Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Witches of Westfield

Wayward Witches

by EJDaniels 1 review

Chapter 20

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor,Romance - Characters: Andromeda Tonks,Harry,Hermione,Luna - Published: 2016-04-21 - 8725 words

3Moving
Daphne surveyed her room and the assortment of clothing that was laid out, finding none to her liking. "Next time I storm off I'm definitely taking the muggle clothing with me," she mumbled, missing the clothes Harry had bought her. It was early morning on New Year's Eve and the young witch had finally come to a decision. "Now if I can just figure out what to wear."

It hadn't been an easy decision but with her sister's pending engagement as well as her own issues, both with Harry as well as Tracey, the young witch knew she didn't have much of a choice. It was perhaps her dislike of the lack of choice that irked her the most and had resulted in her procrastinating for several days. The delay though had provided her with a great deal of time to think things through and a plan had begun to form.

No matter what I do I will have to apologize to Harry and just hope that he doesn't hate me too much, thought Daphne as she looked at another dress before tossing it aside. Harry's as much a victim of my father's scheming as I am. The young witch still couldn't believe that her father had thought that tricking them into a marriage would give the head of the Greengrass family access to the Black wealth. Hopefully Harry doesn't blame me for this entire mess and lump me in with my father. The fact that she had done that very same thing to Harry still made her feel terrible.

Setting aside a ghastly dress that had been a present from a distant cousin, Daphne once again wondered about the girl's sense of style before returning her thoughts returned to the matter at hand. As before her reasoning came to the same conclusion it had every day previously. There is only one way that father could get his hands on the Black wealth, Harry would have to have died. It was the only thing that made any sense to her.

The thought that her father would go to such ends to advance his wealth and prestige sent a cold chill down the former Slytherin's spine. Like there is any way in hell I'd let father or anyone else lay a finger on my Harry! Daphne mentally growled in anger, crumpling the dress in her hands till it was an unrecognizable wrinkled lump of cloth. I wonder what Harry is doing right now? she mused silently, her anger slipping away at the thought of the wizard.

With Harry and her married, should she become pregnant and Harry then die before Daphne came of age then Gerald Greengrass could step in as regent for her and the unborn baby. As regent father would have access to everything and would no doubt transfer all the Black and Potter gold to the Greengrass vaults. Sighing, the young witch tossed the cloth aside and picked up another one to look at. I really need to speak with Harry. Daphne could only hope that he would at least listen to what she had to say.

There was a light knock at the door before it opened and Astoria entered, still dressed in her nightgown. "What happened here?" the younger version of Daphne enquired, eyeing all the clothes strewn about her sister's room. Given that the older girl was very neat and organized it was highly unusual to see her room in such a state.

"At least wait to be told to enter before you come barging in Tori," Daphne quipped, glad for the interruption. It was a long running issue between the two sisters that had started when Astoria was very little and still continued to this day. "Nothing fits," Daphne complained, glad for her sisters company as it served to distract her from just how much she missed Harry.

"That's because your breasts have gotten bigger," Astoria replied as she crossed the distance to her sister.

"I know, right?" Daphne exclaimed with a pleased grin appearing on her face as she reached up and fondled her own breasts as if to confirm that they had indeed grown larger.

"It's so not fair," Astoria whined, looking down at her much smaller chest. Even pushing them together barely gives me any cleavage, she thought, having once tried it in front of a mirror. The mirror had told her not to worry that there were men who enjoyed tiny breasts too. Astoria hadn't stepped in front of a mirror for nearly a week she had been so embarrassed.

"Don't worry, Tori," Daphne said in an attempt to console her sister, "Greengrass women are known for their full perky breasts. You still have several years of growing to do, so I'm sure you'll fill out in no time."

"Easy for you to say," huffed Astoria as she eyed Daphne's larger chest.

"Look, if you're really concerned about it the muggles have these things called bras. The sales person that assisted me told me they have ones that can make you look bigger than you are. I believe she called it a padded pushup bra," Daphne told the younger girl.

"Really?" Astoria exclaimed, her face lighting up with hope. "Where can I get one?"

"Harry took me to a store that sells women's undergarments," Daphne explained. "The poor thing got so embarrassed that he had to go outside and wait," Daphne chuckled recalling that time fondly. With her memories also came a stab of longing to see the wizard again. It amazed her just how attached she had become to Harry in such a short time. If anyone back at Hogwarts had told me I would fall in love with Harry Potter and be married to him I would have reported them to Madam Pomfrey to have their head checked.

"Sissy, you have to take me!" Astoria stated. "I mean like right now!"

Daphne knew she shouldn't be surprised, being well aware of just how self-conscious Astoria was concerning her womanly development or lack thereof. "I will," Daphne promised, hating to disappoint her sister, "but not today. I have more important things to deal with right now."

"What can be more important than helping your sister?" Astoria whined as only little sisters could.

"Helping my sister get out of her engagement," Daphne replied taking the wind out of the younger girl's sails. "I need to go see someone who might be able to help us," she added as an explanation. "I'm certain they can help us but they may not want to see me. We didn't part on the best of terms last time we saw each other."

"Is it someone important? Is that why you're getting dressed up?" Astoria enquired, once again looking at the piles of clothes tossed about the room.

"Yes on both accounts," Daphne replied as she once again surveyed the scattered clothing and attempted to decide just what to wear. It's important to make the right impression.

"Are you trying to just impress them or distract them," Astoria asked for clarification as she too started looking over the assortment of dresses and garments. Sadly when it came to Wizarding robes there wasn't a great deal of variety which meant that there were far more dresses lying about than anything else. It was regarded as unseemly in Pure-blood circles for a grown woman to be caught wearing pants like a man.

"A bit of both," Daphne replied as she picked up a dark grey dress and held it up for inspection. Too old, she mused to herself before tossing it onto the bed.

"Wear this one then," Astoria offered, holding up a rich dark blue dress trimmed in small white lace. The sleeves were long which would help keep the witch warm. It was a simple dress which laced up the front but it hugged Daphne's curves like a second skin.

Truth be told Daphne had always loved the color on her as it made her blonde hair really stand out, though it had one downside. "I'll have to wear a corset and a petticoat," whined the girl who had become rather used to the muggle forms of undergarments over the last several months.

"How is that any different from usual?" Astoria asked with a confused look on her face, doubting that her sister would be so bold as to wear nothing under her clothes, especially in the middle of winter.

"Oh Sweetie," Daphne replied as she took the dress from her sister, "I so have to take you shopping with Harry!" It wasn't long before the older witch was dressed and ready to go. "How do I look," Daphne asked as she glanced down at the expanse of bare skin that the low cut dress left revealed. "I feel a bit…exposed," she said as she tried to pull the dress up a bit to cover the swell of her breasts.

"You're perfect," Astoria said as she batted her sister's hands away from adjusting the dress. "I wish I could pull that look off," she added wistfully.

"You still have plenty of time to fill out," Daphne said as she reached out and fondled her sister, receiving a surprised yelp from the younger girl at being groped. "You're much larger than you were at this time last year, Tori. I don't see what you're worried about," Daphne told her sister dismissively.

"Watch where you're grabbing," Astoria scolded the older girl. "How would you like it if I reach out and grabbed a handful of you?"

"Go ahead," replied Daphne. "I wouldn't mind. We're both women and we're sisters for Morgana's sake."

"Really?" Astoria asked with a surprised look upon her face. Daphne just thrust out her chest in way of answer. The dress was cut low enough that the swell of each breast sat there prominently, as if on display. Astoria hesitantly reached out and gently fondled her sister, finding the other woman's breast to be extremely soft and warm to the touch. "It's so not fair," Astoria stated flatly as she grasped her own breast with her other hand to compare.

Leaning forward Daphne kissed her sister's brow softly before turning away to fetch a shawl from her wardrobe. "Try that again in a couple years and I doubt there will be much difference," she said over her shoulder. Tossing the light shawl over her shoulders she adjusted her hair with a well-practiced use of her hands. "I best be off and get to this," the elder of the witches stated as she strode to the doors to her room.

The two sisters walked in relative silence till they reached the main floor of the manor house. "Thank you, Sissy," Astoria said. "For doing this for me," she added to clarify. "You've always been there for me and I don't know what I would do without you."

Daphne slipped an arm around the smaller girl's shoulder. "You're my one and only sister and I love you dearly," she told the girl beside her. "I'll do everything I can to help you, Tori."

"I know," Astoria replied, her head dipping as she felt her cheeks heat into a blush. It always made her feel good when her sister said that she loved her but that didn't prevent the younger girl from being embarrassed all the same. "I love you to, Sissy," Astoria said, slipping her arm around Daphne's waist and hugging her sister as they walked.

-oOo-

Harry reached up and removed the blonde strands of hair from his face. It was their ticklish touch that had awaken him. Just as well, the young man thought to himself, I have things to do today. There were always things to do, even over the holidays. The paperwork never seems to end, he thought, stifling a groan so as not to wake the witch beside him. Harry tried to slip from the bed a quietly as possible so as not to disturb Luna who was curled into his side like a little kitten.

The young witch reached out and pulled Harry's pillow into a hug. "Awe, and I was so warm and comfy too," Luna pouted in a sleepy voice, snuggling into the wizard's pillow. "Sneaking off to see another woman, Harry?" Luna teased, cracking one eye open to regard her husband.

"I promised Anna I would have lunch with her," Harry replied with a small smile at the cute picture before his eyes. Luna, messy hair, sleepy face, cocooned within the blanks and hugging his pillow was the definition of adorable in Harry's opinion. "Care to join us?" Harry asked.

"And have her stare daggers at me for cutting into her time with you? I don't think so," Luna replied with a small sleepy chuckle as she burrowed into the covers a bit deeper. "I think I'll stay right here. I'm still rather exhausted from last night."

Harry couldn't help but blush recalling what they had been doing last night. They were still both new to making love and neither knew what they were doing but it was great fun trying to figure it out. There were many things about Luna's body that amazed the young man and had completely captivated Harry's interest until late into the night. "Seeing you like that almost makes me want to climb back into bed with you, Luna."

"Why, Harry," the petite witch said, opening both eyes and giving Harry a sultry look, "You're always welcome in my bed." Luna squealed in surprise as Harry dove for the bed and pounced upon the unsuspecting witch, pinning her under the covers so that just her head was visible. "Harry!" Luna giggled loudly just before Harry's lips stole hers and prevented her from saying anything further.

"And a good morning to you too, Missus Lovegood," Harry said with a wide grin once their kiss had ended. Being married to Luna was all new and exciting and Harry was determined to make the best of it. I know I will have to square things with Daphne when she is ready but for now Daphne isn't here and Luna is, he reminded himself as he traded eskimo kisses with the witch beneath him.

"A girl could get used to waking up like this," Luna told him with a goofy grin upon her face. The young witch still found it hard to believe that they were married. I'm married to Harry! she had to tell herself again and again in her head. What was even more surprising to her was that apparently Harry loved her just as much as she loved him. As long as that was true then she really didn't mind what Harry did just as long as he continued to love her and allowed her to love him in return.

"You'd best get going Mister Potter before I change my mind and try to entice you back to bed." The young wizard laying atop of her looked truly torn for a long moment. It pleased Luna to see that staying in bed with her was that tempting an offer to make Harry actually debate going or not, but she knew how much Anna meant to the wizard. "Go, Harry," Luna instructed her husband. "You shouldn't keep a lady waiting. It's very rude," she chastised Harry playfully.

Giving the blonde witch another quick kiss, Harry scooted off the bed and quickly got dressed even though he still had some time before he was due over at the Lupin Home. Slipping from his rooms he made his way down to the main floor of the manor, intent on going to his study. It was early yet and with Anna not expecting him till a bit later Harry planned to do a little of the never ending stream of paperwork. Harry's progress was stopped as Kreacher appeared with a soft pop.

"There is a Mister Wright on the floo for the Young Master," the aged elf informed Harry.

"How fortuitous," Harry mumbled considering he had questions for his solicitor. "Thank you, Kreacher," he said a bit louder before altering his course to head for the fireplace. Kneeling down Harry stuck his head into the green flames, not for the first time wondering how someone came up with this method to communicate in the first place. Just how many wizards burnt their eyebrows off before they got it right I wonder. "Mister Wright, what can I do for you, Sir?"

"Good day, Mister Potter. I hope you are well?" Daniel Wright's face and voice appeared in the flames.

"Just Harry please. Very well. Is there something I can do for you?" Harry asked, more than a little curious as to why his solicitor would be contacting him on New Year's eve of all times. This will save me from having to write out a letter concerning what has happened with Daphne and Luna.

"I have some news concerning the Lovegood matter. I know you've been rather concerned about it so I wanted to get our results to you as quickly as possible," Daniel answered. The diligent solicitor had worked during the holidays to check the last of their facts and felt confident they had determined the best course of action for their client.

"Please come through," Harry offered, withdrawing his head from the flames and standing up to make room for the wizard's arrival. Once the older wizard had stepped from the floo, removed the ashes from his clothes with a flick of his wand, Harry gestured with one hand, "Why don't we go to the study where we can discuss this in private."

It wasn't long before the two wizards were seated comfortable within Harry's study, behind privacy wards and with the door sealed. Harry, having spoken with Luna about the vow he had made Xeno Lovegood, already knew what Daniel was going to tell him. Sooner or later our magic would have forced us together and I would have given Luna a baby, Harry recalled. We just decided to speed things up on our own rather than let our magic force us into a situation. We already cared for each other so why wait? "So, what conclusion did you come to Mister Wright?"

"Daniel, please," the solicitor replied with a kind smile, only to receive a nod from Harry. "After going over what you provided us we've come to the conclusion that the easiest manner in which you could meet all of the requirement of your vow would be for you to simply adopt Miss Lovegood," Daniel offered with a confident smile.

"What?" Harry asked dumbfounder.

"Adopt her. She would become your sister if you were to adopt her into the Potter family," Daniel explained. "You could adopt her as your daughter as well I guess though given your ages that might be a bit more confusing. In either case it would provide her with the family you swore to give her. As you're already taking care of her and financially providing for her, you've meet those requirements. Staying here means that her safety is in your hands as well."

"Adopt her?" Harry asked in a shaky voice. "Not marry her?"

"I suppose that would work as well, though it seems a bit drastic," Daniel replied with a thoughtful frown. "Do you think Miss Lovegood would be open to adoption?" Daniel enquired.

"Doubtful at this point," Harry absently answered as his head was still reeling from the blunder he and Luna had apparently made. "And it is Missus, not Miss apparently."

"I don't understand," Daniel replied, completely confused by this point, both by Harry's words as well as his lack of enthusiastic response the solicitor was certain his client would have when told the news. It was a simple answer to a rather tough problem after all. As the Head of the Lovegood House Harry could do the adoption simply by filing the appropriate paperwork, which Daniel had brought with him. "So she wouldn't want to be adopted?"

"Considering she's my wife, I rather doubt it," Harry replied with a long heavy sigh before launching into what had happened. "So, I proposed and she accepted and we," the young wizard paused to recall the word Andi had used, "consummated the marriage. The Lovegood wedding ring appeared on her finger at some point."

"Well, I will say that having you for a client is never a dull moment, Harry," Daniel said into the silence following Harry's explanation.

"You have no idea," Harry mumbled, recalling his life and all that had gone wrong in it since his birth. The death of his parents. The attempts on his life almost every year while attending Hogwarts. Now with Voldemort finally defeated once and for all he had thought he'd have a nice quiet life. Apparently that was not to be the case.

"I hardly know where to begin," Daniel Wright said, running over Harry's story in his mind. "So Miss Greengrass left?"

"Missus Black," Harry corrected, "but that is accurate. I haven't heard from her since. Andi said I should give her some time and that she would eventually come back when she was ready to talk about what happened."

"That's probably for the best," Daniel agreed. "If you start nosing around looking for her word is bound to get out. I'm certain the press would love to get wind of this story." Harry couldn't help but cringe at the thought of someone like Rita Skeeter getting her hands on the details of his love life. "Best to keep this as quiet as possible for the time being."

"Andi said that it wasn't exactly legal for a wizard to be married to two witches at the same time. Just how much trouble am I in, Daniel?" Harry asked nervously.

"She is correct in that it isn't legal to be so," Daniel answered truthfully. "Penalties can vary depending on the women involved. The first wife could claim grievance and demand compensation. In this case as Daphne is underage her family could claim grievances in her stead."

"But our magic accepted it!" Harry pointed out with a touch of desperation in his tone. "How is that even possible if it isn't legal?" The young man felt terrible for the mess he'd made of things. I just wanted to have a choice in who I married. Is that really too much to ask? "Merlin but I've bollixed their lives up terribly haven't I?"

"Now hold on, Harry, before you go and get upset. If magic accepted it then that has to mean something," Daniel quickly said in an effort to calm his client. "Let me do some digging and see what I can find out about what transpired with Miss Greengrass. I am not currently aware of any marriage laws involving the purchase of a wand. Until we know exactly what happened and how it was done we're really just guessing in the dark."

"In the meantime I'll start drawing up the paperwork to have the Potter house folded into one of the other ones. Any preference as to which house you'd like it to be added to?" Daniel asked. All they could do at the moment was damage control and try to keep what happened under wraps for the time being.

"Why does it have to be folded in at all?" Harry enquired, not wishing you give up his family name if he didn't have to. If there were to be children in his future he wanted them to have the same surname as he did. I'll not have the Potter line die out with me if I can help it!

"We're not sure how this marriage was done and the fact that you're the head of several houses may be what allowed it to occur. If we can fold the remaining house in then we at least close off that avenue of the possibility of someone else to do the same thing and landing you in even greater trouble," Daniel clarified. "You can always fold it out again at a later date if you want to. It's not unheard of for Heads of Houses to fold out older extinct houses and bestowing them on their children or other relations."

Harry still didn't like the thought of merging the Potter name into another family. It's the only connection I have to my mum and dad after all, he reasoned. Still, he was bright enough to see the reasoning behind doing so. I can always pull it back out again. "Alright then you'd better do the Davis one as well. Place them with the Black family name I guess." Seeing the confused look on Daniel's face Harry proceeded to explain just how he had become the head of the Davis family.

"Never a dull moment," Daniel said with a low whistle of disbelief as he conjured a quill and parchment to make notes so he wouldn't forget an item. "Anything else I need to know?" Seeing Harry shake his head negatively the solicitor stood. "Well then I had better be off so I can start researching this matter. I would advise you to remain at home and try not to marry anyone else for the time being," Daniel quipped with a grin, attempting to lighten the mood.

"Understood," Harry replied a bit sheepishly. "I have to get over to the Lupin Home for a lunch date myself," Harry offered, shaking the man's hand and walking Daniel to the floo. "Don't worry, she isn't of the marring age," Harry added in his own attempt at humor.

"Are you certain?" Daniel joked back, reasoning that if Harry still had his sense of humor then he must be doing alright. The solicitor couldn't help but chuckle as Harry's face paled and he got a very concerned look in his eye. After saying their farewells, the two men parted ways, one returning home via the floo and the other off to see Anna.

-OoO-

Lunch with Anna had been a fun affair as it always was. Faced with the small girl's determination and spirit Harry's own problems suddenly didn't seem all that troublesome. While at the Lupin Home Harry had visited with a few other families and children till Susan had run him off before bedlam could descend, as was the norm when his presence was discovered.

After spending some time with Luna and Teddy, Andi being at work but due home for the evening meal, Harry had retired to his study once more to do the paperwork he had neglected to do that morning due to Daniel's visit. There were a number of bills that needed to be signed for so they could be paid and a summation of the books for Divine Dresses by Davis sent over from Bob.

Harry's head was beginning to hurt from trying to make sense of the numbers when he was interrupted by a light clearing of a throat. The young wizard's eyes widened slightly upon seeing who was standing in the doorway. For a long moment Harry could do little more than stare in disbelief. "Hey," he finally managed to squeak out.

"I knocked but you didn't seem to hear me," said Daphne in a slightly nervous tone of voice.

"Captivating world of accounting," Harry quipped.

"I'll take your word for it," Daphne replied with a small hesitant smile as she watched Harry rise and walk around his desk.

Harry crossed the distance between them, and taking a page from Hermione's book, pulled the startled witch into a fierce hug. "I am so sorry, Daphne! I had no idea that would happen," Harry told her, crushing her to his chest. "Are you alright? Can you ever forgive me?"

Daphne froze for a moment as Harry hugged her, but then her arms embraced the wizard and she clung to him just as tightly. Harry's reaction to her sudden appearance certainly wasn't what she had expected. I thought for certain he would be angry with me. Merlin knows I certainly was when that ring appeared! The fact that Harry was apologetic and apparently worried about her caused Daphne's heart to skip a beat or three. She hadn't realized just how much she had missed 'Harry Hugs' till that moment. There, wrapped within Harry's arms, the young witch felt truly safe.

"No," Daphne replied with a light shake of her head to emphasis her words, "I'm the one who needs to apologize. I'm sorry for what father has done to you. I am mostly sorry for not trusting you and just jumping to the conclusion I did! I should have known better. You must hate me!" Daphne said in a tear filled voice. "I even struck you!" she added, pulling back to look at the man in her arms. "Are you alright?" Daphne asked, hastily scanning over his face for any signs of damage she might have caused.

"I'm fine," Harry assured her, having used magic to heal his blackened eye. "I received far worse growing up-," the man's words trailed off as his eyes saw the split lip Daphne still sported. While the swelling had subsided the witch had not healed it as she wanted to remind her father just what he had done every time he'd seen her. "Who hit you?" Harry asked, his voice suddenly hard and steely.

"Father," Daphne replied with a forced chuckle, trying to play it off as if it was of little consequence. The fact that Harry was apparently angry on her behalf warmed her insides and set her pulse racing. "It may have had something to do with the fact that I had my wand pointed at his chest at the time," she added seeing as Harry wasn't going to let it drop all that easily.

"That's still no reason to hit you," Harry replied evenly as he reached out and touched the healing cut only for Daphne to wince. "Sorry," Harry mumbled dropping his hand and looking down only to hastily look away. With Daphne pressed tightly against his chest, combined with her low cut dress, had the young woman nearly popping out, giving the wizard a rather delightful eye full.

Catching Harry reaction Daphne looked down before hastily stepping away from the man, her cheeks heating rapidly. "I...it's okay," she stammered, turning away from the wizard slightly as her checks turned a bright red.

"That's a good color on you," Harry said after a few awkward moments of silence between them. "The dress I mean…though the blushing's not bad either," he added with a cheeky grin. The two stared at each other before breaking out into laughter and dispelling the tension between them. "So, where do we go from here, Daphne?" Harry finally asked once the laughter had dwindled.

Daphne's expression turned somber quickly upon hearing his question. "I have some thoughts on that actually, if you'd care to listen to them?" Harry gestured to the chairs before his desk and rather than return to his original seat he took the chair beside Daphne's. No sooner had they seated themselves than a tray set for tea appeared on the small table between them. "Thank you, Winky," Daphne said to the air.

For the next half hour Harry sat and listened to Daphne's plan, asking questions about certain aspects of it when he required clarification. Once the young witch had finished the former Gryffindor sat and pondered it for only the barest amount of time before voicing his opinion. "I have to admit that I'm a bit surprised. I thought for certain you would want to get out of the marriage, Daphne."

"Well, I admit I was a bit shocked and overwhelmed at first. I thought you were working with my father," Daphne admitted. "Not to put too fine a point on it but it would have been a very Slytherin thing to do," she told him, setting her nearly finished cup of tea aside.

"Yes, I think I got that point rather quickly," Harry teased, reaching up and rubbing his eye. The young wizard reveled silently in the ability to once again just sit and talk with Daphne. Being able to tease her was just icing on the cake as far as Harry was concerned.

"I said I was sorry," Daphne huffed, trying hard not to grin. Merlin but I have missed our playful banter! "Besides, if I know father then I doubt there is a way out," she told him, bringing their conversation back on topic. "He's too shrewd a business person to leave such an opening to be exploited. It is a fact I am counting on."

Harry could do little more than shake his head in disbelief. While he couldn't fault Daphne's reasoning there were still a great many things that could go wrong. I guess I should have realized she would come up with something devious, Harry mused. She was in Slytherin after all. "Alright, I'm in," he finally stated.

Daphne arched a brow and regarded Harry for a long moment. "I must say, you're taking this whole 'someone is trying to kill you' really well, Harry." She had expected Harry to be furious but once again he had surprised her. Rather than rant and rave Harry had sat and listened attentively to what she had to say.

Harry snorted humorously, "Voldemort was trying to kill me my entire life but I managed to stay alive. A scheming, greedy, manipulative father is a rather refreshing change of pace, I think. Besides, I doubt very much that your father is anywhere near as strong magically as Voldemort was."

Shaking her head slowly in disbelief, Daphne had no answer to that. She doubted very much that her father would actually attack Harry as that would not be advantageous to his plans. The Wizarding world at large would want his head on a silver platter. They'd have to wait in line behind me! "If this works out the way I've planned, there is something I need your help with afterwards, Harry. It has to do with my sister Astoria."

"Oh?" Harry enquired in a concerned tone. "Anything I can do now to help?" It wasn't in his nature not to help if he could in some manner. The Lupin Home had come about due to Harry seeing a problem and wanting to do something about it. Even the witches currently residing at Westfield Manor were there because Harry reached out to help them.

What should I do? Daphne asked herself. The young witch was torn between her concern for her sister and what her father would do if Astoria suddenly left to live there at Westfield. Would father suspect something was amiss if Tori came to live with me? Given that her father knew she was married to Harry there was that possibility. "Would it be alright if Astoria came and stayed for a little while? I don't mean move in or anything," Daphne quickly clarified. "It's just been really nice spending time with her again."

"I don't see why not," Harry answered. "She's your sister after all. We can fix one of the unused rooms up for her. Want I should send a letter to your father?" he asked, reaching over to his desk for a quill and parchment.

"I can take it with me when I go and get her. Thank you, Harry," Daphne said sincerely as Harry handed her the hastily written message. "It will be nice having her here. Well, I guess I had best be off," the young witch said, rising to her feet. "I'll go collect a few things from home and be back in time for dinner if that is alright?"

"Sounds good," Harry answered, rising to his feet as well. The two stood and stared at each other nervously for several long moments. "Umm is this as awkward for you as it is for me?" Harry finally asked with a small chuckle as he ran a hand through his hair.

Daphne seized the moment and leaned it, giving the startle wizard a quick kiss on the lips. "Certainly. I guess we'll figure it all out as we go, Harry," she told him before stepping away and walking towards the door only to pause and turn back to face Harry. "It wasn't an accident, you know? Me waiting by the curb and all," she confessed nervously. It was a fact that had bothered her for some time and she felt now was a good time to come clean if ever there was one.

Harry gave a small lopsided grin. "Thank you, Daphne. I may not have been sorted into Ravenclaw but even I had already figured that out. Still, I'm glad you decided to tell me."

"You knew but you didn't say anything?" Daphne asked in disbelief.

"I figured you had your reasons," Harry told her with a slight shrugging of his shoulders. "I had hoped you'd tell me on your own, which you did, so no harm as far as I see it."

"If we're to be married then I wanted it to be with no secrets between us, Harry," Daphne told him. "I think it is important that we be honest with each other." Receiving a nod of agreement from Harry, Daphne smiled. "See you at dinner," she said with a small wave before turning about and walking towards the door once more.

"Daphne," Harry called out to the witch just before she reached the door. All through their conversation the young wizard had been debating about telling Daphne about his marriage to Luna. She had a right to know he figured. The words were right there upon his lips as Daphne turned and gave him a small curious smile that set his heart to racing. "I'm glad you're home," he heard himself say instead.

"It's nice to be home," Daphne replied, her smile growing to dazzling proportions upon hearing his words. Daphne recalled something else as she was turning back to the door, "You haven't seen Tracey have you?"

"I thought she was with you," Harry replied in a surprised tone of voice.

"We had an argument and she stormed out. I tried flooing to the Davises but their floo connection must be down or something as I can't seem to reach them," Daphne explained with a vexed frown.

With the Davises selling off all they owned there wouldn't be a fireplace for the floo to connect to any longer. At least not one owned by the Davis family anyways. Left with no home to return to and probably little money, Harry had a good idea where the missing witch might be. "Let me see if I can find her."

"Alright," Daphne agreed with a thankful smile. "See you soon," she added before turning away and leaving.

Harry couldn't help but watch the sway of Daphne's hips as she departed. It had taken almost all his will power not to sit there and stare at the woman's chest during their discussion. Talk about distracting! the ecstatic wizard thought as he returned to his seat behind the desk to finish up a bit of paperwork before going to find their missing witch. While Harry felt bad about not telling Daphne about Luna, till they knew what was to come of it he felt there was no need to worry her needlessly.

-oOo-

Tracey Davis was not a happy witch and she was fairly certain that she herself was to blame for her current predicament. She was the one that rushed off to console Daphne and then ran off yet again when they argued. "Bloody hell I miss those muggle clothes," she growled not for the first time. Having left Westfield with nothing more than her wand, she found she didn't have a thing to wear or a knut to her name.

Truth be told her clothes were not the only thing she was missing. It just felt wrong to be separated from Daphne. The twain had been inseparable for so many years that Tracey actually felt like a part of her was missing when the other witch was not around. The young woman also missed the others from Westfield, having grown accustom to having them all be a part of her life. Tracey even missed Harry, but for a slightly different reason.

When leaving the Greengrass manor, as if it things weren't bad enough, when she tried to floo back to her own home the floo hadn't connected to the Davis home. "The ruddy thing didn't connect at all!" Uncertain of just what had happened, Tracey had flooed to the Leaky Cauldron instead and made her way into Diagon Alley. From there it was just a short walk to the storefront she was looking for, Divine Dresses by Davis.

Thankfully the wards acknowledged her as partial owner and had allowed her entry. The upset and distraught witch had lost little time in writing a letter to her father. It had been a cold and lonely night for Tracey, sleeping on the couch in the loft above the store. The room had originally been designed to be used as a small apartment but now the space was filled with bolts of cloth, patterns and tools required for the making of dresses sold in the store below.

Twice more Tracey wrote home only to receive no response. As the owls did not return with her letters she could only assume they were delivered. It has to be mother, she reasoned as she let herself out of the store and headed towards the Leaky Cauldron for dinner. I wouldn't put it past her to hide the letters from Papa. Morgana help her if she ever did anything nice for me. It was painful for the young woman to know her own mother didn't love her. A fact that didn't help her own low self-esteem issues.

It was New Year's Eve and the Alley was nearly empty of people. Most people were home getting ready to go out with their friends and family to welcome in the New Year. "Here I am grabbing an early dinner all by myself," she told herself aloud. Around her the shops were closing up for the night as few would be about to purchase anything unless it were food and spirits you were selling.

The young witch, dressed in one her mother's less flashy dresses from the store, waved to Tom and took a seat in a corner booth. The old barkeep had been kind enough to let her run up a tab for her meals, bless his heart. The past several days had been spent in the store trying to decide what to do with everything. Tracey has realized early on that she needed to get the store open again and running as quickly as possible.

"What can I get you tonight, Miss Tracey," Tom asked after making his way over.

"Whatever the special is tonight, please, and a Butterbeer," Tracey replied with a smile for his troubles. It wasn't long before the man returned with a generous portion of Shepard's Pie with a side helping of mushy peas. Tracey thanked the barkeep and dug into her meal with enthusiasm. To help keep expenses down and not run up her tab with Tom too quickly she had stopped eating lunch altogether.

"Mind if I join you," Harry asked, slipping into the set across from the startled witch. "I know Tom's food is good but you look as if you're truly enjoying that," the young wizard added with a warm smile.

Tracey was torn between wanting to eat and the desire to place as much distance between herself and the wizard across from her as soon as possible. An insistent growl from her stomach was the deciding factor as her body complained that the food had ceased to arrive in a timely fashion. "What do you want, Potter?" Tracey growled eerily reminiscent of the tone her stomach had just used seconds before.

Harry's grin widened upon hearing just how hungry Tracey was apparently. "Just a chance to explain. Nothing else, Tracey. I think you owe me at least that much after the last few months," Harry stated with a sincere smile.

The young witch eyed Harry warily as she chewed for a long moment. Damn him and that smile! It's not like I have anything pressing to do at the moment, she mused. The only thing waiting for me is a cold loft and a lumpy couch followed by more of the same tomorrow. "You've got till I'm finished eating," she finally told him, cursing the part of her heart that was happy to see him.

Harry waved Tom off as the man had stepped from the bar to see if he needed anything. The patrons of the establishment, what few there were, could be seen looking in his direction. "Mind if I put up some privacy wards?" Harry asked.

"Suit yourself, Potter," Tracey said, taking another large bite of her food.

Running his hand through his messy locks, Harry used the gesture to discreetly cast a privacy ward that would prevent others from hearing what they said as well as from reading their lips. "That's a bit better," the young wizard said as he noticed several people turning away and back to their drinks. "How are you, Tracey?" Harry asked, his brow creased in concern for the witch.

Tracey yet again cursed her stupid heart that fluttered when Harry asked how she was doing. How can he do that so damn easily? After what he did to Daphne I should truly hate him! While a part of her did, there was also a part that didn't and felt just the opposite. "Well enough," she replied with an angry glare. "If that's all you have to say then you can shove off and leave me be, Potter."

With a heavy sigh Harry sat back in his seat and gathering his Gryffindor courage and just decide to place it all on the table. "I spoke with Daphne today. She asked about you and if I had seen you or not. She mentioned you two had an argument or something and that you'd left. I figured you might be at the shop and when I didn't find you there I thought I'd check and see if Tom had seen you. Imagine my surprise to find you sitting here having an early dinner."

"Amazing luck you have, Potter," Tracey replied dryly. "It's not like everyone visiting the Alley doesn't pass through here or something," Tracey added before tacking another large portion of the pie from her plate and eating it. "Get to your point," she told him around the food in her mouth.

"Look, Tracey, we want you to come back home. To Westfield," Harry told her earnestly.

"The two of you?" Tracey enquired with an arched brow. "Didn't take any time at all for the two of you to make up it seems," the witch said flatly.

"There really wasn't much to make up for," Harry said. "We were both victims of her father's scheming after all. Daphne said he told her that he set the entire thing up so that he could get his hands on the Black gold. She believes that her father plans to kill me. As Daphne is under age that means that he'll be her guardian and as such will be able to do whatever he wants, at least till she is of age."

"Kill you?" Tracey paled upon hearing his words, her anger suddenly forgotten. "Is he mental?"

"Daphne doesn't believe he'll do it himself. If the wizarding world suddenly hated him for offing their hero that would be bad for business apparently," Harry replied with a smirk. "She thinks he'll hire others to do it instead."

"I wouldn't be so sure, Harry. Gerald Greengrass isn't a man who's afraid to get his hands dirty," Tracey cautioned the wizard. Having practically grown up in the Greengrass household, finding any time away from her mother to be a good thing, Tracey was well aware of how Daphne's father was. "You might want to be a little more concerned."

"I've met the man and Voldemort he is not," Harry stated. "If I can survive that mad man attempts on my life every year I believe I can handle one pure-blood out to make a name for himself. Besides, he'll get his in the end."

Tracey stared blankly at Harry for a long moment. It was all too easy to forget that the Dark Lord himself couldn't kill Harry Potter. All it takes is one luck spell though, she quickly reminder herself. "Wait, you have a plan," Tracey accused not sure if she should be please or worried. Gryffindors after all were known more for rushing in with wands blazing, the epitome of the proverbial bull in a china shop, than for using their heads.

"Oh no, not me," Harry clarified. "I'm great at thinking on my feet but pants at planning anything. Daphne is the one with the plan. I'm not even really involved with it other than to let her have access to my solicitors."

"Really?" Tracey voiced in a relieved tone, sitting back in her seat, the food on the table before her forgotten. "So what does she have planned?" the former Slytherin asked, her curiosity getting the better of her. The last thing she wanted was for any harm to come to Harry. If Daphne had a plan she could bet it was a fairly good one.

Harry glanced about the place, his eyes lingering on every person there. Though he might sound rather flippant about Gerald Greengrass wanting him killed, the young wizard hadn't survived by being stupid. Well at least not any more than Hermione would allow him to get away with in most cases. "I think there might be better places to talk about this, Tracey. Why don't you come home and you can ask Daphne about it directly?" Harry suggested hopefully.

"And watch the two of you play newlyweds?" Tracey asked with a scrunched up 'eww' face at the very thought.

"It's not like that," Harry insisted. "Daphne returned home to get her sister who will be staying for a while to visit," he explained. "Between that, you and what Daphne has planned, I doubt she'll have much time for the likes of me."

"How do I even know what you've told me is the truth?" Tracey pressed, trying to find some reason to not go with him and yet wanting to go all the same.

"I'll gladly swear to it," Harry offered, his wand appearing in his hand almost instantly. "I, Harry James Potter, swear-"

"Don't!" Tracey exclaimed as her hand shot forward and covered Harry's wand. "I believe you," she told him.

"That's the second time you stopped me from giving you a vow to prove I was telling the truth," said Harry, referring to that night in the kitchen. "Do you really trust me that much or just don't like to be the recipient of vows?" Harry asked half-jokingly.

"Vows are tricky things depending on how they are worded," Tracey told him. Having experienced that first hand with Luna's father, Harry had to agree with her. "They should never be taken lightly or used where the facts can be verified another way."

"I understand, but then how do you plan to determine if I am telling the truth or not?" Harry asked.

Tracey set her napkin aside and stood. "By talking to Daphne of course," she said as she headed for the floo. "Coming?" she asked over her shoulder to get the stunned wizard moving from his seat. Seeing Daphne was something she needed to do. Adding a warm bed and a hot shower to that was more than Tracey could pass up. I can finally change into some comfortable clothes as well!

Harry hastened to follow, hoping that Tracey and Daphne could patch things up. If Tracey is there along with Daphne's sister, it should keep her occupied till Daniel can figure out exactly what trouble I've gotten myself into, he reasoned. Harry stopped at the bar and settled Tracey's tab before joining the witch at the fireplace before they both disappeared in a flash of green flames.
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