Dear Miss Greengrass,
due to some recent developments I am greatly in need of your help.
If it meets your convenient, please meet me at Fortescue's Ice cream parlor on Tuesday the 3rd July at 3 o'clock.
If the date is inconvenient to you please send me a reply to arrange another meeting.
Harry James Potter
Most ancient House Peverell
That was definitely a shock. The great Harry Potter was asking her to meet him. The question was, why?
What could the Hero of the Magical World would want from her.
But now that she thought about it, it presented a perfect opportunity for her. After all, he wanted something from her, so she had the perfect leverage for a profitable deal. True she didn't know what exactly he wanted, but whatever it was it must have been kind of rare for him to come to her instead of one of his friends.
So with these thoughts Daphne Greengrass stepped through the fireplace into the Leaky Cauldron to get into Diagon Alley.
It was a warm sunny day in London and many families were using the day in the holidays for some fun shopping in the alley so it was kind of surprising that the reclusive Potter had suggested the populated alley as meeting point.
Speaking of which, there was the Man-Who-Conquered, sitting at a table at the Ice cream parlor nipping at what looked like an Ice-Coffee.
Daphne had to admit, Potter had become a fine specimen, having his hair slightly grown out, currently tied together in a loose man-bun, and definitely not the slim boy from school anymore.
"Potter!" she addressed the man, having him recognize her while standing up to greet her.
"Ah Miss. Greengrass, thank you for coming to see me. Please have a seat. May I order you something? A coffee or tea?" Potter addressed her with a fine confident voice.
So not only his outer appearance had changed since she had seen him at school. He had always been slightly withdrawn, even at the schoolyear after the war.
"A tea would be nice, thank you." She answered for him to order the tea with the menu card.
"Now Mr. Potter, you have asked me to come here to discuss about a service you need. What can I help you with and what do I get in return?" she asked, getting right to the point. There was no use of meaningless Smalltalk. They weren't friends nor politicians right now. Just business, nothing more.
She recognized how wrong she had been, when he answered:" Yes, indeed. The thing is, I have recently learned that I have inherited a heraldry seat of the Wizengamot along with the properties of the Peverell family line. Now the problem is, I don't know much about the proper etiquette and manners in the magical world to use this seat to its full capacity. So my request would be for you to teach me what I need to know about the Wizengamot and other pureblood manners."
Daphne paled. That was definitely not what she had expected or she wouldn't have accepted to meet him. She felt her magic humming ready to conclude the unintentional contract.
"Oh, for Merlin and Morganas grace. Damn you Potter! Of all things you could have asked you had to ask for an alliance ex doctrina!"
"A what?" Potter was obviously confused by the change of tone.
"A formal alliance between two houses in case of the need of guidance. Shall I accept now we would have to live together for at least five years being equipollent to a married couple while I teach you all I know and help you make the right decisions. Should I refuse, in word or action an honor feud would be created between our houses. We could never voice the same opinion and no descendant of ours could ever marry one of the other family. Thai has lead to multiple deceased family lines, like the Gryffindor or the Stratford family to name the two most prominent.
You are practically forcing me to act as your wife and teacher for the next five years!"
"WHAATT! No, no. I didn't mean it that way, I was merely trying not to be so ignorant anymore. I swear! Is there no way out of this? Pleas tell me there is and I leave you alone!" Potter screamed desperately, arousing attention of half of the valley. Great!
"Shhh… would you keep it quiet, for Merlin's sake. No there isn't. So Yes, I Daphne Greengrass accept your plea of knowledge." I quietly hushed, frowning at the short magical light, that encased both of us.
"There. Now first lesson: Never, and I mean never ask for any kind of apprenticeship or longer guidance without doing your research prior in private. You never know what kind of unintentional contract you are triggering. Many of these cases have been cursed at some point in time to get into control of other family fortunes. This case of the Alliance ex doctrina had been cursed by the witch Hepzibah the Shrewd if I remember correctly. This kind of contract is in fact not unusual but due to the curse it is normally negotiated by a 3rd party to get around the curse. We could have negotiated the contract in private to any terms we would be agreeable to, but now we have to live with the cursed version or suffer some kind of pain and some degree of loss of magical power. Still better than the case of an honor feud." She had to chuckle at the dumbstruck expression the man in front of her had.
"So, tell me how long do we have until you have to make your first appearance?" she asked.
"Um… About two months from now. 31st of August is the first meeting I am invited to." Potter answered kind of emotionless.
"Well that is good. That should give us enough time to teach you the necessary basics you'll need for your Inauguration.
So, tell me, now that you are something like my husband, what do you do for a living? I have heard you applied for the auror force after school."
"Oh, ah yes I did. But I quit after the training. Right now, I'm in an apprenticeship to become a Warmage under a German master. But other than studying new spells there is not much to do right now. The requirements for the journeyman of a Warmage are way higher than the teachings of the Auror department. I only started last week since I had to get permissions from the ICW and the Ministry in order to learn and use all the spells I need in order to become a Warmage.
I'm telling you, it is such a drag to get the official permission to perform the Unforgivables without getting arrested. On would think being the Fucking-man-who-conquered and that shit would help but no! Man, that was so exhausting, I'm tellin' you." It was obvious how Potter relaxed while talking about another topic while ranting about public administration. He obviously lived alone.
"What about you? What are you doing besides getting dragged into contracts?" he tried to joke.
"Well actually I'm interviewing different sources from different points of view about the war, to write an accurate history book about the Rise and Fall of Voldemort." She answered, curious how he would react.
"Really? Wow now that is a coincidence, isn't it? I mean, I'm not one to brag, especially about that topic but in a way I am kind of an expert about Voldemort's life. I happen to have a huge collection of memories concerning that Dark Bastard at home and know quite a lot myself. I am after all a mayor part of his later life since that night at Halloween. Although I have to warn you, some information about him are confidential and not allowed to be publicized. After all we don't want do give a 'How to-' for future wannabe Dark Lords, right?" he smirked at the end, but a certain degree of concern and sorrow was still visible, hidden under the playful expression.
She wondered what kind of information Potter had, to give her that kind of warning. What was the real history of the mass murderer and terrorist that had held Britain in fear for so long.
"Soo. Anyway, how are we doing this now? You said we have to live together like a married couple. What does that mean? I mean, we don't really know each other aside from brief school interactions.
Do you want to move in at my place? Do I have to move in at yours?"
"Well for starters, I think it would be most convenient if I move in with you. Especially since Malfoy is living at ours as well, being my sisters fiancé and all. And otherwise we'll have to see what the curse is forcing us to do. All I know is that I'll be your date at any public and presumptively private occasion from now on. I hope for your sake, you don't have a girlfriend or there will be one heck of a migraine."
"No I don't and by the way you said that, I assume you are in no relationship either.
So, Draco Malfoy is living at your place now, huh? I've wondered were he'd live after he'd brought down the Manor.
Anyways. I'd say it's getting late. Do you want my help, moving your stuff over? We could get them now or I'll ask Felix to get them."
"Felix?" "-Oh right. Felix is my house elf. I'm sure he would be delighted to help."
"Oh, I see. I'm surprised that you have a house elf. I thought you were against the connotation of house elves?" she asked surprised.
"No not in general. I'm against how most house elves are treated. Besides, the house was way to big to manage it all by myself. I'm still cooking and taking care of the garden by myself but cleaning and all these other chores are done by Felix. He is way better and faster than I am, mind you."
That was a shock! He cooked? And took care of the garden? What kind of man was he?
Daphne had never heard of a head of house who cooked or worked at the garden. Especially since he had a house elf. Those were jobs for a house elf. Even if you could not effort one, the man in the house never did those things, they were done by the wife or children. After all no single man who cold not afford an elf would live in a house where he had to do this kind of chores.
Cleaning might have been the most the majority of bachelor wizards did. Eating could mostly have done at work and a garden would not be available to be taken care of.
"You cook?" she couldn't help herself. The concept of a rich cooking wizard was too foreign.
"Well, yea. Why shouldn't I? I mean, I do have to eat. I don't know what kind of rumors are going around about me now, but I am a normal human, you know?
So what do you say? Should we get your stuff now? It is getting late after all." He said as if it was the most normal thing in the world.
Oh dear Morgana, what did she agree to, here?