A/N: Did you think I retired this story unfinished? Never happen! Next chapter will be "Back in Session".

Happy Reading!




Wulfric issued a tired sigh, and settled more comfortably into the bed. He drew Thomas close to him, knowing that they would keep each other safe and hold the vast supply of nightmares at bay. That was the original reason they had begun to share a bed, after all. For the true Dumbledores and for true Slytherins, death was less of an adjustment than for most. Both families had certain magics that allowed them to live more fully as spirits, to enjoy life beyond death much more richly than the average ghost. They could eat, they touch and feel, they have sex, and they could directly effect the natural world. While a normal ghost could not even touch objects in the living world, any member of the Dumbledores or the Slytherins had those abilities and more.

Running a loving hand through the familiar hair of his dear one, Wulfric began to wonder if the action was more comforting to Thomas or to himself. Joining his lover in sleep, his last coherent thought was to decide that it didn't matter, so long as comfort was given.

And for a few hours, all of the wizards of Potter Manor slept safely in the arms of the one they loved the most.



Despite his unspoken worries, which Gabriel had soothed away beneath the warmth of another of his one-of-a-kind hugs and steady reassurance sent down their bond, Sirius was greatly relieved to find that breakfast was, surprisingly enough, not awkward at all. When Gabriel followed Sirius into the sun-dappled Morning Room, Harry and Lucius were already seated at the comfortable table and quietly enjoying their breakfast from the selections left warming or cooling on the buffet by the diligent Potter elves.

Earlier that morning, after taking full advantage of awakening wrapped around Harrison in the most delectable position imaginable, Lucius had summoned his personal house elf from Malfoy Manor. After a memorable shower with his sleepy-eyed lover, Lucius was now comfortably attired in a tailored shirt in soft, dove-grey linen and fine trousers in deepest slate. Next to him, Harry was wearing one of the unusually-styled shirts he had personally designed, this one in a pale blue that shimmered to pearl gray as he moved. Unaware of its designer, Lucius had immediately complimented the younger Lord on the shirt, inquiring where he had acquired it, and was surprised at Harry's pleased grin. The raven-haired man had simply thanked him as he tucked the distinctive shirt into velvety-linen trousers and tugged Lucius out of the room to seek their breakfast. They shared long moments of companionship as they drank tea and awaited Sirius and Gabriel.

Momentarily forgetting that he was feeling awkward, Sirius noticed Harry's shirt the second he and Gabriel entered the room and immediately exclaimed, "Damn, Flash! That looks incredible! How many do you think Tatting is going to order?"

Harry looked up with a grin, ignoring Lucius's raised eyebrow and questioning, "Flash?" and offered a cheerful, "Morning, gentlemen! Thanks, Siri. Um …. Last order brought it up to almost 500 so far."

Sirius nodded, impressed, and said with a grin at Lucius, "You may want to ask Harry about his animagus form sometime." Refusing to offer anything further in that regard, he stepped around his massive mate, skillfully avoiding the muscular arm Gabriel extended to wrap around him, and rebelliously headed for the breakfast buffet instead. Winking cheerfully at his smirking, silver-eyed friend, Gabriel turned to follow Sirius, having successfully herded his smaller mate toward food without the younger man realizing he had been played.

Gabriel handed Sirius a warmed plate and watched closely as his mate filled it from the breakfast buffet. He smiled unrepentantly at Sirius's look of mild irritation, and filled a chilled bowl with fresh fruit that he set down in front of Sirius on the table before heading back to the buffet to gather his own breakfast. He soothed the annoyance from Sirius's side of the bond with feelings of pride and concern, knowing that his smaller mate would understand and eventually accept that it was Gabriel's duty and privilege to ensure that his mate was fed and cared for properly. He grinned slightly at the Black Lord's slightly-mollified expression and seated himself next to Sirius in one of the remarkably comfortable, hand-carved chairs. Accepting a cup of tea with a nod of thanks to Lucius, whose Malfoy mask was belied by the wizard's casual posture and the happiness in those unique silver eyes, Gabriel quirked an eyebrow at Harry and inquired, "Order from Tattings? How are you keeping all of these secrets from me? We've practically lived in each other's pockets these past few months."

Harry chuckled as Lucius immediately glared possessively at Gabriel, even as Sirius tightened his jaw and controlled his own urge to glare at his mate. Harry winked at Sirius understandingly as he said calmly, "Gabriel, much as I cherish you, my friend, there are still numerous things about me that only Sirius and my grandfathers know." He smirked as Sirius preened a little, and laughed out loud at Lucius' expression when Sirius leaned toward his godson and said in a tone of faux-commiseration, "Flash, I think you forgot to explain that part to your new lover."

Sirius then earned Harry's furious glare when he turned to Lucius and said condescendingly, "Or did Harry actually manage to stop moaning long enough to tell you that Wulfric has a lover, too?" He glared right back at Harry when his godson snapped back, "It's not like you've ever met him, either, Sirius Black. Besides, last night, you were running away so fast, how can you possibly know what Lucius and I talked about?"

The two, dark-haired wizards stared each other down, each glaring fiercely, until their amused lovers successfully distracted them with techniques tailored very recently to their respective bonded. Long years of friendship allowed Lucius and Gabriel to share considerable information without verbal speech, and they were both surprised and humbled to realize that each of their new, bonded lovers had been sexually inexperienced. Onyx and silver eyes met with perfect understanding as Lucius and Gabriel realized that both Harry and Sirius, uncomfortable with the unfamiliar 'morning-after', were reacting with irritability and deliberate provocation of each other as a distinct preference to their shyness and awkward embarrassment.

Several minutes later, adequately soothed back into even-temper, Harry somewhat grudgingly explained to Lucius and Gabriel, "When Siri and I finally stopped filling out from all of the nutrient potions and the fitness regimen Thomas put us on, we went to see Otto Tattings and ordered whole, new wardrobes." Lucius presumed that 'Thomas' was Wulfric's somewhat mysterious lover, but had no time to ask as Harry continued, "I had sewn a few of these shirts myself and created the potion to dye the fabrics, so all I needed was to have Tattings run up a bunch in different colors and in the new sizes for me. He liked the design and we struck a bit of a deal."

Sirius snorted derisively. "You have a gift for understatement, Flash. 'A bit of a deal', indeed." He glanced at the two, interested men and clarified, "Harry is now the newest, exclusive menswear designer for Twillfit & Tattings, and has arranged to expand his line with a number of other clothes he designed for himself over the years. And, just to get this part out in the open, he started designing and sewing when his disgusting relatives gave him only his enormous cousin's used clothing to wear. He turned them into decent clothing using only muggle means while he suffered through those horrible summers locked in his room."

He stared implacably back when Harry's expression darkened and warned his indignant godson, "Don't, Harrison. You tried to keep that part secret from me, despite your promise to tell me everything about your childhood that I, as your godfather, should know. You can consider this a little bit of a wake-up call; I don't actually need to be told everything about your childhood to figure a lot of it out on my own. I'm delighted that you love to cook, and garden, and design clothing. It is also good that you know everything there is to know about how to clean a home and maintain a property." He stared intently at his discomfited godson and continued sternly, "It doesn't change the reason you had to learn those skills to begin with. We had a deal, kid. I get the Dursleys, but I don't physically torture them as long as you tell me everything about what they did to you. They belong to me, and you don't get to keep secrets about your time with them – unless you've changed your mind about my introducing them to the blood-boiling curse and the joys of castration."

Harry stared back at his godfather, whose normally laughter-filled gray eyes were sober and direct. He was mortified at what Sirius had just put on the table in front of Lucius and Gabriel along with the delicious breakfast. He wanted to be furious at Sirius; it was unfair of his godfather to take a simple conversation about clothing and turn it into – this! – and yet, he understood the man's motives. They had struck a deal, along with Wulfric and Thomas, that they had each agreed to, and Harry had reneged a bit on his side of the agreement. Avoiding Lucius's sharp gaze, he sat back in his chair and sighed heavily, running his hands over his face a moment before dropping them back to the table and meeting Sirius's uncompromising stare. Nodding abruptly, he grumbled, "Fine. You're right. I'm sorry. I just … I didn't keep it back from you on purpose, Siri. It's just kind of a part of everything, and it didn't occur to me to have to explain why I designed a damn shirt! For fuck's sake! It's not like I tie everything I do or say or think back to what made me originally make those choices, you know." He watched Sirius resentfully, uncomfortable at the sudden weight of the conversation.

Sirius studied Harry closely, and allowed his expression to lighten to his customary – albeit, slightly subdued - cheerfulness. "I know, Flash. It's just that, I have … recently … been reminded how damaging some of the secrets are that we forget we're even holding," he glanced quickly, shyly, at an intently-attentive Gabriel, "and I think it's important that we pull it all out for some fresh air – especially the crap that we prefer to completely forget about. And, if what I Saw in the aethyr last night is accurate, it's now Lucius's right to know most of it, too. Just like the monolithic throwback over here gets to know a little more about me than I'm comfortable with, too. Understand?"

Lucius didn't know whether to thank Sirius for his surprising acceptance of him, question him about the 'aethyr' reference, comfort Harry, or torment Gabriel for Sirius's amusing description of the Zabini Lord. He settled for nodding graciously at Sirius, smirking at Gabriel, and placing a strong hand on Harry's knee, which was jittering up and down as the younger man bounced his foot nervously. Harry's hand immediately covered his own, and Lucius turned his over and threaded his fingers through Harry's as he smiled reassuringly into the somewhat anxious green eyes. The details of Harry's childhood were not known to him, but the tenor of it had long been suspected. Lucius concentrated on the wondrous new bond between them and filled his side of it with comfort and acceptance and love for the remarkable young man who had become his beloved at such a rapid pace. He was rewarded when Harry's side of the bond reflected relief and love in response.

Across the table, Gabriel seized his mate's eyes with his own and allowed his pride to shine freely through his gaze and the bond. He knew full well that Sirius, despite his reputation from earlier years, was a very private man, accustomed to keeping his business and emotions to himself. It had taken a great deal of courage for the smaller man to risk Harry's embarrassment and anger, but Sirius had done it out of love for his nephew and the certainty that he could not allow Harry to hold to festering secrets the way Sirius had realized just hours ago he had done himself. Gabriel was amazed by his mate's strength of character, and took great pleasure in sharing his pride and love with the man who had repeatedly taken great risks on behalf of those he loved.

The awkwardness faded into a comfortable silence as the four men companionably ate their morning meal and exchanged quiet conversation, steering away from anything else more intense than the seasonality of fruit. Near the end of the meal, both Lucius and Gabriel started in surprise at the entrance into the Morning Room of a dignified, handsome, middle-aged man with graying hair who greeted them all in a rich baritone. "Good morning, gentlemen! Congratulations to each of you on your mating bonds." Looking up in startlement, Lucius Malfoy froze in shock as he stared wide-eyed into an amused pair of deep crimson eyes.


Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall was very much a practical woman. She was a skilled transfigurist, a strong administrator, a talented teacher and the current family historian for Clan McGonagall. She was Tavin McGonagall's dearest friend, and he treated her like the beloved granddaughter she was, albeit with a number of 'great's' to attach to the relationship. It was Minerva to whom young Harry Potter had gone when he had first begun to realize the truth about Albus Dumbledore. Despite her instinctive wish to defend the old Headmaster, Minerva was first and foremost a protector of the children of Hogwarts, and so she listened to the leery young man who had cautiously explained his findings and concerns.

Despite her ensuing heartache, she would never regret that decision.

Now, as she and Tavin sat together, sharing quiet companionship as Minerva finished her breakfast, the redoubtable woman considered her latest quandary. Even as she ruminated, she was deeply grateful for the simplicity of her present dilemma, as it was nothing more serious than finding herself at loose ends, having forgotten – in the events of last night - to arrange for anything concrete to do this morning.

Last evening, after being escorted to this beautiful suite of rooms in El Castillo Hotel, she had just begun to consider ordering dinner when a chime at the suite's entrance notified her of a guest. She had been quite surprised to open the door and find herself gazing at the jovial face of Lord Charles Ogden, holding a small barrel of Ogden's finest firewhiskey, a stern-faced Security Auror at the man's side.

Ogden had returned her raised, questioning eyebrows with an amused grin and the words, "Harrison and Sirius have presented me with a certain bit of information about a mutual acquaintance that I dearly wish to share with you, Lady McGonogall. I am certain that you and I can come up with the very best possible plan for handling this sensitive information." As Minerva looked somewhat suspiciously at the man, he winked broadly and added with a knowing chuckle, "Let me assure you, I thought the same thing at first. Harrison's terror when I asked him, however, was unfeigned and would do your heart a lot of good, I am certain. The poor boy is terrified of your wrath."

Minerva had smirked back at the chortling man, and stepped aside to beckon him in. Tavin had greeted the cheerful lord with the amiable question, "And so, young Charlie, are you of the opinion that the upcoming conversation will require the consumption of firewhiskey? And, if so, I see you have brought a quarter-barrel with you for my Minnie. Pray tell, Charlie, dinna' you bring any for yourself?" Charles had laughed heartily as Minerva pretended to glare at the wizened clan elder resting on the coffee table, and had joined Minerva and Tavin for a wonderful dinner and an uproarious discussion about Albus and Aberforth Percy's revolting pasttimes.

Frankly, both Minerva and Charles had been glad for the firewhiskey. It did much to settle their stomachs after Charles had – with an odd mixture of eager reluctance – enlarged the infamous photo of Aberforth Percy humping his favorite goat and watched, delighted, as Minerva shuddered in disgust at both the image and the realization.

After a remarkably convivial evening, Charles had departed around eleven, and Minerva had settled into bed with a busy mind. She had been lulled into sleep, despite her own, stubborn resistance, by the gentle, aged voice of Tavin McGonogall, who had quietly soothed her rampant thoughts with a soft, slow story of how Helga Hufflepuff had first kissed Tavin McGonogall under the lightly swinging branches of her newly-created hybrid willow tree. Her last thought before she drifted off had been of amusement at what Harry's reception of the story would be, given his and young Mr. Weasley's encounter with the mature tree via an enchanted Ford Anglia.

But now, it was morning, and Minerva had just received notice that her's and Tavin's presence in Session would not be required until two this afternoon. It seemed that a large number of documents and pensieve memories had been sent to Council Leader Amelia Bones last evening by Harry's representative, and the Hall of Government would be spending the morning and early afternoon reviewing the documents and learning much of the true history and facts that Harry and his 'team' had discovered. The Daily Prophet would not be out for another hour at best. Minerva was at a loose end; she was not allowed to leave the Suite until Session. She could attend the Document Review, but apart from enjoying the occasional shocked reactions, there would be little for her to do. Truthfully, she was not inclined to spend the day sitting in a chair staring at a group of Lords and a very rare Lady or two while they stared at a bunch of parchment. She was not precisely a youth, any more, and was still feeling a bit of the ache from having to stand so long in Session yesterday before 'Melia had apologetically given her a chair.

So, what to do? In hindsight, she should have brought along a book or some papers to grade. She stared at Tavin, who appeared to be sleeping, another concept that would probably befuddle and bemuse the various Lords who might encounter it. After a lifetime in the Clan Elder's presence, Minerva was well-accustomed to the concept of a living being inhabiting Godric Gryffindor's old hat. It didn't matter that old Tavin was a spirit; sleep was rest for the mind, more than the body. And Tavin had a very fine mind and spirit, indeed.

Just as she had resolved to begin making lists of tasks she had yet to do for the school year, Minerva heard the delicate door chime that announced a visitor. Rising with a little, residual stiffness to her feet, she crossed the room and saw that the carved windchimes on the door remained simple carvings. Had there been any cause for concern, they would be glowing bright red. Reassured, she opened the door and stared with surprise at her guest.

Standing in the small outer hallway, with an imposing Security Auror at her side, was Hogwarts Divination Professor Sybill Trelawney. Minerva barely stopped her mouth from dropping open in shock as she took in the appearance of the woman who had seemed to specialize in looking as crazed as possible.

Smiling back at her, looking slightly uncomfortable and embarrassed, was a remarkably refined looking woman. She was definitely Sybill Trelawney, but gone were the thick spectacles that gave her a bug-eyed appearance. Her formerly wild hair was confined in a sleek chignon, with a few, silky tendrils curling down around a face that now showed itself to be refined and attractive. There wasn't a shawl or bit of fringe in sight; instead, the witch wore an elegant, taupe dress that hugged her slender form from shoulder to thigh before flaring gently in a sweep of fabric to mid-calf. A single strand of beautiful, luminescent beads hung around her slender neck, and her slim feet were shod in simple, high-heeled pumps that emphasized her slender ankles. Her gaze was direct and clear, and Minerva was surprised to see that her eyes were actually a beautiful green, somewhat similar, oddly enough, to Harry Potter's.

After a moment of silence – stunned on Minerva's part, understanding on Sybill's – Minerva raised her hand to her chest and exclaimed, "By Morgana! Sybill?" The incredulity in her tone was undeniable.

The elegant woman in the hallway smiled in reply, displaying even, white teeth and a gentle crinkle of green eyes, and said gently, "Minerva. I realize this is … surprising. May I come in? I understand that today's Session has no need of you for yet a while, and I hoped to speak with you about a matter of some importance."

Minerva just stared at her for a moment or two more, before blinking rapidly and stammering apologetically, "Of course! My word, forgive my manners, Sybill. Do come in. Please, do!" She could not help but watch in wonder as the woman moved gracefully into the room, and noted bemusedly that there wasn't even a whiff of perfume or incense anywhere. Closing the door somewhat absentmindedly, she gestured Sybill to a seat and saw that Tavin was now wide awake and also staring, as much as a hat could, anyway.

Seating herself opposite the woman, Minerva was at a complete loss for words. Rather than even try, she simply spread her hands in a wondering gesture and allowed her expression to speak for her.

In response, Sybill laughed lightly, and the sound was honest and pleasant to the ear, nothing at all like the misty, mysterious voice the woman had adopted all the long years Minerva had known her. Declining Minerva's belated gesture toward the teapot, Sybill settled comfortably into her chair, crossed her ankles gracefully, and began to explain.

"Minerva, I want to thank you for your forbearance over the years. You have always treated me well, despite clearly doubting the validity of my course at Hogwarts." Sybill's eyes sparkled a little at Minerva's look of discomfiture, which swiftly changed to disbelief as the Divination Professor added, "You were correct, of course. I was teaching fallacy and foolishness. Although, I only realized this yesterday. Minerva, please bear with me. I am still a bit confused, and must explain that I have only the mistiest, blurriest memories of the past many years."

She studied Minerva's dumbfounded expression as she spoke. "My last clear memory was entering the Hogshead Tavern on my way to a job interview with Albus Dumbledore. I recall thinking how odd it was, for a Headmaster of a school to host a professorial interview in a tavern, of all places, particularly when the school in question was in clear view, just a decent walk away. I remember stooping to pass through the doorway, and I saw twinkling blue eyes and then … well," she stopped for a moment, her lips firming into a straight line as she retained rigid control of her emotions. Minerva could see rage in those vivid green eyes, and wondered how she had never even noticed the color of Sybill's eyes before. All these years, magnified enormously by those hideous glasses, and yet the actual color of Sybill's eyes had eluded her. Or perhaps they had changed?

Minerva's jaw tightened and her lips firmed into a thin line. It seemed that there was still more to lay upon the charges list for Albus Percy and his repulsive brother.

Once she was certain of her emotional control, Sybill continued. "Yesterday, it was as if I suddenly awoke from a horrible fever dream. I found myself dressed in the most outlandish attire, and I could barely see through the deplorable eyewear on my face. I was simply surrounded by teacups, and overwhelmed by the most hallucinogenic incense, and realized that I was in the attic room that had featured so heavily in the odd thoughts and dreams and visions I had been plagued by. I immediately fled the room – in fact, I damn near broke my neck! Who on earth thought it would be a good idea to employ a ladder for an attic classroom filled with hallucinogenics? It's a wonder no one died, for Merlin's sake!" She stared indignantly at the taken aback Deputy Headmistress, and sniffed with indignant amusement at Tavin's slow chuckle.

Sighing in resignation, Sybill smiled slightly at Minerva and said slowly, "Now I realize, of course, what happened. I understand how I disappeared for over half of my own lifetime, and why I returned to my mind yesterday. It begins and ends with Albus Dumbledore, does it not?"

She watched Minerva intently, and only nodded in slight confirmation when Minerva murmured distractedly, "In truth, Sybill, it seems the man's name is Albus Percy, not Dumbledore. Please, Sybill … explain."

Sybill extended a graceful hand and pressed Minerva's trembling hand lightly in reassurance. "Dear Minerva! I realize this is a shock, added to whatever shocks you must have sustained over the past day or so. I empathize; you may believe that! You see, it seems that I returned to my own mind at the same time that the Headmaster was put in numerous frenum cuffs yesterday. At least, that is what I gathered from the portraits that assisted me. The spells Albus had placed upon me were severed with the confinement of his magic and his mental reach. I am once again myself." She watched Minerva intently, worriedly, and said with gentle concern in her voice for the stalwart woman who had protected her even as she scorned her, "I am, once again, Sybill Trelawney Chaparral – Harrison Potter's cousin."

Even Tavin was speechless.


A/N2: Please forgive the long delay. I realize a couple of months between chapters isn't uncommon for many authors, but I prefer to do better. I'm afraid RL just overwhelmed me, and of all my stories, this one is particularly dependent on my being able to concentrate on the details.

For the time being, I will probably be updating roughly one chapter a week, and the story I update will vary. I'll try very hard to update more frequently, but RL continues to thumb its nose at me a bit. Just bear with me. I am certain that I will once again hit a time when circumstances coincide with creative drive and I start updating daily again. It goes in cycles, but I say this again – I will NEVER abandon one of my stories.

I send love and gratitude to all of you devoted readers, and a special shout-out to Pikachumomma, marksmom, slayer of destiny, & {IBegtoDream&Differ}.

Blessed Be, y'all!


A/N There it is. My deepest apologies for the delay. If I told you about my life right now, you'd roll your eyes and call it crap-fic! Anyway, please do let me know what you think. The next chapter will be back in Session. Happy Reading!