Hermione sums up the plot, Neville gets some news and Hannah is a happy girl, The Twins confront Molly, and other stuff happens...
A/N: I do not own Harry Potter. But you knew that.
Harry Potter and The Acts of Betrayal
Chapter Twelve - The Chronicles Of Pain
"All right. Let us start with last year." Professor McGonagall used a conjured tissue to clean her spectacles. "Hermione you and Harry started to date at the beginning of the year, then at Halloween, you were suddenly with Mr. Weasley, a week later Harry was dating Miss Weasley. In late July you suddenly disappeared from the Burrow, Harry comes up missing from his relative's home, and the Headmaster sends out messages to almost everyone to be on the look out for Harry Potter, who was missing and in danger."
"Well Professor, the Headmaster was concerned that the old Pureblood families would have problems with 'the Chosen One' sullying his bloodline with a mudblood..."
"The Headmaster wouldn't..."
"Professor, "Hermione interrupted her favorite teacher, "He not only would, he did. He provided a love potion to Ron and Ginny Weasley. They used it to break us up."
McGonagall covered her mouth with her hand. If anyone else were telling this story, she would have dismissed it out of hand. But this was Hermione Granger... Potter?
"What potions were used Miss Granger?"
"The Weasleys used mancipiumdiligo on Harry and me and vincodiligo on themselves Professor."
McGonagall was horrified. "Mancipiumdiligo would require Mr. Weasley to have" she hesitated, "made use of you."
"He did, in every way." Tears started to form in her brown eyes. "He made me beg him." Daphne pulled Hermione into a hug, whispering comforting words.
/What has Albus done?/ "What are your intentions Mrs. Black?"
Daphne looked up from her embrace with her sister-wife. "I will protect my family Professor. As long as the Weasleys keep their distance, they have nothing to fear from me. If they cross that line, nothing and no one in this school will protect them from me."
Sunday morning Harry once again came to breakfast alone. It both amazed and amused him how the two women in his life would be so different, yet do so many of the same things. No force on earth was going to get them out of bed early on the weekend. It would be amusing to see if Daphne was all bright eyed at 7 am tomorrow morning in anticipation of the first day of classes. Hermione certainly would be.
Neville sat across from him again. "Good Morning Harry."
Harry noted Neville's clothing had a slight spattering of soil and leaves. "Morning Nev. Busy night in the Greenhouses?"
"Professor Sprout needed some help with replanting a new nocturnal Clingvine. It was a lot of fun." He hesitated. "Harry I need some advice."
"What ever you need Nev, how can I help?"
Neville reached into a pocket on the inside of his robes and pulled out a folded magazine. "Have you seen this?"
Harry unfolded the magazine. "Teen Witch Weekly?"
"Just read the section I circled."
"Teen Witch Weekly!" Harry giggled, uh chuckled in an extremely mature married head of house sort of way.
But wait ladies, don't mourn the loss of Lord Black/Potter too much, this reporter had discovered a bachelor that has somehow gone undiscovered, the new Lord Longbottom definitely deserves his place on the list, and look this week he makes his first appearance at number 7. I love my job.
"Congratulations Nev. Number seven eh? I was Number One for about two years."
"Yeah, ok. I noticed that you didn't really date anyone other than Hermione and the Potions Princess while you were number one Mr. Smooth I doubt Hermione was even aware of the list, and I doubt the Princess cared. What worries me is how Hannah is going to think about this? I'm finally dating someone who actually likes me. Is this going to screw it up?"
"I don't know, but I think you're going to find out. Here she comes."
Neville's eyes got wide; he snatched the magazine away and stuffed it inside his robes.
Hannah Abbott slammed another copy of the magazine on the table in front of Neville.
"Care to explain this Neville?"
"I had nothing to do with it Hannah, they didn't even speak to me."
"I suppose you think I'm the kind of woman who would be happy dating the seventh most eligible bachelor in magical Britain."
"Hannah, I promise you, I had nothing to do with this."
Hannah took hold of Neville's lapels, and pulled him up until he was standing. "You listen to me Neville Longbottom, the man I date is always and forever the Number One Most eligible bachelor until I decide to either marry him or dump him!" She kissed him hard, and then pushed him back down to his seat on the bench. "There may be some stupid girls who suddenly think that since you're on this stupid list, you are suddenly interesting. Just you remember Neville Longbottom. I. Do Not. Share." She poked him in the chest once for each of her last four words before turning and returning to the Hufflepuff table.
"Doesn't appear to have screwed it up Nev"
"Hannah didn't seem to terribly upset."
"Hey Nev, wanna know a secret?"
Harry leaned forward and whispered in Neville's ear. "I own Teen Witch Weekly. You're Number One next week and every week after that until I tell them to stop."
"I thought it was the very least I could do for my best buddy. Hey, she liked Seventh place, how do you think she'll like first?"
Neville considered for a moment. "Wow."
"Hello boys, will you be staying for dinner?"
"Fred and I have heard some disturbing rumors about Ron and Ginny."
"Seriously bad rumors Mum."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Harry and Hermione have told people that they were with Ron and Ginny last year due to being dosed with a love potion." George said with an unreadable expression on his face.
"Word has gotten to us that Ron has done some terrible things to Hermione." Fred continued ignoring his mother's denial
"Things Dad certainly wouldn't approve of."
"What are you insinuating?"
"We believe that you knew and supported them in what they were doing. There is no way either of them could have gotten away with it in your house without your knowledge. We know how hard it is to sneak things around you, and neither of them are sneaky enough to get away with it."
"That and your 'funny stories' about dosing dad when you were in school." Added George.
Perhaps you've forgotten Mother, our family owes Harry at least two life debts. At least two."
"More like three times, but we can't prove it."
"You've done horrible things Mother. We need to speak with dad, and then we need to see what we can do to make this up to Harry and Hermione."
Molly was furious. "Who do you think you're speaking to?"
"The woman who always told us that we should do the right thing." George said.
"The woman who told us we would come to bad ends." Added Fred.
"Welcome home Miss Dora."
"Hello Wissy. Is my mother home?"
"Yes Miss Dora, Mistress Andy is in her studio. Will you be staying?"
"That depends on Mum Wissy."
Nymphadora Tonks made her way to her Mother's studio. She knocked on the door. Andromeda Tonks was an artist who worked in stone and metal, entering her studio uninvited could result in injury, be it from molten metal or flying chips of marble and other stone.
Nymphadora opened the door and entered the room, finding her mother at her drafting table planning her next project. "Hello Mum."
"Dora! Welcome home. To what do I owe the visit? Missing your ancient mum?"
"I've had some problems mum, I was wondering if I might move back home for a while."
Andromeda arched an eyebrow. Dora asking to come home? These 'some problems' must be horrific.
"Of course you can come back Dora; our doors are always open to you. I have to ask though, because your father will ask me. What is wrong? How can we help?"
"I've lost my job Mum. Amelia Bones found out I was working on a special project for Dumbledore and terminated me."
"What did that manipulative man have you doing?"
"He was trying to make sure that the old families supported Harry Potter. Potter was sniffing around a Muggle born and the Professor wanted him steered toward a pure blood girl of a light family."
Andromeda's face paled. "What did you do Dora. Tell me exactly what you did. This is more important that you realize."
Nymphadora blushed. "I don't think that I should..."
"Nymphadora, you tell me what you did, right now. You may have risked your life. I need to know what you did, when you did it."
"Dumbledore had the two youngest Weasleys dose Harry Potter and Hermione Granger with a slave/love potion and the Weasley's were given the control potion. The slave potion only works as long as the target is getting frequent sex. Molly Weasley wouldn't allow her daughter to service Harry Potter, the Headmaster asked me to wear Ginny Weasley's face and have sex with Harry." The metamorphamagus blushed a bit, embarrassed for telling her mother, not for what she had done. "I did, three times a week for nine months. Madam Bones found out and terminated me."
"Sweet Merlin. You still have no idea what you have done do you?"
"I know it was wrong Mum, I knew it as I was doing it, but it was for Dumbledore."
"Who risked your life and magic, not his own. Dora, who is Harry Potter?"
"He's the boy who lived. Some say 'the chosen one'."
"You stupid, stupid girl. He is the head of our family. Within hours of being informed of his inheritance, he reinstated me into the family, paid my dowry, and set you up with your own vault, remember? In accordance with family rules, we, you and I, swore to serve Lord Black as part of that reinstatement. You remember that don't you?"
"Well, yeah, but that was all just ceremony wasn't it?"
"NO!" Andromeda forced herself to calm down. "Dora that was a magical contract. You betrayed your Lord. If he wants retribution, he could demand your magic, or your life and you would instantly lose them."
Nymphadora paled to match her mother. "What should I do?"
"You are going to your old room and staying there until I can speak with Lord Black and try to fix this. You are going to apologize to Lord and Lady Black and to Lady Potter, and you are going to mean it. You are going to stay away from Dumbledore. Harry Potter is a good and honest young man; I'm praying that he will spare your life."
Remus Lupin sat in his small apartment staring into the fire.
"Stay away Remus" Dumbledore had said. "Harry is having enough problems without being actively associated with a Werewolf. He needs time to come to grips with what he will become. Go to the packs, tell them of our goals, and bring them to the light."
Like a fool, he had listened to the old man, just as they had always listened to the old man. He had told James and Lilly to hide under the fidelus instead of running to Canada like Lilly had wanted. James and Lilly were killed. He told Sirius to let him take Harry, to protect him. Sirius had been free to chase Peter, and be framed, sent to Azkaban. He sent Harry to the Dursley's for 'protection', and allowed the child to be mistreated, over worked, and underfed.
Dumbledore was still telling him to stay away, to work with the packs to bring them to the light. Meanwhile Harry had run away. Harry had disappeared. Harry had married, twice. Harry was the son of two of the few friends he had ever made, the Godson of the best friend of his life. Harry was, well, Harry. It just wasn't possible to not love the boy.
The Full moon was three nights away. He would decide what to do after that horrible distraction was gone.
"Mr. Weasley, Miss Weasley, sit down."
Ron sat; he focused all his attention on his Head of House. This could not be good, and what with the stories of potion abuse flying about he knew what he discussion was going to be about.
"I have confirmed the potion rumors that are running rampant in the castle with both the Potters and the Headmaster. The Potters are understandably angry with you. The Lady Black even more so. The Headmaster is still insisting that what he and you did was for "the Greater Good" what ever that means." Professor McGonagall looked pained. "Let me explain to the pair of you what is going to happen now. The two of you are going to stay away from the Potters. Full Stop. There will be no social mingling, no conversations over meals, nothing. Any person in a relationship with either of you will be checked for potion exposure. If they are found to be influenced by a potion, the Aurors will be notified for a full investigation. The Potters have evoked full line protection privileges. This means that they can legally challenge anyone who interferes with their family line to honor duels. Honor duels to the death. I have Owled your parents to apprise them of the situation and it is my sincere hope that they withdraw both of you from school."
She removed her glasses and cleaned them. "I have been an instructor at this school for a very long time. I can honestly say that I have never been more disgusted by the behavior of any students before today. The fact that you are both Gryffindors makes it even worse. If Harry decides to play Quidditch this year, you two are off the team, though if I know your team mates, and I do, you're probably off it now. Now get out of my sight."
Hermione was ensconced at her favorite table doing some last minute review prior to class the next day. Daphne had asked her for some time with Harry. Hermione couldn't decide if she pitied or envied her sister-wife. This was the seventh night since Daphne had married them and the compulsion was still with her. Her own passion for the man hadn't abated in the slightest. He was gentle and considerate, so completely unlike...
The confrontation with Ron was coming, she knew it. It was hard to miss him staring at Harry and her when ever they were in the same room. Fortunately her best efforts hadn't overcome his innate laziness. He wasn't in many of her classes, while Harry was. (Though oddly Daphne was in more).
"There you are."
/That will teach me to think about him/. "Ron I know you were instructed to stay away from me."
"McGonagall can squawk all she wants. No one keeps me from what is mine."
Hermione's eyes flashed angrily. "Ronald Weasley I am not now, and have never belonged to you, you egotistical twit. I am married to Harry. Get away from me."
"Maybe you've forgotten, but I know how much you loved me. Potter isn't stealing you from me."
"You dosed me with a potion, you cretin. I detest you. Get away from me." Hermione gathered her things, crammed them into her book bag and stood to leave.
Ron blocked her way and placed his hands on her shoulders. "I'll make you remember!"
Hermione drove her knee into his groin hard. Ron fell to the ground in pain, she kicked him a couple more times for good measure. She hissed "If you EVER touch me again, I will give you to Harry. He wants to kill you so badly, and there is nothing you could do to stop him. Stay away from me!"
A very angry Hermione approached the portrait leading to their quarters.
Dumbledore and a woman Hermione did not recognize were approaching.
"Yes Headmaster?" she said, forcing herself to calm down.
"Miss Granger, this is Andromeda Tonks, she has come to speak with your husband."
/Tonks. Ok, got the frame of reference now/. "Harry has retired for the evening Headmaster."
"Come now Miss Granger, it is not yet half past Nine. Mr. Potter is a fabled night owl, do you expect us to believe that he is sleeping."
Her anger came back with a vengeance. "Truth be told Headmaster, I don't really care all that much what you choose to believe. For the record, I didn't say Harry was sleeping. I said he had retired for the evening. I believe he is currently entertaining my sister-wife, the lady Black. I am not going to disturb them, and neither are you."
"You mean they are..."
"Come on Headmaster, married people did that when you were young as well."
"Lady Potter, I need to speak with Lord Black at his earliest convenience about a family matter."
"I understand Madam Tonks. We have class all day tomorrow. Harry should be available to meet with you at the Three Broomsticks tomorrow at 7pm."
"Tomorrow is not a Hogsmeade visiting day Miss Granger. The meeting will be in my Office."
"With all due respect Headmaster, the hell it will. Simply put Harry doesn't trust you, neither does Daphne nor I. All three of us are of age, the school rules do not preclude the Head of a House from taking care of his responsibilities. We will go to the Three Broomsticks tomorrow to take care of Harry's Family business. Unless you have an educational reason to forbid it, what Harry does is none of your business.
Tom Riddle pondered what he had learned. When Potter had discovered Dumbledore's duplicity with the love potions, he had escaped and disappeared. Now Potter has returned to Hogwarts married to two women. A purebood and a mudblood. What was the boy up to? Where Riddle had killed the woman who controlled him, having confirmed that the woman who held Potter's thrall was the youngest Weasley, Riddle knew that Potter had left her untouched.
Riddle knew he had fixated on Potter, and was neglecting his own campaign for power and control in doing so, but that damned prophecy weighed on him constantly. He and Potter had so much in common, yet the boy was taking a completely different path when faced with the same situations.
The boy was a puzzle. A puzzle that Riddle was growing to hate..
Intelligence was beginning to come in from Hogwarts. Several students, not all from Slytherin, were reporting Potter's actions to their parents. He reread the letter that Lucius Malfoy had submitted:
In accordance with your wishes, here is the first of my reports of the actions of Potter. As was rumored, the halfblood has married, further sullying his line by taking the mudblood Granger as his wife. Unexpectedly he has also taken Daphne Greengrass as his wife to continue the Black line he stole from me.
Potter is apparently at odds with Dumbledore, he is confrontational towards the old fool, openly defiant and publicly dismissive of established traditions. Dumbledore of course does nothing about this. Saturday Morning, in a display of magic of a magnitude I have only seen bettered by our Lord, Potter attacked Professor Snape, destroying his wand and severely damaging his hand. Even this was not punished. Potter also sought to provoke me into a confrontation, but as you taught me, I punished him for his arrogance.
As stated before Potter's magic is at a level beyond anything I have ever seen from him. He and his 'wives' have left the traditional dormitories and reside in a set of apartments set aside for married students that I was heretofore unaware of.
I have attempted to contract Daphne Greengrass, but she has only rarely been separate from Potter and/or his Mudblood. I will continue in this attempt.
As always father, I await your instructions.
As usual, Draco was a self aggrandizing fool. It constantly amazed him that Draco Malfoy was the 'Prince' of Slytherin house. In his day a fool like that would have been destroyed by his housemates before he had been allowed to sully the reputation of the House. Better, more detailed descriptions of the encounter had come from 6 other students. Potter had been punishing the younger Malfoy for using his mouth without using his mind when Severus had interfered, then Potter had punished his potions master for not minding his own business. Severus had then attempted to attack Potter when his back was turned. Potter's response was devastating AND completely wandless. This was disturbing. Riddle had been twice Potter's age before he could be that casual with wandless magic.
As amusing as it was watching the Light tear its self apart, Riddle knew that he was going to have to move against Potter, before the boy became powerful enough to have a chance against him. Perhaps a feint against Dumbledore would inspire a false sense of security in the boy...
Potter was also Lord Black, as Draco's whining had reminded him. Orion Black had been an influential figure among the Dark families, even assisting Riddle himself back at the beginning. Lucius could request a meeting with the head of his wife's house, once there the Patriarch of the Minor house of Malfoy would be in the position to redeem himself making up for his multitude of failures.
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office, ignoring the glare coming from his familiar. Fawkes was a terribly intelligent creature, equal to most people. He understood most things said in the Headmasters office and everything Dumbledore did or thought. That was the curse and gift of a familiar.
Potter was lost to him, this was clear. There would be no breaking up of the family the boy had built around himself. The sheer intelligence of the Granger girl had startled him during her first year. If only he had followed his first inclination and gotten her parents to withdraw her after that first year. The injection of her intelligence into the dynamic of Potter/Weasley had kept the youngest Weasley from joining to form a trio. A trio already existed and the youngest Weasley was relegated to a minor player in Potter's life. While Potter had risked his life for young Ginny in his second year, it was the Granger girl whose bedside he had haunted while she was petrified. It was only luck that had kept Hermione Granger alive. When Dumbledore had lured the basilisk into the halls, he hadn't expected the girl to be looking around corners with a mirror. The annoying know-it-all was supposed to have died then.
With Potter beyond his grasp, Dumbledore was limited in his options. Facing Riddle himself would be risky. That left Longbottom. His sources told him that Longbottom had recently taken up with Hannah Abbott. As a halfblood, she would not do of course. Something would have to be done about this.