Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Heir of Blood

Ponces and Visits

by ShadeDancer 0 reviews

Chapter 2

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Action/Adventure - Characters: Blaise Zabini, Harry - Warnings: [!!] [?] - Published: 2005-09-02 - Updated: 2005-09-03 - 4432 words

Disclaimer: Alas, Harry Potter I do not own!

Harry and Blaise were glad that things had worked out so well between their father's and Bill, otherwise it would have been a bit awkward as they spent so much time with the Weasley's that summer. It had been entertaining to see the twin's reactions to their house and seeing how they reacted to all the muggle culture. It had been even more amusing when the twins had attempted to set up a prank for a few of the guards only to find themselves ensnared in a trap the men had set up in retaliation for the attempt. One of the guards they had managed to prank had been Bill under a glamour charm and he had taken special delight in paying his twin brothers back without them knowing that it was him. Ginny would sometimes come with her brothers for a visit and they would spend most of the day horseback riding across the grounds. It had astounded Harry and Blaise that while the Weasley siblings could tear across a Quidditch field on their brooms that they couldn't ride a horse and so had immediately set about giving the twins and Ginny lessons.

At the Weasley's on the other hand most of the day was spent racing through the air on their brooms, playing Quidditch, or competing to see who could throw a gnome the farthest as they de-gnomed the garden. At the beginning of the summer Harry and Blaise had convinced their fathers to let them purchase brooms and both were now the proud owners of Nimbus 2001's. The twins had run them through their paces in the different positions and it had quickly been agreed that neither had the temperament for keepers. They did make a decent pair of chasers, working well together and often using hand signals to secretly communicate their next move. Harry had also been pretty good in the seeker position; years of training to take in the smallest of details had given him a good eye for finding the snitch, but most captains would overlook his skill because he wasn't as small as was desired for seekers. Yet it was unanimously agreed that together Harry and Blaise made one hell of a pair of beaters, the twins were urging them to try out for the Slytherin team that year in order to give them some competition with brains and not just brawn. They packed quite a punch with their beater bats and were excellent at coordinating their moves.

Pranks of course had been a must and soon the inhabitants of both the Burrow and the Darkov mansion were suspicious of any food left lying around, it also wasn't uncommon for a doorknob to suddenly jolt someone with a shock.

But it wasn't horseback riding or a pick-up game of Quidditch that had Harry and Blaise so excited, today they were meeting up with the entire Weasley family to go school shopping in Diagon Alley and then the Weasley's were coming home with them so that they could go to the amusement park the next day. Manuel had decided to pull the same stunt as he had the year before and close the park to the general public, granting admission to only select parties such as the whole of the guard. It would make it easier for the Weasley's who didn't have a lot of experience in the muggle world and also keep from causing an uproar if any incidents occurred that were magical in nature. Small groups of people were easier to obliviate than a large mass of excitable people and they could have the security camera's turned off that day so that there was no incriminating recordings made of anything they would rather keep secret. Additionally Harry and Blaise had tried to convince Severus to come along, it had turned out that he was the mysterious dueling teacher Trevor had been talking about, but he refused most vehemently once he discovered some of his Gryffindor students would be coming along.

~~ ~~ ~*~

"Harry, Blaise! Over here!" the two heard their names being called by the twins the moment they walked through the door into The Leaky Cauldron from muggle London.

The rest of the Weasley clan was crowded there with them, knapsacks at their feet in preparation of staying the night at the Darkov residence after their shopping was done. The groups quickly exchanged polite greetings before heading off to Gringott's to either visit their vaults or exchange money before the children took off to take care of their own shopping, promising their parents that they would meet up with them in two hours at Flourish and Blotts. Trevor covertly slipping Harry and Blaise matching necklaces that they could call into if they found themselves in trouble, he and Manuel had promised the children earlier to allow them to shop by themselves without being followed around.

"Don't stray into Knockturn Alley" Mrs. Weasley gave one final call to the retreating backs of the children before heading off with Ginny who was starting Hogwarts that year.

"Let's get our shopping done first" Harry suggested, ignoring the crowds of people milling around "then we'll have more time to dick around."

The twins were about to protest until they saw the mischievous look in Harry's eyes and then the only thing they could do was nod their agreement. They did nearly start to protest as it seemed all Harry intended to do was school shopping as they looped around the Alley starting with Madam Malkin's and the Stationary Shop before hitting the Apothecary. So by the time Harry had led the group back towards Gringotts the twins were seriously doubting his pranksters nature, after all, he hadn't even let them stop at the Quidditch shop or Fortescue's. But Harry was too busy looking around with a quick furtive glance to notice the twins dissent and caught them unawares when they were suddenly hauled backwards into the shadowy recess of the opening to Knockturn Alley.

"Put your hoods up" Blaise hissed and the group hastily did, concealing their identity as they attempted to blend in with the shifty denizens.

Their exploration of Knockturn Alley led to some wonderful discoveries that Harry would have loved to take to his father, but then he would have to explain how he had come by the dangerous artifacts. It was extremely tempting to Harry and Blaise to buy some of the cursed blades they found in one of the shops; but they knew the blades could possibly turn on them and cause them just as much harm as they would their enemies so they settled on a book on the Dark Arts instead, it was charmed to appear as a book on Defense. They did manage to procure some rare and illegal potion ingredients in a seedy apothecary that they knew would come in handy eventually. The twins ended up purchasing a giant spider to use against Ron, Harry and Blaise only too happily lending them some money, when they ducked into the Arachnid store as they tried to avoid notice from Draco Malfoy who was coming out of Borgin and Burkes with his father. Harry desperately wanted to go into that shop and explore but abruptly changed his mind when a man that could be no one else but Severus Snape entered the store. After that the quartet quickly fled back to Diagon Alley to avoid discovery by their professor, Harry and Blaise finally relaxing the grips they had on their knives and wands.

"That" Fred panted.

"Was close" George finished.

"Come on" Harry said, looking around "let's move away from here and head to Gambol and Japes before hitting Quality Quidditch Supplies. We have about half an hour before we have to be at Flourish and Blotts and I don't know about your parents but our dads will freak if we're late."

~~ ~~ ~*~

As the quartet approached Flourish and Blotts they were surprised to see a large crowd outside, jostling to get into the bookstore. The reason for the fuss and commotion was explained by a large banner stretched across the upper windows of the building.

Will be signing copies of his autobiography
Today 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"Who" Harry asked the twins with a raised eyebrow "is Gilderoy Lockhart?"

The twins rolled their eyes and shook their heads sadly "some ponce of a bloke all the women go nuts over."

"Sounds like an arrogant windbag then" Blaise added only to have her comment picked up on by none other than the girl they remembered from the train ride to Hogwarts, Hermione Granger.

"You should know that Gilderoy Lockhart is a genius when it comes to battling the Dark Arts and he's written nearly the entire Hogwarts booklist this year" she said with a superior sniff.

Harry, Blaise, and the twins all looked at each other and chorused together as if coming to a sudden agreement "arrogant windbag."

Hermione looked to say something else, but then she seemed to realize who she was talking to and gulped before quickly disappearing.

"What was that about" Blaise asked, curious.

"Must have been one of you, mates" the twins grinned "the only thing she's done around us before is give us one of those looks when we pull a prank."

Harry shrugged it off and grabbed onto Blaise who grabbed onto the twins and they began to weave and shoulder their way through the packed bookstore towards Manuel, who could just be seen over the crowd. Finally they managed to make their way to where their parents waited, Manuel and Trevor relaxing their fierce scan of the store once the children were safely at their side.

"You're late" Manuel quietly informed Harry "did you run into any problems?"

Harry shook his head "no problems until we tried to make it through this damnable crowd. This place is packed."

"Yeah" Blaise grumbled irritably, some idiot had stepped painfully on her foot "what they hell is the big deal about this stupid Gilderoy Lockhart anyhow?"

Gilderoy Lockhart heard Blaise's comment and looked up, intending to turn on the charm and win over the disgruntled person, but then he saw Harry. Excitably Lockhart jumped to his feet, drawing even more attention to himself if possible.

His next words were practically shouted for the whole world to hear "it can't be Harry Potter?"

The crowd parted, everyone whispering excitedly as Lockhart dove forward intending to grab Harry's arm and pull the boy-who-lived to the front for a photo op. But Manuel and Trevor were already barring the way, forming a human shield in front of Harry and blocking any angle the photographer might have had. To add to the scene Trevor had his wand out and Harry could see that his father was ready to pull a weapon at a moments notice, most likely a gun with a silencer as wizards knew next to nothing about muggle machinery. For a moment Lockhart seemed to war with his disappointment on being unable to uses Harry's fame before he turned to smile brightly at the crowd, deciding to salvage the situation in his favor.

"Ladies and gentlemen" he said loudly, waving in an absurd manner for quiet "what an extraordinary moment this is! The perfect moment for me to make a little announcement I've been sitting on for some time!"

Lockhart paused to stretch the moment out and gain as much interest as he could "when young Harry here stepped into Flourish and Blotts today, he only wanted to buy my autobiography-which I shall be happy to present him now, free of charge-he had no idea that he would shortly be getting much, much more than my book, /Magical Me/. He and his schoolmates will, in fact, be getting the real magical me. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have the great pleasure and pride in announcing that this September I will be taking up the post of Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry!"

The crowd cheered wildly as Lockhart motioned for an assistant to bring forth a collection of his entire works that he dumped into Trevor's arms, still unable to get to Harry. The crowd's attention focused on Harry then, waiting to see what he would do about this so-called honor and Harry decided to appease them. Negligently picking up one of Lockhart's books, /Voyages with Vampires/, Harry scanned through one of the sections quickly before putting it down with an expression of disgust.

"Come on Blaise" he called loudly enough so that the people standing near them could clearly hear "let's check out the Defense section for some decent tomes, it appears we have another incompetent idiot for a teacher."

Gilderoy Lockhart flushed as shocked mutters rippled through the crowd and it took willpower not to go after Harry Potter, but the boy had already disappeared into the stacks.

"Poor lad" he pretended to be sympathetic towards Harry "I had heard their last teacher hadn't taught them much, but hadn't realized that it would be so bad that the students would be unable to understand real defense tactics. It seems I shall have my work cut out for me this year."

Lockhart's speech did seem to salvage things to a degree but the doubt was already in place in the minds off many, at least those of the male persuasion. After all, Harry Potter had survived a killing curse from he-who-must-not-be-named at a year old; that was more than Lockhart could ever hope to claim for, no matter how brilliantly he wrote about his accomplishments.

~~ ~~ ~*~

Quickly Harry and Blaise gathered together the books they would need for their second year at Hogwarts. They also purposely selected a handful of Defense books that they didn't already have in their collection, most of the books slated for a person studying on at least a third year level if not above. Unfortunately they would also have to take the Lockhart books with them as they were the required reading for their Defense class, but Harry and Blaise had decided that one set between them would be enough.

Then, when they were finally leaving Flourish and Blotts, Draco Malfoy walked up to them.

"What do you want Malfoy" the twins narrowed their eyes and suspicion, only to be ignored.

"Congratulations Harry, it was decidedly Slytherin how you dealt with that arrogant ponce" Draco said as his father walked over.

"Is there a problem here" Lucius Malfoy asked, taking in the defensive posture of the twins.

"No problems Lucius" Arthur Weasley spoke up and Lucius affected to notice the rest of the red-haired clan as if for the first time.

"Dear Merlin, Arthur Weasley, I am surprised to see you here" Lucius drawled, absently picking up one of Ginny's books "it does seem that even with the increased raids you have been making for the Ministry that you haven't been getting paid overtime."

The only thing keeping the Weasley's from taking action against the slur on their poverty was the presence of Manuel and Trevor, both of whom had neatly inserted themselves between the Malfoy's and the Weasley's. Manuel and Trevor were ready to get out of Diagon Alley and didn't want the attention a confrontation would bring upon them, enough notice had already been attracted by their group that day.

"Hello Lucius" Trevor greeted the aristocratic blond, effectively diffusing the situation "it's been a long time."

"Indeed it has" Lucius confirmed softly before handing Ginny back her secondhand book "good-day."

The group had to blink as the light bathing over the city of London assaulted their eyes, though after the dim and smoky gloom of the Leaky Cauldron it was a welcome sight. With a quiet efficiency Trevor spoke into his radio and called for the driver to bring the car around quickly, they had brought the stretch limo that day not to show off their wealth but because they would need to extra room it provided since the Weasley's were accompanying them home. Thankfully the Weasley's knew how to dress appropriately for the muggle world so they weren't worrying about attracting any attention in that regard, but it would look a bit suspicious for such a large group to be standing in front of what appeared to most people to be an abandoned lot. Within moments the limo was pulling up to the curb and the driver hopped out to open the door and usher the waiting group inside; all except for Trevor, Manuel, Bill, and Charlie who had elected to ride in the extra car they had brought along so that the limo wouldn't be so cramped. Needless to say Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Percy, the twins, Ron (who had loosened up slightly over the summer), and Ginny enjoyed the ride immensely. Harry and Blaise found their reactions to the luxuries in the limo amusing and had to constantly ask Mr. Weasley to stop playing with the buttons so that they didn't attract attention.

Finally the limo made the last turn that put it on approach to the gates protecting the Darkov mansion and the surrounding grounds. The car came to a stop and the Weasley's looked to get ready and exit the car, but Harry motioned for them to settle back down.

"The car will pull all the way up to the house, we just need to wait for the gates to be opened" he explained and moved to sit at the rear window closest to the guard post.

After a moment the limo moved forward slightly and Harry knew that the first car containing Manuel, Trevor, Bill, and Charlie had passed safely through the gates and that the driver was being inspected before the car would pull up far enough for the guard to check the rear seat passengers over. It was a precaution that they engaged in every time even if it was just himself and his father. One guard would talk to them while at least two others peered under the car and into the trunk. If any guests were present they would only ever see the one guard, not everyone coming to the Darkov Mansion had mafia connections and it wouldn't do to cause them undue worry.

"Good afternoon Mr. Darkov" the gate guard greeted as he peered around the backseat "and Ms Zabini. And who may I ask are your guests today?"

"Hey Julian" Harry greeted the man "these are the Weasley's; they'll be staying over tonight. Next to me are Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Percy, Ron, Ginny, and of course you already know the twins."

"G'day Julian" the twins called happily, faking an Australian accent.

Julian had nodded at each as they were introduced before pretending to shake his fist in mock anger at the twins "how could I forget the twins, I still owe them for that last prank. Pleased to meet the rest of you."

Julian winced and quickly waved the limo on through the gates as Mrs. Weasley began screeching at the twins about pulling pranks on people.

"Mrs. Weasley" Harry called out; interrupting the matron's rant "it really is okay. Julian was merely teasing Fred and George. It doesn't matter if they pull any pranks here, most anyone that they could prank would happily retaliate."

This seemed to mollify Mrs. Weasley a bit, but she was still glowering slightly at the twins as they finally stepped out of the limo in front of the mansion. Then the group caught site of the house, shocking everyone but the twins who had visited many times before.

"Welcome to the Darkov home" Harry said to the Weasley's with a smile at their stunned expression; Manuel was waiting at the door along with Trevor, Bill, and Charlie to pass along the same greeting.

~~ ~~ ~*~

"Do you and your father live here by yourselves" Mrs. Weasley asked Harry as he was giving them a brief tour before showing them to their rooms.

"No" Harry shook his head as they headed upstairs "Trevor and Blaise live here too along with most of the guards. A lot of the guards don't have family of their own and so they stay here on the second floor; we're all like family to each other."

They continued on up to the third floor where Harry pointed out the family wing "my father and I stay here along with Trevor and Blaise, the twins know where our rooms are if you should need us. Over here are your rooms."

In the guest wing the twins took off, obviously knowing where they would be staying already, while Harry and Blaise led Mr. and Mrs. Weasley to their room. Leaving them to get settled Harry led Bill to the room across from them so that he was near the entrance to the hall in case anything happened. Charlie was situated in the room next to his parents with the twins across from him in the room they had already claimed, mainly because it had two beds in it. Next to Charlie was Percy, placing Ginny on the end. Ron was stuck across from Percy and beside the twins, not that he minded, in fact he seemed almost wistful when looking around the decently sized room. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were surprised to find that their room had its own bathroom as did Bill's room. Charlie and Percy shared a connecting bathroom as did the twins and Ron; not that any of them minded, they were used to one bathroom for the whole family. Ginny had been placed on the end so that she had her own bathroom, what with being the only female child and all that.

After showing Ginny her room Harry stood in the middle of the hall and called out "we'll see you all downstairs once you're settled. Take your time, there's at least an hour before dinner's ready."

He was almost immediately joined by Bill and the twins. The twins didn't need to settle in as they already had spare clothes in their room courtesy of a shopping trip in muggle London; it had been an interesting outing to say the least. As for Bill, he was only using the guest room as a farce and could always skip into his room on the second floor if he needed anything.

"Let's go bug the cooks and see if we can snitch some food before dinner" Harry said with a grin.

~~ ~~ ~*~

After getting their knuckles soundly rapped with cooking utensils whenever they tried to sneak some food from the kitchens the group was unceremoniously ushered from the kitchen where they bumped into Charlie.

"Well that didn't go so hot" Blaise huffed, she had been thwarted when trying to sneak her favorite dessert "anyone have any ideas on what to do now?"

"Do we have time to go riding" the twins asked eagerly.

Blaise and Harry looked at their watches before shrugging "we still have nearly an hour, so as long as it isn't a long ride."

When they reached the stables the twins went to find the horses they usually rode and began to saddle them with a bit of help from the grooms.

"Do you know how to ride" Harry asked Charlie, seemingly directing the question at Bill as well.

"No" Charlie answered "but I'd like to give it a try."

Bill on the other hand nodded "I've ridden a few times. A friend keeps a couple of horses and taught me how."

"Alright" Harry pretended to muse "Blaise, you help Charlie with Lara and I'll help Bill with Cinder."

The two groups parted to different ends of the stable and Bill shared a brief smile with the groom that brought Cinder to him, already tacked and saddled. Everyone had been notified the day before that they were to pretend not to know Bill while his family was visiting and a few of the guards had nodded knowingly, they too were keeping the secret of their true occupation from their families. Within fifteen minutes Harry, Blaise, Bill, Charlie, and the twins were meeting up outside the stable and mounting up. They set off in a gentle canter down the stable track, Harry and Blaise riding on either side of Charlie to coach him how to ride. As it turned out Charlie wasn't only good with dragons, but with animals in general, and was soon getting the hang of riding though he still had a bit of a ways to go before attempting to set out alone. All too soon they were turning back and dismounting to leave the horses with the waiting grooms, running towards the house before they found themselves to be late for dinner.

~~ ~~ ~*~

"There you are" Manuel called as the sextet slid into the empty seats at the table, they were eating in the smaller dining room for a more private setting "it seems there is no need to ask what you've been up to."

Indeed there was not for the pleasant smell of horses and leather clung lightly to the group and their appearances were slightly windblown.

"You were out riding" Ginny said, disappointed that she hadn't been down to go along.

"Don't worry" Blaise soothed the girl "we can go out again after dinner."

"That's a good idea" Manuel agreed "and anyone that wants to ride can."

Just then the doors to the dining room opened and a few of the kitchen staff entered pushing carts bearing food. Mrs. Weasley prepared to stand up as if to help, but was promptly shooed back into her seat.

"Sit still dearie" Lucille, the head cook admonished her "you aren't to be doing this, you're a guest."

With quick efficiency food was set upon the table and bowls of soup and fresh bread placed at every plate; all the help except for Lucille disappearing as soon as their job was done. It was easy to tell that they were eager to find the way to their own plates of delicious food.

"Thank you Lucille" Manuel smiled at the woman, everyone at the table echoing his sentiments "please pass on my thanks to the others and enjoy your dinner. Don't hesitate to call if anyone acts out of hand."

"Posh" Lucille said "they won't be acting out none and I'll just settle them down if they do. You be calling if you need anything else."

Manuel nodded and with a smile Lucille left as everyone began to dig into the fantastic spread present on the table in front of them.
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