Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harem of honeys

chap 3

by GOLDJMW 1 review

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Humor,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione,Padma - Published: 2013-10-26 - 37036 words

4TrainWreck
Harry Potter and the Harem of Honeys

Chapter Eight

Where the place?

At precisely six pm on the 27th of December 1991, Harry led Hermione out of the giant fireplace in the McNairs' country home near Wood Norton. Eliza moved to stand at Harry's left. Harry looked directly into Lincoln McNair's eyes and offered his hand. "Harry Potter, my lord. It's an honor to meet you. This is Hermione Granger."

Lincoln shook Harry's hand firmly. "Lord Potter, Lady Potter. My wife Marilyn, Lady McNair. You've more than met my daughter, I see."

Harry grimaced slightly. "So that Hermione Granger thing didn't work at all?"

Marilyn and Lincoln laughed. "No, Lord Potter. We see the rings you both wear. We intend you no harm and never have. Despite my misguided younger brother."

Marilyn rolled her eyes and stepped up to Hermione and took her arm. "Come along, dear, he's started early. They'll be discussing wizards, then magic, and then dueling for a while. Terribly sorry, it's the Slytherin in him, you see—all that testosterone ruins the subtle. I'm for some tea."

Hermione followed and was led to the sitting room of the very fine mansion to undergo her own test of witches, magic, and dueling. It was probably more vicious than what Harry was going through, only held on a different field.

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Lincoln eyed Harry as he led him to the study. "So, my Eliza, then?"

Harry smiled. "She's a fine witch, sir."

"I know—and in private call me Lincoln, Harry. I wonder how powerful you are, though? In the event of my demise, my worthless brother will move to take the house from her; he will no doubt use her to do it. Take her in marriage or bind her in a marriage to one of his cronies. Can you prevent it?"

Harry considered. "And I'm Harry. I could take her to wife, I could take her as a ward and the house as a vassal house, or I could just kill your brother."

"A fully mature and trained wizard? We'll see. As for the others, you are correct. It would be better to have a contract in place. We can write it so you and she both must agree or decline in the presence of witnesses, and only after being checked for the Imperius or other potions and enchantments."

Harry sighed. "I'd rather not hurt you. I don't see why that type of contract wouldn't work, Lincoln."

"Hurt me, Harry? It will work. I've had my solicitor draw one up." Lincoln handed the contract to Harry.

As Harry read it he replied, "I have what the witches tell me are very advanced skills for a student, Lincoln. I read a lot. I'd like Hermione to look this over, my solicitor as well."

"Do you read about Dark magic, Harry? Yes, I thought you might. We have some time. Walden has recently had a few setbacks and is in no position to threaten right now."

"I take the position that it's the intent that is 'light' or 'dark', if you will. I realize that some of the 'dark' magics can be addictive and harmful to the caster and I lean away from those, but there are situations in which all but a very few of them could be useful. Those magics that cause harm just for the sake of causing harm don't interest me much."

Lincoln narrowed his eyes. "That's not very child-like of you, Harry."

"Or it's very child-like if you ask the witches. They say I see the world in black and white."

"Ha! Yes they would. Let's go duel a little." Lincoln rose and led Harry to a dueling room.

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Marilyn, meanwhile, was finding Hermione to be frighteningly intelligent and minimally skilled in the social graces. The witch had gracefully acted as mother and could converse on almost any topic. The only place she fell down was in the requisite discussion of children. She was pretty enough, no sign of the overlarge front teeth Eliza had mentioned them fixing.

"Really, Hermione, you have to at least fake an interest in the spawn of the hag you're speaking with. Mostly they're little monsters, but one must observe the conventions; besides, they're an endless source of ammunition for little digs. Properly trained, yours will be both intelligent and powerful and will display your dominance."

"I was never comfortable around children, Lady McNair. Even now, at Hogwarts I get along with the older students and Professors better than my classmates—except Harry, of course."

"Marilyn, Hermione—and of course you do, dear. Now, however, you are entering a different world. Allowances will be made for your age, but unfortunately the other matriarchs will also expect to dominate you easily because of it. Obviously you won't be having children soon, so the witches in your coven must fill that role. You'll need to seek the best possible matches for them and they will need to be all they can possibly be."

Hermione sighed. "What if I don't want to play this game?"

Marilyn laughed. "With your Harry that might be possible, but we know the female of the species, Hermione. You'll always have to play on some level, unless you change your sex, dear."

The mansion shook slightly and Hermione looked up in alarm. Marilyn sighed. "Well, they moved fast. Don't worry, Hermione. Lincoln won't hurt him badly."

The house shook violently and Hermione leapt to her feet. "I wasn't worried about Harry, Marilyn. Lincoln is in danger, though. Harry gets carried away sometimes. That last was him imitating whatever Lincoln just did."

Marilyn blinked and stood. The earthquake charm was Lincoln's favorite, but that first shake was as hard as he could cast it. If the second was Harry, Lincoln could be in trouble. "Let's go interrupt them before someone gets hurt, then." She quickly led the way to the dueling room.

The witches opened the doors and gaped. Lincoln McNair was stuck to the wall with his robes ripped and singed, laughing like a maniac. Harry was standing on the floor, unruffled, spinning his wand slowly and smiling.

"Harry James Potter!"

"Lincoln Wesley McNair!"

The wizards looked at each other, then simultaneously replied, "What?"

Eliza chuckled. "Jinx."

Hermione and Marilyn turned on her and she wilted back into the hall.

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Harry and Hermione arrived back home laughing. Poor Eliza. They would have to do something special for her. Her father owed her big, too. Hermione was carrying the contract for Eliza after having fought off Marilyn's attempts to revise it so that Harry could have Eliza right now for free as long as he didn't let her come back. Harry and Lincoln had thought that a little harsh and Marilyn had taken them under fire, too, with Hermione's support. Harry scratching his head and complaining about it had only made it worse. "Lincoln wasn't hurt." Indeed. Never mind all those fires that had to be put out!

It had all worked out and Harry had left another wizard wishing he was actually his son instead of a potential son-in-law. Hermione had gained another surrogate mother, or perhaps favorite aunt. The only fly in the ointment was Marilyn's anger with Eliza because Harry and Lincoln supported her in her "It's all good fun between wizards" view.

From his position in the Grangers' lounge, Dan looked over the top of his paper at the kids coming up through the trunk. "So—another success, then?"

Harry nodded. "I believe so."

Hermione nodded along and went to find her mother. She wanted to discuss this matriarch dominance thing.

Emma smiled, hugged and kissed Hermione, and listened, rolling her eyes. "Gods yes, these women who don't work are the very worst. They have to prove their self-worth and gain a place in society, and all they have to do it with is their husband, children, and looks. Well, their house, too, but you have an enormous castle—who could beat that? Sorry, sweetie it's the nature of the beast. Nothing saying you can't do it all, though. I mean, look at me. I have a great husband and daughter and a spectacular son-in-law. The house certainly isn't a castle, but it's above the eightieth percentile."

Hermione arched a brow at her mum. She got a laugh back. "Just because I'm your mother, Hermione, doesn't mean I'm dead, and I am a woman. We compete; it's what we do."

Hermione snorted. "I noticed."

"Listen, missy, just because you batted a century at twelve doesn't change the world."

"Cricket references, Mum? Are you all right?"

Emma had to laugh.

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The following morning, Tuesday the twenty-eighth of December, Harry awoke at five buried in someone's throat and with someone spooned up behind him. He lay there taking in the sensations of the excellently performed oral sex until his brain came awake enough to realize where he was. He started awake and tried to sit up but Hermione, spooned in behind him and watching Padma Patil suck Harry off, held him down gently. "Shhh. It's fine, she came through my trunk. Mum and Dad are still asleep and I charmed the door. Relax."

Padma looked up at Harry and slowly, so, so slowly, pushed herself down his cock, never breaking eye contact. Harry drew in a sharp breath and released in her throat. Padma grunted and sucked harder. Harry pulled Padma up his front, but before he could kiss her Hermione leaned across him and captured her lips. Harry rolled and pulled Padma under him and she wrapped her legs around his waist. Harry found himself at Padma's entrance and pushed. Padma grunted and squirmed, but Hermione held her head and kept her lock on her lips. Padma grunted some more and wriggled into a better position, pulling her hips down as Harry withdrew. When he pushed down she thrust up and he ripped her hymen away. Padma screamed into Hermione's mouth and Harry froze. Hermione broke contact with Padma's lips. "Oh gods, it's fun ripping the virginity away from you witches."

Padma grunted and then moaned as Hermione and Harry licked the tears from her face. She moved again, and she and Harry established a nice rhythm. Hermione latched onto a nipple when Harry beat her back to those now bee-stung lips. Padma thrashed as her first coital orgasm took her and Harry continued to drive her right through it, extending its length and depth. Hermione's roaming hands wandered to Padma's other breast and her sex, and she worked two fingers into her on top of Harry. She pulled Harry's trick and felt for and found Padma's G-spot.

Harry felt the fingers, which only further tightened an already nearly painfully tight Padma, and kept his rhythm slow and deep. Padma felt the nearly irresistible urge to pee and then suddenly her world exploded. Just as it did, Hermione put her thumb on Padma's clit and squeezed the thumb and two fingers together, simultaneously pinching one nipple and biting the other. Harry came in Padma at the same time and she screamed mindlessly into his mouth for one whole breath and then another and another. Then she passed out.

Harry unclenched from Padma and withdrew. Hermione pulled him to her entrance by his cock and shoved him into herself with her legs around his waist. As he lay panting she thrust and withdrew, thoroughly shagging herself on him until he recovered enough to take up a rhythm. Padma regained consciousness and returned the finger and thumb favor on Hermione and she, too, experienced a moment of unconsciousness. Hermione woke to find Padma licking Harry clean and joined her.

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The trio showed up for PT at six-thirty and got catcalls and whistles. Neither Padma nor Hermione cared.

Later, down in the pool, Harry sat grinning broadly. He just couldn't stop. Ella snickered. "Damn, Padma, that must be some good pussy. Look what you did to Harry!"

Padma grinned and blushed. Hermione smiled. "It is! You should try it sometime."

"Hey! Quit giving away my sister, Hermione!"

Emma rolled her eyes. "Crazy bints. Harry, that package we got from Fawkes on Christmas has no charms on the outside. We're ready to open it. Also that stone is, we think, a Philosopher's Stone. The only person we know of who had one or was rumored to have one is Nicholas Flamel. We have a letter to him prepared and would like you to read it."

Harry nodded. It was a great Christmas holiday so far, and the little mysteries were clearing up nicely. This afternoon was tea with Susan, and other than that just mundane stuff. Good. He needed some rest after this morning.

Susan swam to Harry and crawled into his lap. Harry chuckled; no rest for the not-weary, it seemed. How odd was it that every time a girl touched him he got a hard-on?

Susan sank down and sighed. After a few moments she wriggled, shuddered, and Harry rocked into her gently. "Thank you, Harry."

Harry shook his head and kissed her, wrapping his arms around her. "No, thank you. I wish you all could feel how it feels to be inside you."

Susan grinned. "No more than we want you to feel what we feel with you inside us, Harry. So what are your plans for the day?"

Harry adopted a thinking pose. "I think I'll make you come, then I'm going to fill your belly. Then I believe I'll go to the library and read this letter and look at the package, and after that I'm going to find someone to nap with until I have to get ready to go to your house." Harry thrust more quickly and Susan groaned and leaned forward, resting her head on his shoulder.

"Again, you mean. Good plan, though."

Daphne huffed. "Only because you're occupying the lap right now."

Tracey pulled her down onto a step. "Shhhh. Here, I'll keep you busy and distracted."

"Trammmph."

The others chuckled as Tracey put her money where her mouth was—Daphne's mouth, too.

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A bit later Harry was up in the library reading the letter. "Emma, this doesn't even really say we found the Stone. It just asks him for a physical description of it?"

"Well, yeah, Harry. We don't want to be fighting him off. He and his wife are supposedly six hundred years old. They've probably forgotten more magic than we'll ever know. We just want to confirm it's his before we return it."

Eliza growled. "Finders keepers, I say."

Harry frowned. "It's not ours, Eliza; that would be wrong. How would you feel if Hermione didn't share and didn't push me to?"

"Grrrr."

Harry rolled his eyes and signed the letter. Emma snatched it and sent it off with Hedwig. Hedwig was a much happier owl when delivering something for Harry, though she still refused to sit in the Owlery. If Harry was out of class, she was somewhere near him. He turned to the package, which was wrapped in plain brown paper. Harry drew a breath and opened it. A silvery pile of fabric spilled out.

James yelled from his painting, "Hey, where'd that come from? That looks like my Invisibility Cloak. Look inside the collar, Harry. No, flip it up and look inside."

Harry looked and found "Property of James Potter" embroidered in what was apparently demiguise hair.

"What'd the note say, Harry? Let me see it."

Harry held the paper up to James. James read, "This has been in my possession for some time. It is time it was returned to its true owner. Use it well." James frowned. "Dumbledore had this and that's his writing, but why would he send it back to you now, Harry?"

Millicent suddenly sat up. "Fawkes betrayed Dumbledore—well, maybe not betrayed, he is a Phoenix after all—intentionally disobeyed, maybe. Dumbledore probably told him to bring the cloak to his owner and Fawkes did exactly that. I bet Dumbledore intended this cloak for Neville Longbottom.

"Harry, where did you find that Stone? In a mirror in an unguarded classroom? Why would it be there? Dumbledore's up to something."

The group stilled in thought after Millicent drifted into silence but no answers came to them. They lacked some pieces of the puzzle, crucial pieces.

Lisa threw up her hands. "We need more information; we can't do anything about this right now. Not to change the subject, Harry, but I think we should give Mr. Filch one of the dial-a-spells. It would help him with his work and we could find out if it worked for other people besides us."

Daphne nodded. "It would also put him in our debt. It wouldn't hurt to have him on our side, especially considering how much time we spend in broom closets."

Harry nodded. "I want to take some safety equipment back with us for Potions and Herbology, too, safety glasses at least. I can't believe these people don't use even basic safety gear."

Eliza snorted. "Snape will have a fit."

Harry shrugged. "Let him. I'll start pushing the Board, too. If I have to I can always just order it and the rules will record it. I know we don't want it known yet, but I won't have people injured when it's preventable. Especially one of you all."

Elizabeth Hutchins suddenly asked out of the clear blue, "Lycanthropy is transmitted by a bite, right? So it's a virus or bacteria. Why can't it be vaccinated against? I mean, we couldn't cure the already infected but maybe we can vaccinate those who don't have it."

Hermione blinked. "Uh, we aren't exactly equipped for that work, physically or mentally."

Elizabeth smiled. "Yet, Hermione. We do have some former squaddies in university, though, and we will be eventually. It's worth taking a look at. Besides, we can get some samples from Remus."

Lily called out from her painting, "I'll help. I can't believe I didn't think of that before. Why couldn't we cure the already infected too? I've been hearing about potential anti-viral agents, like antibiotics for bacteria. If we can isolate the pathogen we should be able to cure it."

Harry relaxed and went back to thinking with his eyes closed and breathing deeply while the girls discussed this with Lily. Padma smiled and whispered to Hermione, "We wore him out."

Parvati gave her a shove. "With help, missy!"

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At two Harry stepped out of the Floo at the Bones' manor with Hermione on his arm. Amelia stepped in to him and kissed him. "Hello, Harry." She introduced him to assorted cousins, aunts, uncles, and one parent.

The afternoon passed in a genial fashion around a marvelous high tea. The Boneses were fully on board with the Potters, so this was a relaxing afternoon for Harry. Well, until Amelia pulled Harry into her study. "Harry, I'm taking a great risk for Sirius Black. I may need some protection."

Harry growled. "Anything you want, Amelia, you know that." He was only partially playing. She might have gray hair and a monocle, but she was hot: nice tight body, well flared hips, a face like Susan's—yikes, what the hell was he thinking?

Amelia shivered. "Be careful, Harry, I might take you up on that," she purred.

Harry smiled. "Oh, really?" He scooted closer on the leather couch they were sitting on and took her left hand.

Amelia gasped. "Harry, stop! I haven't got a contract, and if you keep on I'll do something. How do you do this? You're eleven! Phht, why am I responding to you?" Harry just grinned. Amelia took her hand back and shook her head. "Well, now that we've thoroughly clouded the issue with sex, I was really thinking that you might have to occupy your seat on the Wizengamot."

"No need for it to be cloudy, Amelia. You're a very interesting, handsome witch. I'd be glad to spend almost any amount of time with you and I would love to see what you could teach me, not least of all what you look like in orgasm. As to the other, not unless we can't avoid it. I know you're crucial to us remaining hidden, among other things, so we have to protect you; but the objective is for us to remain hidden as long as possible."

Amelia groaned. "Tease. You've been around far too many witches, Harry. I'm old enough to be your mother and you still affect me. Oh, put those eyes away—and yes, I understand. We won't expose you unless it's crucial. Now let me go find Hermione. I have to talk contracts." She threw Harry a saucy wink as he handed her from her seat.

Harry's face was a study. He couldn't work out whether they'd been teasing or not; he thought they had been, but Amelia was going to talk contracts? Hey, wait a minute! Harry charged into the hall and met a sparkling peal of laughter from Amelia, who was leaning up against the wall. "In a few years maybe, Harry, if you're still interested."

"Uh, you know, I—uh—"

Amelia laughed again.

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On the morning of Thursday the second of January 1992, sometime before five a.m., Harry's eyes opened to the now usual feeling of someone giving him a hell of a blow job. He looked down and smiled at the tiny Su Li. He reached down and literally picked her up and spun her with his hands, parking her on his face. Su squealed in protest and crawled down his body in pursuit of the prize that had popped loose from her mouth due to her short stature. Harry growled and lifted his head. Hermione shoved pillows in behind his head and he settled, just able to reach Su's folds with his tongue.

They were in the master bedroom of Potter castle, Hermione's parents having accepted her as Harry's wife.

Lisa Turpin watched in amazement as Harry grew in length and forced Su back toward his face. He had to be using magic; he hadn't stuffed a literal foot of cock in her yesterday! Well, she didn't think he had, although it was a very full feeling when he pressed into you; deliciously and painfully so. Anyway, over the last week he hadn't been this big for sure when he destroyed Susan, Morag, Mandy, and anyone else who came within reach.

Her thoughts turned. Were they, as Madam Bones had intimated, using Harry? Well, yes, there was no doubt of that, but he seemed to be enjoying it. He and Hermione were very content to be using each and every one of them to learn more about pleasuring each other. Sure, it might not last, but that was okay, too. They had the plan and Hermione would be read in on the first pregnancy. Not that she didn't know already; it was just one of those things that wasn't discussed. The older witches and Squibs had to come up with their cover wizards and then Harry could start pumping babies out of them—or they out of him, rather; whichever.

Oh, gods, look how much cock Su can fit in her! Why isn't that coming out of her throat?

Harry had leant up and was feeling Su's very firm belly. Lisa watched his amazed face as he felt his cock deep in Su and giggled. He could be such a goof. That was very sexy, though, especially as instead of a pained look Su wore that smug, contented little face. Lisa clapped her hands to her ears as Harry came and Su screamed.

Lisa let Harry hold Su for a moment, then pushed her over and took her place. "Good morning, Harry."

Harry smiled. "Yes, very good so far...unless you're Su, of course."

Lisa sniffed. "She was noisy; serves her right."

"Lisa!"

"Shhhh. Less talking, more shagging. Harry, what are you doing? Those are hardly worth paying attention to yet—oh, my!"

Harry smiled around a mouthful of young breast with its pencil-eraser nipple and flicked his stiffened tongue harder before nibbling gently. At the same time he concentrated and filled Lisa to near bursting. Lisa squealed and twisted as his swollen member applied pressure to every nerve ending in her vagina, and then as he reached down and pulled her securely to him and his pubic bone crushed her clit in its hood she jerked and came, hard.

Lisa lay bonelessly in his arms, recovering. She looked up at Harry and asked, "How do you do that?"

"What, Lisa?"

The others, now awake, listened attentively. "Stuff a foot of cock in Su and then fill me to bursting. I can hold more than she can, at least girth-wise. She's so tight you can barely get a finger in her. She should be bleeding to death right now from you shredding her with that monster you stuffed in her."

Harry looked puzzled. "Don't know. I thought it was supposed to grow."

"Not past a certain point, Harry, and it shouldn't shrink when it's hard as a steel bar."

Nym had sat up by now. "Lisa, get up."

Lisa blushed. "I can't. He's swollen hugely inside me. I have to wait until he shrinks a little."

It suddenly dawned on the others that they had been "tied" to Harry too. He had to shrink some before he could pull out of them. Nym grinned. "Harry, get out of Lisa. I want to see something."

Harry looked around in frustration and then concentrated. He shrank in girth and Lisa lifted off of him, leaving a string of come connecting her to Harry. Marjorie Paling, a soft-looking bubbly blonde of the Squib Squad, pushed her over and licked Harry and then Lisa clean. Nym watched for a moment and then shook her head. "Harry, close your eyes and remember what you felt like inside Lisa."

Harry closed his eyes and concentrated; he was trying, but it just didn't seem to be working. Lisa leant up and said, "I remember, Harry. I was so hot and wet. You were inside me and I was totally full. Remember? My warm, wet walls around you so tight. It felt so good."

Lisa looked down and was amazed. Harry had grown to a funnel shape about six inches from base to tip, a couple of inches around at the base but rapidly expanding to maybe four inches in diameter. As she watched, lumps and bumps arose on him. "Yes, that's it, Harry—just like you filled me, touching every spot in me."

The girls watched in amazement as a Lisa-tailored tickler grew from Harry. Lisa reached down and rubbed the bumps and ridges gently. Nym smiled hugely. "Harry, have you ever made any other changes to your body?"

"Huh?" Harry opened his eyes and looked down. His cock returned rapidly to normal. Lisa sighed but kept her grip on his now normal seven-inch-long hard shaft. "Wow! How'd you do that, Lisa?"

"It wasn't me, Harry."

Nym was bouncing on her heels, very distracting with her breasts shifting like that. "Harry! Have you ever changed anything else?"

"Uh, no, Nym, I don't think so."

Joan Stearns, a brunette, pixie-like Squib, snorted. "Your hair, Harry. His idiot aunt cut it all off one day, Nym. He grew it back by the morning."

Nym nodded. "Metamorph like me, then. I'll work with you, Harry."

Daphne burst out, "Please don't change him. That cock is magic!" She clapped her hands to her mouth.

Tracey rolled her eyes. "You 'orrible slut!"

Harry watched, bemused, as the morning wrestling match got under way.

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Later Harry was sitting in the study laughing with his dad when Dan Granger came in. "Harry, what the hell did you do to the girls? It's some kind of estrogen fest out there." He nodded toward the sitting room.

Harry shrugged. "One minute they were fine. The next they were being curious about something." He blushed. "And then they were play-fighting and name-calling. I left."

Dan and James nodded.

Harry chuckled. "Dan, why are we doing this in Crawley—well, West Sussex—instead of Surrey?"

"Because I have a very good friend who is a very good solicitor, Harry. It's really a formality anyway. Well, besides your case being elevated to the family division of the high court as you're seeking emancipation at such a young age. The judge has read the briefs. The Dursleys have released custody. You have to speak with the judge, but as long as you're yourself you should be at least emancipated and placed under Emma's and my nominal supervision."

Harry looked nervous. "Yes, so the solicitor has said."

James looked at Harry. "Son, you have thirty-six girls and an untold number of their female relations in love with you, and you're worried about court? I think we need to discuss your priorities. The courts may be your only friend if you piss one of them off."

Dan tried to hold it in, he really did, but he just couldn't. Harry's face was truly priceless. Harry pouted as Dan and James laughed.

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The Honorable Mrs. Justice Baron, DBE, looked at the clock and blew at her bangs. On paper she had an amazingly mature eleven-year-old seeking to be emancipated and live on his own. This eleven-year-old had the fiscal means to do it and apparently the life skills. But what was driving this? Why would an eleven-year-old wish to leave his home? And this note from the Garter Principal King of Arms—how the hell did Conrad even know this case was on the docket? And the boy was a Duke? Something smelled here, and it wasn't the kipper. Ah, well, up and at 'em, Jacqueline.

Jacqueline stood and made her way into the courtroom at precisely nine. She sat on the bench as the normal opening of court occurred and looked out at the room. Harry Potter was a handsome, messy-haired, green-eyed, rather tall boy, lean but not skinny, with large hands. The courtroom was surprisingly full of young women. Jacqueline, a keen observer of the species, noticed immediately that the young women were all oriented on Harry Potter.

Good God, that girl's hair must be a nightmare for her. Hmmm, she's obviously the ringleader; the others are splitting their attention between her and the Potter lad. All right, here we go. "Mr. Potter? Why should I grant this petition?"

Harry's solicitor's barrister rose. "If it please the justice…."

Jacqueline silenced him with a glance. "I asked you, Mr. Potter. I realize the normal formalities call for your barrister to answer; however, this is not a normal case. I would hear directly from you."

Harry stood. "Justice Baron, I've essentially been on my own since I started school. I'm independently wealthy and attend a boarding school. My relatives despise me and I loathe them. The Grangers have offered to assist and guide me and I would avail myself of their offer."

Jacqueline looked at him sharply. "So why don't I just grant them custody of you?"

Before Harry could speak Hermione had leapt to her feet. Jacqueline watched as the boy turned and the young girl with the problem hair opened her mouth, snapped it closed, and sank back into her seat. "That would unnecessarily complicate an already fraught situation, ma'am."

Jacqueline blinked. What kind of eleven-year-old used words like fraught? And in context, too. Apparently the tests ordered by the lower courts were right. This was an exceptional boy. So the girl was the Granger daughter and she had something with the lad, something important to them and more than as friends. So young, too; would she be condoning something? What were the Grangers thinking? "The remainder of this proceeding will be in camera. Bailiff, clear the room."

The bailiff looked around and saw only those who had come in with the Potter lad. He went and locked the door. Jacqueline grimaced. "All of you?"

Harry smiled. "Yes, ma'am."

Jacqueline shrugged. "I can take it if you can, Your Grace. Now, what the hell is going on here?"

Harry spread his hands. "My blood relatives are abusive and their son is a bully. I've been left to my own devices since I started primary school—before, even. At school I stopped my cousin Dudley and his gang from abusing kids. Along the way I gathered a group of friends." Harry indicated the girls. "I transferred to a special boarding school this year. At that school the bullying was worse. I stopped it there, too, and gathered the rest of this group." Harry stopped and rubbed his hand through his hair. "Due to some cultural peculiarities, Hermione Granger and I found ourselves—well, we're essentially married."

Jacqueline Baron sat back in her chair and sighed. "This boarding school is Hogwarts? Never mind. I'm granting your petition, Your Grace. I know we can't get into the details here. Please do be careful, however. I'll have nieces in that school in a few years, I believe. Ms Granger—beg pardon, Duchess Potter—you understand what you're doing?"

Hermione stood. "Yes, ma'am. As do all these wit—errh, girls."

Jacqueline nodded. "Good. All right, let's get back to the formalities and get you all back home." She turned to the barrister and solicitor, who had wisely kept silent. "No need to tell you gentlemen that what was said here stays here. I don't want to hear it at the bars in one of the inns."

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Andromeda and Ted Tonks looked at Harry and Nym. Andromeda sighed. "Seven years, Nymphadora, and you suddenly decide not only that you like wizards but you like a first year? Do you always have to be different, or is it just to drive me mad?"

Nym smiled cheekily. Harry cut her off. "She just has to be different, we think."

"Hey!"

Andromeda shook her head. "And you, Duchess Potter, you're okay with this?"

Hermione smiled and nodded. "Nym may find someone someday. Meanwhile we're happy."

Andromeda shook her head but smiled. "I wouldn't hold my breath, dear. She looks to have already found her male someone; you might get her oriented on a witch someday, though. Now, about the rest of the witches?"

Ted took this as his signal and stood. He motioned to Harry, who followed him out. They walked to Ted's study and Ted motioned Harry to a chair. "Okay, standard Dad stuff: hurt my daughter and I kill you, blah blah blah. Now that that's out of the way, what's really going on?"

Harry blinked. "Uh, well, Nym was getting harassed pretty hard. I stomped the crap out of a couple of boys who were harassing her. Next thing I know she and the others have come up with this sharing scheme. Hermione seems to be in charge by general consensus. They seem happy, so I leave it alone."

Ted laughed. "So you aren't interested in my daughter?"

Harry blushed. "Well, yeah, but not like that. Errrh, that's not right—yes, but only generally. Oh, bugger. I think she's a great girl—intelligent, pretty, funny. But I really only want Hermione, errh, like that. The others seem to be very determined, though, and well, I am a boy…."

Ted laughed hard. "And honest, too. You might not want to be quite so blunt with all the fathers, Harry."

Harry sighed and shrugged. "I can't really be any other way. I mean, you all know they signed contracts. I'm not going to give the gory details, but you have to know. You're all fathers, after all."

Ted thought about it for a minute and then nodded. "Drink, Harry?"

"I don't drink alcohol but I could murder a Coca Cola if you have one, sir."

"Ted, Harry. Good you don't drink, but I don't see that lasting." Harry nodded and Ted laughed again.

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On the morning of the third Harry woke with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio mounted cowgirl style. He raised a brow and shrank himself. Mary Elizabeth pouted. "Come on, Harry, you thought she was hot in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves! You shagged Emma bowlegged after we watched it."

Harry rolled his eyes. "What have I told you, Nym? If I want her, I'll go get her. If it's you around my cock, I want all of you."

Nym poked her tongue out at him but smiled and changed. Harry filled her completely as a reward and she leant forward and sighed. She wriggled slightly and then pushed herself up. "This is fine for the first one, but you need to go normal and shag me next. I want a good pounding."

Harry concentrated and moved some bumps and ridges around. "Not too demanding this morning, are we?"

"No, mmm, so nice, we are not."

Harry stopped talking and Nym wriggled and shuddered her way to a very nice climax. Then she got flipped over and shagged by what felt like a small horse. It tested her morphing skills. She loved it.

Hermione watched in amazement for a while then leant in and did her finger and thumb trick just as Harry released in Nym. Nym's world faded to black for a moment or two; she recovered in Harry and Hermione's embrace and the three of them snuggled back in. Tracey Davis sucked Harry awake at nine. They just made it to the Ministry on time.

Harry, wearing an obscuring charm, sat down in Courtroom Nine and watched as Sirius was brought out, put under Veritaserum, and questioned by Madam Bones. She was direct and wasted no time. After quickly reviewing the facts she asked him, "Are you a Death Eater?"

"No."

"Are you now or were you ever in the service of Thomas Marvolo Riddle, the half-blood wizard known as Lord Voldemort?"

The panel of the Wizengamot gasped. They forgot to be afraid with this bombshell bursting amongst them. You could barely hear Sirius answer, "No."

"Were you the Potter's Secret Keeper?"

"No, Peter was."

"Peter who?"

"Peter Pettigrew."

"So you did not betray the Potters' secret?"

"Couldn't—wouldn't, anyway."

"Did you kill Peter Pettigrew?"

"No. Rat cut off his finger. Blew up the street, killed those Muggles, and ran away down the sewer. I never got a curse off."

"Rat?"

"Peter is a rat Animagus. We called him Wormtail."

"We?"

"Marauders. James, Remus, and me. Well, Peter too, but not any more. Peter is a traitor. Just James, Remus, and me now."

Amelia paused. "You do know James Potter is dead?"

Sirius nodded and broke down crying.

Amelia frowned. "Give him the antidote. I would submit to the Wizengamot that we have held an innocent man for eleven years. As the head of the DMLE I am dropping all charges related to this matter except those pertaining to determining the source of this miscarriage of justice and determining the appropriate level of compensation for Lord Black."

Harry wanted to cheer but stayed quiet and watched Remus help Sirius out. Madam Bones watched them go and called the next case. "Prisoner number 1992437."

Two Aurors dragged in another hooded prisoner and thrust him into the chair in the dock. The chains on the chair snaked up and secured him rather than remaining quiescent as they had with Sirius. Madam Bones nodded and the hood was snatched off. Harry rolled his eyes as the Wizengamot gasped when Peter Pettigrew was revealed. Amelia nodded again and Pettigrew's head was jerked back and the Veritaserum administered. The next forty-five minutes of questioning revealed that Peter had betrayed the Potters and framed Sirius. It also revealed several low-level Death Eaters who Peter confirmed had in fact not been under the Imperius. Several of them had never been picked up, and the ones who had had used the Imperius excuse.

Madam Bones smiled viciously and a large Auror left with the list of names. Several arrests were made in the next few hours. This would lead to more and more arrests as the Death Eater house of cards was unraveled over the next few years by a very determined Hufflepuff. Amelia had always wanted a hobby. Harry would both celebrate and curse her dedication later in his life.

Peter was sentenced to life in Azkaban and was there before Harry made it to Millie's house at two.

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The fourth of January found Harry waking to a very pale face with very dark hair bobbing up and down over him. He smiled. It was nice that the girls had worked out this schedule of whoever was being visited waking him. Daphne came up out of the trunk and joined Pansy.

Later, in the library, James fretted. "So what makes us sure the Greengrasses and Parkinsons are going to go with this? Aidan wasn't exactly a pillar of light in school."

Lily rolled her eyes. "He wasn't Dark either, James. Charlotte was like him, fairly neutral, and they were both totally oriented on their families. Daphne has already expressed her disdain for the boys in her house and year, as have Tracey and Millicent. Pansy was glad to be out of the fray once Harry took care of Draco."

Andromeda nodded. "The Parkinsons will join us now, with Draco out of the running. Harry is in fact one of the most desirable matches remaining, even if she's not his first wife, or even a wife. Depending on what happens with Lucius, Peter might seek a permanent arrangement with Harry or let Pansy maintain Draco as cover. Aidan will be isolated if he doesn't come over to us. He won't do that, and neither will Charlotte. Neither will they go over to the Dark. Riddle has already proved that he's not exactly family-friendly."

James sighed. "So we've essentially boxed Aidan in. I don't like this."

Harry spoke up from his position in the stacks; the adults hadn't seen him enter. "I don't either. I'll tell Aidan the truth, as his daughter hopefully has. He, Charlotte, and Daphne will decide what they want to do. I already know Daphne's vote."

As the other adults gasped and jumped, Lily laughed. Daphne had walked up behind Harry, leading Pansy on a leash, and draped an arm around his waist. "Obviously, Harry. Daphne, take Pansy off that leash."

Pansy pouted and Lily rolled her eyes. "Not in public, dear."

Clarissa Bulstrode nodded. "That's right, Pansy, you know we have to maintain an image."

Pansy whined, "We're in Harry's castle. It's not like anyone can see us."

Hermione came in. "Pansy! What did I tell you?"

Pansy immediately took the leash from her collar and put it in an inside pocket of her robes, along with the collar. Daphne glared at her. "Sorry, Hermione, she never said."

Hermione nodded. "In the trunks is fine. Not out here, though, Daphne. Pansy, this isn't going to be a problem at school, is it?"

"No, Hermione, as long as we can use the trunks."

Hermione nodded "Everyone remember the schedule change, please. We have the Davises at noon—"

Lowell Davis cleared his throat. "You may delay us if you wish, Duchess Potter. After all, we are already 'read on', as it were."

Hermione made a moue. "But I want to talk to Sheryl!"

Harry and Lowell chuckled and nodded.

Harry handed Hermione into a seat and sat down next to her. Lowell said, "Fine, dear, I wouldn't dream of interrupting."

Sheryl Davis raised a brow. "Again, you mean, Lowell." This sally got a general chuckle. The adults took up the conversation again, but Harry barely paid attention. He knew they were talking out their fears and nervousness.

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At precisely two, Harry and Hermione stepped gracefully out of the Floo and found Peter and Louisa Parkinson waiting for them. Harry bowed. "Lord and Lady Parkinson, thank you for receiving us."

Peter replied, "Lord Potter, Lady Potter." He stopped for a moment. "This is damned odd." He laughed ruefully.

Harry nodded. "Yes, isn't it? I hadn't really thought of doing this ever, much less at eleven. Events, it seems, took their own course."

Louisa nodded. "As they are wont to do. Please come in. Pansy has told us a lot about you, but I fear it's all slanted toward making you out to be the best thing ever. Well, since Draco had his unfortunate accident." She looked very directly at Harry.

Hermione snorted. "We know that you know, Lady Parkinson. We've felt the weight of your discussions with Pansy."

Peter blushed slightly as they led Harry and Hermione into the sitting room of a very fine home. "Yes, well, sorry about that. We could have been more subtle, I suppose, but you're a complete unknown and you've done quite a bit of damage to the pure-bloods."

Harry shrugged. "They should have kept their hands and other bits to themselves."

Louisa blinked. "An admission so early? Even for a Gryffindor that's bold."

Harry smirked. "Let's get it out of the way early. I understand Pansy has told you she has a plan. You've remained neutral so far. I expect you to at least maintain that neutrality. I myself have no intention of declaring for the light or the Dark. I will fight to protect those I care about, and I hate a bully. Riddle appears to me to be a bully. Unfortunately for him, that will force me to take action eventually, but if he leaves me alone…."

Peter goggled. "Brave talk for a child. Lord Voldemort is immensely powerful and steeped in Dark magic."

"And is less than a ghost right now. Either I or Neville Longbottom disincorporated him when we were a little over a year old. Dumbledore is sharpening Longbottom—" Harry paused to allow the Parkinsons to recover from their laughter— "and I've been consciously practicing magic since the age of seven. Since I started school I've been practicing hard."

Louisa nodded. "Yes, we had been told that. You'll pardon us if we request a demonstration?"

Harry smiled. "At your leisure, Lord Parkinson."

Peter laughed. "Louisa is ready now." He stood and raised his wife. Harry automatically raised Hermione. Peter continued as he led them to a dueling room. "Louisa still competes. European champion last year, fifth year running."

Harry groaned. Louisa's peal of laughter filled the hall.

She wasn't laughing ten minutes later as Harry held a nearly opaque shield with his left hand and cast some kind of unknown magic with his right after she had quickly disarmed him.

Peter blinked in shock. The magic Harry was casting was raw and unfocused but stunningly powerful. He made to rise and found himself glued to his seat. "For your safety, my lord. Harry gets a little indiscriminate when pressed."

Peter turned his head and looked at the witch sitting next to him. "I will take exception if he hurts Louisa badly."

Hermione, watching the duel, replied, "Oh, he won't," out of the side of her mouth.

Peter turned to watch and flinched as a spear of magic blasted Louisa's shield to shreds and pinned her to the wall behind her. Whatever had stuck him down was lifted and he ran to Louisa as the silver magic finished playing over her body. She laughed ruefully.

Harry summoned his wand silently and it disappeared into his sleeve. He waved and Louisa lowered to the ground. She charged him, bright-eyed. "You have to teach me that!"

Harry smiled. "I'll try. Most of the girls have picked up quite a bit of it."

Louisa rounded on Hermione. "You can do that too?"

Hermione nodded, smiling. "Harry is a very good teacher. If you can let go of your dependence on a wand and remember how your 'accidental' magic felt, he can show you how to control it."

Louisa nodded. "You could win the Dueling Championship very easily, Harry."

Harry nodded. "For a few years, then someone would figure it out. Madam Bones and Remus Lupin give me a very hard time now as it is. I want to keep that ability hidden, though. I think it will help against people I need to take out. It always has."

Peter blinked. "And just who might you need to 'take out', Harry?"

Harry shrugged. "Draco found out how to get elected. So did the others I've stopped from hurting the girls or the other kids at school. I won't tolerate anyone messing with the girls, and I hate bullies."

Peter frowned. "I've read the reports and been in on a few discussions. They universally don't remember what happened."

"Neither will you if tonight goes badly." Peter looked into a deadly serious pair of burning green eyes.

Louisa laughed at Peter's pale face. "So you Obliviated them, Harry?"

"Yes. I didn't know that's what it was called, but I adjusted their memories, Lady Parkinson."

"Louisa, Harry. Wandlessly and silently, too, no doubt? You have beaten a werewolf and a Master Auror simultaneously also? And we tried to threaten you. My, my, weren't we overconfident!"

Harry shrugged. "I'm going with concerned for your daughter. After all, I did disrupt what had to be a carefully laid plan."

Louisa smiled and took his offered arm, gently steering Harry back to the sitting room. A stunned Peter offered Hermione his arm in turn and they followed. Louisa rolled her eyes. "Yes, you did, you little monster! You can't imagine what we had to put up with from Lucius Malfoy to get that plan in place. Now you'll have to repay us by taking care of Pansy."

Harry smiled. "I'd do that anyway."

Louisa looked at him. "You really would, wouldn't you? No matter who she was, if she asked for help, you'd give it."

Harry blushed. Peter looked at Hermione. "This isn't a dream, is it, Lady Potter?"

Hermione shook her head. "Hermione, Lord Parkinson, and no, it's not. He has a helping-people thing. Unless you try to hurt him, one of us, or someone else, he will happily help anyone."

"Peter, Hermione. What an odd boy."

Hermione smiled and nodded. "Very nice, though."

Peter could only nod and chuckle. Pansy was waiting for them in the sitting room and the afternoon passed pleasantly enough. Harry and Hermione stepped through the Floo to the Greengrass estate precisely at four. Louisa turned to Pansy.

"So what have you and the other pure-blood witches cooked up behind your mistress' back?"

Pansy looked at her mother with wide, innocent eyes. Peter snorted. "Don't even try it."

Pansy dropped her innocent act. "Nothing too heinous. She let us have those open-ended contracts, though, so most of us will find a cover wizard and have little Potters every chance we get. Fortunately Draco is now easy to control. I'll find him a wizard to play with and everything will be fine."

Louisa huffed. "It will not be. Lucius is steeped in Dark magic and has no spare. He'll already know Draco is infertile. House Potter will be required to give him an heir he can blood-adopt. Harry is going to have to spend significant time with Narcissa. She won't tolerate Hermione or the group of you."

Pansy nodded. "Hermione thought of that. There's a Muggle method—artificial insemination, they call it. Harry doesn't have to touch Narcissa."

Peter looked skeptical and Louisa laughed outright. "Narcissa Malfoy will not accept some Muggle touching her. Not only that, but she probably hasn't had sex since nine months before Draco was born. Lucius was already into the Dark arts in school and spent way too much time with wizards. If Draco wasn't such a little ponce I would doubt he was a Malfoy. Narcissa will want a shagging, or several hundred."

Pansy shrugged. "I don't think she can make Harry do it."

Peter grimaced. "The Wizengamot can. A finding for the Malfoys will be a binding magical contract."

Pansy worried her lower lip nervously. Louisa looked thoughtful. "Although with Lord Black freed and Harry's godfather, Lucius and Narcissa may have bigger fish to fry for a while. Sirius hates Lucius, and as Lord Black he can really hurt him by dissolving that marriage. I'm fairly certain the Blacks would have put several clauses in that contract that Lord Black could use to his advantage."

Peter nodded. "A letter to Lord Black, then."

Pansy told them, "Remus Lupin took him away after his court case. Harry hasn't even seen him yet. He looked awful."

Peter nodded. "Eleven years in Azkaban; it will be a wonder if he's sane."

Louisa laughed. "Yes, especially considering he wasn't to start with."

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Harry and Hermione spun to a stop and stepped out of the grate to face a stormy-looking Aidan Greengrass, who opened a duel with no preliminaries. Harry had him down in seconds. Daphne and Charlotte blinked and Charlotte dropped a curtsy. "Good evening, Lord Potter, welcome to our home. Please forgive Lord Greengrass. He has apparently lost his mind."

Harry and Hermione blinked as Daphne laughed. Harry Ennervated Aidan and was forced to shield and then stun him again. He raised a brow at Charlotte, who shrugged. "You're doing fine, Harry. Just keep going."

Harry rubbed his hand through his hair and looked at Aidan. Charlotte looked at Hermione. "Lady Potter, perhaps we could talk while the boys play?"

Hermione nodded and was led away. Harry Ennervated Aidan again and this time tried to talk to him as they dueled. "It's customary to warn a wizard, sir."

"Bah! Shouldn't be having sex with my daughter!"

"I agree. Perhaps you can talk to her about it?"

Aidan paused a moment and Harry lowered his wand. Aidan snapped off a silent Stunner and woke up again a moment later.

The ladies went into a sitting room. Charlotte waved at the wall and an image of the entry hall appeared on it. They watched and talked as the duel proceeded. "You'll have to forgive Aidan, Lady Potter. He's more than a little wrought-up over Daphne having sex with your lord."

"Hermione, Lady Greengrass. I understand, but he isn't going to get anywhere. Left alone, Harry would happily never touch anyone."

Daphne huffed. "I told you, Mother!"

Charlotte looked at her daughter. "Charlotte, Hermione. Why on earth are you all doing this, then? Especially you, Hermione. It's horribly dangerous. What if he decides he likes one of them more than you?"

Hermione nodded. "Believe me, I worry about it. He's rather fixated on me, though, and you can't imagine how school is. He did make me the matriarch, too. The unattached witches are preyed upon by the upper years. Harry stopped that, at least at the individual wizard level. Now he trains all the witches that come to him and we help train each other; but, well, magic being magic, they have to be claimed. Harry won't hurt them and they know it, so…."

Charlotte nodded. "We've warned the Board but they listen to Dumbledore, who doesn't seem to care, or Malfoy, who seems to think witches are only good for one thing." Hermione nodded and Charlotte continued, "So what are you going to do with them all when they decide they want to stay with Harry?"

Hermione smiled. "They think I don't know, but most of them do now. Half of them are finding cover wizards that are gay so they can marry them. The others are just hanging around. I don't mind. Harry wants a big family." Hermione very obviously folded her hands together so that the Potter Matriarch ring was prominently displayed. Everyone in the room knew she and Harry had to agree she would take it off.

Daphne was doing her best koi impression. Charlotte looked at her daughter and laughed out loud.

An hour later a sweaty Harry and a beaming, exhausted Aidan came into the sitting room. Harry had finally figured it out and let a Stunner from Aidan slip his guard. Aidan crowed to a still pouting Daphne, "There, I've defended your honor."

"Fine, Daddy!"

"What is it, pumpkin?"

Charlotte cut in. "All her scheming was for naught. Hermione is happy for her to have as many Potter brats as she has the stretch-mark cure for."

Harry was appalled. "Huh-uh!"

Charlotte raised a brow and Hermione sighed. "Oops?"

Aidan watched in glee over the next hour as Harry adamantly refused, Hermione explained exasperatedly, Daphne pouted, and Charlotte chuckled.

The argument ended up in the library of Potter Castle, where all the parents joined in. A great time was had by all, ending with Harry and Hermione alone in her bedroom at her parents' house, where even Harry had a great time, eventually.

Chapter Nine

Upon the heath

At ten the next morning, the fifth of January 1992, Frank watched as Harry Potter came onto the platform in an absolute blizzard of witches. He looked at his son, who was watching with trepidation. "Just apologize, Neville, and try to be an acquaintance first. Remember, you're a wizard, just like him. I never raised you to be a prat. You let the press and the wizarding people tell you that you were something you aren't."

Neville looked at his father. "But Mother and Grandmother—"

"Barty Crouch Junior made your mother nearly insane, Neville. She dotes on you; you're very nearly her whole world. My mother—well, there's no explaining her. Trust me on this, though: if you go on like you have been, you'll die miserable and alone. Your mother and I won't be here forever, son." He gave Neville a one-armed hug and pushed him toward the train. Neville walked a few steps with his head down and then lifted his head and marched up to Harry. Frank held his breath.

Neville had had a hard Christmas. Sure, he got the normal ton of mail and presents from wizards and witches he didn't know and would never see, and his parents were there, but otherwise he was completely alone. His father had caught him crying miserably in his room Christmas night and the whole story had poured out. Frank had listened calmly and then, in the ultimate betrayal, had told Neville that Harry Potter was right. It had taken until New Year's for Neville to sort that out and speak to his father again. Since then, though, Neville had changed, hopefully for the better. Now, here was Harry Potter in front of him. "Potter."

Harry looked up and braced himself. "Longbottom."

Neville grimaced. "Sorry, let's try this again." He stuck out his hand. "Neville Longbottom. I'm the other Boy Who Lived. Your parents and mine were friends. Glad to meet you."

Harry reached out cautiously and shook Neville's hand. "Harry Potter." He considered a moment. "Call me Harry." Harry gave Neville a small half-smile.

Neville nodded. "Call me Neville." He turned and walked away.

Harry rubbed his hand through his hair and Hermione leaned in and kissed him on his cheek. Harry looked at her and gave her one of his full-on broken, panty-wetter smiles. "See, Hermione? My way works."

Hermione smiled back and rolled her eyes. "Yes, dear. Kiss the girls and then take me to the train."

Harry barked a laugh in return and offered his arm.

On another part of the platform Lucius Malfoy watched the whole exchange with Draco standing silently beside him. "Draco, take a page from Longbottom. Get close to Potter."

Narcissa, who had watched too and who had covertly run a few charms on Draco, nodded. That was an excellent idea.

Lucius watched the momentary play of shadows of emotion across Narcissa's face and had his answer, or an answer of sorts. He knew Draco was sterile. From Narcissa's look she suspected Potter had made the idiot that way. Draco knew nothing. The incident was a complete blank in his mind, as if a page had been ripped out of a book. His thoughts before that page was ripped out, though, had been of tormenting Potter.

Lucius knew Potter was very powerful. A carefully worded letter seemed to be in order. He might not be able to get an heir, but he still had blood and knew the ritual. Narcissa was young enough and, unlike Bellatrix, had never more than dabbled in the Dark arts. She should be well able to carry to term. If not, one of the Malfois would do. Cousin Jacque had three daughters—second cousins, to be sure, but with the blood and the ritual, the children would be even more Malfoy than a Black/Potter would be. Narcissa had thankfully kept her mouth shut about the whole thing, so his options were completely open. Draco, the little eunuch, could be useful too. So much bitterness to be harnessed….

Draco kept his face carefully expressionless. He knew he was on the razor's edge. To stay alive, he had to stay useful. "Yes, Father."

"Good. Now go."

Draco nodded and strode to the train.

From the shadows Sirius Black and Remus Lupin watched Harry. "James would be so proud, Remus."

"He is, and yes, he would be. I told you, Sirius, you need to go to the castle. Now you've missed your chance until we can write to Harry. He has to let you through the wards."

Sirius nodded. "A few weeks, Remus. Just let me get back in some kind of shape. Can't meet Lord Potter looking like a ragamuffin."

"Harry won't care about that, Sirius."

"So you said. Just give me a little time, Remus."

They watched Harry onto the train and then turned and left before the train pulled out and the crowd could turn and see them.

Harry turned away from the window and noticed that he was surrounded by wizards—Ravenclaw and Slytherin wizards, with drawn wands. The wizards watched in amazement as Harry disappeared. Suddenly they were no longer amazed: they were on the floor howling, their wand arms snapped cleanly between the wrist and elbow. Harry decided a little physical chastisement was in order and went from boy to boy, kicking them in the nuts as hard as he could. The howls turned shrill. Harry squatted down and waved his hand, Vanishing the vomit that had resulted. "If you try that again, I'll kill you all and then hunt down your families one by one. If you tell anyone what happened here, I'll do the same thing. If I ever catch any of you bullying someone, I'll kill you all." Harry looked them all in the eye for a moment, then stood and walked away. Heads followed him through compartment windows.

Hermione met him at the end of the car. "Harry?"

"Just coming, Hermione."

She leaned over and looked down the passageway with a raised brow. Harry smiled. "We had a little discussion. They'll be fine."

Hermione kept the arched brow; Harry shrugged. "Well, after they see Pomfrey."

"Harry!"

"What?"

Hermione followed him back down the train. "I didn't kill them or emasculate them, Hermione. Relax," floated back over his shoulder. Hermione sighed; that was something, at least. She missed the sotto voce "Maybe".

Harry turned into a compartment that all the witches were standing around and waved his hand. The compartment expanded significantly. The witches filed in and found seats. Nym looked at Harry. "You've been holding out, Harry."

"No, actually I just learned that over the break. Mr Jones showed me."

Su sat in Harry's lap. "Harry, have you noticed that you do all magic wandlessly when you can?"

Harry kissed the back of her head, as she was sitting on him reverse-cowgirl. "I do. I don't like the wand between me and the magic. It seems to take something away. Are you wearing knickers?"

"Harry! Sex fiend!" Su blushed an odd reddish tan and got nuzzled on her neck. Harry, meanwhile, was doing some wandless magic involving pants and Y-fronts. Su squirmed for a moment and then sighed and leant back on Harry's chest. She got several pink tongues as a reward, but at that particular moment she couldn't have cared less.

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The train glided into Hogsmeade station in an ethereal cloud of steam, and as it stopped moving Harry stepped to the platform. The witches followed him in short order and Kristen led them to the carriages. Harry was amazed by the skeletal horses. "What are you, beauty?" Harry approached the horse with his hand out, and when it did not draw away he turned his hand over and stroked its leathery hide.

All the older witches stood looking at Harry and the horse. Hermione frowned. "Harry, what are you doing?"

"Petting the horse, Hermione. They should feed them better."

Kristen rolled her eyes. "They're thestrals, Harry. Hermione never saw anyone die, apparently, so she can't see them."

Hermione blinked. "Who did you all see die? Oh, I'm so sorry, that's so rude!"

Kristen laughed a little sadly. "Last summer my great-great-grandmother died at a garden party. We were all there."

Harry nodded. "It was horrible!"

Kristen laughed. "You'd better hush, little man, or she'll make you dance with her all night again."

Harry scampered into the coach. Kristen sighed. "It's horrible, Hermione, you can't imagine. Granny Thomas has such a crush on Harry!"

Hermione's eyes threatened to roll up in her head. Eliza steered her to the carriage. "Kristen's great-great-grandmother stayed on as a ghost—an extremely lively, earthy ghost."

Emma snorted. "Earthy? She makes Ella look urbane and demure!"

"Hey!" Ella exclaimed. "I'm not that bad."

Kristen snorted. "Oh, yeah? Why was Granny trying to posses you so she could shag Harry, then?"

Ella blushed crimson and joined Harry in the now hugely expanded coach.

Hermione shook her head. "So things have always happened to Harry, then?"

Kristen nodded. "He does seem to attract more than his share of loons. Ooops, sorry, Granny!" She looked around with her head ducked between her shoulders.

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Minerva stood at the top of the entrance steps watching as the first coach drew up and disgorged Harry and the coven. She beetled her brows and stepped down to the carriage and looked inside. Harry leaned in with her and waved. The interior shrank back to normal and Minerva looked at Harry. "Twenty points to Gryffindor for acquiring new skills over the holidays, Your Grace."

Harry beamed at her. "Thank you, Lady McGonagall." He scampered away to lead the witches inside. The female Professors and staff stood watching and snickering. Minerva rejoined them just in time to see Pansy Parkinson follow Daphne Greengrass into the castle. You could almost see the leash and there was no mistaking that collar, disguised as a choker or not.

Pomona Sprout chuckled. "What's that Muggle expression—'Another one bites the dust'?"

Aurora Sinistra chuckled. "More like licks and sucks the warlock. I doubt she bites."

Tracey, who was just passing, by turned to them and threw out, "Oh, but she does," before she scampered away. The Professors looked at each other and grinned. Minerva just groaned.

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Albus sat looking out over the crowd at the resumption feast and beamed. He wasn't sure what had happened to Longbottom over the holidays, but the boy had a determined look and was being quiet and hovering around Harry Potter. Well, not around, perhaps, but at least toward the middle of the Gryffindor table instead of being at the opposite end from Harry, as had been the norm. Yes, things were looking up indeed. Giving Longbottom that cloak had been just the ticket.

Albus looked over the staff table and sighed. Severus looked fit to burst an aneurism. What could be wrong with the boy now? Albus followed his eyes and blinked. Half of the Slytherin upper years were in slings. What could they have been doing? Scattered through the hall were a few other wizards in slings. "Poppy?"

"Roughhousing on the train apparently, Albus. The Head Boy and Girl say no other students were hurt, and the wizards involved refuse to comment. I suspect they were playing with some magic and it escaped their control."

Severus abruptly stood and left the Great Hall. Albus sighed.

He failed to notice Minerva's little smile, directed at her plate.

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Sirius Orion Black, The Lord Black, sat in Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, the Black's London townhouse, with his head in his hands and Andromeda Tonks née Black pacing in front of him.

Kreature dragged himself in, muttering, and Andromeda stopped pacing and knelt down in front of him. "Kreature, Sirius told you to get some rest."

Kreature looked up at her, still stunned. Sirius had, in fit of rage, lashed out and lit his mother's portrait on fire. The screaming had gone on endlessly, although the portrait had not been consumed, and now the only part of Walburga's image that moved was her eyes. It was disconcerting. Kreature nodded to Andromeda and toddled off like an exhausted drunk.

Sirius barked a laugh. "I should have just killed the thing; it would have been kinder."

Remus snarled at him. "Sirius!"

"'S true."

Andromeda rolled her eyes. "Back to these letters, Sirius. What are you going to do?" She waved at the five letters on the table.

Sirius rubbed his hand through his hair. "Well, yours is the easiest. I'd have to be insane to oppose you, and while I might be insane, somehow I can't quite bring myself to be upset about Harry taking Nymphadora in a service contract. Perhaps because my memory of him is him sitting in front of me on my motorcycle and us flying like bats out of hell to get away from Lily."

Remus laughed. "I wouldn't remind Lily of that, Sirius. She and Hermione are very, very close, and Hermione will hurt you for her."

Sirius shook his head. "Something else I can't quite believe. Harry is married? Well, as near as makes no difference. And Lily approves? Hell, and he has a harem and Lily approves?"

Andromeda rolled her eyes. "We've been over this, Sirius. Harry is the warlock of a coven. It can't really be considered a harem. He'll never give the witches to anyone, and they have entirely too much freedom for it to be a harem."

Sirius sighed. "Pardon my semantics. Anyway, Harry is the primary warlock of a powerful coven and Lily doesn't mind?"

Remus eyed his friend narrowly. "If you weren't such a coward you could ask her yourself."

"You wound me, wolf."

"Not yet, but I will if you don't get in that trunk in a week and meet Harry at Camelot so he can get you through the wards," Remus replied.

Andromeda tapped the letters on the table again. "And this other issue, Lord Black?"

Sirius winced. "Can I just go back to Azkaban?"

Andromeda huffed. "No! Now what do you intend?"

Sirius leaned back in his chair. "If I was completely healthy and well practiced in my dueling, I would love the opportunity this presents to stick it in Lucius and break it off, as Narcissa'a letter outlines. Lucius's letter is just posturing, but it does present a problem in that he knows or suspects that Harry emasculated Draco and believes he can prove it to the Wizengamot's satisfaction.

"I do not, however, feel comfortable secretly annulling Narcissa's marriage to Lucius and allowing her to be—be—well, bred by Harry, but timing things so that the birth of Harry's and her baby occurs and the child is acknowledged a Malfoy and then, before Lucius can perform the blood adoption, having Harry duel Lucius and kill him. It's all so—so Slytherin!"

Andromeda ground her teeth. "Sirius! Get the order right. Harry gets Narcissa pregnant—this will happen with or without your permission; Lucius intends to demand it and you can see his solicitor confirms it's possible. He will demand that the line-securing potions and fertility potions be used. Narcissa and Harry are going to be joined for a weekend; she'll make up for all that lost time and happily walk bowlegged for a month.

"I wonder how she plans on dealing with her hormones in the second trimester?" she mused. "No matter. Narcissa then has the baby after October the eleventh, but before November tenth, before the full moon. Lucius must acknowledge the child as a Malfoy immediately, but the blood adoption must be performed at the full moon.

"Harry duels Malfoy, after Lucius acknowledges the child but before the blood adoption, and after Harry kills Lucius you annul Narcissa's marriage. This keeps her in a position from which it will be difficult for her to challenge Hermione. A vassal by conquest. The child remains a Malfoy but Narcissa keeps him.

"You then contract Narcissa to Harry in a service contract—and we gain control of the Malfoy fortune and keep it from Voldemort or any other Dark Lord that appears. It will also probably have the effect of keeping the other Dark families from attempting to use Harry in this way.

"It does, however, dovetail nicely with this scheme of Peter and Louisa Parkinson's. It would bring that situation to a head nicely, and Draco could then be disowned by Narcissa acting as regent for the heir, freeing Pansy to provide any number of heirs to both House Malfoy and House Parkinson."

Sirius banged his head on the table and then looked up. "You forgot one thing: Harry has to agree to this madness."

Andromeda's mouth opened but no sound came out. Sirius barked a laugh and she finally managed, "So you see the sense in it?"

Sirius nodded. "Sure, but we're talking about an eleven-year-old boy."

Andromeda smirked. "I'm sure Narcissa can manage that. Besides, those potions make the poufters want witches. We just need to convince the other parents and then Lily will convince Hermione. After that, Harry will do what Hermione wants. But it needs to be by February."

Sirius was suddenly very serious and Andromeda found herself talking to Lord Black. "If this estranges Harry from me or harms him in any way, I'll cast Narcissa from the House and curse her name forever."

Andromeda blinked. "Yes, my lord."

Sirius slumped back in his seat. "Moony?"

Remus shrugged. "We'll work it out, Sirius. Just get well for the next week. The potions are already helping."

Sirius nodded but his eyes were already closed. Andromeda motioned with her head and Remus rose and followed her out to the hall. "Remus, is he really all right?"

Remus shrugged. "Unbelievably enough, the mediwizards are impressed with his condition and say it's nothing a six-month regimen of potions won't cure. Dan and Emma's Squib psychologist says that while his development seems arrested, he's well adjusted for a man who's been wrongfully imprisoned. In my opinion, his development was always arrested; I don't know what 'well adjusted' could mean after twelve years in Azkaban. He tires easily still, though."

Andromeda nodded. "So that's four of the five letters. Now, this last?"

"The Ministry is not going to rehire him as an Auror, but they've given him nearly a million Galleons in compensation for his time in Azkaban and he controls the Black fortune, so he doesn't need to work. Andromeda?"

Andromeda was glaring at Walburga, who glared back at her but dared not say a word. The Black Lord had reinstated the whore to the family, and after his demonstration of intent to murder even her spirit she could only acknowledge him as the Black Lord. Azkaban had done the boy a world of good.

Andromeda turned and looked at Remus. "He should be taken from this pile. I'll talk to the solicitors about the other properties."

Walburga could no longer contain herself. "This is the ancestral seat of the Black Lord!"

"It's a moldering pile, Aunt Walburga. That elf has not kept it up."

"He will, I'll see to it. Perhaps if he had some help? He is quite old, after all. It would also help him to be bound to the Lord, not just the House."

Andromeda narrowed her eyes. "I am the matriarch until the Black Lord marries, Aunt Walburga. I'll talk to Sirius about it."

Walburga nodded. "Yes, Lady Black. About a marriage—I understand you have a daughter?"

Remus started and Andromeda sighed. "Yes, Aunt Walburga. However, she is contracted to a wizard. The Joneses have a daughter, Hestia, a fine, powerful witch."

Walburga looked contemplative. "Not in that coven of Melba's, Lady Black? I would not see the Black Lord with used goods as his matriarch."

"Her first daughter, Aunt Walburga."

Walburga smiled tightly. "The Joneses hold no allegiance but their own. They are powerful, though, and ancient. Wealthy, too. A possible match, Lady Black."

"I will continue to make enquiries, Aunt Walburga."

Andromeda led Remus to the next room, a sitting room. Walburga never acknowledged his existence. "I hate that witch!"

Remus chuckled. "Good she died miserable and alone, then. Hestia, Andromeda?

Andromeda shrugged. "She sprang to mind. The more I think about it, though…."

Remus smiled. "It may be all uphill there. She knew him in school. She was a third year when we were seventh years. I think she may be a witch's witch."

"Meh, could be. She's still single, but it could be she just hasn't found what she was looking for. I'll never understand the couples who marry early from fear of being alone, Remus."

"Not everyone is as strong-willed as you, Andromeda. I mean, you did oppose the will of the Black Lord."

"Uncle Orion was an ass, and very ill when I left, Remus."

"Still, he controlled the house, Andromeda. Nothing to laugh at."

"True. I never thought Walburga would kowtow to me, of all people."

Remus grimaced. "It was ghastly, Andromeda. He doesn't even have his wand back yet. He waved at that portrait and it burst into these odd black flames. His mother screamed like the dammed for two days before he waved again and the flames went away."

Andromeda winced. "Legendary family magic, that. He must have been very angry."

Remus shuddered. "That was the worst part: he was calm as milk. I've only ever seen that once before, when he tried to use me to kill Severus Snape."

Andromeda grunted. "A true Black after all, then. I always wondered a little. So that's why he and Lily had that falling out."

Remus nodded. "Lily never knew, but Sirius caught Snape Polyjuicing some fourth year Slytherin witch into Lily's form and trying to rape her. He went berserk. James is the only thing that saved Snape. I'll never understand why."

"Because he didn't want you executed, you berk." Andromeda shook her head. "You wizards are all emotional cripples. You do things for each other you'd never do for any witch and then stand around maintaining your personal space. Speaking of witches, I met a very nice bitch the other day. I'll give you her address. You should knock her up."

Remus groaned. "That was a horrible pun, Andromeda—both of them, in fact."

Andromeda simply smiled.

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There to meet with Macbeth

Harry smiled and clasped the warm body to him. Pansy purred and pulled Hermione closer to her. It was marvelous being the center of a Master/Mistress sandwich. Even if it was in the dreadful Gryffindor tower. Mistress having Master use her with the door open while all these Gryffindor witches wandered in and out of the room to watch was humiliating, deliciously humiliating. She would do better next week. She had been unable to serve Master to orgasm more than four times a day this week. Of course, that was after he'd had Mistress, her roommates, his Quidditch teammates, and any other witch who asked—but still, she would do better.

Hermione rolled over. "You did fine, Pansy. We accomplished our goal."

"Mistress? You heard me?"

Hermione sleepily leant in and kissed her. "Of course, sweetie. I always listen to you."

"I didn't speak, Mistress."

Hermione's eyes snapped open and her brown eyes stared into Pansy's blue. "What?"

"You heard my thoughts, Mistress."

Hermione leapt up, squeeing all the while, and danced around the still-dark room crazily, hair bushy, coltish arms and legs akimbo. Harry raised his head. "All right there, Ne?"

Hermione leapt into the bed pushed him down, sucked him hard, and literally jumped on his cock. She collapsed two thrusts later, shuddering and clenching on him. A surprised Harry sprayed her belly with cum as her orgasm fed back into him.

Harry hugged her and sighed. Just when they had settled into a groove. It was always something.

Hermione sat up on him, smiling. "I'll give you a groove." She thrust back and forth on him, grinning all the while.

Harry laughed. "You already did, months ago, and several more since then."

The now awake witches in the room and standing in the doorway laughed.

Hermione blushed. "Harry!"

Harry chuckled and rolled her under him and took up a rhythm. "My turn, Mistress. You've been playing all week." Hermione gloried in submitting as Harry very easily dominated her in every way. The Gryffindor witches watched for a moment and then fled to their beds. Sweet Morgana's dying breath, that was hot!

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Somewhere around seven on that morning, Saturday the eleventh of January, Parvati and Lavender returned from PT and smiled. Hermione's little round butt was sticking up in the air, a nice rosy pink. Pansy had gone back to her dorm and stayed to shower and dress for breakfast this time. Parvati and Lavender woke the two crazy people, shooed Harry into Hermione's trunk, and took Hermione into the shower. They washed her off and then sat her down at her dressing table and worked on her hair while she napped in the chair.

Meanwhile, Harry stumbled through his morning routine and then sat on the edge of his bed. Neville looked over and grinned. "Tough night, Harry?"

Harry grinned back. "Tough morning. Give me a minute."

Neville decided to capitalize on this opportunity. "Harry, can you teach me like you teach the witches?"

Harry, still a little groggy, took a moment to think. He can't be asking me that, can he? No, stupid, he doesn't know about that. He's asking about magic. "If we're talking about magic, then sure, Neville, but only if you stay a human and don't revert to a ponce."

Neville shrugged. "I'll try, but no promises."

Harry grinned and waved. "No worries." Neville didn't notice the loyalty charm that washed over him. "Come on, let's go eat. I'm starving."

Harry's stomach punctuated that statement with a horribly loud growl and the wizards left the room laughing and pelted down the stairs. Harry skidded to a stop at the bottom, hypnotized by a radiantly glowing Hermione with sparkling brown eyes and a French braid falling down her back. Parvati and Lavender took one look at the gaping Harry and high-fived each other over Hermione's head.

Hermione grabbed Harry, kissed him, and then dragged him away smiling. Neville followed in their wake, surrounded by Lavender, Parvati, Katie, Angelina, and Alicia. Alicia narrowed her eyes at him. "Watch those hands, Longbottom, or Harry will cut them off."

"Erm, well, yeah, sorry about that." Neville blushed.

Angelina looked at him. "Have you really come to your senses or are you just playing up to Harry?" She stopped and Lavender and Parvati halted and turned around.

Neville, perforce, stopped and found himself surrounded by witches who wore some very inscrutable looks. "If you try something we don't like with him, or her, we'll kill you. We might have to give up a child for it or pay monster wergild, but rest assured we will. Boy-Who-Lived or not."

Neville swallowed. "Actually, I'm tired of being an ass. A stupid ass. I talked to my father over Christmas. I don't have any actual friends and it's completely my fault. Sure, people know me, but I don't even like the me that they know. I want them to know the real me—at least some of them, maybe only one or two of them. Does this make any sense? I'm just babbling now; I'll shut up."

Alicia looked at Neville for a moment and then laughed. "Neville, you must have a big witch side. You just described a month of our lives. Need a PMS potion?"

Neville blushed and the witches laughed. They dragged him with them and ran to catch up with Harry and Hermione, who were both smiling deliriously. They had felt and then understood the witches. "Ne, what was that?"

I have an idea, Harry, but I want to confirm it with Melba and you need to talk to Lester. We can do it after we get Sirius keyed into the wards.

Harry was looking right at her and her lips never moved. "Ne, I heard you in my head."

Duh! Really, Harry! Oh, by the way, I can hear you too. You don't have to talk.

Really?

Yes, really, doofus. Didn't you hear Pansy and me this morning?

Thought I was dreaming, Ne.

Harry! Now, pay attention, here they come.

The witches and Neville came barreling around the corner laughing and nearly crashed into the back of Hermione and Harry. Neville watched as the witches automatically checked each other, Harry, and Hermione. He straightened himself up and ran a hand over his clothes.

Hermione leaned over and wiped a hand over his hair, straightening it, and then rubbed a few wrinkles from his shirt. Neville beamed and offered his arms. Lavender took his right and Parvati his left. They followed Harry, with Hermione on his arm into the Great Hall, and Angelina, Alicia, and Katie brought up the rear. The Potter coven, already ensconced at the Hufflepuff table, looked toward the doors and smiled.

Pomona Sprout, up at the staff table, was beaming. Minerva looked over at her. "It's not a contest, Pomona."

Filius leaned forward from the other side of Pomona. "Says you! You have the warlock and lead witch in your House."

Minerva rolled her eyes as the staff giggled. Even Irma Pince was in on it this morning. "Where are Albus and Severus?" Minerva nearly clapped her hand over her mouth, regretting it as soon as it was out of her mouth.

Charity Burbage, of all people, snickered first, which started a general laugh that died for a moment when the Headmaster and Potions Professor entered together, and then burst out again in a giant guffaw. Minerva shook her head, compressing her lips at her colleagues. Severus Snape's face darkened and he spun on his heel and left the hall with robes billowing. Aurora's not-so-sotto-voce "Well, now we know who's who, did you see his skirt flare?" drew scandalized titters as Albus strolled up the aisle between the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff tables.

"Ah, Mr Potter, Mr Longbottom, so good to see you, our two Boys Who Lived, finally sharing a meal in peace." Harry did not look up but, as expected, Neville did. Harry watched as Dumbledore locked eyes with him and the old man's blue eyes twinkled madly. Harry said nothing. Neville grinned cheekily at the Headmaster but did not reply.

Dumbledore quickly rifled through Neville's thoughts but found nothing other than the two meetings of the boys since term restarted. This would bear watching, though, as Longbottom's attitude had changed completely. Perhaps now the boy could finally be molded into the weapon he must be! "Well, I will leave you in the company of these lovely witches. I'm sure they have great plans for today."

Hermione nodded. "Studying, sir."

"Ah, but Miss Granger, a wizard cannot live off knowledge alone. Perhaps some other pursuits will spring to mind. Just remember to stay away from the third floor."

Dumbledore strode off, completely invigorated. Granger would need to be rewarded for providing that opening to plant the seed.

Once Dumbledore was safely clear Harry waved his hand, casting a very powerful Finite Incatantem. "Barmy old poufter. Neville, you should be careful—I think he's in love with you."

Neville squeaked, "Me? What? Why me?"

The girls and Harry broke up laughing. Harry recovered first. "Never mind, Neville. We'll still like you even if he turns you into a poufter."

Neville bowed up a little. "He should keep his perversions to himself. If I want a wizard, I'll find my own! Errh, wait a minute. I didn't mean that—well, not like it sounded. Yes, I did—well, except I don't want a wizard."

Harry was howling now. "Oh, gods, Neville, please stop. You're killing me." Tears ran down his face. Neville thumped his forehead on the table.

Daphne shook her head. "All this levity is fine, but exactly what was Dumbledore trying to do? Get us in broom closets or get us killed on the third floor?"

Dumbledore watched the group eat breakfast and departed, his eyes on maximum twinkle. Minerva was thoroughly disgusted. The minute Albus had left, which was soon after the coven did, she burst out, "What is he playing at? He'd better leave my children alone! They're perfectly fine without Longbottom."

Bathsheba chortled. "What's the matter, Minerva? Afraid Harry can't stand the competition?"

"Competition? From Longbottom? Have you been drinking, Bathsheba? Harry makes ten of that boy on his worst day."

Bathsheba was laughing now. "Minerva!"

Minerva stood, flung down her napkin so hard it popped when it hit the plate, and stalked from the hall, children scattering from her path. The Professors waited until she had gone and then laughed out loud. Aurora shook her head. "See? I told you this was going to be a great seven years."

Poppey Pomfrey shook her head. "It's all fun and games until someone dies."

Bathsheba clucked. "Don't be a spoilsport, Poppy. We'll be more vigilant."

Filius nodded. "Good idea."

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Harry and the witches led Neville to their reading room, and Harry sat talking to him while Hermione got him a set of Squib Squad guides. "Neville, you'll need to start doing physical training. A healthy body and mind lends itself to the growth of a healthy core. You can exercise with us in the mornings, but if you make the witches uncomfortable you'll have to go do it on your own, so no ogling.

"Now, read these guides that Hermione is giving you and then come here after classes and we'll do homework. Then we have dinner and come back here for an hour. After that you're free to study or practice on your own. Remember, we have Quidditch practices, too, so sometimes we'll have to change the schedule."

Neville nodded and then groaned as Hermione thunked down a stack of softbound guides. Harry continued, "Feel free to use the room, Neville, but the witches and I have a few things to do today. We'll see you for PT at seven tomorrow in the entry hall."

Neville nodded and opened the first guide. Harry and the witches studied for about an hour and then left Neville to it.

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Sirius—a completely different Sirius compared to a week ago—sat in a wingback in his study. He was filled out and healthy-looking. His hair—long, black, and just shot with a few gray strands at the temples—was pulled into a ponytail, and he even had the beginnings of a tan. He still tired more easily than he should, but that was getting better, too. He was as nervous as a teenager waiting for his first date, however.

Sirius wasn't the only changed thing around. The house was painfully clean, as was Kreature. The elf was decked out in the Black livery and now went about his job with verve and élan. Walburga assigned him jobs and moved from portrait to portrait throughout the house, supervising and directing. Oh, the house was still a bit dark, but it was no longer a hovel. All five magically expanded levels were freshly cleaned and papered or painted, and the floors were either polished to a high shine or polished to a high shine and then covered in ornate silk rugs. A new elf, Lambert, had the huge formal back garden pruned and trimmed to the exacting standards of an English formal garden. The only plants that were even partially non-magical were the black roses.

Overall it was the very picture of an English noble's capitol townhouse. It was cold, though. Somehow the house just did not lend itself to warmth and hominess.

Remus looked over at Sirius and chuckled. "He probably won't kill you, you know."

"He should! I'm the reason he was sent to those people!"

Remus rolled his eyes. "Which afforded him the opportunity to develop his magic and meet the girls. It made him what he is, and he knows it. He's liable to be your biggest supporter."

"The boy is crazy, then."

Remus had finally had enough. He withdrew his trunk from his pocket and put it on the floor. It expanded and he opened it. "Come on, Sirius. It's time."

"I've changed my mind."

"Sirius, don't make me Stun you."

Sirius levered himself from the chair and crossed the study. He peered into the trunk with great trepidation and Remus shoved him in.

"HEY! Ouch! Dammit, Remus!"

Remus went down the ladder with a smirk and led Sirius to the door. "Come on, you big baby."

"You pushed me down the ladder, Remus!"

"And if I hadn't you'd still be up there," Remus tossed over his shoulder as he opened the door to the hall of doors. He led Sirius to the large double doors in the center of the right wall.

Sirius passed along the hall, reading name plates on doors. "Granger, Hermione Granger; Patil, Parvati Patil, Padma Patil. Hey Remus, what's with these doors?"

Remus laughed. "Harry is an interesting lad. He has this trunk, you see, that has all these other trunks attached to it—one hundred all together. You can walk through Harry's mansion trunk—the girls named it Camelot—to one of the girls' trunks which have two storerooms, a workroom, and a loft-type flat. Harry also put trunks at all his properties and gave the witches' families trunks, deploying a total of seventy-seven of the one hundred so far.

"The girls have sussed out the magic, and let me tell you, the spells that operate this and hold it all accessible in subspace—or perhaps null space—are amazingly simple but horrifically powerful.

"I heard some discussion about them creating spaces and portals of their own. I think Harry intends to connect a hub trunk to this one and create a null space connected by portals and give trunks to all the Muggleborn as soon as they appear in the register, then start teaching them and their families about magic. He thinks it will give them a safe place in case the Death Eaters start attacking them. He also outlined a plan to set up a shadow government and security apparatus in another connected hub trunk staffed with Muggleborns and Squibs. He thinks he...you don't really care, do you?"

"Oh, no, Remus, it sounds really interesting, but can I just meet Harry first? I mean, before we subvert the world?"

Remus stopped in front of the double doors and pushed them open. "Welcome to Camelot, Sirius."

Sirius, like all first time-visitors, looked around in awe. Remus chuckled and led him to the sitting room. He opened the door and grinned as he announced, "Lord Black to see Duke Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, et al."

Harry stood from the couch he was occupying with two Hermiones and strode purposefully to Sirius. "Lord Black, an honor to meet you finally. I have to thank you. You facilitated all this. Unintentionally, I'm told, but still. Lord Black!"

Sirius had gone to his knees and tears were streaming down his face. "Harry, I'm so sorry! I never should have given you to Hagrid. I should have fought Dumbledore and taken you away."

Harry smiled; he had wanted to hear exactly this. He had wanted to confirm that he'd been tortured for seven years because of Dumbledore and Dumbledore alone. He already knew the story of what had happened that night; the Squib Squad and witch auxiliary had worried at it like a small dog with a large bone until the thing had unraveled.

Harry stepped forward and hugged his godfather. "You weren't to know Dumbledore is mad, Sirius. He played you as much as he played anyone. We'll make him pay, though."

Sirius rose and tightened his arms around Harry, and the Squibs and witches all pulled kerchiefs. Nym morphed to her normal self, with the addition of hot-pink hair she had taken to using lately. She walked up to the wizards and stopped a step behind and a step to the right of Hermione with her wand in her hand. Hermione handed Remus a conjured kerchief.

Remus didn't miss the fact that Nym had her wand in her hand, nor that nearly all the witches in the room were in the same posture. The Squibs were holding something curled in their palms. "Hermione, thank you for seeing us."

Hermione smiled at him and pulled at Harry's shirt. Harry stood, raising Sirius, and they all took their seats.

For the next two hours they discussed Harry's early life, with Sirius apologizing every other sentence for the first thirty minutes and furious for the next thirty. Sirius and Remus were amazed. Even though Remus had heard bits and pieces of this already, he had never heard the whole thing strung together. Lily and James watched silently from the desk frame on a side table of the couch. Sirius, very nearly overwhelmed, never noticed them.

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Meanwhile, through the hall of doors, the families gathered at Potter Castle. As they waited in the formal sitting room, Lester Jones approached Peter Parkinson. "I hear you have a plan to secure Malfoy."

Peter blinked. Lester had always been abrupt, but this was unprecedented—and how the hell did he always know things like this? "I suggested a possibility to Lord Black."

Lester looked Peter in the eye. "Your possibility had better not interfere with my Megan's happiness. The coven and I would take a dim view of that."

Peter nodded. "As would Pansy and her mother."

Lester nodded and walked away. Aidan Parkinson chuckled from behind Peter. "And so the war begins again. Oh, well, peace was making us soft."

Peter turned to Aidan. "Are we doing the correct thing here?"

Aidan shrugged. "I'll await the plan before I make any judgments."

Lincoln McNair tuned into the conversation and nodded. "Although I think the question is, are we doing the right thing by our daughters? I believe the answer to that is yes. Look at the Jones family: they fear nothing. I'd like to be in that position. I think Harry Potter represents our best chance."

Peter and Aidan nodded. Aidan asked, "And when a Death Eater daughter is finally involved?"

Peter shrugged. "We'll have to wait and see. I don't know of any Death Eaters who have daughters, though." The other two men reviewed their memories. They couldn't remember any, either.

Across the large room the wives gathered around. Melba Jones looked at Louisa Parkinson. "Well?"

"I'm taking lessons from him. He's massively powerful and completely ruthless," Louisa responded with glowing eyes. All the mothers knew who she was talking about.

Melba smiled. "Lessons in what, exactly?"

Louisa looked distant for a moment. "Oh, my, wouldn't that be fun? No, though, just dueling. He really is only really interested in Hermione. Well, interested enough to pursue her. The others have to come after him."

Melba frowned. "So how is this going to work with Narcissa?"

Louisa laughed. "I hope she likes being dominated by witches. If not, she'll walk away with her baby and never be back. Well, not any more than the contract Hermione and the girls force her into will require. Hermione will move to establish dominance of her early, and Harry will back up Hermione all the way."

Melba nodded. "I just wonder if Hermione can do it, though."

Louisa snorted. "Harry's taught her that bizarre wild magic technique of his. Narcissa won't know what hit her. She'll be servicing Hermione the whole time she's getting her belly full."

Melba laughed. "Louisa! So crude!"

Louisa arched a brow. "You think I'm wrong?"

Melba shook her head. "Oh, no. One way or another Narcissa is going to know who her mistress is. Can Harry kill Malfoy?"

Louisa shrugged. "Physically? Very easily. He wasn't even working hard and had me down in seconds. That wild magic of his is nearly unblockable. I've beaten Lucius five years in a row on the dueling stage. Mentally, I don't know. He appears to not care about anyone unless they threaten the witches or the girls. If they do that they're warned, punished lightly, and then punished hard. No one has tried a fourth time yet. Lucius duels dirty, though, and that might set Harry off."

Emma Granger cleared her throat. "As much as I hate this, Lucius and Harry have already had a run-in. Harry considers him a bully and hates him. This forced breeding of Narcissa and its attendant theft of what Harry will view as his child will no doubt make Harry hunt Lucius down and kill him, if for no other reason than to get the child back. How did the wizarding world get this way?"

Melba sighed and shook her head. "Too much power. The wizards with power think they should rule the world—well, most of them. Lester would happily tinker in the basement forever if left to his own devices.

"I couldn't see my friends abused, though, and we—well, he stopped the first one's suitor from mistreating her, and Bob's your uncle. Before I knew it we had forty witches in the coven and all of them hot for my Lester.

"One night the original witch, my best friend, got a little too familiar and, well, I just took control of her. By morning she'd gotten what she wanted and I had found out I enjoyed having Lester using her. It just snowballed from there. Now we have a core coven of twenty-eight; some other witches have moved on and married and started families, but they remain in the coven."

Emma nodded. "Almost exactly like Harry: all by accident, and then Hermione was the catalyst for the sex."

Melba nodded. "Much earlier than us, though. I was fifteen and Lester sixteen."

Anna Abbot nodded. "It's the Muggle-born. They reach sexual maturity earlier; well, if you consider sexual maturity a regular menstrual cycle. Most witches don't get regular until fourteen to sixteen. Muggles and Muggle-born witches can start as early as nine, and most reach regularity by thirteen. No one knows why."

"Melba, can we expect them to keep adding witches?" Patricia Bell asked.

Melba thought for a moment. "If Harry has gotten the wizards to where they're enough afraid of him that they'll stay in control, then no. I bet they'll go a few years and then add another slug of witches, as the wizards will grow over-bold and will have to be reminded. Once Harry is out of school they probably won't add any more other than sisters or cousins from the extended clan, Patricia. Although if the war heats up again you could add some widows to that."

Charlotte Greengrass sighed. "Why are we all so convinced this war's not over?"

Amelia Bones raised a brow. "Slytherins! No body of the half-blood Tom Marvolo Riddle who styled himself Lord Voldemort, and the senior Death Eaters were let right off the hook by Dumbledore and the Ministry. That did it for me."

Charlotte chuckled. "And here I remembered you were a Hufflepuff, Amelia. You've gone all over Gryffindor."

"Phhht! Harry mentioned a few things in passing, and the story jelled for me. I went and investigated; turns out Harry was right," Amelia supplied.

Charlotte nodded. "Yes, he is. We—Aidan and I—watched it all unfold last time and remembered. We were amazed that the population of wizarding Britain seemed to forget right away after 'Riddle', as you all call him, was killed or whatever that was that happened to him. The Lestranges were the only senior Death Eaters to be convicted, and all because they refused to acknowledge the loss."

Emma Granger sighed. "So it's everyone's opinion this isn't over?" She got nods all around and sighed.

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Back at Camelot, Harry stood and raised Hermione. He turned to Sirius and grinned. "Come on, Sirius, let's get you into the castle so you can talk to Mum and Dad."

Sirius nodded and followed Harry. He already had a shrunken trunk in his pocket and had been keyed to it. The group left Camelot and went through the door marked Potter Castle. They climbed out. Sirius went last and Harry, laughing at Sirius' consternation at being stuck to the floor of the entry hall, said, "Lord Black, welcome to Potter Castle. You are welcome any time."

The wards looked Sirius over and he distinctly heard them groan. "Hey, I've grown up! And I never broke anything on purpose."

The wards grudgingly accepted him, and Harry led the way through the formal sitting room and introduced Sirius around. Lastly he brought him to the landscape painting that James and Lily used in that room. "I rather think you need no introduction to these two?"

"Prongs! Lily Flower."

"Don't you Lily Flower me, Sirius Orion Black! Hermione, sting him!"

"But Lily, it's been eleven years—and I brought Harry back eventually! How can you still be mad? OWWW! Hermione!"

"Still? I'm mad for the first time, you dunderhead. Remus just told us about it the other day. I was painted before your brains dribbled out your ears," Lily shouted. Sirius shot Remus a wounded look.

Harry, meanwhile, had sidled up next to Lester Jones. "Lester, do you have a minute?"

Lester looked at the foursome in the front of the crowd. Apparently they had settled and no more entertainment was forthcoming. "Sure, Harry, but let's not go far. Black will say something stupid in a minute and Lily will have Hermione torture him some more."

Harry grinned. "Was he always like this?"

Lester nodded. "He's not the only Gryffindor Black for nothing, Harry."

Harry walked over to a corner and waved a silencing dome into place. Lester poked it with his wand. "Oh, that's very nice, Harry."

"Thanks, Lester. I can hear Hermione's thoughts."

Lester whistled. "Can you really? Plain as day, or do you read her feelings, Harry?"

"I think it started as reading her feelings. I can read most of their feelings. All of them if I'm touching them, but I can hear Hermione now as clearly as you, Lester."

Lester arched a brow and whistled again. "Well, that was damn quick. Took me and Melba about five years to hear each other, and I still have to touch most of them to read them. The ones you can read without touching, you'll probably eventually hear them and they you, too. I have two others besides Melba I hear like that now."

Harry sighed and Lester laughed. "Come on, lad, it's not so bad. Makes it easier, really. You know what she wants, and she you."

Harry looked at him. "Poor Hermione, though. Sometimes I think really evil things."

Lester really laughed now. "Oh, son, you have so much to learn. You just think your thoughts are evil. Wait until someone makes your Hermione really mad. Or scares her badly, or threatens her family. Those thoughts will scare you. The really scary part is that you can see how close she'll be to acting on them."

In another corner Melba was looking at Hermione. "Hearing him already, then?"

Hermione blushed. Melba laughed. "Yes, it's a wonder they get dressed thinking about sex all the time like that. You'll want to be careful, though, Hermione. Remember those thoughts you had about ripping the tits off of the girls in your school who tortured you? Well, now he can hear them. You don't want to scare him too badly." Hermione's blush was now epic. She hadn't actually thought of ripping their tits off. Setting their pubic hair on fire, sure...but she got the point.

Melba chuckled. "You and your man did that really fast. You'll want to pay attention to the women he can feel without touching. They will become your inner circle of the core group. At least that's how it worked with Lester and me. He'll eventually hear them too, and you will through him. It can make the bedroom a fun place, but it can also amplify anger and hurt feelings. You'll have to work on it. Just be easy with each other until you get used to it and pay attention to what he says out loud. Sometimes you have to ignore his little voice. They ignore their little voices most of the time."

Hermione smiled. "Thank you, Melba."

"No worries, dear. Glad to help where I can."

Harry and the others were chased back home (Squibs) or off to school (magical) shortly thereafter, and the adults got down to serious talking and a little drinking.

They all heard and had reached a tentative agreement on a slightly modified "Malfoy action plan". The modifications were all semantics, though, no substance at all. It was agreed to have Eliza review and talk to the others in Harry's coven. Then Harry and Hermione would be told of it next week. The adults left and settled back in their homes, and the children all settled at school. Harry settled in the broom closet Hermione pushed him and Mandy Brocklehurst into for a few hours. Hermione read, hummed, watched, and bossed a little.

Chapter Ten

I come, Graymalkin

On Wednesday the fifteenth of January, Harry and the girls settled, Harry and Hermione concentrating on school, each other, the girls, and Neville Longbottom. Eliza and the girls settled contemplating the "Malfoy plan", which seemed to be:

Harry gets Narcissa pregnant.

Narcissa has the baby after October the eleventh but before November tenth, the full moon.

Lucius acknowledges the child as a Malfoy immediately.

Harry duels Malfoy after he acknowledges the child, but before the blood adoption.

Harry kills Lucius.

Sirius annuls Narcissa's marriage.

Draco's fate to be decided later, based on his behavior.

Harry knew they were nervous about something, but he was sure they would tell him in good time. He wasn't going to peek.

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The parents, however, were having daily meetings and had worked themselves into quite a state. Amelia finally strolled into the library one day and laid down a case file. She had tied Lucius Malfoy to over one hundred murders or rapes—Muggle, Muggle-born, and magical—before and after Riddle's unfortunate demise, disincorporation, or whatever it was that had happened to him.

Sirius read through the file. "This would never get past the Wizengamot, but for anyone with any sense it's fairly obvious."

James nodded but Lily was still fretting. "We're essentially planning a murder, using Harry as the weapon. I don't want to do this. No matter how much information we gather, Harry is not the law."

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"Narcissa, you will provide me an heir. Lord Potter will get this heir on you."

Narcissa had no trouble appearing to be incensed—she was. A pure-blood upbringing, and this was the best Lucius could manage? Looking down his nose and sneering orders at her? Orders to have sex with a child? "If I might ask, Lucius, what's brought this on?"

Lucius looked at Narcissa. "Our son is sterile. Surely you tested him?"

Narcissa smiled. "Yes, I did. I was just wondering what brought this on now."

"Narcissa, let's not play games. The Black Lord has assumed his place. He hates me. It will occur to him that a way to hurt me is to abandon our marriage contract. I know he has obtained copies of the contracts from the Ministry records. I need a pure-blood heir. You will provide him for me."

Narcissa sat stock-still for a moment as her mind worked furiously. Sirius had not needed that copy from the Ministry. He had access to the Black vault and she knew there was a copy there. Lucius was being manipulated by a Gryffindor. Well, it wasn't like she hadn't suggested this very course to Sirius in her letter. Lord Potter, after all, would be a fabulous catch, and he was light-sided so if she could keep him from going poufter like Lucius, she might actually have someone who cared about her for other than for her uterus. Lucius falling for this additional ploy of Sirius' was troubling, though. Did he have another plan in mind, or had he lost what little sense he had?

"With his godson as the father, I doubt Sirius will continue to pursue that course. I've prepared a letter for Lord Potter outlining our proof and our course of action to force compliance."

Narcissa blinked. Lucius smiled. "Sirius can't be very stable, Narcissa. Eleven years in Azkaban can't have been good for him; he was already not quite what anyone expected. We need to proceed rapidly. I expect these negotiations to go rapidly and you to conceive my heir no later than the middle of February."

Narcissa nodded slightly. "As you wish, my lord." She really couldn't say much else; she had expected this, hence her letter to Sirius in the first place.

"Good. I'll let you know when Lord Potter is available."

Narcissa nodded. "I will retire, then, my lord."

She rose and left, and Lucius fell back into his thoughts. Narcissa had taken that much better than he thought she would. Of course she might not be through, either. She was still getting digs in about that set of purple dress robes from seventh year. She'd been awfully quiet about them, too. Of course, as soon as they were married she'd sold them, and she couldn't do that with this child! Perhaps he should speak to her again. Well, he was sure to anyway. They had or would have nine months. She had been a terror with Draco, but she would have to become used to this—she really had no choice here.

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Dumbledore looked out over the Great Hall and beamed. Now Neville was sitting right next to young Harry and that young Gryffindor witch was paying attention to him. Hmm, what was her name? Lavender Brown, that's it! Well, what a difference a day makes.

"Headmaster, are you listening?"

"Yes, yes, Severus, what is it?"

"Potter is supplying 'safety goggles' and 'chemical-proof aprons' to the Potions students. Rubber gloves as well!"

Pomona Sprout looked across Aurora and Minerva. "Good. I've recommended every year for the last twenty-two years that we acquire the appropriate safety equipment."

Albus nodded. "And we have not done so because of the expense."

"My point exactly, Headmaster! These are not the appropriate equipment, but some Muggle substitute," Severus nearly shouted.

Albus frowned. "I hadn't thought of that. The Muggles make excellent chemical safety gear and it is very, very inexpensive. I shall have to talk to Mr Potter and see how he stumbled onto this marvelous idea!"

Severus hurled his napkin down and left, mumbling under his breath.

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On Friday the seventeenth Katie moaned as the warm, firm, soapy hands cupped her breasts and the hard body pressed into her back. Alicia, Angelina, Lavender, Parvati, and Hermione smiled. Katie was at it again. The shower after practice was her preferred venue. The harder the practice, the more she seemed to like the after. Of course, Harry looking like Michelangelo's David, except well-hung, had to help. Gods, he was sexy when wet.

Neville heard the groan and smiled. He didn't know who it was, but he was actually happy that someone else was happy. Potions had been hell. Snape had been on the warpath and Harry and his crew, who had caused it, had been the only ones to weather it well. That was all right, though, because those safety goggles had prevented Neville's being blinded, according to Madam Pomfrey. He had already pulled the memory, and Harry let him borrow Hedwig to send it to his father. He didn't want to play the Boy-Who-Lived card but here it could help, at least Eliza thought so.

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"FRANK, FRANK! Get your hat and shoes—we're going to Hogwarts!"

Frank Longbottom rolled his eyes. "Why, Mother?"

"That Death Eater meat puppet of Albus' nearly caused Neville to be blinded!"

Frank looked at his mother. "And how did we find this out, Mother?"

"Neville sent a memory, Frank."

Frank sighed and stood up. "I'll look at the Pensieve, Mother. How did Neville know how to extract a memory? I'm glad, though; it shows his skills are improving."

"Frank! This is important!"

Frank gave his mother a look and she backed up a step. "No doubt, Mother. We'll take this up with the appropriate authorities, the wizarding education authority and the Hogwarts Board of Governors."

Augusta had very seldom seen Lord Longbottom in her son, but she knew what this required. "Yes, my lord."

Frank smiled. "None of that, Mum. It doesn't help to talk to Dumbledore, though. We've tried that."

Frank passed on his way to the Pensieve and Augusta smiled.

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Harry awoke early the morning of the eighteenth, curled up comfortably with Millicent. What? Wait, he'd been sure he was in Hermione's room. It was still dark. Millie giggled and moved the hand that had leapt into space back onto her breast. "It's fine, Harry. Hermione went to the loo."

Harry grinned and went exploring like a blind man. Millie giggled and then moaned. Harry was very well pleased with Millicent, and she was pleased with herself, too. Since term had started her face had softened somewhat, and while still a large girl she was now mostly muscle. Mostly, besides these two large, firm breasts. If Millie had continued as she was, she would probably have ended up an F- or G-cup, but with all the exercise and Harry's magic working on her she was now headed toward a lean, firm, large D or DD. While she would never be Kate Moss, she was a very nice large-framed, tall, low-body-fat female well on her way to her eventual Sara Ramirez looks on a six-foot-odd tall frame. Harry and she would end up the best height and muscle match of the whole crew—well, besides Nym when she morphed up to match him.

Hermione came back to bed and shoved Harry on top of Millie. She climbed into the bed and curled into Millie's side. "Ready?"

"Not yet, Hermione."

"Okay. Harry, see if you can cave her head in with that tongue of yours, then."

Harry grinned and slid down Millie's belly. Millie tried to climb away but the headboard stopped her. Not that it wasn't fun and all, but damn, the boy could make you agree to anything with that tongue of his. And there it was, oh gods, just ask me, whatever it is you can do it to me. Bugger me? Sure, let me go climb on a table in the Great Hall at lunch and you can take me in front of the whole school, Harry. Millie giggled and Hermione looked at her and smiled. They hadn't told the girls yet that they could hear their thoughts when they were touching them.

Millie mentally directed Harry and thought, Morgana, how does he know? It's like having oral sex with myself. Eeeuuuww, oh gods, not eeuw, not eeuw. "Holy Circe!" Millie shouted. She curled around Harry's head and Hermione laughed. This was so much fun!

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Later, in the reading room, Neville looked at Harry. "Harry, my father wants memories of all the incidents of Snape's bad conduct that we can find."

Harry lowered his book and looked at Neville across Hermione's butt. She was lying across his lap as he was slouched on the sofa. Harry had been using her butt as a book rest. "Why, Neville?"

Neville rolled his eyes. "Gran got that memory I sent him of the goggles saving me. She and Mum are apparently driving him spare. He wants a piece of someone to pay for it, and Snape is elected."

Harry chuckled. "Okay, we'll work on it later. The girls and I have to do something after lunch today."

Neville nodded and then smirked. "Someday I'll have a girlfriend and have to 'do something', too. Meanwhile I can catch up on my work. I can't believe what a fool I was and how easy this is with your books, Harry."

Harry blushed. They really had to go to Potter Castle, as the parents wanted to talk to them. "It's not that, Neville. As for the books, it's not me—it's the witches and the Squib girls I know. They do all the work. Their names should be on the books alone, but they say my name makes them sell better."

Hermione had had a thought while Harry was talking. She turned over in his lap and sat up. "What do you mean, not that?"

Harry blinked and Neville snickered. It's the perfect cover, Harry. Just let him think you're off shagging us.

He's loyalty charmed, Ne. I still say we can tell him.

Let's not test that charm until we have to, Harry.

Harry leaned forward and rested his face in Hermione's lap while he blushed. Neville's eyes rounded. "Hey, get a broom cupboard!"

The girls all laughed. Harry sighed. You'll have him wanking over you, Ne.

Ugh! You boys are such pervs. Can't you think of anything else?

Harry broke up laughing. Girls were such liars.

We are not!

Hermione, you think about sex a lot too. So much so that you don't even notice. Every time you see a male, part of your innate calculation of his worth is his potential to provide support for offspring. It's different and not blatant, but it's there.

Hmmph! At least it isn't "I'll have some of that, please!" Or "Oh, yes, tasty bit of crumpet there."

Harry had tears running down his face now. I have never thought, "Tasty bit of crumpet".

Hmmph.

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At Potter Castle Sirius paced nervously in front of the landscape in the sitting room. Lester Jones chuckled. "It'll do you no good, Black. If the boy is going to get mad he will. Just deal with it then."

Sirius nearly snarled. "Easy for you to say! You won't be the one fighting for your life."

The males, Amelia, and Louisa chuckled. Lily laughed outright. "Afraid of my boy, Sirius?"

"Any sane person would be, Lily. You can never tell what's going to come blasting out of those hands."

Andromeda smirked. "You know, that may be proof that you're sane. We should record this to show to the Wizengamot. Half of them are convinced you're crazy."

Jonathan Abbot nodded. "And the other half think you're Riddle's right hand."

Sirius stopped and laughed. "Well, that may be the first time all of them are all the way wrong."

Jonathan was nonplussed. "Well, I don't believe Andromeda's diagnosis. You've been crazy since first year."

"I never used your toad for potion ingredients, Jon. James just told you that."

"I never did!" a blushing James exclaimed, and the whole large sitting room full of people laughed.

Harry and the coven appeared.

"I'm telling you, Harry. You're Slytherin's Heir. You have no Slytherin blood, so it must have happened after you killed—erm, disincorporated or whatevered him. You took the House by conquest! That confirms you are the real Boy Who Lived, no matter what Lily did." Ella's voice interrupted the laughter.

"I don't see it, Ella. He lived a thousand years ago. The blood is all mixed by now."

Ella blew at her bangs. "Wizards! Here, look at this, Harry." She placed the bloodline parchment from Gringotts on the table and tapped it with her wand. The adults came over and peered over the crew's shoulders as Harry's family tree unrolled, or rather expanded before them.

Dennis Caldwell, Ella's father, asked, "How did you do that, Ella? Isn't that Goblin magic?"

"No such thing, Dad. Magic is magic. Some species are better at certain things than others, but as long as it's magic we can eventually duplicate it. Took us four months of work but we got it."

Sirius looked at the tree. "Well, there's the connection. Dorea Black and Charlus Potter."

James spoke from the landscape. "Nope, that's Uncle Charlus. He, Dorea, and cousin Matthew were killed the first time around with Riddle."

Harry mumbled, "Something else I owe that bastard."

Sirius took the opening. "Harry, I had a letter from Narcissa the other day."

"Oh, gods, not you, too, Sirius! Okay, she is hot-looking for a woman older than Mum, but I have no intention of shagging her. Kill Lucius? Sure, why not? He's a right bastard and bound to cross me at some point. But if someone has to knock her belly full, you do it. Euuuwwww no, first cousins—sorry, forgot. Remus can do it!"

Remus stood stock-still, caught completely flatfooted. Sirius asked, "Uh, how did you know, Harry?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "As soon as I nutted Draco the girls all got together and came up with the shag-Narcissa plan."

Sirius and Harry, in mirror images of each other, rubbed their hands through their hair. Hermione laughed and pointed to the landscape where James was doing the same thing. "It's not funny, Ne. I don't want her."

Hermione was feeling particularly full of vinegar. "Ahhh, weally, pookie? Not even for widdle me?"

Andromeda and Sirius blanched. Hermione had just sounded eerily like a young Bellatrix.

"Ne! Stop that!" Harry was seriously pissed. The castle shook slightly.

Hermione laughed as the room went deathly silent. She recovered and put her hands on her hips. "Harry, if Riddle isn't dead we have to get the money out of his hands. You won't be Lord Malfoy, the boy will. Then we'll have years to work through whatever agreements House Malfoy has, using Narcissa as a front. This has the possibility of answering all your objections."

"Except I don't want her and I certainly don't want her trying to supplant you."

Hermione grinned and leaned into a very passionate kiss. When she drew back she said, "And that's why I don't have to worry about it too much. Poor Narcissa, though. Andromeda, are you sure? I mean, you're the Black Matriarch and I'm going to be using one of the daughters of your House, probably very hard."

Andromeda laughed. "Don't be overconfident, Hermione, but Narcissa could use some humbling. You and I will talk. She is my sister, after all, and I can give you some insights that might be useful in breaking her to your lord."

Eliza cleared her throat. "Just so we're clear, the plan we've discussed is as follows, Harry.

"You get Narcissa pregnant before the middle of February, using line-ensuring and fertility potions. We will, if we have to, agree to a brewer for those, but we won't use any supplied by Malfoy.

"Narcissa has the baby after October the eleventh but before November tenth, before the full moon. This can be assured with potions, again from a trusted brewer.

"Lucius acknowledges the child as a Malfoy immediately. He will do so to prevent someone stealing his line from him. The Malfois are already making noises, according to Father's and Mr Parkinson's sources.

"You duel Malfoy after he acknowledges the child, but before the blood adoption.

You kill him, and Sirius annuls Narcissa's marriage. This forces Narcissa into the position of being Sirius's ward and puts her and the child under the Black family protections. The child and its mother would also have the Potter protections.

"The Malfois are cut off at the knees legally and must follow Narcissa's orders, as regent, and we secure the Malfoy monies and assets.

"Draco's fate is to be decided later, based on his behavior."

Harry looked at her. "No wonder you've all been pensive, carrying that around all week. I thought I'd added wrong and you were all PMS-ing."

"Harry!" Lily scolded from her place on the wall.

Eliza took the more direct route and gave him the soft pink tongue tip. "Prat! We thought your head would explode when you heard this."

Harry smiled mysteriously and Daphne narrowed her eyes. "You've been peeking!"

Lester and Melba looked at Hermione and Harry and the four of them shared a laugh. They never said anything else about it. Harry brought them back to the matter at hand. "Sounds like a good plan. Narcissa is read in?"

Andromeda shrugged. "The backbone of it was hers. You can explain the other parts to her when you're, erm, with her, Harry. I like the neutral potion brewer. I would suggest Augusta Longbottom. She was my Potions mistress at Hogwarts and she can keep her mouth shut. She's scrupulously honest and steeped in the pure-blood traditions. She'll think nothing of this. Anyone else?"

Angus McDougal spoke. "You shouldna leave the Malfoy bairn hanging out there. You should take care o' him too."

Lester nodded. "Aye, Harry. Left to his own devices he's liable to do anything."

Harry shrugged. "I'm not sure 'bairn' applies, and he—or rather it—has no devices. I crushed them."

Aidan Greengrass shook his head. "Making him more dangerous rather than less, Harry. We have no idea how he'll react now. Like a wizard? Perhaps a witch? Somewhere between?"

Harry thought hard as the others went silent. "I won't kill him out of hand. I'll wait for a hostile act. We'll have to be careful. Pansy, you'll find a different cover wizard."

Pansy nodded. "Or just not have one, my lord. I'm quite happy as I am, and I can provide Parkinson heirs as long as Father acknowledges them, or you can acknowledge them and they can be Potters."

Louisa smiled. "Oh, that's good. If you have a boy and I have a girl we can make him the Parkinson heir. That is, if you're happy about it, Harry."

Harry blinked. "Is there nothing you all can't come up with a reason to do?"

Eliza grunted. "Get you to believe that you took Slytherin by conquest, but other than that, no."

Harry chuckled and kissed her. "Fine, so it's a plan, then. Next!"

Sirius scowled. "Not so fast there, my young padawan. We have a tripartite negotiation to get through. Admittedly the Black role is peripheral, but we still have to get through it. How do you intend to go about it?"

"Well, when a girl and a boy want to make a baby—"

Sirius glared at him. "Harry!"

Harry scratched under his chin. "How would it normally be done?"

Remus cleared his throat. "I've been looking for precedent. In English wizarding law it hasn't been done in hundreds of years, but the last cases had the aggrieved party, Malfoy in this case, initiating negotiations and then a fairly straightforward contract negotiation. You'll be asked to meet with Narcissa at a negotiated location, where you will consume the required potions from the negotiated brewer and then copulate with her, run a pregnancy detection charm and, if necessary, copulate with her again until the standard pregnancy charm shows she is pregnant with a male child. You will then withdraw immediately, as will she, and your part is over.

"Our additional arrangements will then come into play upon the birth of the child. It shouldn't be too hard to get Malfoy to duel. He'll want you eliminated to remove the blot on his honor. You will challenge him for the child and his wife. He'll probably have laid the groundwork to take over the Potter fortune, assets, and real property because he won't be able to see himself losing to you."

Moira McDougal, a wizarding solicitor in Scotland, nodded. "Aye. That's how it will probably go."

The discussions lasted until late in the afternoon. The children were shooed back to Hogwarts and the parents looked at each other. "Well, that went better than expected," James said in a relieved tone. Melba and Lester looked at each other and smiled.

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Back at Hogwarts, Harry went wandering until he encountered Mr Filch. The girls were off gathering memories from students to send to Neville's dad.

"Harry Potter!"

Harry smiled. "Yes, Mr Filch?"

Filch looked both ways in the hall they were in. "You're sure this thing isn't illegal? Mr Potter?"

"Yes, Mr Filch. It can't be illegal—we just invented it."

Filch nodded. "This dial-a-spell thing is good, Harry. Made my life easier, I can tell you."

"I'm glad, Mr Filch."

"You're a fine lad, Harry. Not like most of these evil little gits. Thank you for this." Filch waved the dial-a-spell.

"No problem, Mr Filch. Let me know if you need anything. The girls and I would be happy to help any time."

Filch nodded, smiled, and dialed the box to Scourgify. He held it against the wall and pushed the button. A ten-meter section of wall was scrubbed clean, paintings and all. Filch gave a crazed cackle and toddled off to the next spot that hadn't been cleaned.

Harry smiled and wandered off. He had to go tell the girls the dial-a-spells worked. They could go into production with them. Hmmm, maybe hire some workers and get them in that set of hovels Slytherin owned in Knockturn. Well, raze those and build something nice there. He'd have to talk to Lester and Daphne.

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On Wednesday the twenty-second of January, Harry sat fuming in the reading room. He had to make it through this hour with Neville before they could all go to Potter Castle, but even his Occlumency might not be up to the task. It was already stretched to the limit after a full day of class. Malfoy's letter this morning was fit to ruin the whole month, not just the day. Who did this clown think he was, ordering him around? Harry would go to the Wizengamot, occupy all his seats, and then vote him down!

Stop, Harry. Morgana, how can you still be this angry? You knew he was going to be an arrogant berk.

But, Ne! Come to his house on the first of February 1992 and impregnate his wife, indeed! All that education and "pure blood", and that's the best he can do?

Oh, so it's not the content, it's the tone? Really, Harry? This from Mr I don't like you, hold still while I nut you?

That's different and you know it, Ne. The only ones who get nutted are the ones attempting to rape one of the girls.

Except for Draco, Harry. You just up and did him for fun.

He's an annoying little ponce, Ne. Still is, actually.

Phhht. Come on, Harry, we aren't getting any work done anyway.

"Harry, take me to the dorm. I have a headache."

Harry leapt to his feet, as did Neville. Neville had no idea why he had started this, but something just made him respond to Hermione using all those lessons his father and grandmother had taught him over the years. He watched sympathetically as Harry raised Hermione and led her away on his arm, missing the looks and raised brows that passed between the witches.

The witches immediately began to leave in pairs and groups, starting with Lavender and Parvati, and Neville stood and said goodbye to each group. He finished his studying and left for the Gryffindor tower about an hour after the last witch had left. Harry's bed curtains were already drawn.

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Harry and Hermione had moved straight to their rooms and then into their trunks and met again in Camelot. Hermione took Harry straight into a warm bath and made him wash her slowly and thoroughly. Harry resisted a little at first and then got into it. He found it oddly relaxing. More so when, after he was through with her, she washed him.

The witches, meanwhile, passed straight through the hall and into Potter castle and the now expanded reading area of the library. Daphne was talking to Lester. "So you can do it?"

"Of course, lass. The hard part, the survey, is done now. We'll have you a magical production facility up by the end of the week. Potions production labs on the Diagon end and the rest, workrooms for runes, conjuring and anything else you could want. All that on the second floor, shops on the first floor, and living space on the top three floors. Who you'll have live there I don't know, but it will be nice."

"Thank you, Mr Jones."

Aidan walked up with Remus. "Actually, we already know who will work there and live there. Hundreds of Squibs answered your ad, and Remus has werewolves lined up by the score."

Remus rolled his eyes. "Seventeen, Aidan. Not even a score."

"Every werewolf in the London Metropolitan area, though, isn't it?" Aidan asked.

Remus shook his head. "Some are too 'wolfish'—well, two are. But the offer of a steady supply of Wolfsbane is a powerful enticement. Some might work for that alone. Harry is paying a fair wage, too, however."

Aidan nodded. "So, Daphne, what are you going to do with a workforce of eighty-eight Squibs, ten wizards, seven witches, and seventeen werewolves?"

"Make things and sell them, Father, what else would we do?"

Aidan started counting on his fingers. "Stage a coup. Take over the alley. Terrorize wizarding Britain."

"Oh, stop, Aidan. Daphne, never mind your father. He's just peeved over the dial-a-spells. He thinks those will make you millions." Charlotte laughed as she walked up.

Daphne grinned. "They will. Oh, that reminds me, Mrs Granger. Tracey has a copy of the register. If you could start contacting the next year's Muggle-born? Harry wants to get started on them early so they can work on their Occlumency and he can get them loyalty-charmed. We're going to give them dial-a-spells as a welcome-to-the-wizarding-world present and Harry wants you to mail out the ward brochure. We at least want wizard-repelling wards on all their houses."

Tracey nodded. "We figured out the doors in the hub trunk and a ward set for them so we can use one of the extra trunks as another hub and just keep adding doors to it, apparently forever. We'll add a portal to the Muggle-borns' houses, ward it so only they can see it, and then install a null space 'airlock' with intent-based killing wards and ward the door out into the main trunk. Harry thinks we can expand another trunk into a set of offices."

Remus and Lily nodded, as did the other Ravenclaw parents. Lily tossed in, "Null space has no practicable limit. It really just boils down to how much time and effort you want to put into it once you have an original physical space. The trunks might have a finite limit of expansion, though. I think you could make the wards transport the people who fail the intent wards to another null space that would function as a prison. Then we could find a way to seize their assets."

Sirius grabbed his head. "Owwww! Can we please talk about the elephant in the room instead of our plan to use someplace that doesn't exist to take over the world? I assume since you're all here early that Harry got a letter from Lucius and is not taking it well and Hermione has dragged him off somewhere to settle him?"

Hannah nodded and pulled out the offending letter. She had been last in the reading line. "It's slightly off-putting. Lucius doesn't come off sounding very intelligent, just arrogant."

Louisa laughed. "Oh, he was himself, then?"

The parents passed the letter around.

By the time Harry and Hermione and the last of the girls showed up they had all read it and were drafting a response. Sirius attacked him immediately. "Harry, listen to this. 'Lord Malfoy: While I sympathize with your unfortunate position with regards to your heir, you have not relayed any information definitively linking me with this unfortunate circumstance.

"'While I do not disagree in principle with providing you an heir, I am, after all, young and will no doubt have many of my own. I will not present myself at your manor to be dosed with potions of a suspect nature and unproven provenance—that is, if history is any guide.' "I really like that part, Harry.

"'I will expect Lady Narcissa to meet me at the Leaky Cauldron at eight in the morning on Saturday, eighth February. I will escort her to an appropriate location and provide you with your heir. Subject to our business being completed early, she will be returned to you on the evening of Sunday the ninth of February in the taproom of the Leaky Cauldron.

"'Signed,

"'His Grace Harry James Potter'"

Sirius beamed at Harry. "What do you think, Harry?"

Harry frowned. "What neutral location are we going for here?"

Andromeda cleared her throat. "We thought the Black townhouse could be considered neutral ground, and Narcissa is familiar with it. It would put her more at ease."

Hermione smirked and her mother gave her a raised brow. Hermione's smirk morphed into an innocent smile. Emma rolled her eyes.

Harry nodded. "Okay. Why didn't we mention the potions again?"

Moira McDougal answered, "Bargaining tactic, Harry. We'll let him force the use of the potions and the date, but we'll get the neutral location and the brewer of our choice."

"So I don't really have to worry about this? It's all posturing?"

Moira smiled. "You really aren't like other boys, are you, Harry?"

Harry smiled. "Not much. I do like girls, though."

Hermione snorted and Melba laughed.

Moira shook her head. "A certain amount of posturing is normal, Harry. Most boys don't just wade in with no warning."

Harry shrugged. "They should be ready when they start trouble. I don't see why I should warn them when they started it."

Sirius looked around. "Just bring the letters here when you get them, Harry. We'll prepare the responses and you can look them over at night."

Harry nodded and turned to James and Lily in their frames. "So Mum, Dad, how're things?"

Lily smiled. "He's fine, Harry."

James's brow furrowed. "What?"

Harry and Lily chuckled. James asked, "What did I miss?"

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Sunday, January twenty-sixth, found Harry wandering happily around the castle with Neville, after he escaped Ne and the girls. The boys had the Invisibility Cloak on and were—well, they were being bad. They were wandering around all the out-of-use areas of the giant castle, poking in things they shouldn't.

Harry looked around and thought he recognized the classroom he was passing. Neville, however, seemed hypnotized or something and walked in the door. Harry, perforce, followed; it was that or have the cloak dragged off of him. Neville moved up in front of the Mirror of Erised and stood frozen. Harry tried to stir him but it was no use. Eventually Harry sighed and walked away from Neville. He dropped the cloak and went to explore.

The room was actually bigger than it looked and had some sort of office in the back. Harry went into the office and found shelves full of books. He paged through some in the dim light; they were Dark Arts texts! Well, not like the Slytherin or Black libraries, but way Darker than the books they used in class. Harry pulled out his trunk and opened it after it unshrank. He went through the shelves, taking one copy of each book—in some cases the only one—and dropping it into the trunk.

Meanwhile, out in the classroom, Dumbledore had found Neville looking at the mirror, and the cloak pooled on the floor beside him. He smiled and got Neville's attention. "What do you see, Mr Longbottom?"

Neville started and replied, "Headmaster! Uh, well, I see myself—myself in great shape, and with a wife and child."

Dumbledore beamed at him and led him through the description of the mirror and the fact that it showed his heart's desire. Dumbledore never said that he saw himself with the Sorcerer's Stone going down an endless progression of years and being the most celebrated ruler of the world ever. What a beautiful world it was, too. Wizards ruling a bucolic planet populated by handsome Muggles and other lesser creatures. "Neville, this mirror is very dangerous. It will be moved to a safer place tonight."

Neville nodded. "Yes, Professor."

Dumbledore smiled. "Run along then, Neville. Don't forget your cloak, although it does no good with me."

Neville hid his panic and left. Dumbledore contemplated the mirror for a moment and then shook himself. He left, too.

Harry exited the office moments later and rubbed his hand through his hair. Where had Longbottom gone? Harry warily looked out in the hall: no one. He began retracing his steps, and at the first corner Neville grabbed him and pulled him under the cloak. Neville led them back to Gryffindor while explaining what had happened. Harry sighed. "Crazy old codger! Don't worry about it too much."

"But Harry!"

"It will be fine, Neville. Who knows what he's thinking, putting a dangerous object where anyone could find it! He's gone round the twist, I tell you."

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After dinner and receiving the next letter from Malfoy, Harry and the girls moved through to Potter Castle. Harry also had a reply from Nicholas Flamel, and after he passed Lucius's letter to Sirius he broke the seal on Flamel's letter. He read it quickly. "It's his, Eliza, he described it exactly."

"Let me see that, Harry." Eliza crossed to Harry.

Harry handed her the letter and walked to a work table. He dug through the drawers and found a magnifying glass. He took the Stone from his pocket where he had put it when the olive-skinned, dark-haired, eighteen-year-old Suzanne Sauter, the oldest of the currently active full-time Squib Squad, had given it to him on the way through Camelot as they passed her trunk door. She had been working on the Stone. Harry looked at the Stone through the lens while he rolled it around slowly. "Yep, the initials are right here."

Eliza groaned. "We shouldn't tell him. He'll try to take it from us."

"Eliza! We're giving it back to him. Since you're worried about it, though, arrange it through an intermediary or a dead drop."

The parents had been watching this conversation like a tennis match. Aidan Greengrass looked at Harry. "You have the Sorcerer's Stone? The one someone tried to steal from Gringotts?"

Harry shrugged. "A child in the Mirror of Erised gave it to me. I don't need it. Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel undoubtedly do."

Aidan sat. Fortunately, there was a chair behind him. Angus McDougal shook his head. "You are a strange lad, Harry. That Stone can give you unlimited life and wealth."

Harry smiled. "I'm not sure I'd want to outlive the girls, and I already have so much money we all won't be able to spend it. The stone is Flamel's."

Tracey Brown exclaimed, "Sweet Morgana's milk, Harry, at least ask for a reward!"

All the parents nodded. The girls were busy being dazed by the I-don't-want-to-outlive-the-girls comment. James threw his hands up in his frame. "I don't know whether to be proud or ashamed."

"James!" Lily scolded. "Harry, it's fine. You do what you think is best."

Harry nodded and moved to head off any more argument. "Ophelia!"

Pop! The senior female Potter elf appeared. "Master?"

"Take this to Nicholas Flamel and give it into his hand. Only his, Ophelia."

"Yes, Master." Pop!

George Bell commented, "Well, he's nothing if not decisive," to the room.

Harry shrugged. "It's the right thing to do." He palmed the flake of stone and dropped it in his pocket. Suzanne would get it later. It was just enough to run gas chromatography on. The older no longer daily active Squibs had access to a university analytical lab. "So where are we in our posturing?"

Sirius picked up the latest letter. "He's given way on the neutral location but is insisting on the potions as quid pro quo."

"Fine. Demand Augusta as a brewer and let's go. This bloody posturing is tiresome," Harry ground out.

Lily snapped, "Harry, language! I do agree we should hurry, though, Sirius. The baby would be better carried to full term. If we delay, Narcissa will have to induce labor prematurely. A delay the other way is easier to manage and safer for the baby."

Sirius nodded and got to writing. He didn't want to rehash the details of that gestation and childbirth conversation. It had been horrifying!

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The next school week, 27 through 31 January, was very hectic, a nice week of class and studying, and of course as much sex as Harry could handle. Neville watched and smiled and worked hard. The negotiations with Malfoy had come to a conclusion nicely. That had kept them massively busy, but it was done now. Tomorrow was the day. Andromeda would meet Narcissa at the Leaky Cauldron and escort her to the Black townhouse. Harry would do what was needed and then Andromeda would messenger Lucius via Kreature and wait thirty minutes. She would then take Narcissa back to the Leaky Cauldron and the waiting would begin.

Nicholas Flamel had thrown them a curve by replying to Harry with a thank-you note and a request to meet him. The adults were arranging the meeting. The coven was in an uproar over it, first how Flamel knew it was Harry and then training like Armageddon was tomorrow. Harry was loving it, though.

Neville wasn't having so much fun. They were wearing him out every day and his only reward was teasing, as compared to Harry who got it all. Oddly, this would have shattered some, well perhaps discouraged them at least, but it had the opposite effect on Neville. Every set of pokies or well-turned, set-off legs or upturned, rounded butt doing partner-resisted exercises only served to spur him to greater effort.

Neville had been read into the situation with the Malfoys, as his grandmother was brewing the potions, but Harry admitted nothing about the attacks on the other students. Neville didn't need him to. He was well educated in the pure-blood traditions, and covens were a part of that in his grandmother's youth. She had covered the subject with a horrifying zeal.

Neville was to act as a decoy, distracting Dumbledore if necessary. The coven were in on the cover operations, too.

Finally, though, it was Saturday morning, the first of February, and Harry was in Camelot with the girls. The coven had given him a manicure and a pedicure and forced him into a bath. He was scrubbed and oiled and then dressed in black and red Acromantula-silk robes befitting the head of a noble house, with the Potter Crest embroidered on his right breast in dark red thread.

Hermione looked at him critically. "Ready, then."

The coven nodded, and Harry was shoved into a chair with a book. Hermione squawked as she was dragged away for the same treatment and more. Harry laughed.

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At Hogwarts, Neville looked around the Great Hall at breakfast and sighed. The coven was missing. Today was the day, after all. Neville shuddered and thanked the gods it wasn't him. He was nowhere near ready for that sort of thing. A snog would be nice, but, well—impregnating someone? Errrh, no, thank you very much!

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Hermione exited the dressing room in high dudgeon. She coasted from flank speed to a stop. Harry's amazed face and slack jaw had stopped her. She smiled shyly. "You like it, Harry?"

Harry took in the vision in light blue robes with her hair completely tamed, eyes bright, and unblemished skin and swallowed. "Yes, Hermione, very, very much."

Hermione sailed over to where he stood and kissed him hard. Harry smiled when she leaned back. Hermione arched a brow. "You'll have to use your hands if you're going to muss me, Harry."

"What?"

"Come along, Harry, we have to go to Sirius's house."

"What?"

Hermione smiled and dragged him away. Harry's thoughts were totally scrambled now, and it would be even better when she got him to a loveseat at Sirius's. He would have her panting and thoroughly mussed just in time for Narcissa to arrive at the Leaky Cauldron.

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Andromeda watched the back door and Floo of the Leaky Cauldron from her position in the corner. Around the taproom pairs and groups of coven parents watched as they drank, mostly tea or butterbeer, and talked.

At precisely ten a.m. Lucius opened the Diagon Alley door and strode in with Narcissa on his arm. He looked around and saw Andromeda. He sneered and led Narcissa to her. "Mrs Tonks."

"Lucius. Narcissa."

Narcissa smiled tightly at her sister. "Andromeda. Are we ready to get Lucius's plan underway?"

Andromeda winced and then smiled predatorily at Lucius, who was obviously affecting a nonplussed mien. He had heard that "Lucius's plan" comment, though. "Not quite yet, Cissy. We're waiting for—"

Augusta Longbottom came in the Diagon Alley door on Frank's arm and walked straight up to Andromeda. "You're waiting for me. Here are the potions, Andromeda. Good to see you, dear. Narcissa, lovely as always. Lucius." She turned her back to Lucius, insulting him and minimizing his importance all with a tilt of her head. Lucius sneered and Frank stepped up to his side.

Lucius bit back the insult that hovered on his lips and chuckled nastily. "I'm not a fool. Duke Potter will take his potion in my view."

The room froze for a second. The fireplace flared and Harry stepped through. Hermione was in the corner, covered by the Invisibility Cloak, and had informed him of the comment from Lucius.

Harry strolled over and silently cast an amused look at Malfoy. He stretched out his hand and Augusta read the potion labels and put the correct bottles in his hand. Harry downed his potions and raised a brow. Lucius sighed, almost in relief, it seemed, and then nodded to Narcissa. Narcissa stretched out her hand. Augusta put the remaining potions into it and Narcissa opened the bottles and drank the potions with confidence and a horrific glare at Lucius. Harry nodded once and left.

Andromeda looked around. "Lovely as this is, Duke Potter is waiting."

Lucius opened his mouth and Augusta raised a brow. "Line-securing and fertility potions. Clearly marked and freshly brewed. Enough for Duke Potter and Narcissa—unless you question my ability, Lucius?"

Lucius bowed slightly. "Not at all, Lady Longbottom. Narcissa, I'll see you tomorrow evening if not sooner." He turned on his heel and left. Narcissa sniffed. Andromeda shook her head and led her sister to the Floo.

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Hermione exited the Leaky Cauldron in a flare of green flame, still under the cloak. She never saw the tall black man with the earring step from the shadows and exit through the Diagon Alley door. Amelia did, however, and cocked a Disillusioned brow.

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Hermione arrived at Grimmauld Place in a snit. Her plan was ruined! Well, now they would just do it the hard way. She stepped from the Floo and strode to Narcissa, who she examined in minute detail.

Narcissa's ire rose. "And who might you be, little girl?" Hermione lashed out with a small hand, as quick as a striking adder. The hand cracked on Narcissa'a cheek and that worthy went apoplectic. She drew her wand and found it snatched from her hand. She drew back her arm and found it twisted behind her and secured by means of her thumb being pulled up her back between her shoulder blades. She turned into that only to find herself tripped, the girl sitting upon her chest, and herself Petrified. Hermione smirked.

"I had intended to do this more slowly, ease you into the thing. Maybe even get your cooperation. Now that your and your husband's inept scheming have foiled that plan, we can do this one of two ways. I can force your submission or you can give it willingly. Right now."

Narcissa's blazing eyes were all the answer Hermione needed. She sighed theatrically. "One of the things Sirius uncovered in this house was a room, a playroom some would call it. I doubt you will." She rose, levitated Narcissa wandlessly, and left the sitting room with Narcissa trailing behind her.

Sirius looked at Harry. "No permanent physical damage."

Harry frowned. "Oh, but we can bollix up her psyche to our heart's content?"

Sirius looked confused. "Her what?"

Harry rolled his eyes. "Never mind. Andromeda will explain it to you." Harry trailed after Hermione and the floating Narcissa.

Sirius looked toward Andromeda, who called after Harry, "I'll get you for making me give him the Talk, Potter!"

Laughter floated up the stairs from the basement.

Sirius shook his head. "Andi?"

"Never mind, Sirius, the question shows he wouldn't do it on purpose. He was talking about the damage this could potentially do to Narcissa's mind."

"How is getting the shags she's been missing out on for eleven or twelve years going to hurt her mind, Andi?" Andromeda explained in broad terms how witches compete and that Narcissa had to lose this competition. Sirius nodded. "If she wants to be pregnant, yeah."

Andromeda sighed. "Sirius, she can't be allowed to get a hold on Harry. Hermione will have to dominate her physically, mentally, and sexually."

"Hermione?" Sirius asked. "I don't see how she's going to dominate a grown witch."

Andromeda opened her mouth and a hissing rustle and a resounding crack followed by an agonized shriek drifted up the stairs. Andromeda's mouth snapped closed and she and Sirius both paled, remembering Orion Black's torture of Muggles in that very room from their youths. Sirius meekly supplied, "Oh." They both raced down the stairs to the observation gallery and looked out into Hermione's "playroom".

Narcissa had struggled fiercely against the body-bind, or whatever this little bitch had on her, but she couldn't break it. Her struggles grew frantic as she recognized first the stairs, then the door to the observation gallery, and then the now cleaned and polished torture chamber and implements that Uncle Orion had used on Muggle and wizard alike. Images of tortures she had been forced to watch were burned into her memory.

Her eyes rounded when Harry entered the room and snapped a pair of bracelets on her. He leant forward and whispered in her ear, "Magic suppressors, Potter House magic suppressors. She already beat you, but you might get in a lucky shot, and then I'd have to kill you for hurting the Potter Matriarch—and then, well, Lucius would have to die. Better this way, you see."

Narcissa nearly lost control of her bladder. Only a Potter would be able to take these off, and the little cunt—errrh, young witch—was his matriarch already? How had that happened? Oh, gods, she'd been contracted to be bred by a Head of House and his matriarch who had no child! Lucius was already dead, he just didn't know it yet. She would spend her life in service to House Potter if she allowed this couple to dominate her.

Hermione waved and Narcissa's clothes vanished. Another wave and she was attached to the center, pivoting St Andrew's cross by wrist, waist, and ankles by soft but strong large-diameter silk ropes. Narcissa blushed furiously as the girl—erm, matriarch—Duchess Potter examined her from hairline to feet. She turned her head away and a cat-o'-nine-tails hissed through the air and cracked across her full soft, delicately pink-nippled, pale as china breasts. Narcissa shrieked and found that the body-bind was gone.

Duchess Potter looked at her appraisingly. "In case you decide to try even with the suppressors on, there are Apparation wards, although I expect you know that already. How many did you see tortured, killed even, in this room, Narcissa? A few, anyway, I expect. So very ruthless, the Dark families." Sarcasm dripped from her coldly delivered words.

"That stroke was for doing something without my permission. Your automatic responses, like blushing, blinking, and screaming in pleasure when your master deigns to allow your unworthy flesh to surround his cock, will not be punished. Every other thing you do you will ask and receive permission for before you do it. Before you come you will ask permission. Do you understand?"

Narcissa could not bring herself to respond affirmatively to this little witch no matter what position she'd wormed her way into. The lash fell on her sex. Narcissa did lose control of her bladder at that point, and her full body blush renewed itself in shame.

"You will speak when spoken to."

Narcissa kept silent and the lash fell again. Narcissa raised her eyes to Harry; seeing the resolve in those green orbs, she knew she was finished. He would in fact let his matriarch kill her and fight Lucius in a duel of honor over it, if that was what it took.

"Yes."

The lash stroked her again. "Matriarch or Mistress."

Narcissa glared at the young witch. "Yes, Mistress."

Suddenly Harry was in front of her. "Very good, Narcissa." As he spoke, his hands gently explored her after waving a cleaning charm at her and the floor. Where his hands touched, the red welts faded and a warm tingling trailed across her skin. "See? This won't be so bad. We liked your plan. Unfortunately, you hadn't considered that I had already taken a matriarch. Who would? Not your fault, really, as it was a surprise to Hermione and myself, too. Unfortunately that makes your plan to take over both Malfoy and Potter moot.

"Now, as soon as Hermione is confident you are ready, willing, and able to serve the House, this will all end. You and I will spend a little time together, I'll do my best to make it pleasurable for you, and then you'll go back to your husband for a few months. Then I will kill him, Sirius will vacate your marriage contract, and you'll bring me the Malfoy heir. He will be raised as I see fit in my House, with you as regent of course. We will make a fit and powerful head for House Malfoy, one who won't kneel to anyone."

Harry's roaming hands had strayed to Narcissa's sex and breasts. By the time he finished talking she was right at the edge of an orgasm from that warm tingling. Harry withdrew his hands and Narcissa tried to follow them with chest and hips. The ropes binding her prevented it and she nearly mewled in need.

In the gallery Andromeda winced. "Gods, they're magnificently cruel together."

Sirius asked from the side of his mouth, "Narcissa and Harry?" He didn't want to miss anything. He was pleased that Harry had healed Narcissa.

Andromeda smacked him lightly on the back of the head. "Harry and Hermione, dolt. They'll have proud little Cissy begging for cock in an hour. Bringing her to this room was a master stroke. I nearly wet myself just coming in here and seeing the cross occupied again. I can imagine what she's feeling, being the one bound to it."

Sirius nodded. "Oh. Yeah, that was great. I had suppressed the memory of this room, I guess. Glad Kreature cleaned it up."

Andromeda rose. "Come along, then, and you can find him and tell him how much you appreciate it."

"I want to watch."

"Sirius, that's your first cousin, your godson, and his wife. Do you really want to watch them having sex? I know prison was tough, but haven't you talked to Hestia?"

Sirius blushed and stood quickly. "Talked, erm—well, not face to face, per se, but we've exchanged letters."

Andromeda gave him an arched brow. "Let's see those letters, Sirius."

Chapter Eleven

Paddock calls. Anon!

At noon on Sunday, the second of February, Narcissa's potion-induced need woke her again. She stretched luxuriously and snuggled into the warm body at her back. She opened her light blue eyes and found herself staring into the warm brown eyes of her mistress. "Hermione, Mistress may I?"

Hermione smiled. "You don't have to ask any more, Narcissa. I trust you now. I know the potions are still working on you both. Go ahead and shag him."

"You shouldn't trust me, Mistress; you shouldn't trust any witch."

Hermione laughed. "Narcissa! Eight hours ago you begged to lick me while he buggered you."

"And that's why, Mistress. Between the two of you, you can make a witch do anything. If one goes too long without him and can't get to you, they'll try to take him over when they see him."

Harry pulled Narcissa onto her back and rolled on top of her. Her legs went around him naturally and he slid home in her and concentrated. He filled her to just pleasantly painful, and then the bumps and ridges of the custom Narcissa-filler began appearing on him and moving just a little. "Not happening, Narcissa. Do you imagine any witch could be better at this than you?"

Narcissa groaned and smiled. "Actually, no, Harry, and I know they couldn't be hornier, even without Lucius's thrice-damned potion. Which I still say was my undoing. I mean, you had Hermione to suck you off but she beat me to near orgasm before she did it, and then you did that healing thing which drove me back to the edge, and then she beat me some more. The potion made me beg." She had the cutest pout.

Harry smiled and shrank himself. "Oh well, if you don't want to, then...?"

"Oh please, Morgana, no, Harry! Fuck me, please, Master!"

Hermione's bright laughter filled the bedroom. Narcissa settled into a thorough pounding. She could not believe how well this boy could—well, fuck. It was like he could read her mind. And that cock! As soon as she thought she had it all, he could somehow put on more girth or length and just keep shagging her. She had never even heard of a wizard who could make a willing, excited witch beg him to finish so she could rest a while. If Hermione—Mistress, dammit, you silly cow—hadn't been here, Narcissa was fairly certain the Master could have shagged her to death. Oh, what a way to go, though, no matter how messy the corpse was. Narcissa giggled—and she was a sloppy mess. It was disgusting, wonderful, nasty… something. Lucius couldn't compare with this, even with his enhancing potions. Harry was a complete wizard and knew how a witch was supposed to be used. Hmmm, yes, she would have to talk with Sirius. Lucius and Draco would need to go.

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Harry, Andromeda, and Hermione got Narcissa up, cleaned up, and healed, and an amazed Andromeda escorted her back to the Leaky Cauldron at six p.m. Andromeda had never seen Narcissa shaky and weepy before, much less begging anyone for anything, never mind begging to be used again soon. What exactly had these two done to her?

Harry and Hermione went back to school through the trunks and appeared in the Great Hall for dinner.

Neville looked at the two and sighed. "Done, then?"

Harry nodded. "Done."

Fred and George Weasley looked at Harry and Hermione. Fred leaned over to George. "Ickle Harry must be planning a prank."

George rolled his eyes. "He's been off with her all weekend, hasn't he? She doesn't do pranks, and they look tired. They've been…." He waggled his eyebrows.

The two turned their heads and found Alicia, Angelina, and Katie glaring at them. The roasted potatoes were suddenly very interesting.

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Narcissa stood in the entry hall glaring at Lucius, who was smiling at the blue afterglow that covered her abdomen. "I have fulfilled my duty, my lord." That crackling edge to her voice was easy to achieve, impossible to keep out really; this waste before her had never even had the potential of Harry, much less lived up to the limited potential he did have. How had she been so blind? She wasn't going to be able to live in this house for nine months without killing it herself. If she did, it would only be through sheer willpower.

"Yes, I see. Thank you, my lady."

Narcissa withdrew to her apartment, where she collapsed onto the bed, while Lucius went to his study, humming a little tune. Narcissa'a hands soon wandered to her still-tingling sex and she lay scheming on how to get Harry in her again. She really, really needed another go.

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Harry was overjoyed to find his life finally settling into a routine again. Of course, that routine being waking up at five, physical training with an ever-growing crowd of students but still mostly females, classes, Quidditch practice, a couple of hours of studying in the reading room and then a couple of hours in Camelot and Narcissa Malfoy stopping in every third night—they had given her a trunk as an escape route and she used it for access to her master and mistress—for an hour of complete submission made it a trying routine, but it was a routine. Hermione seemed to be enjoying just straight domination of Narcissa, no apologies or subbing for Narcissa there. Pansy dominating Narcissa and buggering the older witch with that magical stick-on while she rode Harry cowgirl and then letting Narcissa completely dominate her was odd, but hey, everyone seemed pleased, so what the hell?

Harry was doing very well in all his classes. He and Hermione were the top witch and wizard in first year—first through fourth year, truth be told, but there was no objective measurement. They were all setting records in academic achievement.

Neville had improved mightily in all his classes and in socializing with the coven, and Harry was improving his socialization skills and personality. Harry watched Neville's progress with barely concealed glee. Lavender Brown watched closely, too. Harry was often found smiling as he watched those two circle each other. Everyone waited and watched as Harry put them together more and more often. Lavender smirked and extracted payment from Harry for her time.

The refurbished buildings in Knockturn were now fully occupied, and production of potions and magical devices was running full-bore. The flats above them were fully occupied by the SSWA (Squib Squad and Witch Auxiliary) work force. Knockturn Alley was suddenly a much nicer place with all those Harry-loyalty-charmed werewolves, wizards, witches, and Squibs running around. Being a miscreant down Knockturn could get you killed very quickly, and since the Aurors didn't go there much, no one might ever know.

Mafalda Hopkirk had been running around the Ministry talking about how hard it was to monitor magic now, as any Squib could buy and use a Dial-A-Spell and apparently they all had, but she wasn't getting much traction. Especially since the Ministry was buying the things. Custom ones, at a premium, to be sure, but they were dead useful. Daphne had smiled and said, "Red paint and gold leaf is cheap, Harry." She then laughed uproariously about the red-painted "custom" Ministry Dial-A-Spells and their two-Galleon additional markup. Minister Fudge supposedly had one on his desk, red with gold-leaf trim.

Dan and Emma Granger, along with Lester and Melba Jones, were running the Muggle-born support group, and the Squib girls had produced the required magical guides and two new guides, So Johnny Turned the Cat Blue and So Jillian Turned Her Sister Into a Frog for Muggle-born parents. These guides covered everything from birth to seventh year for parents of Muggle-borns. The five Muggle-borns who would be starting in the 1992-1993 term had already been contacted and they and their families loyalty-charmed. The minimal ward set had been established on their properties. Harry planned to teach them basic Occlumency and start them on wandless magic over the summer. They all had portals, and Harry purchased another mansion trunk (He felt guilty about just building his own since they had been the idea of the trunkmaker in the first place) to which they linked these portals and the ones in the Knockturn Alley facility. It had a massively warded portal into Camelot. It was physically located in Potter Castle in a secure room down in the extensive and heavily warded dungeon. If someone exited from it after surviving the wards they found themselves in an anti-magical travel warded cell with no doors or windows, accessible only to Potter Elves, Harry, and Hermione. The elves had placed the trunk there. Even Harry and Hermione didn't know where it was.

The staff meeting on Friday, February fourteenth, had been vastly entertaining for Minerva. Severus Snape had been apprehended by the DMLE. Albus had just sat there, gaping like an idiot. Snape had been remanded to custody and was now sitting in a cell undergoing Veritaserum questioning every day. Apparently things were not going well for him.

The witches of the staff, along with Filius, had withdrawn to Minerva's sitting room. Aurora Sinistra raised a brow. "Minerva McGonagall, how long have you known?"

Minerva smiled. "If you mean the fact that Hermione Granger is actually the Duchess Potter, Aurora, then quite a while."

Septima Vector nodded. "I thought I saw that ring a while back, but I saw it for sure a week ago. I was down in the Potter reading room helping them with some advanced arithmancy and there it was, as large as life, the matriarch's ring on Hermione's hand."

All the other female staff nodded. They had all had the same experience at some point in the last few weeks. Filius smiled. "I believe I saw it the first day she wore it."

Poppy Pomfrey nodded. "And thank gods. It seems to have settled Harry tremendously. We haven't had any more incidents since those mysterious broken arms on the train."

Charity Burbage snorted. "Nobody has worked up the nerve to try him again. Some idiot will—just you wait."

Pomona Sprout nodded. "Probably, but they have settled and the whole school is settling with them. I couldn't be more pleased."

Minerva looked at Aurora. "So—Head of Slytherin?"

"Only temporarily, Minerva. Albus says he'll get Severus back."

Pomona Sprout barked a laugh. "If he survives the duels. I hear half of the Light side patriarchs and all the Dark side are going to challenge him, too, once he gets out of the five hundred years in Azkaban that Amelia is determined to give him."

Charity smiled. "With that delicious new Lord Black cheering her on."

Septima smirked. "Delicious? You've been panting for Sirius since school, Charity. Why don't you do something about it?"

Charity pouted. "Hestia Jones, the confused little strumpet, is corresponding with him right now."

"Charity, that will never work. Sirius is way too mentally young for her. She likes her lovers all serious and staid. Well, her male ones. She seems to be much more tolerant of her witches."

Aurora gasped. "Septima Vector, you thing, you! Recommending Charity swoop in on poor Hestia. It's a violation of the code!"

"Code schmode. We aren't in school any more, Aurora."

Charity grinned. "Too right! I've already sent Sirius a letter. Nothing blatant, but a toe in the water, as it were."

Filius took this opportunity to rise. "Ladies, obviously I'm inhibiting the conversation. Minerva, any word on a replacement for Potions Professor?"

Minerva nodded. "Augusta Longbottom will be taking over in the interim and then perhaps until we can find another Potions Master or Mistress."

Filius beamed. "Augusta! Well, that will make the staff meetings lively. She always disliked Albus. Ladies, good evening."

Pomona Sprout looked at Minerva. "So how long before Duke Potter's supporters take Dumbledore down?"

Minerva frowned. "Whyever would you ask me, Pomona?" She sighed at the raised brow. "I really couldn't tell you. I know I have no designs on Albus or his position. Harry simply wants to be left alone. Hermione? Well, the treatment witches receive gets her back up, but she's a little busy right now." Minerva paused for the giggling to die down. "I would say that as long as Albus pays attention to his job as Headmaster and stops playing politics, he'll be fine. If he crosses Harry it will get ugly quickly.

"That being said, I have no idea what Severus is telling the DMLE. It could be Albus's undoing, quite apart from Duke Potter."

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Quirinus Quirrell looked out over the Great Hall and sighed. The master would be furious! Potter sat amongst a veritable garden of witches with Longbottom at his side, totally unreachable.

"That's good, you fool. Snape is gone, Dumbledore is in a panic trying to get his lover back from the DMLE. No one suspects. Leave them alone. Let the school settle into its sleepy routine, and don't rock the boat. In fact, encourage these witches as much as you can. The more distracted the Longbottom boy and his horribly powerful little half-breed friend are, the sooner we'll have the Stone and be gone, with none of them the wiser."

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Albus Dumbledore sat in the warded room listening to the Veritaserum questioning of Severus Snape. He had already received some nasty shocks. Severus had been a very bad boy over the years and had not changed very much from his Death Eater days. Just enough to perhaps keep him out of Azkaban, but the Noble houses would execute him on sight. The boy was finished at Hogwarts and possibly in Britain. Bah! The fool! Riddle would return and now he would have to meet with Severus clandestinely to report on Riddles activities, further stretching his already busy schedule. Not only that, but who would be his eyes in Slytherin? Aurora had already laughed in his face. Horace was resisting and really hadn't done well with Riddle. Hmmm, who would he find to be his snakeherd?

Amelia Bones watched the concerned façade Dumbledore was maintaining and smiled. Oh, yes, he was in this up to his poufter eyeballs. As if that greasy bastard Snape had enough brains or the power to have remained incognito all these years by himself. Dumbledore had to be at least enabling, probably directing. His Occlumency shields were impressive, though, very impressive. Even under this strain he wasn't leaking a single thought, and Snape could give the whole game away as soon as the right question was asked.

Amelia frowned and concentrated. If only she could find that right question. They were already up to Snape's days as a Death Eater and he hadn't given away a thing they didn't already know. Well, that wasn't true. The idiot had loved, er, desired? Perhaps lusted after Lily Evans Potter obsessively and had tried several things that already would have him charged with assault.

Albus cut his eyes to Amelia Bones for a second and sighed. They were coming to the damaging parts of Snape's relationship with him. Well, something would have to be done, and soon. Time to talk to Alastor.

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In the sitting room at Potter Castle, Sirius was hemming and hawing. Lily was tired of it. "Sirius, what are you doing with Hestia?"

"Who, me? Hestia? Uh...well...uh..."

Melba snorted. "Nothing, Lily. Hestia thinks he was frozen in time or something. She says he's just like he was when he graduated."

Andromeda nodded. "Charity Burbage has displayed some interest, though."

Sirius looked at the men in the room. "Hey, some help here! James, Remus?"

Lily looked over at Remus. "Oh, thank you, Sirius. Andromeda, how are we doing on Remus?"

Remus blinked. James and Sirius chortled. Andromeda smiled. "Much better there, Lily. He's much easier, though. Such a nice man."

Sirius sat up. "Hey! A werewolf is easier than Lord Black?"

Wan Li, Su's mother, nodded. "Amazing, isn't it? Perhaps even noteworthy."

Sirius huffed as the women chortled.

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Harry was very excited. Gryffindor had won again. Aurora Sinistra watched from her broom where she had refereed, nearly panting, as Harry's magic washed over everyone on the field. She chuckled. Hufflepuff, right—just call it Harry's. The whole House—well, the Quidditch team—would be Harry's forever, male and female. It was a day worth noting, this beautiful Sunday the twenty-third of February. Snap out of it, Aurora. Waxing poetic is not like you at all. Hush, you, he's so pretty. Arrrgh!

Later, in Potter Castle, James looked at Harry. "So, Harry, tell me about the match."

Harry smiled and launched once more into the play-by-play of Gryffindor's win over Hufflepuff. Hermione, Parvati, Lavender, Katie, Alicia, and Angelina gathered around on one side and Susan, Hannah, Megan, and Emma drew up on the other, and a spirited conversation ensued. The Hufflepuff witches had followed Hermione's example and gotten reserve positions on their squad. Emma was a starting Chaser. In the Coven this caused no problem, but her other housemates had been suspicious until today and the beating the two Chaser squads had given each other.

Lily smiled as she watched and listened. Frank and Alice Longbottom watched, slightly awed. They had been invited into the group along with Augusta and Neville. They had accepted the loyalty charms and now spent quite a bit of time in Potter Castle. Alice seemed to be improving. Lily wondered if the woman was calmed by her presence; they had, after all, been best girlfriends. Or perhaps it was Harry. No, not that way, but by Harry's mere existence. Alice's boy was no longer the center of the rest of the British wizarding world's attention. Lily chuckled ruefully. Harry would be so pleased.

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February passed into March and March into April with the coven and Squib Squad settled into studying, Quidditch, exercise, and lots and lots of sex. Harry was a happy boy. Hermione and the other witches were very happy, too.

One of the things making them happy was Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. They had been given a trunk and now contributed to the study group on a daily basis. The Professors at Hogwarts might not be too much of a challenge, but Nicholas and Perenelle were. They had developed an independent course of study and were busy leading the Coven and Squib Squad through it. They seemed to get a lot of pleasure from teaching. Perenelle was a strikingly handsome woman who gave the impression of being much larger than she was through force of personality, and Harry was convinced Nicholas was where the Father Christmas rumors and traditions had started. He could have been the artist's model for them.

Another thing was the conviction of Snape on nearly a thousand counts which, while minor, would keep him in Azkaban for life. Dumbledore had been in a towering rage, and that had given Harry pause. You could feel the magic rolling off the wizard. Harry was speculative, though. There was none of the "wildness", as the adults called it, about Dumbledore's magic. Maybe the difference would throw the old man if it ever came down to it.

Harry was surprised to find himself a leg man but swiftly becoming a butt man as the Squibs' and witches' skirts under the robes got shorter and shorter. They seemed to take a perverse joy in bending at the waist to show him the creative placement of their thigh holsters for potions and stun-guns, along with flashes of very pretty knickers. Of course, those rounded, well-muscled butts helped, too. It was hypnotizing.

Neville was truly coming into his own, and the Gryffindor first years, while not quite a unit, got on well now. Ron was still occasionally a prat.

More like all the time, Harry. He only hangs around you and Neville for the face time, and so that others will associate him with you two.

Harry thought, Well maybe, but Seamus and Dean are fairly good blokes.

Not as good as Neville. What are we going to do about him?

Beg pardon? Why does something have to be done about him?

Harry felt her eyebrow raise. He needs a girlfriend.

Again, Hermione? Let's just go with the plan. Neville can find his own girl. If one of the Coven or Squib Squad want him, they should go for it. Lavender still looks interested.

She's just practicing. All right, Harry, you can come in now.

Harry opened the door to the master bedroom in Camelot and shook his head in amazement. Hermione had colored Narcissa black and white except where her skin showed in normal clothes, and had her on all fours in the bed. Was that a ring in her nose?

"Bessy needs a topping, Harry. Be a good bull."

Harry started and then laughed, not least because one of Narcissa's ass cheeks was white and the other was covered in a black patch. Narcissa had just started to show and Hermione was deep into all kinds of weird pregnant games with her. Harry suddenly stopped laughing when the thought occurred to him that Hermione was perfectly capable of human-to-animal Transfiguration. "Uh, as a human, right, Ne?"

Hermione was scandalized. "Of course, Harry! Hey, wait—can you Transfigure yourself—eeewww, no. As a human, Harry."

Narcissa breathed a silent sigh of relief. Ne could be very, very kinky and it was great, satisfying on levels she hadn't realized she had, but she wasn't quite up to being Europa. At least not yet, although…no, not yet. Maybe later, after she saw Harry's bull—no! Harry doffed his robe and underclothes and slid in behind Narcissa on the bed. She was already soaked and he slid right into her. Narcissa could only groan as he filled her to capacity and then took up a long, slow rhythm. Hermione slid under Narcissa and milked her pendulous breasts with both hands and her mouth. Narcissa lasted almost a minute before she was convulsing in pleasure and begging to be allowed to orgasm.

Hermione gave permission and as Narcissa locked in orgasm, Harry and Hermione ran through her mind looking and searching. "Why are we here, Ne? She doesn't harbor any ill-will towards us. She's completely yours."

"Yours actually, Harry. She tolerates these games even though she does enjoy them. She wouldn't play like this left to her own devices. Oh, look at this little fantasy. Can you do that bull, Harry?"

"No! You gave her that fantasy just now with this cow color-job, and I am not doing it. Ne, nobody but you would play like this. Why black and white, by the way?"

"Tan didn't look good on her, Harry."

Harry could only chuckle.

Later, lying in the afterglow with Narcissa cleaning Harry and Hermione, Harry had a thought. "Neville is being manipulated by Dumbledore for some purpose. He's spending a lot of time with Hagrid, too. Nothing wrong with that, but Hagrid is Dumbledore's man through and through."

Hermione didn't say anything. Narcissa raised her head. "Dumbledore gave Hagrid a job here, or rather at the school, after he was kicked out and his wand was snapped when the Chamber of Secrets was opened."

Hermione sat up and Narcissa added, "Master," just before she got a pink handprint on her white butt cheek. Hermione arched a brow at her and snuggled back into Harry.

Harry looked at Hermione. Narcissa didn't see the arched brow from him and small shrug from Hermione as she had laid her cheek on Harry and closed her eyes while she shuddered slightly. She still couldn't believe her body would respond to Hermione's excesses like this. It was mildly humiliating; delicious that the little bitch could make her come whenever she felt like it, though, and grand that Mistress apparently felt like it quite often.

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Padma looked at Daphne and Susan. "Well, did you hear them that time?" The three of them were in another bedroom in Camelot.

Daphne nodded. "Yes, no question. I don't think this is supposed to happen. I mean, we have contracts and everything!"

Susan nodded and then shook her head. "Aunt Amelia said the normal rules don't apply to covens. Add that to him being the scion and the house's magic moving to reestablish itself firmly, and our willingness to be his and his only and, well, there you are."

Padma pouted. "So why is Hermione so high in his mind, then? I mean, shouldn't we be at least equal?"

Daphne shrugged. "Have you noticed she can use all his wands?"

Susan snickered and Daphne rolled her eyes. Susan sobered. "Yes, and she's almost as good with wandless magic as he is. He uses her wand half the time, and she uses his, or one of his more often than her own. I don't even think they realize."

Padma nodded. "So they're some kind of super-wizard-witch all rolled up into two bodies."

Daphne nodded. "Maybe. He doesn't treat her any differently from us, though."

Padma snorted. "If you don't count being in physical contact with her continuously, or very nearly, or that look when she's even looked at by another wizard. I've seen seventh years piss themselves after one of those death glares."

Susan looked thoughtful. "He gives the same looks over all of us with the same results. Can any of the others hear them, do you think?"

Daphne grinned. "Nym can, I think. They spend enough time together anyway, what with her 'helping' him with his Metamorph abilities."

Padam nodded. "I also think that Nym can hear. We should tell them."

Daphne sighed. "You people are a bad influence for a Slytherin, all honest all the time."

Susan pushed her over and she and Padma rewarded Daphne for being an honest snake.

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On Friday the twenty-fourth of April Harry sat in Potions listening intently to Augusta Longbottom. She was a stickler for procedure and knowledge of interactions, and she was currently quizzing the class on all possible problems that could occur while brewing the day's potion. He looked over at Ne and smiled. She was sitting demurely, waiting to be called on. None of that attention-seeking arm waving any more. Oh, she still had a massive drive to learn, but now she didn't care if anyone outside the Coven knew or realized how smart she was. It seemed to be enough that the Coven knew. Much better: now her personality matched the beautiful, powerful witch that she was. Harry smiled.

Thank you, Harry. Do you notice that now you don't differentiate between the Squib Squad and the Coven, you just lump us all in the Coven? Harry frowned and Hermione giggled. "It's not a bad thing, Harry. All right, here we go. You cut the ingredients and I'll get the cauldrons going." Harry nodded.

Augusta looked out at the Coven and its wizard's attendants and smiled. She had set them a fifth-year potion. Her eyes crossed to the others. Weasley and his fellows, including Crabbe and Goyle, had a first-year version of the potion to brew with its reduced danger and efficacy; the rest of the class, mostly the Slytherins, worked on the less restricted, more dangerous second/third-year version. Malfoy was chaffing again, but the boy simply would not memorize the interactions and therefore could not be allowed the more dangerous version. Odd, that. Parkinson, who Augusta knew to be a Coven member, was sitting right there next to him. Not that she paid him much attention, but she wasn't as hostile to him as most. She would have to speak to the girl; she simply had to get better control of Malfoy.

Augusta moved around the brightly lit tables with their "ventilation hoods", rune-driven devices that vanished any fumes generated, wards, and the students in their face guards, gloves, and aprons. Circe, it was marvelous to work in a well-equipped lab. Not like the old dungeon she had learnt in and Severus had taught in for the sake of tradition. Some traditions were outmoded.

Speaking of outmoded traditions... Augusta smiled to herself. Snape had given Dumbledore up, and while Amelia hadn't been able to jail the old reprobate she had been able to fine him heavily, and the Prophet castigated him viciously. It would take a while for Albus to win back the political capital he had been forced to expend to hold onto the Wizengamot. The Hogwarts Board had nearly censured him, too. That would have been the third time a sitting Head had been censured, and the others it had happened to had been fired shortly after censure. Augusta nodded to herself. Who had expected Malfoy to come out in support of Dumbledore? Well, she wouldn't make that mistake again. The old misogynist had to go; no matter that Minerva was trundling around on cloud nine with Snape in Azkaban. Who knew she had hated him so much?

Oh ho, what's this? Miss Brown might just as well crawl into Neville's lap. Hmmm, good family, the Browns. Maybe she should speak to Harry, Frank, and Charles Brown. Perhaps a contract was in order.

Neville blushed furiously as Lavender's still developing but already largish breast rested on his arm when she reached over and grabbed his hands to stop him adding the salamander egg. "Not yet, Neville! Turn the fire off first, remember?"

Neville nodded and she smiled at him. Neville got dizzy for a moment and blushed furiously again. The witches giggled. Harry looked over. "Lavender, stop teasing Neville." He smiled at the poked-out tongue tip and the grin that followed it.

Lavender said, "Sorry Neville. These are just getting so big, they get in the way. I'm not used to them yet." She thrust her chest out and Neville looked down, nodding and blushing even more.

Harry shook his head. "Neville, what's with you today? Well, besides Lavender deciding you'll be a good catch."

"Harry!"

"What, Lavender? Go for it."

"Harry, stop embarrassing Neville. Harry is right, though, Neville. Something is up—what is it?" Hermione looked at the smiling Harry and Lavender.

"Something is up with Hagrid. He hasn't come out of his shack for a couple of days, but he doesn't answer when I knock." Neville frowned.

Harry smiled. "Is that all? We'll go down after classes, see what's going on with him." Hermione nodded and Neville smiled. They all went back to their brewing.

Augusta circled back to her desk and went back to watching the class at work. Lavender was at least considering Neville, but that excuse had actually been sincere and she was young. She probably didn't even think about it—well, not seriously. She was wearing one of those knotwork rings. They were, after all, very familiar with each other and with Harry. Hmmm, still might be worth talking to at least Frank and Harry, though. Neville really should be contracted.

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True to his word, but after dinner, Harry gathered up his main witches. The witches had told Harry they could hear him, and Hermione—and now the six of them—were constantly in each other's heads. With Neville, they all trooped down to Hagrid's hut. Harry banged on the door until an exasperated Hagrid finally opened the door. The blast of heat nearly knocked them all down. "Well, don't stand out there dawdling. Come in if yer comin'."

Neville went in first, followed by Harry leading Hermione, Padma, Susan, Daphne, and Nym. Harry immediately felt the magic. This heat isn't natural. He has warming charms on all the walls and the floor, and that fire is magically augmented.

Nym and the others nodded and spread out while Neville engaged Hagrid in conversation. Harry found the greenish, nearly black egg in the bottom of the cauldron on the fire. "Hey, Hagrid, I think this egg is done."

Hagrid looked concerned and bustled over to the fire. He looked into the cauldron and then lidded it. "Nope, not yet, but soon."

Hermione looked around Hagrid at the cauldron. "What kind of egg could need that much heat? Oh, Hagrid, no!"

Hagrid looked terrified. Hermione plowed on. "That's a dragon egg, isn't it? And you're trying to hatch it, aren't you?"

Nym looked at Hagrid and shook her head. "Hagrid, how did you even get one? They're Class One controlled items."

"I won it down the pub, playing three-stake Brag."

"Morgana, what could the other two stakes have been?"

Harry heard Daphne's thought and looked over at her and winked. About that time the cauldron on the fire shook violently and Hagrid snatched the lid off. "Oh, look, here he comes!"

"He's insane and we're all going to die!"

"Easy, Susan, it'll be a baby. What could it do?"

"Just wait, Harry!"

Harry threw an arm over her shoulders and hugged her quickly, then he leant forward as Hagrid was cooing at something and reaching into the cauldron. His huge hands came out filled with writhing reptile, which promptly sneezed and lit his beard on fire. Hagrid beamed and put the fire out. "I'll call you Norbert."

Nym frowned. "How do you know it's a boy?"

"Fella said it was a male egg, didn't he, Tonks."

Daphne elbowed Hermione. The center of the Coven watched as Neville and Hagrid fussed over the baby dragon a while. Harry rubbed his head. "Hagrid, you've got to get that dragon out of here."

Hagrid closed his hands around the little dragon protectively. Flames shot between his fingers. "Why, Harry?"

Susan rolled her eyes. "Hagrid, everything in here is wood and the roof is thatch. He'll burn you out of here in a week."

Hagrid looked around nervously. "Well, Tonks could help me there. You others, too. You're ahead in your schooling."

Padma looked around. "Fireproofing charms? Someone's already done them, but they won't stop dragon fire."

Hagrid blushed and sighed. A light snapped on for Harry. "You've got the pieces of your wand, haven't you? You can do magic. Of course you can—you were a fifth year."

Neville looked confused and Hagrid horrified. Daphne laughed. "Oh, Hagrid, never lie. You just don't have the face for it." She looked around a moment and found the child's umbrella, the pink child's umbrella, lying on the table beside the bed in the one-room shack. She picked it up and waved it and a rainbow of sparks shot out the end. "Merlin! How powerful is this wand, then?"

Hagrid beamed and then his face fell. "Doesn't matter, they snapped it. Nobody will rebuild it or teach me magic. I was hoping one of you might know some better charms, but no matter. I'll make do. Now, off to the castle with you all. It's near curfew." He shooed the children out and shut the door firmly behind them.

Neville sighed. "What'll we do, Harry?"

Harry shook his head. "I'll find out. He can't keep that dragon, though."

Neville nodded miserably.

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Wednesday the sixth of May found Amelia in the sitting room of Potter Castle, very puzzled. "This makes no sense. Acromantula bites are fatal. No one survives without treatment, and the treatment is not Mandrake-based."

Harry shrugged. "I'll leave the re-investigation in your very capable hands, Amelia. Meanwhile, what do we do about this dragon?"

Amelia frowned. "The eggs are controlled items, Harry, but as it's hatched and no one saw it unless you testify, Hagrid won't be charged."

Sirius sighed. "Hagrid has to give it up, whether or not it thinks he's its mother. It will fly soon and then it will start to establish a territory. After that it will start raiding. Young dragons eat tons. No question students and staff will be on the menu."

The other adults nodded. They had all read the reference material. Little did they know that at that moment, back at Hogwarts, events were spiraling even more out of control.

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Ron snatched his hand back and howled in pain. Hagrid admonished Norbert and slammed the lid of his crate shut. Neville watched as first Ron's hand, then his arm, turned purple and green. "Well, who knew dragons were venomous?" Hagrid sounded pleased to learn something new, like Hermione.

Neville rolled his eyes, Stunned the yelling Ron, and froze him in stasis. Then he levitated him and ran back to the castle and the Hospital Wing with his friend.

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Lisa Turpin skidded into the sitting room at Potter Castle. "Harry, come quick. That dragon bit Ron and poisoned him. Neville took him to the Hospital Wing."

"Damn! All right, everyone, back to your dorms. No telling what the old man will do when he finds out." Harry leapt up and led the charge back to Hogwarts.

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Harry tossed on the Invisibility Cloak and left his bed, headed for the common room and then the Hospital Wing after shrinking and pocketing his trunk. Hermione joined him at the portrait hole. "We'll have to do something nice for Lisa, Harry."

Harry nodded. "Why was she not with us, anyway?"

Hermione pinkened slightly. "Witch problem."

Harry looked at Hermione and sighed. "Hermione, you've got to be easier on the girls."

Hermione pouted. "No, Harry, really—hey, wait a minute! Oh, never mind. It wasn't me this time. She had really bad cramps and she's not even on her period, hasn't had it the first time yet even. It happens sometimes—well, the books say it can happen, the uterus gets confused or mixed signals from hormones or something. Madam Pomfrey will most likely put her on the potion or a modified version of the potion. I mean, Lisa isn't ovulating so no need to worry about that, but she could use the stabilizing effect. Get her regular, you know?"

Harry shook his head. "Errh, no, but if you say so, Ne."

Hermione chuckled. "You've read the books, Harry, plus you've been around us having periods for years—well, the Squib Squad—and you're still so squeamish?"

"Shhh, Ne, someone will hear us."

Hermione chuckled quietly and pecked Harry on a very warm pink cheek. "You're so cute."

The pair made it to the Hospital Wing and burst in. Harry pulled the Cloak off. Minerva was already there with Neville. She wasn't really buying the "animal bite but I just found him like this" story.

"Ah, Mr Potter, Ms Granger." Minerva didn't know what Neville knew, so she played it safe. "Do you know anything about this?"

Harry and Hermione shook their heads. Harry answered, "No, ma'am. We just heard Neville was up here with Ron." We've got to give her a trunk, Ne.

Poppy sighed and straightened up. "Mr Weasley will be fine. No idea what bit him, but I've leeched the poison. He'll be here for a few days, though. Very nice work with that stasis and Stunning charm, Mr Longbottom."

Minerva nodded. "All right, children, back to the tower, and no dawdling."

Harry nodded and offered Hermione his arm. Neville followed them out. Once safely away from the Hospital Wing, Neville burst out, "Harry, you all were right. That thing is a menace. It poisoned Ron! Thank Merlin you all taught me those charms and hexes."

Harry smiled. "Yeah, I noticed. I wonder how Norbert is. I mean, if he did that to Ron, what did Ron do to him?"

"Probably gave him a taste for virgins. Seriously, Harry, Norbert has to go."

Harry smiled at Hermione while Neville chuckled. "Very funny, Ne. Still not liking Ron, eh? Never mind. Hey, Neville, didn't Ron tell us he had a brother who's a dragon keeper?"

Neville nodded. "Yes. I have to get his assignments for tomorrow anyway. I'll get him to write to his brother."

George stuck his head out from behind a suit of armor. "Which one?"

Neville and Hermione screamed and Fred's head joined that of his brother. "Granger is louder, but Longbottom's shriller."

Harry chuckled. "And you're both going to be dead men."

The twins looked at Harry laughing right up until Hermione launched several curses at them for scaring her. "Oy—"

"—no need—"

"—for that—"

"—Hermione!"

"Stop that, you idiots. Talk normal." Hermione was not amused.

Harry settled the group and Fred and George showed them into a hidden passageway. Harry relayed the story of Norbert for them, up through Norbert biting Ron. Fred looked at George. "Hagrid's a good bloke."

George nodded. "Yeah, but a bit barmy. A dragon? What could he be thinking? We'll help."

Fred took back over. "Our brother Charlie is a dragonherd. We'll write to him."

George finished. "You ickle firsties don't worry about it."

Harry fixed them with a gimlet eye but they laughed and scurried away. Hermione sighed. "Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" Harry just shrugged and led the way back to the tower. He and Hermione got to sleep by midnight even after a long talk with Lavender. Well, some talking. She was just practicing with Neville. She was much too interested in Harry still to change over now.

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Charlie did come pick up Norbert, from deep in the forest where Hagrid carried him, crying the whole way. It took all of Neville and Harry's skill to convince Hagrid. He had at first refused, but they eventually wore him down. Ron getting out of the hospital and visiting with his still-mottled arm finally broke Hagrid down. Neville managed to get a detention as he was coming back to the castle after curfew, but as he had to serve it with Hagrid, they were both happy. Not so happy over the fact that Malfoy, who had gone to get a teacher after seeing Neville out, had to serve it, too—well, maybe. Malfoy looked like he was going to piss himself over going into the forest for detention.

Life settled back down and Harry was happy. Amelia was worrying away at the Death Eaters, Dumbledore, and now the Chamber of Secrets story, and she seemed happy. Sirius was dating Charity Burbage or Bathsheba Babbling or someone and seemed happy. Remus was slowly working himself up to a nighttime date with Evangelina Harris, a fine woman in Harry's estimation, and seemed happy. So as far as Harry was concerned, all was right with the world.

Neville's world, however, was a little different. He and Ron Weasley were talking again, and Ron was full of suspicions about the third floor corridor and Professor Quirrell. Neville was disappointed when Harry dismissed it, but Ron was incensed. Harry had just shaken his head and offered that they should tell a Professor.

After Neville's detention on the twenty-sixth of May, with him barely surviving whatever was killing the Unicorns and Malfoy scared out of his mind about that and Centaurs now, too, Harry did some digging around in the Library and talking to the parents but everyone's opinion was that they should be careful and steer clear of trouble. Harry nodded and stepped up his vigilance. Neville huffed and schemed with Ron.

Harry didn't notice much because not only had Hermione gone into a furious studying for exams, but they were all helping the fifth year Coven members with O.W.L. revision, the seventh years with N.E.W.T. revision, and the Squib Squad that had them with O-level revision. Harry would later realize that Dumbledore had exerted his influence on Neville during this period and led him to what happened later. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, after all.

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The first exams rolled around on June first, with the Coven blasting through them and being faintly disappointed at how easy they were. This drew looks of horror from the non-Coven students.

Ron and Neville were scheming about something, but Harry was determined not to pry. As he was doing a little light reading in the potions section of the Coven library in a copy of a tome from the Black Library, Harry came across a passage that explained how blood taken unwillingly from a Unicorn and consumed warm extended life but cursed the user. Nicholas confirmed it.

The adults put their heads together and Frank and Amelia started looking at the school and staff.

By June fourth everything was coming to a head. An offhand comment about possession by Alastor Moody late during a Wizengamot session tumbled Frank to the possibility that Quirrell was possessed by Voldemort. It was, however, all too late.

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After exams Harry and the Coven laughed and talked in the reading room while waiting for dinner. Hermione was confident they had aced all of their exams—well, her, Harry, Padma, Susan, and Daphne, anyway. Nym was still taking N.E.W.T.s. The other Coven witches were very confident, too. Harry looked around. "Where's Neville?"

Hermione shrugged. "Being a poop with Bilius."

Harry chuckled. Hermione had taken to calling Ron "Bilius" as soon as she heard his middle name in a Howler his mother had sent. She was completely merciless about it. She really, really disliked him, and his refusal to apologize, unlike Neville, had apparently permanently set her teeth on edge. "We'll see them at dinner."

Harry leant his head back and concentrated. Nym was close to finishing this first of her N.E.W.T.s and he wanted to be there for her if she needed anything.

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"No, Ron, it's not that Harry is a coward. He just thinks the teachers should handle it. He doesn't seem to put much stock in the Sorcerer's Stone."

"He's an idiot then, Nev. That Stone produces gold and grants the person who has it immortality. The bossy bushy bitch has softened his brain. Quirrell is evil and he's going after the Stone. You've seen the signs just like I have."

Neville paced the dorm room nervously. "Okay, sure, we think it's Quirrell—but he's a Professor, Ron. Surely it's Dumbledore's problem."

Ron nearly growled. "He isn't here, Neville. We can save the Stone and we'll be famous. There's probably even a reward! You're the one who came to me and told me Quirrell was the one you saw attacking the Unicorns. We can surprise him and Stun him with that spell you taught me from Potter. We'll be famous, and rich!"

Neville wasn't too sure about this. Sure, Quirrell might get to the Stone, but he was a full-grown wizard and fully trained. Neville wasn't sure what they could do about that. "We'll follow him after dinner, Ron."

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Harry oofed as Nym landed half in his lap. He sat up and opened an eye. "Tough day, Nym?"

Nym just grunted and rolled over so her face was to Harry's stomach. She snuggled in and groaned. She lay still for a moment, then glared up at Hermione. "How did I let you talk me into taking twelve N.E.W.T.s, again?"

Hermione smiled. "It will be good for you, and you didn't have anything else to do until the end of school. We're there for you, Nymie."

"Nymie! I'll Nymie you, little witch!"

Harry smiled and grimaced as his lap became the battlefield, or maybe playground. The others laughed. Nym wasn't really serious. They had the Potter, Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Black, and Hufflepuff libraries in Camelot along with the minor family collections and a substantial portion of the Hogwarts Library, Restricted Section included. Harry wasn't bothered by library protection spells when he was casting his wandless duplication charms. The witches, Squibs, and Harry had been working these libraries over for a year. Harry had been doing the Parseltongue translations of Slytherin's books. The guides that the Coven produced were growing more and more detailed and made learning and revision a pleasure and very effective. Finally they got up and headed to dinner before they came back to revise for Nym's next N.E.W.T.

Harry laughed his way through dinner with the Gryffindor members of the Coven. Then, after a few minutes' conversation with a nervous Neville and a nearly belligerent Ron, he left with the Coven to return to the reading room.

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"There he goes, Neville. He got off the stairs on the third floor. I told you!"

Neville looked over the banister and nodded. "All right, let's go."

Neville and Ron crept down the stairs and then down the hallway. They heard music and peeked around the door at the end of the hall. Neville drew back, white-faced. "Ron, that's a Cerberus."

"Yeah, but it's sleeping. Look at the hole in the floor, Neville."

Neville sighed. "This is a bad idea, Ron."

"Are you scared?"

Several parts of Neville screamed, "YES!" Unfortunately the wizard in him, the crazy person running around armed, picked that moment to rise up and cow the, perhaps, smarter parts of him. "No. Let's go."

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Harry was getting an uneasy feeling as they revised with Nym, and it was transmitting itself to the Coven.

Finally the revision was over and the group broke up. Harry went for a wander round the castle with the Coven. They wandered onto the third floor and Harry found the open door, the playing harp, the sleeping Cerberus, and the trap door. He looked at the witches. "Neville's gone in there. Dammit! Hannah, Megan, go together and find a Professor. Let them know where we are and what's happened."

Hannah and Megan took off at a run. Harry went the opposite way and into the trap door hole. The Coven shook their heads and followed. Harry cast a wandless cushioning charm on the rough floor he'd landed on. Apparently Neville and Ron had just blasted their way through what was, or had been, a large mass of Devil's Snare. Once the girls had landed Harry led them down the only passage out of the room with its slimy, dripping walls and they all stood at the bottom, looking at the flying keys and the broom. Harry rubbed a hand through his hair and just as he headed for the broom, Morag said, "The door's open, Harry. Well, unlocked, anyway."

Harry looked over at her; sure enough, the door was studded with keys that had embedded themselves in it. The door key was stuck in the lock, flapping its broken wings feebly. Harry nodded and led the group through the door. He looked at the chessboard and sighed. He cast a wandless charm at the white king and nodded as it exploded. "Checkmate."

The witches giggled at the white queen's McGonagall-like frown and tripped across the board behind Harry. The white queen moved and Hermione waved negligently at her. She froze in place and then exploded. Hermione nodded grimly. "Mine, bitch!"

The witches gave her a wider berth.

The troll in the next room was already unconscious. Smelly, though. They walked through the first set of flames and Padma, Kristen, and the other 'Claws had the riddle solved in an instant. Padma looked at the tiny bottle of potion and shook her head. It was empty. Harry nodded and waved. The flames froze. He nodded and walked through them. It tickled.

On the other side of the black flames Harry shielded as the magics flared deeper in the space. Nothing came, and the witches came through the flames shielding and ready. Harry made it deep enough into the room that he could see the mirror and Neville and Ron on the ground. Quirrell was standing over them with his wand drawn, and Harry snapped. He fired a blast of rage converted to raw magic; Quirrell was slammed into the wall, and some kind of thing took over his body. Soon enough Harry was in a ravening duel with thing/Quirrell and the witches joined in on Harry's side. They weren't throwing first year hexes, either. Thing/Quirrell was driven back against the crumbling wall and in desperation shielded, turned to the wall, and blew it out just as Dumbledore appeared.

Harry watched as Dumbledore looked in the mirror, blanched, and pursued Quirrell into the night. Harry levitated Ron and Neville and took them back through the black fire and into Madam Pomfrey and Professor McGonagall's care. He silently led the witches away behind Professor McGonagall to the Hospital Wing. Madam Pomfrey was confident the wizards would recover, but they were both physically and magically exhausted. Harry tried scanning them passively and got nothing. It was scary, like no one was home.

Dumbledore entered the Hospital Wing still in that towering fury and turned to Harry. "What did you do, boy?"

Harry actually growled. He had never liked the appellation "boy", and the last person who had applied it to him had taken a little trip to Casualty. "Followed my friend. What was that whole thing, Dumbledore? A series of tests? Who exactly were you testing, and to what end? What was that thing that took over Quirrell? Has it been in the school long?"

Harry suddenly got a plethora of images and thoughts from the witches and it all gelled in his head. "It has, hasn't it? Since Quirrell came back. It's been here all along. You, the great Albus Dumbledore, have allowed a Professor possessed by some demon or something to be in close proximity to the students for a full school year. That creature is what killed those Unicorns, not Quirrell like Neville thought.

"Quirrell's dead now, isn't he? I killed him. I thought I might have when I slammed him into that wall. The rest of those hexes couldn't have helped. Good—one less idiot to worry about. What could he have been after down there? What was the cheese in your maze?"

Dumbledore was furious. He bellowed at Harry, "You purposely killed Professor Quirrell!"

His wand snapped up and he froze; he simply could not move, even to speak. Harry looked at him with glowing green eyes. "Yes, he was dangerous. My witches were near. Two underage wizards were already down, ostensibly because of him. I took the necessary action to protect my house."

Dumbledore blanched. That response was very nearly from a textbook, a Head of Noble House textbook.

Dumbledore moved the only thing he was capable of, his eyes, and took in the group around Harry. It was all witches from first through seventh years, powerful witches who were at the top of their classes, and they all had wands out except for the Granger girl. Morgana, the boy had a Coven—he was the Warlock! What? How had this happened under his very nose? If this was known, the boy would be emancipated. He would come into the Potter inheritance, and that would be a sticky wicket when the will was read. The world would know that he, Dumbledore, had violated it, and someone would make the connection to Sirius Black. Oh, this was bad.

A change of course was required here until he could understand what was happening and formulate a plan. He had the Stone, after all. Riddle's spirit hadn't been able to carry that away when it could no longer animate Quirrell's corpse. Force obviously wasn't going to work here. As he made that decision, he found himself able to move again. "Forgive me, Harry. It has been a trying day. I understand you only took the actions required to protect yourself and others. Now, if you will, please return to your tower while I sort this out. I will speak to you again soon."

Harry simply nodded and the witches turned on their heels and left. Albus didn't fail to notice that Harry backed unerringly out of the door, which was held open by two witches. The boy was fully bound to one of them as the matriarch, then. Albus's eyes traveled over the group and locked onto a smirking Nymphadora Tonks's face. She had to be the matriarch. Suddenly it all made sense. She had found herself bound to the boy through some happenstance and had moved to establish a coven to support him all the way through school. She was no doubt the reason all these wizards had been maimed and injured—yes, she was very, very powerful. That explained the sixth through first year witches: she dominated them and used them to please her lord.

Albus smiled. Yes, control could be easily regained. She wouldn't want the scandal it would generate when he told the press an of-age witch had been having sex with an underage wizard and forcing underage witches.

Hmmm, this would have to be done delicately, however. The little freak was enormously powerful. He had killed Quirrell almost negligently and frozen the most powerful wizard in several ages to the floor like a Muggle popsicle. The boy was a perfect companion for the Boy Who Lived; adequately trained, he would hold the Death Eaters at bay while Neville dealt with Riddle. Done correctly, he could then be used to eliminate Neville if things worked out as per Albus's worst-case scenario and he lost control of the boy. Yes, this could work very nicely indeed. Albus turned and faced a livid Minerva McGonagall. He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
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