The Contract

Chapter 121


Harry settled down after his little 'tease' of Aurelius' and Bill. Poor Rabastan honestly looked likely to have a heart attack if he continued. Considering he was just healthy again, well, he thought it best to stop his teasing for now. Harry was suitably distracted within a few moments anyway. The first of the many pieces on auction were brought to the front and centre of the room. Two wizards held it delicately in gloved hands, most items were too delicate to use too much magic upon, and too expensive.

"The Luna and the wolf painting…" the auctioneer described the painting, how old it was, and what its original frame was and what the action first bid was.

"It's beautiful," Harry said.

"Would you like it?" Rabastan asked, glancing at Harry, it was true, it was a nice enough painting. He already predicted Harry's answer, he wasn't one for buying 'frivolous' things. All the books he bought were catering to his education, his ability to use his magic in any circumstances. He would buy anything for anyone in a heartbeat, but rarely did he indulge himself.

Harry shook his head, where on earth would it go? His bedroom where nobody would see it? No, something that expensive deserved to be admired. With a little luck, a few museums were interested in the piece, and companies will have sent their best employees – or owners themselves attending – for this was years in the making, it had been cancelled twice.

Rabastan watched the two wizards get into a bidding war for the piece. His wand out, held loosely in his hand, and just after the second 'going twice' he raised his wand, and a circular white light formed, with yellow digits for number '12' which was his number so they knew to whom the bidder was and where to take the funds from – after he signed it for them to take the money – his details were already logged in.

A short but intense bidding war began in a bid to win the painting, to no surprise Rabastan won. He just continued to bid on the item until the other bidders ran out of steam. Other than the necessities and a few pieces here and there, he hadn't touched his vaults in over a decade. The interest that had accumulated alone, were enough to buy the painting.

Harry had never asked for anything, and was content with his lot in life. So, Rabastan had sworn to spoil him, and this was the first real thing he'd said he liked that he hadn't already bought for himself. Or of course, what Rabastan had bought him for their betrothal gifts.

Harry gave Rabastan an amused look, shaking his head, but he didn't say anything. Truth was, he thought the painting was beautiful, the white wolf howling at the full moon, with the blue and greens where the water met the forest, it reminded him of the forbidden forest at Hogwarts. Who knows, it may well be, there was nothing known about the painting. Just that it had been sold after being in the Smith family for several generations, and considering the Smith's were descendants from the Hufflepuff family it may well be Hogwarts.

"They should be ashamed of themselves," proclaimed an elderly gentleman, staring in disgust at the Smith family who were all looking a little too relieved and gobsmacked at how much the painting had sold for. They weren't the only family to need their funds replenished and most definitely won't be the last. "Humberto is barely in his grave and they're selling his things." Humberto was Hepzibah's very young husband, that the family hadn't even known about. There had been question whether Hepzibah actually knew, but unfortunately, the marriage was legal, and Humberto became Lord of the family estate, much to everyone's shocked disbelief and then dawning anger. He had never remarried, and didn't have new heirs, the estate had been left to Hepzibah's eldest son, who had a son of his own, Zacharias Smith. Whom was now Heir Zacharias Smith. Truth was Zacharias' father; Zebadiah Smith had been using the Lord title when he wasn't the Lord or the Heir. As an Auror, he should have known better, for it was a crime punishable by a lengthily stay in Azkaban prison.

Harry listened, watching the scene out of the corner of his eye, until Corvus tapped him with his hand. Giving him a look that suggested he mind his own business. Or at the very least make it look less like he was being nosy. Harry may well have his nose pressed against a window for all the subtly he was displaying. At least to a Slytherin like Corvus.

"Next up, lot 2, a chalice gifted to Merlin Emrys for his naming ceremony, blessed by the Warlock Cole Woodridge and High Priestess Selma Winters." Called the auctioneer, as a wizard carefully let everyone in the room see it. Angling it to the left, then right, before sitting it in its velvet resting place.

"It's surprisingly comfortable here," Harry confessed.

Rabastan turned to face his betrothed, "Did you imagine something else?" as young as Harry may be, Rabastan wanted to make sure that Harry knew he could speak to him, about anything at any time. Communication was key if any relationship was to work.

"Sort of," Harry admitted, leaning against the side of the comfortable chair. "But only because I thought it would be like the ones, I saw on TV back when I lived with Petunia." Uncomfortable benches or chairs, an auctioneer and people standing around if it was busy. With a presenter just talking over the auctioneer, and the rest of the room very silent. Yes, it was vastly different from what he envisioned.

Rabastan's nose screwed up a little, "Maybe for the rabble, but proper auctions ensure comfort and offer all the amenities." He wondered when his betrothed would begin thinking like the rich Lord he was.

The auction room had multiple tables, with either chairs of two, three or four depending on the person's party. It had been planned down right to the very last seat. Tables situated between them, the chairs while were made definitely for posture, were comfortable, with enough padding to ensure that. There was a bar to the far left, a restaurant to the right, it was unsurprisingly empty of anyone. People had come to attend the auction; the restaurant would be full later. Especially seeing as they were being tended to by one of the world's best chef and sous-chef.

After two more items were sold, a decorative gold vase, and the first of the books Harry had translated for Rabastan. Which went for far more money than Harry could have predicted. Especially since there was more than one copy of it, and they were well aware of this fact. The information had been written down and the auctioneer had informed everyone.

"It is Pierre that was hired, wasn't it?" Harry asked, as the book was set aside.

"What can I get you gentlemen?" an attractive brunette asked, wearing a rather fetching dress as she stood before them. A pad and a piece of paper in her hand, ready to take down orders. Her jewellery – while minimal just a few small but decorative pieces – sparkled in the light of the room.

"Yes, Chef Pierre is cooking for us this evening," Rabastan confirmed, not even sparing the woman a single glance. He hadn't strayed, he wasn't about to start when Harry was beginning to grow into a handsome wizard that he could see marrying. Another reason the tickets had been so expensive, a meal served by Chef Pierre was well worth it.

Harry's eyes lit up, "He does make really good food," he agreed wholeheartedly.

"Bring two bottles of Krug Brut Vintage 1988, six glasses," Corvus declared, unfortunately, Harry was still underage, which meant it wasn't possible for him to get champagne with them. At least not publicity, "What would you like?" glancing at Harry, probing for an answer.

"Orange juice and a closed bottle of butterbeer." Harry told he woman with a small genuine but bland smile.

"Coming right up!" she said, writing it down before she was weaving in and out of everyone's way as she made her way to the bar to gather everything that had been asked for. There was a lot of alcohol flowing tonight, none of it was mass produced, only the best was brought for this evening.

"The items from the dig are next," Bill said, staring at the booklet that gave a glimpse of everything, and also gave a more detailed outlay of what was what. All too enamoured by the items, so much so that he didn't hear Harry ask him a question, until he was nudged in the ribs by Aurelius and Harry asked the question again.

"Didn't you ever find anything like this on your digs?" Harry asked, from what he'd gathered Bill had been a very good worker. Put in the hours, good team, good finds, Gringotts had always been happy with his work.

"The digs I took part in were known magical areas," Bill went on to explain, as the first item from the dig was described by the auctioneer. Leaning closer to Harry, "Which meant a lot of the items we found were magical in nature. I mean see here…" showing the book off, barely listening to the introduction of the items.

The bow and arrows dating from the 9 BC.

"That's a catapult they found dating back to the 12 BC, in Buhen!" Bill said passionately, "In Muggle history, they used spears, Javelin's, even throw sticks and slings. I've never had a chance to uncover any of that, but I've uncovered wands, potions, books, and unfortunately, had to dismantle my share of spells that will never be recovered…so much magic lost, unable to be translated…we've tried but some things are just gone."

Aurelius just watched and listened with an enigmatic smile, all the while bidding for the bow and arrow while his partner was lost in conversation with Harry. Who luckily shared his fascination with Egypt, it had begun the year Corvus had taken him on holiday when he was thirteen, and had not abated yet.

"So many boxes sit unopened in Gringotts, nothing and nobody can get them open…oh, but to peek inside! Nobody knows what's inside of them! Well, it could be anything." Bill enthused, his eyes fervent and bright. "They're beautiful, the hieroglyphs, paint and sometimes even imbedded with gemstones."

"Why not break the seal?" Sirius asked, accepting the goblet of champagne. "Pretty sure the contents inside would be worth it."

Harry and Bill turned to stare at Sirius aghast, to destroy something that old? That precious? He was absolutely bonkers. "You are nuts," Harry told his godfather simply, giving a firm nod as if to drive how serious he was home.

"It's stupid just having them sit there, anything could be inside, nobody will care much about the boxes." Sirius argued his point, but he was grinning showing one way or another he honestly didn't care. He just loved his ability to wind Harry up. To wind him up in a way that wouldn't really anger his godson. It had taken a long, long time for them to have a real and genuine relationship.

Without fear he was going to be pulled away from the only family he'd ever known, Harry was able to relax around him. It led to the beginning of acquaintanceship, then friendship before slowly, oh, so slowly turning into the sort of relationship he'd always dreamed of having with his godson.

"Depressingly, he does have a point," Bill said wryly, "Not that I'd ever give permission, and neither will the goblins."

"Boxes you say? I assume you mean more like chests?" Rabastan asked, joining in, as his Lord continued, "Mostly, golds, yellow and blues? With scarabs and hieroglyphs? Blue scarabs and cartouches with hieroglyphs around the outside? With no visible locks?"

"How did…" Bill said, giving Rabastan a look, "That was a good guess."

"Not a guess," Rabastan said wryly, "How is it you didn't recognize the royal seal?"

"Wait is that what it was? Huh, the goblins did get way too excited when they saw it." Bill confessed, with a thoughtful frown, "It wasn't even whole, it was just a half inscription, it didn't even dawn on me that it could be. The tomb wasn't anyone from the magical royal family."

"That you know," Harry said, "Wouldn't be the first bastard child that wasn't 'officially' acknowledged but given the royal treatment regardless."

"It's possible, but unlikely," Aurelius replied, crossing his leg over, hands on each side of his chair looking regal himself. "What's more likely was, that if the person wasn't royalty, it was purchased afterwards." His lips twitching at the heated look that came upon his partners face, he was good looking and he knew it. Just wait until Bill noticed he'd won the Bow and arrows for him.

"And left to gather dust when it couldn't be opened and assumed it was something precious to the person and entombed with them?" Corvus deduced, finishing what Aurelius started, before drinking from his goblet, the taste? Utterly divine. He didn't get to drink much, and he could see Harry giving him the side eye, letting him know that he was aware he was drinking and disapproving.

"You're forgetting one fundamental thing that Harry found out about the Egyptian magical royal family," Rabastan continued, licking his lips to catch every bubble of the champagne, it was very good. "They were Parselmouth's, it's quite possible they were the very first with the ability."

"Well, Salazar Slytherin did have a protrude on his head, something the Egyptian's were well known for," Harry said, sitting forward taking his goblet of orange juice, "In the pictures he has them, the line might originally be from Egypt." From some form of the Egyptian Royal line at that.

Aurelius clicked his tongue in amusement, "The box opens to someone with the ability to speak to snakes," he said for his partners benefit who was steadily becoming a little more confused. Barely paying attention to the next item the auctioneer revealed.

"They're…boomerangs," Harry said in fascination, as they were shown off, the throw sticks.

"What's a boomerang?" Bill asked, and he wasn't the only one confused.

"A small compact wooden…item you throw and it boomerangs right back to you," Harry explained with a little difficulty. It wasn't easy trying to explain things to people who have been raised entirely in the magical world.

"They're actually the same size I'd say, only boomerangs are more used for entertainment purposes while I'm assume throw sticks were used defensively." Aurelius said thoughtfully, fingers to his mouth as he observed them. "I do wonder at the silver coating them, if it was fully over, or if it hasn't faded with time."

"That one's gold, and it's got colour on it," Harry pointed out to the far-left wall, "That wooden one though is beyond saving, it's eaten away…are they selling that?"

"Something that broken? Highly unlikely," Rabastan eyed it dubiously, "Thierry-Henri would never allow that to be put on the auction." Revealing the auctioneer's name. "Must just be for display to make the others look better."

"Do they do that?" Harry asked blinking in surprise, it was a rather smart manoeuvre to pull.

"I hope so," Rabastan said dryly, "If you tell the goblins, tell them only that Harry or Aurelius can open them."

Bill sighed, "Slytherins," he grumbled, but it was half-hearted at best, slipping into a grin. "Can't say I wouldn't do the same myself." They weren't the only ones in the world with the ability to talk to snakes, but they probably were in the British Isles. He didn't pity the goblin's; they were ruthless themselves. Both groups would give as good as they got. "To know what was in those boxes though? It would be amazing." Eyes fervently bright, it meant a lot to Bill.

"Did you never keep anything for yourself? Not even a little memento?" Harry asked curiously, a keepsake? Harry didn't think he'd have been able to resist.

"It's not worth the risk," Bill said, a thoughtful look on his face, "Was I amazed by some of the finds and wish I had the funds to buy them, yeah, but no I never contemplated taking anything." he loved his job too much for that. He said amazed only because there was no real word to describe them.

Aurelius stared at Bill, more than just a little admiration for him. He didn't get how someone who had grown up deprived of everything, even knew clothes had turned out so honourable. He freely would admit to pilfering whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted, screw the goblins.

"Honourable," Corvus nodded, thievery was…not tolerated. He would have been gravely ashamed if his sons had been caught up to that sort of mischief. He almost shuddered at the mere thought of someone coming to him with the news his sons had stolen something.

"I would have taken whatever I needed to survive." Harry shamelessly stated, face entirely impassive. Shrugging when Bill, Aurelius, Corvus, Rabastan, Rodolphus and Sirius all glanced at him, genuinely and 100% unsurprised by his proclamation.

Nobody would be able to say they wouldn't have done the same thing, had they walked even a mile in Harry's shoes.

Aurelius' eyes glimmered, utterly in agreement with Harry, he too would have done what he had. In fact, he had stolen to survive the life he had. Unfortunately, he couldn't very well admit to that out loud, given his position, or the position he desired to achieve one day. If they had been in private setting, it would have been entirely different. He inclined his head to Harry, it was terrifying just how similar they were, how ruthless they could be, given how powerful he was now, he actually felt it might have been an even match should they meet in the battlefield. Then again, would Harry be receiving the education he was if things hadn't worked out the way they had?

A round of three Egyptian spears were auctioned off next, and Bill wore a perplexed look on his face. He knew his partner well; he had not bought them for himself. If it had been books, then yes, definitely in a heartbeat. Ancient weapons? No, he preferred the use of his wand, always had done.

"One of those boxes you mentioned are up for auction," Sirius commented, "Number twelve," it had everything they said, including the fact it couldn't be opened. It was more weathered, older, the hieroglyphs were in bad way. "Nobody has bided on it yet." There were no bids been put forth and honestly, Sirius didn't blame them, it didn't look like much, just an old box.

"Let me see!" Harry enthused, he hadn't grabbed one of those catalogues, more fool him. He'd need to pick one up, but there were only a few more before they'd be leaving for the restaurant to their meal.

Rabastan, who was closest, held his out for Harry to read, or take, whichever he preferred.

"Yours is first after the intermission!" Harry said, noticing that was on the list.

"Ours," Rabastan corrected, setting his hand over Harry's a physical show of their partnership. Squeezing in reassurance he withdrew his hand, as he turned back to the intense bidding going on. Another painting, the bidding was already up to twenty-seven million galleons, and didn't look to be slowing any time soon.

"Ours," Harry agreed, a small secret smile playing across his face. He was really happy, and it showed, especially since Harry was already one for not showing emotion when he came into the magical world.

The adults just gave each other amused looks, young love, there was always something about it. Perhaps the reminder of what it felt like, or something similar. Corvus especially, watched over everyone there, like a proud father. Ironically enough, despite the looks, there was one his own age there, but Aurelius' didn't look it.

Aurelius only had eyes for Bill, who was for once utterly relaxed, and having a good time. All agog over the prices, which was to be expected. Bill up until the past few years, had barely ever had two galleons to rub together. Now he had a vault full of galleons, and was now Lord of the Weasley family, and was being introduced to the finer things in life by his partner (him) he'd taken him to a very expensive, and desired (people would kill for a reservation) restaurant but Bill had been a bit tense the entire time. Clearly, he wasn't always comfortable surrounded in opulence.

"You seem much more comfortable today," Aurelius leaned over and whispered to Bill, who leaned into Aurelius to hear better.

Bill blinked, staring at Aurelius, "I guess," surprised himself actually, usually when this kind of money and fancy shit was around, he felt terrified he'd break something. "I'm always afraid I break something, or worse stain something…by product of so many siblings and them blaming me for their mistakes I think."

Aurelius cocked his head to the side just a little as the painting finally sold, "How so?" Bill had a decent upbringing all things considered, was he remembering things he hadn't as a child? He couldn't imagine Charlie or Percy getting Bill into trouble if he was honest, the twins most definitely. Now those twins were intelligent and vastly inventive, he would always invest in anything they created, but he believed Sirius was going to snap them up for Marauders Incorporated.

"I never did tell you why I stopped going home did I?" Bill said, a thoughtful frown on his face, "To be honest, I had entirely forgotten it, it was just one incident out of many."

"Molly?" he was able to deduce, he'd call her by her last name if she had one. Unfortunately, she did, which left him with calling her by her given name which he found distasteful.

Bill nodded, absently checking his hair, which was longer than it had ever been in his life. He no longer felt the need to cut it to please Molly when he visited. It was just simpler to let Molly have her way, otherwise he honestly didn't hear the end of it. "It was no secret that Molly wanted a daughter, she didn't make us feel unloved, if anything she was smothering. Her expectations got too much, I would come home to make sure she wasn't overwhelming Percy, or the twins actually." He said wryly, more fool him for not noticing just how much she had failed the twins. Charlie was always more stubborn than even him, so he'd never worried about him. In fact, truth be told, he'd thought the same of Percy and the twins in the end…turns out he couldn't have been more wrong.

"As high as the expectations are, they must have been a successful parenting habit, for you all are intelligent and achieved very high marks and landed good jobs." Aurelius interjected, grimacing a little as he realized it sounded like he was defending he witch.

"Molly never encouraged like that, she expected us to go work in the Ministry. Stay close to home, have babies and have our partners watch them." Bill said, quirking a grin, "Not many witches would have been happy about that. It was our father that encouraged us to do so well in school, his gentle encouragement…means more than I will ever be able to tell him." his father might not have been heard over Molly's shrieking, but he'd always made sure to make time. A lot of letters actually, presumably written and sent while his father was at work.

Aurelius' lips twitched, "How did she react to the news that you were apprenticing yourself to a curse breaker?" which was easily done through Gringotts, but not quite so easily passed. In fact, most people actually failed the test at least three times before passing (if they continued to try) Bill actually passed first time.

"I could still feel my ears ringing for months afterwards," Bill said dryly, "I always saw curse breaking in my future…I never bothered with a back up plan or an alternative. Go figure I wouldn't be one…when I'm at my happiest." His siblings were happy too, and he was so much closer to them. There was a hole in their lives where Ron should be. The ache, the pain, the agony of it was still fresh, it was a searing thing in their hearts that would never heal over. It didn't help that they still didn't know what or rather how it happened. Was it an accident by Molly? A contamination in the pot? Or attempted murder of all of them? The unknown was the worst of it all. Worse than even losing Ron if Bill was entirely honest with himself.

"What actually made you so reluctant to return home for so long?" Aurelius questioned his partner pensively. It was clear Bill loved his family, and he could it was something that metaphorically was he straw that broke he camels back.

"Oh, right, I didn't elaborate on that, did I? It was just before the twins first year I think…the last time I visited and it was a short one. I had just the night before given a bag of one hundred galleons to Molly, and this bloody vase that's sat at the side of the fireplace since I was a kid, got broken, Ginny was having a temper tantrum because Molly wouldn't give her biscuits before dinner." Bill revealed thoughtfully, the background noise droning on but he paid zero attention to it. "It belonged to our grandparents, the Prewitt's. She didn't get much due to Muriel getting most of it in the inheritance."

Aurelius nodded, letting Bill know he was listening, noting idly, that Rabastan was bidding on the broken Egyptian box. He was spending a fortune on Harry tonight, then again, the boy certainly deserves to be spoiled by his fiancé doesn't he not? For he surely spoiled Bill when he could.

"Despite the fact she was a kid, when she told Molly it was me…she was believed. I came to realize that…Ginny could do no wrong in Molly's eyes. It worried me, but I thought for sure she wouldn't spoil her too much or let it go too far. If she didn't then I felt sure my father wouldn't allow it. She was fussing over how Ginny could have gotten hurt by my clumsiness, despite the fact I am far from clumsy. Uh, she kept going on and on and on about it, despite the fact it was barely worth two bloody galleons, it was cheap crap easily found in Diagon Alley. I'd just handed over money I'd starved to give her, went without to scrape together to ensure my brothers went to school with new stuff. I never wanted them to feel like Charlie did when he went to Hogwarts. He had only a new wand, everything, and I do mean everything was second hand, mine."

"Do they know what she did?" Aurelius' interjected.

"Yes, there are no secrets between us anymore." Bill said, the look of devastation on their faces…had hit him really hard. "Eventually it just became too much, I don't even know what she wanted, but it was diatribe after diatribe. My hair, my job, how I should come home, how I should settle down, how she'd been married by my age. How she'd already had me by this time, then the vase was raised again. I stood up, summoned my stuff which I hadn't even unpacked yet and left, I just couldn't cope with it. It was a holiday, or meant to be one, but no he couldn't rest."

"That was the last time you saw your…Ginny until…" refraining from calling her sister since Bill had not. That and the fact that Molly had been simultaneously disowned from both families. Since Ginny wasn't Arthur's, they had no relationship with one another, let alone brother and sister.

"Molly decided she was bringing everyone to Egypt? The money that Portkey cost…everyone else would have been grateful that their parents would do something like that. Me? I just judged them…although, not harshly enough, I had no idea they'd gone and bought a damn tent…I honestly, am still so baffled as to where the damn money went." Every month he'd sent money home, every damn month, never once able to save anything.

"Well, no, that's wrong, Ginny had a massive wardrobe, not all of the stuff was second hand either. And the number of cards I found in Ron's room…sweets were primarily something he spent his allowances on." shaking his head, "Change the subject, please, thinking about it all is bad enough, and not to mention gives me a damn headache…without dwelling on it."

"Of course," Aurelius murmured, "Do you wish to go outside for a few moments?" a bit of fresh air they say always perks you up.

"No," Bill said shaking his head, giving him a grateful smile, "I'll be fine." He wasn't a wilting flower that needed dedication, time and pampering.

"Copper head of Cassius Warrington-Papadopoulos the first Minister for Magic, and most renowned for bringing peace to the Greek magical world, after war after war, fraught with tension and endless deaths until the new leader arose." Now copper might not be something expensive these days, but the item was valuable despite it only being copper.

"Cassius Warrington was he any relation to Lord Warrington?" Harry leant forward and asked Rabastan.

"That particular Cassius Warrington-Papadopoulos was a witch," Corvus spoke sounding amused, "Of course, it's not often spoken about, women weren't mean to be independent and free-thinking in those days. She truly led the Greeks to a new era. It should not surprise you that Witches were given more rights much sooner than elsewhere. In fact, they were amongst the first to use Witches last names as a mean to keep families alive."

"Wicked," Harry muttered quietly to himself, grinning.

Rabastan smirked at him, knowing without a doubt why Harry had whispered. His father did not like informal words, especially like 'Wicked' and 'cool' and 'Merlin's balls' he preferred proper speaking. He wasn't as stern as he used to be for that, since they'd all gotten away with it far more than they used to. He wasn't sure if it was his father's age, and less pomp and circumstances or if he was just giving them all a lot of leeway given what they'd all been through. Glad to have them in his life.

Corvus cleared his throat, giving Harry a look.

"I mean it's a very interesting piece of information," Harry said, giving Corvus an innocent look, which naturally, the wizard didn't buy for a moment. After a few seconds, Corvus' mouth switched into a smirk, proud of how far the wizard had come.

"It certainly is," Sirius said, "And I can't believe how much it's going for." craning his neck to see if he could spot any of the Warrington family, it was a piece of their history. He wondered if they had put it for sale, none of the Warrington's actually had a job, the only one being Lord Warrington and that was the seat on the wizengamot.

"None of the Warrington's are here," Rodolphus said, knowing without a doubt what Sirius was looking for. "And none of them are selling something."

"Legally you should not be revealing such information," Corvus chided him, you could end up sued for letting such information slip. The Warrington family might not be the most wealthy or powerful but they were allies and friends. Of a kind.

Rodolphus inclined his head, agreeing and apologising in that single move. It's true, he should have done so in private. He doubted anyone here would really care, in the grand scheme of things the Warrington family weren't known in his circle.

"He didn't say who was," Harry commented, "That particular legal loophole would see him getting off on any charges." Smugly revealing information that would see something going in their favour.

Rodolphus just smirked smugly at that, "See, the Lestrange Estate is safe in Harry's capable hands." Ruffling the teens hair as he always did.

"Gerroff!" Harry grumbled, but it was half hearted at best, and the smile on his face sort of revealed that he wasn't as annoyed as one might think.

"Yes, get off," Rabastan said, righting his hair, "It's really too long for you to keep doing that now." he'd had more of a birds nest the first few years they'd seen him while they were in (11-13 years old) Azkaban. "It's likely to hurt if his hair is up." Wincing a little recalling the times it had happened to him.

"He's right, it's bloody painful," Sirius agreed, rubbing his scalp clearly recalling an incident but he didn't elaborate and nobody asked. "You should see my hair short though, I do not suit it and it goes everywhere. If people thought James was bad…they really hadn't seen mine."

"We've never seen you with short hair," Rodolphus pointed out, feeling rather envious. "What age did you start growing it out?"

"Last time I let anyone near my hair? I was nine, I threw a massive, massive temper tantrum until my father agreed." Sirius shamelessly informed them, "I kept it around my chin or shoulders since." Not thinking on the haircut he'd gotten after he got out of Azkaban. He'd rather not dwell on such a depressing time in his life, plus his therapist said to direct those thoughts to something more pleasant.

"And now it's going white," Harry commented.

Sirius paled, turning to face his godson in horror, "You lie!" he was not going grey, he was not.

"Next up, ten Greek imperial coins…"

"I can see it, right there," Harry said, demonstrating where it was.

"I've not got grey hair," Sirius said, refusing to be drawn in by his godsons teasing. "Do I?" he turned to Rodolphus actually worried about the prospect. Unable to help himself, he couldn't be getting grey hairs at his age, he was still young.

Bill smothered his sniggers in Aurelius' chest, they reminded him of his brothers. The relentless and never-ending teasing. He wondered if Sirius and Harry even realized that their relationship was far more brotherly, than anything else. Not Uncle and nephew, not father and son, but brothers.

"No," Rodolphus said, wearing an enigmatic smile worthy of the Mona Lisa.

Sirius gaped, "ROD!" punching him on the arm in retaliation for the teasing.

"A refill?" Corvus asked the pair, watching on indulgently.

"Yes, please," both Rodolphus and Sirius answered simultaneously and politely. The last of the second bottle was poured into Sirius' goblet. Harry watched them all loosen up and find things funny they normally wouldn't. It was funny watching them all become drunk. Although, they weren't drunk right now, no, they were mildly tipsy.

"Might as well finish up, after this auction we're stopping for a break," Corvus informed them, setting the bottle aside, someone else would deal with it.

Harry frowned at Corvus, displeased with how much he was drinking, given his medical problems. Sure, his cholesterol had been lowered with diligent and careful diet.

"Let him be, he's entitled to a day off," Rabastan whispered quietly, correctly deducing what was on Harry's mind, squeezing his hand in reassurance. "He's going to be fine; he's been diligent in watching over himself." it was no life to never get any enjoyment out of it. A day off here and there wasn't harming anyone, just as long as his father didn't go too far, which he wouldn't do, not with Harry watching over him. He loved how protective his fiancé was over his father though, and how diligent in his care of him. He just loved Harry full stop.

"Derveni krater, bronze, dated from 350 BC, this vase has…"

"Merlin, they're struggling to hold that," Harry said, watching the two wizards hold up the massive bronze vase, the sheer size of it was daunting.

"That vase probably belonged to someone with extreme wealth back in the day, Bronze was culturally associated with both money and currency." Aurelius informed them, Corvus likely already knew, the others well, it wasn't likely. He would have very much liked to have gotten to know such a person, aware that their library would be quite…a treasure trove. Men or women of wealth always hoarded everything including knowledge. Whether they took care to read that knowledge or just appear intelligent…well, it was half and half. Knowing his luck, it would have been an idiot.

"Nothing has changed then," Harry said dryly, at least not in the magical world, admittedly the Knuts did hold the lowest denomination. Gold galleons but it wasn't the most precious of metals, and there were others with far greater value.

"What the hell is going on over there?" Bill asked, hearing rather disgusting language, "Merlin's balls!" he blurted out, watching as a wizard in his thirties jam his wand under a sixty/seventy-year-old wizard, before raising his hand and actually punching him. He squirmed uncomfortably at the sight of someone threatening another quite a bit older than him. Someone older than his father…and old enough to be his grandfather if he'd survived the Dragon Pox. He stood, he wasn't sure what he was going to do, just something than watch like everyone else.

Before he took take more than a step, a hand snaked around his wrist, and pulled him back into his seat. "The Lestrange's have security, observe," Aurelius said, before rubbing his wrist with his thumb almost apologetically, as if apologising for the rough treatment.

"Well, that concludes the first part, shall we?" Rodolphus said, standing up.

"In a minute," Sirius said, clearly watching the scene in front of him.

Bill was too, but not with the potential enjoyment that Sirius broadcast.

Everyone was probably underestimating the older man, Sirius just knew if the younger one tried anything, he'd find himself flat on his back and humiliated. He didn't have his wand out, that indicated suicidal or confidence in his own abilities, which included wandless magic.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't get to see anything, as a massive bubble had everything obscured. A privacy bubble, when that bubble disappeared, the younger wizard who had been antagonistic was being escorted out. The elder of the two, remained seated, unbothered by the spectacle. Finishing off his drink, before standing up, and making his way towards the bar.

Rodolphus just stared expectantly at his fiancé, waiting on him moving.

"Come on, I need to go to the toilet first," Harry said, standing, tugging Rabastan with him.

"I'll come with you," Bill said in agreement, he needed as well.

"We'll meet you at the dining room," Aurelius told them as both made for the men's room.

Bill nodded that he'd heard his partner, as he walked with Harry. "…How are you?" he asked the teen awkwardly, realizing that this was the first real time they'd ever been alone together since he first met Aurelius.

Harry gave him a dubious look, wondering at his sanity, no doubt and Bill couldn't blame him.

Clearing his throat, "Are you happy?" Bill tried, and wanted so badly to facepalm in utter embarrassment, this wasn't going any better. Why was it so awkward? Oh, yeah, he knew a few things he wasn't sure the teen did…and his family had caused Harry undeniable harm and almost killed him.

"Yes?" Harry said, opening the bathroom door, before staring at Bill shrewdly. "I don't blame you for what happened, you know, or any of the rest of the Weasleys. If I did, I wouldn't make any secret of it. So…stop being so awkward." He didn't like it.

"Sorry," Bill said honestly, it was easy in a group, "I just…if it had been me going through what you had…I doubt I'd be quite so forgiving." He told him as the door closed behind them.

They were silent as they did the toilet and washed their hands.

"I'm not forgiving," Harry eventually said, wiping his hands on the towel which the toilet attendant was quick to take. Harry put a galleon in the tip jar when he noticed it. "Believe me, I'm not. I blame Molly for what happened, I blame Ginny for what happened, but the rest of you are innocent of any crimes. So, for the love of all Merlin, stop with the kicked puppy routine whenever you see me on my own. Like seriously, it's annoying."

"Sorry," Bill repeated, cringing a little inside at being reprimanded by a kid.

"For what?" Harry said teasingly, "You're Lord Weasley now, you shouldn't apologise for things that a non-family member has done. Unless…you still consider them family?" giving Bill a pointed look, before avoiding the group of rowdy wizards still sat at the auction. Drinking merrily, and from the sound of it bragging of their winning bids.

"I wish composure came as easily to me as it does you," Bill said, grasping a hold of Harry and leading him away from another group that sounded way too hostile for his liking.

"It wasn't accomplished easily, Bill," Harry said quietly, as they made their way towards their group. "I had to learn to compose myself…otherwise I doubt I would have survived."

Bill made a small sound, so much for changing the subject, "Hypothetically, if I knew something you didn't something that would change how you see everything…would you prefer to know or would you rather live in ignorance and be happy?"

"Hypothetically, how do you know I don't already know?" Harry asked, cocking his head to the side, weaving through the crowds sitting eating their dinner. Harry eyed the green soup with trepidation, wondering if he was going to like what was made. He was hungry so he better get something he'd like.

"Let's just assume you don't," Bill corrected, nudging Harry in the direction the others were in. Man, his siblings were shocked and envious that he was here. They had also begun to tease him relentlessly, due to the fact that the tickets had been bought regardless. The tickets were expensive, so he and Aurelius 'must' be serious. Although, truth was, he was serious…even if he shouldn't be.

Yet for him, they had the perfect relationship, everything he'd been looking for. The money was just an added bonus really.

"Huh," Harry murmured, peering at Bill through his lashes, having his own suspicions on where this was going. The question was, did he tell the headmaster? Or did he just leave it? See what happens? The headmaster knew how to read people…he'd probably already know or knew if Bill suspected. "I think I'd want to be happy. Doesn't everyone deserve to be happy given everything that's happened?"

"They do," Bill nodded seriously, missing his job a lot, he'd always wanted to be a curse breaker. Today just seeing everything that had been found made him even more nostalgic.

"Ever thought of setting up your own team?" Harry asked, watching Bill flinch, presumably at being read so easily and without a word spoken. It was a guess on Harry's part, a good guess at that. "Financing your own digs? As the boss you could be there for the exciting stuff and miss all the boring bits of the dig."

"I…" Bill said a little dazed, the green-eyed monster avarice consuming him, "That's actually a brilliant idea, I must admit it would be good to get out there now and again."

"Go where?" Aurelius asked, eyeing Bill curiously, wondering what he and Harry had been discussing.

"Doesn't matter, it's not possible," Bill shook his head, smiling at Aurelius, if he told him, he'd go out of his way to make it a reality. As much as he'd love him for making his dreams come true, having it handed to him on a silver platter it would feel like cheating.

"It actually is," Harry said sitting himself next to Rabastan and Aurelius, with Bill sitting next to Aurelius on his other side, with Rodolphus sitting next to him, then Sirius and Corvus had the head of the table. "If you employ two Master curse breakers and give them an apprentice each, that's a team of four, and you're only really paying two of them." the apprentices were actually paid through Gringotts.

"Only if something is found," Bill pointed out, "Otherwise it's not fiscally responsible. Oh, I'm really beginning to sound like everyone in the Wizengamot." Groaning dramatically, as the bowls of soup was placed in front of them, nettle soup, they realized, with bread placed in the middle for them to help themselves.

"How long does it actually take to strip a tomb down of any possible traps and curses?" Harry asked.

Bill relaxed, "That truly depends, one time we only needed a week, another time it took us three months to get everything off. Some of them are that ancient we really have to be careful." Grimacing a little when he tried the soup, it definitely wasn't to his taste.

"Not bad," Harry murmured, dipping some fresh bread and eating it, it wasn't as bad as he had feared. "And how much per tomb do you think Gringotts makes for everything you guys haul up?"

Bill pursed his lips; he'd always thought it was pretty fair…but the prices he'd seen them go for today? It made him realize the extent of the funds Gringotts made per tomb excavated.

"Minimally at least ten million," ancient Egyptian items went for top galleon, it was very valuable, along with the Greek items. Egypt and Greek civilisations had made some magnificent magic and not much survived. As more and more items were found, and in doing so, more and more magic was being discovered. Mostly potions, where it came to the Egyptian finds. "The Egyptians were buried with absolutely everything they owned. Including their wands or staffs, which were incredibly made…but mostly, they expelled their magic through weaponry."

"That much? And that was the minimal?" Rabastan gaped, "Then I agree with Harry, he knows what he's talking about." you could find dozens of digs all over the place, with a minimal of ten million it was mindboggling. He now understood why people undertook curse breaking independently, with that sort of wealth on the line. Setting his bowl aside, the contents devoured.

"Say thirty to forty for each group of curse breakers portkeys and the team of five's pay, at two thousand galleons a piece, the goblins do well for themselves." Corvus agreed, "And that isn't including their other businesses."

"The interest they put on borrowed money is…infuriating," Bill confessed, and that was the nastiest thing he'd ever had to say about the goblins at Gringotts. His bosses you could say, or ex-bosses since he no longer worked for them. Focusing instead on something that would bring in enough money to help his siblings through school. "Especially since it's for people who are really struggling." His own parents had done it – or rather his father – probably on the behest of his Molly. He was glad his father had a job that paid extraordinary well, he was thriving in a way Bill had never seen him. In fact, he was a tad bit mischievous! He was beginning to see where the twins personality came from (and it wasn't just from Fabian and Gideon Prewitt) if it wasn't for the past, and Ron's death and Ginny's problems he'd wholeheartedly agree that all this was the best thing that could have happened for the family.

"Which is what exactly?" Corvus asked, as more food was put down to them, and the wizard gleefully tucked in. He had been doing his level best to adhere to the diet the dietician had prescribed to help lower his cholesterol along with the potions. Only to choke a little when Bill gave his answer. "I'm sorry…did you say 6.9 APR?" aghast. Wiping his mouth unobtrusively.

"I did," Bill nodded, unsurprised that they were all shocked and astounded by his declaration.

"Perhaps they are a bit on the expensive side," Aurelius said, perturbed by what he'd just heard. He never had to go the legal route to get whatever he pleased. What he stole he sold for whatever he wanted, and he had people who had contributed towards the cause. Winning a war was tough without the means to ensure it. Without money in other words.

Fortunately, for him, Aurelius had more money than he knew what to do with. With unlimited backup in place, after all the stone was not going to run out any time soon. He was smart enough to spread it out so not to devalue it in Britain.

"Indeed," Corvus agreed, back to eating, the food was absolutely delicious, but he knew it would be. Pierre hadn't created a bad meal in his life. "It doesn't help that they're the only ones that do any business with loans and repayments." Other places shut down after rather sad attempts, half-bloods attempting to become rich using the poor. Purebloods as callous as it seems, didn't see the point to it and considered it beneath them. That and they wouldn't trust the Muggle-borns to repay their debts.

Only the worst off would go to a loan place, ones that even Gringotts would not accept.

"At least it's nothing you have to worry about now," Rodolphus teased Bill, a little daringly, recalling Harry's earlier teasing.

"Nor Arthur, he's a good man," Sirius said, causing Rodolphus to roll his eyes, honestly, you'd think Sirius was completely innocent which he wasn't. He wasn't talking about Azkaban either. He was acting like he hadn't understood the inuendo. Then again, some things did just go over his husband's head.

In record time they had consumed their Paella and dessert (gold opulence Sundae) which was just beyond delicious. Worth every single Knut everyone was paying (per ticket) and of course, for their meals (which was separate if they so desired) but it was no surprise that everyone had chosen to buy both, Pierre had been paid a small fortune for tonight. More than he could have gained in a single night working on the biggest night of the year (which was Christmas and New Year).

"Wait, you're staying here?" Harry asked, glancing over at the husbands. Rodolphus and Sirius glanced at Harry, neither repentant or feeling bad that he'd overheard.

"Just for a few days, yes," Sirius nodded, watching his godson closely, making sure he was truly alright. If Rodolphus hadn't suggested it, he wouldn't have thought to ask. He'd love to have a home of his own with his husband. Unfortunately, he didn't think Rodolphus was ready to leave yet. After a decade separated from both his father and brother, it was no wonder he was feeling the need to remain close.

"You alright with that?" Rodolphus asked, watching Harry closely as he set his dessert glassware aside. He knew Sirius worried about Harry constantly. So much so that he wouldn't even attempt to suggest to Sirius that they get their own place. He knew was the 'heir' he could remain at home; it would be his when his father passed. It may have been his childhood home, and he might love it, didn't mean he wanted to stay there at least for now. Sirius had missed out on so much of Harry's life, it was little surprise he wanted to stay as close to him as possible. "You and Rabastan can join us if you like." Doing this only to please Sirius, he wanted to be alone with his husband.

Harry shook his head, as nice as it would be to have a little holiday, he could sense they were only asking out of politeness. He could see the reluctance, and he didn't take offence to it. He wanted to be alone with Rabastan but he was never given that opportunity. Rabastan was bleeding well making sure of that. Honestly, it was actually frustrating him, how much distance he was keeping. If Corvus and Rodolphus and Sirius weren't there, he left too. It was terribly rude.

He hadn't even made any advances since that night either. He was being good and considerate, yet Rabastan still ran for the hills.

Ironically enough it was nothing to do with him and all to do with Rabastan's willpower.

"Do you think Elmer Eddison will take on the healer duties in Azkaban?" Harry asked, changing the subject seeing that Rodolphus felt bad. The two husbands were easy to read, despite their…life growing up being taught not to show emotion. Which half meant meditation which helped with accidental magic and such.

"You mean if the law passes," Bill pointed out, as he stood when everyone else did.

"It will," Harry said confidently, that particular law he didn't envision trouble with passing.

"He's like a mini-you," Bill groused quietly into Aurelius' ear, the overconfidence. Honestly, if he didn't know any better, he'd say they were related, but they were, weren't they? At least somewhat very, very distantly, and through both lines.

Aurelius smirked, "Oh, you have no idea," he murmured back as the group confidently made their way out of the dining room. Mostly everyone was still eating their desserts, they'd finished quickly not only to get their seats but to ensure they didn't get caught in the stamped back to the seats once the auction starts again.

"If he's expressed a desire, as his father suggests, then its highly likely the Ministry has already been in touch with him." Corvus continued, once they were away from the loud boisterous group, it was uncouth to shout, and Corvus wasn't about to indulge in it.

"You think so? They certainly didn't seem all that amendable to the idea," Bill said, "Am I missing something?" he was relatively new to the whole thing, and maybe didn't see the politics going under underneath but surely he'd notice the obvious?

"The votes," Corvus explained, as he eased himself into his seat, wordlessly gesturing for someone to come to them, he wanted a drink while he was getting away with it.

"What Corvus means is that more than half the wizengamot have a propensity to agree with his laws," Aurelius explained, everyone that still followed him as a matter of fact, and surprisingly a few that used to be Dumbledore's staunchest supporters, and others that always seemed to be on the fence (more often than not abstaining from voting) the light and dark propaganda had immersed itself where it had no right being.

Without Dumbledore things were a little better, but it was going to take decades to undo that sort of subtle brainwashing and manipulation the old fool had perpetrated. Even if they all know what he'd done, it didn't undo the damage he'd wrought on everyone's minds.

"Just because they do, doesn't mean they're always going to," Bill pointed out, "That's just inevitably going to lead to bitter disappointment." Being earnest in his belief that it would hurt Harry, but the truth was, it would take a lot to truly hurt Harry. He was a young impressionable teen who was striving for approval. Smart or not didn't really come into it.

"What is the law anyway?" Sirius asked, peering at Harry through grey eyes in curiosity. What was his godson up to now? Was it something new or was it something he already knew about?

"To post a Healer at Azkaban prison," Harry said, his tone softening just a tad as he spoke about the prison. "They need someone to heal them," he didn't need to defend himself to this group of people, since Rodolphus, Rabastan and Sirius had all suffered the hell that was the prison. It was no more a prison for rehabilitation than a tortuous hell.

"And to remove the remains of everyone buried in the Azkaban pit, if possible, put into the family plots and if not at least cremated and scattered." Aurelius added, personally he didn't see the point really. They were dead, best leave the dead where they were buried. Oddly enough, despite their protests, Aurelius could see just how much they were beginning to respect Harry and his sheer determination.

Perhaps the way he was doing it was the way to go, then again, Aurelius' wasn't made to feel for strangers. He had gone the majority of his life unable to feel, the Horcruxes had robbed him of that as well as his powers. Not that it mattered now, except for the fact he felt at all and it was sometimes overwhelming. Especially his feelings for Bill, he was happy…and it wasn't when he was trying to make the world to his own imagining…it baffled him to the very core.

Bill glanced at Aurelius when he felt the wards being removed, and the general hubbub start back up again. The silencing spell had kept out noise, and kept their conversation private. The last thing they needed was any accusations of them being unsafe with confidential information.

The wards were lowered just in time to hear the introduction of the next item, "Now the highly anticipated, hugely sought after…one of the ten copies going on sale, of the auspicious Book of the Dead, first edition, translated by Lord Potter. Which will include a certificate of authenticity."

The volume of noise rose drastically, as everyone enthusiastically began to pay rapid attention.

"A copy of a book being first class?" Bill asked dryly, a frown marring his freckled face.

"It's the first ones copied, so to speak, Harry translated and wrote it down by hand," Aurelius informed him, "It's never had any magic cast on it except the one to turn the handwriting into text and the other is to ensure it cannot be copied." To not do so would decrees its value entirely. Technically they could all be termed first editions, since they were all copied at the same time, and no amendments had been made.

"It's not the only one he's laboriously translated," Rabastan interjected proudly, clasping Harry on the shoulder, "His betrothal gifts were books he translated for me, Runes primarily, in fact, I have ten put on the auction block as well." Ten sets, three books apiece, they were going to do well, especially seeing who was here tonight.

"Yes, you should have allowed me to have first dibs on a copy," came a voice to the left, a familiar one for Rabastan. "Fortunately, I heard about this and had to come…tell me…is it worth my while bidding on a set?" giving Rabastan a intense look.

"Lord Carrow, Heir Flint," Rabastan inclined his head respectfully, "Definitely well worth your time and money." And he wasn't saying that to gain the wizards funds, for he had more than enough to last him a lifetime. It never hurt to have more, which he would have by the end of the night. Everything he got tonight would be going into his vaults, independently from his brother and father. It would be his own money, the beginning of what he hoped was a vast estate.

"Marcus!" Harry said grinning widely, happy to see the Slytherin. "Are you enjoying being in France?" France was where Marcus stayed with Lord Carrow or Master Carrow as he'd call him, as he was currently an apprentice, regardless of his heir status or one day Lord. "Marcus is studying to be an Ancient Runes Master too," he informed Rabastan.

"Then trust me, he won't be enjoying or seeing a lot of France." Rabastan replied dryly, "I had nothing to do confined to Azkaban but study, and even I didn't have a lot of time free."

Marcus nodded, giving Rabastan a pointed finger while he stared at Harry, signifying, that yes, it was true. "He's right, I've barely been able to write to friends and family, it's…intense." Rubbing his eyes, as if showcasing his tiredness.

"You're not regretting it?" Harry enquired, glancing up at the auction, eyes widening when he registered the number. Twenty-four million galleons and climbing.

"Definitely not, its educative, enjoyable, and the books I'm getting access to just for being Master Carrows apprentice is…Merlin, you'd get lost in there for months." Marcus said, grinning ruefully, well, he was talking to a Ravenclaw after all.

"That sounds amazing," Harry said genuinely, "Sorry, but I want to see how much this goes for…catch up later? In the bar? I mean if you can." Marcus might have to leave right away with Carrow.

Marcus shook his head, "We're using a Portkey maybe fifteen minutes after, there won't be long to chat." He was feeling disappointed, he'd have liked to have got caught up on what was happening at Hogwarts.

"Twenty-eight million galleons…"

"If we can't then I'll send you one of those two-way journals!" Harry said, "That way you'll be able to talk to us all whenever you can." He was sure the Slytherin's would love to talk to him. "Everyone in Slytherin misses you." and it was the truth.

Marcus smiled, a small but genuine thing that didn't appear for long. "I miss you guys too," he said standing up inclining his head to everyone before following Master Carrow back to their seats. The Ancient Rune books were something he professed a very, very big interest in. Anything even remotely related to Ancient Runes he loved. The number of books he had on Ancient Runes was…he didn't think a single library had every copy of the scrolls and books he had.

"Thirty-one million galleons…to the gentlemen in the green cloak, number eight," glancing around the room, waiting to see if any new numbers pop up.

"Thirty- two million galleons…"

"You…miss him?" Rabastan asked, an inscrutable look on his face.

"Marcus was always very kind to me," Harry said immediately, "Offered his advice, like when to leave to go to the Great Hall, and for classes to avoid being pushed. He made sure I wasn't bothered by people just because I spent most of my time with the Slytherin's. It's funny, everyone knew I was sick and Marcus and Filius were the only ones to ask if I needed actual help."

"Thirty-six million galleons…"

"Marcus' father is much the same, in fact, his wife is a tiny thing as well," Corvus said, amused, "They have strong protective instincts towards those physically weaker than them."

Aurelius nodded, "I've heard as such too." So much so that Lord Flint did not become a Death Eater, his wife was as Corvus put it 'tiny thing' but she was powerful but a half-blood, quite a proud one too. No, the Flint's had remained somewhat neutral until Flint became alarmed by the influence Dumbledore was gaining. Marcus had gained her powers, and his father's protective tendencies.

"We all miss him, the commentary I heard everyone tell me about during Quidditch trials, games and their usual warm ups to games." Harry said grinning widely, sniggering, he hadn't been able to go down to the pitch at all during his first year, it was way too far for such a frivolous reason.

Rabastan smiled, "There's always one," even during his years at Hogwarts there was someone giving hilarious commentary on the games.

"Forty-five million galleons,"

Harry and Rabastan glanced at each other overwhelmed, sure, they knew the book would do well, but not this well. They had ten copies for sale today, the amount it was continuing to mount up to was astronomical. That time ten? Yeah, they weren't ever going to be concerned about any child they have.

Or children.

Eventually the bidding slowed down once it got into the sixty million, inevitably going for sixty-seven million galleons. It had been intense, and there were a lot of unhappy/pissed off faces when Lord Reinhard walked away with the first of the books. The rest of the nine books went for similar amounts, none actually went for as much as sixty-seven million but it wasn't far off it.

The books Rabastan had put up for same received very modest amounts, culminating to 19.9 million for the ten sets he himself had decided to sell. It was no surprise that Carrow himself had succeeded in buying the first set.

The only things that surpassed the 'book of the dead' was a gorgeous Chinese 'dragon robe', silk gauze couched in gold thread. And a Shroud but Harry hadn't really paid much attention, he had gone to speak to Marcus while Rabastan spoke to Carrow. The Sheikh (who was one of the proud owners of the book of the dead) spent hours talking to Corvus.

In the end Carrow decided to cancel the Portkey, and everyone booked themselves into a hotel for the night. They got back to their rooms at around maybe two or three o'clock in the morning, almost everyone was completely blackout drunk.

Aurelius and Harry found the entire thing hilarious, and the blackmail material they'd gained…immense.


A/N – Okay, so I hope you enjoyed the chapter and the reason for the long wait is because I have a lot of stories and they too need/deserve to be updated as well, the schedule can be found on my facebook group if you're all interested in joining and supporting me 😊 it's under DebsTheSlytherinSnapeFanStories! I look forward to seeing you if you're interested. Thank you for your concern it means a lot to me but no worries if there's a long wait between updates, you're all amazing and HAPPY NEW YEAR! Yeah, I know it's ten days after the new year but *shrugs* people are still saying it 😊 hmm I can't think of anything more that needs written before the next time jump… their official engagement party? Or perhaps one of Harry's friends' parties? Balls? will it be half way through the school year a lunch meeting between Rabastan and Harry in Hogsmeade? Or a Wizengamot meeting during his OWL year? R&R please