Harry's bonds are revealed; we formally meet the rest of the crew; Ron gets a rude awakening.
Harry awoke to a strange sensation. Then, he recognized it. “I’m soaked!” he shouted turning his face to a laughing Brean. “Was that really necessary?”
Brean shrugged, “No, but it was funny.” He stooped laughing, “However, I did need to wake you, I’m not done talking yet.”
“With my luck, I have a kid,” said Harry as he sat back into his chair.
“Sorry, not yet,” said Brean quickly. Then, leveling his gaze on Harry he said, “Who’d you do that you have to worry about that?”
“NO ONE,” sputtered Harry, his face blushing Weasley red.
“Just checking,” continued Brean, “you do know about sex right? I mean you’re going to have husbandly duties and all. Plus, you’ll need some heirs, even you’re like old Dumbles.”
This caused Harry to turn an Uncle Vernon shade of puce. “I AM NOT GAY! AND I KNOW WHAT I NEED TO KNOW!” Calming himself down with deep breaths, Harry said exasperatedly, “That idiot godfather of mine tried to help me out Christmas of my fifth year. Then Lupin had to actually give me the facts, because Sirius basically tried to tell me have to get a quick shag. At least he covered contraception.”
“Well that’s good to know, your wives will be happy,” smirked Brean.
“WIVES!” At this Harry leapt up and began to pace muttering to himself. Then, he stormed around to face Brean questioningly. “How did this happen, and how would you know?”
“How,” started Brean, “is simple. Marriage contracts. Multiple contracts from several different sources. The kind that are signed between family heads and sometimes do not activate until the right circumstances prop up. They are not the kind that requires a marriage ceremony. When the conditions are met, they activate and are magically binding. There is no way out. Well actually there is, you need to, uh, consummate the marriage within six months of activation. If that does not happen, the female partner dies.”
“How long do I have, and you still didn’t explain how you knew?”
“You have several weeks at least, and I knew because of our self-updating family tapestries. Actually, the first contract I knew about. It was originally intended for your father and aunt. It was an exchange between the Potter and Prewett families that your grandfather and Ignatius Prewett, Fabian’s dad arranged. It was the heir of each family for a daughter of each family. Of course, it required that all be of the specified age, that is to say Josephine’s sixteenth birthday. Molly, I guess, never knew about it, because she ran off and married Arthur Weasley at the start of Voldemort’s first rise. Or else, old Ignatius didn’t care, because his wife had died and he had no children by his second wife that would be close enough to James in age. Of course, Ignatius covered his tail by tricking Arthur into signing a contract that allowed his and Molly’s children to be heirs to the Prewett line. I think he saw Bill as a backup in case Gideon or Fabian had no heirs. Of course, then Ignatius died and left Gideon as his heir.”
“Where’s this going?” interrupted Harry.
“You’ll see,” said Brean. “Basically, Gideon and Fabian both died a few months before their parents, soon after my class’s graduation. Actually, Fabian was only visiting during the attack; he was never an Order member because he was too young, graduating only a few months before Voldemort’s fall. That’s why he wasn’t in that photo Moody showed you.”
“That explains some things, but how does this affect the contract,” said Harry impatiently.
“Patience, young grasshopper,” said Brean, causing Harry to scowl. “This ended the direct male line, so Gideon got to be in charge of selecting an heir. That’s a process he left to me, to choose from among his six nephews. Since there wasn’t an heir, the contract couldn’t activate. However, your sister and Ginny became the only available females for the contract. It became viable after your sister turned sixteen on November 1st. However, there wasn’t an heir, and I had until the youngest, Ron’s, twenty-first birthday.”
“So you chose…” started Harry angrily, but Brean interrupted him. Brean shook his head quickly as he said, “No, the sword chose.” At this, Brean waved his arm and the Sword of Gryffindor appeared in his hands.
Harry stared, “How….” Brean smiled, “We are the heirs of Gryffindor, of course we can call his sword. Actually, the sword would only really come to a person who was not one of us in times of great peril. If one of us wishes, we may call it, and if it is not needed elsewhere, the sword will heed our call. The only way this can be stopped is if it is bound to the service of one of us for that man’s life, but then the enchantment breaks. The sword must also agree.”
“So Neville was in great peril,” mused Harry, “but Ron, wait, the sword chose? Ron got the sword. Ron was a possible heir, and the sword chose him as the heir didn’t it! But wait, why, he just pulled it out of the lake, Snape set it there?”
“Several reasons, one Ron while perhaps the laziest of his brothers, has the most raw magical potential. However, I do not think that was it alone. True, he saved you, but then, well I’m sure you can guess, Harry,” explained Brean.
“He, he destroyed the Horcrux. He gave a deed of great valor, and the sword recognized him as worthy. So it gave him the title of his uncle’s house. How exactly?”
“The same way you were magically adopted into the Black family, as the son of Sirius. The sword sort of adopted him into the Prewett family, as Gideon’s son,” elaborated Brean.
“So then that gave the Prewett family an heir, and the viable contract automatically activated. Wait that means I’m married to Ginny and Ron’s married to Violet.”
“Indeed, good deductions Harry,” smiled Brean.
“Wait, how am I going to explain this! Ginny’s legally been my wife, for what, four months. This is going to be bad. And Ron, and-and Hermione, she’ll be devastated. Then Ron’ll do something stupid and my sister will be stuck in the middle.” At this he jumped up and started pacing again.
“Well, Hermione might be alright,” said Brean slowly.
Harry halted. “How? In case you hadn’t bloody noticed, she’s actually been shacking up with two married men, one of whom she was actually interested in.”
“How, thank you and Sirius’s grandfather.”
“Sirius’s grandfather is dead, what does that have to do with anything?”
“Well,” said Brean, “remember when I said it wasn’t Sirius that adopted you. See, old Arcturus Black was Lord Black. He didn’t actually die until about a decade ago. So, once Sirius was thrown in Azkaban, he had no real hope of any male heirs, since his son had died of grief over Regulus’s death. And Sirius’s mum couldn’t throw Sirius out all the way, since Arcturus was more of a pragmatist. Then, the ministry never officially convicted Sirius, so Sirius was still your legal guardian. So, Arcturus, a pragmatist, knowing of your power and fame, was able to act in Sirius’s stead to adopt you as Sirius’s son. He actually adopted Draco Malfoy as next in line, as Regulus’s adopted son, with Lucy’s permission of course.”
“How’s that affect Hermione?”
“Hermione is a Muggleborn, with no official house, so she was free to be adopted into one. When you told Ron, another Lord, she was ‘like your sister,’ magic made it that way, in the Black family at least. And that triggered a contract between Ignatius Prewett and Arcturus Black for a bride originally meant for Fabian. I guess Arcturus was hoping his son Orion would have daughters at some point, giving Sirius some sisters.”
“So I what, adopted Hermione and thus forced her to marry Ron! Oh fuck, I made Hermione a member of a multiple marriage! She’ll kill me!” At this he ran to the wall, and banged his head against it until he had to stop due to the pain.
Brean snorted, “Or else she’ll thank you. You weren’t at fault; you had no idea what was going on. She does like Ron by all accounts. Sides, I’ll protect you. Mind, I might end up setting her on you to stop you blaming yourself. Or maybe I should leave that to your wives.”
“Wives, wait, what other crappy luck do I have,” sighed Harry, grimacing at what he knew would be a Ginny Weasley blow-up.
“Arcturus had arranged contracts for his grandsons with the Greengrass family. Luckily for Sirius, the Greengrass family had no daughters in that generation. When the next generation only produced two girls, the new head renegotiated. He was giving his Lordship to his eldest daughter’s line. However, he wanted to be able to choose among the two available, you or Malfoy. He wanted to choose the ‘worthier candidate.’ Of course, with your luck, magic intervened.”
“What I’d do, activate it by disarming Malfoy?” suggested Harry.
“Actually, yes,” blinked Brean. “So you got the elder daughter who you know.”
“Daphne, blonde Slytherin, your year.”
Harry’s memory was suddenly jogged. “She’s not exactly one of Malfoy’s gang, but not exactly the warmest person. Attractive though, from what I remember.”
“Yeah, and from the descriptions and rumors I heard from William, you got the better end of the bargain. Her sister, Astoria, is a bit more, uh, airheady and hyper. I actually kind of feel sorry for Malfoy.”
Harry snickered and then his face turned pale. Walking slowly to the wall, he whacked his head between sounding out, “I-am-related-to-Malfoy.”
“Yep, he’s your new brother-in-law, considerate to save his life, huh?” joked Brean.
“It’s not funny. Guess I gotta keep him out of jail, though.”
“Yeah, going on though, this is the worst. Seems some power-hungry Slytherin ancestor of ours decided to bind some of his vassals to him if they ever ran out of sons. Basically, it took the daughters of the Lord if there was no son after ten years. Also, it activated when the youngest daughter was twelve.”
“How many, and who?”
“One, her older sister married less than a year ago and so was out of the picture. Actually, they got more pleasant through history. French family, actually you know them.”
“No, no, no, Gabrielle, Fleur’s sister! That’s horrible, not only is she a kid, she’s, she’s a twelve-year old Ginny!”
“Obviously, how many other Froggies do you know? None really. At least part-Veela mature faster, she doesn’t look twelve years old,” suggested Brean.
“That’s not the point, wait when did the contract activate?” queried Harry.
“Ah, her twelfth birthday, April 2.”
Closing his eyes, he said, “Is that it?” hopefully.
“Yeah,” said Brean, but the Bones family got a new head this morning.
“Neville and the sword,” stated Harry. “Wait, so poor Neville’s married too, to Susan Bones.”
“Actually, poor bloke ended up married to her best friend too. I think the Longbottom’s must have had a contract with the Abbott’s for their daughter Hannah. Wouldn’t have activated unless Neville had assumed Lordship is my guess, since his dad isn’t physically dead yet. However, well, marriage would give another avenue for that.”
“Well, at least he’ll have loyal wives.”
“That he will, Harry, that he will.”
Harry and Brean shared a laugh. They were interrupted by the appearance of a patronus, a large male lion. Bowing to Brean, it began in a serious voice, “Lord Cabol, the first priority is complete. Awaiting permission to approach target.” With this, the figure faded away.
“Isn’t that the Order’s spell?” asked Harry, “Who sent that?”
“Some of us know it, actually I was one of the ones your dad taught it to, after he learned it from Dumbledore,” explained Brean. “Actually, it’s not too hard, since you can already produce a Patronus. Would you like me to teach it to you.”
Harry nodded vigorously, prompting Brean to continue. “Basically, it’s like a regular Patronus. You need a happy memory, but also to think of the message you want to send. That’ll force the Patronus to listen to you. Then, point your wand at it and either think or say the message. Also say who you want it sent to. You just need to know of the person, not necessarily have met them. It’s like sending a really secure owl letter.”
“Who should I send one to?”
“Dale,” suggested Brean. “Tell him to come up here.”
Thinking and then nodding, Harry summoned the idea of a message. Realizing that he was free of Voldemort forever, he summoned that as his memory. Then, saying, “Expecto Patronum,” he summoned the most solid stag he ever had. This time instead of running off, Prongs waited patiently.
Harry pointed his wand and spoke in a clear voice, “Tell Dale Cabol: This is Lord Black. Lord Cabol says to report to the Room of Requirement.” At this, he lowered his wand. Prongs bowed, turned and disappeared.
Harry was about to turn around when it seemed like his stag had returned. The Patronus bowed to Brean like the first. “Grounds secure” it said, “I am approaching your position.”
Harry stared dumbfounded. “What?”
Brean looked at him. “You are not the only one with a connection to James,” he said simply. The bonds of brotherhood, or for those who are raised as such, often create such feelings.” At this, he suddenly transformed into a lion and padded around the room once before reverting to human form. Now Harry understood the first Patronus.
Brean paused. “Come out you fools.”
To Harry’s surprise, two wizards sprang into view. Instantly, Harry knew who they were.
Dale Cabol was barely shorter than his brother, and had cut his hair shorter as well. He also carried a staff on his back. He had a slight smile on his face, and eyes of a similar color to Harry’s own father. Like Brean, his hair was a dark brown, but not the raven of the Potter’s. The major difference between the brothers was the bearing. While both carried themselves confidently, Brean seemed at once more serious, but also slightly less burdened. The most striking difference was the deference that the younger brother paid to the elder.
Edward Potter looked much like Harry himself, but Harry could spot a bit of the Black facial features and the same grey eyes as Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. He too deferred to Brean, but only as to the leader of a group of friends. His manner and bearing seemed to suggest a more sorrowful life than either of his two Cabol cousins. Nevertheless, Harry could tell the extent of the family charms. Even after a thousand years, Cabol’s and Potter’s still looked like brothers.
It was Harry who spoke first, “Brean, how did they get in and how did you spot them?”
The three Rangers turned to look at each other. It was Edward who answered Harry, “we have developed the ability to sense where our blood relations are. The more powerful the wizard, the more relations he can sense. More than one near each other provides an even better location. Those of us sufficiently skilled can also use it like a homing beacon Apparate to.”
“Okay, but how’d you get in?”
Dale got a smirk on his face that gave Harry an uneasy feeling. Silently, Dale was by his side and had grabbed him around the waist. Harry felt the familiar Apparating sensation, but also felt like he was sliding around something. Then, he was on the other side of the room.
“How’d you get around the Hogwarts wards?” asked Harry quickly.
Dale smiled with glee, “Godric set most of the anti-apparation wards on the school. Of course we know how to get past this set.”
Concentrating on what he had just felt, Harry willed himself to his dormitory. Appearing there he turned startled. Suddenly, all three men were behind him.
Brean and Edward waved their wands, securing the room. Dale turned to Harry and said, “See, possible. And nice choice, I had to come here anyway.”
“Oh, right I forgot,” said Brean as he finished. “We have to go through this a couple times. Of course, I don’t intend to just leave now, and well you’re going to need some training.”
Here Harry interrupted him, “Why, Voldemort’s dead. And I beat him with what I knew now.”
Brean shook his head, “Few things. First, Dumbledore set you up so you had no chance in a straight fight, so that you’d have to sacrifice yourself. Second, you were lucky. Third, you missed your last year at Hogwarts and you could use some teaching up. Next, while you may get a few years, you’re now a target for every dark loon to make himself look good. Also, it’ll help you defend yourself and some of what we can teach you is pretty cool. Lastly, and most importantly, some of our enemies are still out there. They’re lying low right now, but they’ll come back eventually. And unlike Voldemort, they work together.”
Sighing, Harry had to agree. “So what do I have to do?”
“Basically just be willing to learn,” said Brean, “you’re an adult and you don’t need somebody holding your hand making your decisions for you. That said, you’re not mature all the way and you could use some guidance. So, we’ll be here to help you. Can’t say your aunt or grandmother won’t try to hug you a bunch, but nobody’s here to run your life. Sides, we, purposely or not, all have a lot to make up for.”
“Brean’s supposed to be your teacher, plus Dale isn’t as patient, and I’d have scared you if I was the first to approach you. Well my looks would put you off; so Brean got to introduce himself first,” said Edward.
“So, while I was doing dead dude movement, Edward was securing the grounds and trying to find out as much as he could, snooping around Snivelly style,” continued Dale.
“Who else do you have to explain things to, Ron and Neville?” guessed Harry.
Brean nodded, “But Edward will work with Neville, and Dale will get your buddy. That’s ideal since Dale can outprat Ron if he has to.”
Harry laughed. Then he stopped, “Do you want my help?”
“Well, we’ll all watch,” said Edward. “But we’ll be invisible,” said Brean. At this, he and Dale Disillusioned themselves. Pausing, Harry whispered an idea in Brean’s head that caused him to grin. Harry slipped on his cloak and watched Dale get to work.
Dale took out his staff and pushed the curtains open. He flicked down Ron’s sheets to show Ron naked except for a pair of Chudley orange boxers, snoring silently. Dale waved his wand and canceled the charms on Ron, though Ron was still asleep. Grinning a grin worthy of his cousin, he flicked his wand upward and Ron shot up, just as Harry had done to him a year before.
This caused Ron to wake up with a shout, “HARRY!” Ron was let down swiftly. Ron jumped out of bed, red in the face, fists closed, looking for Harry. Spotting only Dale, he looked around confused. Then, raging, he swung his fist.
Dale sidestepped, and tripped Ron with his staff.
“Hello Ron,” said Dale, “I’m here to talk to you.” He was interrupted, by Ron who suddenly started attacking him again. Dale lazily vanished Ron’s boxers. Ron blushed a full Weasley blush and tried to cover himself. He ran towards his wand when Dale hit him with a tripping jinx.
Ron let forth a string of curses, causing Dale to conjure a bar of soap in his mouth. Harry was getting a cramp from not laughing. “Now really, Ron, is that how you treat your friends?”
“You’re not my friend,” said Ron standing up, “you Death Eater!” Harry winced.
“NEVER CALL ME A DEATH EATER!” At this, Dale brought his staff down in an assault on Ron’s family jewels. Ron crumpled to the ground crying. Dale returned his staff to its place, waved his wand, and turned Ron into…a weasel.
Picking up the Ron Weasel, Dale disappeared. Harry, Brean, and Edward returned to the room as well.
Harry watched as Dale untransfigured Ron, bound him to a chair, and then swore an oath to tell the truth.
Then, he basically told Ron what Brean had turned Harry earlier. It seemed to take so long between Ron cursing and crying. Harry wasn’t sure if it was Dale eating food in front of him or the green pants and shirt “Weasels heart Ferrets” on the front.
Luckily, Ron already knew some basic facts about wizarding families. Unfortunately, he made comments like, “Harry’s related to Slytherin!” and “There are guys that like guys? Ewww.” Since Dale simply told things in a chronological order, Ron didn’t have a chance to really accuse Dale of child abandonment. However, in between begging for food he did manage to have moments of reasonableness.
“How come you’ve never said anything to Harry? How come you just take people’s memories? The war’s over now. Why the fuck are you talking to me? Harry’ll flip!” asked Ron accusingly. Dale, who had been just finished, chuckled.
“Harry can flip? I wouldn’t, too dangerous.”
“It’s an expression.”
“Get a sense of humor.”
“It flew out when I was forced to watch you stuff yourself while I starve.”
“Alright, alright. For your information, that memory spell only works on your own blood relations. Now, the next part is better left to someone else.” At this, Dale nodded to what looked to Ron to be solid air, until his best friend stepped out.
“Harry,” Ron pleaded, “so glad you’re here. Help me, this guy’s evil. Untie me please.”
“But it’s funny, Ron,” said Harry in between laughs.
“No, it’s not!”
“Yes,” said Harry as he settled down, “it is. I’ve been having a grand old time. You had much funnier reactions than I did.”
“But to be fair, Harry,” said Brean, revealing himself, “I didn’t exactly kidnap you did I?”
“But really, Ron,” remarked Edward, as he too finally revealed himself, “we’ve heard enough about you to know you’d cause problems.”
“I, I, I,” stumbled Ron, causing the other four men to laugh hysterically. “Shut up. You’re having way too much fun.” He squirmed. “Let me out of here.”
“I don’t know,” said Edward, “he might explode at the next part.”
“But then it’ll be funny, just like Bambi over here,” said Brean.
“What’s a Bambi?” asked Ron.
“BAMBI!” roared Harry, his face turning red. “And it wasn’t funny.”
“Yes it was,” chortled Brean.
“Think of it this way,” said Dale, “Ron’ll probably beat you out on funniness.”
This cheered Harry up. “Yeah, let’s let him out,” he agreed.
Dale released Ron, who jumped up and began to stretch. He had a great smile as he dug into some leftover food.
Ron’s good mood didn’t last long, though. When Harry told about the marriage contracts, Ron was confused. Then, when Harry talked about their search, Ron got ashamed about his desertion. When Ron was told about the sword consequences, however, he stared wide-eyed. Then, he stood there gaping like a fish. Then, he matched Harry in fainting. Unfortunately, he managed to hit his head on the chair behind him when he fell.
Harry just sighed, and said, “Ennervate.”
Ron woke up and clutched his head. “Either this is a very bad dream or I’m in deep shit. I finally get things right, and this happens. Well, I guess you’re my brother-in-law. Always kind of hoped that would happen, mate. Though I gotta say, never expected it to happen this way.”
“Actually,” replied Harry, “you forgot what I said about the contract. It goes both ways.”
“Merlin,” said Ron, “you’re in nearly as bad a boat as I am. At least I never technically made your sister my ex-girlfriend. Though I think having a new girlfriend I’ve liked for years is worse.”
“Ah, well,” started Harry.
“What?” asked Ron curiously.
“It’s not well known, but a wizard can have more than one wife.”
“Hermione, you know her, she’d never go for that.”
Harry sighed. “Unfortunately, I unintentionally bollixed things up for her.”
“How, what’d you do marry her to Malfoy?” joked Ron.
“No, you,” corrected Harry. Before Ron could interrupt, he said, “I claimed her as my sister and activated the Black-Prewett contract. So don’t worry you’re not an adulterer.”
“This is worse.”
“I’ve got it worse,” corrected Harry.
“How, what you got three or something?” said Ron.
“Well, actually, yeah.”
Ron cracked up.
“It’s not funny,” fumed Harry as he turned and looked at the silently laughing three beside him.
“How’d that happen?” managed Ron in between chortles.
“Listen and find out.” So, Harry continued the story of the Horcrux hunt. The most reaction was when Hermione beat up Ron (“Poor Ron, spousal abuse victim,” snorted Dale), and when Harry mentioned how he beat Malfoy for a girl.
“Yeah, you’re definitely worthier than ferret boy,” agreed Ron who then spent five minutes pretending to be unsure whether he was Harry’s favorite brother-in-law. Harry assured him Ron was.
Then, for the two who did not know the whole story, Harry told of the Gringotts robbery and the battle the previous night. He also got to make Ron feel better about their shared quagmire. They do say misery loves company.
Ron then asked the obvious question. “Who gets to tell Neville?”
“I do,” said Edward. “Though I think it can wait a little. I think it’s time Harry met his sister.”
Harry agreed enthusiastically. Then remembering his sister’s matrimonial state, he asked, “Is Ron coming?”
Ron shook his head, “You go mate, it's something you should do alone.”
Harry shook his own head, “I’d like you there. I’d, well, I’d feel more comfortable.”
“I’ll hold down the fort,” suggested Dale.
“Good idea,” agreed Edward, “Brean and I will take you there.”
“Where are we going?” asked Harry.
“The Potter manor in North Wales,” said Brean. Edward spends most of his time there. It’s more modern than the giant castle that’s the Gryffindor family seat. Also more accessible.”
“How we getting there?” asked Ron.
“Side-Along,” replied Edward.
“You did it this morning as Ron Weasel,” reminded Harry.
Ron’s face showed a mixture of embarrassment, but this quickly faded to amusement. “Oh, wait till Hermione hears this, it’ll be hilarious.”
“Enough chit-chat,” said Brean. “Let’s go.”
He put his arm around Harry just as Edward put his own arm around Ron. Then, the four vanished with a slight pop.
Notes: Again unbetaed. I have none. Actually I already had this written, so the next one might be a little while. Figured I’d post so there wasn’t too much of a cliffhanger.
I think my explanation is logical of what happened to Harry, Ron, and Neville. No, this isn’t some harem slut fic. Actually, I doubt there will be sex on camera so to speak. The marriage situation is there for humor and as an exercise to show what such a forced thing would probably really be like.
As to the United States civil war: Yes, there were other causes. However, the main reason there was exacerbating tensions was over slavery. The Union refused to let the Confederacy secede. The Confederacy felt their rights and way of life were threatened. Coincidentally, it was a defense of slavery. So, it came to a head.
My main point: Where else did six hundred thousand men actually die over this issue? Brean’s main point was the rather (unfortunate) non-uniqueness of the situation in the overseas territories.
The wizarding world is backwards; actually that’s what’ll drive a lot of this fic.
This is probably more a regular length; I figured the first chapter should get most of the talking out of the way: It’d be boring otherwise.