome enough for you?

"Of course, he's handsome! It's just—Wait! I mean . . ." Hermione's face became even hotter as she desperately tried to backpedal.

Daphne, curse her, was laughing. "Ah-hahahaha! I'm sorry, Hermione, I just couldn't help it." She actually wiped a tear away from her eye. "I'm sorry, Hermione, really," she said when she saw the brunette glaring at her.

Hermione scowled just a moment longer, before sighing. "It's all right, Daphne, I guess it was a little funny. Now," she said, recomposing herself. "What do you want to talk about?"

Daphne smiled. "Well, I can tell you don't want to be a concubine, and, honestly, I agree with that. Now, don't get me wrong," she said, her eyes shining with mischief. "There's nothing wrong with being a concubine-"

"Nothing wrong?" Hermione blurted. Was every pureblood this cavalier about the sexual enslavement of women?

"-especially when the man is as good as Harry," Daphne continued as if the interruption hadn't occurred. "But, in your case, it would be a tragic loss." Hermione just stared at her, lost for words. "You're very pretty, Hermione, but you're also the most gifted witch I know, and you're brave and kind and passionate about what you believe in. And, most importantly," she said, staring Hermione right in the eye, "you care deeply and genuinely about Harry. No, Hermione, I think you'd be better as a hetaera."

". . . a what?" Hermione asked weakly, giving up trying to understand what was going on in her friend's mind.

"A hetaera," Daphne answered. She pushed the book over to Hermione. It was Wives, Consorts, and Concubines. "My family owns a copy of this; I've been reading it since I was eight," she said with a small smile. Hermione decided not to comment on that. Daphne tapped the cover. "There's a chapter on hetaerae; chapter five, I think. I think you'll believe the book more than me."

Hermione took the book and opened its table of contents, not certain how she should feel about such a comment. She scanned the page:

Introduction, p. 1
Marriage: Husbands and Wives, p. 11
Marriage: Husbands and Consorts, p. 44
Concubines: Slaves or Pets, p. 82
Concubines: Hetaerae, p. 97
Group Dynamics: Balancing Relationships, p. 132
The Demands of Fatherhood, p. 153
Conclusion, p. 188

Some of the descriptions were . . . eyebrow raising, but Hermione decided to come back to those later, and flipped to page 97. The opening paragraph was . . . different than the last one.

The hetaera is a special kind of concubine; the title is Greek, and it is the Greeks who first invented the ritual of binding a hetaera to a man and his family. However, there is evidence that previous civilizations often had a specific class of concubine who, although under the same binding as her fellows was treated differently and provided her master(s) with more than just sexual pleasure. For that is what it means to be a hetaera. She serves her master sexually, yes, and may indeed bare his heirs if his wife is not able to do so, but she also pleases his mind. Hetaerae sing and dance, recite—sometimes even compose poetry, and speak with their masters about current events and politics. A hetaera is an entertainer and a comforter, an advisor and a confidant.
If one compares the binding rituals for an ordinary concubine and a hetaera, one will notice . . .

It then went into the nature of the ritual; while it did make reference to the "standard" ritual for binding a concubine (presumably discussed in the previous chapter) Hermione could discern what the author was talking about. There were apparently two parts to the ritual. First was an incantation spoken allowed by the "master" with the "slave-to-be" replying. Secondly was "the physical acts" (she had to turn to the next page to read this part)—oh! . . . oh, dear. The next section included an illustration—an enchanted, moving illustration—along with a very detailed description of what "the physical acts" were.

"I'd skip to the end of the chapter if I were you," Daphne breathed into her ear. Hermione jumped a little again, but this time, avoided hitting heads with her friend; it was amazing how the other girl could just sneak up on her at will. Daphne took no notice of her, however, merely gesturing at the book. There was a giant smile on her face.

Hermione frowned, but did as Daphne suggested. The last page was only a few sentences,

To say that a master always loves, truly loves, his hetaera(e)is, of course, an overstatement. It is true that hetaerae usually enjoy closer relationships with their masters than all too many wives. However, this does not preclude feels of friendship from existing between a wife and a hetaera or even a standard concubine. In fact, the ideal relationship in a magical family is one of harmony between all partners, which is discussion of the next chapter.
Hermione reread the paragraph. Then, she looked at Daphne; she opened her mouth to ask a question, but, before she could-

"Miss Granger!" Professor McGonagall called. "Miss Granger!"

Hermione jumped up, slamming the book in front of her shut. The professor wasn't on top of them yet; no need to let her know what the two of them had been reading. She got out of her chair and turned to go in the direction of the elderly witch's voice. She couldn't make it past Daphne, though.

Her blond friend snapped out her hand, holding her for five seconds. Daphne whispered into her ear, "We'll talk more later," then kissed her on the cheek. Hermione stood stone still with a blush on her face, staring at her friend . . . until the professor called her name again. Then, she took off like a spell.

"Professor!" she cried, almost running the other woman over.

The older woman still jumped a little. "Goodness, Miss Granger, I would expect that I shouldn't have to tell you not to run in the Library."

Hermione's blushed deepened at the scolding, which was perhaps beneficial to her goal of staying incognito on the subject of her latest "research project." "I'm, Professor. It won't happen again."

McGonagall nodded. "That's good to hear. Now then , Professor Dumbledore has asked to see you."

Hermione squeaked a little. "He wants to see me, but why?"

McGonagall shrugged. "I don't know, but I presume it has something to do with . . . recent events. Come with me, please."

Hermione nodded and followed her.


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"Good afternoon, Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, unwrapping a candy. "Can I interest you in a lemon drop?"

"No thank you, sir," the young witch said. She was sitting across from him at his desk, trembling. Had he called her hear to-

"Very well," he said, popping the treat into his mouth. "Miss Granger, Harry saved your life last night, correct?" She nodded. "A very good thing, he did—a very selfless thing. Hermione, you may be unaware of this, but, because he saved your life, you owe young Harry a tremendous debt."

"A Life Debt," Hermione whispered.

Dumbledore's eyebrows rose. "Where did you hear that phrase, my dear?"

Hermione blushed, but answered, "Some of my friends were talking about it, sir." For some reason, she decided against saying that it was Parvati who had revealed her situation to her.

Dumbledore stared at her in silence for a moment, then asked, "And what else did they tell you, my dear?"

Hermione blushed and lowered her head. "That I'd never be able to repay him."

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, there really is nothing that can equal saving a life, except, perhaps, saving more lives . . ." Hermione looked up, and saw that the headmaster was no longer looking at her; he was leaning back in his chair, staring off into the distance. She had to wonder, just how old was he? He had fought the Dark Lord Grendelwald in 1945, forty-six years ago. For some reason, she had never read anything hinting at his life before that. But, then he sighed and turned back to her, "However, I think I know how you can partially repay him."

Hermione sucked in her breath, "How?" Would he tell she would have to become Harry's concubine or hetaera?

"Hermione, my dear," Dumbledore said, again looking her in the eye, "did Harry ever tell you that his father was well known for his talents at . . . finding trouble?"

Hermione shook her head slowly. "No, Harry mostly only talks about his mother."

Dumbledore shrugged a little. "Understandable. She is the only parent he knows, but, I assure you, Miss Granger, it is true. James Potter never could go long without finding himself in one predicament or another. A life-style, I fear, Harry may be falling into."

Hermione nodded, and the old wizard continued. "Hermione, I think it would be prudent for you to keep an eye on young Harry for me."

Hermione actually jumped a little in her seat. "You want me to spy on Harry?" How could he . . .?

Dumbledore shook his head, "I would never ask you to betray your friend, Miss Hermione. But, you must admit, noble as rescuing you from the Troll was, it was not in any way safe." When the young witch didn't respond, he continued, "I'm not asking you to spy on Harry, my dear, just to . . . watch out for your friend."

"I'll . . ." Hermione struggled. "I'll think about it, Professor."

Dumbledore nodded, then leaned back in his chair. "Thank you, Miss Granger, that's all I ask."


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Dumbledore looked out the window of his office. Through it, he could see out over the Grounds. It looked like Fawkes, his phoenix, was playing with the Threastrals. Perhaps he should have used a Confundus Charm on Miss Granger, but he dismissed that notion almost immediately. Compulsions only worked for a short period of time, before the victim broke through them. He could reapply, of course, but that would raise suspicion. Besides, compelling someone to do something rarely yielded equal or better results than getting their voluntary cooperation; both victims of the Imperious Curse and those under the effects of the Confundus Charm were unable to act on their own and followed instructions without deviation or addition. On top of all that, fiddling around with people's heads, especially a child's, was . . . hazardous.

No, Dumbledore had long ago reconciled himself, more or less, to the fact that young Harry had to die for the Greater Good, but he didn't want any more unnecessary suffering than there already had been. Right now, doing any damage to Harrry's Muggleborn friend counted in that category.

She'll suffer anyway, he thought. There was no helping that, Harry's death wouldn't be just a blow to the boy himself, everyone who ever had or would befriend the Potter heir would mourn his death . . . along with his mother.

Dumbledore frowned at that, his mother . . . For the past nine-and-a-half years, Professor Dumbledore had been wondering just how the woman had survived what he had deemed to be an inescapable death trap. Publically, he explained it as the result of James' sacrifice. That wasn't entirely implausible; it was known amongst a few elite scholars of Sorcery, the study of magic itself, that an act of sacrifice tended to have nasty effects on those who practiced the Dark Arts, but James' actions seemed too indirect, battling a powerful foe to allow your loved ones to escape was not enough to have destroyed Voldemort, Voldemort: the most powerful Dark Lord he had ever encountered . . . that was a little harder to believe. And then, there was the other question, the crux of the whole dilemma, or rather, the Horcrux. He had had young Harry secretly examined, and it had confirmed what he'd suspected since that Halloween night: Harry's scar carried within it a piece of Voldemort's soul. There was no way the mutated and corrupted wizard could be permanently defeated until that fragment of his soul was destroyed, and, regrettably, the only way to do that was to destroy its container, Harry.

Harry, therefore, had to die, sadly, but what confused Dumbledore was the fact that Lily and her young daughter, Daisy, were both completely untainted by such foul magicks. Dumbledore had been certain that Lily would have been infected with a fragment of soul just as Harry had, but, when he had arranged for another Healer to examine her during a routine check-up, he had discovered that he had been wrong. He had then moved to have her newborn daughter examined, theorizing that the soul fragment had infected the child in the womb. It made sense, in a way: both Harry and Daisy had been young and thus had fewer defenses, both mental and magical; the piece of Voldemort's soul that had hypothetically infected Lily could have latched onto the still developing Daisy instead of her mother. Yet, when the Healer delivered her results, Daisy Potter had proven negative for a foreign spiritual presence.

He had been unable to explain it (although, he suspected it was somehow connected to whatever it was that had saved Lily's, and thus Daisy's, life), but, in the end, he had decided to stop worrying about it so much and just be thankful he wouldn't have to kill them too. He'd have enough to answer for when he left this world without adding their deaths to the list.

On that note, he decided, turning back to his desk, it was time to get back to the work of damning himself to save the rest of the world. A special relic had arrived earlier this morning, and it was time to put to good use.


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It was dawn. Hermione knew this, as she rolled over in her bed, because Parvati had gotten out of her own bed and was performing her morning prayers. Out of respect of the others, she was usually quiet, by Hermione heard anyway.

Hermione opened her eyes, and silently watched as the Indian girl kneeled to the East. Even if Hermione could make out the words—and she usually couldn't—she would still have had no idea what Parvati was whispering, but the soft Arabic words sounded like poetry to her drowsy mind.

Parvati was evidently finished; she straightened up, and began rolling up her prayer mat. Hermione bit her lip in shame and rolled over again, squeezing her eyes shut. I really shouldn't do that. She's praying, not putting on a show.

The bushy-haired witch sighed to herself. Parvati had been really helpful to her, although Hermione didn't know if she would be able to utilize any of that help anytime soon.

The door opened and closed softly; Parvati had gone to the girls' loo to wash up. This, then, was probably the best time to get up without starting any awkward conversations. Quietly, so as not to wake the still sleeping Lavender, Hermione climbed out of bed.

Padding over to her dresser, she thought to herself, Should I confront Harry about the Life Debt? Maybe I should talk to McGonagall first. But, she flushed as she tried broaching the subject to the professor. There was no way she could do it. So, there was only one option left, was her oldest and most faithful stand-by . . .


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Hermione flipped through the large book until she got to the three hundredth and twenty-sixth page. The pages were stiff from lack of use; she guessed this particular tome hadn't been opened in quite a while. Its title was The Spells and Rites of Binding, author unknown;aside from this one, there were four other books piled around her on the table with titles like On the Nature of Magic; The Proper Wizard's Guide to Concubines; Wives, Consorts, and Concubines; and Laws of Magical Britain and treaties with the Greater Magical World. Currently, she was examining the eighth chapter, "On Concubines." It ran:

The taking of a concubine is a serious matter, not to be undertaken by the light of heart or purse. Some foolish persons will acquire a concubine without thinking of the consequences. They forget that they are required to think of the costs of feeding and providing medical care for their property. Also, they neglect to consider how their wives may react; while some unloving marriages have been unharmed or even aided by the addition of a new bedmate, many a wife's ire has been incurred because a wizard did not think before he acted.

"Seems rather negative to me, doesn't it?" Daphne asked over Hermione's shoulder.

"Eeaah!" Hermione cried, instantly swiveling around and bumping her head into Daphne's.

"Ouch," the blonde witch said, rubbing her forehead. "Be careful, 'Mione; that hurt."

"You shouldn't have snuck up on me," Hermione retorted, rubbing the top of her own head. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Well," Daphne said, "I thought this was the best place to find you. We need to talk, Hermione.," she said, taking a seat.

". . . all right," Hermione said. "What do you want to talk about?" Inwardly, of course, she had a very good idea what the other girl wanted to discuss, but there was no need to invite trouble that might not actually exist.

Daphne just smirked. "Come on, Hermione," she said, dragging on of the bushy-haired witch's books towards herself. "You don't need to be a koi."

Hermione just stared at the other girl. ". . . I think you mean 'be coy,'" she said.

Daphne blushed. "Whatever. The point is, I know that you know about the Life Debt you owe Harry. And, judging by what you're looking at right now," Hermione slammed the book she'd been reading shut, her face bright red, "you must know that one way to deal with it is to become Harry's concubine." She smirked as she said it.

Hermione blushed. "Listen, Daphne, I don't want to; actually, I've been trying to find a way out of this-"

"Why not, 'Mione?'" Daphne asked, smiling wider now. "Is my fiancé not handsome enough for you?

"Of course, he's handsome! It's just—Wait! I mean . . ." Hermione's face became even hotter as she desperately tried to backpedal.

Daphne, curse her, was laughing. "Ah-hahahaha! I'm sorry, Hermione, I just couldn't help it." She actually wiped a tear away from her eye. "I'm sorry, Hermione, really," she said when she saw the brunette glaring at her.

Hermione scowled just a moment longer, before sighing. "It's all right, Daphne, I guess it was a little funny. Now," she said, recomposing herself. "What do you want to talk about?"

Daphne smiled. "Well, I can tell you don't want to be a concubine, and, honestly, I agree with that. Now, don't get me wrong," she said, her eyes shining with mischief. "There's nothing wrong with being a concubine-"

"Nothing wrong?" Hermione blurted. Was every pureblood this cavalier about the sexual enslavement of women?

"-especially when the man is as good as Harry," Daphne continued as if the interruption hadn't occurred. "But, in your case, it would be a tragic loss." Hermione just stared at her, lost for words. "You're very pretty, Hermione, but you're also the most gifted witch I know, and you're brave and kind and passionate about what you believe in. And, most importantly," she said, staring Hermione right in the eye, "you care deeply and genuinely about Harry. No, Hermione, I think you'd be better as a hetaera."

". . . a what?" Hermione asked weakly, giving up trying to understand what was going on in her friend's mind.

"A hetaera," Daphne answered. She pushed the book over to Hermione. It was Wives, Consorts, and Concubines. "My family owns a copy of this; I've been reading it since I was eight," she said with a small smile. Hermione decided not to comment on that. Daphne tapped the cover. "There's a chapter on hetaerae; chapter five, I think. I think you'll believe the book more than me."

Hermione took the book and opened its table of contents, not certain how she should feel about such a comment. She scanned the page:

Introduction, p. 1

Marriage: Husbands and Wives, p. 11

Marriage: Husbands and Consorts, p. 44

Concubines: Slaves or Pets, p. 82

Concubines: Hetaerae, p. 97

Group Dynamics: Balancing Relationships, p. 132

The Demands of Fatherhood, p. 153

Conclusion, p. 188

Some of the descriptions were . . . eyebrow raising, but Hermione decided to come back to those later, and flipped to page 97. The opening paragraph was . . . different than the last one.

The hetaera is a special kind of concubine; the title is Greek, and it is the Greeks who first invented the ritual of binding a hetaera to a man and his family. However, there is evidence that previous civilizations often had a specific class of concubine who, although under the same binding as her fellows was treated differently and provided her master(s) with more than just sexual pleasure. For that is what it means to be a hetaera. She serves her master sexually, yes, and may indeed bare his heirs if his wife is not able to do so, but she also pleases his mind. Hetaerae sing and dance, recite—sometimes even compose poetry, and speak with their masters about current events and politics. A hetaera is an entertainer and a comforter, an advisor and a confidant.

If one compares the binding rituals for an ordinary concubine and a hetaera, one will notice . . .

It then went into the nature of the ritual; while it did make reference to the "standard" ritual for binding a concubine (presumably discussed in the previous chapter) Hermione could discern what the author was talking about. There were apparently two parts to the ritual. First was an incantation spoken allowed by the "master" with the "slave-to-be" replying. Secondly was "the physical acts" (she had to turn to the next page to read this part)—oh! . . . oh, dear. The next section included an illustration—an enchanted, moving illustration—along with a very detaileddescription of what "the physical acts" were.

"I'd skip to the end of the chapter if I were you," Daphne breathed into her ear. Hermione jumped a little again, but this time, avoided hitting heads with her friend; it was amazing how the other girl could just sneak up on her at will. Daphne took no notice of her, however, merely gesturing at the book. There was a giant smile on her face.

Hermione frowned, but did as Daphne suggested. The last page was only a few sentences,

To say that a master always loves, truly loves, his hetaera(e)is, of course, an overstatement. It is true that hetaerae usually enjoy closer relationships with their masters than all too many wives. However, this does not preclude feels of friendship from existing between a wife and a hetaera or even a standard concubine. In fact, the ideal relationship in a magical family is one of harmony between all partners, which is discussion of the next chapter.

Hermione reread the paragraph. Then, she looked at Daphne; she opened her mouth to ask a question, but, before she could-

"Miss Granger!" Professor McGonagall called. "Miss Granger!"

Hermione jumped up, slamming the book in front of her shut. The professor wasn't on top of them yet; no need to let her know what the two of them had been reading. She got out of her chair and turned to go in the direction of the elderly witch's voice. She couldn't make it past Daphne, though.

Her blond friend snapped out her hand, holding her for five seconds. Daphne whispered into her ear, "We'll talk more later," then kissed her on the cheek. Hermione stood stone still with a blush on her face, staring at her friend . . . until the professor called her name again. Then, she took off like a spell.

"Professor!" she cried, almost running the other woman over.

The older woman still jumped a little. "Goodness, Miss Granger, I would expect that I shouldn't have to tell you not to run in the Library."

Hermione's blushed deepened at the scolding, which was perhaps beneficial to her goal of staying incognito on the subject of her latest "research project." "I'm, Professor. It won't happen again."

McGonagall nodded. "That's good to hear. Now then , Professor Dumbledore has asked to see you."

Hermione squeaked a little. "He wants to see me, but why?"

McGonagall shrugged. "I don't know, but I presume it has something to do with . . . recent events. Come with me, please."

Hermione nodded and followed her.


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"Good afternoon, Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, unwrapping a candy. "Can I interest you in a lemon drop?"

"No thank you, sir," the young witch said. She was sitting across from him at his desk, trembling. Had he called her hear to-

"Very well," he said, popping the treat into his mouth. "Miss Granger, Harry saved your life last night, correct?" She nodded. "A very good thing, he did—a very selfless thing. Hermione, you may be unaware of this, but, because he saved your life, you owe young Harry a tremendous debt."

"A Life Debt," Hermione whispered.

Dumbledore's eyebrows rose. "Where did you hear that phrase, my dear?"

Hermione blushed, but answered, "Some of my friends were talking about it, sir." For some reason, she decided against saying that it was Parvati who had revealed her situation to her.

Dumbledore stared at her in silence for a moment, then asked, "And what else did they tell you, my dear?"

Hermione blushed and lowered her head. "That I'd never be able to repay him."

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, there really is nothing that can equal saving a life, except, perhaps, saving more lives . . ." Hermione looked up, and saw that the headmaster was no longer looking at her; he was leaning back in his chair, staring off into the distance. She had to wonder, just how old was he? He had fought the Dark Lord Grendelwald in 1945, forty-six years ago. For some reason, she had never read anything hinting at his life before that. But, then he sighed and turned back to her, "However, I think I know how you can partially repay him."

Hermione sucked in her breath, "How?" Would he tell she would have to become Harry's concubine or hetaera?

"Hermione, my dear," Dumbledore said, again looking her in the eye, "did Harry ever tell you that his father was well known for his talents at . . . finding trouble?"

Hermione shook her head slowly. "No, Harry mostly only talks about his mother."

Dumbledore shrugged a little. "Understandable. She is the only parent he knows, but, I assure you, Miss Granger, it is true. James Potter never could go long without finding himself in one predicament or another. A life-style, I fear, Harry may be falling into."

Hermione nodded, and the old wizard continued. "Hermione, I think it would be prudent for you to keep an eye on young Harry for me."

Hermione actually jumped a little in her seat. "You want me to spy on Harry?" How could he . . .?

Dumbledore shook his head, "I would never ask you to betray your friend, Miss Hermione. But, you must admit, noble as rescuing you from the Troll was, it was not in any way safe." When the young witch didn't respond, he continued, "I'm not asking you to spy on Harry, my dear, just to . . . watch out for your friend."

"I'll . . ." Hermione struggled. "I'll think about it, Professor."

Dumbledore nodded, then leaned back in his chair. "Thank you, Miss Granger, that's all I ask."


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Dumbledore looked out the window of his office. Through it, he could see out over the Grounds. It looked like Fawkes, his phoenix, was playing with the Threastrals. Perhaps he should have used a Confundus Charm on Miss Granger, but he dismissed that notion almost immediately. Compulsions only worked for a short period of time, before the victim broke through them. He could reapply, of course, but that would raise suspicion. Besides, compelling someone to do something rarely yielded equal or better results than getting their voluntary cooperation; both victims of the Imperious Curse and those under the effects of the Confundus Charm were unable to act on their own and followed instructions without deviation or addition. On top of all that, fiddling around with people's heads, especially a child's, was . . . hazardous.

No, Dumbledore had long ago reconciled himself, more or less, to the fact that young Harry had to die for the Greater Good, but he didn't want any more unnecessary suffering than there already had been. Right now, doing any damage to Harrry's Muggleborn friend counted in that category.

She'll suffer anyway, he thought. There was no helping that, Harry's death wouldn't be just a blow to the boy himself, everyone who ever had or would befriend the Potter heir would mourn his death . . . along with his mother.

Dumbledore frowned at that, his mother . . . For the past nine-and-a-half years, Professor Dumbledore had been wondering just how the woman had survived what he had deemed to be an inescapable death trap. Publically, he explained it as the result of James' sacrifice. That wasn't entirely implausible; it was known amongst a few elite scholars of Sorcery, the study of magic itself, that an act of sacrifice tended to have nasty effects on those who practiced the Dark Arts, but James' actions seemed too indirect, battling a powerful foe to allow your loved ones to escape was not enough to have destroyed Voldemort, Voldemort: the most powerful Dark Lord he had ever encountered . . . that was a little harder to believe. And then, there was the other question, the crux of the whole dilemma, or rather, the Horcrux. He had had young Harry secretly examined, and it had confirmed what he'd suspected since that Halloween night: Harry's scar carried within it a piece of Voldemort's soul. There was no way the mutated and corrupted wizard could be permanently defeated until that fragment of his soul was destroyed, and, regrettably, the only way to do that was to destroy its container, Harry.

Harry, therefore, had to die, sadly, but what confused Dumbledore was the fact that Lily and her young daughter, Daisy, were both completely untainted by such foul magicks. Dumbledore had been certain that Lily would have been infected with a fragment of soul just as Harry had, but, when he had arranged for another Healer to examine her during a routine check-up, he had discovered that he had been wrong. He had then moved to have her newborn daughter examined, theorizing that the soul fragment had infected the child in the womb. It made sense, in a way: both Harry and Daisy had been young and thus had fewer defenses, both mental and magical; the piece of Voldemort's soul that had hypothetically infected Lily could have latched onto the still developing Daisy instead of her mother. Yet, when the Healer delivered her results, Daisy Potter had proven negative for a foreign spiritual presence.

He had been unable to explain it (although, he suspected it was somehow connected to whatever it was that had saved Lily's, and thus Daisy's, life), but, in the end, he had decided to stop worrying about it so much and just be thankful he wouldn't have to kill them too. He'd have enough to answer for when he left this world without adding their deaths to the list.

On that note, he decided, turning back to his desk, it was time to get back to the work of damning himself to save the rest of the world. A special relic had arrived earlier this morning, and it was time to put to good use.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[*It was dawn. Hermione knew this, as she rolled over in her bed, because Parvati had gotten out of her own bed and was performing her morning prayers. Out of respect of the others, she was usually quiet, by Hermione heard anyway.

Hermione opened her eyes, and silently watched as the Indian girl kneeled to the East. Even if Hermione could make out the words—and she usually couldn't—she would still have had no idea what Parvati was whispering, but the soft Arabic words sounded like poetry to her drowsy mind.

Parvati was evidently finished; she straightened up, and began rolling up her prayer mat. Hermione bit her lip in shame and rolled over again, squeezing her eyes shut. I really shouldn't do that. She's praying, not putting on a show.

The bushy-haired witch sighed to herself. Parvati had been really helpful to her, although Hermione didn't know if she would be able to utilize any of that help anytime soon.

The door opened and closed softly; Parvati had gone to the girls' loo to wash up. This, then, was probably the best time to get up without starting any awkward conversations. Quietly, so as not to wake the still sleeping Lavender, Hermione climbed out of bed.

Padding over to her dresser, she thought to herself, Should I confront Harry about the Life Debt? Maybe I should talk to McGonagall first. But, she flushed as she tried broaching the subject to the professor. There was no way she could do it. So, there was only one option left, was her oldest and most faithful stand-by . . .


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hermione flipped through the large book until she got to the three hundredth and twenty-sixth page. The pages were stiff from lack of use; she guessed this particular tome hadn't been opened in quite a while. Its title was The Spells and Rites of Binding, author unknown;aside from this one, there were four other books piled around her on the table with titles like On the Nature of Magic; The Proper Wizard's Guide to Concubines; Wives, Consorts, and Concubines; and Laws of Magical Britain and treaties with the Greater Magical World. Currently, she was examining the eighth chapter, "On Concubines." It ran:

The taking of a concubine is a serious matter, not to be undertaken by the light of heart or purse. Some foolish persons will acquire a concubine without thinking of the consequences. They forget that they are required to think of the costs of feeding and providing medical care for their property. Also, they neglect to consider how their wives may react; while some unloving marriages have been unharmed or even aided by the addition of a new bedmate, many a wife's ire has been incurred because a wizard did not think before he acted.

"Seems rather negative to me, doesn't it?" Daphne asked over Hermione's shoulder.

"Eeaah!" Hermione cried, instantly swiveling around and bumping her head into Daphne's.

"Ouch," the blonde witch said, rubbing her forehead. "Be careful, 'Mione; that hurt."

"You shouldn't have snuck up on me," Hermione retorted, rubbing the top of her own head. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Well," Daphne said, "I thought this was the best place to find you. We need to talk, Hermione.," she said, taking a seat.

". . . all right," Hermione said. "What do you want to talk about?" Inwardly, of course, she had a very good idea what the other girl wanted to discuss, but there was no need to invite trouble that might not actually exist.

Daphne just smirked. "Come on, Hermione," she said, dragging on of the bushy-haired witch's books towards herself. "You don't need to be a koi."

Hermione just stared at the other girl. ". . . I think you mean 'be coy,'" she said.

Daphne blushed. "Whatever. The point is, I know that you know about the Life Debt you owe Harry. And, judging by what you're looking at right now," Hermione slammed the book she'd been reading shut, her face bright red, "you must know that one way to deal with it is to become Harry's concubine." She smirked as she said it.

Hermione blushed. "Listen, Daphne, I don't want to; actually, I've been trying to find a way out of this-"

"Why not, 'Mione?'" Daphne asked, smiling wider now. "Is my fiancé not handsome enough for you?

"Of course, he's handsome! It's just—Wait! I mean . . ." Hermione's face became even hotter as she desperately tried to backpedal.

Daphne, curse her, was laughing. "Ah-hahahaha! I'm sorry, Hermione, I just couldn't help it." She actually wiped a tear away from her eye. "I'm sorry, Hermione, really," she said when she saw the brunette glaring at her.

Hermione scowled just a moment longer, before sighing. "It's all right, Daphne, I guess it was a little funny. Now," she said, recomposing herself. "What do you want to talk about?"

Daphne smiled. "Well, I can tell you don't want to be a concubine, and, honestly, I agree with that. Now, don't get me wrong," she said, her eyes shining with mischief. "There's nothing wrong with being a concubine-"

"Nothing wrong?" Hermione blurted. Was every pureblood this cavalier about the sexual enslavement of women?

"-especially when the man is as good as Harry," Daphne continued as if the interruption hadn't occurred. "But, in your case, it would be a tragic loss." Hermione just stared at her, lost for words. "You're very pretty, Hermione, but you're also the most gifted witch I know, and you're brave and kind and passionate about what you believe in. And, most importantly," she said, staring Hermione right in the eye, "you care deeply and genuinely about Harry. No, Hermione, I think you'd be better as a hetaera."

". . . a what?" Hermione asked weakly, giving up trying to understand what was going on in her friend's mind.

"A hetaera," Daphne answered. She pushed the book over to Hermione. It was Wives, Consorts, and Concubines. "My family owns a copy of this; I've been reading it since I was eight," she said with a small smile. Hermione decided not to comment on that. Daphne tapped the cover. "There's a chapter on hetaerae; chapter five, I think. I think you'll believe the book more than me."

Hermione took the book and opened its table of contents, not certain how she should feel about such a comment. She scanned the page:

Introduction, p. 1

Marriage: Husbands and Wives, p. 11

Marriage: Husbands and Consorts, p. 44

Concubines: Slaves or Pets, p. 82

Concubines: Hetaerae, p. 97

Group Dynamics: Balancing Relationships, p. 132

The Demands of Fatherhood, p. 153

Conclusion, p. 188

Some of the descriptions were . . . eyebrow raising, but Hermione decided to come back to those later, and flipped to page 97. The opening paragraph was . . . different than the last one.

The hetaera is a special kind of concubine; the title is Greek, and it is the Greeks who first invented the ritual of binding a hetaera to a man and his family. However, there is evidence that previous civilizations often had a specific class of concubine who, although under the same binding as her fellows was treated differently and provided her master(s) with more than just sexual pleasure. For that is what it means to be a hetaera. She serves her master sexually, yes, and may indeed bare his heirs if his wife is not able to do so, but she also pleases his mind. Hetaerae sing and dance, recite—sometimes even compose poetry, and speak with their masters about current events and politics. A hetaera is an entertainer and a comforter, an advisor and a confidant.

If one compares the binding rituals for an ordinary concubine and a hetaera, one will notice . . .

It then went into the nature of the ritual; while it did make reference to the "standard" ritual for binding a concubine (presumably discussed in the previous chapter) Hermione could discern what the author was talking about. There were apparently two parts to the ritual. First was an incantation spoken allowed by the "master" with the "slave-to-be" replying. Secondly was "the physical acts" (she had to turn to the next page to read this part)—oh! . . . oh, dear. The next section included an illustration—an enchanted, moving illustration—along with a very detaileddescription of what "the physical acts" were.

"I'd skip to the end of the chapter if I were you," Daphne breathed into her ear. Hermione jumped a little again, but this time, avoided hitting heads with her friend; it was amazing how the other girl could just sneak up on her at will. Daphne took no notice of her, however, merely gesturing at the book. There was a giant smile on her face.

Hermione frowned, but did as Daphne suggested. The last page was only a few sentences,

To say that a master always loves, truly loves, his hetaera(e)is, of course, an overstatement. It is true that hetaerae usually enjoy closer relationships with their masters than all too many wives. However, this does not preclude feels of friendship from existing between a wife and a hetaera or even a standard concubine. In fact, the ideal relationship in a magical family is one of harmony between all partners, which is discussion of the next chapter.

Hermione reread the paragraph. Then, she looked at Daphne; she opened her mouth to ask a question, but, before she could-

"Miss Granger!" Professor McGonagall called. "Miss Granger!"

Hermione jumped up, slamming the book in front of her shut. The professor wasn't on top of them yet; no need to let her know what the two of them had been reading. She got out of her chair and turned to go in the direction of the elderly witch's voice. She couldn't make it past Daphne, though.

Her blond friend snapped out her hand, holding her for five seconds. Daphne whispered into her ear, "We'll talk more later," then kissed her on the cheek. Hermione stood stone still with a blush on her face, staring at her friend . . . until the professor called her name again. Then, she took off like a spell.

"Professor!" she cried, almost running the other woman over.

The older woman still jumped a little. "Goodness, Miss Granger, I would expect that I shouldn't have to tell you not to run in the Library."

Hermione's blushed deepened at the scolding, which was perhaps beneficial to her goal of staying incognito on the subject of her latest "research project." "I'm, Professor. It won't happen again."

McGonagall nodded. "That's good to hear. Now then , Professor Dumbledore has asked to see you."

Hermione squeaked a little. "He wants to see me, but why?"

McGonagall shrugged. "I don't know, but I presume it has something to do with . . . recent events. Come with me, please."

Hermione nodded and followed her.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Good afternoon, Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, unwrapping a candy. "Can I interest you in a lemon drop?"

"No thank you, sir," the young witch said. She was sitting across from him at his desk, trembling. Had he called her hear to-

"Very well," he said, popping the treat into his mouth. "Miss Granger, Harry saved your life last night, correct?" She nodded. "A very good thing, he did—a very selfless thing. Hermione, you may be unaware of this, but, because he saved your life, you owe young Harry a tremendous debt."

"A Life Debt," Hermione whispered.

Dumbledore's eyebrows rose. "Where did you hear that phrase, my dear?"

Hermione blushed, but answered, "Some of my friends were talking about it, sir." For some reason, she decided against saying that it was Parvati who had revealed her situation to her.

Dumbledore stared at her in silence for a moment, then asked, "And what else did they tell you, my dear?"

Hermione blushed and lowered her head. "That I'd never be able to repay him."

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, there really is nothing that can equal saving a life, except, perhaps, saving more lives . . ." Hermione looked up, and saw that the headmaster was no longer looking at her; he was leaning back in his chair, staring off into the distance. She had to wonder, just how old was he? He had fought the Dark Lord Grendelwald in 1945, forty-six years ago. For some reason, she had never read anything hinting at his life before that. But, then he sighed and turned back to her, "However, I think I know how you can partially repay him."

Hermione sucked in her breath, "How?" Would he tell she would have to become Harry's concubine or hetaera?

"Hermione, my dear," Dumbledore said, again looking her in the eye, "did Harry ever tell you that his father was well known for his talents at . . . finding trouble?"

Hermione shook her head slowly. "No, Harry mostly only talks about his mother."

Dumbledore shrugged a little. "Understandable. She is the only parent he knows, but, I assure you, Miss Granger, it is true. James Potter never could go long without finding himself in one predicament or another. A life-style, I fear, Harry may be falling into."

Hermione nodded, and the old wizard continued. "Hermione, I think it would be prudent for you to keep an eye on young Harry for me."

Hermione actually jumped a little in her seat. "You want me to spy on Harry?" How could he . . .?

Dumbledore shook his head, "I would never ask you to betray your friend, Miss Hermione. But, you must admit, noble as rescuing you from the Troll was, it was not in any way safe." When the young witch didn't respond, he continued, "I'm not asking you to spy on Harry, my dear, just to . . . watch out for your friend."

"I'll . . ." Hermione struggled. "I'll think about it, Professor."

Dumbledore nodded, then leaned back in his chair. "Thank you, Miss Granger, that's all I ask."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dumbledore looked out the window of his office. Through it, he could see out over the Grounds. It looked like Fawkes, his phoenix, was playing with the Threastrals. Perhaps he should have used a Confundus Charm on Miss Granger, but he dismissed that notion almost immediately. Compulsions only worked for a short period of time, before the victim broke through them. He could reapply, of course, but that would raise suspicion. Besides, compelling someone to do something rarely yielded equal or better results than getting their voluntary cooperation; both victims of the Imperious Curse and those under the effects of the Confundus Charm were unable to act on their own and followed instructions without deviation or addition. On top of all that, fiddling around with people's heads, especially a child's, was . . . hazardous.

No, Dumbledore had long ago reconciled himself, more or less, to the fact that young Harry had to die for the Greater Good, but he didn't want any more unnecessary suffering than there already had been. Right now, doing any damage to Harrry's Muggleborn friend counted in that category.

She'll suffer anyway, he thought. There was no helping that, Harry's death wouldn't be just a blow to the boy himself, everyone who ever had or would befriend the Potter heir would mourn his death . . . along with his mother.

Dumbledore frowned at that, his mother . . . For the past nine-and-a-half years, Professor Dumbledore had been wondering just how the woman had survived what he had deemed to be an inescapable death trap. Publically, he explained it as the result of James' sacrifice. That wasn't entirely implausible; it was known amongst a few elite scholars of Sorcery, the study of magic itself, that an act of sacrifice tended to have nasty effects on those who practiced the Dark Arts, but James' actions seemed too indirect, battling a powerful foe to allow your loved ones to escape was not enough to have destroyed Voldemort, Voldemort: the most powerful Dark Lord he had ever encountered . . . that was a little harder to believe. And then, there was the other question, the crux of the whole dilemma, or rather, the Horcrux. He had had young Harry secretly examined, and it had confirmed what he'd suspected since that Halloween night: Harry's scar carried within it a piece of Voldemort's soul. There was no way the mutated and corrupted wizard could be permanently defeated until that fragment of his soul was destroyed, and, regrettably, the only way to do that was to destroy its container, Harry.

Harry, therefore, had to die, sadly, but what confused Dumbledore was the fact that Lily and her young daughter, Daisy, were both completely untainted by such foul magicks. Dumbledore had been certain that Lily would have been infected with a fragment of soul just as Harry had, but, when he had arranged for another Healer to examine her during a routine check-up, he had discovered that he had been wrong. He had then moved to have her newborn daughter examined, theorizing that the soul fragment had infected the child in the womb. It made sense, in a way: both Harry and Daisy had been young and thus had fewer defenses, both mental and magical; the piece of Voldemort's soul that had hypothetically infected Lily could have latched onto the still developing Daisy instead of her mother. Yet, when the Healer delivered her results, Daisy Potter had proven negative for a foreign spiritual presence.

He had been unable to explain it (although, he suspected it was somehow connected to whatever it was that had saved Lily's, and thus Daisy's, life), but, in the end, he had decided to stop worrying about it so much and just be thankful he wouldn't have to kill them too. He'd have enough to answer for when he left this world without adding their deaths to the list.

On that note, he decided, turning back to his desk, it was time to get back to the work of damning himself to save the rest of the world. A special relic had arrived earlier this morning, and it was time to put to good use.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[*It was dawn. Hermione knew this, as she rolled over in her bed, because Parvati had gotten out of her own bed and was performing her morning prayers. Out of respect of the others, she was usually quiet, by Hermione heard anyway.

Hermione opened her eyes, and silently watched as the Indian girl kneeled to the East. Even if Hermione could make out the words—and she usually couldn't—she would still have had no idea what Parvati was whispering, but the soft Arabic words sounded like poetry to her drowsy mind.

Parvati was evidently finished; she straightened up, and began rolling up her prayer mat. Hermione bit her lip in shame and rolled over again, squeezing her eyes shut. I really shouldn't do that. She's praying, not putting on a show.

The bushy-haired witch sighed to herself. Parvati had been really helpful to her, although Hermione didn't know if she would be able to utilize any of that help anytime soon.

The door opened and closed softly; Parvati had gone to the girls' loo to wash up. This, then, was probably the best time to get up without starting any awkward conversations. Quietly, so as not to wake the still sleeping Lavender, Hermione climbed out of bed.

Padding over to her dresser, she thought to herself, Should I confront Harry about the Life Debt? Maybe I should talk to McGonagall first. But, she flushed as she tried broaching the subject to the professor. There was no way she could do it. So, there was only one option left, was her oldest and most faithful stand-by . . .


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hermione flipped through the large book until she got to the three hundredth and twenty-sixth page. The pages were stiff from lack of use; she guessed this particular tome hadn't been opened in quite a while. Its title was The Spells and Rites of Binding, author unknown;aside from this one, there were four other books piled around her on the table with titles like On the Nature of Magic; The Proper Wizard's Guide to Concubines; Wives, Consorts, and Concubines; and Laws of Magical Britain and treaties with the Greater Magical World. Currently, she was examining the eighth chapter, "On Concubines." It ran:

The taking of a concubine is a serious matter, not to be undertaken by the light of heart or purse. Some foolish persons will acquire a concubine without thinking of the consequences. They forget that they are required to think of the costs of feeding and providing medical care for their property. Also, they neglect to consider how their wives may react; while some unloving marriages have been unharmed or even aided by the addition of a new bedmate, many a wife's ire has been incurred because a wizard did not think before he acted.

"Seems rather negative to me, doesn't it?" Daphne asked over Hermione's shoulder.

"Eeaah!" Hermione cried, instantly swiveling around and bumping her head into Daphne's.

"Ouch," the blonde witch said, rubbing her forehead. "Be careful, 'Mione; that hurt."

"You shouldn't have snuck up on me," Hermione retorted, rubbing the top of her own head. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Well," Daphne said, "I thought this was the best place to find you. We need to talk, Hermione.," she said, taking a seat.

". . . all right," Hermione said. "What do you want to talk about?" Inwardly, of course, she had a very good idea what the other girl wanted to discuss, but there was no need to invite trouble that might not actually exist.

Daphne just smirked. "Come on, Hermione," she said, dragging on of the bushy-haired witch's books towards herself. "You don't need to be a koi."

Hermione just stared at the other girl. ". . . I think you mean 'be coy,'" she said.

Daphne blushed. "Whatever. The point is, I know that you know about the Life Debt you owe Harry. And, judging by what you're looking at right now," Hermione slammed the book she'd been reading shut, her face bright red, "you must know that one way to deal with it is to become Harry's concubine." She smirked as she said it.

Hermione blushed. "Listen, Daphne, I don't want to; actually, I've been trying to find a way out of this-"

"Why not, 'Mione?'" Daphne asked, smiling wider now. "Is my fiancé not handsome enough for you?

"Of course, he's handsome! It's just—Wait! I mean . . ." Hermione's face became even hotter as she desperately tried to backpedal.

Daphne, curse her, was laughing. "Ah-hahahaha! I'm sorry, Hermione, I just couldn't help it." She actually wiped a tear away from her eye. "I'm sorry, Hermione, really," she said when she saw the brunette glaring at her.

Hermione scowled just a moment longer, before sighing. "It's all right, Daphne, I guess it was a little funny. Now," she said, recomposing herself. "What do you want to talk about?"

Daphne smiled. "Well, I can tell you don't want to be a concubine, and, honestly, I agree with that. Now, don't get me wrong," she said, her eyes shining with mischief. "There's nothing wrong with being a concubine-"

"Nothing wrong?" Hermione blurted. Was every pureblood this cavalier about the sexual enslavement of women?

"-especially when the man is as good as Harry," Daphne continued as if the interruption hadn't occurred. "But, in your case, it would be a tragic loss." Hermione just stared at her, lost for words. "You're very pretty, Hermione, but you're also the most gifted witch I know, and you're brave and kind and passionate about what you believe in. And, most importantly," she said, staring Hermione right in the eye, "you care deeply and genuinely about Harry. No, Hermione, I think you'd be better as a hetaera."

". . . a what?" Hermione asked weakly, giving up trying to understand what was going on in her friend's mind.

"A hetaera," Daphne answered. She pushed the book over to Hermione. It was Wives, Consorts, and Concubines. "My family owns a copy of this; I've been reading it since I was eight," she said with a small smile. Hermione decided not to comment on that. Daphne tapped the cover. "There's a chapter on hetaerae; chapter five, I think. I think you'll believe the book more than me."

Hermione took the book and opened its table of contents, not certain how she should feel about such a comment. She scanned the page:

Introduction, p. 1

Marriage: Husbands and Wives, p. 11

Marriage: Husbands and Consorts, p. 44

Concubines: Slaves or Pets, p. 82

Concubines: Hetaerae, p. 97

Group Dynamics: Balancing Relationships, p. 132

The Demands of Fatherhood, p. 153

Conclusion, p. 188

Some of the descriptions were . . . eyebrow raising, but Hermione decided to come back to those later, and flipped to page 97. The opening paragraph was . . . different than the last one.

The hetaera is a special kind of concubine; the title is Greek, and it is the Greeks who first invented the ritual of binding a hetaera to a man and his family. However, there is evidence that previous civilizations often had a specific class of concubine who, although under the same binding as her fellows was treated differently and provided her master(s) with more than just sexual pleasure. For that is what it means to be a hetaera. She serves her master sexually, yes, and may indeed bare his heirs if his wife is not able to do so, but she also pleases his mind. Hetaerae sing and dance, recite—sometimes even compose poetry, and speak with their masters about current events and politics. A hetaera is an entertainer and a comforter, an advisor and a confidant.

If one compares the binding rituals for an ordinary concubine and a hetaera, one will notice . . .

It then went into the nature of the ritual; while it did make reference to the "standard" ritual for binding a concubine (presumably discussed in the previous chapter) Hermione could discern what the author was talking about. There were apparently two parts to the ritual. First was an incantation spoken allowed by the "master" with the "slave-to-be" replying. Secondly was "the physical acts" (she had to turn to the next page to read this part)—oh! . . . oh, dear. The next section included an illustration—an enchanted, moving illustration—along with a very detaileddescription of what "the physical acts" were.

"I'd skip to the end of the chapter if I were you," Daphne breathed into her ear. Hermione jumped a little again, but this time, avoided hitting heads with her friend; it was amazing how the other girl could just sneak up on her at will. Daphne took no notice of her, however, merely gesturing at the book. There was a giant smile on her face.

Hermione frowned, but did as Daphne suggested. The last page was only a few sentences,

To say that a master always loves, truly loves, his hetaera(e)is, of course, an overstatement. It is true that hetaerae usually enjoy closer relationships with their masters than all too many wives. However, this does not preclude feels of friendship from existing between a wife and a hetaera or even a standard concubine. In fact, the ideal relationship in a magical family is one of harmony between all partners, which is discussion of the next chapter.

Hermione reread the paragraph. Then, she looked at Daphne; she opened her mouth to ask a question, but, before she could-

"Miss Granger!" Professor McGonagall called. "Miss Granger!"

Hermione jumped up, slamming the book in front of her shut. The professor wasn't on top of them yet; no need to let her know what the two of them had been reading. She got out of her chair and turned to go in the direction of the elderly witch's voice. She couldn't make it past Daphne, though.

Her blond friend snapped out her hand, holding her for five seconds. Daphne whispered into her ear, "We'll talk more later," then kissed her on the cheek. Hermione stood stone still with a blush on her face, staring at her friend . . . until the professor called her name again. Then, she took off like a spell.

"Professor!" she cried, almost running the other woman over.

The older woman still jumped a little. "Goodness, Miss Granger, I would expect that I shouldn't have to tell you not to run in the Library."

Hermione's blushed deepened at the scolding, which was perhaps beneficial to her goal of staying incognito on the subject of her latest "research project." "I'm, Professor. It won't happen again."

McGonagall nodded. "That's good to hear. Now then , Professor Dumbledore has asked to see you."

Hermione squeaked a little. "He wants to see me, but why?"

McGonagall shrugged. "I don't know, but I presume it has something to do with . . . recent events. Come with me, please."

Hermione nodded and followed her.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Good afternoon, Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, unwrapping a candy. "Can I interest you in a lemon drop?"

"No thank you, sir," the young witch said. She was sitting across from him at his desk, trembling. Had he called her hear to-

"Very well," he said, popping the treat into his mouth. "Miss Granger, Harry saved your life last night, correct?" She nodded. "A very good thing, he did—a very selfless thing. Hermione, you may be unaware of this, but, because he saved your life, you owe young Harry a tremendous debt."

"A Life Debt," Hermione whispered.

Dumbledore's eyebrows rose. "Where did you hear that phrase, my dear?"

Hermione blushed, but answered, "Some of my friends were talking about it, sir." For some reason, she decided against saying that it was Parvati who had revealed her situation to her.

Dumbledore stared at her in silence for a moment, then asked, "And what else did they tell you, my dear?"

Hermione blushed and lowered her head. "That I'd never be able to repay him."

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, there really is nothing that can equal saving a life, except, perhaps, saving more lives . . ." Hermione looked up, and saw that the headmaster was no longer looking at her; he was leaning back in his chair, staring off into the distance. She had to wonder, just how old was he? He had fought the Dark Lord Grendelwald in 1945, forty-six years ago. For some reason, she had never read anything hinting at his life before that. But, then he sighed and turned back to her, "However, I think I know how you can partially repay him."

Hermione sucked in her breath, "How?" Would he tell she would have to become Harry's concubine or hetaera?

"Hermione, my dear," Dumbledore said, again looking her in the eye, "did Harry ever tell you that his father was well known for his talents at . . . finding trouble?"

Hermione shook her head slowly. "No, Harry mostly only talks about his mother."

Dumbledore shrugged a little. "Understandable. She is the only parent he knows, but, I assure you, Miss Granger, it is true. James Potter never could go long without finding himself in one predicament or another. A life-style, I fear, Harry may be falling into."

Hermione nodded, and the old wizard continued. "Hermione, I think it would be prudent for you to keep an eye on young Harry for me."

Hermione actually jumped a little in her seat. "You want me to spy on Harry?" How could he . . .?

Dumbledore shook his head, "I would never ask you to betray your friend, Miss Hermione. But, you must admit, noble as rescuing you from the Troll was, it was not in any way safe." When the young witch didn't respond, he continued, "I'm not asking you to spy on Harry, my dear, just to . . . watch out for your friend."

"I'll . . ." Hermione struggled. "I'll think about it, Professor."

Dumbledore nodded, then leaned back in his chair. "Thank you, Miss Granger, that's all I ask."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dumbledore looked out the window of his office. Through it, he could see out over the Grounds. It looked like Fawkes, his phoenix, was playing with the Threastrals. Perhaps he should have used a Confundus Charm on Miss Granger, but he dismissed that notion almost immediately. Compulsions only worked for a short period of time, before the victim broke through them. He could reapply, of course, but that would raise suspicion. Besides, compelling someone to do something rarely yielded equal or better results than getting their voluntary cooperation; both victims of the Imperious Curse and those under the effects of the Confundus Charm were unable to act on their own and followed instructions without deviation or addition. On top of all that, fiddling around with people's heads, especially a child's, was . . . hazardous.

No, Dumbledore had long ago reconciled himself, more or less, to the fact that young Harry had to die for the Greater Good, but he didn't want any more unnecessary suffering than there already had been. Right now, doing any damage to Harrry's Muggleborn friend counted in that category.

She'll suffer anyway, he thought. There was no helping that, Harry's death wouldn't be just a blow to the boy himself, everyone who ever had or would befriend the Potter heir would mourn his death . . . along with his mother.

Dumbledore frowned at that, his mother . . . For the past nine-and-a-half years, Professor Dumbledore had been wondering just how the woman had survived what he had deemed to be an inescapable death trap. Publically, he explained it as the result of James' sacrifice. That wasn't entirely implausible; it was known amongst a few elite scholars of Sorcery, the study of magic itself, that an act of sacrifice tended to have nasty effects on those who practiced the Dark Arts, but James' actions seemed too indirect, battling a powerful foe to allow your loved ones to escape was not enough to have destroyed Voldemort, Voldemort: the most powerful Dark Lord he had ever encountered . . . that was a little harder to believe. And then, there was the other question, the crux of the whole dilemma, or rather, the Horcrux. He had had young Harry secretly examined, and it had confirmed what he'd suspected since that Halloween night: Harry's scar carried within it a piece of Voldemort's soul. There was no way the mutated and corrupted wizard could be permanently defeated until that fragment of his soul was destroyed, and, regrettably, the only way to do that was to destroy its container, Harry.

Harry, therefore, had to die, sadly, but what confused Dumbledore was the fact that Lily and her young daughter, Daisy, were both completely untainted by such foul magicks. Dumbledore had been certain that Lily would have been infected with a fragment of soul just as Harry had, but, when he had arranged for another Healer to examine her during a routine check-up, he had discovered that he had been wrong. He had then moved to have her newborn daughter examined, theorizing that the soul fragment had infected the child in the womb. It made sense, in a way: both Harry and Daisy had been young and thus had fewer defenses, both mental and magical; the piece of Voldemort's soul that had hypothetically infected Lily could have latched onto the still developing Daisy instead of her mother. Yet, when the Healer delivered her results, Daisy Potter had proven negative for a foreign spiritual presence.

He had been unable to explain it (although, he suspected it was somehow connected to whatever it was that had saved Lily's, and thus Daisy's, life), but, in the end, he had decided to stop worrying about it so much and just be thankful he wouldn't have to kill them too. He'd have enough to answer for when he left this world without adding their deaths to the list.

On that note, he decided, turning back to his desk, it was time to get back to the work of damning himself to save the rest of the world. A special relic had arrived earlier this morning, and it was time to put to good use.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was dawn. Hermione knew this, as she rolled over in her bed, because Parvati had gotten out of her own bed and was performing her morning prayers. Out of respect of the others, she was usually quiet, by Hermione heard anyway.

Hermione opened her eyes, and silently watched as the Indian girl kneeled to the East. Even if Hermione could make out the words—and she usually couldn't—she would still have had no idea what Parvati was whispering, but the soft Arabic words sounded like poetry to her drowsy mind.

Parvati was evidently finished; she straightened up, and began rolling up her prayer mat. Hermione bit her lip in shame and rolled over again, squeezing her eyes shut. I really shouldn't do that. She's praying, not putting on a show.

The bushy-haired witch sighed to herself. Parvati had been really helpful to her, although Hermione didn't know if she would be able to utilize any of that help anytime soon.

The door opened and closed softly; Parvati had gone to the girls' loo to wash up. This, then, was probably the best time to get up without starting any awkward conversations. Quietly, so as not to wake the still sleeping Lavender, Hermione climbed out of bed.

Padding over to her dresser, she thought to herself, Should I confront Harry about the Life Debt? Maybe I should talk to McGonagall first. But, she flushed as she tried broaching the subject to the professor. There was no way she could do it. So, there was only one option left, was her oldest and most faithful stand-by . . .


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hermione flipped through the large book until she got to the three hundredth and twenty-sixth page. The pages were stiff from lack of use; she guessed this particular tome hadn't been opened in quite a while. Its title was The Spells and Rites of Binding, author unknown;aside from this one, there were four other books piled around her on the table with titles like On the Nature of Magic; The Proper Wizard's Guide to Concubines; Wives, Consorts, and Concubines; and Laws of Magical Britain and treaties with the Greater Magical World. Currently, she was examining the eighth chapter, "On Concubines." It ran:

The taking of a concubine is a serious matter, not to be undertaken by the light of heart or purse. Some foolish persons will acquire a concubine without thinking of the consequences. They forget that they are required to think of the costs of feeding and providing medical care for their property. Also, they neglect to consider how their wives may react; while some unloving marriages have been unharmed or even aided by the addition of a new bedmate, many a wife's ire has been incurred because a wizard did not think before he acted.

"Seems rather negative to me, doesn't it?" Daphne asked over Hermione's shoulder.

"Eeaah!" Hermione cried, instantly swiveling around and bumping her head into Daphne's.

"Ouch," the blonde witch said, rubbing her forehead. "Be careful, 'Mione; that hurt."

"You shouldn't have snuck up on me," Hermione retorted, rubbing the top of her own head. "What are you doing here, anyway?"

"Well," Daphne said, "I thought this was the best place to find you. We need to talk, Hermione.," she said, taking a seat.

". . . all right," Hermione said. "What do you want to talk about?" Inwardly, of course, she had a very good idea what the other girl wanted to discuss, but there was no need to invite trouble that might not actually exist.

Daphne just smirked. "Come on, Hermione," she said, dragging on of the bushy-haired witch's books towards herself. "You don't need to be a koi."

Hermione just stared at the other girl. ". . . I think you mean 'be coy,'" she said.

Daphne blushed. "Whatever. The point is, I know that you know about the Life Debt you owe Harry. And, judging by what you're looking at right now," Hermione slammed the book she'd been reading shut, her face bright red, "you must know that one way to deal with it is to become Harry's concubine." She smirked as she said it.

Hermione blushed. "Listen, Daphne, I don't want to; actually, I've been trying to find a way out of this-"

"Why not, 'Mione?'" Daphne asked, smiling wider now. "Is my fiancé not handsome enough for you?

"Of course, he's handsome! It's just—Wait! I mean . . ." Hermione's face became even hotter as she desperately tried to backpedal.

Daphne, curse her, was laughing. "Ah-hahahaha! I'm sorry, Hermione, I just couldn't help it." She actually wiped a tear away from her eye. "I'm sorry, Hermione, really," she said when she saw the brunette glaring at her.

Hermione scowled just a moment longer, before sighing. "It's all right, Daphne, I guess it was a little funny. Now," she said, recomposing herself. "What do you want to talk about?"

Daphne smiled. "Well, I can tell you don't want to be a concubine, and, honestly, I agree with that. Now, don't get me wrong," she said, her eyes shining with mischief. "There's nothing wrong with being a concubine-"

"Nothing wrong?" Hermione blurted. Was every pureblood this cavalier about the sexual enslavement of women?

"-especially when the man is as good as Harry," Daphne continued as if the interruption hadn't occurred. "But, in your case, it would be a tragic loss." Hermione just stared at her, lost for words. "You're very pretty, Hermione, but you're also the most gifted witch I know, and you're brave and kind and passionate about what you believe in. And, most importantly," she said, staring Hermione right in the eye, "you care deeply and genuinely about Harry. No, Hermione, I think you'd be better as a hetaera."

". . . a what?" Hermione asked weakly, giving up trying to understand what was going on in her friend's mind.

"A hetaera," Daphne answered. She pushed the book over to Hermione. It was Wives, Consorts, and Concubines. "My family owns a copy of this; I've been reading it since I was eight," she said with a small smile. Hermione decided not to comment on that. Daphne tapped the cover. "There's a chapter on hetaerae; chapter five, I think. I think you'll believe the book more than me."

Hermione took the book and opened its table of contents, not certain how she should feel about such a comment. She scanned the page:

Introduction, p. 1

Marriage: Husbands and Wives, p. 11

Marriage: Husbands and Consorts, p. 44

Concubines: Slaves or Pets, p. 82

Concubines: Hetaerae, p. 97

Group Dynamics: Balancing Relationships, p. 132

The Demands of Fatherhood, p. 153

Conclusion, p. 188

Some of the descriptions were . . . eyebrow raising, but Hermione decided to come back to those later, and flipped to page 97. The opening paragraph was . . . different than the last one.

The hetaera is a special kind of concubine; the title is Greek, and it is the Greeks who first invented the ritual of binding a hetaera to a man and his family. However, there is evidence that previous civilizations often had a specific class of concubine who, although under the same binding as her fellows was treated differently and provided her master(s) with more than just sexual pleasure. For that is what it means to be a hetaera. She serves her master sexually, yes, and may indeed bare his heirs if his wife is not able to do so, but she also pleases his mind. Hetaerae sing and dance, recite—sometimes even compose poetry, and speak with their masters about current events and politics. A hetaera is an entertainer and a comforter, an advisor and a confidant.

If one compares the binding rituals for an ordinary concubine and a hetaera, one will notice . . .

It then went into the nature of the ritual; while it did make reference to the "standard" ritual for binding a concubine (presumably discussed in the previous chapter) Hermione could discern what the author was talking about. There were apparently two parts to the ritual. First was an incantation spoken allowed by the "master" with the "slave-to-be" replying. Secondly was "the physical acts" (she had to turn to the next page to read this part)—oh! . . . oh, dear. The next section included an illustration—an enchanted, moving illustration—along with a very detaileddescription of what "the physical acts" were.

"I'd skip to the end of the chapter if I were you," Daphne breathed into her ear. Hermione jumped a little again, but this time, avoided hitting heads with her friend; it was amazing how the other girl could just sneak up on her at will. Daphne took no notice of her, however, merely gesturing at the book. There was a giant smile on her face.

Hermione frowned, but did as Daphne suggested. The last page was only a few sentences,

To say that a master always loves, truly loves, his hetaera(e)is, of course, an overstatement. It is true that hetaerae usually enjoy closer relationships with their masters than all too many wives. However, this does not preclude feels of friendship from existing between a wife and a hetaera or even a standard concubine. In fact, the ideal relationship in a magical family is one of harmony between all partners, which is discussion of the next chapter.

Hermione reread the paragraph. Then, she looked at Daphne; she opened her mouth to ask a question, but, before she could-

"Miss Granger!" Professor McGonagall called. "Miss Granger!"

Hermione jumped up, slamming the book in front of her shut. The professor wasn't on top of them yet; no need to let her know what the two of them had been reading. She got out of her chair and turned to go in the direction of the elderly witch's voice. She couldn't make it past Daphne, though.

Her blond friend snapped out her hand, holding her for five seconds. Daphne whispered into her ear, "We'll talk more later," then kissed her on the cheek. Hermione stood stone still with a blush on her face, staring at her friend . . . until the professor called her name again. Then, she took off like a spell.

"Professor!" she cried, almost running the other woman over.

The older woman still jumped a little. "Goodness, Miss Granger, I would expect that I shouldn't have to tell you not to run in the Library."

Hermione's blushed deepened at the scolding, which was perhaps beneficial to her goal of staying incognito on the subject of her latest "research project." "I'm, Professor. It won't happen again."

McGonagall nodded. "That's good to hear. Now then , Professor Dumbledore has asked to see you."

Hermione squeaked a little. "He wants to see me, but why?"

McGonagall shrugged. "I don't know, but I presume it has something to do with . . . recent events. Come with me, please."

Hermione nodded and followed her.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Good afternoon, Miss Granger," Dumbledore said, unwrapping a candy. "Can I interest you in a lemon drop?"

"No thank you, sir," the young witch said. She was sitting across from him at his desk, trembling. Had he called her hear to-

"Very well," he said, popping the treat into his mouth. "Miss Granger, Harry saved your life last night, correct?" She nodded. "A very good thing, he did—a very selfless thing. Hermione, you may be unaware of this, but, because he saved your life, you owe young Harry a tremendous debt."

"A Life Debt," Hermione whispered.

Dumbledore's eyebrows rose. "Where did you hear that phrase, my dear?"

Hermione blushed, but answered, "Some of my friends were talking about it, sir." For some reason, she decided against saying that it was Parvati who had revealed her situation to her.

Dumbledore stared at her in silence for a moment, then asked, "And what else did they tell you, my dear?"

Hermione blushed and lowered her head. "That I'd never be able to repay him."

Dumbledore nodded. "Yes, there really is nothing that can equal saving a life, except, perhaps, saving more lives . . ." Hermione looked up, and saw that the headmaster was no longer looking at her; he was leaning back in his chair, staring off into the distance. She had to wonder, just how old was he? He had fought the Dark Lord Grendelwald in 1945, forty-six years ago. For some reason, she had never read anything hinting at his life before that. But, then he sighed and turned back to her, "However, I think I know how you can partially repay him."

Hermione sucked in her breath, "How?" Would he tell she would have to become Harry's concubine or hetaera?

"Hermione, my dear," Dumbledore said, again looking her in the eye, "did Harry ever tell you that his father was well known for his talents at . . . finding trouble?"

Hermione shook her head slowly. "No, Harry mostly only talks about his mother."

Dumbledore shrugged a little. "Understandable. She is the only parent he knows, but, I assure you, Miss Granger, it is true. James Potter never could go long without finding himself in one predicament or another. A life-style, I fear, Harry may be falling into."

Hermione nodded, and the old wizard continued. "Hermione, I think it would be prudent for you to keep an eye on young Harry for me."

Hermione actually jumped a little in her seat. "You want me to spy on Harry?" How could he . . .?

Dumbledore shook his head, "I would never ask you to betray your friend, Miss Hermione. But, you must admit, noble as rescuing you from the Troll was, it was not in any way safe." When the young witch didn't respond, he continued, "I'm not asking you to spy on Harry, my dear, just to . . . watch out for your friend."

"I'll . . ." Hermione struggled. "I'll think about it, Professor."

Dumbledore nodded, then leaned back in his chair. "Thank you, Miss Granger, that's all I ask."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dumbledore looked out the window of his office. Through it, he could see out over the Grounds. It looked like Fawkes, his phoenix, was playing with the Threastrals. Perhaps he should have used a Confundus Charm on Miss Granger, but he dismissed that notion almost immediately. Compulsions only worked for a short period of time, before the victim broke through them. He could reapply, of course, but that would raise suspicion. Besides, compelling someone to do something rarely yielded equal or better results than getting their voluntary cooperation; both victims of the Imperious Curse and those under the effects of the Confundus Charm were unable to act on their own and followed instructions without deviation or addition. On top of all that, fiddling around with people's heads, especially a child's, was . . . hazardous.

No, Dumbledore had long ago reconciled himself, more or less, to the fact that young Harry had to die for the Greater Good, but he didn't want any more unnecessary suffering than there already had been. Right now, doing any damage to Harrry's Muggleborn friend counted in that category.

She'll suffer anyway, he thought. There was no helping that, Harry's death wouldn't be just a blow to the boy himself, everyone who ever had or would befriend the Potter heir would mourn his death . . . along with his mother.

Dumbledore frowned at that, his mother . . . For the past nine-and-a-half years, Professor Dumbledore had been wondering just how the woman had survived what he had deemed to be an inescapable death trap. Publically, he explained it as the result of James' sacrifice. That wasn't entirely implausible; it was known amongst a few elite scholars of Sorcery, the study of magic itself, that an act of sacrifice tended to have nasty effects on those who practiced the Dark Arts, but James' actions seemed too indirect, battling a powerful foe to allow your loved ones to escape was not enough to have destroyed Voldemort, Voldemort: the most powerful Dark Lord he had ever encountered . . . that was a little harder to believe. And then, there was the other question, the crux of the whole dilemma, or rather, the Horcrux. He had had young Harry secretly examined, and it had confirmed what he'd suspected since that Halloween night: Harry's scar carried within it a piece of Voldemort's soul. There was no way the mutated and corrupted wizard could be permanently defeated until that fragment of his soul was destroyed, and, regrettably, the only way to do that was to destroy its container, Harry.

Harry, therefore, had to die, sadly, but what confused Dumbledore was the fact that Lily and her young daughter, Daisy, were both completely untainted by such foul magicks. Dumbledore had been certain that Lily would have been infected with a fragment of soul just as Harry had, but, when he had arranged for another Healer to examine her during a routine check-up, he had discovered that he had been wrong. He had then moved to have her newborn daughter examined, theorizing that the soul fragment had infected the child in the womb. It made sense, in a way: both Harry and Daisy had been young and thus had fewer defenses, both mental and magical; the piece of Voldemort's soul that had hypothetically infected Lily could have latched onto the still developing Daisy instead of her mother. Yet, when the Healer delivered her results, Daisy Potter had proven negative for a foreign spiritual presence.

He had been unable to explain it (although, he suspected it was somehow connected to whatever it was that had saved Lily's, and thus Daisy's, life), but, in the end, he had decided to stop worrying about it so much and just be thankful he wouldn't have to kill them too. He'd have enough to answer for when he left this world without adding their deaths to the list.

On that note, he decided, turning back to his desk, it was time to get back to the work of damning himself to save the rest of the world. A special relic had arrived earlier this morning, and it was time to put to good use.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[*Well, I hope that was worth the wait. Sorry that it was so "text heavy" but, hopefully there will be more action in the next chapter. Also, Harry will actually show up in the next chapter. Promise.

Author's Note: OK, lots of stuff happening here. Firstly, I know that the Patils are usually written as Hindu, but, as far as I could tell, Rowling herself never made any comment on their religion. India has people of many religions, and Islam is the second most popular after Hinduism, so I thought "What they heck, why not?" Unfortunately, I have been informed way too often on Fanfiction that this doesn't work. So, I'm making a modification to my original plans. Notice, if you willl, Parvati was the only one of the four members of the nuclear Patil family (Padma, Parvati, and their parents) whose religion has been revealed.
Secondly, I hope this explains more about Dumbledore. I'm not all together fond of the trope of making him out as "Voldemort with a beard." He's a genuinely good man who does bad things because he thinks they are necessary, and he feels real remorse over it, which is more the pity.

All Right, If You Want To Read It, Here's The List (In No Particular Order):
1. Daphne Greengrass
2. Hermione Granger
3. Parvati Patil
4. Padma Patil
5. Luna Lovegood
6. Tracy Davis
7. Ginny Weasley
8. Susan Bones
9. Gabrielle Delacour
10. Katie Bell
<<
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