Daphne and Tracey have a discussion, Dumbles tries to lay down the law and makes a threat, Ginny attempts to mark her territory and we find out about the Broomstick, Tonks has advice, and Ron is an...
A/N: I don't own Harry Potter and wouldn't particularly care to. I would like a rental agreement with option to buy for Hermione Granger. A short term contract with Nymphadora Tonks wouldn't be turned down. A Long-term agreement with Luna Lovegood would probably be a whole lot of fun. Any time Padma Patil wants to open negotiations, call me and oh for a weekend with Fleur. Oddly Lavender and Padma's sister (despite being her twin) Parvarti do nothing for me...
Harry Potter and the Marriage Contracts.
Chapter Six - Smart Witch, Bad Choices
September 13, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Slytherin 7th Year Girls Dorm:
Daphne led Tracey back to their Dorm. Once inside, she sealed the door and cast privacy charms on all the walls, the floor and the ceiling. Slytherins learned to be very thorough. She then laid her large purple rabbit lovingly on her bed, removed the shopping bags from her pockets and expanded them on the bed. Through all this Tracey stood glaring at her. Daphne sat primly on her bed.
"So, Tracey. You wanted to discuss my weekend?"
"Damn it Daphne. What did he do to you?"
"Harry treated me with respect. He didn't do anything I didn't want him to do. Well after he explained about it being alright to leave Hogsmeade anyway." Daphne smiled at her flustered friend. "In fact he didn't do some things I wanted him to do."
"Daphne. Everyone knows that you spent last night with him. There are even idiots saying you married him."
"Anyone who thinks that is wrong Tracey. We had fun. For the first time in my life I got away from what I knew. I didn't play it safe. Harry took me shopping, he took me out to eat at some surprisingly amazing Muggle restaurants, and we saw a Muggle show that was so amazing I can't really describe it. We went drinking and dancing." Daphne reached out to take her friend's hand, and maintained her eye contact. "Tracey, you already knew I found Harry attractive, and yes, he dazzled me with his unannounced whirlwind tour of the Muggle world. I was the one who decided to stay with him last night. I was the one who drank the wine he was buying me. I had four glasses of wine Tracey. We routinely have more than that when we go out together. Have you ever seen me drunk?"
"Harry took me to his family's home; he walked me upstairs to the bedroom his elves had prepared for me. I kissed him, and I invited him to stay with me."
"Daphne, I'm sure that's what he wanted you to think, but..."
"So you think I'm some empty headed moron like Parkinson who can be fooled into a man's bed?"
"Daphne, that's not what I said. But we talked about staying on your guard with him."
"Tracey. He. Turned. Me. Down."
Daphne reached over and gathered her rabbit in her arms. "He turned me down. He thought we were going too fast. He was worried about you and what you would think, because he knows that you and I are friends."
"He cared about what I thought?"
September 13, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
"Nice of you to return to us Mr. Potter."
Harry looked up from his dinner. "Good evening Professor McGonagall." He smiled at his head of house. "Should I assume that the Headmaster would like to speak with me?"
"That would be a safe assumption Mr. Potter. I will be there as well."
"Now, or can I finish my meal?"
"As soon as you are done Mr. Potter."
Harry watched as the Scots witch left the Gryffindor table.
"Harry's in trouble" Neville said in a sing song voice, a huge grin on his face.
"And it's such a surprise too." Harry laughed, returning to his meal. "I'm a baaad boy."
"One of the worst." Hannah agreed. "Why didn't you invite Daphne to eat with you?"
"Couple of reasons. I'm guessing that Tracey needs to hate me for a while, and that wouldn't be conducive to a pleasant meal, and Daphne sitting here would cause certain Gryffs to stroke right out. AND I expected Dumble's summons."
"Go easy on the old man Harry" Neville's grin hadn't faded at all. "He's had a rough day. Some students actually learned something today..."
Harry pushed the door open and stepped into the Headmaster's office. "Good evening Headmaster, good evening again Professor McGonagall. You asked that I stop by?"
"I would like to know what you think you were doing Mr. Potter."
Harry found himself wondering if Dumbles knew that his eyes lost their twinkle when he was angry. "You'll have to be more specific Headmaster. What did I think I was doing when I was doing what?"
"You know full well what the Headmaster is referring to Mr. Potter." McGonagall was livid. Harry wondered why. "What were you thinking when you spent the night with Miss Greengrass?"
"I'm afraid I'm not clear on just how what Miss Greengrass and I did this week end is any of your business Professor, or yours Headmaster."
"As Headmaster I am tasked with the safety of all of the students at Hogwarts Mr. Potter."
"Really? Where was this responsibility when you allowed a possessed Professor to let a troll into the castle? Where was this responsibility when you brought a magical object that attracted a Dark Lord into the castle? Where was this responsibility when you allowed Lucius Malfoy to sneak a Horcrux into the castle with an innocent first year? Where was your responsibility when you allowed a polyjuiced Death Eater enter me in the Triwizard Tournement against my will? Where was your responsibility when Snape routinely abused and even injured students in what was laughingly called his potions lessons? Is this a new policy you've started up this year?"
"You will show the Headmaster the respect he deserves Mr. Potter."
"Believe me Professor, I'm showing him far more than he deserves." Harry returned his focus to the Headmaster. "Alright Headmaster, perhaps you could enlighten me as to what school rule or regulation I violated."
"That is neither here nor there Mr. Potter. It is the appearance of impropriety I am concerned with."
"Because of your actions, almost every 7th year left Hogsmeade and was roaming about the country." McGonagall added.
"Because of me? I never told anyone other than Daphne that since we were adults we had no travel limitations. From what I've heard, that information was promulgated by you Professor McGonagall. I'm not the one who made the age of majority seventeen. Nor am I the one who decided that one had to be eleven to start at Hogswarts ensuring that each and every 7th year will always be legally an adult. All I did was discover the realities of the actual rules as opposed to those the students are allowed to believe, and exercise my rights as an adult. Miss Greengrass did the same thing. As far as your hypothetical 'appearance of impropriety' Daphne and I are free adults with no obligations to anyone as far as impropriety goes."
"The school does have a morals clause Mr. Potter."Dumbledore spat.
"Really? How interesting."
"Indeed. Perhaps a check on the status of Miss Greengrass's virginity is in order." McGonagall looked at the Headmaster like he had lost his mind.
Harry's voice went very cold. "If you insult my friend like that Headmaster, then we will duel."
"Surely your success against Tom Riddle hasn't made you believe you would have a chance against me?"
"It doesn't matter Headmaster, even if you beat me, you lose. Every newspaper in Magical Britain will have the story because I will make sure they do. If you win, the board will sack you before I hit the ground. If I win, you will never regain your 'moral' superiority." Harry smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. "We both know your 'moral superiority' is a lie. We both know what you are. Have you ever shared your machinations with Professor McGonagall? I'm sure she would be so very proud of you."
After the door closed behind Harry Potter, Minerva McGonagall turned on her oldest friend and mentor.
"What the devil are you playing at Albus? Threatening to verify Miss Greengrass's virginity? Have you lost your mind?"
"Sometimes I think I might have. What is the problem Minerva?"
"I would be surprised if more than a dozen of the young women in 6th and 7th years pass such verifications with their virginities intact. Do you even read the reports I submit to you detailing those found out of bounds, be it in a broom cupboard, an unused classroom, or the Astronomy Tower? It wasn't much different in my day. Hell Albus I wouldn't have passed such a test after my 5th year."
"An empty threat" Dumbledore waved off her concerns. "We need to reassert control on this situation."
September 13, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Daphne turned to see who had called her name. "What do you want Weasley?"
"What the hell kind of game do you think you're playing with Harry?"
"What business is it of yours Weasley?" Tracey asked. "Didn't he kick you out of his life for being a slut?"
"Or was it thief? I lost track there." Daphne added.
"Let me be clear Greengrass. So clear even a Slytherin can understand. You will never get your hands on the Potter fortune. That is mine. Harry will come crawling back to me. Get in my way and I'll destroy you."
"You insignificant little..."
"Alright. Let's break this up." Hermione Granger stepped between the Slytherins and the irate Gryffindor. "I think the last thing anyone wants is a fight in the halls."
"Piss off Granger. This slut is coming between me and Harry."
/November 24, 1996/
/Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry/
/4th floor broom cupboard:/
This was the part of being a prefect Hermione hated the most. Raiding the couple's hideaways always made her feel a bit hypocritical. When she and Ron weren't 'on duty' they had their own rendezvous places. Though they never used broom cupboards, that was just tacky. If the boy couldn't be bothered to come up with a better more comfortable place, then why would any girl bother with him?
As per established procedure, Ron knocked on the door to the cupboard and then did a ten count before opening it for inspection. Hermione cast 'Lumos' into the storage space, and yes, there was in fact a couple hastily pulling on their clothing.
"Come on out Mr. Corner." She said upon recognizing the young man. "It's been a quiet night, we're in a good mood, so no points, but you've got to head back to your dorms." Michael Corner came out of the cupboard smiling sheepishly, he was followed by... Ginny?
"Ginny? What the hell?"
"It's none of your business Ron." She grabbed Corner's robe and pulled him into a kiss. "That was fun Mikey. See you next time." And she pushed Corner away in the direction of his dormitory.
Ron was livid. Hermione calmed him down somewhat when she placed her hand upon his arm.
"Ginny, what are you thinking? What about Harry?"
[/"What about him? He's so wrapped up in his fighting Voldemort he barely touches me. He 's always training, and when he does find time for me, it's kiss kiss kiss, until he has me so excited I can't stand it, but then nothing. He won't take the next step."
"Ginny you're acting like a scarlet woman."
"Ron will you listen to yourself? You sound just like Mum and her old fashioned bodice ripper novels. Harry won't sleep with me. I want sex. I like sex. I have some friends more than willing for a little slap and tickle, and that's all it is." She took on a serious look. "If either of you tell Harry, I'll deny everything, and I'll get back at you. You know I will."
Hermione had had enough of the vindictive 6th year. "20 points from Gryffindor Miss Weasley. Return to your dorm now. Or would you prefer to be having a week's worth of detention with Mr. Filch?"
Ginny huffed, and stalked off, her robes billowing behind her.
Hermione turned her attention to the pair of Slytherin witches. "I apologize for that."
"Thank you for dealing with it. If I had hexed her, who knows what might have happened between our houses."
"Daphne," Hermione hesitated. "I need to apologize to you as well, for what I was thinking when you stayed with Harry last night. As Tracey pointed out to me, I don't really know Harry all that well anymore, and as Neville pointed out, I have no claim on his time or his actions."
"You were hardly the only one to be jumping to conclusions Granger." Daphne said with a pointed look at Tracey. "There is nothing to apologize for. I think I surprised myself with Harry this weekend."
September 24, 1997
Tonks took a moment to compose herself before opening the door. Living in a Muggle neighborhood necessitated her making sure she was wearing the 'right' face when ever she answered the door."Can I help you? Harry!"
"Evening Tonks. Have you got a few minutes?"
"Of course Harry, come on in" She showed her favorite Head of family to her sitting room. "Now why would The Man Who Conquered come calling on little old me?" She chuckled at his wincing at his newest nick name. "Girl problems?"
"Am I that transparent?"
"What else would you be coming to your lovely vivacious cousin for?" She ruffled his hair. "I'm so proud. Skipping out of school and everything."
"No, that's no big deal. We can leave the school anytime we're not in class as long as we're at least seventeen."
"What? Is this a new rule?"
"No, as far as I can tell, it's always been that way. The staff just didn't tell anyone."
"I spent every bloody weekend at that damned school 7th year and I didn't have too?"
"Yeah, pretty much."
"Bloody hell. Alright, what's your problem?"
"How do you make a psycho bitch go away?"
Tonks paused for a three count. "Weasley problems?"
"Yeah. I've been trying to date a very nice girl, but Ginny keeps trying to pick a fight with her. How do I fight that, without, I don't know, smacking her?"
"I've heard about your dates. McGonagall put out an alert on you and the Greengrass girl when you kept her out over night." She smiled. "As far as your Weasley problem goes, I would recommend you knock her upside the head, stuff her in a sack, and apparating her to the outback in Australia"
"Are you sure you're an Auror?"
September 27, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry]
Gryffindor 7th Year Boys Dorm:
Harry entered the dorm, and went directly to his wardrobe. Sorting though it he finally found the shirt he was looking for, and lay it out on the bed. A quick shower, then change. He was to meet Daphne after dinner. She said she had something important to discuss with him. He found himself wondering if the Room of Requirements would be in use that evening. That would be a superb place for a quiet date.
He turned from his bed and for the first time noticed Ron. His first friend was busy enjoying the art on the wall.
"Hey Ron. Watch it Mate, Hermione would be pissed if she found out you were looking at those pictures."
"This is amazing Harry. You're really going to take any of these witches up on their offers?" Ron asked his eyes moving from one animated naked woman to another.
"Not really my style Ron. I can't imagine what they were thinking, or why they thought it would work. I mean I can appreciate the pictures, but I'd prefer to actually get to know the girl I'm going to marry before I propose. Why?" he asked with a smirk, "you interested in my rejects?"
"I might be," Ron laughed in reply, "gotta settle down someday, don't want to wait until all the good birds are gone."
Harry gaped at him. "What about Hermione? I thought you two--"
Ron shook his head as he lay back on his bed, a slightly dreamy expression appearing in his eyes. "She's a right bit of fun in the sack--really a great shag if you can believe it, I guess what they say about the quiet ones is true--but marry her?"
He missed the thunderous expression growing on Harry's face as he continued,"Mum'd pitch a right fit if I tried to marry a Muggle born, Harry, you of all people should know that! Besides, when I get married, I want it to be to a girl who knows her place; keeping a home and having babies, you know, like my Mum--"
"Ron." Harry interrupted. "She loves you. Loves you with all her soul. How can you talk that way about HERMIONE?"
Ron's face contorted in a frown. "Loves me? No, you've got it wrong Harry. It was just sex. Great sex, but just sex. We're friends... what's the Muggle term she told me? 'Fuck-buddies'."
"Ron, you can't be this dense. She loves you. I've heard her tell you that. I've heard you tell her."
"Harry, that's just words. I mean I just broke it off with her, my other girl didn't like sharing, you know? Hermione didn't say 'boo', just nodded and said she hoped I had a good time."
"Ron, what is the password to her suite?"
"Library Keeper. Why?"
Harry rushed from the room.
Ron rose from his bed and followed his friend to the door. "Harry?"
Harry arrived at the door to the Gryffindor Heads suite at a full run. The Portrait that covered the door was of an armored knight astride is white charger.
"My apologies good Sir, Head Girl Granger has changed the Password. She regrets that she is unavailable at this time. Head Boy MacMillan is receiving students and is currently in the Hufflepuff Heads Suite."
"Thank you Sir Knight. Could you please inform Miss Granger that Harry Potter wishes to speak with her?"
The knight and his horse left the frame to relay the message, and then he returned.
"Head Girl Granger wishes me to tell you that she is not receiving any visitors."
"Sir Knight, I believe the Head Girl to be upset. I need to see her. Now. Open your door Sir Knight, and then report this breach to whomever you portraits report too, and I will gladly take any punishment doled out. But for now open your door."
"Do you think I would forsake my duty on the word of a mere student? I say thee nay boy. Only the Headmaster may enter this suite without the express permission of the Head Girl."
"Sir Knight, the Headmaster is away for the weekend. I don't have time to wait. If you have another frame, I would suggest you go to it. I am entering the Heads Suite, either through the door, or through your portrait and then through the door. Either way, it makes no difference to me."
Harry placed his hands flat on the portrait, and channeled his magic through his hands, subvocalizing "OPEN"
A small crowd had gathered during his conversation with the painted knight, when Harry's Magic flared into a visible aura, the crowd backed away
The alarms spread by the portraits brought Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick hurrying to the Gryffindor Heads Suite. They arrived in time to see the entire door frame indent into the wall three inches from the force of Harry's magic.
"Mr. Potter, Stop this now!" McGonagall called over the sound of the castles' very stone being warped..
Not letting up on the pressure to open the door Harry replied. "Can you open this door?"
"No, only the Headmaster can."
"Then stay out of my way. You can punish me later."
Harry redoubled his efforts on forcing his magic into the stone to cause the door to open, his aura flared brighter. And he fell though the portrait.
From the professor's perspective, he vanished, when the glare from Harry's aura faded, the castle walls around the portrait repaired its self.
Harry found himself laying on the floor of the darkened common room of the Gryffindor Heads Suite. How the hell had he done that? The door never opened, he had passed though the stone. How was that possible?
Shaking his head to clear it, he stood and looked around. The common room was a disaster area. Sweet Merlin, she had shredded her books! Damn you Ron. Harry waved his wand murmuring "Reparo" at various items around the world, hoping that Hermione's precious books could be recovered this way. He made his way to the first bedroom. The chamber was empty, the bed unmade. This must be the head boy's room. Moving on to the other bedroom he found Hermione on her bed, sobbing.
"Just get the fuck out Harry. I told that stupid painting no visitors."
"I'm not going anywhere Hermione."
She sat up suddenly furious. "Oh is it your turn with the fuck doll? Do I get to worship your mighty penis now?"
"Hermione, I came as soon as I heard what happened. Ron is an ass. I came because you are my friend. I'm staying because you are my friend."
Hermione looked conflicted for a moment, and then rushed to hug him. Harry returned the hug, and then he lifted her into his arms. Hermione continued to sob into his chest. He considered the bed for a moment, but decided that would be wrong. He carried her out to the common room and settled onto the sofa with Hermione on his lap, rocking her gently. After a few moments her tears subsided.
Harry kissed her on the forehead "Why does the sun go on shining?"
Hermione looked up perplexed; Harry continued "Why does the sea rush to shore?"
"What are you doing?" She asked.
Ignoring her question he continued, "Don't they know it's the end of the world? When you don't love me anymore."
"Merlin you are such a goof."
"Why does my heart go on beating? Why do these eyes of mine cry? Don't they know it's the end of the world? It ended when you said..." Hermione kissed him. It was a hungry needful kiss. Her hands reaching for his face and pulling him into the kiss.
"Love me Harry. Let me love you."
"I can't Hermione. I'm with someone now. But even if I wasn't, I couldn't not with you."
"Am I that repulsive?"
"Hermione, god no. You're my friend, my Hermione. I've never thought of you like that. You're my... my sister." He blushed. "I'd do anything, go anywhere for you, but I can't do that. I love you, but not like that."
"God, I'm pathetic."
"Oh don't be silly. There would be a line around the castle if you were taking applications."
"I don't need any more brothers."
"Har de har har. You know what I mean. Take some time, heal, get over the ass, and date better. Believe me, that's the very best way to deal with not loving a Weasley anymore. I'm talking from experience here."
"What if I want to cry all night?"
"Then I'm here all night. As a matter of fact. Dobby!"
There was a quiet pop. "Yes Harry Potter Sir?"
"Dobby, could you bring us a quart of Ice Cream?" He looked into Hermione's eyes. "Cherry Vanilla please. Bring two spoons please."
Daphne had been pacing back and forth in the Entry Hall for almost an hour. Where the hell was he? Harry had always been prompt for their dates. In spite of herself she was becoming more and more angry at him. She had even taken to asking passing Gryffindors if they knew where Harry might be. No one had a clue. It was as if the man had vanished.
Daphne turned to see the male Potter elf... Dobby? "Yes Dobby?"
"Harry Potter Sir, asked Dobby to bring Miss this note."
"Thank you Dobby." The elf bowed and vanished with a pop.
Daphne opened her note.
I'm so sorry, I'm going to have to miss our date tonight. I cannot apologize enough, and I promise to explain everything tomorrow, if you still want to see me.
I hope you can forgive me.
A/N: Many thanks to Fenriswolf001 for his help in the Ron scene.
A/N2: _End of the World_ Lyrics by Daltry Calhoun