A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. But you knew that.
Harry Potter and The Acts of Betrayal
Chapter Eight - The Return
Harry was nervous. The prospect of returning to Britain was weighing on him. Were they making a mistake? He and Hermione needed to be at the airport at 8am for their flight home, so they were spending the night at the airport Hilton.
Harry was nervous. The idea of taking the seats on the Wizengamot worried on him. There was so much he didn't know about how things were done there. He and Hermione intended to visit Neville and try to get acrash course on protocol from his grandmother. She seemed far too independent to be reporting to Dumbledore. Hermione had agreed with him that the possible gain was worth the risk.
Harry was nervous. His second marriage was only 6 days away, since the meeting with Daphne and her parents he had been imagining all the possible ways he could go about screwing this up. On the other hand, would his relationship with Daphne screw everything up with Hermione? What if he was a disappointment to both of them?
Harry was nervous. It was his wedding night. Hermione was in the bath preparing for bed now. He had no idea what she wanted from him, and was far to embarrassed to even consider asking. What if he didn't measure up to Ron? It was not until he had been preparing for bed he realized that he had no pajamas. He had not worn them for years, having found boxers and at-shirt to be more convenient, that was now all he owned. The water still ran in the bath. He did a quick inventory, teeth brushed, deodorant on, freshly shaved, body clean. Good. /Oh god. The water stopped./ He now knew that he had had sex before, but those times he thought it was all a dream, and honestly, he had not done anything; just lay there in a fog. On the other hand, Hermione had been an active participant in her sex life, even though controlled. He had no idea what to do. He did not know how to start... how to suggest... what she wanted from him... if anything at all.
The door to the bath opened just a crack.
"Harry? Could you turn the lights off please?
"Sure Hermione, just a sec." he reached over to the bedside table and turned the light off. The door opened fully and she stood, silhouetted in the light from the bath for a second before she switched that light off and crossed the room in the darkness and slid into the bed beside him.
"I'm ready." She said.
Tentatively his hand found hers in the dark.
"I don't know what you want me to do." He whispered.
"We need to consummate the marriage, or the magical bindings fail."
"I don't care about that Hermione. Tell me what you want me to do."
Is Harry rejecting me? Can't he bring himself to touch me? Oh God! She rolled over exploring his body with her hands. She freed him from his boxers. "Ron liked it when I did this." she ducked her head toward his groin.
Harry took her face in his hands and pulled her into akiss. "I don't care what Ron liked. I don't want to know what Ron did to you, because if you tell me I will have to kill him. I have no idea what I'm doing here. I need you to tell me what you want from me. I will never do anything you don't want me to do; I will never come to you uninvited. I love you Hermione."
He wrapped her in his arms and drew her close. He was very aware of how little cloth separated them. She tucked her face into his neck and began to cry. He pulled her to him as tightly as he dared, his left hand tracing random patterns on her back, wishing with all his might that his erection would go away
After a long while her sobbing subsided and she pulled her face away from his neck, his eyes had adjusted well enough to see her eyes glittering with tears.
"I'm sorry Harry."
"What could you possibly be sorry for?"
"I don't blame you for not wanting me. I'm used. I'm dirty."
"Are you trying to make me angry?"
"I can't tell you how much I want you. You are not dirty Hermione. Ron raped you. Do you care about what Tonks did with me?"
"You didn't know."
"That just goes to show what an idiot you saddled yourself with. You were fully aware of what Ron was doing to you and I stupidly thought it was all just a wet dream."
"I liked it Harry. I liked everything we did."
"Of course you liked it Hermione, that's how the potion works. He could have beaten you bloody and you would have enjoyed it. When you discovered what was going on, did you go to Ron for more? No, you got out. You are the smartest person I know. Don't blame yourself for things you had no control over."
She opened her mouth to argue, Harry kissed her. She was startled for a moment, and then returned the kiss.
"Could we cuddle for a while?"
"You read my mind. I love you Hermione."
At some point, they both fell asleep. Hermione woke at 4am by the LED clock on the side table. There was someone in bed with her, spooned into her back. Her first thought was that it was Ron and a wave of anger washed over her, then memory came back.
She had married Harry.
He had not taken her as Ron had. He had not been ready either. His excitement had been more than evident, but he asked her what she wanted to do. He had held her while she cried, and told her what she needed to hear. She has asked him to cuddle and despite his erection, he had pulled her into his arms and hadn't tried anything. She was still in his arms. It was hard to believe the level of safety she felt with Harry holding her. She suddenly noticed how wet she was. Making a decision. She rolled to face him.
"Harry do you love me?"
"Course I do 'mione. I have since second year."
"Make love to me Harry."
Hermione leaned into him, and lightly bit his lower lip. "Make love to me, please? I want, I need you inside me."
That woke Harry up. "Are you sure?"
"I've never been more sure of anything in my live Harry." She rolled on top of him, pulling the nightgown over her head. She took hold of him and guided him into her body. His hands found her breasts and she used her own to pull them tighter. "I love you Harry Potter."
Albus Dumbledore was an angry man. Not satisfied with ruining almost two decades of carefully made plans for the Potter line, that insufferable boy had directed the Goblins of Gringotts to repossess the items he had 'borrowed' from the Potter and Black vaults. Portraits, suits of armor, magical devices and antiques all disappeared from the halls and classrooms of Hogwarts; with bills for the restoration of the items to the condition they left the vault in left in their places. Among the items retrieved were his office desk, his bed, a collection of antique wands and staves, and possibly worst of all, the golden throne on which he sat in the Great Hall.
They had taken everything, even the things on loan from the Potter and Black families for centuries. His furious letter stating that Phineas Nigellus Black had loaned some of the items during his term as Headmaster was answered by a one line message.
'They were not loaned by the current Lord Black, who has directed their retrieval.'
Now the Potter and Black account managers were demanding afull accounting of the monies withdrawn by Dumbledore since October 1981. This could be disastrous. He needed to contact the Order. Potter had to be found immediately, no matter the cost.
Daphne Greengrass sat alone in her room pondering the path she found her self upon. She did not even have chance or luck to blame for her fate, she had planned each step along the way. If it had not been Harry, it would have been one of the other Halfbloods on her list.
While it was all just a plan, it had been good. Daphne had spent hours of each detail of the plan. Finding the right man, learning to exploit his assets while adding to them. Convincing him that multiple children were what their relationship needed. Ensuring that each child (she had the possible names for her future children on page 28 of the plan, with variations for each of the possible men. Her first child with Harry Potter would be either Michael James (for her father and his), or Sarah Lillian (for her maternal grandmother and his mother))
Now however, the 'plan' was becoming life. Her wedding was only a few days off. Harry's magic was surrounding her, caressing her, soothing her, touching her. With any luck this feeling would last forever. Once the contract was executed, it could be broken only by one of them dying. Harry had dangerous enemies, and evidently dangerous friends. Harry? When had he become Harry? What was happening to her?
She stood and examined her reflection in the mirror. Long Black hair, perfect figure, perky breasts, perfect, as always. Like most beautiful women, her few minor flaws drew her attention, but she knew that few noticed them, seeing instead the illusion of perfection. Would Harry be pleased? She reflected on the women in his life. Granger of course, not abeauty but pretty enough. An average figure. A steel trap mind. Weasley. She was a classical beauty. Red hair, something that did something to some men. Not much of a figure, just a waif, but that did something to some men as well. No reputation for being all that smart. Lovegood. That one made no sense at all. Not particularly pretty, no real figure, a classic plain girl, supposed to be frighteningly brilliant. Cho. An exotic beauty. Fabulous figure, extremely intelligent. How would she measure up in Harry's eyes?
Why did she care? She had been using boys and men since she realized she could. Why was she so hesitant to use Harry? And why the hell was she thinking of him as Harry? She had always thought of boys and men by their surnames. But this was... Harry.
/Harry. A bloody Gryffindor. Harry. Damn it./
Not for the first time she wondered when she would share his bed. That was something she had not ever done. He would want to have her.
Would Granger share? Would it be just Harry and herself, or the three of them? Could she deal with another woman touching her? Could she touch another woman?
Where had that come from? Why was she thinking that?
What the hell is going on?
What the hell kind of magic was in that contract anyway?
Tom Riddle was perplexed. Something was happening in Dumbledore's camp, but it made no sense.
Potter and his pet Mudblood disappeared from their respective relative's home and Dumbledore had rallied his pathetic order to find them. Riddle knew that this had nothing to do with his operations. Could this have something to do with the slave and control potions that Severus had reported brewing for the old man?
Riddle began to laugh, had Potter discovered what the old man was capable of? Had the old fool done to Potter what he had done to Riddle at the same age? When Riddle's magic had burned through the thrall, he had killed the girl controlling him. Was the Granger girl dead now?
No, Dumbledore, in his own way as pureblood centric as Riddle, would never trust a mudblood with such a task. It would have been apureblood. The Weasley girl perhaps. No reports of her death, perhaps Potter had run rather than confront his thrall holder. He and the boy were much alike in their youth, but Potter was still unwilling to kill. That weakness made his destruction inevitable.
Ron Weasley wandered the grounds near the Burrow. Hermione had been gone for almost a month. For a month, he had been without her. Without her mouth, without her willing body, without Hermione. It was driving him mad.
Fucking Potter had her. Fucking Potter was making use of his woman.
When she returned to school, she would be his. And she would return to school Hermione cared more about school than anything.. He would take her again, and he would not use a potion either. She would be his, or she would be no ones.
Eve Greengrass listened to her daughter's worries, more than a little surprised. She had thought that Daphne understood what she was getting involved in.
"I thought you understood the contract Daphne."
"I read it at least a dozen times prior to the meeting Mum. It's the contract that's doing this to me? His magic is so strong. It gets stronger every day."
"Yes. It is doing things to young Mr. Potter as well, but mostly to you. You are executing the contract, he is bound to it. Your shared magic is changing you to more suit him, it is changing him to better accommodate you. Very different things. You describe a sudden awareness of Hermione Granger. She is bound to him by love. The magic shared between yourself and Harry is binding you to her as well." Seeing the look on her daughters face, she continued, "the magic will not make you a lesbian, nor will it make you bisexual, but you will love and trust her as he does."
"What changes will he experience?"
"He will know, but not experience your emotions. He will know when you are frightened, when you are happy, when you are sad." Once again, the look on her daughter's face almost made her smile. "There are worse things Daphne. He will know your feelings, you will experience his. The magic is preparing you now. You will no longer be capable of thinking of him as an abstract. Once the contract is finalized he will be the focus of your thoughts until you replace him with your children."
"Do I have any options in this?"
Eve shook her head. "Daphne, if you finalize the contract that is how it will be. You can still walk away, the contract gives you that option, and it will be passed on to the next generation of the House of Greengrass, a daughter of one of your cousins perhaps." She kissed her daughter on her forehead. "The Black contract is very different from the arrangement that your grandparents made for your father and me. This is substantially more bonding. Ours was a business merger; this one takes you into an ancient family with much power and much responsibility. Becoming Lady Black this way will mean submerging much of yourself to Harry Potter, at least for a time."
"You have the option of foregoing the contract and returning to Hogwarts unmarried to attempt to spark a love match. Given that you are in different houses and have a different social circle, that seems unlikely to work, but it is an option."
"Something is going on Brother."
"I know. Ron's a psycho, Ginny is a basket case, been that way since Hermione disappeared.
"This has Harry written all over it."
"Notice how we were excluded from the search for them?"
"One would think they don't trust us at the Order."
"Why would anyone think we would care more about what Harry wanted?"
"It might be possible that they don't trust us."
"Any ideas Brother?"
"Some. With Harry, it's usually best for him to come to us."
"Then we help him."
"Of course. Screw the Order"
"You know," Alicia Spinnet looked up from the accounts receivable book. "It's sort of creepy when you guys do that."
"Sorry" the twins intoned in unison...
"Potions? They used potions on you?"
"Yes they did Neville. We were completely controlled for almost ten months." Hermione brushed some errant strands of hair out of her eyes. "I still wake up wondering where he is."
"Why are you coming back? I mean both of your scores would guarantee your acceptance at any school anywhere in the world."
"If we went somewhere else we would be letting the bastards win. We would also be leaving all of our friends exposed to Tom and his Merry Men." Harry looked pensive, "Besides, if we aren't at Hogwarts I couldn't kick Ron Weasley's ass."
"Gran would like you both to stay for dinner. She also said that she would love to tutor you in the protocols of the Wizengamot."
"That sounds great Neville."
"Yes it does Nev. Just to warn you, we won't be on the Express, We'll be making an entrance."
"I'll make sure to get a good seat."
"If you gentlemen will excuse me for a second? I need to use the facilities."
Waiting until Hermione had left the room, Neville turned to Harry "So, Daphne Greengrass? You and the Ice Princess?"
"It's your own fault. Being so damned rich and desirable."
"Oh, Nev, you're a card. Don't forget laughing boy, you're pretty damned rich too."
"That's why I'm setting my sights on a certain Hufflepuff. Gorgeous AND loyal. Who could ask for more than that?
"A bit Mr. Greengrass. It isn't everyday one takes a seat in the Wizengamot."
"Or gets married?"
"Daphne has some concerns her self."
"Daphne, if you don't want too..."
She took his left hand in both of hers and raised it to her mouth for a kiss. "No Harry, I want to marry you more than I can say. It's just that your magic is so overwhelming..."
"Harry's magic is affecting you?"
"Oh yes Hermione. When we accepted the contract together his magic started to interact with mine, to help me become more suitable for him."
Hermione and Harry were both horrified. "Daphne, that sounds far too much like the potions Dumbledore and the Weasley's used on Hermione and Me. Surely you don't want to be changed to suit me?"
"This is so much what I want Harry. The focus on you is only temporary, it fades with time. No more than two or three years."
Harry and Hermione exchanged looks, she nodded. "Even so, there is no reason for you to do this. If it's important to you, we can go ahead with the marriage and forgo the contract. We could just marry, like Hermione and I did. Giving up your individuality, even for a short time is far too high a price."
She rubbed the back of his hand against her cheek and sighed. "Harry, this bonding is what I want, really it is." She smiled serenely "Your magic is amazing. It's been getting stronger every day. At first I thought it was because you were getting closer, but it's been getting stronger all day. Just been like a constant cheering charm. Hermione, you wouldn't believe this. His magic is just wonderful."
"Harry? We need to be going."
"Thank you Mr. Greengrass. Are you ladies coming?"
"I think we should stay here." Hermione said. Daphne and Ineed to get better acquainted."
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Longbottom."
"Headmaster." Dumbledore had ambushed Harry and Neville in the hallway outside the Wizengamot chambers.
"Have you any idea what you've done?"
"Escaped a pimp? Escaped enslavement? How are your whores anyway?"
"You will mind your place Mr. Potter."
"I know my place Headmaster. I also know a pimp when I see one."
"Where is Miss Granger?"
"Since school isn't in session, I don't really see how that's any of your business Headmaster."
"You will remain in my office and I will return you to your Aunt's home after this meeting."
"You may have missed it Headmaster, but I have reached my majority. What ever say you may have had in my life is over. I am an adult, and I chose to ignore your commands." Several people started paying attention to their discussion.
"How's your office these days you old thief? Fairly empty Iwould guess from the inventory my account manager forwarded to me. Have you accounted for the monies you have withdrawn from my vaults yet?"
"Why are you here Mr. Potter?"
"Taking my seats on the Wizengamot of course."
"You will not."
"As in so many other things, Headmaster, you are wrong."
"You are still a student."
"Headmaster, that has nothing to do with my taking my seats. I am heir to two different noble houses. The hereditary seats became available to me when I became 17. My status in school is not addressed by law or custom." A crowd had gathered watching the 'discussion' between the Leader of the Light and the Chosen One. "Your interference in my life is over Headmaster. I am not your servant; I am not bound to you. Keep your whores away from me Pimp."
He turned on his heel and entered the chamber. Neville followed grinning widely.
The Ceremony for opening a new session of the Wizengamot was a long drawn out affair. The Wizards in their ceremonial robes trooped in after being announced as 'Lord or Lady so and so.' In short it was what Harry thought of as a 'Dog and Pony' show.
Neville was sitting next to him in the gallery. For once Neville was in his element. His grandmother had been drilling him on the protocol of the legislative house of the Wizarding Government since he could read. Various members were extolling the accomplishments of the previous sessions, droning on and on about things Harry could care less about.
"We're next" Neville whispered. "Just follow my lead."
"Back so soon Harry?"
"Why yes I am Lady Potter."
"Oh, congratulations Harry!" Daphne ran to him and pulled him into a hug"
"Daphne, this isn't anything like you, are you sure you want to do this?"
"More than I could possibly tell you Harry. No, this isn't what I've been like, but I like how I feel, I like being the new me. You are making me so happy."
"Mr. Greengrass, I'm really concerned about her loss of self"
"This is normal for a contract bonding Harry. Her mother was the same way. Her magic is interacting with yours and she is becoming more compatible for you."
"Sir, this is disturbingly like the mind control potions Hermione and I were dosed with. Why should she change for me?"
"Because she is joining you Harry. As the one executing the contract she is the one molding herself to your needs. It has always been this way. Of course her response is an extreme one. Your magic must be extremely strong."
"I'm sorry sir, but this just seems so wrong."
"It's just different than what you are used to Harry. She factored this into her plan."
Harry sighed. He shared a look with Hermione and she shrugged. "Alright Daphne, what do we do for the ceremony?"
"No ceremony Harry" she giggled. A giggling Slytherin, he never thought he'd ever see that. "As soon as we sign the final contract, we're bonded."
Daphne signed in the proper places, then turned to him, and took his face between her hands and kissed him deeply. Harry picked up the pen.
"Are you sure Daphne?"
"More sure than I've ever been Harry."
Harry signed the contract.
"Congratulations Harry. Welcome to the family. You as well Hermione."
"Come on." Daphne grabbed his and Hermione's hand and started pulling them toward the door. "Bye Daddy. Tell Mum I love her."
Michael Greengrass watched the door close. Just like her mother.