Daphne rolled over and threw one arm over her eyes in an attempt to ignore that the sun was already up and peeking through the window. For once the young witch did not feel like getting out of bed. Well known for being a morning person, always ready to face the day, she strangely found herself wishing the world would just go away. Preferably leaving me behind, Daphne thought to herself.
"I might as well get up," she told herself after a few more minutes had passed. "I can't see how my life could possibly get any worse." The young woman lamented as she sat up and turned over the covers, shivering a bit as the cold morning air hit her. A quick trip to her wardrobe saw some warm clothes selected before Daphne made her way to her bathroom. Stripping down she tossed her clothes aside for the Greengrass house elf Acilly to collect later and clean. Standing in the shower, with the hot water washing over her, gave Daphne time to reflect.
Christmas day had been a rather gloomy one within the Greengrass residence. Daphne had remained in her room with Astoria practically glued to her side. The younger girl had alternated between crying her eyes out and declaring how she was going to hex their father for doing what he had done. It had taken most of the day but Daphne had finally managed to get the story from her distraught sister. It wasn't pretty, but after what their father had done to her and Harry, Daphne really wasn't surprised.
"I have to give Draco an heir within the first year!" Astoria fumed as she paced back and forth at the foot of Daphne's bed. The young Slytherin witch had alternated between that and throwing herself on the bed in tears. "As if I can control if it is a boy or a girl!"
"They have potions that are supposed to help with that," Daphne offered, only to see her sister pause in her pacing to glare at her."Just saying," Daphne mumbled under her breath.
"Then, as if that isn't enough I have to provide a second heir for father so that there will be a male to head the Greengrass house," Astoria exclaimed as she resumed her pacing once again."Merlin forbid that the head of the family seat goes to some cousin or someone not of father's seed!"
Daphne knew that should Astoria have a second son their father would consider the boy practically his own and raise him to be a carbon copy of the current head of the Greengrass family. The boy would most certainly follow in Gerald's footsteps one day. Just what we need, a mini version of father, Daphne thought with a mental eye-roll.
"Sissy, you have to help me!" Astoria pleaded, suddenly stopping and facing Daphne.
"I don't know what I can do," Daphne said, seeing her sister's shoulder droop upon hearing her words.
Astoria's arm wrapped around herself in a hug as her voice lowed to a frightened whisper. "You have to do something. They are going to test for my purity over the Easter break. Malfoy senior and his wife are allowed to attend. It's to be a full medical examination," the scared girl told Daphne.
Daphne blanched upon hearing her sister's words. It was fairly common with marriage contracts to have the intended bride undergo a virginity verification. Virgins fetched a higher price as there were any number of rituals that they could be used for. Contrary to popular belief not all rituals involving virgins ended with their deaths. Some didn't even end with their deflowering, which made them all the more sought after.
In most cases it was unheard of for anyone other than a healer being present for the examination. Typically, not even the girl's parents were allowed to be present to avoid any accusations of bribing the healer into giving a false report. The healer swore an oath to report the truth, which was usually enough. More than a few marriage contracts had been renegotiated after the results of a virginity examination.
A full medical examination would see Astoria stripped naked so that she could be inspected for blemishes which, if found, would lower her bride price. Just the thought of Draco looking at her was enough to send a shiver down Daphne's spin. "I can't believe father is willing to allow the Malfoys there as well," Daphne gasped in disbelief. Malfoy senior had the look of a letch as far as Daphne was concerned. Just thinking about it made the older girl's skin crawl. A part of her was glad it was Astoria and not her.
Astoria had broken down into tears with Daphne quickly moving to comfort her. So the day had progressed for the most part. The Greengrass girls had spent the day together finding comfort in each other as they knew they would find none from either of their parents. The elder Greengrass matron was firmly on the side of their father having been raised to be a proper lady and do everything her husband commanded.
Daphne finally turned and began to clean her body as the warm water relieved the chill from her skin. At least we know that only Malfoy senior or father can void the marriage contract, Daphne recalled. Being the Heads of their respective Houses gave them the ability to do so. "Sadly that doesn't give us much to work with," she spoke aloud as she washed her hair.
I highly doubt father will be willing to give up what is certain to be a lucrative connection, Daphne thought as she worked at her blonde tresses. While the Malfoy name had taken a serious beating after the fall of Voldemort, the family had enormous wealth which meant that they held considerable influence as well. Other Pure-blood families might not publically be seen associating with them but that didn't stop them from meeting in secret. Back room deals had always been the norm among the pure-blood elite.
The Golden Rule, Daphne mused silently. Those with the gold make the rules, she finished, knowing all too well just how true that statement was. She had seen her own father use the Greengrass gold to get what he wanted as well as to stop other from getting what they wanted on the off chance that he might want it at some later time. "I wonder what father is getting out of this," Daphne pondered as she rinsed her hair. "It can't just be the possibility of a male heir."
"I don't know enough about the Malfoys' business portfolio to hazard a guess," Daphne realized as she turned into the shower spray to rinse her face off. They must have something father needs, she mused as she turned the shower off and quickly made her way over to the large claw foot bathtub that was filled with steaming water. Slipping into the welcoming water till just her head was visible the witch let out a contented sigh.
"That's more like it," Daphne said as she leaned her head back against the slope of the tub. Several long moments passed as she simply enjoyed the heat, allowing it to seep into her. A long soak after a shower was an indulgence she allowed herself every chance she got. The heat of the water and the stillness of the moment afforded the bright witch time to organize her thoughts and arrange her plans for the day.
It can't be just their gold, she thought as she worried the problem in her head. Father felt certain he would obtain plenty of gold from the Black family. Is it truly just an heir he is after? Daphne pondered. It was a possibility she had to admit as apparently whatever marriage contract her father had tricked Harry into didn't require that an heir be produced. "Morgana, at least I hope not!" Daphne exclaimed aloud.
The thought of Harry caused the young woman to recall her own predicament that she was in. All of her Pure-blood training was of little use to her at this moment. Pure-bloods did not apologize after all, as it was supposed to be beneath them. Not that I believe in that nonsense, Daphne quickly told herself. The fact was that she was embarrassed and a bit ashamed of her actions and truly didn't know what to do. Normally I would talk my problems over with Tracey before deciding what course of action to take but that clearly is not an option.
"All these stupid misunderstandings!" Daphne growled in frustration. Father tricking Harry. Tracey misunderstanding what I was saying, she thought, having gone over her conversation with Tracey and seen where it had gone wrong.I can see where Tracey would be upset from what she thought had happened. I was not as clear as I should have been I guess. "Now there is the matter with Tori as well!"
Daphne sunk lower into the tub till the water covered her head. There in the submerged state she thought over the current problems facing her once again, coming to the same conclusion she had the night before. There is one person that can possibly help me with all my problems. The real question is will they be willing to?Daphne was uncertain if the person she had in mind would even consent to speak with her and it was her uncertainty which held her back from seeking them out.
"Language!" Emma Granger scolded her daughter reflexively. "I take it there is some problem?" Hermione's mother asked upon seeing the distraught look upon the young witch's face.
"Sorry. I've royally bollixed things, mum," Hermione replied in a distraught tone as she slipped from her mother's embrace and into a chair that had been conjured by the Headmistress. "I don't even know where to begin."
"Usually at the beginning," Emma offered, as she reached out tucked a stray strand of bushy hair behind Hermione's ear.
"I think I have loved Harry for a long time now but I wouldn't let myself tell him. I was afraid. Afraid that he wouldn't survive the war and then my heart would be good and truly broken," Hermione confessed."I mean how many times does a guy have to save your life before you fall hopelessly in love with him?" she asked as a small humorless smile touched her face.
The Granger parents exchanged knowing looks. They had been reading their daughter's letters home for many years and it would have been impossible not to notice how they always contained a great deal about her friend Harry Potter. While Emma had first realized that her daughter was in love it had taken Daniel a bit longer as he didn't want to admit that he was no longer the most important male in his daughter's life. Minerva's lips curled upward into a smile as she finally heard confirmation of what she had suspected since Hermione's third year.
"I've come close several times to telling him since the end of the war but something always held me back. I think I listened to my head rather than to my heart," the young witch continued as her eyes dropped to her lap and stared at her clasped hands without actually seeing them. "I was so set to tell him when we went to Australia but that turned out so terribly that I couldn't think of anything else afterwards. I really missed you guys and your reaction hurt," Hermione admitted, one hand slipping up to cover her left sleeve and the letters carved into her skin. "I hadn't expected the look of disgust on your faces."
Emma reached over and laid her hand upon Hermione's hand. "We were not disgusted by you, Hermione," she clarified for her daughter,"but rather appalled that someone could do such a thing to you. Someone disfiguring another person is something you only see in a show on the tele or in a movie perhaps, not something you expect to hear happened to your own daughter."
"T…then you're not repulsed by me?" the insecure witch asked, looking up with hopeful eyes.
"Sweetie," Daniel Granger said, laying a gentle hand upon his daughter's shoulder, "You will always be our precious little girl no matter what happens to you. Just the thought of someone hurting you makes me see red!" Daniel growled angrily.
"But the looks on your faces and you were so angry," the confused witch cited as her eyes once more dropped to her lap. She had been so certain that her parents had been repulsed by her hideous scars only to be hearing that it hadn't been that at all.
"We were angry," Emma replied, confirming her daughter's words. "You were hurt by someone and we couldn't protect you. We didn't even have any say in the matter of our family's future. We were forced to leave our daughter, to even forget we had you, Hermione. We're a family and we've always talked things out amongst us. That is how we handle our problems, as a family. You took that away from us," Emma added, her eyes tearing up.
"As a parent you always want the best for your children. You want to protect them and keep them safe from harm," Daniel Granger said, taking up where his upset wife had left off. "We're the ones who allowed you to be a part of the magical world only to discover that it was more dangerous than it was magical. When we should have been the ones to protect you we were instead sent away. I felt so helpless upon finding that out," Daniel admitted with an angry growl of frustration.
"We were upset at not having the choice but also I think that we were angry upon realizing that even if we'd had the choice there wasn't much we could have done," Emma continued as Daniel was forced to stop to regain control of his temper once again. "It is not easy to realize that you can't save your own child. You're our only daughter and the most important thing in our lives, Hermione. I don't know what we'd do if anything ever happened to you!"
Hermione, already an emotional wreck, could take it no longer and with a loud sob dove into her mother's arms as the two Granger women cried together and tried to console each other. Daniel Granger could do little more than look on while rubbing both their backs while attempting not to cry himself. "I'm so sorry for what I did to you both!" Hermione sobbed.
"Just don't do it again," Emma replied with a wet sniffle as the two of them struggled to regain some emotional stability. "We're a family so let us talk things out as a family," she offered only to feel her daughter nod in agreement. "So, tell us about this problem with Harry. Is it that he doesn't love you back?"
"He hasn't come out and said it, mum, but I'm certain that he does," Hermione answered, a small smile, the first since leaving Westfield, appearing on her lips. "When he picked me up at the station we kissed," she told her mother as her cheeks turned a light shade of pink."It was so…magical!" No need to tell them of our snogging session in my room afterwards, she reasoned.
"I suspect you've waited a long time for that kiss," Emma teased in a light tone only to feel her daughter nod ever so slightly."So if he feels the same way as you do then what is the problem, sweetie?"
Hermione sniffled while wiping away the remainder of her tears. Reluctantly the Head Girl sat back in her chair and regarded her parents wondering just how they would take the news. Gathering her damaged Gryffindor courage, she finally answered, "He's married."
"What!" the elder Grangers exclaimed in unison. While they had certainly expected there to be some problem the Grangers had thought that maybe they had fought and had a falling out at most. Young couples always do that sort of thing after all. Never had the mention of the word marriage figured into their thoughts though.
"It's not his fault," Hermione was quick to clarify."It was all accidental. I'm certain he didn't intend to get married to Daphne."
Emma and Daniel exchanged confused looks for a moment. "I'm fairly certain last I heard that in order to get married you had to consent to it, Pumpkin," Daniel Granger finally stated.
"Ordinarily you would be correct, Mister Granger," Minerva McGonagall spoke up, having remained quiet during the previous proceedings so as not to intrude. "In our world however there are such things as marriage contracts. It would seem that Mister Potter has run afoul of one such thing."
"Marriage contracts? I wasn't aware that those were still in use," Emma stated in a surprised tone. "I mean I know that in the East it is still fairly common for families to arrange marriages for their children but I thought we were a bit more civilized here."
"There are a great many things about the wizarding world that are rather /Old-Fashioned/, Mum," Hermione offered. "The problem in Harry's case is that he wasn't aware that the contract existed," the bright witch said thoughtfully. "From Daphne's reaction she wasn't aware either if I had to hazard a guess."
"Who is this Daphne?" Emma enquired in a puzzled tone. If what Hermione was saying was true then Emma could only imagine how the bride was feeling.
"The girl Harry is married to," Hermione answered."Daphne Greengrass. She was in the same year as Harry and I but was in Slytherin. Outside of classes we really didn't have any interaction with her at all. At least she wasn't a part of Malfoy's group, which is why we probably didn't interact all that much. She's pretty and very smart as well as from an old family," Hermione added to completing her report.
"The Greengrass family is a very ancient one," Minerva volunteered. "They are a Pure-blood family who has remained neutral during the wars that have plagued our society. They are wealthy and very influential within our world. Daphne has a younger sister, Astoria, who was attending Hogwarts up till this year."
"So both of them are bound by a contract that neither of them have signed?" Daniel asked only to see his daughter give a nod in agreement. "How is that possible? Has anyone actually seen the contract and read it? How do you even know that it is real?"
"It would seem that it is real enough," McGonagall replied. "For the Black family ring to appear on Miss Greengrass' finger it would have to be authentic. Magic like that cannot be fooled I'm afraid. The Black family is a very ancient one and the enchantments upon their wedding rings would be both very old as well as very powerful. As for the how of it, magic of course."
"So the principal parties in this contract would have to be Harry and this Daphne?" Daniel asked thinking aloud. Upon receiving a nod of confirmation from Hermione the man continued. "I handle all the contracts for our business so I have a little experience with them. How was the contract enacted? Is there a clause for a way out of it? Perhaps a penalty payment of some kind?"
"We don't know as yet what the contract is," Hermione explained. "I've been trying to research marriage contracts here in the library but it has been slow going. It seems that there are a great variety of contracts which would fall into the 'Standard Contracts' category but then there are others that can be modified to just about anything. On top of that there are any number of antiquated old laws which still remain valid having never been abolished."
"Headmistress McGonagall," Emma voiced pulling the elder witch's attention, "are the books Hermione is reading magical in nature?"
"No, Mum!" Hermione answered first as a smile blossomed upon her face. The bright witch believed she knew why her mother had asked and was practically holding her breath in hope that she was correct.
"Miss Granger is correct," Minerva replied. "They are merely books which contain the laws that have been passed by the Wizengamot. They are difficult enough to read, I assure you, without adding spells to them," the Headmistress stated, the corners of her lips twitching upwards.
Emma glanced towards her husband only to receive a nod of encouragement. "Would it be possible for Daniel and I to help Hermione with her research? We both attended university in our world and should be able to fend our way through the books in question I would think."
"I don't see where that would be a problem," Minerva replied only to hear Hermione's squeal as the young witch launched herself at her mum and hugged Emma for all she was worth. "I am quite certain that Miss Granger can show you the way to the library, having been there a time or two," Minerva said with an actual smile.
"More than a time or two I'd wager," Daniel replied with a smile of his own as he watched his two girls.
"Oh Dad, I don't go to the library that often," Hermione stated sitting back from her mum. Three arched brows of disbelief were her only answer. "I don't!" Hermione huffed defensively crossing her arms over her chest.
It wasn't long before the three Grangers were walking along the corridor heading towards the Grande Stairway. Emma slipped her arm around her daughter's shoulders, "You alright?" Hermione shrugged dismissively but remained silent. "Have you thought of what you might do if there is no way out of this marriage contract for Harry?" Emma didn't want to bring up that possibility but knew it would have to be faced eventually.
"I don't know, Mum," Hermione admitted, her shoulders drooping significantly. "I feel as if I had just gotten Harry only to have him snatched away by someone else! I know it isn't Daphne's fault and all. She's just as much a victim as Harry is but there is a part of me that is so jealous of her right now."
"So you wish it had been you rather than her?" Emma enquired as she looked for her husband. Daniel had been wise enough to realize that the two women might need to talk and had paused along the way to admire several suits of armor, affording the two women in his life the privacy they required.
"Yes. No," Hermione answered in an uncertain tone before explaining. "I wouldn't want to trap Harry into anything he didn't want. He's had enough of other's deciding his life for him I suspect. I would rather that Harry chose me on his own than having it forced upon him by some marriage contract. I can see why Daphne was so mad though. I know she has feelings for Harry as well and I'm certain she would have rather been chosen on her own merits."
"This contract has removed everyone's freedom of choice," Hermione stated, not failing to realize she had done the exact same thing to her parents. Perhaps this is karma coming back to bite me in the arse? "I know it is wrong but if Harry had to be trapped into marrying someone is it wrong for me to wish it was me instead of Daphne? Does that make me a bad person, Mum?"
Emma hugged Hermione tighter to her side with one arm. "I don't think that makes you a bad person, Hermione, just a woman in love with a man. I'm sure there are arranged marriages that work out. Couples may even come to love each other over time. Still, some don't. I would think it would be a difficult issue to work through. Take your father and me," Emma offered.
"What!" Hermione exclaimed, looking about for her father only to spot him some good ways behind them. "You and Dad were an arranged marriage?" she asked in disbelief.
Emma couldn't help but chuckle at her daughter's reaction."No, silly. When I first meet your father he was engaged to be married. As soon as I saw Daniel I knew he was the man for me," Emma said with a wistful smile as she recalled the memory form that time. "I was the right one for him, he just didn't know it at the time. I wasn't going to let something as trivial as an engagement stand in my way."
"S…so what did you do?" Hermione asked in awe, having never heard this story about her parents before.
"I didn't give up," Emma told her daughter. "Even the fact that he was engaged to my cousin Brenda wasn't going to stop me from being with Daniel. I marched up to your father and told him that he was making a huge mistake. Then I kissed him, right there in front of the entire family! I think Aunt Agatha actually fainted," Emma recalled in a thoughtful tone.
Hermione had always wondered why cousin Brenda had always ignored them at family gatherings. The woman would sit and stare daggers as her mum for no apparent reason. Brenda's daughter had teased and picked on Hermione while growing up as well. At least now I know why she hates our family so much, Hermione thought."You actually did that?"
"Yup," Emma confirmed. "It took a bit longer but your father eventually wised up. I'm sure Brenda constantly screeching at your father for looking at me helped it along somewhat. Seems he was a bit dumbfounded as to why I would kiss him like that," she added with an amused chuckle.
"Guilty as charged," Daniel offered from behind them, having caught up enough to hear the tail end of the story. "I just couldn't fathom why someone as beautiful as your mum would want to be with a bloke like me. Your Mum saved me from a fate worse than death," Daniel said, recalling just how henpecked Brenda's current husband was. "If not for her I would have never of found the love of my life!" Daniel added, slipping his arm around his wife and giving her a loving peck on the cheek.
"Like I would have let you get away," Emma playfully teased before turning back to Hermione. "After that family gatherings were particularly awkward. My point though is that we didn't let that stop us from having what we wanted, dear. We truly love each other and I couldn't imagine a life without your father."
Hermione sighed and smiled upon seeing the love her parents shared. I want that for myself, she thought. I want that with my Harry! The young witch squared her shoulders, determined to not let something as little as a marriage contract stand in her way of getting the man that she loved. It was with a new sense of conviction that the Head Girl of Hogwarts led her parents into the library.
Andi closed the book in her hands and set it upon the table next to her. Looking back towards the nervous wizard standing in the doorway she patted the seat beside her, indicating that Harry should come have a seat. Only waiting till Harry was seated next to her before asking, "What can I help you with, Harry?"
The young wizard paused to gather his thoughts. Do I just come out and tell her that Iam now married to Luna as well as Daphne? he pondered. In the muggle world it would be unheard of for someone to be married to more than one person.Granted there were still countries in the Middle East that allowed for that, but Harry was fairly certain England wasn't one of them. "I need some advice," he finally stated.
A slight smile appeared upon Andi's lips. She had figured that sooner or later Harry would come to her. With so many young witches interested in him it had only been a matter of time as she saw it. "Need a little advice on women, do you?" she asked in a humorous tone.
"No," Harry replied with a smile as he ran a hand through his hair. "I'm pretty sure no matter how much advice I get I'll never understand you guys. I've been with Hermione for years now and I don't really understand her at all. I've found it's better to just try and support her as best I can rather than drive myself crazy attempting to figure her out."
"My first suggestion would be to stop thinking of us as guys," Andi teased, eliciting a chuckle from Harry which had been her goal. Seeing Harry relax a bit she continued, "If it is not advice on dealing with us then what can I do for you?"
"Well, I know very little about the wizarding world's customs and laws," Harry confessed. "I mean it's not like they have a class for that at Hogwarts, though it certainly would be helpful for those not raised in this world. Things here are just so different than in the Muggle world."
"It was a bit of a culture shock for me as well when I first started dating Ted," Andi admitted. "The information we learned in Muggles Studies was so outdated that none of it even applied any longer. I was ill prepared for the shock of actually stepping out into the Muggle world."
"Muggle Studies hasn't changed," Harry quipped."I'm sure it was fine a hundred years ago or so but certainly not now. It would be nice if there was some form of cultural class that covered both our worlds."
"Perhaps that is something you can discuss with Marry when she returns," Andi suggested. "If you are truly going to open a school for the Lupin Home that would be the place to do so I would think."
"That's brill, Andi!" Harry exclaimed, turning in his seat and pulling the startled witch into a crushing hug that would have done Missus Weasley proud. "Why didn't I think of that?" Harry asked himself aloud.
"I guess that's why you keep me around," Andi joked, feeling her cheeks heat into a blush as Harry hugged her. "At least I am good for something," she added with a small chuckle.
"And here I thought you were the one keeping me around," Harry bantered back before sitting back a bit so he could look at the witch in his arms. "I think I would be good and truly lost without you around Andi. I certainly need you. Never doubt that," Harry told her sincerely.
Andi's breath hitched in her throat as she looked into the emerald eyes gazing at her so lovingly. The witch suddenly had a burning desire to lean in and kiss the wizard sitting with her. There was a wondrous burning hunger that seemed to blossom within the older witch's chest. A hunger that she had not felt for anyone in a long time. Before she even knew what she was doing Andi found herself slowly closing the distance between their lips.
Harry couldn't believe just how lucky he was to have someone like Andi in his life. The young man had to admit that there was a certain appeal to Andi's maturity and the different way in which she looked at the world around her. She's one of the few witches I know who is familiar with both the magical as well as muggle world.Harry's emerald eyes regarded the woman beside him lovingly, looking over the contours of her face till they lighted upon her rich full lips.
I could just lean in and capture them. It would be so easy, he found himself contemplating. Bloody hell! What am I thinking? She's my cousin! the rational part of his mind screamed. Damn hormones! With a great effort, Harry turned away and sat back on the couch, only then to realize that Andi had in fact been leaning in as if to kiss him as well. I must have been imagining it. I'm already in enough trouble without adding to it.
"Sorry," Harry offered in a soft voice without even looking at the witch beside him. A part of him wished he had leaned in and finished the kiss, while another part of him was confused as to why he would want to do that to Andi. "For a moment there I thought…well, I'm not sure what I thought," Harry finished with a heavy sigh. The young man's emotions were in a twist as if someone had cast a confundus charm on them. The last few days had been some of the strangest of his life, which was saying a great deal considering what had gone down with Voldemort over the years.
Andi schooled her features as she sat back so as not to show the wealth of disappointment she was feeling that Harry had apparently rejected her. /Was I wrong?/she asked herself, certain that she had seen his eyes lock in on her lips and that he had actually started to lean in as if to kiss her only to turn away suddenly. After hearing Harry apologize the words just slipped past Andi's lips before she could stop them, "For a moment there I thought you might kiss me."
Placing his hands upon his knees and being certain to look straight ahead rather than at the beautiful and mature witch beside him, Harry gave her an honest answer. "For a moment there I was."
Andi's heart within her chest thumped to a quick tempo that she was certain was loud enough for the wizard seated beside her to hear. "Why didn't you? I think I'm about the only witch here you probably haven't kissed yet," Andi replied. "I was starting to feel a little left out," Andi tried to tease, but it came out in a nervous, trembling tone instead.
For a moment Harry was shocked. Did she actually want me to kiss her? The young man's mind reeled at that thought, certain he must be mistaken. Still, he couldn't deny the spark of hope which ignited in his chest at the thought that maybe, just maybe, someone as wonderful as Andi would be interested in him. That hope came crashing down as he recalled once again exactly why he had asked to speak with her in the first place.
With a huge mental effort, he gathered his feelings for Andi as well as his suspicions of her feeling for him, and forced them into a back corner of his mind. There's no time for that now, he reasoned. I'm already married. To two witches none the less! "Well, that is sort of why I wanted to speak with you," Harry answered, pausing a moment to gather his thoughts once again. "What are the marriage laws like in the magical world?"
Andi turned and blinked slowly at the man beside her, not having expected such a question from him. I guess I should have considering what happened with Daphne, she finally reasoned. "Not much different than those of the muggle world, Harry. Divorce is a bit more unheard of in our world though. There aren't any marriage licenses you have to obtain though as magic takes care of that instead. Wondering if there is a way out of your marriage with Daphne?" Andi asked, reminding herself that Harry was already taken so there really was no chance of anything with him anyways.
"That's part of it," Harry replied a bit evasively."Are marriages strictly monogamous?" he asked, seeing no way around asking the direct question. It wasn't a topic one could actually ease into as he saw it. While he understood he could question his solicitors about it, they would not be available till after the New Year and he wished to know as soon as possible. Andi was thus the logical choice to ask about the matter.
"One woman not enough for you?" Andi teased, getting it right this time in more ways than one. The intelligent witch didn't fail to notice Harry's rather stiff posture or the play of muscle in his face indicating a clenched jaw. Figuring that there had be an important reason for his question, Andi replied, "They have been monogamous for some time now. There was a time when the men of our world married multiple women but that fell out of practice around the same time that covens did back in the late 1600's."
"So it isn't illegal then, just not practiced in some time?" Harry enquired, turning to regard the witch intently.
"While I am no law major, I believe that the Wizengamot did finally pass some laws concerning marriage that limited it to a single spouse," Andi answered, puzzled by the young man's question. "Harry, what's this all about? I mean I can see why you'd be interested in marriage laws considering what you're going through with Daphne but why the question about multiple wives?"
Harry's shoulders slumped in defeat. Andi's words had confirmed his worst fears, that he couldn't legally be married to two women at the same time and yet…somehow he was. "I sort of married Luna," he finally confessed.
"You what?" Andi exclaimed in surprise. "How? When?"
"After everything fell apart with Daphne, Luna found me and well one thing led to another," Harry offered with a shrug. "It just happened."
"What just happened?" Andi asked insistently. "I need to know everything in order to determine just how much trouble you might be in Harry."
"Everything?" Harry squeaked, recalling just what he and Luna had been up to when he had proposed to the young witch. Seeing Andi nod, Harry felt his face heat into a full blown blush. "We were up in my room," he stammered. "We were a bit busy at the time and, well, I asked her to marry me. There was a flash of magic and the Lovegood ring appeared on her finger I guess."
"You guess?" Andi asked for clarification. "How could you not know? Did it appear by magic or not?"
"We were a bit busy at the time and neither of us saw it," Harry stated a bit defensively. "But it had to be magic! I mean how else could it have gotten there?"
"Busy?" enquired Andi with an arched brow. It was only then that she noticed that Harry's face was beet red all the way to the tips of his ears. Suddenly what he had been trying to indicate clicked. "Oh, busy, busy," Andi said in dawning understanding. "So not only are you married but you also consummated the marriage," she stated, ignoring the pain of jealousy she felt in her chest. "Wait, the Lovegood ring?"
"Luna's father made me his heir before he passed, which made me the head of the Lovegood family," Harry explained.
"So you're the head of the Lovegood family as well as the Potter and Black families?" Andi asked in a thoughtful tone, trying to determine if that made a difference at all or not.
"Is that important?" Harry asked, still blushing from his admission of having made love to Luna.
"I don't know," Andi reluctantly admitted. "I'm no solicitor so I can't truly say. Usually if a person is the head of more than one house they fold whichever house they want into the other one thus by dissolving it. In your case you're actually the head of three houses and you haven't dissolved any of them."
"Four actually," Harry offered in an embarrassed tone.
"Really?" Andi questioned in disbelief. "What's the other one?"
"Davis. Tracey's father made me his heir and then advocated the head of house to me," Harry replied.
"That explains how you acquired Divine Dresses," Andi quipped. "Any other young witch's house you've recently been named heir to?"
Harry could do little more than shake his head in way of reply as his face felt like it was on fire. "But if magic accepted my marriage to Luna then it should be alright, shouldn't?" he asked, grasping at straws. He wasn't certain what exactly would happen to him and truthfully he really didn't care. Harry's only concern was what would happen to Luna and Daphne and how this would adversely affect the two of them.
It's all my fault after all, he told himself. If anyone should get in trouble over this, it should be me. I'm the one who asked Luna to marry me after all, even knowing that I was already married to Daphne. Harry could only hope that at worst he would be forced to choose between the two of them. If it came to that he knew that he would pick Luna, simply because he knew Daphne loved another and she had been tricked into marrying him against her will. Somehow I doubt it will be that simple.
"I wouldn't be so sure," Andi replied, confirming his fears with those five short words. "The fact that you've married two women still breaks the law set forth by the Wizengamot and there could be repercussions from that as yet. For now, I would suggest keeping this quiet till you've had a chance to speak with your solicitors about it," Andi counseled, wishing she had something more helpful to contribute.
"Thanks, Andi," Harry replied with a small lopsided smile of appreciation. "That is pretty much what I had already figured out."
"Sorry I couldn't be of more help, Harry," Andi apologized, truly sorry that she couldn't do more.
"I think it helped just being able to talk with someone else about it," Harry told her sincerely. "Any other advice for me?"
"Don't marry anyone else," Andi replied with a teasing grin that was only half in jest.
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