The young man used his dirty sleeve to wipe yet more droplets from his forehead. The sun wasn't to its zenith yet, but the summer day was already overwarm. The row yet to weed seemed to grow longer, the hint of the table with refreshing beverages denied him until he finished his row. He looked towards his female guardian toiling in the nearby shade, her beverage to hand. He could tell that she was much cooler and more comfortable that he was.

She gave what to him was an evil smirk and sent him the rapidly falling and rising wave of her digit by digit. He would like to respond with a certain digit of his own but dared not. Such would be severely punished.

He sighed. He longed for a cool drink.

Just then, the hackles on the back of his neck rose. He looked quickly around. Nothing – no cover but an old wheelbarrow. Wandlessly, he turned it over, added a shielding spell, and waved the woman behind him. She was thin, too thin, so the now reinforced metal would be an effective cover. That had taken a few precious seconds, so by the time he was running to the thin trees at the end of the open garden row, spells were flying at him fast, but he was dodging faster. Once behind the trees he was able to spot the source of the spellfire. He turned to the everpresent bag at his waste and pulled out his staff. The distance was too long for his wand – he could burn it out if he shot from there.

Whispering the ancient tongue of his mother's mother's people the first then second then third spells shot out. The first two were shielded and evaded, but the third sent the intruder to the ground. Running, his staff blazed two more spells, and his adversary was now in ropes.

The boy, huffing a bit more from the adrenaline that the running stood over the man. He wasn't overly tall, and his mouse-brown hair was going prematurely grey.

"What is that I smell? A werewolf? Don't you know what we do to your kind here?" the boy asked, evil glee showing in his grin and twinkling eyes.

He dropped onto the prone man and started tickling.

"You can come out now, Mom. It's safe. I'm using the dread and ancient way of dealing with monsters like Dad, I mean like this one."

The woman pulled her own wand and banished the ropes. "Wolf Cub, let him go. I think that the ancient wolf has learned not to attack your family with you around." Her eyes were smiling and full of love to the man on the ground.

"Daddy! Daddy!" The girlish giggles joined in the laughter of the boy, and all three tackled the man again. He took them all in an embrace, sharing a sincere kiss with his wife, earning two 'awwws' and one 'ewwww' from his children.

The girls were arguing over story-time, as their father usually read to them before their nap.

"I actually came home for lunch today to talk with your brother, my beautiful princesses."

They had had their lunch already, and their goblin nursemaid took them towards their bedroom with only a few grumbles, another round of cheek-kisses, and promises to read to them tonight.

"Another seer has contacted Gringott's son. I think that it is getting close." The man now known to his fellow aurors as Remus Lupin said. If only he could bear this burden for the boy he had raised, the only son of his best friends, the only known survivor of the Dark one, and the only person known to have survived the killing curse.

Some had speculated on that last, but his wife had been talking to the boy's mother that Halloween night on the magical mirrors that he and his friends had made. They used it to stay in touch, and allow Lily and James to become true friends with her. Lily had begged not to be left alone when she discovered that she couldn't escape, and knew death was coming. Remus himself had tried so hard to get there in time, leaving their home in the States using the international portkey for just such an emergency.

All the woman could do in those horrible minutes was watch. All Remus could do was to lift the baby from the wreckage, taking with him the mirror that had somehow survived. He knew that Sirius was no traitor for sure now – he never really did think it, but James had been worried. Lily suspected Dumbledore, or one of the Order.

Hagrid appeared too soon after the attack to be coincidence. Young Harry Potter was brought back to the people that had welcomed the young auror after he had been expelled from Britain. He was brought to the home of the girl that had captured that werewolf's heart. As her husband placed the wounded child in her arms, she felt the evil that was contained in the mark on his head.

"Welcome back to your first home, Flying Wolf. Don't worry, we'll see what the Elders say about this. You are safe here. You are loved."

The boy once known as Harry Potter opened his bright green eyes, saw the loving visage of his mother's cousin many times removed, turned and looked at Remus.

"Daddy! Mummy fell! Green light! BAD bad man!"

Remus had taken leave when Lily came there to deliver her child. She had hoped that the warm welcome of her extended family in the southwest United States would change James' mind about leaving Britain. It didn't work. James never came.

It did confuse Harry though, and he bonded to Remus the night he was born. Even after Lily moved back, forced by Dumbledore and James to return, every night, they would talk on mirrors, and Harry would reach for 'Daddy'.

Harry gave in and eventually called James 'Daddy' too, but Remus thought it was the bribes.

He knew that Lily and James had filed their wills at Gringott's and in the States, just in case. Being a werewolf wouldn't bar Remus from being an adoptive father there. Sirius not only understood, but was grateful. He was still dating, and hadn't picked the right girl or three to settle down with. Sirius did go to the Longbottom's though, and gave them the emergency pack that Lily had prepared.

Just in case.

It all came back, washing over him, and Remus shivered from the chill. Greta joined them after putting the girls to bed.

"You have the cloak, and the ring." Remus reminded the black-haired boy.

"And the wand. Don't forget that." Greta reminded him. She was the one that had placed the warded box into the bowels of Gringott's Phoenix branch herself. She might not be from this side of the globe, but that did not mean that she couldn't get around fellow goblins.

Flying Wolf smiled. It was still one of his favorite memories. He and Little Bear had just started the day, getting ready for potions, when the new principal of the school showed up with a surprise visitor. The boy-without-a-scar was grateful that he didn't wind up with a surprise in his boxers, he was so afraid at first.

It was Skinny Santa from Britain, the one that had kidnapped him and had him tortured over Christmas for two weeks when he was six. And he was really there!

Whipping out their wands, Little Bear had him stunned as Flying Wolf summoned his wand. Ropes went flying next, and the wand went into a pre-prepared, well-warded and runed box. A quick summon of a house-elf, and it was gone before anyone knew what happened.

Well, except for the boys who had only trained three years for this exact possible scenario.

"Yeah, but do I bring it with me into the Lion's den? It was hard enough to get my cloak, Dad."

"The rest of the horcruxes are gone, according to the seers. Once he becomes corporeal, that is."

"Sirius and his team deserve a big bonus. Maybe he'll bring the girl with the pink hair back for a visit. She was so pretty." The goofy grin on the boy's face made the older man laugh.

"Tonks? She's your cousin, remember?" Remus teased. He had felt the attraction himself, but he was a married wolf, and if there was one thing good about his disease, it did help keep him an honest man, not that he needed it. He was the exact opposite of his marauder friend Sirius Black.

"Yeah, but, but in Britain, don't they marry cousins? I could at least visit her when I'm there?" Flying Wolf was just teasing his father. He already had a good friend in Britain, and it wasn't a brightly painted auror with the funny name.

Of course, all wizards in Britain had funny names. Look at his Hermione! That was hardly a normal name like Flaming Wood or Peaceful Lake. Nymphadora had to win some award though. But he valued all of his parts and would not be teasing his cousin about said name in any century.

"Of course you could, and I encourage you to do so. Then, I will remind you, her, her parents, your teachers, and everyone else around you that you are fourteen and she is twenty."

"But I'll be fifteen soon!"

"Yeah, I know."

Fifteen. The age of ascendancy. What were their ancestors thinking? Well, not even two hundred years before, white wizards had not seen these people, and they were descendants of an older and ancient culture that felt that fifteen was old enough to start courting, with marrying by sixteen not uncommon. Marriage past twenty would see people wondering if there were problems.

Well, with their strict sexual laws of chastity, it did make sense. Young people this age did tend to want to well, couple.

The messy-haired youth had talked about tokening a local beauty, only to discover that his god brother had the same thought. A discussion, not meant to be overheard, showed that the beauty didn't think Little Bear wealthy enough for her, and that despite the rumors that wizarding Britain had stolen all of the former Harry Potter's wealth, she had heard from her aunt who was secretary to the Sacred Mother that while his wealth wasn't very liquid, that he was very wealthy. So the dark haired beauty had broken two boy's hearts with one arrow that day. Well, broke one boy's heart, and helped another with an impossible decision.

Little Bear, born as Neville Longbottom had escaped Britain with both parents alive and well. He had family that loved him, a brother and sister that looked up to him, and extended family that supported him. He was a brave warrior, handsome and well-muscled. All of the girls of his age knew that despite being a Stranger, the boy would be a great match.

For those of a baser nature, his wealth was hidden well by Gringott's who would be annoyed at the leak of the other boy's situation. Goblins loved gold, and secrets and intrigue. They might be bankers now but they are warriors at heart.

"Dad, I want to go to Seattle for a year. You know that reputation that their battle master has. We can take him aside, confide in him. Offer him, you know, extra money for tutoring. I just want another year or two to prepare." The fact that Hermione had agreed to go there if she possibly could had absolutely nothing to do with it. Well, very little to do with it.

Unlike a different girl, Hermione had no problems with the weather there. She thought it sounded similar to Britain. He didn't think that the drizzle would matter to the girl has she would probably have to be forced to go anywhere outdoors. All the libraries he knew where inside.

But the fact of the matter was that the director of the Seattle Institute of Sorcery thought that Albus too-many-names Dumbledore was a fraud and a dangerous man. That gave the young man hope to be able to build a small group of allies that one day might free magical Britain from its current problems.

"Are you afraid?" The werewolf asked in gentle tones.

"Of course I am! It's not just one dark lord here, you know. I face two! I know everyone's gone on about the Lord of the Light nonsense, but they don't know that man like I do. What was he doing with James Potter's cloak? He never loaned it to him! An artifact like that would have all kinds of magical contracts on it before loaned out. Or our goblin friends could not have retrieved it."

"Young Master Black speaks truth there!" Greta grinned.

"Why do you call me that?" Flying Wolf asked yet again. She grinned. She never answered him. He figured it was due to something with Sirius, but let it go. Again.

"A broken arm, no food, locked in a closet. This would have been my life if it wasn't for your actions the day my sacred mother was killed. If it wasn't for you rescuing me, I'd have been stuck there for years before being let out for Hogwarts, and then I would have been under the headmaster's thumb. For years, if not the rest of my short life. Everyone knew that there was something evil in my head when I was a baby. If he had found me first, would he have just killed me? Or taken me to the Dursley's to be abused before doing whatever it was the man wanted?"

It was the older man, not the boy, with tears in his eyes. He could tell that the son of his heart did appreciate him, love him. Even still, the boy considered Lily his birth mother and Remus his father. Then his wife joined the conversation. The men rose respectfully to their feet.

"Flowering Meadow, you are more beautiful today than the day we first met." Remus hugged his wife, and shared a brief but sincere kiss.

"Hi Mom. I know that I don't say it often enough, but thanks for everything. You know, taking me in. Adopting me. I know that no one could have been a better mom to me than you after my birth mom was killed. I love you."

The woman hugged the boy hard. He was rarely so serious.

She took out the bag, a worn cloth, a small dish of pure gold that was rather beaten up but still beautiful, and a set of rune stones.

Chanting, the woman cut her hand and allowed three drops of blood to fall into the lipped plate. Each of them, the elderly goblin woman included, mimicked her actions. She then cast the stones.

The boy called Harry as a baby made a face. "What does that mean?" He hated divination. Runes and arithmacy, mage-casting, battle magics. Those made sense.

The woman had paled slightly. "Seattle but don't expect to be able to study there long. There is a strong line for change."

"Maybe that Aztec school will change its mind. I swear Mom, I didn't know it was a sacred temple. It looked like some kind of ancient quidditch pitch with lower goals or something. I didn't know that flying there was rude, or that shooting a quaffle through the hoops would upset so many people. I thought that I was showing, you know, insight into the ancient magical peoples. Mom?"

The raven-haired woman wore a pained face. It was one that she wore whenever the dreaded godfather came to visit or she was reminded that her son was indeed a male child and not one of her sweet innocent girl children. Her sigh seemed to release the tension in her face. But the tension in the room was palpable.

"I'll go with him." Greta offered.

"NO!" Three shouts united, there was times that the family could agree on things.

"I appreciate it, but a goblin nanny in a school? You want me to have no friends, like forever, right?" The boy look at the woman. "They won't know how good you are with a blade, or how deadly you are with your poisons. Given squad of British aurors or you, I would take you into battle with me every time. But not to school. Besides, I do want to find time to be with my girlfriend. How can I do that if there is a beautiful lady in my life making other jealous?"

That banter earned him a gentle slap on the arm by his tutor. But she didn't argue.

They talked more, until Remus realized he was quite late getting back to work. They shared a brief manly hug, and the wolf collected one more kiss before flooing back.

"The girls are going to miss you."

His sisters were seven and five. Despite more than a dozen years of trying, his adoptive mother had had trouble bringing a baby to term. He suspected it was the result of her potions work, which she had finally taken a break from, several years before. Now, she was back to researching and writing books. Which is how the long separated cousins met, and how Remus met his wife-to-be, and how Flying Wolf was raised on a huge magical creature preserve where one of his jobs was to keep the lethal predators away.

Preferably by killing them and turning them into profitable potions ingredients.

"They'll be okay. I can read them stories via mirror calls."

The woman flinched.

"Sorry, Mom. Look, you've used mirrors thousands of times. The Dark Lord is not going to be one of my calls home. I will not make you watch as I eviscerate him."

"What about your bête-noire?"

"You want me to film eviscerating Bumblemore? I bet I'll get more gold for that than I did killing his pet snake."

The woman shuddered. "That was dangerous, going back there after the first time he took you to that school. You could have been trapped there!"

Greta interrupted this old argument. "No, the goblins had a contract with the deputy headmistress. That bright young witch told us what it was that was attacking students, after that, it was a fun hunt. We got a nice juicy contract for the extermination contract and got to keep the carcass. And you did great! I was so proud of you!"

"Only because you got to sell Basilisk steak to the snobs for a hundred galleons a pound."

"What! No! A hundred galleons per six ounce serving! As if I would make such a bad deal!" She pretend huffed to the amusement of both.

Lunch had been eaten long before, and the garden's needs pulled on the responsible witch.

"Promise me you'll be careful?"

"I will. Hermione's been trying to get permission to go to Seattle with me. Something stupid about rules regarding muggleborns and OWLS? Does that make sense? Why can't she go now?"

The woman narrowed her eyes. "Do you like this girl?" She had spent a lot of time talking to the girl's mother, just in case. But the time was now upon them.

"Yeah, I do. She's a great friend. I mean, we were only been face-to-face together a few weeks her first year, and I saw her again a couple times there when we've snuck back in to Old England, but I like her. I talk to her every day. And I love when she visits here."

Unlike a certain dark-haired beauty, this British girl hadn't betrayed him or broken his heart. The times her family came to visit, the children all got on, had fun riding, practicing magic, and she was surprisingly talented at potions for a Brit. Her husband had nothing positive to say about the nit who taught at her school, despite the man's sterling reputation in the potion community.

She was smart enough. Both boys saw that she was driven, so what if she was a Stranger. She could fit in. Unless she took her boy away. Flying Wolf saw her look, her face, and the problem, and spoke up quickly.

"Mom, they practically enslave women there. I'm not staying. And the Granger parents are dentists. They don't need to go to the North Pole to find a job. They could work in Phoenix. Or LA, or any town anywhere. And her mom likes you. We're better at including those without magic here."

"Hermione said so herself. Though she used bigger words like 'integration'." Greta teased.

"Me male. Me hunt. Me kill. She girl. She reads and knows scary big words."

"Oh you. Come on. I'm sure that your lemonade is still cold in the shade, and the weeds await us." The lovely lady prodded, and he went not unwillingly.

The goblin waved goodbye to them both, going to her own room for a nap until the girls woke.

"Okay, but can you please do that cooling charm on me? Mine always fizzle out every fifteen minutes."

"That's because, in your secret heart of hearts, you are telling your magic you want to be done in that time."

The young man pondered her words as he went back out to the row of potion plants. She probably wasn't wrong.

Hermione looked at the mirror. Wolf had just called again. That was she called using the mirror as a phone. She laughed at his Rudolph joke. It was one of her favorite Christmas specials. She then asked if there was a North Pole, Arizona. He had just laughed and told her that the major wizarding town was Christmas, Arizona, an uninhabited old mine town to those without magic.

She wanted to go to school with him so badly. She had talked to her parents about it. If they left using muggle transport, she could leave the country, go to school in the States but never be anything magical in England. Ever. They could snap her wand, try to bind her magic, even if she completed her studies elsewhere.

She completely agreed with her friend's parents. When talent was handed out, Wizarding Britain forgot to stand in line for common sense, but stood in the line for nonsense twice.

There was no talking Harry into coming to England for school. He refused to go to the World Cup in Britain.

"No. I could go in any disguise you care to think of, and that whiskered old coot would be handcuffing me to your common room. Again."

She had to wait until she had taken her OWL's before transferring to Seattle. At least according to Dumbledore. Hummm. She had seen a dark side to the Leader of the Light since her first year at school. She could tell that she had made her friend remember that horrible time as well. No, she needed to write some letters. Before gathering Hedwig, the owl her friend had given to her in leaving England, she made a list of possible sources of information and began to send out inquiries.


The memory of a cold dark dungeon cell had him shivering. Well, he should have expected the retaliation, he had taken the man's death stick. Even if Dumbledore had stolen from his grandfather Charles Potter's vault somehow. The wand showed up in vault 17 in an inventory in 1975. Long after the supposed defeat of Grindlewald. Which leads to some interesting questions as to who defeated who in the war. Really. And where were the portraits commissioned for the last three generations of Potter's? Lily's wedding ring? Sirius wouldn't have taken it. The goblins still had a trace going on the stolen jewelry and artwork, and if it ever showed up in certain known fences of precious artifacts they would be getting it back. And at cost. But back to the point. He should have known that the dark one would not take getting spanked by a couple of kids well.

Which led to thoughts of why was Dumbledore after him? Lily knew that she was in danger, yet returned. Why?

The boy-who-lived pondered all he knew about that dark day.

His father Remus sometimes kicked himself for taking the mirror, but he picked it up talking to his devastated wife who had not abandoned Lily Potter to die alone. She talked to her, watched over her, and said the sacred ritual words while her cousin was facing death.

Voldemort had seen the talking magic mirror, but Lily had set it to reflect. She could hear her friend but even in those last moments, would not betray family.

The dark lord had earned a fearsome enemy that day in Flowering Meadow. That she would help fund the hunt for his horcruxes, bringing him to the brink of death was not something that he could have envisioned that day.

So, if he, the boy known as Harry Potter, returned to Britain, some people would try to steal from him. The headmaster had tried to guilt him about the wand after all. Maybe he should mail a copy of the inventory. Magical inventories had amazing pictures. With details. He could see the runes, the Hallows symbol (not that he believed in the legend really), the little scratches that the wand at picked up with age.

His mother had reassured him that it wasn't necessary to kill in order to defeat. But growing up protecting unicorns and pegasi had taught him some very valuable lessons in life.

If you allow evil to flourish, it will destroy everything good until nothing is left.

When he was seven or so, he went on a hunt with the men of the council to deal with a manticore that had been seen. The boys were left with some of the older men well away from the fight, but close enough to observe the hunt. It was a female, with two very young cubs. At first, Flying Wolf wanted to tend the injured cub, and was horrified to see it put down. His father took him aside and explained it.

"People make choices every day to be good or evil. That thing, in time, would be a vicious monster that would need to be hunted. Look at your godmother's husband. He is hurt. Look at the others. None of the warriors that faced that monster are unhurt. Thankfully, no one died today. But by killing those monster now, we saved ourselves pain and suffering in the future."

The boy known to England as Harry spent the time weeding plants wondering if he would have to kill both Dumbledore and Voldemort. He didn't want to. Killing people without cause was a terrible crime in his world. He pondered what he would need to do to make the world safer for his friends and family for the rest of the afternoon. The seers that were trying to guide him wouldn't lose their soul if they were wrong.

He risked his.


"Happy Birthday, Flying Wolf". The girl that had once so appealed to him tried to kiss his cheek. He got up out of his chair too quickly, making it fall backwards with a loud bang. That faux pas was covered up though with the surprise arrival of guests.


The boy ran to his friend, picked her up, swirled her around, and placed two kisses on either cheek in greeting.

"Bonjour, ma chere amie. Je t'aime." He said, in nearly a perfect accent. Well, his goblin was much better, and no, he would not call it the discriminatory name that the Brit wizards used. But then, he had had a goblin nanny since the whole mess with Sirius' mother's will, the death eaters, his first kidnaping, meeting his mother's sister by birth (no claim to real family here).

"I am so excited for you to be joining us on this adventure!" Hermione replied back in perfect French as well.

"That is so nice of you to include Strangers at your fifteenth birthday, Flying Wolf. It is good that people from backwards culture get a chance to see their betters." River's Song couldn't help but notice that the long awaited token had not yet been presented to her. And now, the boy was traveling soon to a foreign county with a different girl! No!

Harry went over to a table. He had spent a few awkward conversations with his British godfather, his godmother, his godbrother's grandmother, and a few others. The worst were the girl's father. Britain, magical and mundane were a patriarchy. Weird. Still, he followed their traditions, and talked to the father. He had felt like well-done basilisk burger when he was done, but still.

He laid his hand on the traditional box. He took out a clip, a magically enameled hair clip that had an unusual display attached to it. Hermione approached the box, curious.

"Harry, I mean Flying Wolf, what are these? This glimmers like unicorn horn."

"Very good Hermione. This is fluff taken from a baby unicorn. It was a gift from the grateful mother after she was hurt as she was giving birth. It's a dangerous time for any animal. The feathers are from the nest of a Pegasi family that we befriended. The enameled pendant has enchanted protections that are very potent"

He went to explain the significance of the rest of the items in the clip.

He could see that River's Song was getting antsy.

"Hermione, could I talk to you, um. Alone."

She nodded, and he offered her his arm British style. His dogfather was good for somethings after all. When they got to the door, the dark haired beauty stepped in to interfere.

"I'll hold your box for you while you explain the ceremony that is about to take place if you like."

The boy looked to his mother. This girl was highly connected in the council after all. She was the one that would lose more than he would if she decided to get nasty.

"That is very kind of you, but I need it right now, so…"

"No! You will not token a Stranger!" She did her hair flick, and yep there was the first foot stomp. "I forbid it." Second stomp.

"I'm sorry that you are disappointed, but I need to be going." He followed his mother's advice. He didn't complain about her actions, he didn't engage in a battle, he walked away.

Leading Hermione through the door, his mother came to the rescue when the other girl was about to try and follow. A grateful look later, and they were on the terrace, his top of the line broom awaiting them.

"You've been really brave about flying here. I promise to take it slow, can we go someplace special? It isn't far."

"I trust you, Harry."

Despite knowing his real name, he forgave her calling him by his Stranger name.

They got up to a ridge, and the valley below was gorgeous. The sun was getting ready to set, and birds were flocking to their nests. Suddenly, a flight of Pegasi appeared, and they settled into a huge nest in what had to be a magical tree to support all of that weight without bending.

"When my mother found out that the Dark Lord was after them, she sold every holding she had in Britain and Canada, and invested it here. From that river to the north, to the state line to the west to that distant highway to the south to this ridge is land that my family has slowly purchased over the last fifteen years. Every time I slay an evil creature, there is a few more galleons for the land fund. It's all paid for, no mortgage. I have saved enough to build a nice magical or mundane home. Potions ingredients, workshop space, spell creation space, a beautiful place to fly or ride. And the weather is sunny and warm – no drizzles, no mud.

"I want you to have my token Hermione. I want to court you. I have talked to your mother, well, both of your parents. In my culture, it is the mother that is the head of the house, though in most marriages they are partners. That is what I want. To be partners. For us to be partners. Will you accept my token?"

His heart was pounding a faster than a Lightning Bolt, his new broom, could go. Hermione bit her lip in that cute way she did when she was thinking.

"I thought that other girl wanted this."

"She does. But I found out that she just wants me for my money. You already know me a bit. I only told you about the land so you knew that my offer was serious, that I had a way to provide for our family if our courtship be successful."

She turned to look at him. "You are asking me to marry you?"

"Not exactly. I am asking you to let me court you officially. Be my intended, as they say in your land. If my suit is accepted, then the next stage is betrothal and marriage."

Hermione nodded. "I like you a lot, Harry, um, Flying Wolf. I need a name though, if I am going to live here?"

His face lit up, and he opened the box that he took from his pouch. He placed the clip into her hair, and kissed her lips very gently, very sweetly.

"I've never kissed anyone before."

"That was my first kiss, too Hermione." The sun was setting, the pegasi were nickering to each other quietly, and the valley seemed filled with peace.

For their flight back, Harry had Hermione sit in front of him on the broom. He would stop every so often pointing out a unique plant or animal sign. And he would kiss her. Or she him. It was a very mutual thing.

It took less than five minutes to get to the ridge, and twenty minutes to get back.

Much to both of their reliefs, the angry girl was gone. Finding out that the hostess of the party had to ask her to leave made them both wince. The family's reactions were predictable. His sisters already liked Hermione as they loved stories, she loved to read them stories, so they were already friends. His parents liked her, his dad really liked her, but he wouldn't say why.

His friends from school (the ones that didn't leave earlier with River's Song) had mixed feelings, but were kind people. They made polite noises, but were confused. Until two months before, everyone thought it would be Little Bear and River's Song or Flying Wolf with her. Neither boy had breathed a word about that girl's greed. So the sudden change had caught everyone out.

Hermione didn't know these people, and wasn't the sort to brag about her money or to be with someone over it. She had understood that Harry showing her his holding was a way of proving to her that he could provide for her if they married. She was touched. He never asked her one question of her own trust, investments or holdings. She bit her lip. She would find the right time to tell him that she too brought something to the table. But it was nice being wanted just for being her.

After the traditional dancing, feast, more dancing, snacking, and yet more dancing, it was time to call it a night. He thanked his friends for coming, and took Hermione at to the terrace for a few goodnight kisses. His sisters had had way too much sugar and their looks of approval were a little manic as tired as they should have been. He shooed them away, but finally had to call for elf help. Greta was long ago in bed – she had fled the party when the dancing started.

He had had the best birthday ever and his coming of age party had been wonderful. He didn't want the night to end, but had to let the beautiful girl in his arms get some sleep.

"Goodnight, princess. I'll work on your name for here." He kissed her gently one final kiss for the night. A bit deeper, with all of the feeling he could put into it.

"Goodnight, my wolfie. I'll see you tomorrow."

He never saw his father watching to make sure that he went to bed alone. He was actually trusted by his parent, and hoped that he would trust his girlfriend. He just didn't want any trouble should the council members of the house see anything, um, untoward.

Remus made a mental note to talk to Dan and Emma the next day. Yes indeed, it was the responsible thing to do.

Remus took Dan into his study. The bastion of manliness in the home was not lost to the British dentist. While they had spoken via the magical telephone several times, they had not met often face to face.

"Mr. Granger, I want to explain to you what the normal next steps are in a token process so that you are not caught unaware."

"Actually, your wife has been talking to Emma about this the last several months. Both of us think that fifteen is a little young to be engaged, but my understanding is that if the kids get serious, and um, well, physical, that magic will consider them married."

"Good. Our people are incredibly sensitive about family. What Harry did last night was invite your daughter to join ours. If they choose to, well, couple, then they will have a short ceremony to announce it to their friends. That is why everyone here was upset last night. Most of the girls thought that Flying Wolf would choose one of them. I have known for some time that Hermione was a possibility."

"What about that other girl that was so upset?"

"She wanted Harry for his money, nothing more."

"I thought that magical Britain had taken all of his vaults and properties? Hermione was very upset when reading that as a child. She thought it very unfair, especially if his parents had done something to banish the dark lord. He should be rewarded, not punished in spite being raised elsewhere."

"I suspect that Emma may know more about this than you. The Potter family owns quite a bit of land here. Harry was actually born here, and has added to the magical preserve that was started long ago. His mother bought land abutting the original lands, and we have added on to that legacy as we can. We watch for parcels coming on the market, and buy what we can afford.

"Pegasi, unicorns, and other benevolent creatures come and go through here unharmed. They know that we offer healing and food when hard winters strike. There are various magical peoples that wander through here as well. A noble group of centaurs that migrate from Mexico to Canada and back on some kind of celestial calendar known only to them. They have taught us, hunted with us, and been our friends. Of course, I came here first, as this is a refuge to werewolves as well, and my wife helped with the development of the first wolfsbane potion. That too as added to the Potter wealth, as Lily Potter had many patents in her short life."

"It's good to know that my daughter is being courted by someone who wants her for herself and not her trust fund, but I'm still not ready. My princess is six in my heart. I don't want to think of her snogging with a boy, much less shagging with a boyfriend!"

Remus opened and passed a butterbear to the man. They did not keep or serve alcohol in the council lands. The wizard brew had no alcohol, but a very mild calming potion in this version. He opened and sipped his own.

"My daughters are five and seven. When Running Deer and Calming Stream are of age, I suspect that I will feel the exact same way. As it is, I am not ready for this as a father to a son."

"What about this mad-man terrorist that is after him? Won't Hermione be in danger?"

"Yes, I am sorry to say, but she is. That is why she has the emergency portkey jewelry that he has given her, and the pass to Gringott's that will read to them that she is the mate of a friend of their nation. I do not mean to upset you about that." Dan rising from his chair was met with an extended arm of the concerned father. "She can go to any branch and get immediate help. Without question, or in the case of goblins, high fees. They would put warriors on the line to protect her if she showed them her enameled medallion that Harry gave her last night." Remus looked at the worried dentist.

"However, that said, Flying Wolf would never take her into battle. Never. He would see her safely away from an attack if possible. But her being a target is not only because of our boy here. You being non-magicals would paint this target on her regardless of her brains or beauty." Or especially because of her power, brains, and beauty showing the blood-purist that their axioms were just tripe.

Their family was close, and she had shared a lot with her parents. Other than the boy, she didn't really have close friends at school. She didn't fit in well with the girls, and they had bullied her on and off. And the only boy she had ever had eyes for was a nice kid. He was tall, muscular, tanned. He spoke a variety of languages fluently. He apparently owned half of the state of Arizona in land, several herds of various kinds of magical creatures, and acres of rare potion plants. All of which kept hundreds of squibs and muggleborn rejects from Britain gainfully and happily employed in the potion ingredient and making business that his family own and ran.

And apparently he went running around killing monsters for fun and profit.

Dan shook his head, and thought of the other danger that Hermione had told him of.

"I just wish I could get that whiskered wanker in my chair. After half of the things that I heard last night, I really don't want my daughter going back to that school."

"My brilliant wife had some ideas on that, as did Flying Wolf himself. Harry. Sorry."

Dan had requested that the boy be called by his British name, and Remus had always tried to do so.

"Well, it looks like we might be family one day. I must say, when Hermione told me about vampires and werewolves and all that were real, I never thought I would actually meet one. Much less like one, or become friends with one. Do you have vampires here too?"

"No, too much sunlight. Though the battle-master that Harry admires is one. Apparently there is a clan that lives on the island where the school is. There are several hospitals were they get expired blood from, which apparently is like ambrosia to them, and they don't have to worry about lethal weather. The desert is not a good place for their kind."

"My daughter is going to go to a school with a vampire!"

"More than one actually. Any one at school would have to make a magical oath not to feed on an underaged wizard or unwilling human. I'm sure that Harry will give Hermione plenty of extra protections as well. There are a lot of spells that can hurt non-magical vampires very quickly. But in the States, vampires have rights. A lot more than anywhere else. So a live and let un-live is the motto there."

Dan made a face at the bad joke. The marauder shrugged. An alarm went off and had both men jumping to their feet and running to the great room.

"Something evil has triggered the ward near Unicorn Ridge."

Dan the Dentist got the chance to see something he never wanted to see again. The gentle mask of the werewolf slipped, and the pure hunter grinned eagerly.

Flying Wolf came running, two brooms in hand, wearing a near identical gleam of eagerness.

"Greta, call in the unit. Something wicked this way comes." The boy, no man commanded, handing off the other broom to his father.

"And we are going to go kill it." The men shared a quick slap of the hands before running to the terrace. Harry actually jumped off the ledge before mounting the broom, much to his mother's and intended's horror.

Flowering Meadow went to the rune board and did a quick double tab. No need to continue the auditory reminder that the warriors of the house were now in danger. She summoned and dispersed magical help with practiced eased, but the non-magical visitors could tell that she was worried. Well, they were too.

"Why couldn't I go with them? I have my wand – I could help!" Hermione complained. Not that she would have enjoyed the ride. She had watched her Ravenclaw house play every game. No one flew as well as Harry did.

Dan shook his head. "Two dark lords wanting to hurt you isn't enough danger? You don't need to go looking for trouble."

It seemed like longer, but a half-hour later a manically grinning young man called her on her mirror.

"Well, that was fun. And different. But we're in cleanup mode here. Can you tell Mom for me? Also, your folks aren't vegetarians or anything are they? Because we are bringing home one of Greta's favorites, enough for everyone. Oh, Dad is calling me. We'll be back soon. He says that we might delay the portkey to France tonight, one of the goblins got hurt but I don't think it was that bad. We just want to make sure that Black Claw is okay before leaving. Gotta go, bye!"

The others in the room had gathered around to hear what the boy had said. Greta clapped her hands in glee and made way to the shaded area outside that housed to what looked to Dan's eyes like a normal grill on steroids. Dan and his daughter had followed the goblin curiously. She was loading odd looking wood into one side of the contraption, and had it started with a wave of her hand.

"You have to show me that! No wand!" Hermione said.

"Of course, my dear. You are powerful, very much so, but if an enemy took your wand, you would feel powerless. We can work on this on vacation. I have some books for you to read. How fluent are you in goblin?" Greta's eyes gleamed. She knew that Harry had taught her in exchange for her teaching him French. Both children had a gift, and she knew it.


"So then it tried to bite me! And I was being nice, giving it a chance. I mean after all, there are several dragon reserves around. But no, it didn't want to go home, or to a new place. It had already roasted and eaten a few deer. Why it decided for a unicorn for desert, I don't know. Still, he's been eating well. This is the best dragon steak I have ever had." Flying Wolf dug in for another bite.

"You were brilliant out there, but I was terrified you were going to be impaled after Black Claw was hurt." Remus was pale after the encounter. His son had killed the beast single handedly with a goblin-made weapon. Greta was going to be impossible for days.

"Did you really use the Sword of Gryffindor to kill it?" Hermione asked. She had read that only a true Gryffindor could wield that blade. Her admiration of her suitor went up a few notches upon his affirmation of her query.

"Yep. Shame to hurt such a magnificent creature, and his coloring! But he couldn't be reasoned with. Some creatures are like that."

"You don't mean that you actually talked to it?" Dan asked.

"Sure I did. One of the reasons that I earned my place on the Gringott's unit I'm in. I can talk to snakes, basilisks, dragons, just about any reptiles really. Hey Hermione, do you think that if they ever brought back any dinosaurs like in that movie that I could talk to one?"

"Oh, if they do that, bring one home Little Wolf. I want to taste it." Greta grinned at him. Dragon steak was her favorite. She knew that she would have as much as she wanted for some time now, him having claimed half for the household, and the other half going to Gringott's. There wouldn't be much profit in this one except for the hide. He had claimed a good chunk of that too, having two sets of armor commissioned. She grinned at that. Dragonhide was naturally magically resistant. She grinned at the girl who had initially picked at the strange meat before deciding that it was delicious, and digging in like the rest.

The werewolf was enjoying his third helping of bloody-rare meat. The full-moon a few nights before had wiped him out. He needed the nutrients and relished the flavor. Once or twice a year they tangled with wild dragons, mostly juveniles deciding to ignore the rules and leave their areas. Sometimes, they could be reasoned with. Sometimes, they got eaten.

Secretly, and he would never confess this to anyone in the house, he always hoped that they would decide to fight. Remus loved dragon meat!

Emma and Dan watched the group as the magical women listened to the goblin and human warriors tell tales of this and other battles. The goblins spoke of long-ago wars with bearded invaders from the north, great white shaggy men in huge fur robes, wielding magical axes and staves, some of which had been captured in battle and still used today.

The elves kept side-dishes and beverage service going, but it was Greta and a few other goblin women that had shown up with the others who cooked and served the meat to order. Dan offered to help but was told that he was far too male and too human to help, which made all of the women laugh.

Imagine letting a man near dragon meat. As if!

An elf came in and bowed to the lady of the house, and whispered in her ear. She stood, which caused all of the males in the house, Dan only a little belatedly, to stand.

She returned accompanied by a wan looking goblin, his arm in an odd sling, a bottle of something vile looking in his off hand. At his appearance, the assembled company all leapt to their feet, and there was much banging of goblets on the table.

"Black Claw, Black Claw, Black Claw!"

"Alright, hold it down! Now, will one of ye lovely lasses serve me up a plate. That beasty wanted a bit of me. I want to get a bite of him!"

"Revenge is a dish best served piping hot, with a bit of blood sausage, and spicy root salad." His goblin mate said, rubbing noses briefly, causing more than a few to gaze at their own mates.

Greta banged her own goblet in agreement. War songs were started, and the new humans happily joined in the chorus that was repetitive and easy to remember. The nanny wondered if Emma would be as smiling knowing that she was singing of the death and dismemberment of enemies, splashing in the blood of their foes, and relishing the wailing and weeping of the beleaguered women in the song's story.

Probably not, but Hermione was still singing though she was definitely understanding more than she was ready for. She looked a bit peaked.

Remus checked in at work, he was still good for his two-week leave. His role on his squad meant working 24/7 for a day or two, rarely more, and then waiting for the next time that their specialized branch was needed. Having this much time guaranteed off was a huge deal for him.

Some of the staff assembled to wave them off when their portkey took them away. A tall dark haired man approached looking at the werewolf disdainfully.

"What do you mean by bringing such riff-raff here?"

"Takes a mutt to know one. Hey Sirius, loved the new broom. American company – thought you were a Nimbus or nothing kind of guy." The men involved were now sharing the manly half-hug ritual, before the newcomer turned to the ladies.

"Finally walking in the godfather's footsteps. Introduce your lovely twin girlfriends, pup."

"LORD BLACK! This is my son's tokened one, now a daughter of my house. You hurt her, prank her, make her the least bit upset and you will not only earn my wrath, but you will soon pray for death. Do not cross me!"

Flowering Meadow normally spoke in a controled alto voice. She had raised it only long enough to get the man's full attention. Magic flared around her. The man was cowed. She had his attention. Once found, he seemed a bit hurt.

"I would never intentionally hurt someone important to Harry. Never. Hi Hermione, how are you doing? I won my bet then, not that Remus would actually gamble on anything. But after what happened in your first year, I thought he would choose you. Hey Dan, Emma." He shook hands all around.

"Who knew how much of a troll could be used in a potion?" Hermione asked calmly. Flying Wolf had insisted on sharing the profits with her. Together they had taken out that troll in first year. She had asked for a set of potion books from the States, copies of the ones that he had talked about, well raved about.

She thought that she would faint to find out that the author of some were his mother and that others had been written by Lily Evans, who was his birth mother. She was gifted a full set of signed books, though the last one Lily Potter had her in tears. She tried to return the book.

"I have a hundred copies that she signed. We keep them for charity events and the like. Amazing how popular she became in such a short time. Keep it.

Hermione was exceptionally gifted in potions. That led to some private lessons both over the mirror and in person from some of the world's best potion masters. Not that Hermione knew them as that. They were just people from Harry's life with interesting names, odd tastes in clothes, and seriously wicked senses of humor.

They were also scary smart, could see magical connections in the world, and benefited from the child's questions and curiosity about magic. Flowering Meadow always watched for talent from magical Britain. She had never recruited this young before, of course, but no one in the lab objected. They knew a potential future colleague when they saw one. And potion making required cooperation. Look in the difference between that Snipe person when he worked with others and his few contributions since working alone. Pity really, and he could have been helping to develop this girl's talent!

If the council were members of the ICW, they would complain. But they had work to do, things to get done, and did not have time to sit and talk and do nothing.

"Sirius, so is this really a Potter property?" Remus asked quietly.

"You betcha. Got a great pool, nice deck overlooking the sea, there's a pier. There's supposed to be a boat. The elves won't tell me everything. Need the kid for that."

"Uncle Paddy! Did you bring me a present?" The five year old went back to sucking her finger.

"Maybe. Did you bring me any kisses?"

Both nieces promptly gave him cheek kisses, and were rewarded with wrapped boxes levitated from the table. Remus hoped that the hostilities between his wife and their 'host' would cool.

He loved Sirius like a brother, but the man would not grow up! Flying Wolf seemed more mature than the old marauder, and he was barely fifteen.

The home was a huge villa overlooking the French Riviera. The house-elves, once they saw Harry went into blissful peals of joy of hosting the Potter heir. They happily found the missing boat, magically preserved, and set about getting everyone settled into rooms. It was two in the morning local time, so everyone received a small potion that would help them adjust. The teenagers asked for permission for a quick swim, and Greta, not yet tired, offered to chaperone. Everyone else went to bed.

"I love swimming at night, and the water is so warm." The girl wore a modest one-piece suit. The family had been appalled at what most people wore when looking into the trip. Fortunately, Remus had warned their visitors of the cultural differences in such a way that no feelings were hurt. He even offered a private area for the Grangers to be able to 'sun and relax in whatever they wanted to wear'.

"If you want a pool, um, you know, if we get married, I would build one for you."

"I don't know. I grew up wearing bikinis, and most beaches around here are topless. I don't think your mom would like me doing that." Hermione watched her beau turn thirty shades of red. It was too easy.

He swam a lap on his own, breathing in a long and measured way.

"Are you alright?" she asked.

"Sure. Occumancy lessons. No worries. You look beautiful tonight by the way."

"Thanks. You look nice too." She swam closer, but he dodged a bit, keeping her at arm's length, still breathing heavily.

"Did I say something wrong?"

"No, I just have a vivid imagination, and I can't hug you right now. In fact, I need a shower, a nice cold shower. Good night, princess. I look forward to exploring, I mean, I look forward to tomorrow. With you."

Ignoring his distress, she wrapped herself around her boyfriend and gave him a sweet and chaste kiss before letting him out of the pool. She then swam one more lap before getting out herself.

"Sorry to keep you Greta, thanks for staying out here with us."

"No thanks are needed. I serve Flying Wolf and his family for the rest of my life. I would never tell him this, so I would appreciate you keeping this in confidence, but I am happy that he chose you and not that simpering excuse of a witch. That family is highly inbred, she's not very powerful, and the way she used to treat him! No, he would not have been happy with his choice, beautiful or not. But she is related to the ruling family of the council, and in earlier days his mother pushed the match. He would have obeyed if she had commanded, but she saw how hurt he was when he found out that the only reason he was wanted was for his money. He would have understood wanting him for his lands, he is rightfully proud of what he has been able to accomplish. But for him to be wanted for gold is not something he could understand, and it hurt him deeply.

"Why do you allow him to court you?" The goblin demanded, and for the first time, Hermione was afraid of the woman.

"He was my first friend. He seemed unhappy to be at Hogwarts when we first met. He was under that geas where he couldn't speak about his kidnapping. I had been bullied all of my life, and the people in Gryffindor were rude. He hadn't even been sorted there. The hat refused to sort him, and cursed at the headmaster before the deputy silenced it.

"Everyone was trying to get close to him, and you could tell that he hated his fame, and just wanted to be treated with kindness. Respect. The loud-mouth youngest Weaselly boy was the worst. Claiming to be his best mate after one meal.

"I was afraid to act, but then I heard what happened in his first potion's class. The professor…


"'Potter, our newest celebrity. What would I get if I added…' and he proceeds to ask me several difficult questions. I mean, I knew the answers, but look at my family." Harry had told her that night at dinner. "Then he asks, 'What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?'"

"And you told him?" Hermione prompted.

"A potion sometimes caught Heaven's Sleep, Living Death, and various other terms, sir."

"That was an easy question." She noted.

"That's what he said, so he then asks me the one that has the Gryfinndorks all laughing tonight, which is why I am over here." He explained.

"Well, what did he say?"

"'Let's try a harder one. Tell me where would I find a bezoar?'"


"I may have suggested that he search the stomach of the old goat upstairs." He replied, making sure that she was drinking at the vital moment.

Yep, he caught her. Pumpkin juice sprayed an innocent Justin across from them.

Padma Patil, sitting next to Justin cleaned the table while Harry patted his victim's back. They moved further down the table, looks of disgust on the aristocrats features.

"You didn't!" Hermione's question had no reprimand at all in her voice, rather a bit of respect and awe.

"Yeah, I did. Though I didn't get a chance to tell him about the best source of bezoars. He kind of kicked me out of the room, and told me not to come back. Dad had warned me about him before, but wow. Seeing is really believing. Though I know that he feels a bit guilty about something that James Potter and Sirius Black did to him when they were here. They called themselves Marauders, but the way that Mom talks about it, they were kind of jerks to some kids. Especially Slytherins. I really didn't plan to go to school here."

Wait, did he just say that out loud? Maybe the geas was wearing off. Nope, still unable to tell her that he had been kidnapped.

"Where would you like to go to school?"

"Christmastown. It's a local school in Arizona. It's where I started two weeks ago." The geas wasn't perfect!

"Wait, you started school in the States and transferred here?" Hermione looked as confused as she felt. They had had a couple of classes together, and were starting to talk. Share meals. She was hoping to have made her first friend.

He didn't answer, couldn't answer.

And he didn't want to be with her. No, that wasn't fair. Something else was going on.

"Do you want to be here?"

He couldn't answer, he could barely write 'no' in the sugar bowl.

You didn't get to wear the bronze and blue for being stupid. She had seen bruises, and some of the rope burns on his wrists the first day. Hermione had seen how pale he was, when he was normally fit and tan. Her understanding shown brightly in her eyes. When she started to say it aloud though, he shook his head. And pointed.

Straight at Susan Bones.

The girl nodded, and pretended to eat her dinner. Flying Wolf felt much better. Someone knew, and Hermione was a smart girl. She had included him in the study group that she started, and had brow-beat some of the lazier boys to get their work started early. He admired her organizational skills and her take-command style. She was not was he was expecting of a British witch. Then again, she was what they called muggle-born so she still had common sense and intelligence.

Two red-headed boys came to the table. "Brilliant mate, truly brilliant. Marauder-worthy prank."

"Thanks. I would love to tell my dad that his legacy survives. He would be proud."

"Wait. James Potter was a Marauder? Which one?"

"Well, I meant my dad Moony, but James Potter was Prongs. Padfoot is my dogfather, I mean godfather, and Wormtail, Peter Pettigrew. We don't talk about him."

The twin terrors were in awe, asking for his autograph, permission to have his children, and further such nonsense that Harry and Hermione decided to ignore as it elevated.

"Wasn't he the Death Eater that kidnapped you when you were five?" Hermione asked.

"No, he was just one of the henchmen. Everyone thinks he died. My dad thinks he escaped. Stupid rat." The geas was playing havoc with his ability to talk. He couldn't say that Dumbledore had kidnapped him. Even back then. Harry's glare at the head table did not go unmissed.

End Flashback

"I realized that Harry had been kidnapped. I contacted Susan Bones, quietly in class. Doing anything overt could have meant having my memory erased or worse. I'm sorry that it took so long to get word to you. Harry was able to tell me his father's name but I didn't know how to send messages internationally. I had to wait for a Hogsmeade weekend, and our prefect posting the letter."

"How many children were there?" Greta asked.

"Hundreds, I'm not sure of the exact count." Hermione wrapped her towel around her and cast a warming charm. It was now past 3 am local time.

"You contacted the local constabulary, got a message out to Flying Wolf's family, and better yet watched over him as best you could without others knowing. You have cunning, young one."

"I thought that I was going to lose my first friend. I've been friendly with my classmates, but there are some at school who blame me for Harry Potter's loss. Amelia Bones was unable to prove that Dumbledore had kidnapped him. That or she was stopped from investigating. Anyway. Harry gave me a magic mirror, and promised to stay in touch. After he saved me from the troll, well, I think that I started loving that boy right then.

"I'm happy that he is courting me. I just thought, that well. He was always honest with me about his feelings about his friends at home. I had resigned myself in the slot of friend in his life. This last week has blown me away. And now, my parents are starting to really talk about selling their practice so that I can go to school with Harry. It might not happen until the hols at Christmas but still. That is much sooner than I expected."

The goblin had watched the girl carefully during the interrogation. So, she didn't think herself worthy. Hmph. Better than thinking of yourself better than others. She would do for her boy. Mention of the attack when Little Wolf was five made her green goblin blood boil.

Then the girl did something completely unexpected and hugged the non-human of the family. Hugged her. Then she bid her a good-night and went to her rooms.

Didn't that girl know that goblins were hated by most wizards? Looked down upon?

She grinned. This would be the one that helped not only defeat two dark lords, but give her wolf cub reason to go on in future.


"I don't understand Hermione, why can't you just go now? You've been accepted."

"Mum, I want to go, I'm willing to go, but you and Dad will be in great danger. If you are still in England, and I am not on that train, then I will be forced back to Hogwarts, and it will start all sorts of hostilities."

No one had been able to convince her muggle parents that she was telling the truth. She was unwilling to risk her parents over her being right either.

So it was with great sadness that she kissed her intended goodbye as he readied to go to Seattle. Her father was already back at work, but her mother had been invited to several discussions at the council. The fact that she was non-magical mattered not a whit to Flying Wolf's family.

"No wandering at night. Just because the school vampires are safe doesn't mean that the other residents wouldn't like to feed on you like oversized mosquitoes."

"Sweetie, you just don't understand the culture here. There." He pushed back her escaping hair.

Remus growled deep in his throat letting them both know that he agreed with Hermione's warning. He really didn't like vampires. Werewolves may have issues but there were alive. And could have children. And wouldn't kidnap other people's children to raise as their own, well, if they were good. He sighed.

Fenrir Greyback was on his list, but right now, he had to keep a low profile, and let most of Britain think him gone forever.

The couple shared one more kiss, and parents pulled them apart. Hermione would soon be on the Express, and he would be with his battle-master.


The headmaster of the greatest magical school in the world looked at his useless silver instruments, the empty box that once contained the Death Stick, and rolls and rolls of parchment that were all witness and evidence of his previous failures. The empty perch on the other side of the room mocked him, but he refused to believe that his familiar would not return to him.

The phoenix hadn't been seen since the headmaster had started his latest plans. He had warned his companion when he took the boy the sword, he warned him again when the diadem's and diary's soul pieces were removed. The sad look, the warning voice. His last chance.

The bird had flamed away, avoiding the headmaster's spells of retaliation. There was no way that he would be kept to someone walking a completely dark path.

The man sniffed. He just didn't understand. If only Lily Potter hadn't swayed James in regards to the money. He had used so much influence behind the scenes to secure the Potter wealth. He met upset goblins, rude to him now in every dealing, and what did he get? All but one vault completely empty. The last one had 30 sickles, and a note.

"No one thinks of themselves as the bad guy in the story. Everyone has their own logic of why they are the way they are. You betrayed us. You killed us. Enjoy this treasure that you have killed to own."

It was in Lily's hand. Didn't she understand that he needed the money so that the darkness could be fought and vanquished this time? The prophecy, she never believed it.

But now, finally, he had all of the pieces in place. Spies had warned him that some of his players were trying to leave the board. He signed the letter, even now looking to his familiar to flame it to the recipient. Sigh. Calling for a common house-elf, he had the letter now safely on its way.

One way or another, the final battle was coming, and he would show the stupid turkey-bird, the entire world that Albus Perceval Wolfric Brian Dumbledore was the only and true leader of the light and no country hick, farm-boy, Indian brave or whatever Harry Potter wanted to call himself would ever take his place. It was his destiny to die defeating Voldemort, and that is precisely what the boy would do.

If he survived the tournament that was. If not, Albus would have to step in. Either way, his star would rise yet again.


Hermione sat in a compartment reading her fifth year DADA book. She had excellent tutors for all previous years but not a single good teacher. She was surprised to see a familiar face at the head table.

"Due to the inability to find a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, and having my request for an auror to come and teach be denied, the ministry has decided to install their own person for the job. May I introduce…

A sweet 'hum, hum' sounded behind him, and the headmaster sat down hard as though pushed into his chair.

"Thank you for that warm welcome, Headmaster. I am looking forward to getting to know all of you, and I am sure that we will be good friends." All of this was said with a sickly sweet high-pitched little girl voice.

The man then took a drink of water, used his wand to cancel the spell and began again.

"But I am sure that most of you just want to survive your OWLS and NEWTS. My aim is to have a variety in class that is beyond the parade of teachers. Thank you."

And with that, Lord Sirius Orion Black sat with a nod to Dumbledore who was suddenly bounding up out of his chair.

The chant may have started at Gyrffindor's table, but soon spread to most of the room.

"Marauder's Rule! Marauder's Rule!"

He dared a glance at Hermione who shook her head, yelling and cheering with the rest of her house. He was a famous former auror, deadly hit-wizard, drop-dead gorgeous, and Witch Weekly's number one most available bachelor for the last decade. He winked at his now goddaughter pleased to see that the surprise had worked.

There was no way that Harry was leaving her in enemy territory without backup. It was not done.

The feast was quickly summoned and Lord Black endured the death-glares from the green and silver, and waved at his newest stalkers.

He had never had fan boys before.


Flying Wolf had spent the last month being called by his stranger name. It helped. The family thought that he would fit in better at school if he used it. He couldn't imagine his sisters ever going by Amber or Emily, their stranger names. But it helped to actually look up and notice teachers calling on him.

His first week at school at been amazing. There was a zero tolerance on bullying or spells in the corridors. They had real security vampires in the buildings too.

The potions lab was a bit disappointing, but his mom had warned him about that. When you grow up with a world class lab as part of your daily life, everything else will seem lacking. Still, they had lights, venting, protective shields and all sorts of runic alarms. Miles ahead of the Brits who didn't even practice good cleaning between classes.

But what made it all worthwhile was the battle-master. He had classes in Strategies and Tactics, Mage-craft, and Battle-magic. In his normal schedule! If Hermione went here, it would be perfect.

He hadn't made any new friends yet. His fame appeared to be worldwide. Stupid kid's books. His mother had discovered the first of the Harry Potter adventure stories when he was three. It was poorly written, had terrible animations and worse, Strangers were making money off his fame.

It was good to have a powerful family lawyer, um, solicitor. The company quickly folded into bankruptcy as it was forced to pay profits to toddler Harry. And penalties.

Then his wickedly scarily smart mother took her made up stories that she told him at night, hired a magical artist and published the second Harry Potter adventure. This one had a great story, perfect animation, and sold out quickly. Three printings. Then five. Between the ages of three and fifteen, she had sold thirty books.

Some of his classmates were asking him if he really killed a manticore when he was three. He said yes, by using the products of his sisters diapers, leaving the lunch table all looking a little green. Well, when asked, he would use that as how he took out his first dark lord as well.

He hurried back to his room. He was expecting Hermione's call. He was glad that she had taken the Sirius thing so well. Some girls he knew would go ballistic if they had a stunt like that pulled on her. When she first appeared in the mirror, Harry thought she was crying. But then he realized that she was laughing.

"Oh hi Harry. Professor Black, it is weird calling him that, he was so funny today. Some of my classmates can't hit the side of a barn. He had people practicing with what was basically water balloons to practice shielding and targeting. I swear, he is a bigger kid than I have ever been. But he did take me aside for a time to invite me to his apartment for a talk. He says that he wants to start teaching me the etiquette and protocol for being a lady. What's up with that? Am I not lady-like enough for him?"

"Sorry, he said he was going to offer. I should have given you a head's up. Look, well, you probably notice that some students have an extra patch on their robes?"

"Sure, like Malfoy. Says he's Prince of Slytherin or some such nonsense. Their coat of arms."

"Right. Well, if we get married, which after today I hope is next month, you'll be Lady Potter."

Hermione looked at him. She took off her token and looked at it, before setting it down gently on the nightstand for bed. She stroked it gently, bit her lip, obviously in deep thought.

"Was that house in France yours, Harry?"

"Yes, I hope that doesn't upset you."

"No, my mom loved it. It was great of your folks to understand that my parents loved to sunbathe au natural and not judge them for that. I loved the pool. The house elves wore some kind of Griffin with a wand motif. Is that your sigil?"

"Yeah, I like it. Never had to kill a griffin before. Now I hope to never face one. They look majestic, but can be very territorial, so we couldn't let any in. Fortunately, they like the mountains and the cold, so we should be safe from them. Hopefully."

"You're a founder's heir, aren't you?"

"Me and half of the wizarding populace of Britain, maybe more worldwide. Do the math, sweetheart. Twelve generations back is enough for a lot of people to have more than a million descendants. A thousand years? He's got to have most magic users able to claim one of them as a relative. My house got that Sigil because Doreese Potter married into the Gryffindor family, and so my family had to have a griffin. You're probably just as related as I am. Promise."

She smiled at him, a bit relieved to hear that.

"So, did any of your fan girls try to kiss you today?" Hermione teased. Harry was getting a bit of attention.

"No, but my roommate handed me an envelope that had a pair of girl's underpants. They were too small to fit my sisters, and they're just kids. I tossed it in the trash, and Taylor just gives me this pathetic puppy-dog look. I offered them to him, but he shook his head. He doesn't want to get in trouble with his girlfriend apparently. Was that some kind of token? If so, it really stinks. I mean it. I think that she wore them and sent them without washing. It was gross."

Hermione smiled. Her boyfriend was really sweet and really naïve. Probably the whole remote living thing, though he had other young people in his life growing up. Its just that everyone knows everyone there.

"Yes it was, but not the nice kind. That girl is offering one-time sex."

"But that's illegal!" Harry complained.

"Not there. It is immoral though. Besides, I'm told that physical pleasure is only part of true lovemaking. If your magic wants to grow closer, and you want to be closer to your partner, and there is real love involved, then it is supposed to be truly blissful. I miss kissing you. My magic sort of does this flare thing when you kiss me. I've missed kissing you. I don't think kissing the mirror would be the same though."

"I've missed kissing you too. And my dreams. They have been intense. Good but intense. My magic agrees. I want to be closer to you."

"My parents are talking to the solicitors, realtors and all that. Hopefully I can get out of here soon. Does this mean that Padfoot is going to Seattle too?"

"Not this year. Something's up. Has the little blonde seer in your House said anymore?"

"No. I invite her to dinner and lunch with me. Now that I am a prefect, I have power to stop the people bullying her. I made a few more enemies, but in the long run, it's the only way. Just like you and the evil cub things. Cant' let evil foster."

"That's my brave Gryffindor, wait Ravenclaw." He teased. The armor he wanted her to wear all of the time was delayed. Hopefully, it would be done for her birthday. In her muggle culture, this birthday was as important as his fifteenth.

"You are being careful on your patrols? Using the map that Dad and Padfoot made for you?"

"Yes, it is wonderful. You would be amazed at how much kissing is going on at any one time. This is an amazing piece of charm-work."

"Yeah it is. I have a feeling that the twins have the original or have seen it, because they knew so much about the marauders. I did not know about the map at the time, or I could have asked. Are the goblin wards up?"

"I saw the crew in and out. My goodness, some of their names! Not that I can complain. Look, there's Draco going toward a broom closet with a girl who is not named Pansy. Wait! That's Luna Lovegood. I have to call Padfoot, love. Talk to you later. Bye!"

"Stop crying, it will be over with soon. Pansy may have to stay pristine, but that doesn't mean that we can't have fun."

"Cousin Draco. You are out of bounds, out of bed, and out of luck. For heaven's sake, zip up your pants, no one wants to see your, um, shortcomings. Miss Lovegood." He helped her to her feet, wrapping his own cloak around her to hide her missing buttons.

"You're out of line Black! When my father hears of this…"

"He'll remind me that he taught his son all he knows about raping, pillaging, and burning down houses. Yes I know all about how one gets a dark mark. I didn't realize that the taught that in this school. Practicing on a fellow classmate, no less. Miss Lovegood, I will see you to the hospital wing in a moment. I have a floo call to make. Please, can you come with me?"

One willing and one not, the two blondes were taken to his personal quarters.

"Auror Tonks reporting for duty. Draco, what is it this time? She said that she wanted it and changed her mind?" She was furious, as he was technically a minor. He would get a fine, call Daddy, and by dinner tomorrow would be free to roam. Again.

"Do you believe that he was made a prefect? Little puke. I'm calling Mad-Eye. There has to be something more we can do. Wish Luna was a goblin. The penalty for trying sexual assault on a goblin female is to force-feed your privates to you before feeding you to a dragon. While still alive. Not that any goblin needs that law. It is the penalty for anyone trying that." Sirius looked at his cousin not-enough-removed.

"Call his mother." Black commanded.

"What? You can't possibly…" Draco started to complain, as magical cuffs and silencers were used.

"And make sure that you tell her who the victim was. Selene was born a Malfoy, not sure their exact relationship. Cousin I think. Anyway, call her and let her know how unhappy I was about the dishonor to the Black name. Any more such incidents, and he will be tossed from the Black family. No stipend, no accessing the houses in various parts of the world. Nothing."

"That's brilliant! Come along you. Let's see if we can't find some stairs to throw you down."


"I know, I know. Don't get caught."

"That's rule #1 in the Marauder playbook. And Draco." He pulled the boy up to eye level. "There are thousands of willing girls out there of every size, shape and color. I ever hear of you trying to force yourself on one and you'll never be able to do so. Again. Now, time to go enjoy some ministerial hospitality." The marauder nodded to his pink-haired cousin who threw the criminal into the floo with more force than necessary.

"Let's get you up to the infirmary. Was I in time? Are you um, hurt?"

"I don't want to talk about it sir. Can't I just go to my room?"

He floo'd the infirmary, and stepped through with a very embarrassed but basically alright girl. Except that she wasn't.


"A Seer! Is he crazy? I knew he was the scum of a dirt-bag and was stuck up, but I didn't know that he was this level of scum. I am so telling my Aunt Alice. She knows all of the council seers. They can see that something is done. Glad that I'm not there, or I would be sent to that island prison place."

Hermione nodded. "She is just crushed. Not at all her normal self. Sirius mirror-called me, and I spent the night with her in the infirmary. I couldn't see exactly what he had done, a few bruises on her chest for sure, but she has had no decent defense classes, and once he had her wand in the initial attack, she just froze! I have promised to help her, but she just shakes her head. Oh Harry! If only I had paid more attention! I could have saved her earlier."

"Hermione, without the map, she wouldn't have been saved at all. She never would have said anything. Do you know if this is the first time he tried this with her?"

"She's still a virgin, if that is what you are asking, I saw the spell when Luna refused to answer any of the matron's questions. So no, I don't think he has attacked her before. Pansy is furious, but not with him. She's making sound like Luna tried to seduce her boyfriend. That girl! And to make matters worse his mother came to visit Sirius, and they had a right screaming row. So, everyone knows what happened, and Draco is strutting about still wearing his badge. So, obviously he is the victim here, urgh!"

Harry looked upset at that news. "You keep safe. Right now, this just appears that a teacher found them. If that monster knew you had anything to do with this. Hermione, please. It's not safe there. Please come here. Please."

"You want to protect me. I want to protect my parents. Get them out of Britain, and I will be on the next plane to Seattle."

"Do you promise?" He asked, his heart in his eyes.


"Fine. I have to get to class. And you need to get to bed. Watch the map, don't go to class alone, and be careful! I love you, and I don't want you hurt."

"I love you too Harry. I'll be careful, and then I'll be there."

He couldn't help but feel that one of his sources of help had been silenced. He just hoped that it wasn't forever.

After class, he made a few quick calls of his own.

"Dad, who were those movers you recommended? Goblins, oh yeah, they are the best. No, she's pretty torn up about it, sort of out of it. Really? I hope that the counsel seers can help her. That's great news Dad. Ok. Love to the girls, and yes, I'll read them a story. A new one? No! Oh, all right. The things I have to do for family."

That night Harry had to suffer through reading the newest Harry Potter adventure to his younger siblings. At least the armor that he wore in their copy was Gryffindor red and gold.

He would have hated to spoil the surprise for Hermione's birthday.


Remus Lupin was waiting nervously at the international counter. Hermione was late. Now, to most people this would not be something to panic about, but Hermione was fastidious in all she did, and she had never been late before. When it was his turn, he was told that the only expected traffic from Britain was the return of the American ambassador and his family. It was a very unhappy father that frantically tried calling her again and again. He finally called Harry after an eternity lasting five minutes. The boy apparated to New York from his bed, forgetting to get outside the building's wards first. Hermione wasn't answering her mirror either.

"You were looking for Miss Granger? This must be for you."

The pair were handed a letter:

Dear Harry,

Despite my many attempts to get you to see that you are needed here to face your destiny, you continue to live selfishly. Well, it is time to put aside childish things. I am quite aware of your and Miss Granger's relationship. She is not allowed out of Britain by law, and as her guardian I won't see such a brilliant mind at any other school. That decision stands.

But your continued ignoring of the fate of the world leads me to a difficult decision. The Tri-Wizard tournament is returning. Hogwarts will be hosting this controversial event that had been discontinued due to the death toll. I am quite sure that Miss Granger will be chosen to be the champion for Hogwarts. You are not the only one with access to seers.

If you wish to protect the young lady, return to Hogwarts as a student, and I will guarantee with an oath the Miss Granger will be protected from all the harm that can befall a student here.

Look to the future, my boy, and embrace your destiny.


Albus Perceval Wulfric Brian Dumbledore

Order of Merlin, First Class, etc. etc.

Two men paled as several conclusions leapt to mind. Remus pulled at his mirror and called Sirius. He was at his apartment, and there was a crying Hermione.

"Did he hurt you?" Finally, for the first time in his life, Flying Wolf was past ready to take a human life.

"Oh Harry! I'm so sorry! I thought that I had been careful enough. I don't know how he found out, but he and several aurors stopped me from leaving. Sirius was there as well. I now have to wear a special bracelet that will inform the old coot of my whereabouts at all times. I'm so frightened!"

Sirius put a godfatherly arm around the girl, and looked grim. The last thing Harry was going to do was give in to a terrorist. They had just talked about that in class! He needed to let Hermione know of the further danger she was in, but now did not seem like the best time to tell her that if he didn't come to Hogwarts that the headmaster was going to have her raped, tortured and killed.

Just like the man's death-eater minions were wont to do. But he had never threaten students' safety before.

"I've contacted Safelock already. They'll have a rotating 24/7 guard on our girl within the next hour. And no, you are not paying for it. I will keep precise receipts, and sue that bastard to his last knut when this is over." Lord Black was obviously pissed.

"Hermione, I know that you won't understand why I am doing this, but please trust me. I love you. Will you marry me?"

"What?" The girl looked up from her hands, red-eyed, leaky nose and pushing seriously wild hair to look at him.

"I love you. Will you marry me?"

She bit her lip. A small smile appeared on her face. "Would it work?"

"Who cares? Will you marry me?"

She looked at Sirius and Remus. Both were wearing matching troublemaking grins.

"Alright, but how do I get out of the castle with this on?" She held up the bracelet.

"One issue at a time. Dogfather, please for the love of all that is holy, put an alarm on the map. If Draco gets within ten feet of my girl I want him fed to the nearest Gringott's dragon." Harry tapped the letter with his wand, making a magical copy. He would send that to Sirius, no give it to him in person. "Is the secret passage from Honeyduke's still open?"

"Yes, all of the others are completely bricked and warded. That is the only one that is just warded."

Remus stepped over to the counter to now buy portkeys.

"Stay where you are love. I need to let my school know what is happening, but I will see you soon. Sirius, I don't care how, but please don't leave her alone right now. Please."

"There's something else, isn't there Harry?" Hermione guessed.

"Yes there is princess, but I swear that we will have a plan in place soon. It would kill me should my enemies hurt you to get to me. It would work. So don't let them."

"I have my books here Harry. As soon as I calm down, I can study here. Sirius and I usually spend Sunday together. That is how we planned to cover the escape, actually. I hoped that I wasn't missed." She sniffed again, trying to contain tears. That girl was so brave, she should have been a Gryffindor.

"Don't worry pup. There's the floo. Gotta go just in case. We are hiding the mirrors carefully." Sirius signed off.

Harry didn't relish portkey trips, but wasn't sure he could apparate all of the way back to school. He wasn't sure how he had actually gotten to his dad. Remus, not leaving his son's side, together they returned to Seattle to arrange for a short leave for Harry. Hearing a bit of what was going on, Wilhelm, instructor of battle-magics, tactics, and battle master himself asked if he could accompany his student. Having never been sick a day, or taken any personal time off, he was quickly given leave to miss a couple days of school. Having more and more information as they arranged international travel for the vampire, Harry could see the man's wheels turning.

Together, vampire, werewolf, and pissed off chosen one left the damp and drizzle for the lovely Scottish autumn weather.


Well, today was the day. Or soon. Harry Potter would be returning as a student of Hogwarts. He warned Severus to be kinder to the boy this go around. Which earned him a nice growl.


The announcement that quidditch was going to be cancelled in favor of hosting an event that most of the staff hadn't heard of much less the students went over like a stinkbomb at a party. That is to say not well. When several seventh years pointed out that recruiters would be watching them, the headmaster relented and allowed the sport to continue. Pointing out that only those of age could participate, or those sixteen with their guardians' permission put Hermione on edge. She knew that Harry would be there soon, but she couldn't help feel that she was targeted here.

She decided to take the bull by the horns. She went to the head table to speak to her head of house directly. So what if anyone else heard?

"Professor, can students be forced to participate against their will?" she asked.

"Now Miss Granger, why would ye ask a question like that?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"I tried to transfer to a different school today, and my so-called magical guardian forbade it. Now, we have a tournament that I would need his permission to enter. I haven't read much about this tournament but what I have read is that it was discontinued due to students and staff being injured. And dying. I don't want to enter this tournament, but I can see that, that person entering me against my will as a punishment for trying to leave here." Her tone was quiet, respectful, but her magic flared with her suppressed anger.

"Why did you want to leave?" Flitwick demanded.

"No offense to you, Professor Sprout or McGonagall, but I am paying three times what I would in the States for far less education. I have had to have private tutors for potions as the only ones taught anything are in Slytherin, no one here can defend against a water balloon before Professor Black started, history is a joke, and while we learn of runes, we do nothing with them. We build no runic containers or puzzles or anything. Don't get me started on the bullying in and out of class, and not just by other students. Classes here are pretty worthless, and because I am muggle-born, I'm not allowed to make my own choice until next year. September 19, 1997 is my seventeenth birthday. I can then start saving money and have a quality education." Hermione said proudly before returning to her seat. She hadn't cursed anyone, kept her temper in check, and let everyone know that she was a prisoner of the castle.

"That will be 100 points from Ravenclaw for your cheek, and a week's worth of detention with me." Snape started.

"What? Why? I asked my student a question. Any of your purebloods could go to Durmstrong tomorrow if they wished, well, the boys could as it still is an all-male school. I refuse to accept that punishment. She has a right to be upset. She's been belittled and bullied by your students time and time again, and now that she's had enough, she has to stay. Headmaster, did you really force this?" Flitwick looked ready to prove to the staff that he was still dueling champion material.

"I felt that Miss Granger would benefit more from a well-rounded education here than whatever the dark creatures in primitive lands could offer her. As her guardian it is my duty to look after her best interests, even if that does upset her. I won't spoil her as some families do their children." There, nice and smug.

Several teachers shared looks of horror amongst themselves. Poppy Pomphrey started doing some under the table diagnostic spells Rumors about other girls being victimized were going around, and this girl was clearly afraid and yet forced to stay. All of them made a promise to themselves to be a bit more diligent. Sirius looked at the girl in admiration. She was without doubt the smartest witch, no the smartest magical person he had known since Lily Potter.


Griplock was furious. The girl was making a scene. Wait. Oh, that was clever. He quickly calmed down. She only had to eat one meal a day in the great hall, as dinner was formal and she was expected to be there.


The headmaster was clearly furious with the girl, but then got the wickedest look on his face. Whatever he had planned, she did not like. She shuddered.

Just then, Luna came into the hall. She was looking a lot more like herself.

"Hi there, my friend. They have roasted sprouts tonight." Hermione passed the favored vegetables.

"Hi Hermione. Thank you. I think that you have a bit of seer blood. That was exactly what you needed to do. Can I come to the wedding tonight?"

Hermione looked around to see her classmates obviously shrugging off what they had heard. Playing along, she nodded and winked at them, but used her mashed potatoes to make a rune for 'later' to the girl.

Luna smiled. She liked Hermione. It was almost like having a friend.


It took Griplock ten seconds to get Hermione out of the enchanted monitoring bracelet. He grumbled. His skills were getting rusty. The group of them, including Luna, went to Gretna Green. Hermione was stunned to find her parents there. A few vows later, and she was Lady Hermione Potter. They escorted the couple to a nearby posh hotel. Her mother-in-law slipped her a small case and whispered instructions. The bride paled, blushed, and nodded understanding.

Trust a potions mistress to work out help for a wedding night.

She hugged her son, and before the men could get too out of line, she hustled the marauders out of the room.

Flowering Meadow was very angry about losing the wedding that she had had planned for her son, but she would just plan a nice reception in its place. They needed to get the non-magicals out of Britain. She kissed her husband good-bye.

The two teenagers were left alone for a few hours. Harry was so happy to see her alive, unhurt that he kissed her passionately. It was nearly midnight when the expected knock came. The couple was flushed, but dressed and ready.

"I haf a plan." The vampire said, and laid it out for them. The men grinned wickedly.

Then Hermione Jean Granger Potter mentioned something new. Observations. Remembrances.

The grins turned feral, and the goblin offered her a post in his squad anytime she wanted. The vampire nodded, and looked forward to having her as a student.


It may have been a tired Hermione that went to class the next morning, but she took a small dose of improved pepper-up. She kissed her husband farewell, having spent the night with him in Sirius' spare room. She had made her way to her dorm room unseen, and was returning to have her normal breakfast with Sirius when she was intercepted by her head of house.

"The headmaster would like to see you. I did not like his look at all, so I will be joining your escort."

"But, but.."

"Miss Granger, I am part goblin. I do not object. I doubt anyone else would notice."

A low chuckling could be heard, but the low goblin sentences went by too quiet and fast for Hermione to follow. It appeared that she had another ally. She took a chance.

"Actually, it's Mrs. Potter now. My parents were there, so yes they approve. An announcement will be in the newspaper, but I thought that you should have advance intelligence.

"Will you be transferring to Seattle now?

"Yes, but I think it will be after the battle. We would love to have you on the team sir."

"I would be honored, Miss I mean Mrs. Potter."

"It's Hermione, sir, please."

"Then Filius, in private, at least Hermione."

Then they were there.

"Miss Granger, thank you for coming. You may go, Flitwick."

"I'll be staying as is the student's right per the handbook. Surely you must know that this one knows chapter and verse."

Hermione had no idea of what her teacher was talking about but was grateful for the occumency that she had picked up. No sign of her ignorance appeared on her face.

"To the point then. Miss Granger, I see that you have not been very social with the boys of your age. I have contacted a few friends and I have wonderful news for you. I have found a husband for you. We will have the betrothal ceremony next week, and you will meet him then.

She laughed. She was not supposed to laugh, she was supposed to be terrified, calling for help.

She held out her hand. Her left hand that sported Lily Potter's wedding ring.

The man paled whiter than his beard.

"You can't. I didn't. Wait, I did not give my permission for you to marry."

Hermione pulled out her application for the license. It clearly showed the headmaster's signature.

"That has to be a forgery." He demanded.

Filius pulled out his wand. The parchment glowed golden.

Hermione stepped forward to whisper in the old man's ear.

"It is your signature headmaster. Please, please do the charm to show the words that were there that were removed. It is the receipt signed for the ring that you sold saying that it was legally and lawfully yours. I'm sure that the aurors will be very understanding."

"Get out, now!" His hand was going for his wand, but was suddenly empty.

"Sorry about that headmaster. I didn't mean to summon your wand. My mind was clearly elsewhere. No harm. Have a pleasant day."

As they left, Hermione had to put up silencing charms to cover the goblin laughter that would have otherwise been ringing through the school.

"Well played miss, but you've made a powerful enemy."

"No offense, good goblin, but that man underestimates Harry. He IS a powerful enemy, and was trying to use me to hurt my love. No one does that to me. Or him."

The goblins thought that the Mrs. might just be more formidable than the Mister.


"Hermione, I know that it is embarrassing and frustrating, but we'll have a better education for the year delay. And I can guarantee you that while tiny, the married quarters in Seattle have a gorgeous view of the Sound, and the pixie boats that carry the cars back and forth and everything." Well, except for the ones that have a pillar in front of them. Stupid architects, proving that magical stupidity wasn't necessary stopped at the boarders of Britain.

"Honey I think you meant ferryboats, but it does sound idyllic. Fine, you're right. Your battle-master is right. We would never be allowed to live in peace in Seattle until this is settled. Are you sure about this?

"The first task is usually creatures of some kind. Piece of cauldron-cake. Then rescue a hostage. You might have to ride on a broom, but I will not be going for the win here. Just survive. I cannot just murder the man. It has to be in self-defense or I will be destroying our future." Harry kissed the back of her hand sweetly.

"Well, at least we have access to Potter Manor now. Padfoot says that it is far better than his London digs."

"That mutt needs to remember that his host has rules. He better not host any of his sort of parties now that I have allowed him in the wards."

"Actually, I've seen him and Professor Sinestra going for strolls now and then. I think that being a professor has been good for him."

Hermione started to get dressed, and Harry handed over her armor. He loved seeing her in it.


"Harry! I didn't expect to see you until Christmas, well, unless we can get my parents…"

"I know. I have a special present for you. I can't stay, can't risk getting caught here." He kissed her before pulling out a little box. In it was a heart-shape emerald.

"This is a promise ring, something popular at my school. Never heard of them before. Except that mine is real, well not that theirs are imaginary. Urg! Mine didn't come from Cracker-Jacks. How's that?"

"It's wonderful! Luna is going to know, she always does. Thank you. You had better get back." She leaned into him, giving him a proper smooch, allowing her hands to wander on his chest.

"Harry, what are you wearing?" She wanted to tear off his shirt, but she took a deep breath, and practiced control.

He took off his shirt to reveal the upper part of his new armor, then took off his pants. She blinked. He was courting her. This hunk, this slice of manliness was courting her! She flew to his arms starting their most passionate kiss to date.

"I brought you matching armor. I want you to wear it every day."

"I promise I will. Thank you."

End flashback

They stood side by side in their matching iridescent peacock blue dragon-hide armor with bronze accents. Hermione had worn it every day without fail, but today might see it tested. Today was when everyone found out, not just the headmaster. He had had a few days to stew about it. Receiving the proper paperwork about a student transfer had stopped most of the irritation and glares coming her way from the head table.

Now, she had to survive the fangirls disappointment. And before breakfast!

Harry Potter asked for the chance to be sorted upon his official arrival to the school. The stool was brought out, and Harry enlarged it using his wand trying to hide some of his abilities. The hat immediately started to say 'not again' but was quickly reassured that he was mostly here of his own free will. If not goodwill.

'Cunning, yes, and ambition. You would do well in Slytherin.'

'I'm married to what some call a mud..'

'Don't finish that thought. Yes, yes. You need to be with your mate. So better be'


The headmaster scowled, McGonagall smiled as did all of the favored teachers. Now for the fireworks.

"We'll be needing married quarters, sir." The boy-who-lived said to his head of house.

Filius was happy that his favorite student had confided in him. "Quarters will be ready by dinner. I'll have your times-table for you by lunch. Why don't you accompany your wife for now?"

Silence reigned as the Chosen One went to the table to greet his mate with a kiss to her cheek, and a promise for better, later whispered in her ear.

Snape started to scowl, but was silenced by the marauder at the table. Luna started the clapping with true delight, and the rest of the school was starting to be shaken from its shock.

"A MUDBLOOD? News that the Potter heir turned some kind of Indian brave was terrible news. Now you've married that, that scum? Why didn't someone teach you better than that?" Draco screamed across the hall.

Harry ignored him and looked to the head table. Not one person other than his godfather there was going to act. Sirius was writing a letter. This was step one of the plan.

Saying hi to people near them, Harry sat down to his first meal in Hogwarts in nearly five years.

"So Luna, Hermione tells me that you like pudding with every meal. So, do you mean like chocolate, vanilla, tapioca pudding or do you mean some sort of dessert? I was raised with four Brits in my life, and my godmother tried to make sure that I learned all of the important things, like understanding the Queen's English, and at least some proper manners. So which is it?"

Luna spooned the strangest combination of things he had ever seen onto her plate and smiled a cryptic smile.

"How's Neville doing?" she asked.

The three laughed at her deliberate diversion.


Breakfast was interrupted several times by well-meaning people coming over to shake his hand, fangirls coming over to confirm the titanic awful news, and a few intrepid first years seeking autographs for their Harry Potter books.

"Wait Harry, isn't that the dragon that we had at dinner that time at your house?" Hermione looked at the pictures, and peaked under her robes to match color. Someone had had access to a bit of the dragonhide for that illustration. It was just too close a match.

"You mean he really killed a dragon?" the awed boy asked.

"Look at his boots. Look at mine. Notice anything?"

Several heads went under the table now. Harry mock scowled at her, quickly signing the book. He set a five book limit per meal, with tickets organized by Luna. They were tempted to sell them, but decided not to push any additional buttons.

The battle-master had made it clear that they were to do all up front and bold. They would not be bullied anymore.

Snape sneered at them as they entered the class. It was OWL year, and the pressure was on. Healers were starting to complain that not enough students were graduating with potion NEWTs and OWLs. He had been given an ultimatum from the deputy that if he wouldn't teach, then he wouldn't have a job next year. Scowling, he didn't change much, but hadn't sabotaged as many potions this year of other houses.

Harry and Hermione went to the furthest corner of the room, scourgifying the surface before the class started. They ignored the loss of points for this prep work, and worked well together on the assignment. Forty minutes and three vials later (two hidden), their work was turned in, and they went about cleaning their work area. They then lost points for reading ahead, breathing too loudly, and Hermione got points off for being know-it-all.

Neither objected, complained nor really reacted in any way. Hermione made notes in a little notebook, and that was all.

Lunch was a fun affair with Luna sharing stories of her summer, with Susan and her friend Hannah showing up. Hannah was shy around Harry at first, but he had remembered her from his short time there before, and they soon warmed up. Filius had his times-table for him. Since Harry was planning on repeating fifth year in Seattle, he was taking classes that he normally wouldn't have. Kissing his lady goodbye, and earning another five points off by a short-tempered potion master, Harry went off to Magical creatures. He did stop to pet Hedwig when she appeared to take the potion vial packages from Hermione.


Sirius had made a new copy of the map for their goblin escort. In it, was highlighted known threats, and had alarms if they got too close to certain friendlies. Draco had made the mistake of getting caught by a goblin dragging a Gryffindor fourth year into a broom closet against her will. Unfortunately for the girl, his warning to her head of house was too late to prevent the attack. He felt very guilty about that. The next day the Malfoy scion's juice contained a poison that made sure he would never father children again. The girl had disappeared from school several days before on the night of the attack, taken off to St. Mungo's presumably. The team agreed that Hogwarts needed to be cleansed top to bottom.


Harry was horrified. As he approached the fenced in area, he could see that one girl was near losing her lunch, one boy patting out flames, and all of them quite upset at the hideous monsters that had apparently snuck in and eaten what they were supposed to be studying. The professor was not in sight, and people were getting hurt. Harry shrugged off his school robe, pulled out his gloves and hood, and surveyed the situation. He decided to go with cold steel, so donning hood and gloves he drew the Sword of Gryffindor and went to work.

He was just finishing cleaning the blade when the instructor showed up, visibly upset over the situation.

"Yeah, sorry about whatever you had had in there professor. Something awful attacked them. But don't worry, it's been taken care of. No need to call the goblins for cleanup though. I got them into a couple of buckets. See what Mom can make of them. Anybody have any idea of what those were? I mean besides ugly?"

The professor was crying. Man, whatever he had had in there, he had raised by hand. Offering another consoling pat on the back, Harry shrunk and packed up the grub bits, and made his way back to the castle.

He sure hoped the big guy would be alright. Maybe he should send a condolence card? Hermione would know the customs.


Molly Weasley had been looking through a book of knitting patterns. She was so bored at home now, and the house much too quiet. She was debating going to the apothecary in Diagon Alley to see if she could work there part-time, at least for the school year. She loved brewing potions, and really would like to earn her mastery.

It wasn't like her children needed her anymore.

Selecting out a challenging pattern to try, she settled down to read for a bit. She was surprised to hear the floo. She went over to answer it, and was shocked to see that the call originated from the hospital. What had the twins gotten themselves into this time?

Stepping through, she patted down her hair. Her robes were older, a bit worn, but clean. The matronly woman was escorted to a private room where she was surprised to see her only daughter in clean white sheets looking pale and wan. She was sleeping, but did not look like it was a happy sleep.

"What happened to my daughter?" She whispered to the healer.

"She was brought in a few days ago. I'm so sorry. I am."

"What! Why weren't we contacted right away?"

"The headmaster sent instructions, I guess it is a politically sensitive matter. Anyway, his potions master has provided everything, the school is covering all of the costs. I'm so sorry." The matron took her to a nearby office and gave the bad news and worse to the mother. Sobbing, the woman floo'd for her husband.

A howler sent to the school resigning from the Order never made it to the intended target. House-elves had what to them was the fun duty of dealing with all such post. This is one time had they known the circumstances, they would have allowed the letter through.


Halloween was upon them. It wasn't a big holiday where Flying Wolf came from. The mundanes went all out in costumes and sweets, but for his family, it was a time to remember their honored dead. November first was the holiday for them. This year he had something special planned. It could mean his death, but then so could any other day.

At the feast, Harry and Hermione came into the hall in their finest new dress robes. His proclaimed him head of House Potter, ally to House Longbottom, and heir to House Black. Hers proclaimed her matriarch of House Potter, and under protection of House Black and Longbottom. Amazing what could be done with few bits of elven fine embroidery.

Draco spat juice, still sporting his prefect badge. "What nonsense is this? Heir of House Black? I am that heir!"

Like always, they ignored the blonde prat, and sat down together with their friends. Harry was sporting a new ring, well, actually a very old ring, and hoped that on this sacred night of the dead that he could finally put one of the dark lords to rest.

The arrival of the visiting schools meant that the great hall seemed fuller than normal, but still was well under what it should have been or could have been. They visited with the contingent from Beauxbatons, Hermione and Luna chatting in rapid French with Harry getting a word or two in edgewise.

The Durmstrong boys were over in the field of green and silver, but some of those boys were eyeing the girls on his side of the room as the hunter eyes the doe. He liked not their looks one bit. He hoped that he would not have to make an example of someone.

The headmaster cleared his throat and made noise about the wonderful tournament, blah blah. Harry rolled his eyes. How the man loved the sound of his own voice! Then the goblet started puffing. Both of them had made it clear over and over to their friends, allies and classmates that Harry would not enter, did not want to enter, and just was here due to the headmaster's manipulations.

"For Durmstrang, Ivan Perchinko. For Beauxbatons, Jeanne Antoine. And for Hogwarts.

Hermione Granger.

"You promised me! You said that if I came here, that she would be safe. You promised on your magic!" Harry was furious. Hermione looked ready to cry. She was frightened, angry. She looked straight at their enemy.

"I told you I didn't want to enter. I don't want to compete. Professor Flitwick, please tell me that he can't force me!"

Filius scowled at the man. Despite their attempts to guard the goblet, someone had gotten her name in. Wilhelm had that at seventy five percent, despite the headmaster's promise.

"The goblet makes a contract with whoever's name is on the parchment." Albus' eyes twinkled merrily.

"I swear on my life and magic that I did not enter my name, nor ask anyone to do it for me." She sent out her patronus, a playful otter that swam up to Albus, identifying him as the evil he was conjured to fight. The otter chewed on the man in several spots, and did seem to hurt something on his hand.

"I call the headmaster out. He is an oathbreaker. I have a letter signed by him that he promises that if I transfer to Hogwarts that he would make sure that Hermione was safe." He stalked to the head table, his dragonhide gauntlet in hand. He walloped the man, causing him to nearly fall with it. "I challenge you to combat mortal." Harry's power was palpable, swirling around him.

"Nonsense, my boy, go back to your table."

"I will grant you one boon before you die. I will let you talk to your sister Ariana. How do I know of her? Lily Potter told me her story."

Harry held up a ring. The dazed headmaster wiped blood from his mouth, staring in fascination and hope at the ring.

Three turns. There she was, not as a child, but a young woman, just twenty in full bloom.

"Albus, I sent you help so you would repent. I sent messages so you would repent, and you are still on the dark path. Don't you want to be with me when you die? It is not too late. Stop, repent. Help the chosen one. That is your duty that you deny. You were supposed to be his mentor and helper. To seek glory and fame for doing what is right is the path of the dark one. Please my brother, repent!"

"Arianna? Are you with mother?"

"Of course I am, and father too. He repented before his death. I love you. Don't you love me enough to change?"

"I have things that I have to do…"

"Albus, please." The figure was fading.

"Ariana, don't go!"

"You turned your back on me to be with your lover. You betrayed your lover when you had a falling out. You betrayed those that followed you, stole vital artifacts that they need to win. Give the boy the last token. If you don't, and you continue in this path, you will regret it forever. Repent.



The figure faded. The stone went quiet.

The headmaster slowly pulled out his wand. Harry saw that it contained the markings he had been trained to look for, this time though he could feel it's power. It called to him. Ah, the wand he captured earlier was a decoy. That made sense why the headmaster had not fought more for its return.

The old man looked at the young one. Then looked at the stone on his hand. He could feel that the cloak was somewhere nearby. It was too tempting. He tried to summon the ring from Harry's finger, sparking a barrage of spells. The enchanted ceiling went dark, the torches extinguished, and the great hall was plunged into darkness.


The champions waiting in the little room were confused at the delay. Then a tidal wave of screaming hit them with almost palpable force. Someone started to open the door, but the Durmstrong headmaster stopped that idea cold. Whatever was happening did not sound pleasant.

When the sound died down a bit, he crept out to the great hall. Half of the students seemed stunned, the headmaster was bleeding from a dozen cuts, but he was still on his feet. Next to him was the potion master, and two others. The rest of the staff was arrayed next to an incandescent teenager. Messy black hair was escaping its queue. He was wielding a battle staff with precision and power. The teenage witch next to him was almost his equal in power if not in skill. She was shielding for them both, and trying to watch their backs.

"You can't hope to win, my boy. I must have them. I will be the Master of Death. Then I can defeat the dark lords that come, and people will reverence my name forever! Don't you understand? Why wouldn't you just do what you were supposed to? You didn't even save your princess from getting raped. You allowed that to happen!"

Harry was very confused by that one. Hermione was safe, and if she had been attacked like that, she would have told him. She was definitely a virgin when they went to their marriage bed. More lies to try to throw them off.

"YOU BASTARD!" The twins were as one with their assault. They had already been standing with their marauder hero whowas no Padfoot in battle. He proved that Lord Sirius Orion Black was a truly powerful and impressive mage. He was standing head to head with a death eater and a powerful witch together, and hadn't batted an eye. The twins hearing that confession powered up their own spells, and a blast of pure energy hit the old man, only for him to knock it away. But it had knocked him off his rhythm. They then sent out twin bludgers from their packs. That packed a punch!

The headmaster dodged the first, then the next bludger, but stumbled over a stunned student. Harry hit him with a chain of spells that brought the man to the ground, hard.


Harry's quick accio had the real Death Stick in his hand, warm and powerful. He felt it align to him. He felt prompted to put on the cloak which he carried. The death stick suddenly flew to his battle staff, sticking to it, changing it. Hermione tried to follow the runes as did the goblin warriors nearby. No one understood it. No one in centuries had seen it. Death magic.

"Albus Dumbledore. You tried to kill me today, you betrayed my parents, you would have betrayed the Longbottom's. Do you repent of these crimes?" It wasn't Harry's voice, but Death's voice. Every person in the hall knew it with a certainty.

"I had to do what was needed. I can see the bigger picture. I had to…"

"Let the record show that he did not repent." Death extended his staff. There was a brief flash, and a hole opened in the floor under the man.

"No! I am the Leader of the Light! Fawkes! Help me! The man called out desperately.

In a flash of flames, the phoenix appeared. He did not sing, though. He did not go to the man trying to scrabble out of the hole that was sucking him down. The smell of sulphur was fulling the air.

As the hole closed, and the screams stopped, lights suddenly came back on, and Death was gone. In his place Harry stood, leaning on his staff. Fawkes came to him, alighting on his shoulder singing a song of hope for the future.

Sirius, also winded and leaning on his battle-staff sighed. "Neville is going to be furious. We forgot to call him. He wanted to be here."

"Next one. I promise." Harry said, before losing consciousness. Fawkes flamed him to the hospital wing with Hermione and Sirius.

The Weasley patriarch was not a happy man. He had always tried to provide for his family. Their orchard and garden, their small stock of chickens, pigs, and other food animals had meant that his family had always eaten well even if they didn't have the gold that some purebloods did.

On the other hand, each knut that they did have was a result of honest labor. His family had never used magic to steal, trick or otherwise take advantage of anyone. Again, how many pureblood families, especially of the darker sort, could say that their gold wasn't tainted by blood?

To receive the letter bearing the Malfoy family crest was unexpected to say the least. To read its contents was even more so. Supposedly, the healers were under an oath of confidentiality, and no one in his family had talked. So how had they found out? Spies everywhere. Arthur shook his head.

His once vibrant daughter was bundled in an old quilt on the couch. Her mother was rubbing her feet. The girl wasn't eating enough and was far too pale.

He read the letter again.

To ignore it would put his family in danger. He knew quite well that Lucius' claims of being under the imperious weren't worth the parchment that his pardon was written on. To be associated with those people gave him the shivers. But to not cooperate would put a death mark on most of his family.

One way or another that man would get his way. What power did his family have? None. At one time, he would have gone to the once great Albus Dumbledore, leader of the light. His own boys fought against him, standing with Harry Potter and his wife of all things!

But he was just a boy. Even if he were to become the next leader of the light, Ginny had made it clear that the boy had spurned her advances. Harry had tried gently at first to tell of the interested witches that he was not available. He was married, no it wasn't a joke, no it wasn't a prank.

Ginny just remembered him as the boy that saved her from Tom Riddle, and she had a huge crush on the lad. Her letter home after he showed up was full of plans and hopes for the future for when they started dating.

The girl was obviously a few sandwiches short of a picnic when it came to the boy-who-lived.

He read the Malfoy matriarch's letter again.

Well, one thing was plain. He and Molly would not be going to Malfoy Manor anytime soon. Bill worked at Gringott's, and would be able to get them a conference room there. Anyone trying to pull anything at the bank would deal with angry goblins. Angry armed goblins.


Lady Malfoy sat upright in the chair in the conference room, her arms resting on the chair arms in a pose like the muggle queen. She stood as the red-headed couple joined her, leaving their daughter just outside the room with their oldest. Her favorite brother was trying to get her to smile.

Coming towards them, she offered her ungloved hand for shaking before putting her gloves back on. She shivered slightly, one could almost think it from the marbled room in which they found themselves. Almost.

She handed them a parchment. It was a diagnostic from St. Mungo's. Surprised to see that it was Draco's and not Ginny's name on it, they read it. Twice. Now they understood why they were here, and their home hadn't just been raided.

"I am not accusing your daughter of any sort of revenge. My husband is livid. He wants to find the perpetrator who chemically castrated my son and wreck torture, well. I pointed out for him to do so would be tantamount to proclaiming Draco's guilt. We all know that Draco is just as much a victim as your daughter if not more so. He was clearly not acting of his own free will, and now he will never be able to marry Pansy. The Parkinson's have already withdrawn the marriage contract and been refunded the dowry."

The proud woman started to pace. "If Albus Dumbledore were alive, I would happily strangle him. Oh, I've heard the rumors that he fell through a hole, that he apparated out, the his phoenix came and saved him. I also have good informants, and I am quite content to believe that the meddler is gone for good. Now, this leaves us. Two pureblood families. Perhaps we are not as close as some, but surely we can come to some sort of arrangement."

She looked at the couple. She pulled out a key to a Gringott's vault.

"There are two hundred and fifty thousand galleons. While a Yule wedding would be nice, I feel that the sooner the better. The child, boy or girl, will inherit House Malfoy. Your daughter will be protected, that we would swear to. Your family would be protected, that also we would swear to. The only thing that we ask is that if the Dark Lord return, that this time you stay neutral and out of the fight."

"But Harry Potter defeated him! He's not coming back." Molly Weasley screeched.

"Then that won't be a difficult promise for you. And for you Mr. Weasley, my husband guarantees that your current issues at work will be resolved, you will receive a promotion and pay raise. Mrs. Weasley, I have arranged with a skilled potion maker who has agreed to apprentice you. All fees to be met by me. All we ask is that Ginevra live with us. You can of course visit as often as you wish, and she you. She will not be any kind of slave. In fact, after the child is born, she can return as a day student to Hogwarts or even live there as she chooses. Or she can be taught at home. She will have a wide variety of options for her."

"But Ginny doesn't love him!" Molly cried.

The woman just looked at her. "What does love have to do with marriage? She is very intelligent, and powerful. Her child will be powerful. My grandchild. Our grandchild."

And there it was. They were already connected by bonds more powerful than anything that could be put into paper. The couple read the contract the woman offered, asking questions now and then, and making sure that family protection included all of her children. She had heard about Draco and Ron getting into schoolboy scuffles.

Realist enough to understand the choices were death or this, they signed the paperwork, and took the key. Ginny was brought in and introduced to her future mother-in-law. In a whirlwind, the ladies of House Weasley were taken shopping and new clothes purchased for the wedding. The men met with Lucius, and found him surprising cowed. His heir not being able to have more children had infuriated the man. But his spies were good enough to know that the girl had nothing to do with it. They even knew what poison had been administered, and Lucius chief suspect was Lord Nott. He had always wanted the Parkinson chit for his own son.

The Weasleys started to hope that maybe things were going to work out after all. When Ginny caught the first sight of her new home, she actually smiled. The wedding was held in an enchanted garden. The groom, a bit stiff and uncomfortable played his part, and the banns were signed.

He pulled her aside, and apologized for his attack.

"Look, I'm not going to force myself on you. Not tonight, not ever again. I was such a jerk. My family thinks that I can't perform. The truth is that I can, I just can't father children."

Ginny looked at him.

"You really hurt me. More emotionally than physically. But you hurt me. It's going to take time to learn to trust you."

He nodded.

She was looking around the grounds, and saw the quidditch poles in the distance. She could at least try to be nice.

"You're very good at quidditch. You make a great seeker."

"Me? No. You're much better. I think it's because you so small. The only reason why I've beat you in the past is because of my broom. I mean, you're flying what? A Cleansweep 6? Great broom for keepers, but you need something with more speed." He stopped talking and summoned an elf.

"Go to Diagon. Buy the current top of the line seeker broom. Charge it to my account. And buy some gloves and armor, Gryffindor colors. No Slytherin colors, Now, hurry up, don't dilly-dally."

"You'll be switching to my house now, won't you? You can play seeker for Slytherin. I'd rather be a chaser. Honest. You don't have to deal with Daphne or anyone though. I'll get us special rooms in the castle. I really don't expect you to want to sleep with me."

She just blinked at him. He was spending thousands of galleons on her on a whim! The life of little Ginny Weasley had just taken a huge unexpected turn. She wasn't happy to be married to this boy, he was no Harry Potter after all, but maybe, just maybe, it was going to be okay.

They spent the evening playing quidditch with her brothers. While no one was truly happy, there was a peaceful feeling in the day, and the couple had hope for the future.


It was a few days later before the champions had their first meeting. Harry was furious to find out that Hermione had to complete. He tried getting the goblet to accept him as substitute and everything, but it was to no avail.

Barty Crouch, Sr., the head of the tournament did concede that Harry could help his wife. He was not upset that a sixteen year old girl with limited dueling experience would be in this competition. He wished her luck, reminding her that she was the first mud, muggle-born allowed in the tournament, so needed to do her best to not embarrass Hogwarts. At the boy-who-lived's glare he left before Harry got really mad.

The next few days were spent in research mode, with Hermione spending time learning three spells very, very well, and being able to cast them with speed, accuracy and power.

Then he saw the red-headed terrors approach Lord Black.

"Oh great one, we felt honor-bound…

"More than, without you

"We would never had succeeded as much…

"Please get to the point!" The man demanded in a mock-gruff tone. He had already set up several thousand galleons in the twins vault, getting them started on their dream, and giving himself an outlet for his imagination. He held fifty percent of the company, which was generous as he was supplying materials and brain power.

"Charlie is here!" they said together, before going back to their table.

If he was still in school, he would have wiped out the point counters in the swearing streak that followed. Sirius liked the older Weasley boys, and was in secret partnership with Charlie as well.

Sirius knew the boy's main job.

Storming out of the great hall, motioning to his family on the way out, he ran to his rooms.

"Remus! Remus!"

"Easy Padfoot, last night was a full moon. I'm still a bit under the weather."

"Bloody dragons. Our girl has to face dragons!"

Harry and Hermione had just come in at that point. Hermione paled. Harry swooped her up in his arms, crying into her hair.

"This is all my fault! I don't know how he did it, my love. I am so sorry!"

"Harry stop, stop. Wait. You fight dragons all the time. Teach me!"

Remus and Harry knew how dangerous they were. Without magical healing, they would carry the scars of those encounters. They had seen smart, qualified wizards die.

And she was asking for lessons that would make her competent in two weeks.

"Harry, stop panicking and think. What do dragons want? What do they like? In my fairytale books they want gold and treasure. Maybe we can contact a dragon preserve. Find out their favorite things. Maybe I don't have to kill it, but get by it." Hermione reasoned.

"That's true. Charlie works in Romania with rare dragons, trying to keep them from extinction. They wouldn't be bringing dragons to fight! She's right!" Sirius kissed her forehead and looked to Remus.

"Your lovely wife has to have contacts with dragon people. Charlie probably will be under oath not to help here. So, can you find out what you can about what they are here for?"

Remus nodded, looking at the children. He remembered Hermione at eleven and for some reason he was feeling that she was more Calming Water's age right now. He felt like a terrible father-in-law for not protecting this child. Worse, he was going to need to tell Dan and Emma.

"Hermione, have you told your parents?"

"Mirrored them that terrible night. Thanks for those mirrors by the way. I don't know how to tell them about this. At least we can try to prepare." She gave her father-in-law a wan smile.

"Just like battle tactics, love. I'll contact Wilhelm too once we have more information. He has family in Romania, and might be able to help.

"I thought that vampires couldn't, you know." Hermione blushed.

"Oh, they can have sex, just not children." Sirius teased, trying to lighten the mood more. "His vampire clan has roots there. While Wilhelm is young, barely two hundred, he knows others that are older."

Remus paled again.

"What's wrong Moony?"

"I have to tell me wife. Sirius, I'm still recovering, don't you think…?

"Not for all the money in Gringott's." He said firmly.

"Flying Wolf. She's your blood family. She held you first before Lily, won't you…?"

"Of course Dad. I'll call her now. Go back to bed. Take a sleeping draught right now though.

The marauder nodded, and downed a small potion, forgetting to sign off. Harry just watched him.

"He's getting grey. Mom is trying to find the cure, but each transformation is a bit harder. I love him so much, and want him to be part of our future Hermione."

Hermione knew in that moment what a new goal was for her. The thought shot through her like a lightning bolt. She felt warmth and peace with that goal too. It was not one that having children would interfere with. And she knew that children were definitely in their future.


Harry had spent the next hour preparing. He looked at his notes. He activated his mirror.

"Hi Mom. I love you so much. Hermione is really in trouble, and I need your help."

"What? Did you forget the potions? A baby is not the end of the world, son." She started.

"No, no no. We want children, um, someday. Not right now. No. The tournament. Someone showed up named Charlie Weasley, yeah brother to Fred and George. He works in Romania on a dragon reserve."

His mother was very smart, and very, very scary when angry. He knew that she wasn't angry with him.

"Harry, any chance of getting near this dragon and telling it how dead it will be if it hurts her?"

Harry blinked. They had been focusing on what Hermione could do. Well, the stupid beast couldn't hurt her if was already dead! He tried to calculate how long it would take to kill all of the dragons in the world.

He probably didn't have time, even with a time-turner, which he definitely did not have. Still, it had potential.

"I will try to see what I can find out about the details of this event. In the meantime, go to Alexandria. Take Hermione. Use the medallion. Find out what you can on each species of dragon that exists in Romania. I will have that list to you by morning if possible.

"That information Sirius might be able to get here."

"Have him work on it as well then. Better double than nothing at all." The woman bit her lip. "This must be killing you. Threats against our families are much, much worse than threats just to us. If you are feeling afraid, concerned, angry, then that means that you love your bride. I will do all I can to help. And Harry, the council is very proud of you. Dealing with a dark lord is very, very difficult. You will be honored here when you return home. If needed, I want you under your cloak in the three ring circus these people are throwing with the Sword of Gryffindor. Don't let these monsters take my new daughter away from me!"

Harry blinked. "That's so brilliant mom! You are the best! I will, I promise, and if that monster looks like he is going to hurt her, then Greta can prep the grill, because we'll be eating something tasty."

Both of them feeling much better, they went to their tasks.


"Mommy, if Hermione has to fight a dragon, will you put that in the next book?"

"Perhaps darling, but hush now, Mommy needs to concentrate."

She cast the rune-stones alone, afraid of the results. Encouraged, she went to see Alice, then the seers. She already had reached out to goblin friends regarding information on dragons.

She just hoped it would be enough in time.


"Professor McGonagall, will you please sign this permission slip?" Hermione asked, staying after class.

"What is it my dear?"

"I want to ask the house-elves for help gathering up useless bits of broken silver and shiny things. I did not intentionally cheat, but saw Charlie Weasley in the hall. I know him as he is a friend of Sirius. I know what he does ma'am." Hermione said. It wasn't exactly how it went, but all of the components were true. And she did want the shiny things for the dragon.

"You really didn't enter yourself?" she queried.

"No ma'am. We've found out the Professor Dumbledore always wanted Harry to be with Ginny Weasley, even arranging for her to be assaulted so that Harry would rescue her. That is so sick! We didn't know." Hermione started to cry, she felt so guilty. "He hoped to cause my death, leaving her the opportunity to marry my Harry."

She would never tell the woman that a goblin team had boxed up everything in the headmaster's office within minutes of his death. Let them think that over-anxious house-elves had been in their cleaning. That was the glamours worn after all (for the benefit of the protraits of course).

"We think that he was having some sort of break-down. Well, never mind that. Yes, ye have my permission. I saw that American paper. No, I know that you and Harry haven't been giving press releases. Good luck to you my dear." She signed it, giving her legal possession of all of the old headmaster's useless silver bobbles and so much more. She really should have read the fine print better.


"Welcome one and all to the First Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Although, perhaps it should be renamed Single Wizard, Duel Witch?" Ludo Bagman laughed at his own joke. No one joined him.

"First up, our own Hermione Granger!"

Hermione walked out in her bronze and blue robes. The rules said nothing of what she could wear. Harry stalked behind his wife unknown to her. He wasn't risking her magic by telling her that he was there.

There on the bench was three treasure chests. She held the muggle recording device carefully, having cast the sonorous spell before she picked it up.

She shucked her over-robe, and there, in skin-tight display was the sixteen-year old dragonhide glad form of a very healthy young lady.

All of the fan-girls suddenly knew that they never had a chance, and the boys, even the purebloods envied the boy-who-lived.

No one noticed the Welsh Green's reaction to seeing all that dragonhide.

"Do you know me? Have you heard of me?" She played the prepared tape in parseltongue.

The dragon nodded.

"You have a choice to make. Accept this treasure in trade for the false egg in your nest. Or face my wrath. Your choice."

This was the hard part. She summoned the sword and caught it. Good. She then summoned the treasure chests, opening them to show the shiny objects the right way. Better.

Was the dragon crying? She looked in the nest. This dragon hunter was right! Someone had put a false egg in her nest! She didn't want to care for some cuckoo. No. Much better to bring home more treasure for her cave. She nudged the intruder away towards the tiny but powerful mage. The chests were coming towards her as promised. Good.

Now, for the piece de resistance.

"For your cooperation, take this goat as a gift."

The summoned and prepared animal was already stunned so as not to panic it. The dragon, happy to have survived this mess gratefully accepted the offered treat.

The mage bowed, and the dragon bowed back.

Hermione stalked off the field, her bronze and blue shoulder cloak streaming behind her.

She made it to the tent, peaked at the silent crowd, and then her family burst in cheers. Harry slipped in behind her, putting away the cloak, taking and sheaving the Sword of Gryffindor.

"I wasn't sure it would come. After all, the hat talked about putting me in that house, but I wanted to be with the smart kids. I thought they would accept me better. Ha!" She then looked around, and burst into tears. "I was so scared! I dare not look for you in the crowd either!"

Harry swooped her up into her arms. He had never faced a dragon alone in his life. She thought she was. She had no training, relying on wits and a plan that she had the courage to execute. He only thought that he loved his wife before. Now he knew. What children could they have together? He held her close, making soothing noises.

"Wish that we had Fawkes right now. I love you, I love you, I love…"

The phoenix came in, and started crooning to them. They missed the scoring, they missed everything. Hermione fell asleep in her husband's arms.

Flying Wolf said a prayer of gratitude to the Great Spirit for preserving his wife's life, and all the help that they had in preparation for the task.


The temporary truce between Draco and Ron flared into a screaming match not two days after Ginny's return to Hogwarts. Since her child wasn't due until August it was decided that she should attend wearing protective robes and not participating in duels or potions. The problem came when Ron saw her new robes trimmed in green and silver. Draco and she were going to be sharing an heir's suite in the dungeon and to show solidarity, she decided to switch houses.

It had nothing to do with dealing with the gossip and bullying of Gryffindor. Truly.

Ron swore then and there that he would rather be banished from the family than have to swear truce with the likes of Malfoy. He made a swift and noisy exit to the hospital wing when Ginerva Molly Weasley Malfoy decided to show off her newest spell creation. It wasn't pretty or sweet-smelling, but it had her older brothers clutching their bottoms in sympathy.

The twins wrote a quick note home. They had been doing a lot of thinking since the wedding, and talking to Lord Black and Harry. Charlie and Bill agreed. They all requested that they father officially ban them from the family. They were be Slytherian about it, and hide their ban until their wands were needed. But Fawkes had left the headmaster ages before, and for it to show up now was a good enough sign for them.

It left Percy as heir of House Weasley, but he was the one doing the most with the money that had been given them all as part of Ginny's bride price. He asked and received permission to expand the orchards, put in better muggle machinery and hire help. The fall crop that they had harvested had left much food go to waste. By getting help, Percy made a slick sickle. The family was proud of him.

Christmas would be spent pretending to be civil to their new in-laws, but the whole family felt that Dumbledore had much to answer for.


Christmas went by too fast. Part of the time was spent hosting Wilhelm in the home that Remus and Flowering Meadow lived. She had made him swear a blood oath that all in her household were safe. He took that to mean he wasn't welcome. But then he was surprised by the variety and quality of the blood products offered to him. He had never had fresh dragon blood before, and loved how powerful it made him.

She smirked offering him a catalog of all sorts of potion ingredients, including magical creature blood. She promised him an educator discount as well, not counting the 10 kegs of dragon blood sent to his room under stasis for help that he had given her son for his help to date.

He would never pay for blood from her for as long as she lived, but he didn't need to know that.

Hermione's parents were a little clingy with her. The children were all clingy to her. And Hermione Potter stories were now being read to her children, but none involving dragons. At least not yet.

Great Bear was unamused to be left out of the fight. It was decided that he should return with them to Britain. Aunt Alice was unhappy, but knew that it was necessary, or he wouldn't be able to live his life without regret.

With all of the smart people around them, Hermione was able to figure out her egg.

"Are they crazy? Swimming in a Scottish Lake in February? And how entertaining for the audience!" Sirius summed up.

"Merpeople? Hum, there are a lot of those in the Sound. There's a local group that runs a tourist trip to them, you know, go swim with the mermaids, eat with them, that sort of thing. I think we could hire a few warriors…" his mouth was still moving but Hermione had come back into the room. She couldn't know about any of their secret plans, or risk losing her magic for cheating.

"Apologies, honored teacher."

He wandlessly cancelled the spell on his favorite instructor, and asked his wife to join the women in the other room. Giving her a sweet kiss, he then shut and locked the door to the study that they had gathered in. He then put up a noise-cancelling ward, and turned to his guests.

"Okay, I have ten minutes. I like that option. Do you think that a chance to look for Nessie might tempt them?"

"Sure. I'll get the contact information for you. Offering trade will also work. Some of your desert treats and treasures. They'll help you. Just don't lie to them. Be bold, be upfront. Don't try to manipulate them into helping you."

"That is what our family does." Remus opined. He looked at his son. The boy seemed to have aged a decade in the last few months. He wished that he could take this burden from his son's shoulders. The dark lord's plans continued, though he was gone.

They fleshed out a few more plans. Harry figured that he would be the hostage. He didn't want to be unconscious while his wife was in danger. All his training, useless. They just had to survive the next two tasks. He wanted something to kill. One more dark lord to go, and he and Hermione could go to school, and pursue their dreams.

He left the rest of the men in the family planning while he went in search of his wife.

"Sorry sweetheart, we were talking about man stuff. Thank you for giving me a minute."

"No problem. Actually, we've been talking strategies for dealing with a lake in winter. Your family has made some impressive suggestions."

"Good. Talking about in small groups and big we can come up with several plans. You have done something that I thought I would never see. You really impressed Wilhelm. He has asked for a few ounces of your blood. I trust him with it. I have no clue what he wants it for. I don't think he wants us to know."

"All right." She took out a beaded purse. She pulled out several vials, some empty, some with crimson fluid. "I took this before our wedding night, so it's not renewable." She handed him three of the vials. Virgin mage blood. Right.

He watched as she filled three more with fresh blood. Before she had time to heal the cut, the vampire came out, sniffing the air. His fangs were out, longer than she remembered. He saw the cut on her arm, a trickle of blood there, and the young couple watched him shudder.

"Please, don't waste that!" he said, stopping Harry from wiping her arm. He asked permission with his eyes, gently licking her arm. Her eyes closed.

"If you ever make this witch unhappy, I will hurt you, my apprentice." Wilhelm swore.

Hermione had closed her still eyes. It was the first time that she had such a sensual reaction to someone not named Harry Potter. Wilhelm was so attractive. She bared her neck, moving her hair out of the way. Maybe he was hungry. He was a guest in their home after all.

"No, you don't love. You'll be alright. He caught a whiff of your blood, he doesn't mean to hunt you. Come on." He swept her up in his arms, and started kissing her. She responded with such passion. He stared his teacher down, and the man put in head down in shame. What was he thinking? She was married! To his apprentice, one of the most talented young man that he had taught in forever! He was a guest in their home!

He summoned a house elf and proceeded to drink a sixteen ounce glass of warm blood, making him feel more in control. He owed Hermione an apology.

Hermione didn't understand what had happened, but Flying Wolf did not complain. He was young, newly married and they had not had a real honeymoon yet.

Consummating your marriage while your parents were waiting on you did not the most romantic night make.

This however was the most passionate his wife had ever been. He was not complaining.


The council met. Flying Wolf was the descendent of a sacred mother. He was born on council soil. Raised by a sacred mother. His wife would be added to the list of citizens. She was no Stranger. She brought power and honor to the council.

If she were a boy, she would have earned the name Dragon Bane or such. The name White Owl was suggested, but not required for her to accept. Remus was right to not allow her in the meeting. She would have been embarrassed for how much the girl had impressed the council. Her academic record, her role in defeating the dark one, and her actions so far. And she had confessed her goal to her mother-in-law in hopes of attaining an apprenticeship from someone after their schooling was done.

The mother shook her head in shame. She at one time wanted Flying Wolf to token River's Song. That girl's goal were to marry a wealthy boy. She didn't think that the children would have time to go on her sacred quest before they had to return. They could do the sweat lodge at the summer. She sighed.

Without that stupid man's interference, would her son have ever met his perfect mate? She shook her head again, and said a prayer that thanked the Great Spirit for all of their trials that they did not understand at the time. They needed to have trust that all would be right.


Before returning to their various schools, Hermione indeed did accept Wilhelm's apology. She handed off the requested blood, giving him far more than he had needed for the project. Sipped, he would have true ambrosia for weeks.

He had never been jealous of a living man before in his life. He would give the young couple every help though.

Flying Wolf was happy with the progress that had made on the second task. He hadn't known about a lot of what they left with. Of course, growing up in a desert, he really had no experience with water, mermaids, giant squids or anything else that she might face.


Hermione woke early the morning of the second task. She went through the scenarios that had been out with Wilhelm, Remus and Sirius who had far more experience with water, and the latter two with the lake named after Sirius ancestors. Her husband hugged her and wished her luck. He was surprised that he hadn't been approached yet, but figured that the approach would be soon.

They went to breakfast, and Harry tried to encourage his lady to eat something. Luna wasn't down yet, and Neville was looking for her. He wasn't as studious as Harry, and was sorted into Gryffindor. He decided to take the same classes. They had magical creatures together, and went hunting together in the forbidden forest with not only permission of the acting headmistress, but her complete support. Every giant spider killed was one less potential danger to the school. She was paying them ten galleons per creepy crawley each.

Flying Wolf and Great Bear had been sending home unique potion ingredients that most of the lab hadn't heard of.

After the last creatures class, Hagrid saw the god-brothers coming and started crying. He wasn't able to teach the class. Harry tried to get him to talk. It was such a shame about all of the monsters in the forest that kept destroying his lessons. The boys patted the man's back and whispered words of encouragement and strength.

The champions were being called. Hermione checked, and none of her equipment violated any rules. She was very nervous. Harry had escorted her to the stands. Neville still hadn't found Luna, and she didn't have a mirror. Harry finally thought to look at the map, and used the search function. Nope, Luna was not in the castle. The boys were slow compared only to Hermione. They looked to the lake. Hermione looked sick. She had figured it out too.

"On your marks! Go!"

Hermione took off her robe to reveal Ravenclaw blue and bronze muggle-style wetsuit. She waved her wand and summoned a small skiff. She stepped on it, pointed her wand, and went towards the middle of the lake. It didn't take long to get to the spot where she couldn't get closer to her target without getting wet. She pulled the potion from her pocket, drank it, counted off, and jumped in.


Wilhelm had never gone swimming before. It was a fascinating process. With no air in his lungs, as he didn't need to breathe, and being very muscular, he had plummeted quickly when entering the lake.

He was surprised that Harry wasn't down there. He assumed that the blonde seer he had met on previous Hogsmeade visits was the person to be rescued. Did the girls have some secret love affair going on? He didn't think it likely, but if they were, he wondered if memories were available for sale.

He may be dead, but really. Those two girls were perfectly edible even if he did keep his libido and other appetites in check. Mostly.

The Pacific Northwest inhabitants were obviously different in both coloring and dress. They had said that they would have no difficulties with the fresh water, and so it seemed. The local maids seemed interested in the newcomer males, and were friendly with them. Good. The other contestants would not notice the differences unless they were looking for them.

Ah, finally, like a bird, she came swooping down. She fumbled only a moment at her belt for the jagged knife. It took her far longer than it would have taken a vampire to cut the ropes, the girl had no upper body strength. But she was able to grab her friend, and propel her to the water's surface in graceful kicks. The other champions weren't even close. Some of the hired mermen swam at a distance to make sure the girls made it to the skiff safely. Hermione had never even seen him.

He was well disguised, and was using a glamour. He somehow felt disappointed. He had been invited to the family feast tonight, and fresh tuna, salmon, and other delicacies would be delivered to their hired help to share with new friends here. No reason not to make allies where one can.

Wilhelm had made his way carefully to the dock, remaining protected just in case the sun came out when he heard a blood-curdling scream. He knew it was Hermione.

He rushed there as quickly as he could, and was just in time to hear the horrible news.

"Harry! He's missing! Where did he go?"


It had been expensive but worth it. Lucius just had to wait. No one attacked his son and got away with it. He looked across the room at the picture on the wall of him, his lady, their son and his bride taken at the wedding. She really was a lovely girl. Narcissa was right in this. Lucius hadn't like the advice from his wife, but recognized that it was all for the best. Besides, if the dark one turned up again, which he prayed daily would not happen, he had made a promise to stay neutral as well. He was spending a fortune trying to find out how to get the dark mark off his arm.

Which in the eyes of his new light-sided in-laws just proved that the man might have been imperiused after all. He even wrote a letter to the curse-breaker requesting help. If help came from 'family' all the better to bind them.

He had found out that Tom Riddle had a muggle father. Lucius bowed to no muggle or mudblood, not even one who called himself the Dark Lord Voldemort.

Harry had been sitting, watching the screen that Dan had suggested show the events below water when the organizer of the event asked for a moment of his time.

Shrugging, Harry got up to walk with the man. Neville, out of loyalty got up to follow just as the man pulled something from his pocket. Surging forward, he was in time to touch Harry's arm as the portkey activated, and they went flying away.

The stop was abrupt. It was technically day, but between the leaden skies threatening snow, and the thick trees, the graveyard they appeared in appeared dark and creepy. The boys cast several silent spells on themselves before progressing forward. There in the clearing was the largest cauldron that either had ever seen! And having scrubbed many, many in their lives, they knew caldrons.

"We are no longer alone Wormtail, can't you feel that? I believe that your adopted nephew is here. Step closer to the fire, Harry Potter, no need to hide. You aren't here to be killed. At least not yet."

The boy stared in horror. The memories of being kidnapped at five flooded his mind. The pain, his powerlessness. In his moment of weakness, his enemy acted, and Harry was disarmed, tied up to a nearby headstone and stunned.

Now one might think that Great Bear would have taken this opportunity to save his godbrother, but he was using his training. He was not at all the same caliber of hunter as Harry. His specialty was plants, and that is what he was doing. He was looking for and identifying all of the magical help that lived here in the somewhat tended space. The fact that it was mundane stopped not a single plant that he knew of.

Wormtail approach the bound boy with a knife and a small bowl. Harry was coming around enough to banish the sleeves of his armor to his belt. No need to lose them when a magical knife would eventually ruin them, and make whatever the man was doing worse.

"Hold still, I just need a bit of blood. You look so like James. I wish…"

"I couldn't kill you when I was five and had the chance! Everyone thinks I did! Everyone thinks I was so noble and so brave! The goblins think I did! Do you know what it's like hiding your guilt about being a weak coward! I remembered you as 'Unca Peter' and I couldn't finish you like I should have. Why! Why did you betray James and Lily Potter? Why did you betray my dad? I spent two weeks locked away with no food, little water with the broken arm that your friend gave me. I would like to repay him that. Tell me who he was! Or at least tell me WHY?!" Harry shouted.

Peter had the grace to look ill at the rant. He made a small cut in the boys bound arm and expertly guided a bit of his blood into the bowl.

"I'm sorry." Was all he whispered.

He completed his ritual, never noticing that the ground cover was slowly slipping around his ankles, or that Harry had slipped his bounds, pulled his shrunken staff, and said the command words to reattach his sleeves. They itched because they didn't seat right. He needed to ask Hermione to look at that. Which he would if they could out of this alive.

This was his day, his moment, his chance. And he was not alone. He thought about Fawkes, and how he wished he had his father and godfather here. His dad had taken a lot of time off work lately to be there for him and Hermione. A humble man, a good man, and the world's best dad. Harry just wished he was here along with his friends to help.

Suddenly, the world's ugliest snake man came out of the cauldron. Sexless, he was robed by his sycophant servant.

Using the dark mark, he called for help. Harry thought that they had miscalculated. Perhaps they should have attacked earlier, but they had been taught a certain moral code, and Harry had never taken the first shot at a human ever. He didn't know even now if he could kill.

He then remembered he had an alternative and decided to use that if needed. Now he really wished he had more help as a dozen death eaters apparated in.

After the dark lord chided and upbraided his indolent followers, he decided to challenge the boy. Harry made a hand gesture to his god-brother and hoped that he understood. He needed to get away, and use his mirror to get help! They were in over their heads here.

The dark lord then started to duel him. Now this was fun. Harry tried to just miss several times, stunning followers right and left. A growl and shouted threat let him know that Snape was here. But whose side was he on? Harry was using his staff like a wand, but wanted to bring it to full size. As long as Great Bear was clear, he could do a full-circle cast. Deciding to risk that his friend had complied with the command, he blasted a full circle of power, knocking three quarters of the people to their knees. There were two that took off their masks and started to cast towards other death-eaters. Wait, what? He had to concentrate though as Voldemort wasn't one who had been kind enough to just fall down. But he wasn't alone anymore.

Hoping that Neville invited more people to the party, he was thrilled with a brilliant flame of fire blazed in front of them dropping Padfoot, his dad, Wilhelm and the twins behind the enemies in front of him. Gratitude filled his breast. Then horror.

The stupid turkey-bird had also brought Hermione! What in the world! Was he crazy?! No time to deal with that though. He hoped that she would shield and live through this, but he had to concentrate on the dark lord in front of him.

The twins were amazed to see that Lucius Malfoy was in combat mortal with two death eaters, grinning like a mad-man. Coming up next to him, they offered to help, and unleased havoc on the common enemies. There were weasel words to the oath that allowed for combat, or they never would have sworn. Fred started shielding for George and Lucius and their enemies were soon a bloodied pile. The werewolf was holding his own, with Hermione acting as his shield-maiden. They had practiced together often, so were a good team. Lord Black was wielding his own staff with prowess, but the one causing fear right now was the battle master. He had elongated his teeth, messed up his hair and had the throat of two death eaters ripped out with blood everyone and howling like a wolf in delight. Hermione made the mistake of looking up and nearly lost it, but knew that lives counted on her.

She held on.

Harry was tiring now. He had never fought such a powerful foe, and this was when the thing was freshly arisen! He heard it call to a snake, and shouted a warning to his family to be on the lookout. Neville saw the plants move before anyone else could react, and had the snake's head chopped off in an instant.

Toting it on his blade, he offered it to the dark lord.

"Where you looking for this?"

Great Bear had been in the background using plants to trip enemies, and bind them. Now, in practiced ease, he stood side by side with his godbrother.

"You really should have left us alone you know. You brought this doom upon you. Or whoever told you the prophecy. I have it hear, want to hear it?

The dark lord put down his wand, and commanded that his people stop fighting. Harry pulled the prophecy out of his pouch, put it on the ground and set it to play. He magically amplified the sound.

While the dark lord stood there entranced by the image and words that he had wanted to hear for so long, Harry slipped first the ring and then the cloak. Pulling the death stick, his voice changed as the last words 'born as the seventh month dies.'

"Tom Riddle, you have killed Lily Potter and attempted to kill Harry Potter. You commanded the rape, torture, and murder of muggles. You are being given a chance here. Will you repent of these crimes?

"As to the muggles, no. They are nothing but our playthings to do as we wish. As for Mrs. Potter, I truly regret her death. So young, so beautiful, so powerful. She denied me, would not join me. She stood in my way when I just wanted to kill the one thing that would stop me from my greatness. I regret having to have to do so."

"That is not true repentance. You will now be judged."

A hole opened beneath him, but something terrible happened as he sank. All of the masked men who had been fighting for him were also drawn down. The awful odor of sulfur filled the air, as did the screams of the frightened men who were now all awake, even the ones that had been stunned. One man had been literally disarmed, and his severed limb followed him into the hole.

Peter called to Death, begging him to give him another chance, that he was sorry.

"Your petition will be heard, but not here." The deep voice said.

Then the hole closed.

Harry looked around. The phoenix had swooped bravely in the way of a killing curse, and was now a helpless looking chick. He scooped him up, whispering words of thanks as bushy hair arrived to block his view of his new familiar.

"Hi sweetie. Have fun swimming?"

"It went as planned. Those runes worked great on the skiff. We should practice in France."

They shared a kiss or three before they broke. Harry clasped arms with his brother by choice.

"You saved my butt today. I was done in. I don't know how to thank you, but wow. Thank you."

"You know, Harry, that technically this makes two dark lords you haff vanquished in just four months."

Harry looked up at his mentor. He had cleaned up most of the blood off his face, but Wilhelm wasn't looking at Harry. Hermione had been hit with shrapnel of a destroyed gravestone, and had small cuts on her arm and face. The vampire was looking at her like his sisters looked at chocolate.

"No! My wife, get your own!" He said, flicking the man's nose quickly.

The battle-master came to himself and smiled. Remus, watching the interplay growled low in his throat. Was this undead thing after his daughter? Did he want to eat her or mate with her or both? No, just no. He growled another warning. Remus Lupin was a very nice guy until you threatened his family.

The twins meanwhile were taking stock of their injuries. Fred had tried to dodge a really nasty curse, and part of it had hit his ear. Lucius came over and muttered a few words.

"There. It won't ever be whole, but at least it won't kill you slowly. I don't know why I ever thought of the Weasley's as push-overs. I know for a fact you haven't had decent tuition in fighting. But you both make me proud to call you family today." He held out a hand that George ignored, and just embraced the man.

Stiffening, his twin did the same. Looking shocked and appalled, he turned to Snape.

"Please say that you are not going to embrace me as well Severus."

"Not for all the gold in Gringott's. I should expel you two, putting yourselves in danger like that. These people are not to be trifled with!"

"Hey, that's not fair…

"We're the terrible terrors…

"The ruggedly handsome menaces..

"And WE are not to be trifled with!" They clapped their hands together at that.

Harry looked around. "Does anyone know of a road around here? Maybe we could call the Knight bus?"

"That contraption! Only commoners ride that." Malfoy sniffed. He pulled out a wand and made a portkey.

"I thought that was illegal…" Hermione started to say before Fred covered her mouth.

"Rule number one, Mrs. Potter." George said

"And there really is no rule two for marauders." Fred added.

"Don't get caught!" First and second generation marauders said together, as the portkey activated, and they were returned to the lake.


"And that's why it's called Black Lake." Sirius ended.

"What? That's impossible! The lake isn't connected to anything! How did you get a pirate ship in there?"

"I didn't say I did." Lord Black stuck out his lordly tongue at Lady Potter. In a lordly manner in a lordly Manor.

"You know what I mean!" she retaliated with River's Song's favorite. Hair flip. Foot stomp. And again.

"But what about the Durmstrong ship?" Harry reminded her.

"And what about your points? You left before points were awarded again. Where are your priorities?" Luna gently teased.

They spent the weekend recovering in Potter Manor. Lucius and Narscissa had stopped by. They had heard that Andi and Tonks were there, and were making attempts at mending fences. Ted had to work, but Padfoot, Remus and Wilhelm were all watching Lucius and his dealing with Hermione. So far, she had the right of it, gently avoiding him where possible, not interrupting him when he did speak to her, being cordial in reply and when contact was needed. Everyone could tell that it was difficult for the former death eater.

The surprise of the evening was Professor Snape. "So there I was, with half of the frog and Lily just looking at me. At first I thought she was going to vomit. Then she told me that I had the wrong organ and showed me where to find the spleen."

Harry couldn't help but laugh at stories of their first years in Hogwarts.

"She was my first and best friend." The man sighed.

"She would be very proud of you tonight." Remus said.

"We could talk to her you know." Harry offered.

The group thought about it. They decided to wait until Easter, to come up with things that they wanted to say, questions to ask since they only had a few minutes, and it really only should be done a few times a year at most, and that in emergency. Once a year was the normal maximum usage.

"What did your mother say?" Fred asked about her reaction to it all being over.

"She begged me to go to Hogwarts, at least until the end of the year. I keep sending her magical creature parts, and she's been having a blast!"

"You've been exporting potion ingredients?!" Snape stood.

"Relax professor, you are getting half of everything. It was part of our agreement with McGonagall. I just didn't think you would want to feel, um, grateful to me and Nev so we hid them."


"Under your bed." Neville smirked just a bit, trying to keep a straight face.

"Wait! You put dead troll, acromantula and other bits of dead creatures under my bed."

"Well they are in tubs." Harry said.

"Shrunken tubs." Neville added.

"Shrunken tubs in stasis" Harry smirked.

"Shrunken tubs in stasis and awaiting experiment!" Neville smirked back.

"Hey, what do you know? Twins of two different mothers?" George joked.

Harry looked at Snape, and pulled out a catalog. He gently gave it to him.

"I could have died out there today. Anything you want, it's on me. I'll let them know."

Snape started to sneer. As if any colonist had anything worthwhile. The organs, the blood. Eyes of animals he hadn't heard of except with Miss Lovegood spouted off in class.

"Luna, I owe you an apology." He said gently.

"That's alright. I really did think he was Stubby Boardman too." She said, winking at Harry.

"What? No, I mean about your animals." He was fascinated.

"That's alright too. I don't mind. I have Harry and Hermione and Neville."

"And we are friends." Hermione emphasized the word.

"Yes, but are you and Luna more than friends." Wilhelm was drinking a deep crimson something and looked a little tipsy. "And if so, wouldn't you let us watch, at least a little kiss?"

The table erupted worse that Mt. St. Helens. Remus and Harry growled, Luna and Neville laughed. Severus and Lucius decided that this was a good time to return to Malfoy Manor. Narcissa, Andi and Tonks glared at the vampire for interrupting. The only ones who took Wilhelm's side was the twins.

"Oh, yes please. Two perfect goddesses kissing. It's every man's dream. Every man's daydream." Fred looked at his twin.

"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"I'm sure I am, but where are we going to get a fifty ton anvil this time of night?"


It was the morning of the third task. Hermione wanted to kill someone. Her last OWL was three days before, and if she missed any questions due to prepping for this stupid tournament, she was going to become a necromancer just so that she could raise Albus Dumbledore from the dead to kill him again. Maybe more than once.

To her great surprise, she was in the lead after her first two events. She had never paid attention before. Barty Crouch had disappeared along with a good third of the nation's pureblood elite. A surprising number had been imperioused into joining the dark lord. Rumors of holes opening up from the bowels of the earth to swallow people immerged everywhere.

Harry and Hermione's entire family was there. Unlike previous times, his mother wouldn't let him go into the maze with her. She didn't say why, but just used a powerful sticking charm after pocketing most of his wands, his battle-staff and several of his knives. Hermione carried a new blade of her own, well not new precisely. Greta had decided that her wall of blades had one too many and would look better without the rusty nasty piece of work. She begged Hermione to help an old woman out.

Apparently goblins don't like their work to fall into wizard hands. But a wizard (or witch in this case) helping out an old goblin: well that was different.

Harry and Neville had made friends with the local centaurs after a time. They came to help the hunt of evil creatures, though refused to share in the bounty. What use had they of gold? Instead, the boys gave them pegasi feathers for their bows, and told them stories of creatures and monsters from home.

By the end of the school year, and the final task Hagrid had took to fleeing whenever he saw either dark long-haired boy.

Harry looked at Luna who was fingering her token hanging in her hair. She had finally had her fifteenth birthday. Great Bear had waited until 6 in the morning before asking her. He showed great restraint.

"Concerned, seer?" Harry asked, trying to end the spell on his pants.

"Only with you. Do you need me to cast the bladder charm on you?" she asked.

"Depends. Would it fill or empty it?" Fred asked.

Luna seemed to have to think about that one.

The board above the hedge showed Hermione; wand in one hand, sword in the other make her way to the next turn. A giant spider rushed out towards her!

"Hey! Where did that come from?" Neville asked.

"That there is Ferdinand. He lives with me in my house." Hagrid defended. "He's as gentle as Fluffy he is."

Harry shrugged. He had seen Hagrid with a dog. Maybe he had trained this one. If it bit his wife though, Hagrid wouldn't have to worry about buying spider-chow ever again.

In a combination that had the family cheering, she had cut off the leading limbs before blasting the rest away with a powerful reducto.

Hagrid started to cry again. Harry and Neville patted the man's back before he moved further down the stadium.

She had made her way past the sphinx and had Harry cursing that they couldn't hear the riddle. She was very bright.

And then his blood ran cold. In front of her blocking three passages was a creature he had only heard of. It was a Cerberus, and all three heads looked deadly.

They could hear Hagrid wailing. "Not Fluffy too! NOOO!"

Harry was ready to render Hagrid into potion ingredients. Who in their ever-loving minds thought that a Cerberus was an appropriate challenge for a sixteen-year old girl? He was going to kill someone over this. Slowly.

Hermione had been making very slow very gentle motions. She too carried a complete kit at her belt, and had made sure it would not disqualify her. They couldn't see what she removed, but it was getting bigger.

Hagrid's howling increased. "Poor Fluffy! My poor puppy!"

Soon, the spheroid was the size of her head, then nearly the size of the dogs head. It was bright red. She bobbed it up and down in front of the dog, but not near. All six eyes followed it. Then, quick as a flash she banished the object down the right hand path. All six eyes, three heads, and four thunderous paws went chasing the giant ball, and Hermione made time going straight at speed.

The crowd went wild, Harry's heart returned to only twice its normal rate, and he sat, now noticing that the bench seemed a little cold and rough. Reaching a hand, he discovered his pants had ripped. At least his boxers were intact. Giving his mother the stink eye, he pulled his robes from his pack to protect his dignity.

He never noticed that Padfoot had noticed and decided that the looking glass charm would work nicely. It made a window in a door.

Hermione looked around. She was the first to the cup. There it was. She stopped, using her senses. She didn't see anything. Stepping towards it, she grabbed it, and she felt the familiar feeling of a portkey, and she was gone.

A voice of heart-break, of pain, of despair rang out. It wasn't a word, but a feeling.



"But why does there have to be so many pieces. What can't people just reuse their fork or spoon?" Ginevra asked.

Since she was now 'showing', it was common for wives to stay at home. Narcissa was trying to teach the girl proper table manners. If this had been Draco, the question would have included rolling eyes and long sighs. But she was serious, she really wanted to know.

"Some people think it is to show off your wealth, all this silver and gold on your table. But, house-elves are very loyal and would never poison their family. By allowing a spoon or fork to be reused, it gives the assassin an opportunity. Fresh dishes deny that."

"That makes sense." The girl nodded.

The woman blinked. It did? For heaven's sake. There was that many pieces to show off that you knew how to use the right one for what for the guest and the host is showing off his wealth. Then she saw the girl wink at her. They shared a smile. It was nice.

She knew it her heart of hearts that she never would have liked Pansy as much as this little firebrand. She gave the girl a shoulder hug, and continued the lesson.


Harry calmed. He quickly grabbed his mirror. "Hermione! Hermione! Hermione! Wait. Fawkes, I need you, please! Take me to Hermione!"

Fawkes was fully recovered from their adventures the previous February. He arrived, shook his head, picked up his companion and transported him twenty five feet to the judge's stand.

The portkey had been to get the winner out of the maze safely.

The audience was gifted with seeing the boy-who-lived-and-conquered's manly boxers, that someone in his family had turned bright pink with prancing unicorns. And dancing unicorns. Prancing and dancing unicorns.

Hermione grabbed him into a firm embrace, cancelling the spell and asking him to hold the cup with her. Together, they made the front page of the paper.

When Hagrid saw Hermione later, he burst into tears. She had killed three of his 'babies' and he was never, ever going to forgive her. That may have had something to do with her asking him questions like the best way to cook spiders, his favorite pieces, or how great it was going to taste.

She really, really hated to kill creepy-crawlies. She considered it man-work. Harry firmly agreed.

Together, they made their way back to the family, hugging and kissing, and Harry promising that he would kill all of the giant spiders in the future.

As the family made ready to return to the States, Professor McGonagall asked if they would ever see them again.

"You have my contact information. I plan on being in pest control a long time, so feel free to call me."

"I'm going to miss you Harry." Luna said, hugging him.

"We'll be neighbors in a few years. Give it time."

A water balloon went sailing at him, and he ducked just as the portkey went off.

"Told him I was going to miss him."

The end.