Title: Darkly Loyal
Author: Keira Marcos
Fandom: Harry Potter
Relationship: Harry Potter/Hermione Granger/Draco Malfoy
Content Rating: NC-17
Genre: Romance, Time Travel, Fantasy, Menage, Fix It
Warnings: Violence, Explicit Sex, Dark Themes, Temporary Main Character Death, death of a pregnant character, homicide, and permanent character deaths.
Author Note: The only people who are safe from a messy permanent death are my main characters (Harry, Hermione, and Draco).
Summary: Everything comes to a head with Riddle and Harry makes plans for his seventh year at Hogwarts.
“Fuck, why on hell was I complaining about not being challenged? I prefer boredom.” Harry hissed and tried to stay still as Draco extracted a long piece of wood from his side. “Where’s Hermione?”
“She’s securing the prisoner—extra hard,” Draco murmured as he pulled several potions from his bracelet.
Ross Weasley had a set of wards on his home that had notified him immediately of a house elf intrusion. Dobby had left quickly without delivering the charmed letter. It had put the older man on guard, and as a result, it had taken them two days to catch him outside of his fortified home. The early morning walk had seemed like a gift until the old bastard had used his walking stick to blow up several trees along the path when one of them had tripped a proximity alert. Shrapnel from one of the trees had ended up in Harry who hadn’t bothered with this armor.
They’d barely managed to contain Weasley and get him back to the trunk.
“How is he?” Hermione demanded as she appeared at Draco’s side.
“Liver laceration,” Draco reported. “It could’ve been worse.” He passed two potions to Harry. “Organ repair and pain.”
Harry took the potions without complaint and focused on Hermione. “Any problems containing him?”
“He’s in a cell,” Hermione said. “He has his wand holstered in that walking stick. I found a knife, a blood-keyed dimensional store, and a personal journal in his pocket. The journal requires his magical signature to open, but it doesn’t have the properties I’d associate with a grimoire. If he has a communication device of some kind, then it’s in dimensional store. I checked him for tracking magic but found none.”
Draco performed a spell, and the wound closed slowly then he cleaned away the blood. “I have to go back and clean the area—in case you left blood behind.”
“Be careful,” Harry said. “He might have other traps that don’t require his personal activation.”
“I will. You stay put until I get back. It’ll take about an hour for the organ potion to heal your liver. No liquids or food.” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to Harry’s mouth. “Healer’s orders.”
Harry nodded. “Yeah, I’ll stay put.”
Draco stepped back and apparated as Hermione sat down on the edge of the bed.
“You sure he’s secure?”
“Dobby and Winky are standing guard just in case,” Hermione said. “She won their contest. There is no telling how Riddle is going to react to Pyrites death, but I expect it to be dramatic and ridiculous.” She plucked up his hand and laced their fingers together. “From now on, you’re not to complain about people being boring when you kidnap them.”
He laughed. “Arrogance has a price it seems.” He glanced toward the piece of wood which was sitting in a bowl Draco conjured and huffed. “Pierced by own wand wood—that’s gotta be a sign of something unfortunate.”
“Or not,” Hermione murmured. “You might add it to your staff or to your wand later. We should preserve it as is and investigate its properties.”
Harry nodded. “Yeah.”
She released his hand and left the bed. He wasn’t surprised when she returned with a clean vial which she enlarged so that she could store the shard of wood. Hermione put the vial on the nightstand and vanished the bowl. “Still hurting?”
“No, the potion worked quickly,” Harry murmured and yawned. “Sorry.”
“What we’re doing is dangerous,” Hermione said. “But that’s the last damn time you go on a mission without armor, Harry.”
“Don’t give me grief. I’ll call Winky in here to stare at you with her big sad eyes.”
“There’s no need to fight dirty, love,” Harry informed her seriously. “I was an idiot. I’ll do better, I swear.”
“You’d better.” Hermione crawled up onto the bed and pulled a blanket over them both as she cuddled close. “Draco would be utterly inconsolable if you were seriously injured.”
Harry hid a smile against her hair. “Would he?”
“I don’t know how I’d manage with both of you being useless at the same time.” She paused. “More useless.”
He laughed. “I’ll spank your arse.”
“Ha, that’s no threat,” she declared and lifted her head. “What would you like for dinner?”
“I imagine I’ll be relegated to something simple and bland,” he said. “So perhaps sandwiches or soup.”
“Both for me,” Hermione declared. “But certainly just soup for you. I’ll check the stores and see what Winky has already made. If nothing is bland enough for you we’ll have to make something.” She paused. “I’ll ask Winky to make something. There is no need to offend her sensibilities twice in the same day. It might take her weeks to recover from the disappointment of you not wearing the armor she worked so hard to make.”
“I don’t need a guilt trip from several directions,” Harry muttered and pinched her arse when she laughed. “I think I’ll take a nap. Don’t go far.”
“I’ll stay right here,” she murmured and pressed a kiss against his jaw.
– – – –
They were both in the bed with him when he woke. Harry shifted a little, and Draco stirred.
“Yeah,” Harry rubbed his stomach. “Much. I could eat.”
“Winky made some potato soup.”
His favorite. “So she’s not super mad at me then.” He grinned when Draco laughed. “Anything happen when you went to clean up?”
Draco hummed under his breath. “William Prewett was there—they must have had some kind of system set up to watch each other’s backs. I stunned him, and he’s in a cell, too. He’d already figured out that there had been two of us at the scene, but he hadn’t started harvesting magical signatures. I cleaned up, vanished your blood which was all over the place, by the way. The splatter was horrific. I’m glad I already knew you were okay or I’d have freaked out. Prewett is powerful. I only got the drop on him because I was invisible. He’d set up some security charms, but I walked right through them.”
“I had no problems doing that with the cloak on,” Harry said. “It makes sense that the ability would stick with you. I wonder if that trait will pass to us when you do our disillusionment spells.”
“We’ll test it,” Draco said. “In safer circumstances.” He slid from the bed. “I’ll ask Winky to heat the soup. You should probably take a shower. I can still smell blood.”
Harry nodded and moved carefully as to not wake Hermione who curled into a pillow with a little sniff. “She gets more like a cat every day.”
“Well, she’s always been a cat,” Draco said. “The familial gift just unleashed that part of her magic. In theory, all magicals should have the ability to shapeshift. The animagus spell was created to tap into that gift as it started to be more difficult for some families to pass along to their children.”
“Selective breeding,” Harry said. “Or inbreeding?”
“Both I would say. For all of the Malfoy family’s faults—they avoided marrying in as much as possible. Abraxas wasn’t entirely certain that my mother was the right one for my father because her parents were second cousins. He wanted my father to marry a woman named Dorcas Meadows, but she turned out to be a blood traitor by their standards.”
“She was in the Order of the Phoenix,” Harry said. “She was killed by Death Eaters.”
“My father wouldn’t have hesitated to kill her given a chance. He’d have considered her beliefs to be both a betrayal and a rejection.” Draco walked over to the closet and pulled a robe from a hanger which he held out to Harry. “Shower.”
Harry took the robe and went to shower without complaint. Despite Draco’s training a healer the man could barely tolerate the smell of blood.
By the time he entered the kitchen, Hermione was seated in a chair with a book and a cup of soup. The remains of a sandwich were on a plate in front of her. He sat down next to her, and she looked up.
“You look better.”
“I feel better,” he assured and just glanced her way when Winky slid a bowl in front of him. “Hey.”
She scowled. “Master Harry.”
“Sorry for not wearing the amazing armor you made me.”
“Males be so silly,” Winky said crossly and frowned at him before walking away.
She flicked a spoon at him over her shoulder, and he caught it with a laugh. “Thanks, Winky.”
– – – –
He ended up in the quizmaster chair because neither one of his spouses wanted him to stand up for any length of time. Harry desperately wanted an herbal but figured he’d get a stern lecture for it, so he just sipped his tea as Draco dropped Ross Weasley into the interrogation chair. The older wizard was awake and clearly furious. The ropes tightened so much that Weasley coughed.
“Relax before the chair suffocates you,” Draco instructed.
Weasley’s shoulders went lax.
“Imperius?” Harry questioned.
“Obedience draught,” Draco said. “I didn’t want to waste magic on him considering what happened.” He leaned down in Ross Weasley’s face. “Answer all of his questions without hesitation and do not attempt to be dishonest.”
“Go to hell you little son of a bitch.”
Draco backhanded him. “Watch your mouth when you speak of my mother, or I’ll truss you up like a turkey and portkey you into her dungeon. She’d love to get ahold of you.”
Ross paled and averted his gaze.
“When did you join the Lux Ordinis, Mr. Weasley,” Harry asked. “And what were the circumstances?”
“1948.” Ross frowned. “My father introduced me to Nicolas Flamel, and I was inducted into the order. It was my honor to join their cause—to protect the greater good and Lady Magic.”
“Right.” Harry sighed. “Have you discussed the Lux Ordinis with anyone outside of the organization?”
“Never, it’s against the rules. I’d never betray Lady Magic’s trust.”
“I hate you so much,” Harry admitted. “This kind of hatred can’t be good for me. I’ll probably need Muggle therapy to get over this after you all you corrupt motherfuckers are dead.” He shook his head. “Of course, I can’t get Muggle therapy because they’d throw my ass in an institution if I said half the shite I’d need to say. Maybe I’ll steal Dumbledore’s portrait from Hogwarts and talk to him. He deserves to listen to me complain several hours a week for the rest of my life.” He nods and turned to Draco. “I can have his portrait, right?”
“Sure, love,” Draco said with a small smile. “I’ll help you steal it and fix it so he can’t leave or sleep.”
“Great.” Harry smiled and relaxed in his chair and focused back on Weasley. “William Prewett was looking for you when Draco went back to clean up the mess you made. How did he know you were in trouble?”
“We have an hourly floo check-in,” Weasley admitted roughly. “He knew I was taking a walk. Did you kill him?”
“Not yet,” Harry answered truthfully. “I mean I’m certainly going to unless one of my spouses have their hearts set on it. I try to be a good husband, you see, so I’d hate to deprive them of something they genuinely wanted. For instance, Draco wants to kill you, and I’m okay with that.”
“You wish,” Harry said evenly. “I think that might have even been the goal—at the very least Dumbledore wanted me to be deeply unstable mentally so I’d be easier to control. It’s too bad for him that he had no hope of ever controlling me. I’m not just marked by Zir, you see. I stand directly in his service, and he moves in this world with our Trinity. You look like you don’t believe me. I don’t care because you’ll find out soon enough. When you stand before the Black Dragon, you’ll have no excuse for the actions you’ve taken against him and his children since you joined the Lux Ordinis.”
“Zir’s influence is destroying magic. It’s our duty to neutralize him to protect Lady Magic.”
“It’s like they went around and gathered the all the really stupid people for their cult,” Harry said as he focused on Hermione.
“Well, smart people wouldn’t fall for their shite,” Hermione pointed out. “He had to focus on covert bigots and the casually stupid. They’re all just useful enough to further his goals but never question his stupid story about the balance. Flamel spent hundreds of years seeking revenge against Zir for his son’s suicide—it’s no more and no less than that. The rest of this is just window dressing designed to attract stupid and certainly greedy people. Tell an arsehole like this that he doesn’t he have the magic he deserves because some are born with more power than they deserve then tell them how they can get that power for themselves.” She poked Weasley with her wand. “Tell me, how many of Zir’s children did you see destroyed?”
“I helped ten reached their potential and fulfill their duty,” Weasley said.
“Did you gain a single bit of power from their sacrifice?” Hermione questioned. “Has your Myrddin rating changed at all since your second maturation?”
Weasley flushed. “No.”
“See! Fucking morons,” Hermione hissed and walked away. “Nicolas Flamel could’ve sold ice in the Arctic.”
Harry watched her pace around for a few moments before he focused on Weasley. “Is there anything you don’t want to tell me?”
“It was my idea to make you live in a cupboard,” Ross blurted out. “Your Aunt was keeping you in the nursery with your cousin. I told Albus we couldn’t afford for you to create you a sibling-like relationship with the other boy.”
Draco took a deep breath.
“Did you curse Dudley or just Aunt Petunia?”
“We just had to curse her—she did the rest,” he said reluctantly. “But the curse had to be renewed and altered over the years to make sure we could make the most of the situation. Your uncle was especially great for our goals. We prevented him from dying twice due to your accidental magic.”
“For fuck’s sake.” Draco pulled his wand and hit Weasley with a silent curse that the old man scream, turn an alarming shade of red, and slump in the chair.
“What was that?” Hermione asked curiously.
“Brain aneurysm,” Draco said. “Can’t have too many heart attacks. I figured what’s left of the Weasley family doesn’t need another permanently missing relative.” He cleared his throat. “Winky can you please take him home and put him somewhere with a book or something? Set the scene like he was relaxing and expired there.”
Winky nodded and popped away with the body.
“Odds that William Prewett has anything interesting to add?” Harry asked wearily.
“Zero but you were right before—we need be sure. We owe that to Zir and our son,” Draco murmured.
Harry nodded. “Let’s get it over with.”
– – – –
They left the Dark Mark hovering over William Prewett’s house after they dropped his body in the parlor. It was kind of annoying to give Riddle credit for his kill, but Harry figured he could live with it considering how convenient the whole Death Eater calling card was.
“I’ve been thinking,” Harry said as he settled down in his favorite chair in the library. Returning to the island had been a huge relief for them all. The trunk was handy, but it certainly wasn’t home.
“And?” Hermione prodded.
“It’d be nice if I could kill Riddle in secret. We could blame him for activities for decades.”
Draco snorted. “It’s appealing but you know he’s going to make some sort of grand showing. He needs to recruit more followers which means he needs to make a public, impressive appearance. He’ll attack you the first chance he gets. So I figure we should just do our school shopping and hope the sheep get the fuck out of the way when he shows himself.”
Harry sighed. “I hate most people but do we really want to have that out in the middle of Diagon Alley?”
“Well, probably not,” Draco admitted and stretched his legs out on the sofa he was sprawled on. “We could go have lunch in Hogsmeade, I suppose. We’re less likely to ruin some kid’s first trip to Diagon Alley that way. Fewer witnesses but it would still be more public than you’d like.” He waved a hand. “Your legend would grow.”
“The-Man-Who-Conquered,” Harry said darkly.
“Blackmoor,” Hermione said, and they both looked toward her. “In the end, they only called you Blackmoor like they were trying to divorce the man you’d become from the heroics they demanded of you.”
“And they got exactly what they deserved,” Harry said. “Diggory is basically all that we have left to deal with besides Riddle. He’s not been a member of the Lux Ordinis long enough to know a lot about the organization. I’m sure he had a lot of work ahead of him to get in Flamel’s inner circle.”
“More importantly, we can’t assassinate the sitting Minister for Magic while the ICW is here,” Draco said. “Well, we could, but it would probably turn into an international incident, and I guess Amelia Bones really doesn’t deserve that kind of attention. It would probably ruin her career to have two ministers murdered under her watch.”
“It’d be nice if Riddle invaded the ministry and killed Diggory for us,” Harry said wistfully. “Just once I wish that wanker would make himself useful.”
Hermione laughed. “I don’t think we can count on that happening. Let’s spend some time in Hogsmeade and see if we can’t lure Riddle out for the confrontation. He’s probably a big ball of fury right about now so it won’t take much to bait him if he has any sort of monitoring magic in place.”
“I think he’s probably compelled to seek me out,” Harry admitted. “Either by his obsession with the prophecy or because of Zir’s magical influence on us.” He turned his head and focused on Draco. “Remember the first time we met?”
“The robe fitting,” Draco blushed. “I was an insufferable little git.”
Harry laughed. “Yeah, but looking back on it—I was mostly disappointed because you didn’t seem to recognize me the way I did you. I mean it wasn’t like a memory or anything.”
“You both made my magic tingle,” Hermione said. “From the very start which I found confusing and kind of irritating because you were both little gits. Draco was mirroring his father and Harry was, at the time, clearly obsessed with being Ron Weasley’s best friend forever.” She grimaced. “It was just ghastly. You’re lucky I didn’t kill you both before fifth year.”
Harry grinned at her. “Well, I would’ve surely forgiven you before we met again.”
Hermione laughed and went back to reading.
Draco sighed from the desk and set aside another piece of parchment. Mail had kind of piled up on them while they’d been darting around the country killing people. Fortunately, they’d left magic in place to gather it from the owls, so they hadn’t returned to the castle with a bunch of irritated owls.
“McGonagall has asked me to take the position of Head Boy.”
Harry raised an eyebrow. “Do you want it?”
“I did the first time around,” Draco admitted with a blush and glanced toward Hermione who’d stopped reading again. “Your letter was the same I assume?”
She nodded and bit down on her lip. “I’ve already started writing her a letter turning it down. I mean…”
“Mi.” Harry sat up from his slouch to stare at her. “Why would you do that? You worked your arse off for it the first time around, and you didn’t get it because of the war.”
“We stopped being prefects because it interfered with our duty to our magical house,” Draco said. “The head positions are no different.”
“Look, next year—I’m playing Quidditch, preparing for my NEWTS, and getting fucked a lot,” Harry said plainly. “We’re finishing this whole mess this summer. None of us got an actual seventh year the first time around, and we’re due some goddamned peace and quiet. I expect you both to accept those positions so we can send the elves off to Hogwarts to prepare our much nicer and bigger quarters since they’ll be able to combine the head’s suites into a flat. We could have our own kitchen for fuck’s sake.”
“Oh, you’re right.” Hermione exhaled. “You mean it? We’d have duties that would take time in the evenings—patrols and meetings.”
“Yes, I mean it. Dumbledore isn’t a threat anymore and if there are junior Death Eaters to worry about—we’ll deal with them with extreme prejudice. Let’s just plan for a relaxing year. I’ll send Riddle an engraved invitation to a duel if I have to. This will be done by September.”
They rented a small cottage in Hogsmeade for the week of Harry’s seventeenth birthday and made a show of shopping around the village the second day to establish that they were there for the week. The Daily Prophet featured an entire page in the in the society section on them on the third day—letting Britain, and Voldemort, know that the Potters were celebrating the Boy-Who-Lived’s birthday week with the people of the small village.
The day before his birthday, Harry found himself in a music shop browsing magical catalogs for his wife who was looking to expand her skill the instrument. He’d taken to carrying Aodhán around with him in his pocket. Quite a few people in the town had met the dragon-snake and had responded positively which made part of him relax. Though he wasn’t kidding himself, there was no chance of a normal life in Britain and maybe not anywhere considering who he was.
Harry turned and found himself face to face with George and Fred Weasley. “Hey.” He put the two books he’d picked out on the counter and cleared his throat. “How are you guys doing?”
George shrugged and looked away, but Fred stared at him with dark eyes. “We went to the Burrow—the clock. Mum, Dad, and Ginny—their hands fell off.”
“I’m really sorry to hear that,” Harry said and signed off on the receipt when the clerk slid it across the counter. “Did…well…have you contacted the DMLE?”
“Yeah.” George shook his head. “They just took a report, but there are no bodies, so they don’t expect anything to come of it. Bones told us it was Death Eaters.” He crossed his arms over his chest. “She told us Ron had the Dark Mark. Did you know that?”
“I heard that Michael Corner saw on his arm when he and Cho found his body in the forest,” Harry admitted and took the bag he was offered. He motioned the twins toward the door. “Join us for lunch? Hermione and Draco are down the street at the new café place.”
“Yeah,” Fred agreed when George just shrugged. “Sounds good. How are things going with you? Are you sure you should be out and about like this?”
“Well, if I hole up and hide then I might as well be in prison,” Harry said. “Riddle’s going to come for me when he wants, and I think we’ve all learned the hard way that not much stands in his way. With your parents being gone, he’s killed the entire Order.”
“Yeah, I think only Dung is left, and I heard he was trying to get out of the country,” George said. “We’re doing mail order mostly for the store since security is so lax on the Alley. The DMLE is stretched thin dealing with all the disappearances.”
“I read about that in the Prophet,” Harry said as he opened the door and motioned them in ahead of him. They waited on him and let him lead them across the room to the table that Draco and Hermione were at. “I found these two in the music shop, or maybe they found me. Molly and Arthur have gone missing.”
“Their hands fell off the clock,” Fred said. “That wouldn’t have happened unless they were dead, Harry. I don’t have any hope of finding them. The ministry has declared them dead. Bill inherited the Burrow, but he’s given it to George and me.” He rubbed a hand over his face. “We don’t really know what to do.”
“Have you considered a memorial service?” Hermione questioned as she signaled the server.
“The DMLE suggested we wait for that,” George said the server came to the table with additional cups and a fresh pot of tea. “Bones said that a service might make for a convenient target for the Death Eaters. One of the aurors thinks that Ron betrayed the Death Eaters and the Dark Lord is punishing our family for it.” He cupped the tea Hermione poured him and stared at the liquid without drinking. “Maybe Percy was a warning for him, and he ignored it.”
Harry felt like an arsehole for how amusing he found that particular theory. He was gonna give Winky flowers. The Dark Mark on Ron’s arm was the gift that kept on giving. Aodhán crawled out of his pocket and up onto his shoulder to hiss nonsense in his ear. He reached up and plucked the dragon-snake up and rub his belly.
“Cute,” George said.
“Draco and Hermione got him for me for Yule,” Harry explained. “His name is Aodhán.”
He put the creature down on the table, and it crawled over to George who picked him up with gentle hands.
“Great present for a parselmouth,” George said. “When he sheds his skin could I have a few scales? I’ve always wanted to experiment with them, but they’re hard to come by.”
“Sure, he’ll have plenty to pass around,” Harry agreed. “Have you two considered moving to France to be near Bill?”
“Bill and Fleur don’t need us hanging around,” Fred said. “We went to their wedding last week. Just a small ceremony hosted by her family. He told me to tell you that he was sorry that he couldn’t invite the three of you—they used blood-based security so only people related to Bill or Fleur could come to the location.”
“It’s fine,” Harry assured. “We’d have probably just increased the security concerns anyways and taken away from their day which would’ve been the last thing we’d have wanted to do. Are they going to come back to Britain?”
“No, I don’t think so,” George said. “I mean Bill gave us the family land and transferred the wards to us, so I figure they’ll live in France near her family. She’ll want her mum and sisters when she has kids, I guess. We can visit with portkeys easily enough.”
“I don’t want to make you uncomfortable,” Harry began. “But are you good with money? Can I help with anything?”
Fred just shook his head. “We’re fine but thanks for considering it. Bill’s already been onto us about it as well. We have more than half the money you gave us still, and our parents didn’t leave any bills behind. Dad didn’t believe in living on credit which is good considering.” He waved a hand. “Their will is being processed—apparently mum inherited some stuff from both the Dumbledores, and it’ll go to the four of us once the bank works out all the details. Bill is handling that. He’ll sell any land or whatever and we’ll get a fourth each. We contacted Charlie…he doesn’t want to come back at all ever.”
“I’m sorry that must be difficult.”
“He was furious to find out about Ron and the whole Dark Mark mess. He blamed Mum—said she’d ruined Ron and Ginny but never would explain it to us. He told Bill that we’re all better off with Mum dead because she was greedy and dark.” George slumped. “I…that’s not true, right? I mean Mum was a little mad, ya know. I always figured the war put her around the twist. She never got over the loss of her brothers.”
“Did he say how she was dark?” Hermione questioned and shared a glance with Draco.
Harry wondered if they were going to hunt Charlie Weasley down and kill him. He really didn’t want to, but if he knew anything about the goals of the Lux Ordinis, then they would have no choice. They couldn’t afford for that rhetoric to spread.
“Charlie loved Ginny—she was his favorite,” George explained. “After his seventh year at Hogwarts, he and Mum had a huge argument, and he left the Burrow. He didn’t come home for two years and refused to talk to our parents even when he did return. He told Bill that Mum and Dad were going to arrange Ginny’s marriage. He was furious and was talking about selective breeding and magic. Mum told him to mind his own business and Ginny would do her duty to the family whatever that meant. Then Ron met you his first year, and you came to stay with us that summer before your second year and Mum told Charlie that they wouldn’t arrange Ginny’s marriage because she had such a huge crush on you.”
“Well, she had a crush on the Boy-Who-Lived,” Fred corrected. “She didn’t know a bloody thing about Harry Potter.” He sighed and stole a biscuit from Draco’s plate. He shoved the whole thing in his mouth and frowned as he chewed.
“Have you two ever heard of the Lux Ordinis?” Hermione questioned. “I’ve been looking for books about, but I can’t find anything.”
George grimaced. “That’s just some old secret society bullshite, Hermione, like the Muggle Illuminati. I doubt you’ll find anything about it written down. Dumbledore probably could’ve told you to the oral history of the whole thing since it still existed when he was young. I think the last member died in the 1950s. Percy used to ask our Dad about it all the time, but Dad said it was just a long-dead social club. When Percy was a first year, he came home for Yule and talked about starting his own version of it. Mum laughed and encouraged him like having some insufferable society club was something worth doing. She always encouraged Percy to put on airs—to pretend he was more important than he ever would be.”
“Well, she was a Prewett,” Fred interjected. “And that side of the family has always thought a lot of themselves.” He turned to Harry. “Our Uncle Ross passed in his favorite chair—natural causes. Bill thinks it was just the stress of the whole situation. We’re inheriting all of his crap, too.” He huffed. “His house is decent. We might keep it. George thinks he might get married.”
“You don’t want to get married?” Draco asked with a raised eyebrow and slapped his hand when Fred tried to steal another biscuit. “Let’s order some more biscuits, so this miscreant doesn’t eat all of mine.”
“Well, I can’t get married now,” Fred said solemnly then poked out his bottom lip. “You broke my heart—you see—I was waiting on you to grow up, Draco.”
Draco laughed. “Fuck off, Weasley.”
“See how he treats me,” Fred cried and leaned dramatically on George.
The server returned to the table and Hermione ordered more biscuits and a platter of sandwiches.
“Seriously, though?” Hermione questioned.
Fred shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean if I find someone that I like…but you know I never really thought that I’d have a wife or kids. I don’t know why.” He took a sip of his tea and frowned. “I think…maybe I’ve always sort of lived on borrowed time. Does that make sense?”
It did, and Harry hated it. Fred’s death had been senseless and terrible in the other timeline.
“Did Trelawney tell you were going to die horribly every day of your third year?” Harry questioned. “You can’t take that bent seriously, Fred.”
Fred grinned. “She did, actually. Though recently I came across her on the Alley and she patted my shoulder and said, ‘oh, good for you lad, Death no longer stalks you’.”
“There you go,” Harry said. “Death found someone else to bother.”
Draco snorted, and Harry knocked his foot against his Consort’s. “It’s just now I’ve got this image of the grim reaper running around trying to find a new ginger to stalk.”
Hermione sighed, and the server arrived with the food. “You’re going to make me regret my life choices.”
“You’re kind of stuck with us,” Harry confided. “Trinity bond and all that.”
She huffed. “I can make you both sleep on separate sofas.”
“I’m beginning to think you aren’t so lucky, Harry,” George said earnestly. “They’re pretty, of course, but they’re both so mean.”
Harry grinned. “I adore mean people.”
– – – –
“I don’t feel guilty at all,” Hermione confessed in a hushed whisper as soon as the twins apparated away.
“Me either,” Harry admitted. “They’ll be better off, honestly.” He opened the gate to their rented cottage and magic shimmered around him. “For fuck’s sake.” They were all three violently repelled.
Harry hit the ground, rolled to his feet and sought out his spouses. Hermione was in a crouch, her stave drawn. Draco was a few feet away, wand in hand.
“Yes?” They all three demanded.
Riddle stepped out into the street, and from a neighbor’s house, Harry heard screaming. He really hoped they didn’t get the DMLE immediately. It would ruin his fun.
He drew his phoenix wand and inclined his head as Riddle came a dozen yards away from him. “Good of you to finally show up,” he hissed snidely. “I’ve only been making myself a target for three bloody days.”
Riddle glared, his red eyes shining with fury and mania. “Don’t speak the language of the snakes like you have the right, Potter!”
“Oh, come on, Riddle. You and I both know you aren’t a genuine parselmouth. You obviously corrupted your magic with a botched beast-speaker ritual.” He waved a hand. “It’s written all over your ugly face. What do you want?”
“To kill you!”
“Are you sure you want to try that again?” Hermione asked. “You’ve not done well with that in the past.”
“Shut up, mudblood! Crucio!”
Hermione apparated away from the curse and appeared closer to Harry. “At your age, I’d have assumed you’d have a more extensive vocabulary. Is mudblood the best you can do?”
“Don’t taunt the dark wizard, Darling,” Draco said with a sigh.
“Oh, come on, it’s a really dumb word!” Hermione complained. “I’ve heard better insults from Muggle kids in primary.”
“It is pretty stupid,” Harry agreed and leveled his wand when Riddle hissed at them. “I’m not interested in your great big speech about your superiority, Tom. The DMLE will be here soon so why don’t you just try to do what you’ve come to do so we can get this over with.”
Riddle frowned at him. “Why won’t you just die, Potter?”
“Because I’m the hand of the Black Dragon, Tom. It’s time for you to go home. You’ve let this life corrupt you horrifically.”
“You cannot hide from Death!” Harry shouted. “Percutio.” The piercing charm left his wand in a thick white line.
Riddle cast a shield charm and tried to bat the charm away. He shouted in fury as Harry’s magic battered on his magical shield.
“Occillo!” Hermione snapped, and Draco followed suit.
Their shield breaking charms hit Riddle from two different angles. The older wizard spun in shock, his shield shattered and Harry’s piercing charm punched right through his chest. Riddle screamed as he fell back into the snow—blood burst out across the snowy street. Harry slid to his knees, magically spent from holding the charm and Hermione came to him.
In the distance, he could hear the pops of apparition. He really hoped that Bones showed up before Diggory did. Harry looked up and found Draco standing over Riddle’s body. He forced himself to get off his knees.
“Is he dead?”
“Close,” Draco murmured. “The wound is mortal.” He kicked Riddle’s wand away, and the older wizard groaned. “Just let go, Tom—we’ll give the rest of your soul to Zir. Maybe…maybe he’ll give you the peace you couldn’t find in this world.”
Riddle hissed. “Don’t…”
“You may have forsaken him, but he’d never turn his back on his own son,” Draco murmured. “He’s nothing like the men that fathered you and me.”
Riddle screamed, his hands curled into the snow and his body slumped as Amelia Bones hurried up the street. His spirit curled out of the body, black and writhing. Harry hesitated only briefly before raising his wand again.
“Invocato nigrum draco!”
The sky darkened, and the air around them thickened with magic. The ground under them trembled as the darkness took shape and the spectral form of the largest dragon to ever walk the Earth dipped one claw down—it scrapped against the snow-covered street. Riddle’s body disintegrated as Zir caught his spirit. Lightning cracked, struck the road then everything went utterly still. The sky cleared in an instant leaving nothing behind to show that Riddle had ever been there.
“What the fuck was that?” Amos Diggory demanded in a harsh tone. “What dark magic did you just do, Potter?”
Harry turned to stare at Diggory. “I invoked the judgment of Zirnitra to deal with Tom Riddle. My need was met, Minister Diggory. As you must know, the Black Dragon is a neutral force in this world. I’ve not cast a single act of dark magic here today.”
Bones took a shuddery breath. “Potter are you okay?”
“He’s magically exhausted,” Hermione reported sharply. “This is our cottage—Riddle had some kind of repelling magic on it, but I think it faded just now when he died. I’d like to take my husband inside, Madam Bones. You’re welcome to interview him after we’ve had him looked over by a healer. Is Healer Arnou still here with the ICW?”
“Yes, he’s on his way with the rest…well, everyone I could muster,” she flushed. “Did the rest of the Death Eaters run when you…which one of you killed…”
“They all three had a hand in,” an elderly witch said. “Lord Potter used a piercing charm, and his spouses busted the Dark Lord’s shield. He tried to use the torture curse on the lass and threatened to kill them. It was self-defense, Bones.”
Amelia Bones glared at her. “Relax, Esmerelda. I’m not going to charge them with anything.”
The witch offered Draco a card. “Esmeralda Forth, solicitor. You lot call me if they give you in any grief. It’ll be my pleasure to sue the shite out of the ministry for you.”
Draco grinned and pocketed the card. “Thank you, Madam Forth.”
“We’ll need a formal interview about this whole mess,” Diggory snapped. “I don’t care what you think, kid, invoking the Black Dragon is dark, and you’re going to have to answer for it.”
“I think I’ll attend this formal interview with you children,” Forth announced. She held out a hand. “One of you give a galleon.”
Harry pulled a coin from his pocket and passed it to her with a bemused smile. It was honestly kind of fascinating to have the elderly witch acting protective of them.
She pocketed it and turned to Diggory. “Now, you’ll be quoting exactly what law you have on the books that makes the bloody Lord of Magic a dark entity, Diggory. Because I’ve got news for you, I’ve been practicing law in this country for seventy-five years and never heard of such a thing!”
“If such a law existed it would be in direct violation of several international decrees and endanger Britain’s position in the ICW,” Ito said as he came to stand beside Bones. “So I’m very interested in hearing about this law myself.”
“Additionally,” Ito began in a dry tone. “I’d tread very carefully with this young man, Minister Diggory, he and his spouses have already been marked by Zir, and the Black Dragon answered his call for assistance. It wouldn’t go well for you if the Lord of Magic decided you were a threat to his blessed children.” He looked at the spot where Riddle’s body had lain. Blood splatter still darkened the snow. “As we’ve just seen.”
Harry laced his fingers with Draco’s and took a deep breath as everyone focused on the three of them. Most of the people from Britain were looking at them with a mixture of fear and shock. He honestly expected nothing else. The headlines in the Prophet would probably be horrific. The look on Diggory’s face was so disgustingly familiar that it made his heart hurt. The man had often looked at him like that in the other timeline. He could just watch as loathing bloomed in full in the heart of Amos Diggory.
Diggory turned on his heel and apparated without a word.
“He’s a problem,” Forth said bluntly and pointed one finger at Bones. “Deal with him and leave these children alone, Amelia. I mean it. They’ve served Britain better in the last half hour than any bloody adult in this whole country has in decades. They don’t deserve to be harassed by any of Amos’ bullshite. I’m keeping an eye on this mess!”
“I’ll contain him,” Bones said, glanced briefly at the blood tainted snow and with an abrupt nod in Harry’s direction apparated.
– – – –
Harry left the bed after carefully pulling free of both of his spouses. He shoved his feet into house shoes, and after grabbing his robe, he headed toward the kitchen. They’d returned to the island after a short conversation with Ito and their brand new vicious solicitor who’d insisted that the man draft them internationally recognized pardons for killing Tom Riddle. She’d taken copies to the ministry personally after telling the three of them to go home and rest.
He sat down at the table and yawned as Dobby put a cup of coffee down in front of him and a copy of the newspaper. “Is it terrible?”
GOLDEN TRINITY DEFEATS YOU-KNOW-WHO
Harry snorted. “For fuck’s sake. Hermione is going to flip her shite.”
“Read below the fold,” Winky instructed from the stove.
Harry opened the paper in full and couldn’t help it when his mouth dropped open.
MINISTER DIGGORY FOUND DEAD IN HIS HOME OF APPARENT SUICIDE
He cleared his throat. “Did one of you kill him?”
Winky scoffed. “I not leave bodies behind, Master Harry.”
Dobby put some bowls on the table. “Minster Diggory coward—scared of you.”
“Well.” Harry shrugged. “Most people fear Death, Dobby. It’s not a weakness to fear such a thing.”
“Fear one thing and running away is another,” Dobby pointed out. “I be watching him—he send letter to the Flamels. I took it away from the owl.” He put it on the table. “You were tired, so I just watch him to make sure he not do something stupid while you sleep.”
“Just watch,” Harry clarified. “I won’t be angry with you if you did more.”
“Just watch and steal letter.” He tapped the parchment. “I swear.”
Harry picked up the letter and broke the seal. He paused briefly and wondered if he should wait for Draco and Hermione. Then he opened it because he was too curious by far to wait for them.
Joining you was a mistake. I will not stand against the Black Dragon, and you’re a fool to court war with such power. Potter is untouchable. I hate that he lives while my boy rots in a grave. I wish Riddle had killed him.
I wish I dared to kill him myself. I wish I was willing to risk the wrath of Zirnitra, but I’m not. I can’t live with this.
Harry put the letter down. “Cowardice was the least of Amos Diggory’s issues, Dobby.”
Hermione entered the kitchen at that point and slumped down in her chair with a yawn. “The Man-Who-Conquered.”
“The Golden Trinity,” Harry countered and turned the paper so she could see it.
She huffed and picked up. “Diggory killed himself? I was looking forward to kidnapping him!”
Draco strolled in already dressed and slid into a chair. “What’s got you in a strop?”
“Diggory suicided.” Hermione tossed aside the paper. “It’s very anti-climatic.”
“I’m okay with that,” Harry said before she could continue.
He passed her Diggory’s letter. She scanned it then handed it across the table to Draco.
“It’s done then,” Draco murmured as he read it.
“Yeah, it is.” Harry relaxed in his chair. “We can make a shopping list for Hogwarts and set aside everything else.”
Hermione fidgeted with her silverware as Winky brought a pot of porridge to the table. The elves joined them at the table, and she just frowned as Dobby served everyone.
“I…” Hermione exhaled.
“We’ve been on a mission for over a year,” Harry said. “It’ll take some adjustment, but we can relax now, Mi. We can start making plans for the future without having to worry about Riddle or the Lux Ordinis. It’s done.”
“It feels done,” she admitted and took a deep breath then smiled. “It’s really over.”
“Feels weird,” Draco said as he set aside Diggory’s letter.
Harry shrugged. “Don’t worry—I’m sure we won’t have to look around long to find someone to rail against if we get bored.”
Winky giggled which set the rest of them off. Harry just shook his head and drank his coffee while they laughed. A little flash of light caught his attention and Zir appeared. He leaned against the counter and quirked an eyebrow at him. Harry just grinned and inclined his head in return. He flicked the moleskin pouch containing the horcruxes out of his bracelet and tossed it to Zir. The moment the bag landed in his hand, it disappeared with a flash of light.
The elder god picked up a bright red apple from the fruit basket and took a bite as he faded from view.
Harry wadded Diggory’s note to Flamel up and tossed it aside.
15 Years Later
“I’m too pregnant for this.”
“It was your idea,” Harry reminded as he helped Hermione sit down on the blanket. “You said you were going stir crazy inside.”
She huffed and adjusted her sun hat. “Ask Draco if he put their sunblock charms on.”
“He did,” Harry assured her. “He threw one at me, too.” He stood and looked out over the shore and watched their two children throw themselves fearlessly into the water. “Ezra, Addie! Be careful!”
“Da!” Ezra shouted back cheerfully. “Come swim!” He helped Addie stand, and she tipped right back over into the water.
Addie was barely walking, but she followed her older brother everywhere despite her limited mobility. Draco plucked Addie from the shallows and brought her to Harry then trotted back to join Ezra in the water. Their daughter huffed and waved her chubby fist at them.
Harry laughed and pressed a kiss against white blond curls. “We’ll join them, sweetie.”
“Now!” She demanded and bounced in his arms.
Harry turned to Hermione who’d pulled a book out already. “You cool?”
She patted her belly. “We’re fine. Eventually, I’ll even forgive you for the whole twins thing eventually.”
“I’m pretty sure it’s your fault,” Harry pointed out. “Your father is one of twins, remember?”
“You got me pregnant,” Hermione retorted.
“Maybe Draco did it.”
“Ha, don’t blame me!” Draco called from the surf. “Paternity charms don’t lie!”
Harry grinned and shrugged. It had kind of been accident since they’d planned to wait until Addie was at least five. He dodged the fist full of sand Hermione threw at his feet and took Addie into the ocean. Harry tossed her into the water, and her safety charms made her pop right back up. She was giggling as she paddled toward him.
“Again! Again, Da!”
Harry tossed her again. It was kind of like pitching a garden gnome, not that he’d tell Hermione that.
“Hey, you okay?” Draco asked.
“Yeah.” He rotated his shoulder where he’d taken a piercing curse only the day before. “It healed great.”
“I know,” Draco said impatiently. “I meant your face.”
“Everything is perfect,” Harry said and snatched Addie from the water when she reached him. He kissed her forehead, and she huffed. “Ready, Gnome Baby?”
Addie giggled, so he tossed her again.
Draco snorted. “I’m telling Hermione.”
“I’ll tell her that you threw away her favorite blue dress because you hated it,” Harry said and smirked when Draco looked at him aghast.
“Da, look what I found.” Ezra offered up a seashell.
“You still have your whiskers, lad,” Harry pointed out and flicked one gently.
Ezra laughed, disappeared into the water and flicked flippers at him.
“Sealion,” Draco muttered with a sigh. “That has to be your fault. It certainly wasn’t part of the family magic I gave the two of you.”
“It could be worse—he could be an actual lion.”
“He’ll sort into bloody Gryffindor, you watch,” Draco said darkly and laughed when Harry huffed.
Draco swam away, so Harry plucked Addie from the water and glanced back on shore to check on Hermione. Dobby, Winky, and their three children had joined her on the beach. It looked like they were setting up a picnic. He waited and watched as Winky placed a charm around an area of sand to contain the elflings before he turned his attention to his daughter. They weren’t old enough to bond and couldn’t swim so keeping a weather eye on them was important.
“Da, hurt?” Addie poked the pink skin on his shoulder. “Bad guy hurt you?”
“Don’t worry, love, I got all the bad guys.” He kissed her forehead. “I always will.”