A/N2: A few clarifications; The old ‘High Elf’ magic of the Betrothal ring is powerful enough to link Harry and Hermione despite of the magic drain to Tom. So, to be clear, the magic of the Ring(s) effects both Harry and Hermione, and their effects are also (like everything else magical around Harry) amplified then channeled to Tommy. The ‘Voices’ Tommy was hearing were Harry and Hermione’s emotions. Since he has purged love from his soul, he didn’t have a frame of reference to know what they were, and they frightened him. A lot. His later reaction to the completed spell (when Hermione put the ring on and had her little death) indicates that on this matter he has completely synchronized with Harry… That Hermione, she’s so lucky, all the boys fight over her…
Last time on The Power He has Not:
“Who did this?”
“I did.” The Auror turned to see Neville Longbottom (though he had no idea who the kid was) Neville offered the Auror 3 wands belonging to the Slytherians. “They attempted to rape our Head Girl and my girl friend. I found them, and stopped them. They are all marked,” Neville gestured to their bared left arms clearly displaying the Dark Mark. “This contains a portkey” he offered a conjured canvas bag. “I don’t know where it goes, but it was where they were going to send them.”
“One of these boys is dead; do you know what you’ve done?”
“Your job?” Neville asked, before turning on his heel to join Hermione and Susan for the carriage ride to the Castle.
Harry Potter and the Power He Has Not.
Chapter 21 – Repercussions
“My Lord?” The floor around his throne was strewn with wadded up sheets of parchment. The good kind that used his mark as a watermark.
“Bellatrix, what rhymes with World Domination?”
An odd question, even from a Dark Lord. “Rhymes my Lord? How do you mean?”
“Rhymes Bellatrix. You know words that have the same ending sound. Bat, Cat, Pain, Drain, I need a word that rhymes with ‘World Domination’.”
“I could send someone to get you a muggle Rhyming Dictionary my Lord.” On his left hand was an ornate ring. It almost looked like a…” MERLIN NO!
“Do so. The Poetry is hard work.”
“Of course my Lord” Poetry? Oh, please my Lord, no!
As she left for her errand, she could have sworn she heard him mutter:
“Damn it! Nothing rhymes with ‘Hermione’”
Hermione sat down to breakfast, marveling at how fast the year was going. Halloween and its associated feast was in only a few days. Newt level classes were challenging enough to allow her to forget that a part of her was missing, if only for short periods of time, and out of terror, she had found a new best friend.
Susan Bones was everything Ginny used to be, and more. Their shared nightmare at the hands of Zabini and his hench trolls had formed a bond that both trusted and needed. That and Susan was one of the few young women around who did not envy her relationship with Harry. Hermione had literally had no idea what she had let herself in for when she put that ring on her finger. Susan had her own hero in Neville, and was experiencing her own cases of envy from girls who the year before wouldn’t have given Neville the time of day.
The aftereffects of that day on the Express were still being felt. The three of them had been questioned for hours. At first together, later apart. The group interrogations ended when Neville had almost crushed the windpipe of the Auror who asked Susan if she might not have led the Slytherins on, commenting on the way she had been dressed. The man found himself against a wall with Neville’s forearm across his throat, and Neville’s lips next to his ear asking for reasons why he shouldn’t be killed right then, since he was, after all ‘asking for it’.
The Interrogator attempted to press charges against Neville, which floundered due to the other Auror in the room having seen nothing of the incident (oddly enough he had been a protégée of Susan’s Aunt Amelia before her death) and Kingsley Shacklebolt had suggested the man might benefit from a reassignment to the John o' Groats station. Some of the Muggle borns had taken to calling Neville ‘Rambo’ and claimed that he ‘spoke softly and carried a tactical nuclear device’. Neville (and the vast majority of the rest of the students, not raised muggle) had no idea what they were talking about, but at least assumed that it was a good thing. Female Aurors started conducting the investigations after that and Hermione was no longer being asked if she had enjoyed the kiss that she and Susan had shared.
One oddity in her life was the constant barrage of mail that arrived at breakfast. Unsigned letters promising eternal love, and worst of all some truly horrible love poems. At first, she suspected that Harry or the Twins were having her on, but the birds delivering the notes and presents (usually flowers, sometimes jewelry, Hermione took no chances, and banished it all when it appeared) were not the usual owls, but an odd assortment of ravens, crows, and on one occasion a huge vulture. George might be trying to get his own back, but this was far too weird for even him.
Surprisingly, even the DA wasn’t the load it had been in earlier years. Ron and she had started the meetings hoping to continue the training, to bring the lower years up to the standard that Harry had established, but Neville had taken that over too, displaying a repertoire of spells that neither she nor Ron had ever seen. Neville drilled the DA on all levels, drove them like a taskmaster, and having seen the results the DA loved him for it. There were rumblings about changing the name of the group to “Neville’s Mob.” When Hermione wrote to Harry reporting this, his rare response was a delighted one, with an offer to buy any equipment the Neville felt he needed, even sending along a personal note for his ‘big brother’. (This puzzled Hermione until Neville explained his ‘adopting’ Harry into the Longbottom House.)
Slytherin House as a whole seemed ashamed of the actions of their former housemates on the Express. Daphne Greengrass had approached Hermione and Susan at dinner the first day of classes and publicly apologized for their actions. (“I’ve never liked you Granger, but no one should have had to go through that. It won’t happen again.”) The Slytherin women were mightily pissed it seemed, and the Slytherin men were quietly informed that while it wasn’t possible for them to sneak into the women’s dorms at night when they were asleep and helpless, the opposite was not true. The common experience of women superseded House loyalties, and the Slytherin men, like men worldwide seemed to recognize what side of the bread was buttered.
The only truly dark side of the year so far was Ginny Weasley’s continued fall. A new guy every week, sometime more than one. Her record for being found in a broom closet was approaching the stuff of legend. Hermione mourned for her friend who no longer seemed to care about anything at all. Ron was, of course, in a state, sometimes to the point that even Luna couldn’t bring him out of it.
Ottery St. Catchpole
George came out of the floo at a dead run, followed closely by Fred. Percy was in the kitchen waiting for them.
“Percy? Well, spit it out!”
“I’ve got a daughter!”
“Well done Percy, you lucky beggar. Don’t know what she sees in you.”
Neither do I Fred, neither do I” Their older brother was walking on air. “Father will be home soon, go on upstairs Penny’s waiting to show her off. Mother and Fleur are with her, I’m owling Ronald and Ginevra to let them know.”
“Thanks Perc, and congratulations!”
Fred reached the door to Percy and Penny’s room first, they both burst in.
“FRED AND GEORGE WEASLEY! What do you think you are doing?” Molly was starting one of her trademark rants.
The twins ignored her and knelt at the side of Penny’s bed. There she held a tiny little bundle that contained her daughter.
“Where did we ever get the idea that she was a big baby? Look at that tiny thing!” George said in wonder.
“Good things, small packages.” Fred agreed.
“Fred, George, I’d like to introduce you to Denise Weasley.” Said a very tired, very happy Penny. “Denise, these are Deuncles.”
There was a pause for a two count, when both the twins fell to the floor giggling madly.
“We’re out classed Brother.”
“Not telling me anything I didn’t already know Brother.”
“We’ve got new names, Deuncle George”
“I like it Deuncle Fred.”
“You two deuncles want to hold her?” and she passed the tiny life into Georges’ arms.
Gazing into the tiny eyes, he held his breath in fear of breaking her. Fred reached in to touch her and Denise Weasley grasped his finger in her tiny hand. “Sweet Merlin” George whispered in wonder.
“You said it Brother.”
“Too bad about her boy friends”
“What do you mean by that?” Penny asked apprehensively.
“Before they get to meet you and Perc, they have to go through us. They aren’t good enough for our Niece.”