Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Christmas Fifth Year

Part 1

by scruffy1 8 reviews

This is the Sequel to Summer 4th Revised. It's the Winter Holidays and ...

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Humor - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Warnings: [!!] [X] [?] - Published: 2009-11-16 - Updated: 2009-11-16 - 10895 words - Complete

This is the sequel to Summer 4th year revised. There is not beta for this however I have tried to insure it is at the minimum understandable. Given that there are some errors still in here but to be honest after writing six versions of this holiday each slightly better than the last I finally have one I don’t feel too bad posting and I just wanted it out of my life.

P.S. Had to take it down an put it back up.... Messed up the Paragraph spacing again!

As always JKR and her business partners own this world and they have my thanks for letting me play in it. Some other authors are not that kind to Fan Fiction….

With all that said here’s the Story.

Feeling like she was escaping from some horrible institution instead of heading home on Winter Solstice or Christmas break, depending on your preference, from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Hermione Granger sat holding her boyfriend, Harry Potter’s, hand all the way from Hogsmeade to Kings Cross station doing her best to put the previous three months 19 days behind her including Harry’s lifetime Quidditch ban, at least for the next three weeks.

Harry and Hermione both knew they were in the process of bonding. But the research she’d done had Hermione feeling very happy about the situation; smiling to herself as she relaxed against Harry recalling the events of the last school term.

It all started very early in their fifth year with Harry contradicting this year’s Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor, Special Assistant to the Minister of Magic Deloris Umbridge, concerning rather or not Voldemort had returned. Several detentions later Hermione noticed Harry was not holding her left hand with his right, something he always managed to do when he was on her left side. It had not taken her long to determine his hand was injured and shortly there after Hermione found out a blood quill Madam Umbridge forced Harry to use in detention was the cause of repeated injuries so bad they were beginning to leave permanent scars on Harry’s right hand. Hermione was still slightly ashamed she had reacted by yelling at him for several minutes questioning his sanity and wondering why he had not reported it. When Harry replied that he had approached his head of house Professor McGonagall who replied without questioning why he was approaching her it was best he concentrated on keeping his head down and not annoying the woman. She then asked why he had not gone to the headmaster only for Harry to reply that individual was ignoring Harry anytime he approached him. After assuring herself Harry was practicing the correct first aid Hermione headed to the library determined to find a way to remove the incompetent teacher who only seemed to be at Hogwarts to torture those not toeing the official ministry line. About the same time she noticed Ron Wesley the third member of the Gryffindor three was spending less time with them.

In the library she found all the law books that had been so helpful researching the Hippogriff Buckbeak’s defense in her third year were now missing. When she’d asked Madam Prince, a blank look appeared on the Librarian’s face as she said, “All the required reference books are here.” That blank look had been enough to stop any further questions from Hermione.

In November She’d experienced a bit of apprehension when that Bitch from Ravenclaw came flashing her tata’s at Harry looking for a Cedric replacement. After Harry had brushed her off and sent her on her way, Hermione had cornered her in a girl’s bathroom and convinced the Bitch that Hermione’s claim on Harry was not to be messed with. Word had spread quickly through the girl’s information network and by noon the next day the entire female population was aware of Hermione’s retaliation. This led to a confrontation with the two youngest Weasleys; Ginny accusing her of stealing Harry from her while her brother Ron stood by supporting her. The confrontation didn’t end well with Hermione’s shield spell reflecting Ginny’s bat boggy hex back to Ron and a second girl receiving Hermione’s special retaliation. Her claim on Harry was never challenged again. No other girl wanted to risk a month long visit of their aunt Rose over a boy especially when the school nurse, Madam Pomfrey, couldn’t or wouldn’t cure the problem.

After administering the warnings Hermione was back in the library continuing her quest for answers to the Umbridge problem until her frustration reached its peak a week before the winter holidays. She found herself in the empty classroom she’d been using as a hiding place when Harry’s treatment drove her to tears. It wasn’t however tears that drove her this night although she shed a lot of them. Tonight her frustration with the resources available in the library put her over the top and after silencing the room she ranted, raved, yelled, cursed, conjured objects only to blast them out of existence moments later.

A knock at their cabin door drew Harry’s attention. His short squeeze of Hermione’s hand brought her out of her memories to hear Luna say, “Harry, Hermione I just wanted to say it’s been nice being with you and I hope you have a good time. Hopefully I’ll see you this summer.”

Harry spoke for the two of them saying, “I’m sorry Luna I didn’t know you were leaving school otherwise we’d had a party.”

“Oh, I’m coming back silly. There are things that still need to be done here,” Luna Lovegood said turning and leaving.

Harry and Hermione exchanged looks as Harry shook his head saying, “Only Luna.”

At Kings Cross station, Jane Granger looked at her husband Alan asking, “Is everything set?”

“Yes, once the kids are here Mr. Limbu will take their pets and anything else they don’t need he will take back to the house where his wife will take care of them. I’ve got us a private cabin from Waterloo International station to our destination so we can talk about school and anything else without being over heard. It’s about a three-mile drive so we’ll have time to sort things out before we leave things with Mr. Limbu,” Alan replied talking softly so as not to be overheard.

Exiting the train Hermione kept a hold of Harry’s hand until they passed through the barrier and she spotted her folks. Dropping his hand she sprinted across the gap enveloping her mother in a hug one she held until Harry had pushed a cart loaded with two trunks and two cages containing Hedwig and Crookshanks. “Thanks for letting me stay over the holidays,” He said shaking Alan’s hand.

“Oh, daddy!” Hermione exclaimed shifting from her mother to an equally intensive hug of her father.

“Rough time at school?” Jane asked opening her arms wordlessly inviting Harry to step into a hug.

“You could say that,” Harry replied stepping into the hug.

Once the hugs were finished Alan did his best to get everyone moving out to where Mr. Limbu, the husband of Anna their housekeeper and all around handyman, waited behind the wheel of an estate wagon.

“What’s up?” Hermione asked looking at her mother.

“We’ve decided to take a short vacation with you two before the holidays.” Jane replied giving her daughter a look that conveyed the message ‘go with it. I’ll tell you all about it later.’

Harry was looking on, Hermione’s question had preempted his. Seeing her nod agreement to her mother he figured he’d be told when it was needed.

“I’ve got two empty suitcases you need to move all you want to take with you into those. I’ll take the your trunks and pets back to the manor where my wife will take care of everything.” Mr. Limbu said opening the hatch in back for Harry and Alan to deposit the trunks.

Mr. Limbu drove the three miles to Waterloo International station on the other side of the Thames, with both kids in the back taking turns shifting their few clean clothes over to the provided cases.

“Wow,” Harry exclaimed looking over the station’s façade while exiting the estate wagon.

“Yes, but inside it’s all modern just like the trains.” Hermione quipped as Harry started to carry his only to stop and mutter in surprise when once past the curb Hermione pulled out a handle and started walking, her suitcase rolling along behind her. Checking his he found a handle. Grinning he followed her example thinking the wheels would be a good addition to a Hogwarts trunk especially for the firsties.

Once everyone was settled into the private cabin on board the Eurostar Harry looked at Hermione then at her parents saying, “I’m worried about the danger you might be in by having me spend the holidays with you not to mention the problems it might cause you with Dumbledore.” Harry replied.

Alan Granger looked at the boy, no he quickly realized with everything Harry had been through this was actually a young man facing him then said, “Harry we tilled this field last year know this even if the worst happens Jane and I still support you and Hermione. All that will happen is my brother will take control of the family finances a little earlier than he expected.”

“Dad tell him about Dumbledore.” Hermione said knowing her father had left that part out.

Alan nodded then looked at Harry saying, “It’s a little more involved than I told you about last summer. Dumbledore has been forbidden to come to our home or to contact either Jane or I so he should not be a problem.”

Harry’s jaw slowly opened as he realized that Mr. Granger was serious. “Harry close your mouth.” Hermione said a smile in her voice.

“Dumbledore can’t visit you?”

“Not unless he wants to run into legal problems.” Alan said firmly.

“How, who…” Harry sputtered in confusion as he realized that someone had the ability to prevent Dumbledore from doing something.

Hermione spoke before her father had a chance, “When I received my Hogwarts letter I initially declined and Dumbledore came to talk my folks into letting me attend. He was rather heavy handed about it.”

“Sounds like him.” Harry replied.

“I contacted my Barrister and he was a little better connected than Dumbledore thought. He contacted an associate known for handling unusual cases. Turns out that individual practiced in both worlds and filed papers with your ministry to prevent his contacting us.”

Harry looked at Hermione wondering just why she had attended Hogwarts then if Dumbledore had caused such problems. As if she was reading his mind Hermione added, “Professor McGonagall requested permission to visit through dad’s Barrister and was able to convince my parents attending Hogwarts would be a good idea. If it hadn’t been for her we’d never met.”

“Remind me to thank her when we get back to school.” Harry said.

Hermione decided a change of topic was in order. “Why are we headed to Paris?”

“We are meeting a friend there.” Jane said trying hard to keep a smirk off her face.

“Do I know this friend?” Hermione asked wondering just what was going on.

Alan interrupted, “We just passed into France and we are under the channel.”

Jane nodded then in a firm tone said, “Hermione pull out your wand and check us and our bags for tracking charms.”

Hermione’s eyebrows shot up as did Harry’s but Hermione did as her mother requested praying her father was right and no warning was coming her way. A few minutes later she finished with both Harry, her, and their bags saying, “We’re clean now,” looking at her mother. Who nodded towards her father.

“We have been invited to spend a few days in Paris visiting Mr. Paddy Evans,” Hermione looked at Harry watching as he broke out in a big smile. Her mother was going to get a big thank you for this.

The train pulled in to Paris at platform 4 Gare du Nord where they found Paddy Evans aka Sirius Black waiting for them. “Welcome to Paris everyone.” Sirius said getting a big hug from Harry followed by a similar hug from Hermione.

Jane walked up with her husband saying, “Mr. Evans I’d like to introduce my husband Alan Granger.”

Paddy held out his hand that Alan shook with a firm grip saying, “Mr. Evans it is a pleasure to finally meet you. I would like to thank you for the hospitality you showed my family last summer.”

“It is Paddy and believe me it was my pleasure. Their visit did wonders for my godson here.”

“I’m Alan, and it wasn’t only him that benefited from that visit,” Alan said smirking at Hermione.

Grabbing the two teens Paddy called out, “Let’s be off. I’ve reserved a couple of rooms at a local hotel for everyone.”

A short cab ride later the Grangers were settling into the Pissarro Suite in the Hotel du Louvre. “This is fantastic,” Jane exclaimed alternating between looking at the paintings by Pissarro on the walls and the view of Paris out the six floor to ceiling windows. “I fell in love with his “The Avenue, Sydenham” and made it a point to go see his other works when I can. He’s considered the Father of Impressionism. I even have a painting by his great-granddaughter Lélia.” Jane blubbered in happiness.

“Glad you like it. Tomorrow evening we have reservations at Les Ambassadeurs just down the street. I thought about booking your rooms in that hotel but Jane mentioned she loved Impressionism when we were talking on the island. Combine that with the quality of these rooms… it was an easy choice.” Paddy said smiling.

“Paddy how are you walking around Paris? Aren’t you afraid of being arrested and set back to England?” Hermione interrupted unable to hold her questions in any longer

“Hermione!” Jane Granger said sharply upset at her daughter’s lack of decorum.

Paddy shook his head saying, “No those questions needed to be asked and answered. The Hotel manager on my island made inquiries on my behalf and after getting assurances I would not be returned to England under any conditions. He made the arrangements for me to turn myself over to the French authorities shortly after you returned to England. I was interviewed under their version of truth drugs. I was able to prove my innocence to their ministry’s satisfaction. They provided me with the proper paperwork allowing Paddy Evans to travel anywhere in the world except England. The goblins had already allowed me access to my funds once they were sure Paddy was Sirius.”

“But why wouldn’t they turn you over to the English if they’d found you guilty?” Hermione asked.

Paddy actually smiled, “It seems the French consider Azkaban, with it’s dementor guards, inhuman punishment. Their laws will not allow them to extradite anyone to a country that will administer such punishment.”

“Oh,” Hermione replied while her mother and father nodded in understanding.

“I hope everyone doesn’t mind but it’s getting late,” Paddy said rising.

“What about these two?” Alan asked motioning towards Harry and Hermione.

“I’ve reserved two Junior Suites for them. That is assuming they will be sleeping separately,” Paddy answered with a wink.

Jane nodded before saying, “Speaking of sleeping, it’s been a long day you two had the ride from Hogwarts then from London to here. Let’s settle in for the night then tomorrow we’ll start fresh.”

“Good idea Jane. Harry and I have something special we need to do tomorrow the 21st at noon you all are invited by the way. After that it would be best to set aside some time for shopping. I need to get some adult clothes for dinner and I suspect Harry does also,” Paddy said.

Harry and Hermione followed Paddy out going to their junior suites. Paddy followed Harry into his saying, “Tomorrow we are going to Gringotts in Paris. You will be able to get some money there so don’t worry about having enough to go shopping tomorrow afternoon.”

Harry couldn’t hold his curiosity any longer, “What are we doing tomorrow at noon?”

Paddy looked thoughtful for a few moments before saying, “I guess I should ask if you want it before we go through all the trouble. Harry I would like to adopt you and make you my heir.”

Harry fell stunned into one of the chairs,. Adopted? Heir? He wasn’t sure how he actually felt about that. After a minute’s reflection that made Sirius quite nervous Harry asked, “So would that make me Harry Black or what?”

Glad Harry hadn’t rejected the idea outright he said, “You could stay Harry Potter for school but I believe that officially you would be known as Harry James Potter-Black or Black-Potter but I think the first flows better. We’ll check it with Hermione if you want before we make it official.”

“What about any kids you might have?” Harry asked.

Sirius shook his head at that question. “I don’t know if it was what they fed me while I was locked up or just from being around dementors that long. All I know for sure is, after checking with the best specialists in both worlds, I will have no little Padfoots running around.”

“Oh I’m so sorry.” Harry said looking up at his godfather feeling bad for him.

Sirius shook his head as he took the other seat saying, “Don’t worry almost everything has started to work again. There’s just no baby juice there. That’s why I suspect they used potions on me. Makes sense too.”

Now Harry was confused, “Why does it make sense?”

“Harry under the rules the Black family’s assets would go to the next living male even if the line passes through the female branches of the family. Regulus died without fathering any children, Andromeda was cast out of the family. It wouldn’t make a difference if I brought her back in she only had Nymphadora. Bellatrix has no children and won’t have unless someone other than her husband does the deed seeing as how he lost the family jewels in a fight with your father. That leaves….”

“Draco,” Harry said venom practically dripping from the name.

An instant later Harry’s face revealed there was a question he never wanted to ask but was intensely curious about the answer. “Ask it Harry. I won’t be offended. If it is what I think it is you need to know the answer.”

Harry looked at his godfather before asking, “So if Draco would inherit the Black family assets if something happened to you why didn’t they just kill you?”

Sirius nodded replying, “That’s what I thought you were wondering about. It has to do with the Black family magic. There is a family rule that states if you or anyone you influence off the head of the family or his designated heir you are kicked out.”

“But no one would know.”

“Ah there is the heart of the matter. All the Black family rules are tied into our family magic. It wouldn’t go to a court. So even if you mentioned that you couldn’t pay a debt until you inherited and that person killed the head of the Black family. Magic would see that as you killing the head of house and exact the required retribution.”

“So no one acting on Draco’s behalf could cause your death.”

“What about what they did to you?” Harry asked a bit confused.

Sirius nodded saying, “There’s the loophole. They didn’t kill me nor did they technically kill my kid. I just can’t have one. So magic doesn’t see that as killing the heir. Right now I suspect Lucky Lucius is already counting the Black fortune. My doing this will really tick the little boot licker and his son off so if you don’t want to… Well I’ll understand.”

“Okay I’ll do it.” Harry replied before asking, “Paddy I was planning on giving Hermione a promise ring either tomorrow or on Christmas. What do you think?”

It was Sirius’s turn to be silent for a minute. “There are several parts to your question. First are you a wizard giving a witch a promise ring or a muggle boy giving a muggle girl one?”

“What’s the difference? I mean Neville hinted there was one but he wasn’t clear as he doesn’t know muggles that well.”

Sirius understood the confusion it wasn’t until Lily explained the difference to he and James seventh year that he understood. “As your mother explained it. A muggle would do it on Christmas or Valentine’s Day and the meaning would vary depending on the two families involved. Normally it would be between teens unable to become engaged and interpreted as a commitment to be monogamous and imply the boy intends to offer an engagement ring when he is able. A Wizard would do it on the Solstice, as that is the more important day to us. Not that we don’t honor the Christian beliefs but a few of them did try to burn us at the stake. The meaning is also different in the wizarding world. Taking another part of your question just how old is Hermione?”

“She is sixteen her birthday is September 19th,” Harry replied confused at the direction his godfather was taking.

“I suspect she is aware of this being the smart witch she is but you should know by tradition a witch should refuse a promise ring after she turns sixteen.”

“What, why is that?”

“Harry you’re thinking like a muggle again. A sixteen year old witch is prime marrying age. A serious suitor would be proposing marriage. If you offer her a promise ring you are insinuating she is not mature enough to make proper decisions. Now if she was fifteen or even a bit younger then a promise ring would be appropriate. The magical world sees a promise ring as a formal pre-engagement. When the witch turns sixteen the suitor would be expected to propose marriage. Should either party not feel this marriage is suitable their families would negotiate a settlement taking into account a number of issues,” Sirius said not feeling the need to mention some of his classmates were probably wearing promise rings under a glamour when they arrived at Hogwarts.

“So I might just as well ask her to marry me?” Harry asked looking at his godfather.

“Yes, but as you are not sixteen yourself you can’t do that just yet. I could give you permission of course but I would prefer to let tomorrow’s events at Gringotts play out then make a decision.”

“I’ve already made the decision.”

Sirius shook his head saying, “Not that one. After I make you my heir and all the repercussions of that come about then decide. You might be in a position to offer her an engagement ring without my permission.”

Harry looked stunned and it took a moment before he replied, “I’m only fifteen how can I become an adult?”

“Magic is funny and occasionally unpredictable about things like that. All I’m saying is there exists a slight change your status might change tomorrow. I’ll tell you what let’s go talk with Hermione’s parents for a bit you can ask for their daughter’s hand and I’ll inform them of the differences between muggle and magical promise rings.”

“Thanks, Sirius.” Harry said a smile gracing his face.

Harry pulled the box containing the promise ring with its Celtic knot and heart he’d bought during their last Hogsmeade visit out of the pile of sox he’d hidden it in when he’d switched luggage deciding against using it. After the talk with his godfather he knew this wasn’t the ring he’d be offering Hermione.

“Just a moment.” Alan called out when he heard a knock at the door to their suite. Opening it he saw Harry standing there looking a little green around the gills with his godfather beside him.

Harry took a deep breath when the door opened asking, “Can we come in for a moment. I have a question for you and Mrs. Granger and my Godfather is here to help with the explanation.”

“It’s Jane, Harry. Is everything alright?” She asked emerging from the bedroom a robe wrapped around her.

“Yes actually I came up here to ask…” Harry started then stopped trying to gather himself before continuing, “To ask your permission to give Hermione an engagement ring,” He asked doing his best to look both of them in the eyes as he asked.

“When did you plan on asking her?” Jane asked doing her best to keep a neutral tone as she watched both Alan and Sirius out of the corner of her eyes.

“Sometime after we visit Gringotts.” Harry replied watching as Jane and Alan carried on a conversation consisting of shoulder, head, and facial movements indecipherable to a teenager who didn’t know them well.

Sirius took this silence to speak up, “There are a few things you should be aware of. Harry originally wanted to offer Hermione a Promise Ring. I had to inform him at her age that wasn’t done in the magical world.” Sirius then proceeded to tell the Granger’s everything he’d told Harry about the differences and why Harry was waiting until after Gringotts meeting to ask Hermione.

“We’ll just be a few moments.” Alan said escorting his wife back to the bedroom for a private discussion.

Once they were alone Alan asked, “Will she say yes?” knowing in his own opinion his daughter probably would but wanting his wife’s view point on this.

Jane looked at her husband wondering just how clueless he really was. Hadn’t he read the same letters from school this year she had. She could understand him not catching the nuances involved in the interactions she’d witnessed since they’d picked up the two of them in London, Hermione constantly checking where Harry was and if he needed help while he was doing the same thing to her, but surely he remembered them dancing last summer before they’d returned to school. The main point she’d planned on making with her daughter over this visit was to insure she knew and was taking the precautions necessary to prevent pregnancy. Giving up she gathered her composure before saying, “Alan if he asked her to marry him tonight before midnight she’d look at us asking if we were coming to her wedding. There is no chance our daughter will turn done that boy.”

“I don’t like the idea of our sixteen year old daughter being engaged. It sounds very final in the magical world.”

“That is her world now. All we can do is trust our daughter and hope she comes home occasionally.” Jane said hugging her husband tears appearing in the corner of her eyes.

After giving his wife a moment to clean up they returned to the sitting room where Alan looked at his wife. Finally Jane nodded and Alan said, “You have our permission to ask Hermione. We will leave the final decision up to her.”

“Thank you!” Harry said giving Jane a hug and shaking Alan’s hand before turning and leaving the room on an emotional high leaving them alone with their thoughts about what was going to happen tomorrow.

At 10:45 the magical limousine that had been waiting for them outside the hotel dropped the five of them off at the entrance to the Paris version of Diagon Alley. Gringotts Paris showed none of the quirky architecture that Gringotts London displayed. To be honest it was a formal 17th century style building. Once inside Sirius lead the group to a side desk where he spoke quickly with a goblin who had another goblin lead them to an ornate back room. Where a third goblin greeted them saying, “Lord Black thank you for being prompt. I take it this is the young man.”

“Yes, this is my godson Harry James Potter.”

The goblin looked appraisingly at Harry for a moment before asking, “Mr. Harry James Potter do you agree with your Godfather’s plan to adopt you?”

Harry took a breath then remembered what he and Hermione had discussed this morning. “I would like your council I an concerned and wonder if you foresee any problems or hazards in this regarding me.”

The goblin raised an eyebrow in surprise looking at Sirius who was looking between Harry and the goblin stunned. “I take it you did not discuss this with your godfather in advance.”

“No, he is occasionally negligent on thinking through the repercussions of his actions.” Harry replied trying his hardest to keep a formal tone and actually succeeding for a change.

The goblin steeped his fingers tapping the tips together. “Yet you trust me to inform you?”

Harry nodded his agreement explaining, “My few dealings with goblins have revealed them to always answer a direct question honestly. Thus my direct question to you.”

The goblin seemed to reach a decision, “Then regarding becoming the Black Heir; other than annoying those would currently profit from Mr. Black’s passing. I did check the Potter trust and thanks to some wording one of your ancestors inserted I see no problems there. The only problem I see is you might wish to either have two wives or if you have only one wife then give one son the sir name Potter and another Black to restart the Black family line while continuing your own.”

“Thank you,” Harry replied looking to Hermione who was wondering why Harry was looking at her so intently. Thinking he was asking her opinion she started to nod only to stop before making any motion as Harry turned to face the goblin. After a moments pause Harry formally said, “I agree to become Sirius Black’s heir.”

Before Harry said anything further Hermione said, “Ask him about the Potter ring,” watching as the goblin’s eyes lit up at her comment.

Harry nodded turning to the goblin he asked, “Should I expect any negative surprises from wearing the Potter heir ring?”

“Nothing negative will happen.” The goblin replied and checked a timepiece before saying, “Right on schedule.” Before having Harry and Sirius stand facing each other holding hands. A group of goblins entered and a short ritual involving Sirius’s and Harry’s blood along with chanting and finger waggles by the group of goblins the goblin that started everything said, “It is done Mr. Potter is now your heir. How is he to be addressed?”

Sirius looked towards Harry who said, “Harry James Potter-Black.”

“Very well. Now as to the rings…” the goblin said turning back to his desk and opening a drawer.

Sirius walked over and selected one ring turning to Harry he said, “I wore this ring until I was cast out from the family. I would suggest the ring finger on your right hand. When I die it will automatically be replaced with this one.” Sirius held up his left hand showing the Black head of house ring resting on his ring finger.

Harry took the ring placing it on his right hand. After watching the ceremony in silence Hermione couldn’t resist asking, “Why the right hand when yours is on your left?”

“Because his left ring finger is for this ring,” the goblin said removing a ring from the second tray. Addressing Harry he said, “Mr. Potter your Potter heir ring.” Holding out the ring to Harry.

Harry took the ring placing it on his left hand ring finger. No sooner was it on his finger than the Potter ring suddenly shimmered becoming heavier and resembling Sirius’s ring in it’s intricacy. Glancing between the two he noticed the stones had a silver inlay of B on his right while the left had a gold inlay of P.

Looking to Sirius he asked in confusion, “Sirius?”

Sirius looked at his godson who had his gaze fixed on his left hand. “Harry that is the Head of Family ring for House Potter. You are now Potter of House Potter.”

“Actually Lord Black he is Lord Potter of House Potter and as heir presumptive of house Black he is entitled to the title Master of Black. As Lord Potter he ranks higher than you on the peerage listing. The Potters having been ennobled by a Scottish King several decades prior to the Blacks being ennobled by a British king,” the goblin said speaking up.

Hermione carefully noted all of Harry’s titles knowing he’d be asking her late what it all meant. While her parents had last night’s conversation coming back to them. If he followed through with the proposal just what was their daughter in for.

“Lord Potter would you kindly escort the Granger’s to the lobby. I have a few loose ends to tie up and I’ll be right with you.” Sirius said to Harry winking when he noticed the look of annoyance on his godson, now heir’s face.

Coming out of the Goblin’s office a few minutes later Sirius approached the waiting group saying, “This does not need to be explained here. We’ve taken up enough of this individual’s time. Let’s go grab some lunch and I’ll explain everything to the best of my ability.”

As they were headed for the door. A goblin approached them saying, “Mr. Black you forgot these,” passing him five small cards.

“Good I’ll give them these when I explain everything. Thank you for your time.” Sirius said urging everyone out the door not stopping until they were seated in a muggle café for lunch.

“Mr. Evans?” Jane asked aware that now they were in the muggle world his name had changed.

“Just a few more moments.” Paddy replied casting hush and other privacy wards from under the table. Finished he said, “That’s done. Now first things first, Harry your name is a bit confusing. Legally you are; Lord Potter, Master of Black, Harry Potter, Harry Potter-Black and James Evans.”

“Five names?” Harry asked surprised at his status change.

“That’s actually the easy part of the whole thing. I’ll go over some of it tomorrow.” Catching a look from Hermione Sirius added, “If Harry approves you can join Hermione,” causing the girl to look towards Harry.

“You know I’ll want you there,” Harry replied when he caught her look.

Passing two cards to both Harry and Hermione he said, “These are credit cards for both of you one draws on the Potter accounts and the other draws on the Black accounts. They are for any expenses you run into.”

Paying attention to the business at hand Hermione asked, “What’s the card’s limit?”

“Don’t know if either has one. I wouldn’t spend over 500,000 pounds a week per account though.” Sirius replied off handedly.

Jane Granger’s jaw dropped she couldn’t believe what had just been said. Hermione felt the same way, “How much?” she asked.

“That is you and Harry combined of course.”

“Oh of course.” Hermione replied as if the ability to spend that much was an everyday occurrence for her.

“Keep it up too long and you might do some minor damage to your accounts.”

“How long is too long?” Alan asked trying to sound calm.

“Oh two years or so at the maximum per week,” Sirius replied a smile gracing his lips.

Alan sat in shock wondering just how much money this boy had at his disposal that it would take 50 million pounds to do minor damage and what was going on with his daughter being passed her own cards. He knew Harry intended to propose but really.

Harry smiled at Hermione saying, “I guess lunch is on us then.”

After a leisurely lunch Harry picked up the tab then the five of them spent the afternoon on a highlight tour of the main tourist sites in Paris.

Thanks to the excellent driving of their chauffeur they stepped out of their Mercedes limousine outside of Les Ambassadeurs with a few moments to spare. Jane actually enjoyed the attention the group of five gathered as they made their way inside were the Maitre-d met them quickly escorting them to their table in the corner. “The room is quite grand,” Jane said wanting to complement Paddy for arranging all this.

“Yes it is although my only request was that I have my back to a wall and have a reasonably good view of the room,” Paddy replied.

Alan was tempted to reply ‘Paranoid much,’ but then he remembered the stories Hermione had written about this kind man and decided it was probably true. The man needed to be aware of what was going on around him to feel comfortable enough to relax. He’d seen the same thing in one or two members of his country club. One of whom was reputed to always have a weapon of some sort within arms reach. Given the way the man played golf he suspected one of his clubs would function quite well in that regard without hurting his game.

The meal was a unique experience for Harry having only seen standard English fare the Dursleys ate and Hogwarts caloric laden fare. The menu was full of dishes he couldn’t pronounce let alone understand, He’d resorted to letting Hermione order for him and what he ate was great. Between her flawless French and winning smile Hermione charmed the entire wait staff, getting little treats from the kitchen to complement their meal. Alan was gushing about the wines to everyone and when Harry looked over, there sat his godfather a big smile on his face obviously enjoying the evening.

Hours later the Limousine dropped them off at their hotel, everyone making their way up to their rooms. In his room Harry took out the boxes with the Potter and Black engagement rings Sirius had slipped him in the men’s room after dinner thinking tomorrow he would propose to Hermione. As he went about getting ready for bed he finally realized what that nagging itch in his mind was trying to remind him about. Today was the winter solstice tomorrow would not be. While it wouldn’t mean much in the muggle world it held the potential to mean quite a bit in the Magical world. Tying his hotel robe tight Harry slipped the two boxes into the robes pocket.

Hermione heard the knock at her door while in the middle of a yawn. She’d just gotten out of her clothes and was setting things in order for tomorrow grabbing a robe off the back of the bathroom door she tied it and checked her appearance in a mirror before going to the door. “Harry what… can’t this wait until tomorrow?” she asked upon seeing him outside her room.

Sucking up his courage Harry replied, “I want to do this on the Solstice. It will only take a moment alright?”

“Alright but I’m not letting you in. it wouldn’t be proper.” Hermione replied glancing up the hall wondering if her parents were planning to make a stop to say goodnight.

Nodding Harry dropped to one knee in the hall drawing a gasp from Hermione whose thought of, ‘Oh my God’ alternated with ‘Oh Merlin’ rapidly in her mind as Harry pulled out a box. Causing her thoughts to shift to ‘No don’t tell me he is…. Right here?’

Her thoughts were stopped by the simple phrase, “Hermione I love you and can’t imagine living without you. Will you marry me?”

Hermione could not believe she was having trouble replying. Finally with tears of joy running down her cheeks she managed to squeak out, “Yes, oh Merlin yes. Harry I accept. I would love to be your wife,” while holding out her left hand for the ring.

Once the ring was securely on her finger Hermione tackled Harry kissing him like she’d always wanted to. They mastered breathing through their noses early on and now they settled into caressing each other’s tongue with their own while their hands were caressing each other’s body through their bed clothes.

They were snuggling into each other’s embrace Harry trying to stay away from in appropriate areas and Hermione determined to convey that there were no such areas on her body at least were Harry was concerned They were still snogging in her open door five minutes later when Alan and Jane came to say goodnight to Hermione.

Both teens had messed hair, bruised looking lips, and mussed but still intact clothing. “I take it something’s happened between the two of you.” Jane asked.

“Harry and I are engaged.” Hermione announced holding up her left hand so her parents could see the ring.

Pleased the boy had done as he stated Jane was still the mother of a sixteen year old daughter. “I hope this isn’t where you plan on sleeping tonight.” She said a bit of frost in her voice.

“Not at all. I was planning to sleep in my room. I just wanted to let Hermione know what she meant to me,” Harry said looking Jane in the eye. Before his hand brushed his robe hitting the other ring box causing him to add, “Woops I forgot one,” as he pulled the other box out.

“What?” Hermione asked.

“Hey I get a Potter ring and a Black ring so you do too,” Harry said opening the box to reveal the engagement ring for the Black heir, which he slipped on the ring finger of her right hand. Under her mother’s watchful gaze the two teens said their good nights. Alan walked Harry back to his room where he bade him good night while Jane had a few words about the behavior she expected with her daughter. She was approaching the Pissarro Suite when she noticed Paddy coming out of his room.

Sirius asked, “Did you find them?” as he saw Jane approach.

“Yes, it seems your godson works quite fast. My daughter couldn’t wait flashing me the ring as she inform me they were engaged. I told them they have five minutes to get to bed, their own beds in their own rooms. Then Alan waited for Harry and escorted him to his room.” Jane said

Sirius nodded thinking that was a smart move on their part before asking, “Do you two mind having a discussion. Some of the stories those two related tonight have me worried.”

“Not at all, I was planning on discussing the same thing with Alan,” Jane replied opening the door and motioning to one of the chairs in the sitting room noting that Alan had already returned from threatening Harry.

“It’s late so I’ll get right to the point, I was thinking given how bad things are at Hogwarts it might be good to remove the two of them and arrange for tutors.”

“But we can’t remove Hermione I was under the impression Alan and I had no input as to what Hermione did during the school year. At least that was the impression we were given after Hermione was petrified in her second year. We were told our only option was in initially deciding rather for her to attend or not after we’d made that decision the rest of her schooling was out of our hands.” Jane said a strong edge of resentment in her voice.

Sirius nodded in understanding, “That was true until today. However things have changed.”

“Why?” Alan asked.

“Now your daughter is not Hermione Granger muggle born witch. She is Lady Potter in-waiting the future wife of Lord Harry Potter the head of a noble house.”

“I am not going to like what that means am I?” Jane Granger asked an edge to her voice.

“Probably not.” Sirius agreed wondering just how to break this bit of news.

“And what does the change in status mean?” Alan said after a moment’s silence.

Deciding to just be up front about it Sirius replied, “The school has no input in any decision regarding Hermione. Those are now the responsibility of the head of house Potter, or to put it another way Harry’s.”

“Her boyfriend is in charge of my daughter’s schooling!” Jane bellowed an instant before her husband did.

Sirius shrugged and decided it was best to get it all out, “Her betrothed is in charge of that along with everything else,” He said quietly.

“That is…. He is…. She is….” Jane sputtered looking like she wanted to attack someone until Alan stood and took her in his arms muttering soothing words to her.

Sirius let Alan work his magic and once Jane had returned to her seat she looked Sirius in the eye asking, “Do you have any helpful news or suggestions?

“Yes, with Harry in charge we can accomplish a number of things. You and I couldn’t do this but now Harry can remove both of them from Hogwarts. Harry loves Hermione and will do what she wishes. All we have to do is layout a good plan tomorrow and let her convince Harry that it’s what she wants,” Sirius said while silently praying he was right.

“Will the education they get from tutors be as good as a Hogwarts education? That woman who visited us before Hermione’s first year said the teachers were the best in the world at their subjects.” Jane asked.

“Having attended Hogwarts I have some debate with a few of the teachers at Hogwarts being the best there is. Putting that aside the individuals we will get to teach them will be in the top five in England or where ever they train. Given there will be just a two students to one teacher ratio they will be capable of out scoring all of Hogwarts on their OWLS and NEWTS.”

“But the cost?” Alan asked.

“Pocket change for me and I’m paying no arguing.” Sirius said firmly.

Jane and Alan exchanged glances for a moment communicating without words before Alan said, “We’re in. What do we tell the two of them?”

The next morning Jane went down to get the teens after actually finding them where they where suppose to be she told them to get dressed and meet up in the big suite breakfast was being delivered and they had a lot to cover.

In the Pissarro Suite Sirius laid out the plan to Harry and Hermione as everyone ate, “What I’ve talked over with your folks is everyone staying in Paris until you two and I head to the Island. I know you were due to go back to England tomorrow but the three of us spent a good portion of last night talking things over and we feel it is safer for both of you if you do not return to England where Dumbledore can operate with impunity. This also puts finish to your time at Hogwarts.”

As he finished Hermione asked, “Didn’t the Hogwarts Investigation I called create a safer environment for us?”

“On the surface you are right but if we look below the surface all Hogwarts actually did was throw out the ministry flunky, wind up Snape something fierce, while annoying every other Professor including the Headmaster. I’ll wager you any amount of Galleons you wish that Dumbledore’s main objective right now is finding out who requested the Hogwarts Intervention, if he hasn’t already. Given that Minerva was brought up short by Hogwarts and flat out told she wasn’t doing her job correctly in front of all the students. I’ll make the same bet her knickers are going to be in a twist for years to come. No I definitely believe Hogwarts is not the place for either of you.” Sirius carefully explained with his eyes fixed on Hermione knowing she would be the one needing convincing. Harry would follow her lead in this.

“So how would the timing work out on our leaving? You know Dumbles is going to be visiting the instant he gets the letter.” Hermione said her nickname for the headmaster showing her growing distain for him.

“That’s the best part. I’ve already talked with the Goblins here and they were not going to send the rings back to England until the tenth of January. That would have allowed Harry to legally act as head of house Potter during the train ride. We keep that the same and send your letter of resignation to arrive on the twelfth of January. By that time we will be back on the island and out of his reach.” Sirius explained.

“What about my parents.” Hermione worried.

“Don’t worry about us. Between our lawyers and Mr. Limbu we will be fine. Worse comes to worse we move to the islands with you. I doubt that will be needed. Sirius suggested an owl from us questioning just how Dumbledore allowed our daughter to be kidnapped from Hogwarts to confuse the issue and put him on the defensive right off.” Alan said nodding towards Sirius.

Sirius picked up the tale saying, “The bad part in all of this is you two can’t return to England until this summer at the earliest.”

“Why not?” Harry asked, He’d been looking forward to Boxing Day visits with a few of his friends.

“Honestly Harry, with you sporting those rings not to mention me sporting these? Do you really need it explained to you?” Hermione asked in a huff.

Harry looked at her smiling, “Hey, do you really think that rated an honestly Harry?” he asked wondering in the back of his mind just how to arrange for his Christmas gifts to arrive at the Burrow and Longbottoms.

“I’ve talked to the hotel and we have these rooms until the seventh. I was thinking about inviting Remus over for Christmas but I wanted your input?” Sirius said looking at the two kids.

Harry looked at Hermione for a few moments before she nodded and Harry spoke, “If you can be sure he won’t go tattling to Dumbledore it sounds like a good idea. I wonder if he’d be up to mailing a few packages and letters seeing as how we won’t get to meet any of our classmates before we leave?”

“I’ll put my request under a marauders’ seal. The only one of us that broke that was the rat.” Sirius said scowling as he spoke of Harry’s parent’s traitor.

Sirius and Harry disappeared to his room to draft the letter and just have some time together. At Jane’s hint Alan joined them leaving Hermione and Her mother alone in the large suite. “Mum I know I didn’t answer your question earlier. I do now, do you remember the packet of letters you sent me around the middle of October?”

“The ones in reply to how do you choose between two male friends?” Jane asked knowing that was exactly the letter her daughter was referring to.

Hermione nodded remembering the frustration she felt when she found out her mother’s reply consisted of five sealed envelopes and a short note:


When you are feeling the emotion written on one of the envelopes open it and answer the question inside honestly with the first name that comes to mind. After you have answered all four open the last one.



P.S. There must be at least a day in between each envelope. NO CHEATING!

Taking note of the four emotions listed; happiness, anger, excitement, calmness. She decided that none of them applied and placed the five envelopes in her school trunk.

It was only two days later she was storming around her room so mad at Ron Weasley she could have hexed him. Digging through her trunk she came upon the letters and noted the one labeled anger. ‘This is a good a time as any for this one.’ She thought to herself tearing the envelope open.


Imagine you are dressed in a beautiful gown ready to go out to a fancy dinner party. Your makeup is fantastic, everything is perfect. As you are finishing up your two-year-old child runs in to the room saying, “Mummy I don’t feel so good,” and proceeds to throw up all over you and your gown. As you are sitting there covered in your child’s sick a man comes into the room and with a smirk on his face asks, “Ready to go love?”

Who is that man? Remember be honest and write the name at the bottom of this page.



Puzzled Hermione did as her mother instructed then put it back in the envelope and went on with her business. A few days later she returned to her dorm room after a quiet evening and found she was really relaxed so she opened he one labeled calmness:


Imagine you are at your home relaxing watching a fire in your fireplace. Take a moment and fix the image firmly in your mind before reading the next line.

As you are sitting watching the fire a male voice asks, “What time are the grandchildren coming over tomorrow?”

Whose voice did you hear in your mind? Remember be honest and write the name at the bottom of this page.



Further puzzled Hermione complied and returned everything to the trunk as before. happyness was the next emotion that surfaced and naturally it had to do with her getting 110% on a Transfiguration Quiz. She could barely contain her curiosity what her mother would have her imagining this time.


Fix this image firmly in your mind; you’ve just given birth and you are holding your new baby in your arms happier than you can believe, despite being tired beyond belief. Ready for the next part?

Lying there you say to the bundle in your arms, “Meet your daddy beautiful.”

Who is standing next to your bed with his hand on your shoulder and a silly smile on his face? Remember be honest and write the name at the bottom of this page.



As before a name instantly sprang into her mind and she wrote in at the bottom then tucked everything back into her trunk.

The last emotion took a few more weeks but finally she felt it was either use this opportunity or wait forever. She quickly pulled the last envelope out labeled excitement and tore it open in a very un-lady like fashion.


You will need to really concentrate on this one. Imagine you are brought to the front of a hall and are given a big big award with everyone you know in attendance.

Whose face are you looking for when you look over the crowd? Remember be honest and write the name at the bottom of this page.



Hermione did as requested then took the last envelope out it was labeled, “Open me only after you have answered all the questions.” With suddenly shaking hands she slowly opened it worried what her mother had written.


Now is the moment of truth. If you have been honest and followed my directions you now have four letters from me with a name written at the end of each one.

If the answer to each question did not result in the same name you have not reached a decision. Remove the names and save the letters for use sometime in you future.

If the answer to each question was the same name you might have found the one to say yes to. The next step is to find yourself a quiet place, bring a box of tissues or whatever you use at school and really think until you are sure of the answer to this question, “Do I want to spend the rest of my life with this person and bear his children,” because no matter what you may think otherwise I know your heart and there are children in your future. Another question that might help you reach a decision is the one I used; given a choice between never seeing him again or never seeing your father and I again which do you choose.



“Penny for your thoughts?” Jane Granger said as she watched her daughter’s face break into a wide smile.

“I was just remembering those four letters.”

“I take it they were helpful?”

“Very, at the end when I finished your fifth letter I re-read the other four and my heart responded with the same answer as before, Harry Potter. Ron never entered my mind until I thought ‘Whom else would I have written’ but by then I knew my heart had made it’s decision. Thank you and dad for everything you have done and being so understanding. I know most parents would have freaked dealing with everything that’s happened in the last few years.” Hermione said smiling at her mother.

“That’s what parents do, as you will find out eventually. Should I worry about you going off for the rest of this year with your fiancée to that romantic island we visited last summer? Wait you know I’ll worry regardless. Let me phrase that differently. Should I worry about Alan and I becoming grandparents as a result of you and Harry spending the rest of this year there?”

“I haven’t…” Hermione stopped not sure how to discuss this with her mother of all people.

“Let me ask a different question. Remember those books we kept in our bedroom, the ones you got into when you were nine?”

Hermione nodded remembering finding her parents copy of the kumara sutra among others.

“Is everything still icky or have they now progressed to interesting or possibly fun?”

“They’ve all progressed to interesting, a few of them might soon be better described as fun,” Hermione said not believing this talk was happening.

Jane nodded deciding after a moments pause to let her daughter know why she was asking these questions, “Hermione if you can’t talk with your mother about your physical relationship you’re not ready to have one.”

“I know but,”

“Hermione why is there a but in your relationship with Harry?”

Hermione stopped her mouth closing on what she had been about to say. Suddenly things clicked in her mind. “There isn’t a but in my relationship with Harry. I think there is one in my relationship with you. I’m a witch and it took a lot of researching what the other girls in my dormitory room were talking about before I understood even half of it, that’s the but. If I hadn’t exchanged discrete homework help for discrete wizarding world training in certain areas I’d still be in the dark on some issues.” Hermione said worried at how her mother would react to this news.

Jane looked at her daughter knowing this was not a good place for either of them to be emotionally. “Let’s talk it out. It doesn’t do you or I any justice to leave this as it is.”

Hermione bit her lower lip debating how much to tell her mother before replying, “Mum these are witches secrets. That’s why I couldn’t find them in books. A witch raised by a witch had to explain it all to me. You can’t tell anyone not dad, grandma, no one.”

Jane was concerned this was something special her daughter was going to tell and while she believed in total disclosure between a husband and a wife she knew she would keep this secret. “I promise.”

Hermione knew her mother never went back on her word so she felt comfortable saying, “Back about the first of December our school nurse, Madam Pomfrey, had me come to her office early one morning. By the way I’ve been on a potion to reduce my periods to four a year for two years now. A side benefit of this potion is it prevents a witch from getting pregnant. The other effects of wizard’s sperm still apply however. Anyway back to my point she told me that the potion works for most witches, unfortunately or fortunately depending on your point of view. A powerful wizard can over ride the potion and Harry is a very, very powerful wizard.”

“This means?”

“If we do it and we haven’t yet. Should Harry want me pregnant I will become so no matter where I am in my cycle. Should he not want me pregnant it will not happen even if I took the best fertility potion available.”

“Hermione quit kidding me when did this school nurse talk with you, precisely?”

Hermione frowned, “December first, 6:30 a.m. she wanted to see me before Harry’s normal wake up time.”

“That’s better I wasn’t sure if you’d lost your memory because of boys crowding it out.” Jane teased.

“No actually Harry likes it. It’s just everyone else at school gives me such a hard time about my perfect recall that it’s easier to pretend I don’t have one.”

“Oh,” Jane said sitting back thinking through what her daughter had said. Slowly she looked to Hermione asking, “What’s this about other effects of a wizard’s sperm.”

Hermione actually blushed before replying, “You know that old wives tale about ingesting too much sperm?”


“It’s true for witches and wizards. Probably where the tale comes from.” Hermione said drifting into a pensive mood.

“Does Harry’s power also play in to this aspect it?”


“And just how much of his essence have you ingested?” Jane asked suddenly concerned.

“None yet, but Harry and I are forming a bond. It isn’t complete yet but there will not be another man for me. You should let dad know Harry will be the father of his grandchildren.”

Jane nodded having already hinted the same to Alan. “Sirius told us that it is normal for a witch to get engaged around this age is that true?”

Hermione thought for a brief moment before saying, “Yes, hearing my dorm mates talking about the boys in our year like prime breeding dogs clued me in. I started paying attention and found that Harry was considered prime marrying material mainly due to his family’s wealth. He was marked down big time for having what they called low sociability. Evidently he should have been entertaining other families at his home for several years now making the proper social connections.”

Jane smiled she’d seen the same things going on at her college. “What about your other friend Ron was it?”

“Ron actually scored better than Harry if you can believe it being the sixth son of an already poor family did hurt his standing but being an easily moldable pure blood of limited intelligence worked in his favor. He actually was at the top of a few witches list. They can have him. I’d kill him before a month was up if I was forced to marry him.”

“So you had no competition for Harry then?”

“Oh no I had a number of witches looking to get their hooks in to my man.”

“And?” Jane prompted.

“Early on one came looking a bit too energetically I convinced her it was a bad idea.”

“Hermione you didn’t get in a fight at school!”

“Oh I wouldn’t call it a fight. We found ourselves in the same girls bathroom shortly after her attempt. She started to draw her wand I beat her to it. All of the other girls heard what happened and no one’s challenged my claim on Harry since,” Hermione said trying to keep the smugness she felt out of her voice and failing.

“You didn’t hurt her too bad did you?” Jane asked quite willing to condone anything less than broken bones.

“She had a month long visitor.” Hermione said shrugging her shoulders.

“You… Oh…. That’s….” Jane sputtered for a moment before stopping and collecting herself. “I can understand how that would create a certain respect for you.” Jane said her cheeks red.
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