An unorthodox, unwanted bonding - and yet...
AUTHOR'S NOTES: I nicked the title from Timbuk3, the plot from the challenges, and the characters from Rowling. Where does that leave me?
BETA: none, I take full responsibility.
This story was an entry in Misconceptions: Harry Potter Mpreg Fuh-Q-Fest Wave 3 (http://hpmpregfqf.design-of-decadence.net/)
Challenges: 61. The Sorting Hat can do more than just decide on the right house for each person. (Submitted by Charlotte Makenna), and:
111. Because so many people died in the war, steps must be taken to prevent severe inbreeding. Each person of childbearing years must have a child with at least two other people (either carrying the child or impregnating the other person). How is this accomplished? Are volunteers requested? Is force used? (Submitted by Angelica Deville)
Pairing(s): List F: Severus Snape - List A: Harry Potter - List B: Creevey, Dennis
THE FUTURE'S SO BRIGHT, I GOTTA WEAR SHADES
We won. It may not have seemed like it at that time, but we did win.
The cost was high, though, perhaps too high. It would take a lot to get our society working again, perhaps too much to call ourselves "light" wizards afterwards. And who would have won then, wouldn't Riddle be laughing from whatever corner of Hel he was held in?
So many had died. Near the end, when Voldemort knew he couldn't win anymore, he lost it completely. In the style of a true megalomaniac, he decided Wizarding Society, and if possible the entire world, would go down with him. He didn't succeed, of course, but it was a close call.
The entire Wizarding population in Britain had been counted. It was a rather easy job: there were less than a thousand of us left - few of us females, and even less younger than twelve. Voldemort acted like most beasts of prey: he attacked the weakest members of the herd first.
Children, women, Muggles with magically gifted children, Muggleborns, Squibs. They died in droves, and he revelled in their suffering. It didn't bring him victory, it only enlarged the bloodshed, but that was exactly what he wanted.
And so, there we were, at what was called laughingly a victory party. It was at Hogwarts; of course it was at Hogwarts. The Ministry was a crater in the middle of London, Diagon Alley had all the charms of Lebanon in the eighties, and Hogsmeade wasn't much better.
But Hogwarts stood as it stands today, its towers high, its walls marked but unbroken. In Hogwarts the last young generation brushed shoulders with the few that could reach the castle and claim sanctuary.
The horrified civilians, the surviving Aurors, the members of the Order. All of them had losses to mourn; most of them sole survivors of their family. Hel, there were only two Weasleys left, that should give you an idea of how bad things were.
Eight hundred sixty-four wizards. The entire Wizarding population of Great Britain, huddling in Hogwarts' Great Hall. It was a close fit, but we managed.
We were a rather morose group for people that were supposed to be celebrating, but Albus - he had added Acting Minister of Magic to his many titles - had decided we needed a feast to lift our spirits, and to mark a closure of a dark era.
He was right, of course, and we all bravely aspired to be joyful and optimistic, but we failed. Luckily there was the food - a far cry from what it once would have been on such an occasion, but the House Elves had done miracles with what they had at hand. There was plenty to eat for everyone, and they even had managed a simple pudding.
We were all leaning backwards, enjoying the feeling of a full stomach, when Albus rose to make one of his speeches. Nobody minded much; expecting a typical celebratory speech about how good we were, how hard we had worked and fought, and that we should congratulate ourselves.
Instead, he dropped a bomb.
We should consider ourselves an endangered species. Our numbers were far too low to think we could just start over with our lives and continue as if nothing had happened. We would have to make hard choices if we hoped to have a viable society ever again. We could not expect much help from the rest of the Wizarding world, or the Muggles, he announced.
No foreign Wizard would set foot in Great Britain for the next five hundred years. Too many Dark Lords had originated in our country, and every one of them had harmed not only our own country but the rest of the world as well. As a result, nobody wanted to waste a lot of efforts on a society that would, likely as not, only turn out another tyrant.
The British Muggle government wouldn't lift a finger either, quite understandably.
We were completely on our own.
The twinkle in his eye was replaced by a steady glow, and he threw his goblet of Butterbeer against the wall. Now that drew everybody back out of his or her miserable thoughts, and he shouted that he refused to surrender. Wizarding Great Britain would not be destroyed, its population would not be scattered, and lost.
He had a plan, a ruthless, daring plan. It would be painful for all; great offers would have to be made and little happiness to be found. It would be hard work, but the rewards would be great.
"In later times, this will be known as the Age of Rebirth. We shall rebuild, repopulate our entire society. We shall alter it, change its laws and customs, and it shall be better and stronger than before. When, in five hundred years from now, our isolation will be broken, and foreign Wizards come to our island, expecting to tour the ruins, they shall find a thriving, healthy, wealthy Wizarding society! And it shall be so because of our sacrifice, our willpower, our vision!"
I shuddered - I seemed to remember a young Tom Riddle starting out this way, all lofty ideals about changing society for the better, and grandiloquent speeches. I prayed all Gods I could think of that it wouldn't be as bad as that.
Albus must have deemed us sufficiently cheered up to hear the radical measures he wanted to take, he wanted us all to take, that would be needed to rebuild our society.
By the time he had finished, many were crying, others were clearly seething with anger, but none protested. We all knew that times were indeed desperate, and Albus' proposal might well be the only possible solution.
No longer would we marry for love, or even for the good of our family. Stark objectivity would decide our weddings; the Sorting Hat would select partners based on strength and compatibility of magic.
Those of us below the age of seventy would bear at least two children- and he stressed those words, at least, and added that more would be considered admirable, even advisable, and a proof of good citizenship. Those whose age would not allow this would still be obliged to marry, and father children - no bloodline could be wasted.
When a child, possessing magic was born to a Muggle family, it would be taken from them as young as possible, and adopted by one of the new families. Regrettable, perhaps, but we could no longer lure the Muggleborn with promises of a first class education, and a good life afterwards, and we desperately needed the inflow of new, unrelated bloodlines even more than before.
Also to avoid inbreeding, monogamy would be out of the question: from now on, a standard wedding would unite three people; and each would have to bear at least - again that emphasis on those words - one child by each of their spouses.
In order to reach that goal, all men would be cursed with the Kryptogynon, and women would be taught a temporary Hermaphroditus spell. The age of consent would become obsolete, from the moment a girl had her first menses, or a boy his first seminal emission, they'd be considered mature enough for marriage and procreation.
And so began the night that decided all of our lives. Albus had a House Elf bring the Sorting Hat, and a grim silence hung in the Hall as one by one we put the sentient headgear on our head, listened to its cryptic remarks, and passed it to the next man.
Unexpectedly fast the Hat was returned to Dumbledore. He rose, once again, and walked to the front of the head table, where a stool stood waiting. He placed the Hat on it, and stood next to it. The Hat was blessedly silent; I don't think I could have handled one of its blasted songs.
Memories threatened, of all the years Minerva had stood there, scroll in hand; summoning first year students to hear what path their life would take. I remembered how frightened I had been the night I had been one of those children, and almost laughed. Once again I walked up to that stool, trying to hide my fear, to hear a thinking piece of felt decide over my future.
As might have been foreseen, I was the first Albus called to come forward. I appreciated his trust in my composure, but I truly would have preferred he didn't esteem me quite as highly.
And so, I stalked, true to form, towards the rickety stool, sat down, and donned the Hat.
Its voice was serious in my head, not a trace of the buoyancy it usually showed when deciding which House a student should join. It spoke of great strength, and honour, and reminded me that those like my future spouses and myself should remember that such strength was rare, and would be sorely needed. It urged me to be fruitful, and to demand the same of my spouses, and said those were the main reasons my spouses were chosen: they were strong, very strong, they'd have many fertile years ahead, and they were young enough to be taught docility.
It came as no surprise, then, when it called the first name.
Just as I expected, I thought, that one's young and strong all right, but docile? He'll make my life hell, and probably will be miserable too. But yes, I could handle him. Whatever his ideas about his future had been, from now on they'd include a great number of pregnancies, and all that that entailed.
Even worse. Another Gryffindor, about as idiotic as they got, and underage to boot. But wait, that wasn't true, Dumbledore had rescinded the laws on age of consent: the moment a child was sexually mature, it was to be considered old enough for marriage. I supposed young Creevey was mature all right, and if not, he soon enough would be - if necessary, I knew a nifty little potion to help things speed up.
I removed the Hat, and observed my two betrothed approach me. They looked as if their familiar had died, and had been informed they would share the same fate soon.
Dumbledore, on the other hand, beamed. He briefly exploded in a flurry of blessings and congratulations, before sobering down again, and performed the bonding ceremony for the three of us. He even created rings for us, pretty platinum rings with one emerald and two rubies each. And then he cursed us, as we knew he would.
It always had been considered a curse, and perhaps it still was, but here and now, it was to be considered a blessing. "Kryptogynon", it was called: the hidden womanhood. It would make any male capable of pregnancy, and had been used in the past to ruin entire families. Heirs had been kidnapped, cursed with it, and raped until pregnant. The ensuing obligatory wedding would effectively bring the cursed heir's properties into his rapist's possession - if the poor victim didn't kill himself before it came to that.
Now it would be used for positive reasons: our society was all but extinguished, and we'd need every able-bodied, magically endowed person to procreate - be they female, or male.
The curse ran through my body, comforting warmth in my fingers, heating up as it reached my upper body, gathering in my plexus; and there it exploded. Shards of liquid, searing fire embedded themselves in my brain, in my abdomen and chest; melting what they found there, and altering my body as the spell necessitated.
It left me breathless and flustered. My spouses were no better off, I noticed. They were panting, as if they'd run around the lake on a summer day, their eyes glistened and their faces were flushed. Never had I seen such desirable beauties. They, too, were observing me, and each other, and want was building in the three of us.
I knew this sudden desire was nothing but a consequence of the curse, that it would keep us in thrall until we were pregnant regardless of our true views of each other; and yet I stood powerless, defenceless against my body's raging feelings.
The Hat was already announcing another trio, but I have no idea whom was paired to whom, as the heat steadily rose, and all I could think about was getting my husbands away from here, away from all those eyes, get them in a secluded place and fuck them and get fucked by them until the craving stopped, my purpose in life would be fulfilled and a new life would be growing inside of me.
We fairly ran to my quarters, and the moment the door closed behind us, we were all over each other. Clothes were yanked away, torn if they wouldn't give fast enough in our haste. Naked we made it to my bed, my poor single bed of so many celibate nights. This would never do. Potter - Harry, I would have to learn to call him Harry - frowned at its narrow austerity, and with a deceptively simple gesture transformed it into an overly large four-poster, a sumptuous haven of pale golden silk.
I can't remember all that happened after that, or how long we were under the influence of both curse and bond, but this I do know: my husbands and I came to my bed as virgins, and we left it pregnant. Never had I been with a man before, and neither had they, but that didn't matter. Their kisses were as sweet to me as any female's, their caresses just as arousing, and when I entered their body, they felt every bit as hot and welcoming as I thought a woman would feel - but tighter, much tighter than any female virgin could feel like. And oh, when they in turn took me, it hurt, the first moment, but once that initial hurt faded, I felt a pleasure rising in my body that I hadn't known to be possible, and I wept and screamed their names as I came harder than I ever had at my own hand.
The frenzy of our first conception may have been heaven; the moment it faded was hell, or as close to it as I ever want to experience. The combined magic of the bonding and the curse had left us no choice but to mate, but now, the bond being established and the hormones of pregnancy running through our cursed bodies, the urge had vanished, and we once again could think clearly.
Those clear thoughts were none too pleasant. Here we were, bonded, pregnant, and complete strangers to each other. One Potions Masters, close to forty years old; one Saviour of the World, seventeen; and one teenager that didn't even have to shave regularly yet. The Hat's ability at choosing correct partners clearly had declined during those centuries it hadn't been used, if it believed that the three of us could make a good family.
Me, I didn't worry too much about last night: sex was sex. Our marriage meant that I could count on getting laid regularly in the future, albeit with two people I held no positive feelings for. I didn't love them, or even like them particularly well, but those two youngsters were far from repulsive. I could learn to live with them, I supposed. I did feel rather sore, though, and promised myself I'd brew a healing salve first of all - and vast quantities of lubricating potion straight afterwards. I imagined we all could use a bit of both substances.
Potter - Harry, call him Harry - didn't seem to be hurting too much, and only had a faint trace of loathing in his expression whenever he looked at me, and remembered what we had been doing last night - and realised that "that" would happen again and again, at least twice a month, for the rest of our lives.
Creevey - no, Dennis, I must remember to call him Dennis - was in far worse shape. He looked as if he could be sick any minute now, and moved very carefully, as if every muscle hurt. Harry - good, Severus, very good, now keep remembering that - noticed as much, and asked him if he was all right.
Apparently, he was not. His far from mature body had withstood the past experiences badly; it turned out. The curse was wreaking havoc with his adolescent hormonal system; and his entrance had been torn up quite a bit. Also, luck would have it that he was one of those rare completely heterosexually orientated beings. What we had done, what he had done, felt totally wrong to him. He hated us for taking him, he hated himself for taking Harry and I; and most of all he loathed himself for enjoying all those things.
Somehow, I knew that my usual sarcastic approach would not be helpful in this case. I let Harry take care of his mental problems while I went off to my private lab in search of healing and calming Potions.
It took me a while to find some that couldn't harm his unborn child, and noted that I'd better start preparing a lot of these specific potions soon, they'd be needed. Surely others would react like Dennis, or even worse.
I paused, thinking further ahead. If he truly felt this way, it might be kinder to keep him drugged for quite some time - possibly the rest of his life. He'd need a non-addictive, non-harmful calming potion, and, for the nights our bond demanded that we would spend together, a potion, or rather two potions: a muscle relaxant and a mild aphrodisiac.
And after today, there'd be Potions to prepare against nausea, and to prevent miscarriages, and yes, a few Maturity Potions for those pitiable child-spouses there indubitably would be, and more of the same drugs I'd administer to my youngest husband.
But that was for the future, now my youngest husband needed my help. Glass bottles clinking in my hand, I returned to our living room.
I took it as a good omen that Dennis was no longer screaming insults, but crying in Harry's arms. Not that I favoured crying all that much, but the fact that he willingly let one of us - how did he put it five minutes ago - "depraved pooftah rapists" touch him, told me he might get over the whole gay-hating thing after all.
The fact that Harry was one of said rapists helped a lot, of course. Even I had noticed how Dennis and his elder brother had worshipped The Boy Who Lived since forever. He had always sought to get closer to his idol, and now he had his wish come true, albeit not in the way he had thought it would happen.
To my surprise Harry was a marvel at comforting the distraught teen in his arms. He told the boy nothing but accurate facts, but managed to shine a positive light on them.
According to him, Dennis shouldn't blame himself, or anybody else for what had happened before. Our bodies had changed, as had our minds, and from now on we would have to learn to love each other, like it or not, disregarding all former preferences. We didn't know each other very well yet, but we were no total strangers either, and we didn't really hate each other, did we?
He reassured the boy he liked him already, he truly did, and that Severus - I cocked my ear at hearing my name mentioned - might seem ugly and cruel at first sight, but that he really wasn't so bad after you got to know him better. True, Severus was a bit older than them, but that could be a good thing too, he claimed. How in the name of all the old gods could two inexperienced teenagers be expected to raise children?
Because there would be children, Harry said. All of us were already pregnant; the powerful combination of curse and bond had made sure of that.
For a moment, I believed he had made a fatal error in speaking so bluntly to our youngest husband, as the boy stiffened in his arms, and tried to get away.
Harry wouldn't allow it, though, and acted all surprised at his reaction. Did Dennis know that this was almost a dream come true for Harry? Dennis stopped crying, too shocked by this unexpected confession.
His eyes slightly bulged as he tried to see on Harry's face in exactly what way he was having him on. Harry's utter seriousness reassured him that it wasn't a hoax, or just something he was saying to get him to calm down.
"It didn't exactly happen as I would have hoped, but my only true wish has always been to have a big family. Even if things hadn't been so desperate that this kind of union was forced on everybody, I would have done something much the same. Perhaps not so fast, and very likely not with two men at once, but I would have gotten bonded for life to someone I could trust, and whose children I would have been happy to raise. I would have insisted on loads of children, as many as I would be allowed to have, no matter what ridicule it would have gotten me."
He was staring in the distance and vaguely smiling, my not-so-smart but very wise Harry, perhaps at the beauty of his former dreams, or perhaps at their folly. It didn't matter, not when he said he would find peace and satisfaction, if not happiness in this enforced relation.
Dennis was a good chap, very easy to like, they'd be friends soon and perhaps more later, who knows. I had, in his opinion, also "a lot of qualities", and he'd learn them all sooner or later. He already knew I was in fact quite kind, and would always take care of him and Dennis, he said. I just didn't have the words for it, plus I had been hiding my true nature to be a spy - now how did he know that? Who told him the deepest secrets of my soul, who showed him the parts I had hidden so deep that even Albus couldn't find them anymore?
It wasn't Dennis alone that was hypnotized by the cadences of Harry's sweet voice as he spoke about getting to know each other better, trying to get along with each other, learning to please one another, helping and finally loving each other.
For we would learn to love each other, as much as possible, he insisted. Our children deserved nothing less than a loving family; we owed it to them. We also owed it to ourselves, we deserved happiness, and we would have it if we all just made a little effort now.
Had I heard someone say those words be it even one month ago, one week ago, I would have verbally torn the speaker to pieces for uttering such inane nonsense. Now, spoken with such fire and need, they seemed to me the acme of all wisdom. They went straight to my heart, convincing me of the fact that I too deserved to be happy, and that it was within my reach.
Dennis felt it too, I could see it by the tentative smile on his still tear-stained face, and how he hesitantly raised a hand to touch Harry's face. He caressed Harry's untamed black hair, and, surprised at his own daring, shortly placed his lips on Harry's. He pulled back almost immediately, blushing furiously but very satisfied with himself, especially when Harry neither pushed him away nor forced him into more intimate touches.
He nestled quite happy in Harry's embrace, much calmer now, and I knew things would turn out all right for him. Not right away, no, and there would be setbacks, and new bouts of hysteria and rebellion, but he'd get there in the end.
Harry's sweet hopes and gentle words had convinced me too of the possibility of shaping this initially unwanted relationship into a true marriage, a bonding of not only bodies but also of hearts and souls.
In time, we might even forget how it all started, and how difficult and strange things had been.
I never have been a Seer, but now, for a moment I could see the future clearer than the tip of my nose.
I saw three men, cuddling on a sofa: one with greying black hair, one with soft sandy curls, and one with wild black locks.
They weren't young, those men, nor were they exceptionally beautiful, at first sight. Their hands and bodies showed signs of hard work, and their faces were creased. But if you looked closer, those calloused, scarred hands were touching the other men with gentle care, and the lines on their faces were caused as much by laughter as they were by sorrow.
And then, the three on the couch were besieged by a veritable army of children, varying in ages, and varying in looks, but all of them speaking the same word over and over: Daddy, look what I made today... Daddy, will you tell me a story... Daddy, can I sit on your lap tonight... Daddy, do you... Daddy, make... Daddy...Daddy...Daddy..."
The light of happiness in their eyes was so fierce it sent me right back, back to where all this had yet to happen, where the three of us still had so much to do and strive before we could reach that point I briefly had seen.
Forgotten, no longer needed potion bottles fell from my hands, and I went to my husbands, to embrace the future I saw shining so brightly out of grey and green eyes alike.