Title: Darkly Loyal
Author: Keira Marcos
Fandom: Harry Potter
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: The triad adjusts to their new Deathly circumstances, Dumbledore attempts to assert some control over the situation and people die.
Harry shook loose from his fourth meditation session in two days and took a deep breath. “I’ve got it.”
“Good,” Hermione said grimly. “Dobby brought us a pensieve. I had him buy it in Rome to avoid someone tampering with it. He assured me he wasn’t recognized.”
He extracted the memory as Draco set the device down in front of him and poured it into the stone basin. He stood from the floor and paced away as they both submerged themselves in the memory of the time-travel ritual.
Those were the last words he’d spoke after the Elder Wand had impaled him. He touched his sternum, used two fingers to rub against the bone and took a shaky breath as his spouses were thrown out of the memory. Hermione was pale, tears fell as she stood and walked away from them.
“I’m so sorry, Harry, that you had to do that.” She rubbed her face with both hands. “I couldn’t have done it in your place.” Her shoulders shook. “And Fawkes! What the hell?”
Harry shrugged. “He wanted to come along, and I wasn’t sure what his relationship with the sword actually is.”
“The sword,” Draco repeated. “He probably has the sword in some form or another which is a relief. It’ll probably appear again if you have a need of it.” His mouth firmed up. “The fucking Resurrection Stone is in our wife, Harry.”
“I think it runs deeper,” Harry admitted. “Per the story, the Hallows were intelligent—objects created by Death himself.”
“And as their master, you sacrificed them,” Hermione said quietly.
“So they were rendered with our souls,” Draco said.
“Magicae miscerique,” Harry said. “That’s what my final words were before the ritual was completed.
“Merge with magic,” Hermione translated.
“So the Hallows aren’t in us,” Draco said and closed his eyes. “We are the Deathly Hallows.”
It felt like the most truthful thing he’d ever heard, and he wanted to throw-up. Harry leaned against the wall and slid down it to sit on the floor with a sharp exhale. “We need to find out everything we can about the Hallows—how they work, their true origin, and everything in between. If there is more to them than the fairytale everyone is fed, we need to know.”
“So you’re still the Master of Death,” Draco said. “They didn’t want to be separated from you so they…” He waved a hand. “Fuck.”
“Made sure I’d never willingly part with them,” Harry finished dully. “I…” He swallowed back a sob, surprised at himself. He hadn’t cried in years. Draco and Hermione sat down on either side of him and pressed close.
“It’s not that bad,” she murmured.
“How is it not horrible?” Harry demanded.
“We’re together,” Hermione said.
“We’re gorgeous and awesome,” Draco drawled and pressed a kiss against Harry’s temple when he laughed. “It’ll be fine. There are certainly worse things that could’ve happened, and we’ll just have to make sure to never, ever let anyone else know what we are. I can’t imagine what someone like Dumbledore would do with this information.”
* * * *
Harry frowned at the letter from Ragnok. He’d probably never trust the goblin completely, but he was confident the creature wasn’t in any single way in league with Dumbledore. Even in the future, the Chieftain of the Horde had rather gleefully destroyed Dumbledore’s reputation at every single opportunity. The Horde blamed Dumbledore for their losses during Riddle’s second war. A lot of people had ended up blaming Dumbledore when it was discovered that he’d known for more than a decade that Voldemort wasn’t actually dead. He’d also been blamed for not training their savior properly. Eventually, Harry’s close association with Dumbledore had further tainted him in the eyes of many, including Amos Diggory.
He wondered if Dumbledore thought that Diggory was his ally and what would happen when Amos revealed himself to be full to the brim with loathing for practically everyone.
“What does it say?”
“Dumbledore used the ministry to pressure the Horde into revealing our location. Ragnok was forced to admit that he cast a Fidelius charm for me, but that’s all. He says he’s been compelled by treaty terms to request that I come to the bank. Once there, the minister and Dumbledore are going to try to force me to agree to sign a divorce decree.”
“We need to complete the bond,” Hermione said. “It’ll make a traditional divorce impossible and the side benefit is that it will make Dumbledore furious. We’ll send Witch Weekly a formal announcement bragging about completing a Trinity bond which is the epitome of triad marriage rites.”
“I’ll finish the final circle,” Harry said and stood from the table. “In the meantime, draft a letter to Ragnok to request an appointment time after my birthday. That gives us a little over a month to complete our bond, kidnap Bellatrix, and do the warding ritual.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Draco agreed and put down the newspaper he was reading. He snagged a piece of sausage from the serving plate. “I’ll write my mother a letter detailing our wedded bliss and requesting her input on capturing her batshite insane sister.” He pressed a kiss to the top of Hermione’s head and left the kitchen.
Harry paused beside Hermione. “Dobby still searching for that book in France you want?”
“Yes, if it was written by Ignotus Peverell it might reveal more about the Hallows than any resource we have. Since you’re blood-related to him, you should be able to open the book. The story I read in the Quibbler said that the book hadn’t been opened for hundreds of years and had changed hands dozens of times.” She frowned. “I mean—Luna’s father is a nutter, but he took his research into the Hallows and the Peverell family very seriously, so I don’t think the book is a product of his insanity.”
“All right, just make sure Dobby is getting enough sleep. He’s crazy enough to go until he drops from exhaustion if you don’t pay attention.”
“I will,” Hermione said, but her attention had already returned to her book.
He trailed his fingers through her hair but then left the kitchen in favor of his ritual room. While Hermione had eventually joined the ICW as a researcher, Harry had trained as a War Mage and had ultimately taken a mastery in runic magic. They’d been stationed in Britain at their own request until the ministry had turned on them. Draco had been well on his way to the directorship of St. Mungo’s due to his talent as a healer. They’d had a good, satisfying life until Amos Diggory and Molly Weasley had ruined it with their selfish bullshite.
He walked to his supply table, picked up the runic quill and the parchment that held the sequence for the final circle. After he finished the foundation circles, he had to carve protections into the walls and ward the space before he could start the magical communion rites which would solidify the ritual space. Dobby appeared beside him with a little pop.
“Master Dragon orders clothes for everyone. I need yous measurements.”
Harry nodded and stood still while Dobby swished a finger around and made notes on his notepad. When he’d graduated to a Muggle notepad was beyond Harry. “Did Draco give you a catalog to purchase from?”
“Yes, I have order form for tailor just need numbers.” Dobby wrote another set of numbers down. “Dobby thank Harry Potter.”
He popped away without another word, and Harry toed off his slippers so he could walk barefoot across the stone floor. The magic of the circle was pleasant and accepting already which boded well for his mastery over the circle itself. He found his starting point for the final circle and settled down on his stomach to work. It would be easy to accomplish, as he’d already made all the decisions necessary for the rune work. The forms were familiar and easy for him to achieve, though that had come with practice. He pushed a little magic into the rune he was working on to check the power distribution, and light flew around the two circles in the middle, lighting each rune with the same soft golden light.
“Looks perfect,” Draco murmured from the doorway where he was leaning.
“Yeah, it does. Finish your letter?”
“Yes, I sent it off with Mr. Darcy.”
Harry snorted. Hermione had named the adult barn owls Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth much to Draco’s chagrin, and he’d been too amused to protest it. The owls had promptly started answering to the names. The owlets had been named Charlotte, Anne, Emily, and Branwell. He winced because that had earned the two of them a lecture on classic literature when they hadn’t realized she’d named the little things after the Brontë family.
“It could be worse,” Harry said as he worked.
“How?” Draco demanded.
“She could’ve named him Moby Dick.”
Draco laughed and sighed. “I hate that book. I’m brewing healing potions today. Need anything?”
“Headache stuff,” Harry said absently. “Riddle has been hammering on me since our marriage was announced. Apparently, he takes being cockblocked badly.”
“That was the most unfortunate thing you’ve ever said in front of me,” Draco said.
“You know, I don’t think he actually has a dick. I’ve been thinking about the resurrection in the cemetery, and there was a distinct lack of penis.”
“I think…” Draco trailed off and shuddered. “It’s probably tucked away like a snake’s.”
Harry swallowed back bile. “Go make potions, because gross.”
Draco laughed and walked across the hall to the potion’s lab. It took about thirty minutes before Hermione appeared. She settled herself in the hallway between the two rooms with her books and went back to reading. Harry watched her for a bit before returning to his own work. It was better when he could see them both, so he relaxed as he worked and the circle spread out easily around him, magic flickered off the individual runes and circle the floor in gentle sweeps of light and color.
* * * *
He wasn’t at all surprised when Draco presented him with the potion used to create body runes after dinner, so he retrieved the parchment outlining the runic arrays he’d designed for the three of them. The quill for body work was gold with a needle-thin tip that injected the potion into the skin as he worked. Hermione was relaxed on the bed, legs spread. Draco had spelled off her pubic hair for her and had used a special lotion he created to sooth the skin as the spell wasn’t exactly pleasant. The lips of her pussy were petal soft as he stroked two fingers between them.
“I really love your cunt.” He glanced up and found her pink-cheeked. “And that you still blush after all these years.”
“What runes are going to give me?”
“In the front, on your pubic mound—vaginal health and healing. It’ll keep your muscles strong which while not an issue now will help you later in life with bladder control, especially after childbirth. I might have to refresh these runes later to shore up the magic, but it’ll be easy to do. On the small of your back, I’m going to give you another array geared toward anal health and safety. There will also be a prep sequence which has a pleasure enhancing aspect.”
“Sounds good,” Hermione wet her lips. “But different than what you gave me before.”
“I gave you both runes too soon because later I found I couldn’t remove them easily or rearrange them. This is a much better arrangement than the single array you had before.” He rubbed against her opening, and her body softened then dampened under his fingertips. “When we buy your dick I can tailor it to your runic array—make it feel like the real thing. Then when you’re fucking one us—you’ll get the full experience.”
She bit down on her lip. “Harry.”
“Oh, you like that?” He dipped one finger into her, and she clenched down. “You can finally get a proper blow job.” She shuddered and spread her legs wider.
“Is our Lord teasing you,” Draco questioned as he crawled up onto the bed.
“He’s terrible,” Hermione complained breathlessly and rocked down on his finger.
“The runes will set better if you’re aroused.”
“That’s the same dragonshite he told me,” Draco said.
Harry laughed and lifted his hand away from his wife, ignoring her little huff of displeasure. He picked up the quill and checked the potion level in the reservoir. “Be still, darling.”
Hermione stilled, and her breath caught as the tip of the quill touched her skin.
“Tickles,” Hermione corrected.
“How does your array feel, Dragon?”
“Perfect, better than the first set.” Draco slid down on his side to watch Harry work. He hummed as he studied the parchment. “This is good. The muscle support will be good for her when she’s pregnant—less stress on her back—but all of her clothes will have support charms in them for that as well.”
She tugged on his hair. “I’m not really going to field a Quidditch team, you know.”
Draco grinned. “It’s all your decision, love. Still keeping you healthy and strong is important to me.” He grew serious. “Women—even witches—die in childbirth all over the world every single day. I know the statistics far too well to not be concerned about this.”
“I know.” She rubbed her thumb along the shell of his ear.
Harry returned his gaze to the task before him and set the final rune in the array. “We’ll probably both be a little crazy on the matter of your safety, you know. I don’t think it’ll ever go away, not after what Percy did. Nothing has ever hurt so much.” The runes sank fully into her skin as he sealed the array and disappeared. “Perform a diagnostic, Dragon.”
Draco retrieved his wand from the bedside table and performed the medical scan. “Looks great—it settled well in her magic, and her core is powering the runes as intended.” He pointed his wand and Harry and performed the same scan. “Yours settled well.”
“I told you that you did a great job,” Harry said as he filled the quill with the rest of the potion and handed Draco the empty vial.
“Well, runic magic doesn’t come naturally to me the way it does you,” Draco murmured as he tossed the vial on the bedside table. “Speaking of—that’s the one class at Hogwarts that she takes that one of us doesn’t.”
“I’ll ask if I can audit it,” Harry said and glanced at his wife’s face. She was frowning. “What?”
“If Babbling says no, I’ll probably have to drop the class altogether.”
“You don’t even like runes,” Harry chided. “I hope our bond will have calmed down by then but if it doesn’t—I’m not sure that we could tolerate your being in such a vulnerable position. Even the lesser bond we accomplished in the future encouraged us to be very protective of you.”
“It made us homicidal,” Draco corrected. “Your death was probably the final straw for both of us. Harry gutted Percy Weasley like a fish.”
Harry flushed and sighed when Hermione blanched. “Draco.”
“Sorry,” Draco winced and caught Hermione’s hand, her fingers were trembling. He kissed her palm. “Truly.”
“It’s okay, I mean.” She huffed and sat up. “It’s not okay at all actually that you were both so hurt and damaged by what he did to me. I’ll try to remember that you can’t help but be a couple of militant psychopaths about my safety.” She pushed her hair back with her free hand. “I need to turn over, right?”
“Yeah,” Harry agreed.
She rolled to her hands and knees. Harry hummed under his breath and ran a hand down the middle of her back. “Just four runes here.” He touched the small of her back. “Lie down on your stomach, so you aren’t tempted to move.” He slid astride her thighs once she was in position and placed his left hand on her back between her shoulder blades to keep her in place.
Hermione took a deep breath when the quill touched her skin, and he paused. “Sorry.”
“No, it’s okay.” He used his thumb to rub against her spine—he’d discovered a year or so into his marriage to her that most of her back was an erogenous zone. Harry would readily admit that he often used that knowledge to his advantage. Dragging his nails down her back was a sure fire way to get himself laid.
She went limp on the bed as he placed the last rune and huffed. “You’re such a tease, Harry Potter.”
He raised an eyebrow at Draco, and his Consort smirked. Harry passed his quill to the blond and Draco put it on the bedside table with his wand. “I think she talks too much.”
“She always has,” Draco agreed. He laughed when Hermione lifted her head and glared at them both.
“She acts like she hasn’t gotten laid several times a day for the last week,” Harry said.
“That was charity,” Hermione declared. “How else are you supposed to build up your stamina?”
“You’re very generous, love,” Draco murmured and urged her to him. “Come here and sit on my cock.”
Harry watched as his wife eagerly slid astride Draco’s hip then settle right down on his cock with a little shudder. He let her move briefly, but then Draco’s hands settled on her hips and held Hermione still.
“You going to watch the show or join us?” Draco asked.
“I love to watch,” Harry said even as he slipped up behind Hermione and kissed her shoulder. “How do you want me?”
Hermione hummed under her breath. “In my arse.”
“Remember when you were worried she’d be freaked out about anal?” Draco asked.
Harry laughed. “Yeah.” He rubbed his thumb over the skin where her runes were hidden, and she shivered. “How’s that feel?”
“Open.” She shifted. “Empty.”
“Lean forward a bit,” Harry instructed and used a wandless charm to slick up his cock. He guided the head into her arsehole and slid in with a slow, sure movement.
“Fuck,” Draco hissed.
“Yeah,” Hermione said and tried to move.
“You stay still,” Harry ordered against her neck. “We’ll do the work.”
He let Draco set the pace since his Consort was in a better position to gauge their wife’s comfort. Harry cupped her breasts and plucked gently at her nipples eliciting little gasps from her with each tug. He buried his face against her hair and tried to think of anything but the hot, sweet pleasure that was coursing through his body. He was thirty years old, premature ejaculation should not be a problem and his wife’s charity work aside it wasn’t getting all that better.
“I’m going to look up a cock ring spell,” Hermione threatened as they fucked her. “Just see if I don’t.”
Draco laughed a little breathlessly. “I just have this stupid desire to come in you as soon as I’m inside.”
They all three stopped moving.
Harry let his hands fall from her breasts to rest with Draco’s on her hips. “Oh.”
Hermione was still, rigid between them. “That’s…Harry, do you feel the same way?”
“Yes,” Harry confessed. “It’s almost like a compulsion.” He kissed her shoulder. “Relax, sweetheart, you’re way too tense to have two dicks in you.”
She laughed but relaxed. “I do normally enjoy two dicks in me.” She shivered as they started to move again. “One of you rub my clit, I want to come while I’m full of you both.”
“You’re such a dirty girl,” Draco praised, but one of his hands left her hip and Hermione groaned. “We’re lucky wizards.”
“Very lucky,” Harry agreed. “You want it harder?”
“Yes, please.” She bounced a little then, and Harry stilled her with one hand. “Harry.”
“You are much too eager,” he said with a laugh and started to move. “I don’t want to hurt you—charms aren’t perfect, as you know.” Draco rolled his hips, and Harry shuddered at the way it felt. “I feel him moving inside you—it’s so hot.”
Hermione groaned. “Please. Yes, fuck.” She arched between them, her body going rigid as she came then she let herself be pulled down to rest on Draco’s chest.
Draco curled his fingers around her knees and drew them upward, opening her up further, and Harry sank in entirely with a groan. “Yeah.”
“You close?” Harry asked.
He increased his pace and Draco slowed in direct contrast. It was perfect, Harry let his head fall back briefly as he released. After a bit, he ran a hand down Hermione’s back and carefully pulled free of her arse. He dropped down on his side of the bed, and after nearly a minute, Hermione slipped off Draco and sprawled between them.
“There was a breeding clause in the new contract,” Hermione said.
“Yeah,” Draco sighed. “Fuck. I didn’t even consider it, but a magical marriage is sealed with the birth of a child. After that is accomplished, divorce is impossible.”
He hadn’t known that. Harry frowned at the ceiling, the implications of the new information warring in his brain. “You went to a healer about your pregnancy.”
Hermione sighed. “Yes, I saw a healer at the ICW building. The day before…well, I’d already performed the charm at home but I wanted a healer to check the status of the pregnancy to make sure it was healthy, and I was trying, vainly it seems, to keep it a secret from Draco. I wanted to surprise you both.”
“Who?” Draco asked.
“Son of a bitch,” Harry snapped and rolled from the bed. He pulled on a robe angrily. “As in the brother of Audrey Weasley nee Smythe?”
“I don’t understand,” Hermione said she wrapped a sheet around her and scooted off the bed. “Harry?”
“It’s odd, isn’t it? That they came the very day after you confirmed a pregnancy—a pregnancy that would’ve solidified our marriage magically. Then when things didn’t go his way—you were Percy’s first target. You were, honestly, Percy’s only target. Why deny themselves the Malfoy money? They would’ve inserted that little cunt into our lives in your place, forced us to accept it one way or another.” Harry walked away from them both. “They killed him on purpose!”
“Him?” Hermione questioned.
“The baby,” Draco said. “It was a boy. You didn’t know?”
“No, I told the healer that I wanted to be surprised…” She burst into tears.
Draco picked her up and took her back to bed and Harry joined them, though the renewed fury in him was almost physically painful. They curled around her and Hermione cried like her heart was broken. He met Draco’s gaze over her shaking form and saw his own fury mirrored in grey eyes.
* * * *
“Where are you going?”
Harry frowned and turned to find Draco standing in the doorway of the study he hadn’t bothered to arrange yet. “Where the fuck do you think I’m going?”
“I think you’re about to do something foolish and utterly Gryffindor.” Draco walked into the room and shut the door. He dropped down on the sofa next to the fireplace and stared at the flames. “You won’t feel better.”
“It’s not going to bring our baby back.”
“I know, goddamn it!” Harry took a calming breath and closed his eyes.
“You don’t even know where Percy Weasley is right now,” Draco chided.
“I want…” He trailed off. “I want our life back.”
“You think I don’t?” Draco questioned. “But this is where we are, Harry, and we knew that this is the price we would have to pay to save her.”
“It was worth it,” Harry said and walked across the room. He slouched down on the couch beside his Consort. “I’d have done anything to keep her with us.” He picked up Draco’s hand and frowned. “Sorry for yelling.”
“I know how hard you’re working to keep your temper contained,” Draco said finally. “I know the fury in you because it’s in me. I used to think I had a limit, a line I wouldn’t cross, and now I know that I don’t. I don’t have a limit, and maybe I never did, but I wasn’t aware enough to realize it. I grew up under a dark hand—my father is a bastard by anyone’s measure, and my mother is vicious. Oh, she loves me as much as she can, but even my mother has never been in my experience in the light. They are both ambitious, self-involved, and ultimately they are both dark.”
“So are we,” Harry said. “If you’d asked me if I’d ever consider myself a dark wizard, even a year ago I would’ve said no.”
“Would you kill an innocent?”
“No, at least I don’t think I would.” Harry bit down on his bottom lip. “But I can see myself justifying it to myself if I had to. A means to an end.”
“Collateral damage,” Draco murmured.
“Merlin.” Harry rubbed his face with both hands. “What the fuck is wrong with me?”
“You were raised by a pair of abusive Muggles,” Draco said. “You were manipulated, lied to, led down a path straight into a suicide then betrayed by the very people who claimed themselves to be your family. Frankly, I count myself lucky that you aren’t sacrificing unicorns and trying to recruit dementors.”
Harry snorted then laughed. “Draco.”
“I’m not on board with sacrificing unicorns, but if you want a pet dementor, I’ll help you catch one,” Draco said then grinned when Harry laughed louder. “Come upstairs to bed, and I promise you—I’ll help you murder Percy Weasley the first chance we get.”
Harry started to agree, but the wards trembled and he tilted this head. Fawkes appeared in a flash of flame and landed on the back of a chair. He dropped a letter down onto the seat and sang sadly.
“It’s got a tracking charm on it,” Draco said as he pointed his wand at the letter. He performed another diagnostic. “No portkey this time but there is a compulsion charm attached.”
“They probably want me to return to Grimmauld Place.”
“No,” Draco said as he studied the diagnostic. “It’s…behavioral but there is something off about it.” He glanced toward the phoenix. “See if he’ll tell you.”
“Fawkes, what’s wrong with the letter?” Harry asked.
The bird responded with a picture of Dumbledore and a wand. Harry grimaced. Then he got a picture of a grave. His mouth dropped open. “He showed me Dumbledore then a grave.”
“He’s probably spelled this thing to make you kill one or both of us,” Draco said. “We’ll need Hermione to break it down. She’s the spell crafter.”
Harry stood and walked to the back of the room. He emptied a small crate from a stationary store and brought it to the desk. “Levitate it into this, and we’ll put it in a stasis charm. There is no need to wake her up for this.”
Draco used his wand to bring the letter to the desk and dropped it in the box. They put the lid on it, and Harry cast a stasis charm then focused on the bird. “Fawkes, where did we last see each other?”
The bird sent him a mental image of Dumbledore’s office.
“Are you certain?” Harry questioned.
The bird just sang then disappeared in a flash of flame.
“He showed me Dumbledore’s office.”
“Then Fawkes didn’t make it back with us,” Draco murmured. “That’s unfortunate—that means we’ve probably lost the sword as well.”
“Yeah,” Harry said but frowned. “Or maybe the spell Dumbledore has on him is keeping him from communicating fully?”
“We’ll work on freeing him once we’re back at Hogwarts.”
“Let’s just kill Dumbledore instead,” Harry said. “It’ll be easier.”
Draco sighed. “You mean I’m going to spend my second sixth year trying to kill Dumbledore? Great.”
“We’re not going to try. We’re definitely going to murder that bastard,” Harry said darkly. “And anyone else who even looks like they might be a threat to our wife.”
“We have an accord.”
Harry leaned against the outer garden wall of Malfoy Manor. When he’d told his spouses that he kind of wanted Bellatrix Lestrange for his birthday, they’d been equal parts amused and exasperated, but Hermione had come up with a plan based on their knowledge of the manor house which was extensive since they’d visited it often in the other timeline. Draco’s disillusionment charm was nothing short of astounding, so Harry stayed exactly where Draco left him to avoid issues with them meeting up.
Draco slipped up beside him, and Harry relaxed.
“You’re going to be extremely pleased.”
“Am I?” Harry questioned.
“Dolohov is with her.”
“He was still in prison the last time around at this time,” Harry said. “Does this mean your father is at large as well?”
“Maybe but he isn’t in the manor,” Draco murmured. “He’s probably avoiding the Dark Lord if at all possible because Riddle will make him pay for my defection.”
“He may have killed him,” Harry said.
“My father set me up to be Voldemort’s fucktoy because it elevated him in that foul bastard’s ranks and he thought I was Slytherin enough to go along with it,” Draco said. “You know he never apologized for it. He said it was the best path we could take during the war and that I should’ve been willing to make the sacrifice for my family.”
“Arsehole,” Harry muttered.
“The break out hasn’t made the papers.”
“Not a surprise, Diggory has no experience in law enforcement, and he’ll bury this information as much as he can to make himself look in control. Rufus Scrimgeour might have been a total prick he was able to keep the Death Eaters in Azkaban for longer than this. It’s not great news for the public, but it’s outstanding for us. The more havoc Riddle is making across the country, the easier it’ll be to hide our own activities. I wonder where the Dark Bastard is.”
“Without my father or me, they can’t lock down the wards for the manor, so it’s not a safe location for him,” Draco said. “There is an unplottable and secret Lestrange property—he’s probably there. Though I’m sure, he’s furious about the less than luxurious accommodations. It’s basically a ten-room cottage.”
“How he must suffer,” Harry said dryly. “I also can’t believe Bellatrix was foolish enough to believe you’d actually show up here to transfer control of the wards to her.”
“Well, as far as she’s concerned I’m a scared sixteen-year-old kid doing what his mother told him to do,” Draco said. “On both accounts—my mother told Bella she instructed me to seek sanctuary with you. The giving of the wards is supposed to be a peace offering to the Dark Lord.”
“But your mother knows we’re going to set this thing on fire, right?”
“Yeah, she had the house elves remove all of the things she valued, and they’re all in Paris. She’ll hide there until it’s over, but she hasn’t found a property she likes well enough to purchase as of yet. She doesn’t have the Dark Mark so Riddle can’t torture her with it like he will my father.”
Harry stared at the manor house for a long minute. “Let’s go.” He squeezed Draco’s hand.
They held hands until they reached the front door then Draco ended his disillusionment charm and pulled open the door. Since Bella wasn’t connected to the wards, she had no warning of Draco’s arrival. Harry watched, bemused, as Draco leaned on the doorframe of the formal sitting room where Lestrange and Dolohov were waiting.
“I didn’t realize you were bringing a friend, Aunt Bella.”
Bellatrix smiled, but it was a cold and calculating twist of lips that looked appalling. “Look, Anton, it’s Lucius’ whelp right on time. Our Lord wants to have words with you, naughty boy.”
“Not remotely interested,” Draco said dryly. He inclined his head. “How does it feel?”
“What?” Bella questioned, her gaze narrowing.
“Having betrayed your magical house? I mean, you killed the de facto Earl of Blackmoor a few weeks ago, Aunt Bella. Has the family magic finished punishing you or do you still need potions to function?”
“Sirius Black was a blood traitor!” Bella shouted.
“Actually, technically and magically you’re the blood traitor,” Draco said. “I mean, you turned on your own family for an outsider. A half-blood outsider at that—the son of a Muggle. Our ancestors must be rolling over in their graves thinking about the noble House of Black reduced to crawling in the wake of that psychotic monster.”
She hissed and drew her wand.
Dolohov caught her wand arm in a firm grip. “No.” He huffed and released her. “We can deal with him properly after we’ve gotten control of the wards.”
Draco drew his wand and Harry put a piercing charm through Dolohov’s forehead. Bella darted out of the way of Dolohov’s falling body, but Draco caught her with a stunning spell. He rushed forward as Harry ended his disillusionment charm. Eventually, they’d decided the Draught of Living Death might interfere with the ritual, so Draco had brewed a potion used in magical surgeries to cause paralysis. Harry watched his Consort pour the potion down Bella’s throat then draw a vial of blood.
He pulled the ribbon from his pocket, and they tied it around the vial. “Avalon.”
The vial disappeared as soon as he released the ribbon. In order to get Bellatrix through their wards, they had to add her to them which had been a difficult decision for Harry to make. So difficult a decision that he’d considered buying another property and building a secondary ritual circle. He’d eventually capitulated to Draco’s plan mostly because arguing with both of his spouses was never optimal.
Harry turned and pointed his wand at the doorway, but Draco snatched his arm.
“No.” Draco stared at the doorway in shock.
Harry looked down and saw a beautiful jade green snake curling against the bottom of the frame. “You have a snake?”
“His name is Cygnus. Riddle let Nagini eat him.” Draco went to the snake and picked him up. “They all thought it was funny.”
“He’s your familiar,” Harry accused. “You said you’d never have a familiar.”
“Not another one,” Draco murmured. “I’d forgotten he was still alive. I feel like an arsehole. I didn’t even recognize him in my magic until just now.” He flushed. “Don’t look at me like that Harry—they made me watch Nagini eat him. It was a painful experience.”
Losing Hedwig had left a hole in him that had never healed, and he would readily admit that he’d never talked about it with anyone. “Okay—he’s venomous, so he’ll be considered a threat by the wards. We’ll have to add him to the matrix before you can bring him home. How old is he?”
“Ten years,” Draco said.
“You’ve had him since you were six and your father…” Harry exhaled sharply. “There is nothing good about your father’s brand of love, Dragon.”
Draco coaxed the four-foot snake into his coat pocket. “I know.”
Harry checked his watch and dropped the second portkey they’d made on Bellatrix’s still form. The witch disappeared in a swirl of portkey magic.
Draco turned to stare at Dolohov’s body. “How about we use this arsehole to tell Riddle to kiss our asses?”
“Snape will tell Dumbledore.” Harry grinned then. “Ideas?”
“Let’s portkey him to the center of Diagon Alley.”
“That’s probably going to traumatize some innocent people,” Harry admitted.
“The fucking sheeple in this country need a wakeup call,” Draco pointed out.
He didn’t disagree with that all, so he went to the small desk at the back of the room and picked up a quill. “Search the body.”
Draco drew his wand, performed a searching spell first. “He’s got a portkey.”
“Which means Bellatrix probably has one, too. Good. We’ll know where to send her remains.”
Draco snorted. “I love you.”
Harry grinned and dropped the quill on Dolohov’s body then performed a cleansing spell to remove any magical residue from the Malfoy family. No one on the so-called light side needed to know where the body was coming from for sure. He pointed his wand at the quill. “Portus.”
They stood still for a few seconds after the body disappeared.
“I have this insane desire to go to the Alley and watch the chaos that just caused,” Draco confessed.
“Hermione would be furious if we did something so foolish,” Harry said with some regret. “We’ve already deviated from the plan she approved of.”
“No plan survives engagement,” Draco protested. “Let’s go.”
They went down into the basement, and Draco activated the routing protocol because Lucius Malfoy was a terrible person and had designed a destruction spell for the manor into his own wards to prevent the ministry from taking the property from his family. Draco disillusioned them as they left through the escape passage and they stood at the property line while the manor burned. Harry pulled his Consort close, and Draco just nodded and turned his head.
“No,” Draco murmured. “I’ve made my choices, and I didn’t want that bastard in my house again. It’s you and Hermione—there’s no room for my father or his goals in my life.”
“I hate to leave you, but I need to add Cygnus to the wards before you activate your portkey.” Harry looked back at the manor. The fire was raging now, smoke filled the air.
Draco pulled the snake from his pocket, and Harry used his wand to harvest the snake’s magical signature. “It’ll be fine. I’m not going to lose it.”
“It’s odd seeing that snake just hovering in the air,” Harry said with some amusement. “Give me five minutes.”
“Five minutes,” Draco agreed.
Harry activated his portkey and seconds later landed in the foyer of the Arx. Hermione appeared immediately and frowned as he ended the disillusionment charm.
“His familiar was on the property—he’d forgotten the snake was alive.”
“Oh.” Hermione blinked. “Did you know about this?”
“No,” Harry frowned. “It’s going to be a conversation—he was very hurt by what happened.”
He walked back to his study. The room had been put together in his absence—though he didn’t know if it was Hermione or Dobby’s doing. Neither had been impressed with the neglect of his home office space. Adding the magical signature to the ward stone was just the work of seconds, so he did that then walked back out to sit on the stairs. Hermione followed him.
“What do you know?”
“He’s had the snake since he was six years old and Voldemort fed him to Nagini—they made Draco watch.”
Hermione frowned. “I’ll never understand his relationship with his parents.”
“Neither one of us really have a relatable experience.” Harry took a deep breath. “Mine are dead, and yours are…”
“Absent,” Hermione admitted. “They never wanted children, you know. I was a surprise, and my mother had her tubes tied the day after she gave birth. They never pretended otherwise.”
Draco appeared before Harry could respond. He frowned at them both but then rolled his eyes and walked over to them. They made room for him in the middle, and he pulled Cygnus from his pocket. “He’s an Okinawan habu—the magical version is venomous the moment they are hatched. He’s an adult.”
Harry held out a hand, and Draco transferred the snake to his hand. “Hello, lad.”
“Hello, Speaker.” Cygnus curled around his fingers. “Tell my Master I don’t like being left behind.”
Harry grinned. “He doesn’t like being left behind.”
Draco took the snake back and rubbed the reptile’s head with a thumb. “This is my husband and my wife. You are not to injure them under any circumstances.”
“He says he understands,” Harry murmured.
Draco put the snake down on the step, and he slithered down to the floor. “Go explore. Don’t hurt the cat.” He watched Cygnus until he disappeared into the formal dining room. “Riddle found my attachment to the snake irritating—he said nothing should be more important to me than him. So shortly after I was marked, he made me bring Cygnus into the room where he held court, and he told Nagini to eat my familiar. It was one of the most magically wounding experiences of my life until the moment Weasley murdered…” He trailed off and rubbed his face with a shaking hand. “I buried it pretty deep for several reasons but mostly because it was just one more horrible memory of Riddle.”
“Your parents…” Hermione trailed off.
“My father is a slave to Voldemort—all marked Death Eaters are. Dissention is a death sentence, and there is no mercy in Riddle. He looks like a monster, thinks like a monster, and sometimes makes the pretense of humanity, but the fanaticism of his followers honestly makes that unnecessary. It’s his own vanity that makes him pretend to be some sort of benevolent god.”
Harry was reminded of the moment when Voldemort offered to allow Neville Longbottom to surrender. “It’s not just the Death Eaters that are his slaves—many in the Light and especially those who never once considered fighting back are his slaves, too. They are enslaved by the fear he elicits merely be existing. They couldn’t even say his name when they thought he was dead.”
“As for my mother, her only goal during the war was to make sure the two of us lived through it. I think she might have written my father off as dead the night Riddle was resurrected. His eventual death in Azkaban was like a footnote in her life. I’m not saying she didn’t love him, in her own way, but their marriage was arranged.”
In the distance, he heard a scream.
“Our guest is awake again,” Hermione said dryly. “She woke up when she hit the altar, by the way, but I stunned her because I got tired of her screaming like the lunatic she is.”
Bellatrix screamed again.
“Well, you’re the one that said we should probably have her conscious during the ritual,” Draco reminded.
“No blame,” Hermione said and poked him in the side when he laughed.
Bellatrix screamed again.
Harry sighed and stood. “Let’s get this done.” He offered Hermione his hand. He pulled her up from the stairs and brought her close. “Mi.”
“I haven’t changed my mind,” Hermione said quietly. “I’m in this with you both—all the way—Harry.”
“I worry that we’ll take a turn you can’t handle,” Harry admitted.
“Well, stop it,” she muttered as they headed toward the stairs.
“We killed Dolohov,” Draco announced. “We portkeyed his body to Diagon Alley.”
Hermione laughed and glanced over her shoulder as they walked down the hall. “Bragging is ugly.”
Harry grinned and prodded her into the ritual room. Bellatrix was on the altar that he’d designed specifically for the ritual they were about to do. The witch hissed at the sight of the three of them, her eyes wide.
“You’ve been given a paralysis potion,” Harry said as he unbuttoned his shirt. Draco and Hermione both went to the large bathing cistern he’d installed in the back of the ritual space.
“You stole from me!” Bellatrix hissed.
“I disowned you financially,” Harry corrected. “You murdered my godfather, you twisted cunt. Be fortunate we have specific plans for you, or I’d spend the next month killing you.”
He finished undressing and dropped his clothes where Draco and Hermione had piled theirs and stepped into the cistern. The large, shallow platinum lined bowl was covered entirely with runes. Harry had spent two full days inspecting it after Dobby brought it and had in the end only added three of his own runes. Water misted around them and slid off their skin with tiny sparks of magic. Draco stepped out first slipped on a shining silver robe which he fastened before picking up Hermione’s. She stepped out, and he helped her put it on and carefully closed it. It was a little amusing when Draco picked up his robe as well, but Harry stepped out and let his Consort help him. He turned, and Draco closed the robe and tied it with slightly trembling fingers.
“Dragon.” He caught Draco’s hands and held them.
Draco took a deep breath. “I died in the last ritual I participated in.”
“Oh.” Harry nodded. “Do you need a minute?”
“No, I’m good. Let’s get this bitch out of our home as quickly as possible.”
Harry turned to Hermione. “Dolohov had a portkey—she probably has one as well.”
Hermione drew her wand and used a searching spell. A small snake shaped broach glowed, so she summoned it and flicked it out of the ritual room. It landed in the hall with a little tinkle of sound. “I’ll deconstruct it so we can use it to get rid of her body.”
“I’m not afraid,” Bella declared. “This little show isn’t going to work!”
“Oh, she thinks we’re trying to scare her,” Hermione said thoughtfully. “Do you think he purposefully recruited idiots or if just being in his company makes people stupid?”
“Well, her parents were first cousins,” Draco said dryly and grinned when Hermione laughed. “I always counted myself lucky that my mother was allowed to marry out of the family.”
Harry silenced Bella because she really had nothing to say that he wanted to hear and he didn’t want her to distract him or disrupt the ritual with her insanity. They hadn’t created the marriage bond because Hermione was still researching the Trinity and what it would accomplish for them, so he’d had to structure the warding ritual carefully to avoid a conflict between Hermione’s magic and his own as the caster. Though it was an odd thing to be grateful for, their sacrifice was female, and that had ended up providing the balance needed in the circle.
He’d carved and placed the rune stones in the circle—each reflecting their circumstances in the world in relation to the Hallows. He watched them take their places in the circle then he stepped into place at the circle lit under his feet—magic drifted invitingly through the runes of each carved circle and the rune stones started to glow as they activated.
Harry drew an athame. “May Magic bless us in our endeavors.” He paused briefly, startled at how weird it felt to invoke the traditional blessing at the beginning of a ritual sacrifice but pushed forward. “Ultra velum intrabit in mortis!”
The light in the circle darkened from gold to black and smoke curled around their feet. He glanced briefly at his spouses and found them both resolute and clear-eyed. They were already too far gone to retreat from the ritual, but he was relieved to see they were still on the same page with him. Using the athame, he drew the rune Algiz in the air in front of them pushed it across the circle until it hovered in front of Hermione. Then drew it again for Draco and finally for himself. The runes hung in the air in front of them, golden light in direct contrast to the smoky black magic roiling at their feet.
He drew the final rune, Gebo, needed for the ritual and pushed it until it was in place above Bella’s still form. The older witch’s eyes were wide with fear, and she was screaming her head off under the silencing charm. Had it been anyone else in the world, Harry might have had the decency to feel guilty. But she’d murdered his godfather, and he didn’t have an ounce of pity for Bellatrix Lestrange.
“Bellatrix Druella Lestrange nee Black as the Earl of Blackmoor and the patriarch of your paternal magical house, I declare you an Oath Breaker.” He pointed his wand at the woman, a deep cold settled in his belly as he stared at her and their eyes met. “Tutela animus! Amet perforabitque sacrificium!” The athame left his hand with a snap of magic and slammed into Bellatrix’s chest, so hard Harry heard a distant crack of bones breaking.
Magic swept around them, and the runes that hovered in front of them burst forward, and Harry sucked in a deep breath as his own rune sank deep into his body and magical core. He had a few seconds to process that before pain burst through his head and he dropped to his knees with a scream. Two sets of hands were on him in an instant, and the last thing he heard was Hermione saying his name urgently.
* * * *
Harry woke with a start and found himself staring at a man he’d never met. The man frowned and sighed.
“That was messy, Potter.”
He sat up and looked around him—he was nowhere. “Where…” The scenery around him changed, and he found himself at King’s Cross. He lurched to his feet. “I’m dead? Who the fuck are you?”
The man raised an eyebrow at him. “Death dies when he wishes it so no you’re not dead, you foolish git.” He sighed and circled Harry, a frown firmly in place on an elegant and beautiful face.
“Who are you?” Harry asked in frustration.
“I have many names,” the man said absently. “But you may call me Zir.”
Harry’s mouth dropped open. “The Lord of Magic?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact.” He smiled. “I’m sure you’re honored.”
“Actually, I’m really pissed off. Why am I here? What’s happening to my body?”
“You’re unconscious, and your spouses are quite beside themselves, but honestly you married two extremely intelligent people, Potter, you’d have thought at least one of them would’ve questioned whether or not it was a good idea to build a mental defense ward in your body when you’re hosting a bloody horcrux.” Zir sighed. “You’ll let them both know that I expect better in the future.”
Harry frowned at him.
“Stop frowning at me, Potter,” Zir ordered. “It’s bloody annoying especially since I’ve let you fuck about with time as you have without a single complaint.”
Harry glared. “If you tell me I can’t get revenge…”
“Oh, no, I don’t care,” Zir waved a hand and chair appeared. He sat down and threw one leg negligently over an arm. “Those people brought that shite on themselves. Though do be a fair dark wizard and try to avoid killing innocent people.”
“Of course,” Harry agreed. “I’m not a monster.”
“At least you’re entertaining so there’s that. I’ve taken the horcrux from your head, by the way.” He paused and smirked. “You’re welcome.”
“Thanks.” Harry looked around. “So, you’re kind of arsehole. I’m surprised.”
“Did you expect me to be some sort of angelic type creature?”
“Yes, frankly, I did. I don’t know if I’m relieved or disappointed.”
“I leave such things to my better half.” Zir shrugged. “You’ll wake up soon. Do me a favor—send me Dumbledore sooner rather than later. That arsehole is making a real mess down there, and I’m tired of his bullshite.”
“Of course, my Lord,” Harry said and bowed. “I’ll make it a priority.”
“See that you do,” Zir said. “We’ll speak again, but I’ll try to avoid sending your spouses off the deep end next time. They’re kind of excitable, you know.”
“Thanks,” Harry said dryly, and everything went black.
Harry woke slowly, the room was quiet. He turned his head and encountered Draco sitting in a chair beside the large bed they usually shared. “Hey.”
Draco’s head jerked up, his features were paler than normal and dark skin slashed under his eyes. He reached out and took Harry’s hand. “I need you to know that I don’t and never would accept the loss of you as some sort of trade-off for her. I’m a greedy man, Harry, and I won’t willingly part with either one of you. This is your fault—the way I feel. I wasn’t happy, but I was content before you invaded my life with your hero complex and badly planned solution to my Azkaban problem.”
His fingers clenched painfully around Harry’s. “But I went along with it because I had nothing left to lose. But I should’ve known better because you’re an arsehole and you started to look at me like I was more than an obligation, more than just another sacrifice you made. You took such pride in my accomplishments—more than anyone else ever bothered to. Then one day for some reason I can’t fathom you started looking at me like you loved me and it was unnerving and ridiculous. I felt like I was drowning, dying a little each day under the immense burden of your approval and affection.”
Harry started to speak, but Draco shook his head.
“Then you came into my office one sunny afternoon, fresh from a broom flight and you looked so beautiful and magical. I don’t even remember deciding to kiss you, and by the end of it I was relieved we made it to a bed. It was everything our first time wasn’t—passionate and real. Everything was suddenly perfect, and I didn’t think I could want another the rest of my life.” Draco turned his face away from Harry, and his jaw worked as he fought for control of his emotions. “Then she showed up on our doorstep with a bruised face and a broken heart. I saw the way you looked at her, the way your hands clenched in her clothes as you held her. I knew you loved her and that you surely always had. When you said you wanted to marry her—it hurt. I thought I was enough for you.”
Harry wanted to speak, wanted to protest that his marrying Hermione hadn’t been about needing one of them more than the other, but he held his tongue. Draco had never been so open about that time in their life, and he didn’t want him to stop speaking before he’d gotten it all out.
“I was prepared to be set aside, actually, to be returned to a place of obligation in your life. Then.” He laughed. “Merlin, you don’t even know what a mess you were the day you married her, and you got so drunk after the consummation I was worried you’d get alcohol poisoning. I dosed you with two different potions after you passed out. It was then that I realized I wasn’t a third wheel in some epic love story finally coming to pass. Six months after you married her, she came to me. Did you know that?”
Harry shook his head.
“She was a nervous wreck and worried that you were going to start hating her because she didn’t like sex. She ended up crying herself to sleep on the sofa in my office after we had what was probably her first sex talk. As smart as she is and as much as she’d read, she was utterly unprepared to go to bed with a man, you know.”
Harry hadn’t known at the time, and he still felt an immense amount of guilt for how much emotional turmoil Hermione had suffered during the first year of the marriage because he’d had his head up his arse.
“So I watched her get comfortable in our life, watched her realize that you were in love with her. I have to tell you that was a huge revelation for her. One day she asked me, in all seriousness, if it was okay if sometimes you could spend the night with her instead of me. I hadn’t realized until that moment that you’d only slept her once—your wedding night. Sometimes you came to bed late, and I’d stupidly assumed you were with her.”
Harry winced. He’d hated the resulting conversation the three of them had about that—it had resulted in their first stair-case confessional as that was where Hermione had sat down and started crying. They’d sit down beside her and when she finished crying she’d told them plainly that she was miserable and scared. It had hurt a great deal to see how much damage he’d done to his friendship with Hermione by ignoring the truth of their situation.
“I can’t even tell you when I fell in love with her and how stupid I felt for it. We’d become friends, sort of. A united front against your epic inability to stay out of trouble. She said it first—our brave and fierce little witch. We were arguing over a magical theory, and she got fed up with me—puffed up all up like an irritated owl and declared the only reason she wasn’t hexing me mute for a year was that she loved me. The moment she said it, I saw regret and fear settle on her like a veil. She started to cry, and I’ve never really handled that well, as you know.” He ran a shaking hand through his hair.
“Dragon,” Harry murmured.
Draco didn’t look at him. “You said during the ritual that you’d never be able to choose between the two of us. There was a time when I couldn’t have said that, you know. I grew to love her, and that affection brought with it an unexpected desire—I’d never had a single interest in a witch before her. I was afraid of the situation, afraid that you’d be furious with us both for changing the dynamics of our situation after we’d finally got things settled into a somewhat peaceful arrangement even if you did appear to be quite frustrated by the game of musical beds the two of us played with you.”
Harry scowled. That was months of bullshite he never wanted to be repeated. He’d been installed in the “lord’s suite” of the house, and his two spouses had proceeded to take turns sleeping with him for six solid months. Sex had started to feel like a duty instead of a pleasure, but he’d seen no real way out of it without hurting them both, so he’d adhered to their silly little schedule and hadn’t complained.
“I thought you’d say no,” Draco continued. “In fact, we were both prepared for it. You have a jealous nature that we acknowledged and dealt with the best we could. But you didn’t say no, and it was such a relief to be able to admit that I loved her.”
Harry had resolved early on to never, ever reveal to his lovers that he’d been absolutely furious when they’d first told him they’d fallen in love with each other. It had felt selfish and mean from the very first instant so he’d buried it as deep as he could until he could go somewhere private and work it out in his head and in his heart. He’d agreed to the second marriage contract for the two of them without any sort of discussion because he wanted them to be happy. He’d also rather stupidly resented the fact that they’d had a beautiful and very pleasurable first night together. Another thing he’d pushed so deep he barely allowed himself to think about it anymore. It was petty and stupid.
“Still even after I married her, if there had come the point where I had to make a choice between you—I’d have chosen you. Things shifted and changed over the years and our relationship together as a triad grew so strong and became this beautiful, perfect thing in my life that I guarded more zealously than I ever have anything else. Losing her like we did, it broke me wide open Harry, and I was just as resolved as you were in those final moments before we came back in time. Now, I know that I couldn’t choose between the two of you—that I would rather die with you both than live a half-life with just one of you.”
He felt the same, so it was a relief to hear Draco say it.
“Your heart stopped,” Draco said shortly. “Your whole body sort of stuttered—everything stopped for nearly thirty seconds, and I thought you were dead. After the sacrifices we made, to return to the past, it seemed like I was being punished for every dark thing I’ve ever done. But then your body trembled and all of your vitals returned to normal.”
Harry cleared his throat. “How long have I slept?”
“Six fucking days, you wanker,” Draco snapped crossly. “You were magically exhausted! Your brain activity was off the charts the entire time, and your scar bled for nearly twenty-four hours no matter what we did.”
“I’m here,” Hermione said.
Harry turned and found her in a chair in the far corner of the room. “Hey, you, did you want to make some epic, heartfelt confession?”
“No, I’m considering cursing you silly,” Hermione said. She stood and walked across the room then crawled into the bed. With a little huff, she curled up beside him and hooked one leg over his. “You’re such a tosser, Harry Potter.”
“It’s been pointed out to me that I married two extremely intelligent people who might have questioned the wisdom of erecting a mental defense ward in a person with a horcrux.”
“Who?” Draco asked in confusion. “Did you have a dream?”
“No,” Harry said.
“You went to the white place again,” Hermione surmised. “Like the last time when you met that bastard Dumbledore? Who was there to feed you a bunch of tripe and bullshite this time?”
Harry laughed. “Well, I wasn’t fed anything, but I did get a bit of a lecture from the Lord of Magic for not thinking shite through. Come to find out he’s a complete arsehole.”
“You met…” Draco trailed off. “Zirnitra.”
“He said I should call him Zir.”
“You met the Lord of Magic, the black dragon.” Hermione huffed. “Merlin, Harry, epic weird shite is always happening to you. It’s such a trial on my patience, I want you to know. Why can’t you be normal and have a normal faint like a normal wizard who did something stupid?” She crawled off the bed and started to pace. “Great, fantastic. Zir thinks I’m an idiot? I am an idiot! Because it isn’t like I forgot you have that dark git’s soul fragment stuck in your bloody hard head!” She turned on her heel and stalked right out of the bedroom.
“Zir kept the horcrux!” Harry yelled after her.
“Fantastic!” Hermione shouted back.
Draco laughed and slid onto the bed. He pressed a soft kiss to Harry’s cheek then another to his lips. “At least she’s not making herself sick with worry anymore.”
“I’m sorry I worried you both,” Harry murmured. “Truly.” He cupped Draco’s face with one hand. “You were never just an obligation. I can’t say I loved you when I married you, but I did want you quite desperately. I think maybe I did for years before I admitted it to myself.”
“He stalked you like a deviant most of our original sixth year,” Hermione tattled as she re-entered the bedroom. “Of course, he kept telling everyone you were an evil, dark Death Eater up to no good but that in no way explained why he watched your arse every single chance he had.”
She crawled up onto the bed with a large book and sat down. “So, my main concern about the Trinity bond was actually the horcrux as I didn’t want to end up sharing it with you. And I also worried how removing it might impact our bond in the future since the only way you got it out last time was to let Riddle AK you. Our bond would’ve shattered even with a “temporary” death for you.” She opened the book and dropped it on the bed in front of her. “We rescheduled your appointment with Ragnok, and he didn’t ask for a reason. Dumbledore, of course, has sent a letter every single day via Fawkes trying to get a response from you.”
“She has, in turn, sent three howlers back via phoenix fire,” Draco said. “She’s been quoting all the laws he breaks every single time he sends a charmed letter to you.”
Harry laughed. “Hermione.”
“The sanctimonious old bastard,” Hermione fumed as she worked through her book. “We have to drink a magical synergy potion the day before the Trinity ritual, but it’s easy to brew, and Draco has practiced it a few times while you had a mini-break with the Lord of Magic.”
“I think I had a five-minute conversation with the arsehole.”
“Stop calling the Lord of Magic an arsehole,” Draco hissed. “It’s like you have a death wish.”
“Actually, I’ve been informed that as the Master of Death—I die when I wish it, and I think maybe the Hallows made us kind of immortal?” He winced when their mouths dropped open in unison. “Sorry?”
* * * *
The problem with being married to two intellectuals is that when faced with a problem that defied all logic they both retreated to the library. Harry leaned on the doorframe. There was a new trunk in the room, it had the Malfoy coat of arms on it, and Dobby was taking books out of it individually and performing a spell on them before adding them to the main collection.
“You have the Malfoy library?”
Draco looked up. “Mother sent it as a wedding present. She has no need of it, and my father only had the collection on display for appearances. He’ll think the books were lost with the manor, so Dobby is removing the entailment spell and adding them to the Potter collection.”
Harry nodded. “Need me to read anything or clean any of the books?”
Draco motioned toward a desk at the back. “Dobby put all the parselmagic titles there.”
Hermione frowned at him. “No, Harry. You’re not going to let Dumbledore’s prejudice to make you ashamed of your own damn legacy.”
He sighed. “I don’t know the first thing about my own damn legacy, you know.” He looked at the stack of books. Most of them looked several hundred years old. “There’s a wizard who works for Gringotts—he offered to tutor me once in parselmagic, but I declined. I was honestly quite insulting, and he avoided me after that. I’ll speak to Ragnok concerning learning more about it. I do believe that I should avoid the books for the time being. I absorb spells instinctually. I’ve used magic in the past that I barely understood because of that ability.” He glanced toward Draco and took a deep breath.
His Consort’s gaze narrowed. “We’re not having that discussion again, Harry. We talked it to death in the previous timeline, and now I don’t even have a scar to make you frown every time we get naked.”
“I never got to have the discussion,” Hermione pointed out. “But then I only ever punched him in the face.”
Harry snorted, and Draco grinned. “At the time, it was probably the best thing I’d ever seen.” He stretched and sighed. “I think I’ll go make lunch.” Dobby huffed, but Harry pointed a finger at him. “You’re very busy, and I want to cook.”
Dobby glared. “When Winky comes I have back up!”
“Don’t threaten me,” Harry ordered and left before something got thrown at him. It had taken the house elf about two days to realize he was surrounded by arseholes so he might as well just be himself.
He ended up roasting a chicken, mostly because he knew Dobby had plans for it and Harry was all about proving who was the biggest arsehole in Hermione’s castle. By the time he had the table set, the three of them had wandered into the kitchen. He made Dobby sit at the table which Draco found amusing, and Hermione barely paid attention to because she was half in a book.
Harry sat down, reached out and took Hermione’s book. “No books at the table.” He handed the book to Draco who put it on the counter behind him. He turned to Dobby. “You can serve if you want.”
Dobby raised an eyebrow, snapped his fingers and their plates filled. “Dobby buy two chickens, hide the other from mean Master Harry.”
Draco laughed and opened the bottle of wine. Harry glanced toward Dobby before focusing on Hermione. “Did you get rid of our guest?”
Hermione smirked. “Yes, I did. I couldn’t deconstruct the portkey without serious security risks. It had tracking elements, so I think Riddle is issuing his own portkeys and using them to keep track of his idiots. At any rate, we just reattached it and activated it. Dobby tell Harry what you heard in Dumbledore’s office.”
Dobby paused and looked at his spoonful of peas. He put it in his mouth, chewed carefully and swallowed. “Lady Potter mean Greasy Git or One Leg Man.”
“Both,” Hermione said. “The Greasy Git first.”
Dobby nodded and started cutting up his chicken. “Greasy Git tell Dumbles that Mad Bella be killed and that the Dark Git suspects that Mistress Cissa killed her, but Greasy Git tells Dumbles that Mad Bella was supposed to meet Master Dragon at Malfoy Manor, but it burned down.” Dobby paused. “Dobby upset to miss the manor burning down.”
“We already apologized,” Hermione reminded.
“Master Harry didn’t,” Dobby said.
Harry sighed and stabbed a roasted potato. “Dobby, I’m very sorry that you didn’t get to watch Malfoy Manor burn to the ground. We’ll be more considerate of your feelings in the future.”
“Dobby not sitting on stairs with you lot,” Dobby said firmly. “So Dumbles thinks Master Dragon kill Mad Bella which not upset him but make him worry that Master Harry is going dark. Not that Dumbles has any room to talk. He murder poor Minister Fudge who be just dumb and that no reason to kill someone.”
Harry wasn’t entirely sure he agreed. If he’d had a chance, he’d have probably killed Fudge though it wouldn’t have been solely because he was stupid. “What about Moody?”
“Dumbles argue with One Leg Man over him cursing my Harry Potter and hurting him. One Leg Man say that Harry Potter marry a Death Eater so they should be putting him down before he go dark. Dumbles get really mad and remind One Leg Man that only Harry Potter can kill the Dark Lord. They be talking about after war then and controlling yous magics, so Dobby be cursing the shite out of them.”
Harry paused in taking a bite of chicken and stared. “What with?”
“He meant that literally,” Draco said wryly. “He cursed them with incontinence. They tried to cure themselves for three days before they went to St. Mungo’s for treatment.”
“You made Albus Dumbledore, and Mad-Eye Moody shite themselves for three days?”
“Five days, St. Mungo’s only cure them yesterday,” Dobby said earnestly. “Dobby gotta be the best arsehole he can be, so he be serving the House of Potter with honor.”
Harry found he couldn’t argue with that. “Did you hear anything else interesting?”
“Greasy Git tell Dumbles that dead Death Muncher in Diagon Alley go with Mad Bella and not come back but Mad Bella body come back to the Dark Lord, and Death Muncher go to Diagon Alley which upset dumb wizards who run around screaming like children. Dobby not impressed.”
“I’m not either,” Harry admitted. “Dobby, you know what happened to Bellatrix, right?”
“Dobby know,” the house elf took a healthy bite of chicken and chewed it cheerfully before continuing, “Mad Bella betrayer. Dobby’s mum say if you not want a fight, you not start a fight.”
“All right.” Harry focused on his food and considered how he should respond to the various issues that Dobby’s spying had revealed. “Tomorrow I’d like you to spy on Minister Diggory and see what his stupid little committee is up to. Dumbledore will probably try to implicate Draco in some Death Eater crime eventually—it would serve his purpose well enough to try to end our triad marriage.”
Dobby nodded and put down his fork. “Can Dobby be excused?”
Harry raised an eyebrow. “You didn’t clean your plate.”
Dobby glared at him then turned to stare at the single pea that was sitting on the edge of his plate. He scrunched up his nose, reached out and flicked it right off the plate on to the table. Then he turned to stare at Harry.
Harry had to bite the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing. “Your problem-solving skills are nothing short of genius. You can go.”
The house elf popped away, and Hermione burst out laughing.
* * * *
He cleaned the ritual circle four times before he was satisfied that the dark magic had been completely removed. Hermione and Draco hadn’t complained about his thoroughness, so he assumed they’d been just as concerned as he was about the residual magic from the sacrifice of Bellatrix. The space felt unexpectedly wholesome despite what they’d done so Harry had allowed himself to relax and concentrate on the changes he needed to make for the circle. It wasn’t quite right, but tweaking was to be expected as they settled into their ritual magic in their younger bodies.
Draco and Hermione had more intellectual knowledge regarding ritual craft, but Harry had the practical experience as the ICW had thrown him the deep end on training as a war mage. He’d excelled much to the surprise of many who had expected a lazy arse content to skate by in life on one lucky moment. Anyone with the slightest bit of magical knowledge had known that Harry’s defeat of Voldemort in the first timeline had been nothing short of a miracle. Riddle’s experience and power were unparalleled, yet Harry had emerged from their final confrontation the winner—by use of a disarming charm. He’d shied away from awards, refused the Order of Merlin the ministry had repeatedly tried to give him, and never once let anyone lie in his presence about the defeat of the wizard that had petrified the entire country so much they feared speaking his name.
He carved the symbol for the Deathly Hallows in the center of the ritual circle and arranged their rune stones to form a triangle with him at the top. He sat down with Hermione’s stone and used a spell to remove all the temporary runes he’d carved on it for the warding ritual. “I’m ready for you, Mi.”
Hermione stood up from her place near the cistern and walked across the room. She sat down directly across from him so that the large rune stone was between them.
“I’ve chosen the laguz rune for you,” Harry murmured as he started to carve the rune into the stone. “In this context, it represents you magically—a magical force for renewal and life energy. It is also a blessing for fertility. What affinity will share with us?”
Hermione chewed her bottom lip and took a deep breath. “One of the reasons why the Department of Mysteries tried quite ardently to recruit me in the future as I had an undeveloped magical ability that they wanted to make use of.”
Harry inclined his head. “What is it?”
“Telepathy.” She frowned. “But they grew insistent and aggressive—Ron started to pressure me to agree so I went to a goblin healer and I had the ability permanently corrupted. Then I agreed to be tested again by St. Mungo’s, and it was reported to the ministry that my ability was untrainable. They knew never knew I had the goblins help me. I have a full host of intellectual abilities—advanced memory, speed reading and the like but neither one of you really need those. We could train ourselves and build a private communication network through telepathy. Though we’d probably have to use magical amplifiers for it to be of any use.”
“I could build an amplifier into our bracelets,” Harry said and turned to Draco.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Draco questioned.
Hermione shrugged and looked away from them. “I was ashamed, I guess. I was cowardly about it. I should’ve had the strength to stand up to them all and tell them to fuck off, but I didn’t, and my solution was permanent, so there was no use telling you both that I magically crippled myself to avoid being made a slave to the ministry.”
“It would take a while to train ourselves,” Draco said. “But we’ve got plenty of time, and it would be a very valuable skill for us all.”
Harry nodded. He guided her hands to her stone and placed them, so they framed the rune. “Push your magic into this until it’s glowing as brightly as your best lumos charm.”
Hermione let her gaze fall to the stone and slowly the rune filled with light until it was so bright looking at it hurt a little then she lifted her hands. “How was that?”
“Perfect,” Harry said as the light dimmed to a reasonable level, and he used a spell to seal the stone. “This is your place in our circle—rebirth.” He stood after she nodded and moved to Draco’s stone.
Draco joined him and Harry shifted the stone just slightly until it felt right then began to carve. “Your rune is algiz. In this context it represents you magically—it is your nature to shelter and protect those you love. You are a guardian, and instinctually you see the danger in hidden places. What affinity will you share with us?”
“I’m a natural animagus, everyone in my father’s line is though I lost the ability to assume my form after I took the Dark Mark, as you know. I’d like to give you both that gift.”
Harry smiled. He’d never been able to achieve the transformation in the future due to the inability to settle his mind fully—leftover damage from the horcrux. Draco’s form was the same as father’s, a solid white ferret which amused Harry to no end though he’d been disappointed for his Consort’s sake that the Dark Mark had cut off his access to his animagus form.
“Sounds great,” Harry agreed and glanced toward Hermione who looked thrilled with the offer. He placed Draco’s hands where he wanted them. “Now, push your magic as Hermione did.” He sealed it after Draco lifted his hands. “You haven’t assumed your form since we came back in time, have you?”
Draco shook his head. “No, I hadn’t thought about it. It was damaged for so long that I got used to not touching that part of my magical legacy.”
He closed his eyes, magic shimmered around him while he transformed, but instead of the ferret form, Harry expected they were greeted with a raven. Draco ruffled shining black feathers, his confusion evident in the tilt of the bird’s head. Hermione conjured a mirror and put it down in front of him. The raven stepped back from the mirror and Draco returned to his human form.
“What the actual fuck?” Draco demanded.
“You’re a harbinger of death,” Hermione said quietly. “The cloak has obviously impacted your magic in ways we haven’t figured out, yet.”
Draco huffed and paced around a bit. “Okay—well.” He took a deep breath. “I was always disappointed actually that I didn’t have an avian form because I wanted to fly without a broom.” He waved a hand. “I’ll understand if you don’t want this.”
“What are the animals traditionally associated with death?” Harry questioned and turned to Hermione for an answer.
“Ravens, snakes, owls, vultures, bats, the moth, and cats. Magical animals? The basilisk, the phoenix, nundu, and dementors, of course.” Hermione wet her bottom lip. “I’d actually be perfectly okay with being any of those.”
Harry grinned at her. “I’m not shagging a dementor.”
Hermione laughed. “I’d look awesome in those robes, and you know it. But considering Draco’s own form is non-magical it’s doubtful that we’d get something awesome like a basilisk. I actually always thought I might be an owl, but I found the process frustrating so I never even meditated to meet my form.” She lifted an eyebrow when they both just shook their heads. “What?”
“I adore you,” Draco said. “But there is no way your form is a bird of any kind.”
“I agree,” Harry said. “You’re a beautiful disaster on a broom.”
She gifted them both with an obscene hand gesture. “What about your form?”
Harry shrugged. “My father was a stag, as you know. I know from the family history that the Potter line tends to run that direction—deer, horses, elk—but considering Draco’s change I have to think we’ll both be impacted by that so we’ll never know what our natural form would’ve been. If I had to pick something out of your list—I’d pick a snake of some sort.” He watched her shoulders relax. “It would be the most useful.”
“Let’s hope you get your wish then,” Hermione said. “And it would be awesome if you turn out to be venomous.”
Harry laughed and moved to his own stone. They both joined him to watch. “I have chosen raidho for myself. Journey, crisis, disruption, and death have always been my magical circumstances. This represents my magical state as the Elder Wand.” He paused in his carving when Draco took a deep breath. “I’ve accepted what it’s in me, Dragon, it would serve you to do the same. I can’t see how we can get them out of us—they’ve been blended into our magical souls.”
“I know,” Draco said. “Just please don’t make a habit of referring to yourself as the bleeding Elder Wand. It’s…weird.”
Harry laughed. “How about Death Stick?”
“There is a dick joke in there somewhere,” Draco theorized then he turned to Hermione. “I miss his future dick, too, by the way.”
“You’re both terrible,” Harry muttered as he holstered he pushed magic into his own stone and sealed it.
A gentle thud echoed into the room as the circle accepted its permanent configuration. All the runic arrays lit briefly, and the circle settled down perfectly. Harry holstered his wand and stood. “Okay.”
“Okay,” Draco murmured. “What affinity do you wish to share with us?”
“I want to give you parselmagic unless you’re opposed.”
“Oh hell yes,” Hermione said immediately and blushed when they both laughed.
Parseltongue was the only language on earth that couldn’t be translated with a spell. So there was a whole section of the library that Hermione couldn’t read. It drove her crazy. They moved without discussion to the cistern and Harry hooked his fingers into the front of Hermione jeans, pulled her close and kissed her. When he lifted his head, he slipped his fingers under the hem of her T-shirt.
“We’re supposed to be bonding,” she told him primly.
Draco laughed and pulled off his shirt. “The Trinity bonding ceremony doesn’t preclude sex magic.”
“No shagging.” Hermione stepped away from Harry and pointed a finger at him when he played at grabbing her again. “On your end of the cistern, Potter.”
“If you insist, Potter,” Harry said and laughed when she rolled her eyes.
“That’s Lady Potter to you,” Hermione told him as she started to strip.
Harry banished his clothes to the basket that Dobby had tucked into the corner next to cistern and stepped down into the bowl. Draco joined him, and they shifted apart slightly to make room for her when Hermione stepped into the pool of magical mist with them. The bonding ritual was exciting and nothing like what they’d had in the future. He’d had two different bonds—one with each of them then eventually they’d bonded with each other. But a Trinity bond was rare and highly coveted by those in a situation like theirs.
“How many triads are there in Britain, right now?”
Draco hummed. “About a hundred actually, but there is only one other that is in a noble house, and that’s Gerald Greengrass. He has two wives, but honestly, it’s a terrible situation as the two women can hardly stand each other. He married the second when his first wife birthed a third daughter. He wanted a son. The younger wife gave him a set of twin girls last year.”
Hermione laughed. “Oh, wait, didn’t he have like six daughters in the future?”
“Yeah, eventually his first wife gave him the son he wanted,” Draco said. “Daphne hates the second wife. The two wives can’t even share a house. His circumstances have made a lot of nobles shy away from triad relationships. There are no Trinity bonds in Britain, but there are three in France and over a hundred in Australia where it is considered sacred by the indigenous magicals of the continent. I don’t know the numbers in other countries.”
“We’ll need to send the announcement to all of the news outlets we can,” Hermione said. “It’ll make the ministry reluctant to interfere officially in our marriage—the ICW would sanction them heavily for attacking a Trinity.”
Harry stepped out of the cistern with a nod and unholstered his wand. He cast a cushioning charm over the ritual space and took his place at his stone. His spouses followed and took their spots without a word. The creation of a circle of three involving at least one member of the opposite sex was called a triumvirate, and it was a rare magical endeavor since the mixture of male and female magic was contrary to the established structure of ritual magic. Outside of sex and marriage rites, ritual magic was traditionally designed to be segregated. Harry thought it had a lot to do with the roles of men and women in the past as it did the very nature of their magic. There were certainly ways to temper the relationship between wizardry and witchcraft, but most practitioners didn’t bother with trying to make room for both in a ritual unless it involved a sex act or marriage.
“May the Lord of Magic bless us in our magical endeavors,” Harry murmured and with a precise swish of his wand released his magic into the ritual space.
Magic swirled around them in a dance of gold and white light. “I enter this ritual bond of my own free will.”
Hermione drew her wand and let her magic loose in the circle. “I enter this ritual bond of my own free will.”
Draco’s magic swelled gently as he joined them and the blond took a deep breath before speaking. “I enter this ritual bond of my own free will.”
“Trias vinculum!” The spell stirred the magic, and his wand bucked, but Harry held on.
He’d known going into the ritual that he’d have dominate both of his spouses magically as he was the head of their magical house. It didn’t surprise him that Draco’s magic submitted first, but Hermione’s magic shuddered and followed suit shortly after. He holstered his wand and stepped forward—Draco and Hermione did the same. They all three knelt in the center of the circle. He offered his hands, and they took them. Then they joined hands, completing their circle.
Magic shifted around them, and long strands of gold swept around each of them like rope binding all three of them together in a way that felt so permanent and perfect that it took Harry’s breath for a few seconds. Draco’s fingers tightened against his, and Harry just smiled to reassure him.
When they spoke, they spoke in sync. “I bind my heart. I bind my mind. I bind my soul.”
“I, Harry James Potter, the Earl of Blackmoor, give myself to this union to the fullest measure. I swear this on my magic.”
“I, Draco Lucius Potter, the Consort of Blackmoor, give myself to this union to the fullest measure. I swear this on my magic.”
“I, Hermione Jane Potter, the Countess of Blackmoor, give myself to this union to the fullest measure. I swear this on my magic.”
The vows settled around them and the golden ropes grew taut as they pulsed with the magical weight of their promises.
“Bound in magic,” Harry said.
“Bound in love.” Draco smiled when he said it.
“We three are one,” Hermione finished and squeezed both of their hands.
“Donum magicae,” Harry murmured and touched the parselmagic in his core. The magic flowing around them shifted a light green. It pulsed around them and sank into both Hermione and Draco.
“Donum magicae,” Draco said clearly, and blue magic swirled around out of his chest. It curled in the air in front him before two tendrils split off.
Harry watched the one for him push into his chest. His magic warmed and welcomed the gift without any protest. He relaxed and focused on Hermione just in time to see the blue magic disappear entirely into her.
“Donum magicae,” Hermione said.
Harry started a little in surprise when her magic seemed to flow out of her forehead in a stream of silver. It almost looked like a memory pool in a pensieve. The energy formed a ball in the middle of their circle then split in half. It spun around and shot right at his head. He barely refrained from jerking back from it. But the moment it touched his skin he calmed down—the magic was lovely and complicated just like his wife. It flowed into him in a sweet rush. In the back of his mind, there was a tingling sensation, and he touched it briefly with his magic. He was rewarded with an immense feeling of love. Was it her feelings or his? He didn’t know, and maybe it didn’t matter because it was lovely all the same.
He’d thought that the words for the ritual were too simple, that they didn’t accurately demonstrate the love and commitment he had for his spouses but the bond flowing around them was thick, and the well of it felt so deep that he knew he’d never been able to reach into it and find an end. It flowed between the three of them endlessly. He summoned the box holding their bonding rings—they were a surprise for both Hermione and Draco, who’d never seen them. He opened the box and presented the rings. They were a matched set—three rings crafted hundreds of years before in shining mithril for another triad in the House of Black.
“The Black Heart Trinity,” Draco said with a little shock laced through his words. “Wow.”
Harry sat the box on the floor between and picked up the woman’s ring first. It had a large black diamond resting in the center of the band, an eternal flame danced in the stone, and the Celtic triad symbol was carved on each side of the diamond. “For the Countess of Blackmoor.”
Hermione held out her left hand and took a deep breath as he put the ring on her finger. Magic flickered around it, and the ring shrank to fit her snugly. “Oh, it’s beautiful.”
Harry kissed her palm and released her hand then picked up Draco’s ring. Theirs were identical—a thick band with the triad symbol carved into the metal. “For the Consort of Blackmoor.”
Draco smiled but offered his hand when Harry didn’t hand him the ring. “Treating me like a girl, Potter?”
“No, I’m treating you like you matter,” Harry said as he slid the ring onto his Consort’s finger. “Because you do.”
Hermione picked up the box, but she offered it to Draco which made the blond’s eyes widen slightly. He took the ring from the box, and Harry gave Draco his hand.
“For the Earl of Blackmoor,” Draco murmured.
“Our circle is open but unbroken at the blessing of Magic.” Harry relaxed utterly as the words flowed from his mouth. It was done. Their bond sank gently into their skin, and the circle fell dormant.
“You three are so sweet that my teeth are going to decay and fall right out.”
They all three moved, drew wands, and faced the room with their backs together. Hermione pressed to his left shoulder and Draco to his right. Harry sighed when he caught sight of Zir leaning against the wall near the cistern.
“I told you two he’s an arsehole.”
Hermione squeaked and summoned her robe which she hastily put on with a blush. “Don’t call the Lord of Magic an arsehole, Harry James. Even if he is.”
Zir grinned. “You’re a pretty little thing. Oh, do stop glaring, Potter.” He paused. “All the Potters stop glaring.”
Harry laughed. “Are you allowed to just come down here?”
“Who’s going to tell me I can’t?” Zir questioned with a raised eyebrow.
“Right,” Harry sighed. “What do you want? I haven’t had a chance to kill Dumbledore but trust me, I’ll get to it.”
“I have faith,” Zir said. “As for my purpose here—I thought since you’re basically in this situation because of me that I owed you one or so.”
“What do you mean?” Draco questioned and frowned. “Sir.”
“So polite,” Zir praised. “Much nicer than your father that’s for certain. Merlin, when he died the first time all he did was bitch and complain about his accommodations. I didn’t have much of a choice—he was the idiot who bound himself to Riddle, so he gets to spend eternity with the Dark Twat.”
Hermione turned to Harry. “We are now required to call Voldemort the Dark Twat every single chance we get because that’s gold.”
“Agreed,” Harry said with a laugh then turned to Zir. “Now, what’s your fault?” He summoned his robe and put it on. Draco flushed and did the same.
“You tried to destroy my Hallows, Potter, I couldn’t allow that, but they had to change due to the circumstances you put us all in. I could’ve made your ritual fail, but I don’t disagree with your purpose in the past—magic on Earth is corrupting, and since you were created, you’ve been a force of change. It’s your soul path. You’ve lived many times but there came a time when your soul became jaded, so I gave you a partner. Together you shaped and changed the world in amazing ways, but the two of you grew hard, relentless. There was no grace, no tenderness left in either of you. So I linked you again—to a soft and beautiful female soul who’s always had a passion for love and knowledge.”
Harry glanced at Draco and Hermione. He found them both pale.
“You linked our souls,” Harry said. “Like soulmates?”
“No, unfortunately, soulmate magic on earth died many thousands of years ago due to neglect and war. Humans kill each other too much, cause too much pain and horror to nurture the magic that brings together twin souls. You three are kindred—better together than apart. This is your tenth life together as a triad, and for the first time, you faced strife over it. It was startling and disheartening to watch others try to destroy your love—the very thing that gives you balance and purpose. So when you chose to sacrifice my Hallows, I had to make a choice, and I made the one that you could live with. They will forever be a part of you.”
“I thought Death made the Hallows,” Hermione admitted.
“I created the Hallows, and I gifted them on this earth because I saw the movements of fate long before Harry was born.”
“The power he knows not,” Harry said. “The Master of Death.”
“Dominus Mortis,” Zir said in agreement. “That’s you, and it has nothing to do with the Hallows. You’ve always been Death.”
Harry’s stomach dropped, and he closed his eyes briefly. “Death only dies when he wishes it.”
“That’s why Riddle couldn’t kill me as a baby. My mother died for nothing.”
“She died for love,” Hermione interjected immediately. “And that is everything, Harry!”
Harry nodded. “Right. Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry; it’s just shocking. Why make the Hallows if they didn’t make me the Master of Death?”
“I created tools for you and knew they would come to you when you needed them most—they’ve been on Earth absorbing knowledge, growing in power for a very long time so they would be ready for you. And now they are in the three of you, and they will remain there.”
“If Harry’s Death then I’m Life,” Draco said. “You created balance for him in the past with Life.”
“Yes,” Zir said and focused on Hermione. “And you, dear, what are you?”
Hermione took a breath. “Nature—I’m a source of rebirth and resurrection.”
“Yes, a true daughter of Gaia.” Zir stared at them. “But I’ve done you a disservice as information regarding the Hallows is sparse and almost entirely fictional as I intended. None that owned the objects in the past could’ve handled their true power, so I limited them, controlled them, and many believed the fairytales spun about them.” He waved a hand a book appeared in the air in front of Hermione. “Take it—it will guide you all on your path.”
Hermione slowly reached out and plucked the book from the air. “Thank you, sir.”
“You could’ve snuck that book into our collection,” Harry pointed out. “Why didn’t you?”
“First, I always witness your bonding ceremony—it’s my own personal tradition to come down here for it. Second, as I said I owe you all three and a book cannot begin to meet that burden.” He conjured a table in front of him and on it appeared three staves. “For you, my vicious little harbingers of death. Have fun.” He disappeared with a burst of magic.
Harry stared at the staves. They looked identical. He frowned and picked one up. Sparks spewed out of it and when they died down—the stave was ebony with a gleaming ruby embedded in the top.
“Oh.” Hermione immediately snatched one up which made Draco laugh. Her sparks were blue and green. When it calmed down her stave’s appearance was drastically different than Harry’s. It was rosewood, and the stave itself was a braided twist of wood. It was capped with an emerald.
Draco hesitated briefly before picking his up and took a deep breath as the sparks died down. A perfect sapphire sat atop the engraved silver stave. “Wow.”
“What?” Harry questioned.
Considering how expensive mithril was—it was probably a million galleons or more in mithril, Harry thought. It was kind of unnerving. “It’s illegal to mate a wand to our magic in Britain. Does the same rule apply to staves?”
“No, most people don’t believe a Muggle-born or a half-blood could use a stave, so they don’t restrict those,” Draco said.
“Bastards,” Hermione said darkly and swished her two-foot stave a little and was rewarded with a trail of sparks. “I almost forgive him for sticking the Resurrection Stone in me.” She walked out of the room, clutching her book in one hand and still swishing her stave. “Come on—you two owe me bonding sex!”
They exchanged a look and trotted after their wife.
In the middle of Dublin, there was a magical village. It had been one of Hermione’s favorite places to visit near the end of their time in the other timeline. People in Ireland really didn’t give a shite about their situation or really what Harry did with his life at all. They were tired of hiding so they’d gone to Dublin instead of enduring the hassle that would accompany a visit to Diagon Alley. The first business they visited was an eye healer who charged Harry an astounding amount of money to correct his vision—he was kind of irritated actually since it was the second time he’d had to have the profoundly uncomfortable procedure. Though he’d waited until his mid-twenties to do it the first time.
Draco had already handled most of their clothes shopping through Dobby, but they hit a few shops before going to a tailor for new uniforms. Hermione dealt with that process the best as she really didn’t mind being back at Hogwarts and the idea of going to classes entertained her. Also, she’d confided that she was looking forward at another shot at her NEWTs which had amused Harry more than he’d let on. Dobby came and went with their purchases, putting on a respectful front anytime there were witnesses.
Their last stop was a sex shop which was in a nondescript building with obscured windows. They held hands as they passed through the discretion charm otherwise they’d lose track of each other. Draco grabbed a basket after they separated. Harry stayed near the door, and his spouses stocked up on whatever they wanted. He watched them have an intense conversation over by the dildos and laughed when they just put three different ones in Draco’s basket. They browsed the enhancement potions but didn’t buy—Draco brewed for them exclusively and had for years.
The door opened, and two people entered. Harry couldn’t have said if they were male or female due to the privacy charms on the shop. He looked out onto the street as the door was closing and caught sight of Remus Lupin on the opposite side of the street. He looked back into the store and saw that Draco was at the counter paying for their purchases.
Harry motioned for Hermione to join him. “Lupin is here.”
“Dumbledore probably has someone placed in the larger magical villages in Europe to look for us, and we’ve been reported. It’s doubtful that Lupin is the only person in the village; at this point—we’ve been here two hours.” Hermione frowned. “We can disillusion ourselves and wait for someone else to leave?”
“You and Draco are going to hide, but I’m going to go talk to him,” Harry said. He waited for her to disagree, but she didn’t, she just chewed briefly on her bottom lip.
“If he tries anything—we’re going to have to get pretty rough with him to escape. Werewolves are very hardy.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Draco joined them at that point, and Harry explained what he wanted to happen. It was apparent that his Consort didn’t like the plan, but he nodded after a few seconds and shrank their package which he pocketed. He drew his wand and held out his hand for Hermione. He disillusioned her first then himself. Harry turned and pushed open the door. He walked out and headed right for Lupin. He could tell that surprised the werewolf.
“Harry.” Lupin shifted away from the building he was leaning against. “Dumbledore wants you to return to headquarters.”
“No,” Harry said simply. “I want no part of the house Sirius was basically held captive in. I don’t know how you can even stand to look at that place knowing that living there was basically the final straw for him. Why does Dumbledore care where I live?”
“You’ve made some terrible choices, Harry. Choices that your parents would’ve never approved of. Dumbledore can help you get you out of this sham marriage Malfoy tricked you into.”
Harry glared at him. “My marriage is not a sham, and I’m certainly not interested in getting out of it.”
“Look, you might not remember this because you’re being manipulated, but you confessed to Ron just a few weeks ago that you were in love with his sister. It doesn’t make any sense, Harry, that you’d go from that to marrying Draco Malfoy and Hermione Granger. Did you know she’s not a Muggle-born?”
“I have no interest whatsoever in Ginny, and I never have. Hermione’s the great-granddaughter of Hector Dagworth-Granger, so yes I know she’s technically a half-blood and not the Muggle-born everyone assumed she was. But what does that matter?”
“If she’s lied about her past then what else has lied about?”
Harry sighed. “You’re a fucking idiot.” He turned to the man standing a few feet away. “If you want to pass for a man, Tonks, you’re going to have to stop wearing that perfume.” Tonks shifted immediately and flushed brightly. “I am the Earl of Blackmoor. You and your mother have precious little time to decide where your loyalties lie. I’ve already disowned Bellatrix—financially, magically and socially. Your mother was never officially banished from the Black family magic as you know, but your involvement in the Order of the Phoenix is making that more likely every single fucking day. Am I clear?”
“Yes, my Lord,” Tonks nodded. “I’ll tell my mother what you’ve said.” She turned to Remus. “I’m sorry I can’t participate in this.” She apparated away without another word.
“Participate in what?” Harry questioned.
Remus flushed. “Dumbledore wants you at headquarters—we have orders to force the issue if you don’t agree.”
“Tell me, honestly, when did your loyalty that old man start to trump the loyalty you had for my parents?” Harry questioned. “Do you think they’re looking down on this scene with anything less than a feeling of absolute betrayal?”
Lupin shifted suddenly, and his eyes went wide. He looked over his shoulder and shuddered. “There’s a wand in my back.”
“Yes, I do wonder if it’s my Countess or my Consort—frankly neither option is good for you. Hermione has a bone breaking curse that can shatter solid granite like it’s a sugar cube. And Draco? Thanks to Greyback being a frequent visitor in his childhood home he has no tolerance for a werewolf, who appears to be incapable of doing the right thing.”
Lupin glared at him. “I’m a light wizard—unlike that son of Death Eater you married.”
“You’re a dark creature, Remus, and there’s no way around that. Violence and destruction is just a part of who you are. That’s why Dumbledore keeps you around—like a leashed dog. You’re really no different to him than his pet Death Eater. He uses you to stir up support for werewolves but did you know that not once in all the time he’s had a vote on the Wizengamot, due to his Order of Merlin, has he ever once voted to give creatures like you any sort of equal rights in Britain?”
“That’s not true, Dumbledore has fought for…”
Harry interrupted him with a laugh. “Maybe more like a lap dog, then. Your loyalty would be admirable if it were appropriately given. You’ve probably got a few people hidden on this street waiting for your signal. If you give it—my spouse is going to ruin your week. Clear?”
Remus winced and jerked, a hint that Draco had probably dug is his wand into the man’s back to make his point. “Clear. Your father would be ashamed of you, Harry.”
“My father is dead,” Harry said flatly. “And if I follow Dumbledore blindly like he did—I’ll be dead, too.” He took a step back and said, “Avalon.” Remus rushed forward just as the portkey activated and grabbed Harry. They spun away together.
A few seconds later, Harry landed in the foyer alone. Draco and Hermione appeared shortly thereafter. He snorted. “I wonder how Remus will like the Arctic.”
“That arsehole,” Hermione said with a huff as she stalked toward the stairs. “Bring our stuff, Draco.”
Harry went to his office and stopped to pet Hedwig who had decided to stay on the inside perch when she was sleeping rather than the owlery. She woke and nibbled at his fingers sleepily. He’d missed her more than he’d ever want to admit and often felt foolish for the way he’d mourned her. Plenty of people hadn’t understood when he’d refused to replace her. “You know what?”
The owl tilted her head and clicked her beak.
“I’ve missed you terribly.” He let his fingers trail through the feathers on her head. “How about we find you a mate? Would you like some babies?”
Hedwig barked her agreement.
“You could go the store with a letter and pick one out after we get to Hogwarts. Then we can add him to the wards at Christmas.” She barked again as if she totally understood and Harry thought perhaps that she did. “That’s a plan then.” She nipped his fingers, and he laughed.
He was only slightly surprised with how fast Fawkes delivered the letter of complaint from Dumbledore. The phoenix dropped the charmed letter on Harry’s desk then joined Hedwig on her perch. The two birds rubbed their heads together which shocked Harry, and he could only stare for a few minutes. Finally, they both settled down to rest, and Harry realized Fawkes was waiting for an answer to whatever Dumbledore had sent. He used his wand to strip off three compulsion charms and a powerful obedience hex with a frustrated sigh.
I insist you return to headquarters and bring Remus Lupin with you. He’d better be in good health and uninjured! It was reported by other members of the Order that he went with you when you activated your portkey. I’ve been very lenient with you these past few weeks, but you’ve tried my patience, young man.
I’ve hired a solicitor on your behalf to deal with the ridiculous and untenable situation you’ve gotten yourself into. I cannot believe you did something so foolish—if you’d come to me and explained the situation I could’ve helped Mr. Malfoy. Instead, you’ve created a situation that has already damaged your relationship with many in the Order who feel they can no longer trust that you are a servant of the Light.
Harry grinned because the old bastard had been so irritated he hadn’t even signed the letter. He opened up his desk and pulled out a piece of parchment. He was tempted to just tell the wanker to fuck off or draw a picture of a stick figure baring its arse. Instead, he inked his quill and thought about what would really work the old man up into a frenzy of impotent fury.
Should you persist involving yourself in my private affairs, I’ll order Grimmauld Place sealed and throw you all out into the street in the process. I have no interest in joining the Order of the Phoenix, I don’t care what the organization does, or has planned. Therefore, I have no need to be in that dark and terrible house. I’ll never return there, and frankly, I fail to see how you can make me. If I were guilty of some crime that required your attention as Chief Warlock, surely the DMLE would be looking for me instead of your little group of vigilantes.
I removed all those stupid charms you placed on the letter, by the way. The next time you send me one I’m just going to forward it to Madam Bones and ask her if you’re exempt from the law due to your position in the Wizengamot. That should be pretty entertaining and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Unfortunately, I can’t return your pet werewolf to you since he was rejected by the wards I have on my residence. The first offense for violating the wards is a one-way portkey-displacement to the Arctic. You should probably trot up there and get him if he doesn’t show up within the next few hours. He only has himself to blame. It was impetuous and ill-considered to leap on a person with a portkey. He’s fortunate that the first response for the wards is non-lethal.
Perhaps instead of bothering me while I’m on my honeymoon, you could spend some time training your people. Surely, their ineptitude is starting to get a little embarrassing for you. They can’t even capture three sixteen-year-olds for you. Have you begun to sympathize with Riddle? His followers are stupid, too.
At any rate, I’ve got better things to do than spend my afternoon writing an old wizard who keeps trying to cockblock me.
In the service of Magic,
Harry James Potter
Earl of Blackmoor
“Dobby.” Harry turned as the house elf appeared at his side. “I’m about to send a particularly vexing letter to Dumbledore. Can you put a memory in a pensieve?”
“Yes,” Dobby said with a curious look.
“Excellent.” Harry folded the letter and went to the perch. “Fawkes is Dumbledore in his office?” The phoenix ruffled his feathers and nodded. “Great. Take this letter to him. Dobby, go with him and watch Dumbledore read it.”
Dobby laughed and popped away a second after Fawkes flamed out of the room. Harry turned to Hedwig. “You’ve got a crush on Fawkes.”
Hedwig ruffled her feathers at the accusation and turned her head which made Harry laugh.
“Well, I don’t think you can have babies with a phoenix, so it would be a meaningless fling.” He rubbed her chest when she barked. “I know, I know, no slut-shaming.”
Hermione’s startled laughter caught his attention. “What’s going on?”
“Hedwig has a crush on Fawkes.” Harry laughed when the owl slapped at him with a wing. “Hey! I’m just trying to look out for you—Fawkes could be a complete rake. He’s been around a thousand or more years. He could have a whole trail of broken-hearted owls in his wake—the Lothario.”
“Harry,” Hermione exclaimed with a laugh. “Dobby has lunch on the table in a preservation charm. He made a chicken curry so if you want any you might want to come now. You know that’s Draco’s favorite.”
Draco had prepared three plates by the time he entered the kitchen.
Harry sat down and pressed the rune on his water glass to fill it. “I sent Dumbledore a letter—I threatened to throw them out of my house and report him to the DMLE for the charmed letters. Then I compared him to Riddle and called him a cockblocker.” He grinned when Draco laughed. “I also told him he could collect his pet werewolf from the Arctic. Dobby went to watch him read it. Did you know that elves can put memories in pensieves? That’s going to be really handy.”
“It makes sense,” Hermione said. “Their magic isn’t all that different from our own. I do know they can’t be given truth potions as their magic protects them from revealing secrets they must keep. House elves are often overlooked in the magical world, so there is a lot that isn’t known about their magic and how it works. Most don’t care, I suppose, as long as elves do what they’re told. But wards don’t impact elves at all—that’s why they can pop around Hogwarts all they want.”
“I do wonder why Dumbledore hasn’t ordered a house elf to find me,” Harry admitted.
“Well, a house elf can only find people they are very familiar with,” Draco said “I don’t know there is another house elf at Hogwarts who is that familiar with any of us. Even Winky can’t find us at this point.”
Winky was a sore point with all three of them—Hermione had bonded with the female elf after the war, and she’d eventually came to live with them. The night they’d fled to Rome with Fawkes’ help, Winky had been killed by John Dawlish when she took a curse for Hermione. Even now, Harry grew furious just thinking about it.
“Dobby reported that she’s been sober since he told her that she could bond with us,” Hermione said. “So that should be the first thing we do at Hogwarts. I don’t want her to think we’ve misled her by not doing it immediately. We owe her a lot.”
“Agreed,” Draco said.
* * * *
Dobby came back nearly an hour later, wide-eyed with shock. They were in the den relaxing, so Harry set aside his book and focused on the elf.
“Are you okay?” Harry asked in concern.
“Dumbles a terrible wizard, Master Harry. We needs to throw him in a volcano.”
“Volcano?” Hermione questioned with a grin.
“It be the only way to be sure,” Dobby said seriously. “Dumbles powerful.” He put his finger to his temple and drew out a long strand of silver. “You see memory, you see how mean and terrible Dumbles is.” He dropped it into the pensieve sitting on the coffee table.
Draco reached out and used a set of runes to activate the projection part of the pensieve, and the memory spilled out over the room.
Dumbledore was sitting at his desk, the letter was open in one hand. His aura flared almost immediately, and his hand started to tremble. The stark rage on the man’s face was an extraordinary level of horror. Harry had never seen anything so revealing in his life. The whole façade that Dumbledore projected for the world was entirely missing. His old face was flushed red with fury, his eyes were dark, and anger burned in them like a fire. Harry would never see those twinkling eyes as anything less than a nightmare again.
He stood, went to the fire, and floo called Snape who he ordered to his office. By the time Snape came through the floo, Dumbledore was back at his desk.
“Potter remains a problem.”
“I told you it was a mistake to depend on his poor childhood to keep him malleable. He’s a Potter, and they’ve proven untrainable in the past,” Severus said smoothly.
“I should’ve potioned him his first year,” Dumbledore agreed. “When he comes back to school, we’ll have to separate them physically. The longer they’re married, the more difficult it will be for us to force his marriage and bond to a more acceptable witch. It is paramount that we get both of them out of Harry’s life. Hermione Granger is too smart to be manipulated long-term. Malfoy is as dangerous as his father and a bigger threat since Potter seems to be invested in keeping him safe. Ronald has assured me over and over again since their third year that he had the Granger situation in hand, but that’s obviously not true.”
“He’s an idiot,” Snape said. “I told you as much his first year. It’s a wonder he can walk and breathe at the same time. Including him in our plans was nothing short of foolish. I know his mother is a formidable ally, but her youngest son is a waste of space.”
The floo activated and Lupin stepped through. He looked like a man who’d been thrown into a glacier which was amusing enough. Hermione laughed a little.
“Where ever he is, he has goblin war wards,” Lupin said shortly. “It was like hitting a brick wall when I was thrown away from them. My arm is broken, so I need to go see Poppy.”
“Did he say anything to you?” Dumbledore questioned. “Anything of substance?”
“He said he wasn’t going to follow you blindly,” Lupin said. “Not like his father did.”
Dumbledore snorted. “James Potter, a blind follower? I had to dose that boy with loyalty potions for an entire year before he’d join the Order and even then he kept Lily away from us until shortly before Harry was due. I had to hex him repeatedly to keep him in Britain when I told them the prophecy. He wanted to take Lily and the boy abroad—I couldn’t allow that. The prophecy had to be activated—it has to be seen through to the end! It’s the only way we’ll be safe.”
Harry took a deep breath as the memory swirled around them—he was close to the boiling point. He’d always wondered why his father hadn’t left Britain, and now he knew.
“Are you still certain Harry has to die?” Remus questioned. “He’s the last of his line, Albus.”
“He’s carried a horcrux for over a decade, of course he has to die,” Snape snapped. “Even if he could survive its removal there is no telling how much damage it would leave behind. Potter has a terrible temper, and he’s reckless. He’s proving right now that he can’t be controlled and he has too much power to be allowed to do what he pleases. He either serves the greater good, or he dies.”
Dumbledore nodded and sat back in his chair. “Yes, it’s for the best, but we need to see him married to Ginevra to assure we can maintain access to the money in the Black and Potter vaults. If he manages to father an heir, all the better. We can ensure that the next Earl of Blackmoor does exactly what should be done for the good of society.”
“We can’t let sentiment get in the way, Remus. Harry Potter is a very dangerous young man,” Albus said.
“I understand,” the werewolf nodded. “You should’ve found a way to let me raise him. He wouldn’t be difficult like this. He certainly wouldn’t be bedding a Death Eater’s son.” He paused. “He already knew about Granger’s half-blood status which means she told him not but not Ronald. That speaks to a level of distrust between your so-called golden trio that wasn’t reported. When you add in the fact that Weasley couldn’t keep it together during their fourth year and had that fit about the tournament, you need to accept that he’s not the asset you hoped he’d be. He certainly isn’t anywhere near as useful as Percy is.”
“I’ll speak to Molly,” Dumbledore said. “If money can’t motivate young Ronald, we’ll have to find out what will. Get your arm seen to, Remus, and Severus start making a list of ingredients you’ll need for potions. We have a lot of work to do when we finally get Potter in our control.”
The memory ended abruptly, and Harry stared at the pensieve for an entire minute in silence then he turned to Dobby. “Start scouting out your favorite volcano.”
Dobby grinned. “Yes, Master Harry. Dobby go back to Hogwarts, it be time for Winky’s Arseholery Lesson.” He popped away before anyone could respond to that.
“That’s going to be interesting,” Hermione said wryly. She threw her legs across Harry’s lap and rested her head on Draco’s thigh. “Lupin is a bastard.”
“We suspected he was, after the war. There were too many unanswered questions—Andromeda never really trusted him, and it had nothing to do with his being a werewolf. When she told us that Tonks just showed up married to him out of the blue, it was bizarre.”
“Then there is the paternity of Teddy,” Draco said. “I wonder if she and Charlie Weasley are still in a relationship at this point and at what point Lupin decided to use her for his own gain? Charlie said he never knew Tonks was pregnant with his kid and that she broke up with him in a letter—after they’d spent years traveling back and forth to be together.”
“Potion or charm,” Hermione said. “Tonks inherited several million galleons from Sirius. I know Tonks flirted with Remus as a front since Charlie didn’t want his mother to know about their relationship. No one even suspected something was wrong when they ended up together because of the flirting.”
“This is really pissing me off,” Harry admitted.
“You’re the Earl of Blackmoor—you have more power over her situation than you did in the past. You can put her money in a trust and put down rules regarding her future marriage—like tests for charms and potions are mandatory for you to accept the marriage as valid. It’s the kind of thing a father does for a daughter, and Sirius probably would’ve done it if he had claimed the title,” Draco said. “She shouldn’t be put off by it, and I imagine her mother will be relieved to have her daughter protected in a traditional and respectable manner.”
“Sounds good.” Harry took a deep breath. “My dad and Sirius were right about Lupin—they were worried he couldn’t be trusted and they were right. He can’t be trusted because he’s following a dark lord they didn’t have enough information to suspect. He’s as much as a betrayer as Peter Pettigrew.”
“Dumbledore recruits children just like Voldemort,” Hermione said. “He probably bribed Lupin with admission to Hogwarts in the very beginning.”
“Agreed.” Harry closed his eyes. “Then he’s worse than Pettigrew ever could be because not once did Remus Lupin give my father or Sirius a minute of genuine friendship. Peter is ultimately weak and disloyal but Lupin? If he’s been in Dumbledore’s pocket since he was sorted, then he is just as manipulative and good at hiding it as Dumbledore ever was. Did you notice how he and Snape weren’t hostile with each other like they usually are?”
“I noticed,” Hermione said. “I also noticed that Dumbledore’s hand isn’t damaged. So either he hasn’t gone for the ring, or he realized it was cursed without the stone there to distract him.”
“The destruction of the stone and the wand must be driving him crazy,” Harry said. “Good. He’ll ask me about the cloak. I think I’ll tell him I put it in the vault and let him stew on it for a while or forever.”
“Oh, we should replace it,” Draco said with a smirk. “I could probably even make it feel the same as the old one.”
Harry laughed. “Yes, let’s definitely replace it.”
* * * *
Hermione indulged their psychotic desire to keep her safe and stayed home when they went shopping for the cloak. Invisibility cloaks were hard to come by, and most were bought up by the Ministry of Magic the moment they entered the country for the Department of Mysteries. Still, there was a thriving black market in London, and Knockturn Alley had a few nooks and crannies that the even the DMLE avoided. Dobby popped them into an alcove that Lucius favored, and they stepped out onto the street, hoods covering their heads with a shimmer of masking magic over their faces. There were many on the street dressed the same—business on Knockturn Alley was done anonymously as possible.
The entered a shop, and Harry stared at the clerk behind the counter, a little swirl of amusement moved in his chest as Draco split off to speak to the owner of the store who was sitting at a desk in the far corner. Harry leaned on the table next to him and stared at Thorfinn Rowle. As Death Eaters went, he wasn’t very high up on the food chain, more muscle than brains and certainly not someone Voldemort would miss, but Harry felt he would be remiss in his duty if he didn’t kill every Death Eater he crossed paths with. He checked on Draco just in time to see the owner of the store pass him a wrapped package. Draco handed the man a bag of gold, shrank the package, tucked it into his cloak, and after a brief conversation returned to Harry.
“Tempting,” Draco murmured. “But it would be rude to kill the owner’s nephew after he gave us such a great deal on the cloak.”
Harry grimaced. “He’s a Death Eater.”
“I didn’t say you couldn’t do it,” Draco said. “It would just be rude.”
“He tortured me the night you let them into Hogwarts.”
Draco huffed, turned and hit Rowle with a vicious cutting curse. Thorfinn’s head hit the counter, and his body fell backward. Harry grabbed Draco and activated his portkey with a sigh. They landed in a pile in the foyer, and Harry groaned. He rolled off Draco and pushed back his hood.
“That was impetuous, Dragon.”
Draco scowled as he pushed his own hood back. “I can’t let people who tortured you live.”
Hermione cleared her throat, and they both turned to look at their wife. She tapped one foot. “Who did you kill this time?”
“Thorfinn Rowle,” Draco admitted. “He tortured Harry, did you know?”
“Yeah, I knew.” Hermione grinned. “Who knew you were such a romantic?”
Draco blushed and rolled his eyes. “Bloody Gryffindors are contagious.”
They arrived in Rome in the dead of night as planned. Dobby hadn’t been able to bring them together over such a long distance so he’d brought Harry first, in a chain of pops, then Draco. Finally, when they were sure the flat was secure, Dobby brought Hermione. The flat had been in the Black family for forty years, but no one had been in it since Sirius had been put in Azkaban. The four of them were able to clean it up in about an hour, and Dobby set about washing curtains and linens after the dust was cleared away. They weren’t going to spend more than a day in Rome, but none of them were all that keen to inhale over a decade of dust.
Their appointment with the ICW had been arranged by Ragnok and Dobby had watched that process closely. As far as the elf could tell, the goblin was entirely on board with screwing Dumbledore as thoroughly and as often as possible. The entire Horde was furious with the meddling old bastard, not for Harry’s sake but for the fact that the three goblins he’d corrupted had been forced to retire in the primes of their lives as they no longer even trusted themselves. Dobby had learned that one of them had been so overcome with shame that he’d killed himself to spare his family the dishonor.
The magical district of Rome was one of the largest and oldest on Earth. The crowd paid them no attention as they headed toward the ICW building. Without the horcrux, Harry’s scar was easily hidden by a glamour, so no one appeared to recognize him on the street, but the guards on the doors did a double take at the sight of the three of them. They weren’t detained after their appointment was verified and were quickly directed to the office where the healer worked. Harry wasn’t all that surprised that Ragnok had reached out to the department head of Healing Research and World Health Management for their appointment. He wasn’t unfamiliar with Director Arnou. The Frenchman was an accomplished healer of an undetermined age. Rumor was that he’d been using a philosopher’s stone for several hundred years, but it had never been confirmed for Harry, in the future.
“How can I help you, Lord Potter?”
“We’d like you to give each of us a thorough physical, certify that we’ve not been potioned, cursed, or otherwise manipulated into a relationship with each other, and then provide definitive proof of our established Trinity bond.”
Arnou nodded and grinned. “Congratulations, Lord Potter, you are to be envied such a bond. I’m sure there are people in Britain who will physically combust when you announce it.”
“There are those who aren’t happy with my personal choices, but I don’t owe them an explanation,” Harry said.
“Agreed,” Arnou motioned to the examination table. “Lady Potter, let’s start with you.”
They all three stood, and despite the fact that there was a little step, Hermione still wasn’t quite tall enough to get up on the table by herself. Arnou blushed when she sent him a sour look.
“My apologies, I treat the War Mages division exclusively on a day to day basis, and all of my patients are male and tall.”
Draco caught Hermione by the waist and helped her up onto the table. “She’s used to being a short person in a tall world.”
Hermione poked him with a manicured fingernail but laughed. “Yes, quite.”
Arnou cast the first charm. “Just a bit under 160cm but you’ve got a bit of growing to do so perhaps you won’t be very short in a tall world for much longer. Your contraception charm is active and perfectly cast.”
“Thank you,” Hermione said and swung her feet a little. “I applied it myself.”
“Impressive but I’ve been hearing very good things about you for some time now,” Arnou summoned a piece of parchment from his desk and set up a quill to record results. “This next spell will verify that you’ve not been given love potions.” He paused. “Have you used any sexual enhancement potions?”
Hermione shook her head. “No, should I?”
“You have two husbands,” Arnou said as he worked. “Even witches your age might find they don’t have the sex drive to keep up.”
Hermione grinned. “I briefly considered a third—they have a hard time keeping up with me.”
Harry laughed because that was certainly true. He just shrugged when the healer looked briefly in his direction. The man inclined his head and continued the cast charms. The parchment quickly filled up with results.
“Who did your sexual health runes?” Arnou questioned.
“Is there a problem with them?” Hermione asked.
“No, not at all. The arrangement is unique and tailored to you individually. Most runic practitioners wouldn’t invest that kind of time in a client for such a thing. They have a set of arrays they use for everyone who asks for them.”
“I trust the answer will remain between the four of us,” Harry said, and the healer focused on him.
“You’re all patients. I can’t and wouldn’t release any information without your permission, Lord Potter.”
“I created the runic arrays for all three of us. I placed the runes on them, and Draco placed mine under my supervision,” Harry explained. “Each of us have customized runes based on Draco’s assessment of our individual needs.”
Arnou nodded. “All right. You have a true gift, Lord Potter, I do hope that it’s a career you consider seriously. Rune Masters are rare in this world, especially one of your innate talent.”
His talent with the runes was hard-won, but he’d never be able to admit that so passing it off as an innate gift was really the only choice he had. It was annoying because after Hogwarts he’d straightened up and actually made an effort to make something of himself that had nothing to do with Voldemort or Dumbledore. He just nodded to avoid saying something he shouldn’t, and the healer continued to record his results.
Draco went next, slipping nimbly up onto the exam table. “I’d like you to also certify that I don’t have the Dark Mark.”
Arnou paused briefly then nodded. “Yes, I can see why you might wish proof.” He retrieved a second piece of parchment and began working. “Any problems I need to be aware of? You were raised in a particularly dark house.”
“My father crucio’d me once as a child,” Draco said. “I received private care by a healer and suffered no permanent damage. That is the only dark curse I ever remember being used on me. I was conceived in ritual, but my mother assured me it was just a sex ritual and not anything dark or untoward. She had fertility problems.”
Arnou nodded. “Not all that uncommon in pure-blood families—infertility and the ritual conception. There appears to be no lasting damage. Any other issues?”
“Just one,” Draco glared briefly at Harry. They’d dueled over who would have to reveal the problem. “Our marriage contract has a breeding clause. Obviously, that isn’t something we can accomplish right now. We have two years of schooling left, and we’re all three interested in attending the International Academy after Hogwarts.”
Arnou nodded. “Your wife’s contraception charm will have to be recast yearly.”
“Yeah, that’s not the problem. We’re both magically compelled to try to get her pregnant.” Draco raised an eyebrow when the healer looked confused. “Prematurely, immediately upon…” He waved a hand.
“Oh,” Arnou said. He paused in his wand movements as he considered that. “Erectile dysfunction potions won’t work, enhancement potions might work short term but those only last a few hours at a time and aren’t meant for everyday usage.” He started working again. “Lady Potter, do you have any urges to procreate?”
“No, not at all.”
Arnou nodded. “Your magic recognizes you aren’t in a state to get pregnant because of the contraception charm.”
“So we should use a contraception charm on ourselves?” Draco questioned. “It would calm our magic down?”
“Yes, it will. I can’t say it’s a perfect solution, but there are no long-term side effects to worry about. Male contraception has to be reapplied monthly.”
“I know how to cast it,” Draco said. “I’ll teach Harry.”
Arnou nodded and ended the charm. “Done and Dark Mark free.”
Draco slipped off the table, and Harry took his place.
“Any problems, Lord Potter?”
“I have a host of them,” Harry admitted. “I have some nutrition issue due to a neglectful childhood, and I was forced to write with a blood quill last year which I know is a dark object. I’ve faced Voldemort four times in some form or another and suffered for it every single time.”
Arnou took a deep breath. “Okay, let’s take a look.” He summoned another piece of parchment and cast the first charm. “You’re taking a strong nutrition potion regiment.”
“Yes, Draco is brewing it for me.”
“Triple threat then,” Arnou murmured. “I expect to see great things from you three so don’t go darting about living off the money you’ve already got.”
Harry laughed. “Maybe a little bit of darting about but we have plans.”
Arnou nodded. “Very well. The potions are doing the job very well, but I’d suggest you start organ and bone shoring after your nutritional issues are evened out.”
“It’s in my plan,” Draco said. “I wanted to get his body chemistry back on track and increase his ability to eat. He eats about half the calories he actually needs due to his small stomach.”
Arnou nodded. “I see. Yes, I agree that he needs to be stronger and eating more calories before any organ or bone health potions are taken—they’ll consume a lot of energy in the healing. Feel free to write me if you encounter any problems in this or need recommendations regarding potions.”
“Thank you,” Draco said. “We will.”
Arnou paused and frowned. “Your curse scar is unusual.”
“Yes,” Harry agreed. He shared a glance with Draco. He knew the healer couldn’t see the mental warding scheme as they were undetectable. “We performed several ritual cleansings leading up to our Trinity bond. During my last one, I broke some sort of magic free from my scar and slept for a week afterward.”
Arnou nodded and cast another charm. “Yes, that makes sense—you’ve definitely expelled something dark from your body.” He ended the spell and stepped back from Harry. “You have a bit of residual magic clinging to the scar—something I’ve seen only in times of spiritual possession.”
“Voldemort gave me the scar, as you know.”
“When he tried to kill you,” Arnou murmured. “Does the scar hurt?”
“It did before—especially in his presence, but it hasn’t hurt since that last cleansing ritual. I also haven’t had nightmares or any…before I often had severe attacks related to my scar. Attacks that showed me visions of Voldemort’s activities. That hasn’t happened since the ritual.”
“He had some kind of magical connection with you,” Arnou said. “Anything else?”
“When he invaded the Ministry of Magic in Britain in June, he took over my body briefly. I managed to force him out, but it was like living a nightmare.”
Arnou nodded. “Consort Potter, can you brew a purgatio draught?”
“Yes,” Draco said.
“I suggest a three-day course, Lord Potter,” Arnou murmured. “It’ll clean up your aura and rid you of any lingering stain Voldemort left in the scar.”
“All right,” Harry agreed.
“Fantastic, now let’s check out this bond,” Arnou retrieved another parchment. “If you meet the international standard for the Trinity, you’ll be the first triad in Britain to achieve such standing in several hundred years. A few were reported in the 1800s, but none of them were certified by the ICW, and only one of the triads tried for the distinction. If you would join hands?”
Harry left the examination table and offered his spouses his hands. They each took one then they joined hands just as they had in the Trinity ritual itself. Their bond thrummed between them like it always did when they were in direct physical contact. It was always there, in the back of his mind but when they touched the feeling intensified tenfold.
Arnou pointed his wand at Harry. “Magia Revelare.” The recording quill whipped across the parchment as their bond became visible in the light spectrum. Ribbons of gold and white light flowed around them in a tangle of visible magic. “Oh.”
“Is something wrong?” Harry questioned.
The healer cleared his throat. “No, not at all. I’ve just never seen a Trinity so entrenched before in such a young triad. When did you marry?”
“We signed our contracts June 19th but didn’t create the bond until August 8th.”
“So this bond is five days old,” Arnou murmured.
“Is it too soon to certify it?” Harry questioned.
Arnou shook his head. “You look like you’ve bonded for decades,” the healer admitted. “It’s a lovely sight, and you’ve more than met the international standard. I can issue a press release on your behalf detailing the bond—it’ll be published in every magical publication, and it will have the backing of the ICW.”
Hermione relaxed. “Yes, that’s exactly what we want. There is some opposition to our marriage in Britain.”
“I had suspected as much,” Arnou admitted. “The purposeful destruction of a Trinity bond is considered an international crime against magic. Don’t be afraid to tell anyone who might disagree with your union that.” He signed off on all the parchments, made four copies which he handed to Harry. “Now, what else can I do for you?”
“We need to be licensed to apparate,” Harry said. “But we need to keep our presence here a secret as much as possible.”
Arnou nodded. “Put your cloaks back on and follow me.”
The healer led them down a hall and up two flights of stairs and directly to a large room. Harry had trained often in the room and knew it was reserved for high-level war mages that worked for the ICW, so he relaxed a little while the healer crossed the room and talked to another wizard. The man’s name was Elias Fawcett, an American. He’d been in charge of the War Mages Division by the time Harry joined the ICW. They’d had a few conversations, but Harry had been low in the ranks compared and hadn’t spent much time in the man’s company in the years he’d trained in Rome. Fawcett didn’t seem to mind testing the three of them and didn’t ask questions about how they were trained or taught. He put all three through a rigorous set of exercises and within an hour he’d signed off on international licenses for all three of them with no restrictions. The British Ministry wouldn’t be able to restrict them without protesting with the ICW which would take so long that they’d all be seventeen by the time a decision was given.
* * * *
They were back in the Arx when the announcement hit the papers. Dobby brought them newspapers from all over magical Europe where the announcement was front page news. Harry figured it was more news because the ICW had declared their Trinity bond immaculate than because of his own personal ridiculous fame. The article in the International Magical Times said that the ICW hadn’t given a Trinity bond that distinction in nearly fifty years and that triad had been together for almost forty years before they approached the ICW for certification.
Harry used Mr. Darcy to owl a copy of their reports to the DMLE. He also included their licenses to apparate. Amelia Bones had sent back a note confirming that she’d received the information and had congratulated them on their bond. By afternoon, over a hundred owls had come and gone from the island. The next time he went to the bank he was definitely setting up a mail ward. They received letters of congratulations from all the noble and ancient houses, government leaders across Europe and even as far as China. A few dozen of their peers had written as well. Neville sent them an Eternal Rose bush with his congratulations which Hermione had promptly planted in her garden.
They’d also gotten two howlers—one from Molly Weasley and another from Pansy Parkinson who had called Draco everything but a wizard. Harry had found it pretty funny and creative, far more creative than he’d thought her capable of. They didn’t hear anything from Dumbledore until well past dinner when Fawkes appeared and dropped a rolled parchment on the coffee table. The bird had flamed away immediately. The parchment proved to be free of charms and hexes which was a surprise.
Harry unrolled it and sighed. “It’s a petition for divorce.”
“For fuck’s sake,” Draco muttered.
“I suppose he expects me to bring it with me to the bank tomorrow.” He grinned and laughed. “Oh. I’ve got a terrible idea.”
Harry leapt up and hurried out of the room. He wasn’t at all surprised when the two of them followed him to his office. He sat down at his desk and picked up a quill. “Let’s see—petitioner is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.” He wrote the name out with big sweeping letters. “And he’s seeking a divorce from—Reality and Common Decency. Grounds…grounds…oh. Because he can’t mind his own damn business.”
Hermione burst out laughing. “Harry.”
“I can’t wait to see his face,” Draco murmured and grinned when Harry laughed.
* * * *
Ragnok had them in a secure conference room before he let Dumbledore or Diggory anywhere near them. Amelia Bones was also in attendance which surprised Harry, but he kept that to himself. Dumbledore stared at the three of them as he took his seat next to the Minister and only looked a little startled when Ragnok took a position at the table as well. Several other goblins that were not introduced joined them, and Diggory began to look distinctly uncomfortable.
“Amelia.” Diggory waved a hand toward her.
Bones shot the man a dark look before opening a leather binder in front of her. “Yes. Lord Potter, if you’re agreeable, I’d like to conduct an informal interview concerning your interactions with the Dark Lord.”
That wasn’t what he expected for her to say, but he wasn’t opposed to that. “Okay.”
“It’s been reported to the DMLE that you’ve had mental contact with the Dark Lord repeatedly over the last year.”
“Yes, the healer with the ICW believes that we had a magical connection due to the way the Killing Curse backfired when Voldemort tried to kill me when I was fifteen months old. However, I’ve done several cleansing rituals since June, and I’ve completely shed that connection. You’ll note that in the report you received from Director Arnou.”
“Yes,” Amelia said as she made notes on the parchment in front of her. “What was your first interaction with the Dark Lord?”
“The night he murdered my parents,” Harry said. “Though I don’t remember much beyond the fact that I witnessed him kill my mother.” Her quill paused, and she looked up at him startled. “Is there a problem?”
“I didn’t realize you remembered that. I’m sorry for it, Lord Potter, what a horrid memory to carry.” She cleared her throat. “The Dark Lord possessed Quirinus Quirrell during your first year at Hogwarts. When did you come to know that?”
“When Professor Quirrell removed his turban and showed me Voldemort’s face on the back of his head in June of 1992. He tried to force me to retrieve the Philosopher’s Stone for him, but I refused. Quirrell touched me and I had what I’ve always assumed was a bout of accidental magic. I’m a burgeoning elemental. He was trying to kill me. I think I might have set him on fire, but I don’t have any clear memories of it.”
“The DOM concluded that Professor Quirrell’s core combusted,” Amelia explained. “It was fragile from the possession, and whatever accidental magic that came from you was just too much for him. The man let himself be possessed by a dark wizard for a year or more, Lord Potter. What happened to him was in no way your fault, so I hope you don’t bear any guilt for it.”
“I barely remember it,” Harry said. “I’ve processed that event the best I could, Madam Bones and I don’t blame myself. I was eleven. It’s actually kind of amazing that not a single adult in Hogwarts realized he was being possessed. You’d think the wards would’ve noticed him at the very least. I have wards on my home, and nothing happens in or around it that I’m not aware of.” He ignored Dumbledore’s huff of fury and focused intently on Bones who was grinning as she wrote.
“You encountered the Dark Lord in a spectral form in the Chamber of Secrets.”
“Yes, if you can’t call him Voldemort, Madam Bones, you could call him by his given name—Tom Riddle.” Her mouth dropped open. “What?”
“Tom Riddle is the Dark Lord? The former Head Boy?”
“Yes, I thought…isn’t that common knowledge?”
“No, it isn’t,” Amelia said and exhaled sharply through her nose. “Dumbledore, were you aware of this?”
“Yes, Amelia, and I told Minister Fudge, but he didn’t believe me.”
“Right,” Amelia muttered. “Lord Potter, can you tell me about the incident in the Chamber of Secrets?”
“Riddle was haunting a diary,” Harry said. “Ginny Weasley wrote in it all year, and it made her do things—including using the basilisk to try to kill several students. Fortunately, they were all just petrified. After Hermione was attacked, I found a note in her hand indicating that she’d solved the mystery of what was in the chamber. I went down into the chamber, killed the snake, and accidentally saved Ginny. I was shocked she was alive. The diary was trying to use her magic to give himself a body. The ghost in the diary admitted that his name was Tom Riddle and that he was also Voldemort. He was quite proud of his legacy as a dark wizard. He kept asking me how I defeated him as a baby. It was kind of disappointing. I thought Riddle was supposed to be smart. Even if my magic did do something to defeat him, I was just fifteen months old, so it isn’t like I did it on purpose or even know what I did or didn’t do.”
Bones cleared her throat and offered him a small smile. “Yes, I see your point.” She wrote a few more notes. “And on the night of the Third Task?”
“You’ve seen the memory of that,” Harry said.
“Yes, I’m interested in how your scar responded to being in his presence.”
“It hurt a lot—far more than anything else he did to me.”
“In the memory you showed the Wizengamot, your spells connected and a golden dome surrounded you. Do you know what that was?” Amelia asked.
Harry glanced toward Dumbledore and found the old man looking smug. It was irritating as fuck. “Yes, my wand and Voldemort’s are brother wands.” He smirked when Dumbledore’s mouth fell open. “In fact, they were made on the same day, by the same wandmaker, using feathers from the same phoenix. Since the feathers were taken on the same day, they are essentially identical. If they’d been taken one before and one after a burning they wouldn’t be identical cores. My wand is holly while Riddle’s wand is yew. Because our wands are brothers and we cast spells at the same time—we created a priori incantaem. Though Voldemort doesn’t know it—my wand is dominant to his as mine was made first. Because my wand is dominant, my spell forced Voldemort’s to expel the echoes of spells cast by the wand—specifically the last five people he murdered.”
“How do you know this?” Dumbledore demanded.
“I can read,” Harry snapped. “There are dozens of books on wand lore in the library at Hogwarts. I know my wand is dominant to his because his wand submitted without much of a fight. It had to be his wand because Voldemort sure as hell didn’t back down. What happened in the cemetery bothered me and made me worry about my ability to fight him in the future. So I researched it.”
“For the record,” Amelia said with a pointed look in Dumbledore’s direction. “Croaker from the DOM agrees with your assessment. There are two sides to this issue—one dueling Riddle with your current wand will be difficult, but it does provide you with an advantage. You can purchase a secondary wand, and I suggest you do so.” She made a few more notes. “Finally, it was reported that Voldemort possessed you the night of the DOM battle.”
“Yes, briefly through the curse connection. I forced him out of my head, and that is the last time he had any sort of contact with me mentally. I started doing cleansing exercises the moment I could, and Director Arnou is confident that I’ve completely eradicated the connection.”
“Yes, his report was clear on that.”
“What report?” Dumbledore questioned.
“The certified report that I received from the ICW,” Amelia said shortly. “Detailing their marriage bond, the fact that all three of them are free of potions, compulsions, and curses. They entered their magical marriage of their own free will. Chieftain Ragnok witnessed the signing of their contracts and the ICW has certified their Trinity bond as immaculate.”
Dumbledore’s face darkened, and his aura surfaced briefly. “A Trinity bond? Amelia, what nonsense is this? Mr. Malfoy has been at odds with Potter and Granger since they were sorted. As I explained when I asked you both here, Lord Potter is going to submit a petition for divorce. There is no bond.”
Harry smirked. “I do have a divorce petition.”
He passed it to Bones who unrolled it. She burst out laughing before giving it to Diggory. The Minister read it, and his mouth dropped open. Diggory just passed it to Dumbledore in silence. Dumbledore’s hand shook as he read it. He slapped the parchment down on the table and glared at Harry outright for the first time since the start of the meeting his aura flared wide open.
Harry sat back in his chair and stared. “I’m sure your parlor trick is quite scary for most people, Headmaster, but I’ve come face to face with a Voldemort. You’re kind of like a puffskein compared, no offense.”
“As your magical guardian,” Dumbledore began, and Harry held up a hand.
“You are not and never were my magical guardian. My magical guardian was Sirius Black and because he was thrown in jail without a trial—his parental rights were never terminated. I claimed my ring within forty-eight hours of his death and was emancipated. It is a right of blood and magic which cannot be set aside simply because you don’t like it. I don’t owe you an explanation regarding my actions or my marriage, and the ICW did certify our Trinity bond as immaculate. It’s been announced worldwide.”
“This marriage is untenable!”
“That’s not your decision,” Harry said. “For fuck’s sake, Dumbledore, why exactly do you care? You’re the headmaster of the school we attend. It’s not a crime to get married to two people in magical society, and the only pending contract in either of my magical houses was the Malfoy contract which I honored. I’ve done nothing wrong here, and yet you’ve harassed me repeatedly all summer regarding personal issues that are absolutely none of your goddamned business!”
“We are at war,” Dumbledore snapped. “And you’ve married a Muggle-born and the son of a Death Eater. You are selfish and immature to continue this farce, and I don’t believe for a moment the three of you have achieved a Trinity bond. That is utterly ridiculous.”
“Are you really in any position to judge Draco?” Hermione questioned with a frown. “You father went to Azkaban and died there for torturing Muggles. I mean, yes, Lucius Malfoy is a terrible, no-good, lousy bastard but it’s supremely unfair to judge a son for the mistakes of his father, and I would think that if anyone, you would know and understand that. Draco’s never served Voldemort, and apparently, he’s irredeemable in your eyes. What happened to your policy of second chances and forgiveness? Is that all fake? If so, how are we supposed to tolerate Severus Snape, a known Death Eater, teaching us? Really?”
Dumbledore stood and stalked from the room without another word.
Draco turned to Hermione. “I love you more than Harry does.”
Harry laughed. “You do not.”
Hermione rolled her eyes and focused on Diggory. “And what did you want, Minister Diggory? Are you going to accuse Harry of conspiring with Voldemort? You’ve already seen the memory. You know that Pettigrew killed Cedric and that Harry risked a great deal to bring his body back to you as Cedric asked.
“Moreover, Minister Fudge and Headmaster Dumbledore are directly responsible for the fact that Pettigrew is still at large. They’ve known since June of 1994 that he was alive. Either one of them could’ve insisted that Sirius Black receive a trial and perhaps if they had the DMLE would’ve found Pettigrew before he could help Voldemort get a body before he could murder Cedric.”
“I find it difficult to argue that point, Lady Potter,” Amos Diggory said and stood. “Thank you for meeting with us today, Lord Potter, Consort Potter.” He turned to Ragnok. “Chieftain, thank you for the use of your space this morning.”
Harry watched the Minister leave, a mixture of shock and worry stirring in his gut. Diggory had never once capitulated in the other timeline. He’d never even pretended to see reason. It was worrisome; more so for the fact that it made the man unpredictable.
Amelia Bones laughed and shook her head. She picked up the divorce petition which she waved at Harry. “This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in years. I’m tempted to frame it and put it on my wall.”
“In my defense, he’s been a real pain in the bum all summer,” Harry said. “His investment in my personal life is kind of creepy.”
“Yes, I happen to agree with you on that point.” Amelia stood. “Thank you for your time this morning.”
The door shut on her and Ragnok rocked in his chair. “That’s the most fun I’ve had in the bank with my clothes on in a hundred years.”
Harry grimaced. “We’re not old enough for that conversation, Chieftain.”
Ragnok laughed all the way out of the room.