The Contract

Just a little reminder you're welcome to my group if you'd like to have a wee mosey around it! Anything Harry Potter is welcomed 😊 including finding stories, recommendations and other things like that including my schedule 😉 BUT if you don't want a massive to-be-read list I warn you now don't come 😊 there are so many good recommendations it will take us all hundreds of years to get through them! LOL and I probably should add the group is named after my pen name DebsTheSlytherinSnapeFan

Chapter 129

Unobtrusively, the necklace Harry had gifted Sirius for his wedding glowed blue, Harry and Rabastan's engagement rings glowed, and Rodolphus' cufflinks it was so light that it was negligible really. Then the glow encompassed them all, flaring supernova, freezing the couples in their tracks, inches from the walls.

The ancient protections that dwelled within the Lestrange walls, flared, a bubble vacuum surrounding the initial explosion the fire burning brightly. The air seemed to be sucked out of the entire room, as the sphere began to expand, bigger and bigger it got, before it began to condense so swiftly, an almighty bang shaking the property on its very foundations. With that magic finished, the ones heralding the Lestrange's (and Harry's) safety, seemed to dissolve, and the four smacked against the wall, before dropping them down to the floor.

For a home that was constantly clean, there were a lot of dust motes raining down on them. The shattering of vases that had adorned the fireplace could be heard. The clanging of the candlesticks was loud in the room but dulled to their senses. The chairs were all on their backs, and the charred table smelled incredibly horrific.

Quiet whining of a very scared puppy interrupted the silence encompassing the room.

Naturally, the House-elves immediately sought to help them, but found all four of them unconscious.

"I shall get Lord Lestrange," Tadray declared solemnly, eyes wide with fear and worry. They knew better than to dare attempt to take any of them to St. Mungo's. Master Lestrange would rather have the family Healer tend to them all. With that Tadray apparated directly to his master's side, they didn't dare do anything without explicit permission. They knew better.

The House-elves were besides themselves with worry, they couldn't begin to guess on how to heal them. Their magic was very different to Wizardkind, and they would never risk making a situation worse. All of them had their areas of expertise, and none of them were in the matters of healing. Sure, they could apply salve and use potions to help their Masters, heirs, Lords, Lady's and Mistresses and their young charges.

Nushala checked that Heir Rodolphus was breathing, she almost bowled over in relief, to feel that thumping pulse under her finger. She skittered towards Sirius checking his pulse as well, relieved when it was found.

Llrune at the same time, checked Master Rabastan and his fiancé Lord Potter, "They're both breathing." The relief was stark on their faces, not that they could see each other, the billowing smoke was obscuring everything.

"Mine too." Nushala declared, wringing her hands urgently, not doing nothing didn't sit well with them. They however, valued their lives and livelihood more than acting without permission. They also didn't dare wish to contaminate the potential crime scene.

Tadray, far from his usual duties of cooking the food, used the bond he had with his Master to reach him. Appearing with a crack inside of Gringotts, without any difficulty. House-elf magic differed from wizardkind as well as Goblin magicks.

Tadray was about to open his mouth, to reveal what happened, however, before he could begin his Master commanded. "I know, take me home," Corvus was already standing, he'd felt the wards sharp alert that there was something very wrong. Worry storming through his chest, the urge to demand answers was just as strong as his desire to see them with his own eyes and know they were okay.

So he went with the quickest route, demanded to be taken home instead of asking a dozen questions. It was far more difficult than he'd anticipated, but they were alive, he would not believe otherwise. He couldn't.

For he would die with them if that was the case. He did not want to live in this world without his family, not after seeing how good it could be.

What truly concerned him was how it could have gotten through the wards in the manor? With the precautions they were taking. Well, it worried him immensely. When were the hits going to stop coming? Harry had been injured far too often since he was eleven. Merlin, he would have taken the hits upon himself to spare the child.

Tadray reached out, clutching onto the first available thing he could reach of Lord Lestrange's. His travel robe, which would have choked Corvus, a little, with the tightness of Tadray's hold however, he wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention. He was tense, preparing himself for the worst, damage done to the property aside, his worry was primarily for his sons and son-in-law's (soon to be in once case). He found himself inside the property though, much to his surprise. He'd had expected to end up at the front doors or worse the gates, Merlin knows why.

Blanching immediately, the smell of burning leaping out at him making him gag a little. Breathing through his mouth, attempting to stop himself gagging and coughing. It was a tremendously disgusting smell, and it was in his home. Blasphemy.

"Rodolphus! Rabastan! Harry! Sirius!" Corvus called out over the smoke that was stealing both his sight and breath from him.

A click of Llrune's fingers, and the smoke in the hallway cleared up as if it had never been there.

"How are they? Where are they?" Corvus demanded of his House-elves, despite his worry, his commanding presence was evident even now.

Instead of cowing the House-elves seemed to draw energy and calmness from Corvus.

"Dining room, they're coming around now, they were unconscious for five minutes, seven minutes and ten minutes respectively." Nushala declared, able to speak properly, having been taught to do so by her Master Lord Lestrange when he was much younger than he was now.

"Summon Healer Flint right away," Corvus rushed towards his eldest son, with difficulty, kneeling beside him, his knees protesting a little. He wasn't as young as he used to be, the general ache was hidden mostly by the adrenaline and fear for his family.

"Dad?" Rodolphus groaned, squinting weakly at his father, confusion prominently displayed. "Wha…"

"Take it easy," Corvus said, containing how alarmed he was, as he tried to see his other son and Harry. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, despite the damage done to the room, the view was obscured by the burnt and charred table. He took in Sirius' state, but he seemed just as pained and disorientated by the attack as his son. They were awake, he had to content himself with, it looked good, not as dire as he'd felt.

"What can we do?" Nushala asked, standing waiting for an answer, totally forgetting to use his title.

"Sirius…" Rodolphus attempted to sit up, only to groan in pain, nausea hitting him like a ton of bricks.

"Don't move them until Healer Flint gives the go ahead, once that's done, see to it that they're comfortably situated in their beds." Corvus informed his House-elf, "Have them turned down, clean and tidy before allowing someone entrance to their quarters." They weren't children, but they may have left a mess behind that the House-elves hadn't had a chance to clean yet.

"Yes, Sir!" the House-elves were quick to do as they were told.

He grimly declared, this act of terrorism against his family would not go unpunished. Did he have Lord Slytherin look into this or did he have the whole Auror force bring justice searing down on the perpetrator. "And summon Amelia Bones and the Aurors." Making his decision to involve them. This attack on his family had been one meant to kill, not wound.

The Auror force had tripled since Dumbledore's arrest, and that was the ones passing the exams and physical tests due to the difference in schooling environment. Without such an overwhelming prejudice happening, and with a stronger firmer grip on the students, and councillors there to help – it was not up to the Head of House solely to help their students choose a career or keep them on the right track – no the headmaster had brought people into Hogwarts to act in their stead. When the professors knew what they were doing, they had the students learning at a far better and farer pace.

They were ranked number two on the international scale for best wizarding school according to the school inspection service. It was meant to be non-biased but truthfully that was impossible to accomplish. Except for the years they'd used someone who had always been home-schooled and had no ulterior motives or pride in a certain school. Naturally there was not one single factor that decides which school is best. It was a combination of factors that determine which school is best. It's a combination of hard work and determination from professors, governors, students and everyone in-between that helps everyone thrive. It doesn't matter whether it's a private or public school. Not that the magical world had many of those.

That and the salary had been increased, which was a massive enticement for the recruitment of Aurors. It wasn't just a couple of galleons either, it was almost double. The death payments which would see their families safe and secure if the worst happens, had tripled.

Even the Wizengamot was becoming less and less about 'dark and light' slowly but surely. With Dumbledore's fanatic's gone, and poison dripping in their ears they were becoming more neutral as they were meant to be. It was mesmerising to see, and there were more younger heirs being brought on board, parents ceding some power and letting the next generation take over. Some, not all, the Wizengamot meetings were some parents only sense of control and had a lot of political ambition to offer the world yet.

"Corvus?" called out Healer Flint.

"Follow me," came the voice of one of his House-elves.

"In here," Corvus called out, not holding her using his name, there was no doubt the House-elf had not explained much if anything to her. The Flint family were close enough to allow such slip up to be ignored. That would be in usual circumstances, this wasn't usual, well, perhaps for a healer was.

Millicent Flint paled and coughed at the horrid smell of smoke wafting up her nose. She ignored it as she swiftly took in her surroundings. They were all conscious to an extent, they were awake. None as alert as she would wish, nonetheless she made for Corvus and his eldest son, Rodolphus. "What happened?" she asked as she began to check him over, moving too fast for even Corvus to keep up, but that's what happens when one becomes an expert at their craft.

"The Aurors will be here, see to it that they're brought here, do not let any of them wander off." Corvus stated curtly, he would not abide by anyone attempting to nosy around his home. He felt violated enough, he couldn't believe someone had managed to succeed in getting something through the wards.

Corvus repeated everything the House-elves had explained to him. including how long they had been unconscious – which was very important information – after all having a concussion was dangerous business, whether you were a Muggle or a wizard. It was just easier for them to treat it, they needed none of those abhorrent Muggle machines to ensure it when a spell did just fine.

"Rodolphus, can you hear me?" Healer Millicent asked calmly and slowly.

"Yes," Rodolphus declared, not sounding as strong as he might have before the explosion but not and enough to need to feel embarrassed.

"Can you remember what you were doing before your accident?" Millicent asked her patient.

"Talking," Rodolphus answered.

"Do you know the date?" making sure she wasn't mistaking any symptoms and making sure none of them

Rodolphus answered, as his father raised to his feet, straightening his lapels. His features becoming stern and unmoving, chin jutting out just so. Giving himself a superior and unforgiving gaze. One that warned people not to mess with him, otherwise he would see that they were crushed beneath his foot.

"Do you have a headache?" Healer Millicent continued to work despite Corvus moving off.

"Of course, I do!" Rodolphus grouched, "Along with a sore back and backside!" like it was seriously painful to sit on his own ass.

"I'm sorry you can't receive anything at the moment, you must remain awake." Healer Millicent stated. "How about blurred vision? Nausea? Ringing in your ears?" noticing that there was no vomit, so refrained from asking, sure that if Corvus had seen him vomit she'd be told.

Rodolphus grimaced, moving his head until he could see his husband and relaxed a little. "My vision is fine, yes to the nausea and my ears are ringing." It could be because of the damn explosion though.

Millicent nodded pleased that Rodolphus' speech was good, no slurred speech. There were no noticeable delays in speech, which too was a good thing. The fact he'd been unconscious was concerning but it wasn't past the worrying stage. His gaze was sharp, no sign of dazed confusion. There was no sign of Forgetfulness, no asking the same question over and over again. "Remain awake, I'll be by to ask you questions frequently today." Just to make sure that there was nothing wrong.

"You may take him to bed, keep an eye on him and make sure he doesn't fall asleep." Millicent informed the House-elf, as she stood, and begun to see to Sirius, asking him the same questions as she'd asked Rodolphus, and received pretty much the exact same replies, although Sirius had whined instead of complaining about the pain.

"You may take him," Millicent declared to the House-elf who was avidly watching and waiting to serve.

"No, my godson, Harry…I need to make sure he's okay," Sirius protested.

"We need to question them about what happened," one of the Aurors protested immediately and without thinking.

Healer Millicent rose, a fierce look upon her face, "My patients, my decisions, is that understood?" making her position clear, a quick calculated glance at Corvus just to make sure she wasn't stepping on his toes. It wouldn't be the first time she'd had to reprimand the aurors for their behaviour. They were magical yes, they can heal from most things, again, yes. However, it didn't mean they could just roughshod over everything and everyone.

Corvus just seemed wholly amused, as he could be under these circumstances.

"You have our apologies, I am the senior Auror in charge, can you tell me anything?" the older Auror stepped forward, with far more decorum than his fellow Aurors. Judging by the glare he gave his junior Auror (or trainee even) he was going to be sitting this one and many others out. His tone even but soft, his gaze shrewd as he took in the sight before him, he'd seen far worse during the course of his albeit short career.

Next to the Auror there was a pad and quill, poised at the ready to begin taking down everything that was relevant. The invention was a Merlin sent relief, it saved them so much time and it was impossible to make mistakes. Journalists and editors actually often remove a few spells attached to the Quick Quill Quote in order to add in their own thoughts to it.

"They're displaying minor signs of possible concussions," Healer Millicent explained, her tone entirely professional. "Naturally they're in pain from the blast, I'll see about giving them something to take the edge of the pain. Then if they're willing, you may talk to them." Making it clear it was her patient's decision on whether the Aurors got to speak to them. They were the ones who talk, they were the ones hurt, and more importantly they were the ones with the information.

"As soon as possible if it can be done, the quicker it's done the more information we will glean. We'll naturally have to wait for the memories for how long? Provided they wish to give them over." The Auror conceded, he hadn't particularly worked with anyone who might have a concussion in working mind magic to remove a memory.

"Ask the questions, request the memories in two days, let their minds settle, they may remember a little more than they do presently." Millicent explained, contrary to popular belief, a fuzzy memory would be exactly that, fuzzy, even if they were in the pensive. Pleased that they were asking her, it was her profession after all. The Aurors, while they could perform a few emergency spells in the field, did not know everything about healing. Although truthfully even she didn't know everything, each healer had his or her speciality, hers was general practitioner, with a side of midwifery.

"We understand," Auror Montague agreed, the prejudice no longer prevented him from gaining a job as an Auror. Each time he'd attempted to get one under various different DMLE heads, all of them too far up Dumbledore's backside, he'd been denied. Bones, admittedly wasn't, but she had been too cautious to allow it during the war. By the he'd given up, then more people were working in the Ministry and seeing his C.V they'd taken him on not as a junior Auror but senior. To have put him anywhere else would have been insulting given his three Masteries. "Please let us know when you're finished." Stepping back, it was clear she was itching to get back to her patients.

It took no more than thirty minutes for her to see to all her patients and finally leave the crime scene. Which it most definitely was at the moment, the Aurors immediately entered the room and began to process it.

"Do you think was the target? The Lestrange's? The Healer did say Rabastan Lestrange's magical core is dangerously low." the trainee (junior) Auror continued his penchant for misspeaking. "Might be some fanatics that believe they got off with lies despite the fact the Longbottom and Lestrange's no longer have a feud."

"Unless you've got something to say about the matter at hand, keep your mouth shut!" Auror Montague barked, he wasn't exactly in Corvus Lestrange's inner circle, but he knew more than most and was invited to all parties including the 'exclusive' ones. He'd known Harry and Rabastan were engaged before the general public. "Bloody talking like that in their home, idiot!" griping to lessen the blow.

The boy had what it took, if he just calmed down, learned when to speak and when to hold back. He was a pureblood child who had been raised by Muggles, an orphan who had luckily been adopted by parents who were mostly absent and never noticed anything strange. They'd let him attend Hogwarts, and when he took the potion to find his relatives. He'd jumped at it, and he'd taken him in. His mother was a Montague he should have come to them.

Auror Slughorn – Horace Slughorn was his uncle – his father Anubis – yes, their parents had been obsessed with Egyptian mythology – the wizard had died five months before Osiris' birth, although he hadn't grown up with that name. His mother had died giving birth to him, and his adopted parents had called him Owen, but Osiris's name wasn't forgotten by magic, and he'd been asked to attend under his real name.

Unfortunately, in war, things happened, and Osiris had paid a very, very harsh price indeed. Horace Slughorn had attempted to gain custody, but given his erratic lifestyle, he was denied custody. Happy enough to just see him though, and to know that the Slughorn name wouldn't end with him. He had no interest in a wife or Merlin forbid a wailing baby, no, his children were all grown up, and he could give them words of wisdom as he watched them as they advanced in their careers and such. "Sorry," he cringed sheepishly.

Osiris was very lucky that any screw ups he made at work stayed at work. He felt like he was always playing catch up, and the friends he'd had? Couldn't have abandoned him the moment he told them he was a Montague, although they'd come running when they realised, he was a Slughorn.

Montague grunted, "The Lestrange's weren't the target."

"What…how do you know?" Auror Proudfoot asked, glancing up.

"The origination of the spell blast is here," Montague declared, pointing to the direction with his wand, Proudfoot moved around and nodded in confirmation.

"I see it," he agreed, inhaling sharply.

"Wait a minute," Osiris murmured quietly, shifting around, "Is that his Owl results? That's the Hogwarts crest…right?"

"It is," Montague grimly declared, "Good catch." Quick to praise if it was warranted.

Osiris beaming with delight.

"Get it in an evidence bag," Montague, "Brown, what do you see?"

"For such a powerful spell it didn't do too much damage," Brown declared.

"The wards are ancient, been powered by Lestrange's for centuries." Montague, "Can't you feel them?" forgetting the wizard wouldn't be able to feel them. Each wizarding family had special abilities; the Montagues (most of them) had that ability to feel magic to an extent.

"It contained the blast, but not fully, it couldn't have, the blast indicates otherwise…so what happened between the wards initial containment and the rest?" Osiris pointed out, his hands wildly gesturing to the charred blackened areas and the areas that remained untouched in the blackened room.

"Not just one, but four," Brown said, "Each individual had some sort of protection? I can see the heirship ring having that sort of kick behind it but anything else?"

"Family magicks?" Montague suggested, pensively, as they worked in tandem, all of them getting the crime scene combed for any and all evidence. "Once we're done here, we'll interview everyone, Osiris you'll take Lord Potter, I'll take Master Lestrange, Brown you take Sirius Black-Lestrange and Proudfoot you take Heir Lestrange." Harry would be the most lenient of any mistakes Osiris makes, hopefully. Rabastan and Rodolphus would skin him alive if he was improper.

Agreements of "Yes, Sir!" murmured between them.

It was becoming quite evident however, that there was no sign of foreign magicks. They weren't going to find who had done this. Whoever it was might not be easily caught, and that concerned him greatly. That sort of power was…not easy to come by, to erase your magic entirely.

"Master Lestrange, thank you for taking the time to talk to me, I am Auror Montague, how are you feeling?" the Auror asked, hearing the muffled voice of his great-nephew speaking to Lord Potter in the sitting area, where he sat huddled around his familiar pup. Before silencing wards went up muffling everything entirely. He prayed to Merlin that he wouldn't screw it up.

"Cold," Rabastan told the Auror looking briefly at him before turning his gaze to Harry. The bed felt wrong without his fiance close to him, and cold too, he wanted him back beside him. The quicker they got this done the better as far as he was concerned. It did not help that he was in bed while being questioned, but he was too cold to contemplate moving.

"Can you tell us what happened?" Montague asked, getting straight to it, it was clear Rabastan would rather be with his significant other, and honestly? Montague couldn't blame him. He'd rather spend every moment with his wife and son, but they'd all go mad without something to do.

"Not much to tell," Rabastan confessed, rubbing his jaw, the potion Millicent had given him didn't even help overly much. Unfortunately, he had to wait at least twenty-four hours before she'll give him some of the good stuff. "We were talking mostly about the newspaper article, and the reactions everyone would have. Harry was reading his mail, um he opened one…I think, and then I just remember the feeling of falling and an iciness settling over me."

"Do you recall using magic to save everyone?" Montague queried, presuming that was the case.

"So, to speak," Rabastan said, "Harry and I we've set runes into our rings, and Sirius' pendant which Harry had created from different items for his wedding." They'd known he'd likely never taken it off so had added protection runes.

"Understood," Montague replied, as the writing scribbled what was being said. He did not disbelief that they'd collaborated on a protection rune. He hadn't been there, but he had heard from those that had been. Hell, he'd gotten a lot of the information from the newspapers as well. No, they both clearly prodigious at the craft. "Hell of a save they were."

"Well, yeah, but why do you think so?" Rabastan asked cautiously, turning to face Montague again.

"That explosion? It had a secondary burst, it was deadly, and it aimed to kill." Montague said grimly, "Those runes likely saved all of your lives."

Rabastan straightened, "Are you saying the secondary burst was stronger?" sounding strangled.

"Very much so, it was triggered and pressurised, they had a good idea the kind of wards the estate housed." Montague replied.

"Shit," Rabastan cursed, eyes flashing in seething fury.

"Do you know anyone that might wish Harry harm?" Montague asked, "Sorry, Lord Potter."

Rabastan gritted his teeth, dark eyes filled with thoughts of vengeance, "My fiancé was threatened. He was approached before we went official, during an outing and uh, the threat was genuine, at least we believed it to be so."

"Do you know who it was? A Witch a Wizard?" Montague much more intense.

"Male, older, unknown," Rabastan said, and if he wanted to live, he better stay that way. Rabastan was going to kill him if he ever figured out who he was. He didn't care if he ended up in Azkaban again, hell, he'd walk in if it kept his damn fiancé safe. "Trust me, there's no clue, we've already had someone look into it, and also tried ourselves."

"Do you have a file?" Montague, if it had been official, he would have known, hell the world would know.

"I'll see to it that you're given it," Rabastan promised, "I'll bring it to you, for your eyes only, do we understand each other?" not having to threaten him for him to get it.

"I do." He vowed.

"Sir, you can't go in there! They're still being…" Brown called out, but Lord Slytherin would not be deterred.

"You're alive and well," the relief was stark on Lord Slytherin's face, as his shoulders relaxed. Good, he wouldn't need to use the time-turner to prevent whatever had happened.

"Excuse me," Montague said, noticing something in Lord Slytherin's hand that piqued his curiosity. "Lord Slytherin…is that Lord Potter's Hogwarts letter?"

Lord Slytherin blinked, barely reacting, they'd need to do a lot worse to catch him off guard. "It is," he declared, passing it over, giving the Auror a perplexed look which was only for show, mostly.

"Who sends the letters?" Montague asked, his gaze intent.

"I did," Tom declared, "With the help of two of my faculty." Daring him to suspect them of anything, especially within his sight. Turning to Harry, who was curled up with the pup, more concerned for the pup than he was for himself. Naturally, this wasn't the closest Harry had come to harm unfortunately. "What happened?" he'd seen the state of the dining room, smelt it before he saw it in all honesty. The windows were destroyed.

"An explosion, I thought I was opening my exam results," Harry confessed wincing, rubbing his head delicately, it hurt. "I…thought it was my letter…" staring down at the letter almost feeling betrayed by it.

"If I may, I'd like a copy of one, just to compare everything, paper, ink, wax, but I have the baffling feeling it won't match." Montague, recalling Rabastan's earlier comments about a direct threat to Lord Potter.

"You may have it." Lord Slytherin agreed fully, cooperating with the investigation.

"Here," Harry said, flipping up the paper which was a list of his books required for next year. It was quite a list, and Harry slid the copy he'd made into his other documents. He added the second envelope which only had Lestrange estate on it, which allowed them their privacy if anyone saw anything. "This too." Which would show the wax.

Montague removed evidence bags and allowed the two pieces of parchment to be set inside. "Thank you, Lord Potter."

Harry nodded curtly, uncomfortable with so many people, strangers, in his home. Hating the vulnerability, he felt in his home too. This was meant to be his safe place, where he entirely safe from outside threats. "Just catch the son of a bitch!" he bit out, putting the letter down when he noticed his hands were shaking.

"Of course," Montague replied, glancing at the Dark Lord, who was just as surprised as everyone else was. Given the recent attack, Harry was entitled to feel shaken, and he clearly was. "Forgive us, we will leave you alone now, thank you for your time. We will leave you in peace momentarily."

Harry who had turned away from them, inclined his head a little, both in silent apology and acknowledgement of him speaking.

"I'll see them out, you get some rest," Lord Slytherin murmured quietly, his voice soothing Harry's raw nerves.

"Thank you," Harry said, inhaling sharply, all this time Rabastan was scared that he'd bring danger to him when it was the other way around. He would never give Rabastan or his family up…never in a million years. Did that make him selfish? Perhaps, but he didn't care.

Harry would rather die than live a single day without Rabastan and his family. He'd scorch the world and watch it burn to bring him back, to know he was safe. Oh, there was nothing Harry wouldn't do, and this person…they were fucking with the wrong family, just wait, they'd mess up at some point and he'd set them on fire.

A/N – I went three days without coffee and any energy drinks omg never again…if you guys are thinking about it too (in an effort to save up for gas to put the heating on etc…) don't do it! I got like under 2K done in those three days, omg I was more exhausted than I thought possible! Especially considering we've had rain for three whole days and I got caught in it twice in two days ugh! To no surprise (and they have my everlasting gratitude) with coffee and an energy drink I got, got this written up 😊 so thank you ko-fi's you have my eternal gratitude 😉 so I was going to attempt to put Harry's grades in but there was no where I could really do that, plus I need to find the notepad I put all Harry's classes in to do so :) anyways I hope you enjoyed the chapter and yay no cliffie's this time ;) R&R please and take care and stay safe everyone xx