Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Harry Potter and the Marriage Contracts

The Rumors Circulate

by Clell65619 32 reviews

Breakfast at Harry's, Neville gets romantic, Hannah and Daphne plot, More dating, and Harry wins a prize.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres:  - Published: 2008-03-09 - Updated: 2008-03-10 - 4954 words - Complete


A/N: I don't own Harry Potter and wouldn't particularly care to. I would like a rental agreement with option to buy for Hermione Granger. A short term contract with Nyphadora Tonks wouldn't be turned down. A Long-term agreement with Luna Lovegood would probably be a whole lot of fun. Any time Padma Patil wants to open negotiations, call me and oh for a weekend with Fleur. Oddly Lavender and Padma's sister (despite being her twin) Parvarti do nothing for me...

Harry Potter and the Marriage Contracts.

Chapter Five - The Rumors Circulate

September 13, 1997
Potter Manor:

Daphne woke slowly. This wasn't her room, nor was it the dorm... Where was she? The bed was large and luxurious. The room tastefully decorated; over the fireplace was a family crest... It took a few seconds for her to recognize it. Potter.

The previous day (and night) flooded back. There had been the shock and surprise of the unannounced apparation, the anger that Potter had risked her expulsion for his 'surprise'. She recalled his explanation of their new freedom that came with adulthood. Then the shopping, THE SHOES and the lovely clothing, Harry's gift, that amazing motion picture and the decision to stay with Harry (by then he had become Harry), the dinner, followed by a night of dancing to the oddly hypnotic music, of melting in Harry's arms. Returning to his family's manor, the kisses, and her offer...

Sweet Morgana, had she actually offered herself to him? To Harry? Daphne sat up in the bed, fully awake now. She /had/ offered herself to him. He had turned her down gently, regretfully. Tracey was never going to believe this.

There was a soft pop and a tiny elf stood in front of the door.

"Miss is awake? May Winky serve Miss?"

"Thank you Winky" She recalled this was no ordinary Elf, but a free elf on a salary. Nothing in her experience told her how to deal with an elf as a near equal rather than as a slave. Still, it never hurt to be polite, a practice Daphne's mother insisted on with the Greengrass Elves, though Daphne hadn't always been the kindest of children. "Could you show me where the bath is?"

"Winky draw bath for Miss" the elf said insistently, popping away, returning in less than a minute. "The Bath is this way Miss"

Daphne followed Harry's elf into the rooms private bath, divesting herself of the mans shirt she had worn as sleepwear. Harry's? She wondered as she stepped into the bath. The water temperature was perfect, this elf was a find. Perhaps Harry was onto something with this paying elves for their services, they were both certainly devoted to him.

"If Miss be needing anything, Miss be calling Winky." Said the elf as she popped away again, taking with her the shirt.

Daphne lay back in the tub, allowing the heat of the water to sooth the emotional storm inside of her. What was this feeling? She had gone on the date the day before knowing she was, at least on some level, attracted to the raven haired Gryffindor, attracted to the point that when helped along by alcohol and the excitement of the day she had offered him her virginity, is it possibly that his reluctantly declining her offer had made Harry even more desirable?

After she had finished with her bath, Daphne, wrapped in alarge bath sheet returned to the bedroom, there she found Winky laying out clothing for her. She didn't recognize any of it. A pair of black slacks, a blouse the same shade of violet as her eyes, under things, even a new pair of shoes.

"Winky, where did all this come from?"

"Winky know Miss didn't bring change of clothes when you visit for the night, other than new clothes from Muggle shop. Miss cannot wear clothes two days, even with cleaning charm. Winky make new clothing for Miss." The elf looked slightly frightened. "Did Winky do wrong?"

"No Winky, you did nothing wrong. These are wonderful. Thank you." She knelt to hug the tiny being. "I didn't know elves could do things like this."

"Winky's first family made sure Winky learn. Winky took care of Mistress who was sick. Winky can do many things most elves don't."

"Harry is a lucky man to have you to take care of him. Is he up yet?"

The elf suddenly looked sullen. "Master Harry is in Winky's kitchen... He be /cooking/! Winky ashamed Master Harry cooks."

"Harry is a very different kind of Wizard. He isn't cooking to insult you Winky. I think he is cooking to impress me." She smiled in that tolerant female to female 'aren't males stupid' way that every woman knows. "Does he cook for every woman he brings here?"

"Master Harry never bring ladies home. Winky not serve lady since Miss Tonks visit in June. Before that not since Christmas at Dogwizard's home when Miss Hermione visit for half hour." Winky shook her head sadly. "Master Harry alone too much." She brightened. "Now he have Miss for friend. Master Harry ask what Miss would like in her Omelet."

Daphne smiled. "Tell him I asked that he surprise me."


September 13, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Great Hall:

Hannah was busy showing everyone the ring Neville had given her the previous evening. Making it official was probably the smartest thing he had ever done. He was quietly amazed that Hannah's obvious joy could inspire such happiness in himself. His Gran had been telling him to take this step for more than a month. Gran was smart, Neville resolved to listen to her more.

He and Hannah had been having a quiet evening in the Room of Requirement when Neville gathered his courage and suddenly dropped to one knee and offered her his Great Grand Mother's ring and his life. Hannah had blinked twice at the ring (Great Grand Mother Longbottom had been a woman who had gotten what she wanted out of life, and for her engagement ring she had wanted a four caret diamond surrounding by sapphires set into platinum), then Hannah had practically raped him right there on the floor. Neville smiled at the memory. It had taken almost twenty minutes to repair his clothing this morning. Just right now, it was good to be Neville Longbottom.

"Good morning Mr. Longbottom."

And just like that, it suddenly wasn't all that good to be Neville Longbottom any longer. Damn. The old man had appeared out of nowhere. How did he do that? "Good morning Headmaster."

"Miss Abbott seems very happy. Congratulations."

"Thank you Headmaster. We're both very happy."

"I noticed that Mr. Potter and Miss Greengrass did not return to the castle last night. Might you have any idea where they might be?"

"I would guess that they spent the night at Harry's home."

"Which would be?"

"Under the Fidelius Headmaster, you know that."

"I am only concerned about Miss Greengrass' welfare Mr. Longbottom."

"Of course you are Headmaster. I can assure you that Harry has Daphne's welfare at the foremost of his mind. Harry would never do anything to harm anyone, not even for the 'greater good'."

"Mr. Longbottom, I assure you that whatever Mr. Potter has told you, I had his best interest at heart."

"Indeed Headmaster? It was in his best interest to arrive at the point that Riddle reappeared completely untrained? Was it in his best interest your machinations with his life? Was it in his best interest when you set the Weasley's on him, arranging so that he would need to meet the Weasleys in order to make it on to the platform that first year? Was it in his best interest to have Ginny Weasley playing with his emotions on your orders? I've got to tell you Headmaster, I surely hope that you never attempt to help me in my best interests."

"Mr. Longbottom, I..."

"You did almost everything you could to ensure Harry died. Your pet Weasels where banking on Harry winning but dying in the effort. That phony will they had had your magical signature all over it. That cost Harry the help of Ron and Hermione. He was going to face Riddle alone until I forced my way in to the fight. After a life time of being lied to by you, of being controlled by you, of being robbed by you, even of being orphaned by you, he was still willing to die for you."

"But he lived, though neither of you have ever told anyone how you won."

"Let me guess, since Harry wouldn't tell you, you're going to ask ME how we did it."

"Mr. Longbottom, please satisfy an old wizard's curiosity, Mr. Potter has been understandably reticent about telling anyone what happened that night, but I need to know. I assure you that I can be trusted to keep secrets; I have never told anyone the prophesy concerning him, you know."

"True, of course you also never told me or my parents about that same prophesy which could have just as easily meant me. You keep secrets even when you shouldn't. I find myself wondering if you had determined that I was the subject of that prophesy, would MY parents have been the ones killed and Harry's simply driven to insanity? With our best interest in mind of course."

"Hmm." Dumbledore didn't want to disagree if agreement would net him the information he was after, but why didn't this boy understand that what had happened, what Dumbledore had done was for the good of the community. That sometimes pawns had to be sacrificed to win? "Can you at least tell me what the unknown power was?"

Neville opened his mouth to speak, but paused and closed it again. "I suppose I can. It goes with the whole story, though, so be sure you keep it to yourself."

Dumbledore happily agreed.

"The power was, as you had guessed, love."

The headmaster hid his shock. "Ah," he said, stroking his long white beard.

"After Harry and I battled through Voldemort's inner circle, we came upon him in a kind of throne room. Voldemort was totally enraged, like the trapped animal he was. I actually felt pity for him, but I wasn't sure what to do. I was fairly messed up from my fight with Bellatrix. I couldn't believe it when Harry put away his wand. As Voldemort threw curse after curse at us, Harry walked towards him with his arms out stretched. All of Voldemort's magic dissipated around Harry, even killing curses. When Harry finally reached Voldemort, he actually pulled the snake faced bastard into a hug. I couldn't believe it. Then Voldemort broke down crying. As he sobbed for all he had given up, all he had lost for no reason, his dark magic that sustained him fled, and Harry was left with a dying Tom Riddle in his arms. Voldemort didn't last long, but he was finally at peace."

Dumbledore stared in shock. "Neville my boy, that's quite astonishing. I have long believed in the power of forgiveness, but I believe only Harry, once Voldemort's intended victim, could have done such a thing."

Now it was Neville's eyes that widened. "You mean you really bought that shit? Merlin's massive member, Headmaster, you've been listening to your own press for so long you've really rotted your brain if you believe Harry /hugged/ a dark lord to death."

Neville walked away shaking his head and muttering about delusional old men as Dumbledore stared after him gobsmacked.


September 13, 1997
Potter Manor

"Good morning Harry." Daphne said as she entered the sunlit kitchen.

"Ah, just in time. He lifted the small pan from the flame and scooped a golden omelet onto a plate, which he placed on the table, then held out a chair for her.

"Showing off a little aren't you?"

"You bet. Cooking is something I'm good at that doesn't hurt anyone." He returned to the range to start his own breakfast.

Daphne shook her head as his claims and reaching for her knife and fork cut her first bite. Then another, and another. "Thith ith wonnaful!"she said with a full mouth.

"The secret" Harry explained from stove top, "is to get the cheese melted just right. Too soon it's kinda greasy, too late it's crispy and dry." He looked over at the almost empty plate in front of her. "Whoa! Slow down Daphne, breathe. Would you like another one?"

"Yeth Pleasth" she answered

Harry laughed and cracked some more eggs. Concentrating on her plate, heard him stirring for a moment, and then he was at her elbow scooping the omelet he had been making for himself onto her plate. "Slow down enough to taste it this time." He laughed as he returned to the range. A few minutes later he sat next to her with his own plate and poured them both a mug of tea.

"I've never really been a breakfast person. The eggs at school are ok, but I love your omelets."

"Thank you. I'm glad you like it. It's always nice to cook for someone who appreciates the end results if not the effort."

"I appreciate the effort and the results Harry. So what are we doing today?"

"Well, Neville Longbottom and his girlfriend will be here at noon, then if you'd like I thought we might go to a theme park."

"Neville never said anything about doubling with him. And what's a theme park?"

"The original plan was for them to be consoling me for my latest disastrous date. Nev tried to tell me that you and I would get along fine, but I've got too much of a track record of failing miserably with girls to believe him." He sipped his tea, pushed his plate away and smiled. "I've never been so glad to be wrong. A theme park is a Muggle thing. They have mechanical rides that will be easier to show you than to describe, games for prizes, food that no one should ever eat, but tastes good anyway. Things like that. I discovered them over the summer, and had lots of fun. I was going to introduce Neville and Hannah to them, and now you if you'd like to come."

"I would like to see this 'park' of yours. If you had fun, we all should."

"Master Harry is finished dirtying kitchen?" The high pitched tones of an annoyed elf interrupted.

"Yes Winky, I'm done." He smiled at Daphne again and winked. "I'll start cleaning up now."

"NO! Master Harry no cleans. Master Harry entertains Miss. Master Harry leaves kitchen NOW!"

"Yes Winky. Thank you Winky."

They made it to the sitting room before they started laughing.


"I don't think I've ever seen a wizard ordered about by his elf before."

"Oh it was worse at the beginning. Winky came to me from a very traditional family. I couldn't believe some of the things she expected to do for me." He shuddered. "I'm just a poor Muggle raised boy; I was almost scarred for life."

Daphne sobered. "Harry, about last night. I said some things..."

Harry sat down. "Daphne, I understand. You had some wine, I dazzled you with things you've never seen. I didn't really..."

"Harry, you idiot. Let a girl finish what she's saying before you start apologizing. What I was trying to say is that it wasn't the wine. I enjoyed the shopping, the show and the dancing was exciting beyond everything I've ever experienced, but that wasn't why I asked you to sleep with me. I offered because I am very attracted to you and really want to sleep with you." She slid onto his lap. "The way you turned me down, out of concern for me, showed me I was right to offer. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but I am going to get what I want Harry."

She put her arms around his neck and kissed him. "So, tell me about your history of disastrous dates."

"Well, forth year there was the way I abused Parvarti Patil at the Yule ball. I spent my time staring at Hermione and lusting after Cho Chang and ignored Parvarti almost completely. I'm surprised she's speaking to me even now. Fifth year I actually dated Cho, who was mourning Cedric Diggory, and I think using me as a connection to him. That was an utter disaster. If there's a dating guide book, that date is probably in the appendix under what not to do when dating. Sixth year the Ginny Weasley got her hooks into me until November when I found out what she was up to." She kissed him.

"Are you concerned about my hooks?"

"No, not in the slightest. If you were planning on stabbing me in the back, you would tell me about it in advance, and make me enjoy it."He smiled at her blush. "What about you? Any disastrous dates in your past?"

"No. The sum total of my dating experience is a day and a half with you."

"You poor girl. No wonder you're so easily pleased."

"I am expecting you to improve on my experiences. Today had best be impressive Harry. If I'm disappointed, I might have to go back to calling you Potter."

"See what I mean? You tell me about it, and make me enjoy it."

She pulled him into another kiss.


"Ahem" Neville cleared his throat theatrically.Startled, Harry and Daphne broke apart, though she remained on his lap."I was going to ask how your date went yesterday, but I guess that's fairly obvious isn't it?" Neville smiled.

Hannah smacked his arm. "Quit teasing them Neville. Good morning you two." Then she smiled herself. "You two have stirred up quite the storm at the castle. First the Slytherins were furious that the two of you didn't return, and demanded punishment. McGonagall reluctantly admitted that there was no requirement for those who have reached their majority to remain overnight at the school, then there was practically an exodus of the 7th years this morning, excepting the prefects, who Hermione cajoled into staying. I think couples formed on the spot for the express purpose of leaving the castle."

Harry started laughing. "Anything I can do to make Dumbledore's life more interesting is fine with me. I wonder how long it will be before he attempts to change the rules?"

"I would be surprised if he wasn't doing it now. I think I may have annoyed him this morning. Oh, by the way Harry, you owe me ten Galleons."

"I do? Which story did you tell him?"

"The thrilling tale of how you killed Voldemort by hugging him to death."

"He bought that? I thought that was the most ridiculous story we came up with."

"He took it hook, line, and sinker." Neville said, accepting the coins. "The look on his face when I told him it was fiction was priceless. The only reason I told that one is because I felt guilty when he believed the first one, since I came up with it. The man is gullible to the extreme."

"What are you two talking about?" Daphne asked.

"They're pranking the Headmaster." Hannah explained. "Dumbledore wants to know how they defeated Voldemort."

"If he wanted to know that badly, he should have been there helping." Suggested Harry sarcastically.

"Well, yes. These two have made up some fictions to explain what happened. Harry told him a story of having lost the war, and ending up fighting a guerilla war until only he survived of the Gryffindors and is captured, then freed by a Wizarding resistance lead by you and Luna Lovegood, between the two of you, Harry's memories, soul, and magic were sent back in time to prevent Voldemorts rise."

"I told it better than that."

"I'm sure you did Harry." She returned her attention to Daphne and gestured to Neville. "This one told the Headmaster this morning that Harry defeated Voldemort with 'the Power of Love' and literally hugged the Dark Lord to death. Sometimes I think they both have death wishes."

"Well they are male."

"Hey!" Harry said.

"Come on." Daphne stood up from Harry's lap. "Lets go get ready for this 'theme park' Harry was telling me about."

Neville and Harry watched as the pair of witches left the room."Why do women leave the room in groups?" Neville asked.

"And why does it feel like our shortcomings will be discussed at length?" Harry asked shaking his head. "So, I saw that rock on her hand. You made it official did you?"

"Yeah. God that was scary. Next time, let's just go find another Dark Lord."

"I hear you Mate. Women are dead scary."


"So" Daphne had led Hannah to 'her' bedroom. "What does the rumor mill say about all this?"

"Oh, everything from you're the new Lady Potter to Harry is punishing the few surviving Death Eaters by raping their daughters, starting with you."

"Oh, lovely."

"Tracey and Hermione tried to interrogate Neville on where you were and what nefarious plans each of you had for the other, so you've got that to look forward to. Oh, and Ginny Weasley is utterly furious. She is telling everyone who will listen that you are trying to steal Harry from her."

"And what do you think?"

"I think Harry is a lucky man. And I think you could do a lot worse." Hannah looked into Daphne's violet eyes. "A word of warning, being associated with Harry won't be easy. The Death Eaters are gone, but there are plenty of opportunists out there looking to profit off Harry. I got a tiny bit of it from Neville's association with Harry, which I believe is the reason Neville offered me this a year sooner than I thought he would." Hannah showed her ring. "Then you factor in the girls who want to be where you are."

"Harry told me he hasn't been dating anyone."

"He isn't, but that doesn't stop those girls from wanting him. He's rich, powerful, the Head of two Ancient and Noble houses, and dead sexy. If not for Neville I might have taken a run at him."

"Harry isn't the type for a harem."

"No, he isn't, and only a very few have a chance with him. Your only real competition for Harry would be other women who think of him and treat him as Harry, not the boy who lived, not the chosen one, not the Man who conquered. Just plain Harry. That's a select group. Off the top of my head, the only ones who qualify would be you, Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood, Lavender Brown, The Patil twins and Sue Bones."

"I haven't decided that I want him."

"Yeah, right. Daphne we haven't been friends all through school, but I'm a Hufflepuff. I have my sources. You have shown zero interest in any guy at school, and then you're with Harry. You've decided. I saw you down stairs. If you're not in love with him, you're close, and you know it."

Daphne didn't say anything. Her mouth set into a line.

"Alright" Hannah continued. "Going through them, Lavender and Parvarti aren't in the running. They're nice enough, but far too giggly for Harry. He likes smart girls, and doesn't give a damn about anything they find interesting. That leaves Luna, Padma and Sue. I doubt that Luna cares one way or the other, unless she decided that sleeping with Harry would allow her to find one of her animals. Padma might be interested, but when ever I've spoken with her she spoke of returning to her family's home in India to continue the Patil line. Sue is definitely interested. She's had a thing for Harry since third year."

"What about Granger?"

Hannah smiled at the Slytherins interest. "Hermione is a special case. She's with Weasley, at least for now. I don't see him as they type to settle down with her. He has far too much insecurity to be able to deal with a wife more successful than he is, and she will be. She is Harry's friend."

"I know that, at least until she abandoned him"

"She didn't. She actually is or thinks she is in love with Weasley, and is with him for that reason. It's complex, but what matters is she is Harry's friend. Harry pushed her away so that she would be safe and happy. He intended to kill Voldemort by dying, and if Neville hadn't forced himself into the final fight, he probably would have. What ever happens, you are going to have to face the fact that if Hermione calls Harry will go to her. I don't think Harry's in love with her; I think he cares about her. Any woman in his life is going to have to share him with Hermione Granger."

"Why are you doing this? Bones is your friend."

"She is." Hannah admitted. "And I'd love to see her with Harry, but I've seen him with you, first last weekend and now today. You've got him excited and happy, happier than I've ever seen him. I'm his friend. My future husband is bound to him. As long as you make him happy, you have my unquestioning support."

"He's not serious about me. He turned down a contract for me."

"Daphne, he turned down one for me as well. Harry would never accept any contract. He's just not wired that way."

"Thank you. I was wondering. Is it supposed to happen this fast?"

"I have no idea. I fell for Neville about a week after he asked me out. We'd best head back down stairs so that today's great adventure can begin."


September 13, 1997
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Entry Hall:

Hermione Granger found herself waiting in the entry hall. She knew that Harry would be back this evening. She needed to regain what she had lost with Harry. Tracey and Neville both had pointed out that she had all but abandoned Harry. If she didn't fix that... It was only then she realized that she hadn't seen Ron all weekend. He was probably dealing with Ginny and his mother.

She spotted Neville and Hannah first, holding hands and laughing. Following them was Harry, carrying a large purple stuffed rabbit. It was only then she noticed Daphne Greengrass practically molded to Harry. Harry shifted the rabbit to his left arm and pulled Daphne into a kiss, which was enthusiastically returned.

Hermione was shocked. She had never imagined Harry actually kissing anyone, other than Ginny, but that was obviously not going to be happening anymore. The couple began walking again and strolled past Hermione without either of them ever noticing she was there. It took her a few seconds to gather her courage and follow them. On the stairs she found a confrontation forming.

"Daphne Ophelia Greengrass! What the hell do you mean spending the night with this... Thing?"

"Hello Tracey. When were you made my mother? Using my middle name and everything."

"Daphne I warned you about him. I warned you what he was going to try."

"Yes you did, and you were wrong. Harry didn't try anything. I did." She turned to Harry an initiated a deep kiss. "Harry, you did very well today, I'll keep using your first name. Tracey and I need to talk a bit. See you after dinner?"

"Oh, yes, certainly. Of course." Daphne took her large purple rabbit from his grasp.

Hermione watched as Harry watched his weekend date descend into the dungeons with her very upset best friend. Her oldest friend had a goofy grin on his face. After Daphne was no longer in sight, he turned and started up the stairs toward the Gryffindor Tower. Hermione couldn't believe her eyes. Was Harry... Skipping?


A/N2: A special thanks to Rijl Kentfor the latest story told to Dumbles...


The very first Omake to any of my fics, by David Brown

Sunday evening, in the Great Hall, Daphne Greengrass held court, atop the Slytherin table, her skirt pulled up to expose her brand new shoes.

"...and look at these shoes! They cost me less than a galleon. And they are positively the best shoes I have ever worn, and you can buy them anywhere in the muggle world."

"Ladies, to hell with the pureblood agenda. Anyone who can make shoes like these, even muggles, have got to be loved and treasured by us all. And, further..." Daphne was interrupted.

Luna Lovegood asked from the Ravenclaw table. "But what about the Shoe Event Horizon?"

"Shoe Event Horizon?"

"Shoe Event Horizon. Everyone knows that when a society makes too many shoes, and has too many shoe stores, the entire world will collapse under the weight of its footwear."

"Um, Luna?"

"Yes, Hermione?"

Hermione Granger walked over to the alley between the Slytherin and Ravenclaw tables. "Don't you remember when I told you about muggle fiction? There's no Shoe Event Horizon. Douglas Adams made it up."

Tears came to Luna's eyes. "Does that mean Arthur Dent isn't real? Does that mean there are no Ravenous Bugblatter Beasts of Traal? Should I stop carrying a towel?" Luna was in fact carrying a pleasant lavender colored towel, with a bright green fringe.

"I'm sorry Luna, but none of that's real."

"But what about Dirk Gently?"

"He's authentic. Don't worry about him, Luna." Luna's tears dried up as Hermione walked her out of the Great Hall, her arm wrapped around Luna's shoulder.
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