A/N: Whoo I've returned! This story has been giving me absolute hell! It did not want to be written until all of this came spilling out and I had to make some edits to what I thought this chapter was going to be.
I apologise to everyone who was expecting the big meeting to be in this chapter but the characters just did not want to cooperate. Instead, I give you another article and a howler (3 guesses who from lol).
For those of you that follow me rather than just this story, yet again my brain has been giving me other ideas and I have started a collection of ABO oneshots across multiple fandoms. If you ever seem me posting other works and are worried I'm not focussed on my WIPs, don't fret, it usually means the idea wouldn't leave me alone and once I've written it I can go back to my older things.
Thank you to everyone who had read, followed and favourited this story and stuck with it given my less than regular updating schedule.
On with the story!
Disclaimer: Not J.K but this plot is mine
Warning: possible language, mentions of slash
Never before had it mattered as much as it did that they look and act perfect on what should have been a regular school day and Harry was well aware that the scrutiny they were facing would be at an all-time high. It was something he was trying to convince the amorous Dark Lord of as the man didn't seem to want to let him go. Harry had no word from any of his friends so he had yet to he had no idea how Gryffindor and Slytherin Houses had reacted, and while it wasn't a crucial place for them Luna had sent no word for Ravenclaw House either.
"You know today is going to be crucial in establishing our future reputation in this school." Harry told the Dark Lord, who had once again pulled him back down on the bed.
"Yes and everyone not already in a relationship or betrothed is going to be eyeing you like a particularly nice steak." Tom grumbled, "I loathe that you appear unattached."
"Remember what I said yesterday?"
"Oh I plan to display who you belong to as soon as we leave the scrutiny of this castle." Tom assured him, "you are mine and mine alone; the sooner that is established in everybody's minds the better."
"Honestly, how you ever managed to pretend to be an innocent angel is beyond me." Harry laughed, gently running his hand through Tom's hair as the other man had buried his face in his neck. "You know, usually it's me being the sloth."
"Clearly you had the right idea."
Harry laughed at that, tugging at Tom's hair until the man looked up at him.
#I love you, you know#
Whether it was the words or the use of parseltongue Harry didn't know but Tom's eyes closes and a shudder went through his whole body. Harry couldn't help but relish in being able to effect Tom that much so easily; it was a heady power.
"You are dangerous, my darling Snake." Tom murmured, crimson eyes almost glowing as he looked Harry over.
"You wouldn't have looked twice if I wasn't."
Tom smirked at him.
"Danger is thrilling."
"I think my Gryffindor is rubbing off on you." Harry joked and Tom scoffed.
"Don't be insulting."
"I'll have you know it's only Gryffindor tendencies that have brought us here."
"I hate that that's true." Tom sighed, finally releasing him so Harry could get up and resume getting ready for the day.
"There there." Harry consoled mockingly, dodging the stinging hex aimed for his ass. "I wouldn't damage that if I were you, you'd be the one to suffer for it."
"You're the worst."
"But not wrong."
Tom ignored his final remark and went grumbling into the shower much to Harry's amusement. Dobby had pressed and perfected his uniform for him so Harry was looking the best he ever had in school clothes and he made sure to style his hair into a purposeful mess to finish off his appearance. His bag was already prepped and ready and Harry merely had to slip on his shoes before he was ready to go. He made sure to have Tom a cup of tea ready for when he got out of the shower and almost rolled his eyes when the older man latched onto him once again as they made to leave.
"It's really getting to you, isn't it?" Harry remarked in surprise as he read the other man's feelings through their connection, "despite knowing I'm yours."
"I do not doubt you." Tom stated with a surety that pleased Harry greatly, "but you and I both know that Love Potions and spells were not something solely Dumbledore's ideas; with your title as Lord Potter it would have been enough for the desperate to try. Now, with everything you have revealed, those who would do anything to get themselves some power will be after you. It infuriates me."
"I'm protected from those things, thankfully. We only had to make Dumbledore and the She-Weasel believe I wasn't." Harry pointed out and Tom sighed deeply.
"That is not the point."
"You're right." Harry agreed, "but remember I'll be spending the day surrounded by my most trusted and then reliving it entirely with you."
Tom closed his eyes and clearly used occlumency to bury what he was feeling as suddenly their link went eerily calm.
"I am not normally like this." He murmured, indicating his, Harry acknowledged, uncharacteristic clinging.
"Hm I know," Harry agreed and then he flashed him a slight grin, "I can't say I don't like it if that makes you feel better."
"A little," Tom allowed, "let's go else I keep you here to myself."
"I'll see you on the other side." Harry joked, before shadowing to his rooms where his friends seemed to have congregated. They greeted him cheerfully which Harry took for a good sign as he threw himself on the couch with a smirk.
"How did it go?"
Luna spoke first as the others were too busy sharing looks to answer straight away; his tiny blond sister gave him a rather sinister looking grin that Harry was overjoyed to see on her delicate face.
"I believe any and every girl that has ever so much as looked at me in a negative manner had nightmares of your retribution last night." She told him and Harry snorted.
"So that damn well should." He grumbled, "not that you'd leave me much if you truly went off."
"No, but they don't know that." She shrugged and Harry shook his head.
"They're going to be true Ravenclaws on that front: watch, learn and research." She told him, "the subtle nuances may have gone over their heads but the power shift hasn't, nor has the fact that this was only done when Dumbledore was gone. Already the reason why Ginny's actions are so heinous have made their way around the common room so I've no doubt there will be a plethora of discussions cropping up in the near future."
"You'll be bombarded soon enough," Harry pointed out and Luna nodded.
"I already know what to say and what to hide."
"Of course you do." Harry shook his head with a laugh before turning to the Gryffindor and Slytherin section of his group. "Well?"
"Both better and worse than we expected." Hermione offered and Draco nodded.
"Same for use."
"Okay, Slytherin go. I care less about them overall right now because most of the politics there is still in their parents hands and I have the 'mot and the Dark Sect to deal with that." Harry decided.
"Inner politics: Slytherin House as a whole has decided to take on a watch and wait stance as its been established that they have never actually met Harry Potter-Black." Draco told him, "they do not want to be seen as making an uninformed decision in regards to this new development."
"The break in alliance with Dumbledore has thrown them then."
"More so with the hint that it wasn't voluntary in the first place." Draco agreed and Harry raised an eyebrow. "Blaim Blaise for that."
"I have to get my kicks somewhere." The Italian said with a shrug and Harry snorted.
"Okay, hit me with the outer."
"Outer politics have been speculated of an allegiance between you and the Dark Lord, but there are more people sceptical of that than of your break with Dumbledore." Draco continued and Harry nodded.
"Nothing I didn't expect to be honest."
"Us too, but we think some of them may be stupid about it." Blaise said and then a nasty smirk twisted onto his face, "I hope they act on that."
"You're such a sadist." Harry laughed, "got any names for me?"
"Mulcibre and Travers were the most obvious ones and they're not the smartest of people on top of that." Draco said, "there were others, of course, but they're less likely to act figuring that the repercussions would be deeply unpleasant if they got things wrong."
"That's an understatement," Blaise muttered with glee much to Harry's amusement.
"You are really counting on someone doing something stupid, aren't you?"
"Honestly, there are so many ways for them to fuck up and pay for it that I'll entertained for years."
Harry looked at Ron with a raised eyebrow and the red head grinned.
"Mate, you cannot judge; we all know who you're sleeping with."
Multiple snorts rang out at that and Harry barked out a laugh.
"Well you're not wrong." He allowed, "what I want to know is how many of those here were in attendance of the Yule balls this season?"
"We're pretty evenly spread thinking about it," Draco said after a moment's thought, "though, of the current Slytherins in the school the majority weren't there."
"That would explain a few things."
"What do you mean?"
"Who was I dancing with at the Nott and Malfoy balls?" Harry pointed out and Draco and Blaise blinked in remembrance.
"Oh yeah! The act still hasn't been lifted so even those who attended wouldn't be able to speak of it yet."
"That also explains some of the pointed looks when Rowle was speaking to us." Blaise mused, "well when the act is lifted I cannot wait to see the secondary reactions."
"You just want drama," Draco scoffed and Blaise shot him a rather vicious smirk.
"Tell me they won't be gold."
Draco didn't answer and Harry laughed and turned to the others.
"Come on then, hit me with the Gryffindors before we go down to breakfast."
"For the most part they're actually going to sit neutral." Hermione announced and Harry blinked at her in surprise.
"Well they can hardly argue with the fact that the current government and their policies are fair and good for muggleborn people and purebloods alike and we have a light government." Hermione pointed out.
"Ah you overloaded them with research and logic."
"Yeah, and it worked." Neville confirmed, "I think after last year and Dumbledore's fall from grace really helped."
"Not only that but we promised them you were actually working on something to reduce the stigma surrounding muggleborns." Ron added, "and that you'll be back soon enough to prove it to them."
"I'll move the muggleborn research to the top and if I do it right I should be able to link my return with it. I need actual muggleborn – other than you Paws – to help me make my point." Harry said thoughtfully.
"That'll help for sure."
"We managed to skim over the Slytherin seat for now, but it'll probably come back up unless you have a mighty good distraction." Ron picked up and Harry nodded.
"Again, I'll use the muggleborn research as a deterrence."
"McLaggen and his sycophants are going to be trouble either way."
"He's always been a dick." Harry brushed off and Hermione huffed in disgust.
"He's a pig."
"I'm still surprised that you've managed to talk the majority of the House into neutrality."
"I think the shame of having repeatedly turned on you and being proven wrong, then finding out that you're the Lord of Gryffindor helped a great deal." Neville offered and Harry shook his head.
"Didn't take much then."
"We can probably put a lot of that on Dumbledore too." Ron pointed out and Harry raised an eyebrow.
"He had the chance to clear a lot of issues up in regards to you and never did which left you isolated."
"True. Can't have too many people close to me or they may pick up on rapid changes of behaviour and even Dumbledore has a limit to how many people he can spell."
"So we've managed to talk them down to neutral and researching the things we've told them which means you should be clear on the Gryffindor front. But they're notoriously impatient so don't leave things too long."
"I won't, you know what we have planned for the upcoming weeks so hopefully I'll be able to make time to focus on the muggleborn issue as that's what going to keep cropping up." Harry said and Hermione nodded.
"I also wrote to Bill and Charlie and wanted to borrow Hedwig to send it off."
"Normally I'd agree but if they're being watched she's very noticeable." Harry pointed out and Ron grimaced.
"I didn't think about that."
"Use mine," Blaise offered, "Venus could use a good stretch and I'm sending a letter off for Mamma so she could make a round trip."
"Thanks, we'll go just before the meeting?"
"Do you have any idea how they're going to react?" Harry questioned and Ron shook his head.
"No, which is why I wrote now because if there is any sort of chance we can get them neutral or even onside I want to do it."
"You and me both." Harry agreed, "I do not want to find out exactly what Bill has been taught by the goblins."
A collective shudder rippled through the group and the thought and Luna smiled slightly, eyes distance as she took in something only she could see.
"I think you'll get to them in time, before your explanations or reasonings would go unheard."
"So they'll listen?" Ron wondered eagerly and Luna nodded.
"There are so many decisions riding on such a small thing." She murmured, "the outcome is unknown right now, but as long as the letter is sent today you'll get to have the conversation."
"Well that's something." Ron sighed, "I don't like that this one thing is so riddled that the outcome is uncertain but that means there must be a Hel of a conversation coming up for me."
"We'll all be there for you, Ron." Hermione assured him and the rest of them nodded.
"Yeah, I mean, Bill knows how the goblins work, I'll get official records for what's been done and we have the official medical reports now too so that can be used and proof."
"That will help a great deal." Luna stated, "Gryffindor only, for now."
"Right, we'll keep it to us until we know how they're going to go." Ron decided, "thanks Luna."
"We better get to breakfast." Neville noted, looking at the time. "I want to beat the paper this time, see the reactions before and after as such."
"I feel like we've corrupted you." Harry mused with a grin, and Neville smirked with a shrug.
"As Blaise said, we have to get our entertainment somewhere."
"We all have so many problems." Hermione muttered but she was grinning so it took the sting out of her words.
"Where are we sitting today?" Draco wondered and they grabbed their bags and made their way out of the rooms.
"Ravenclaw again for now." Harry decided, "only because I want to drive in that Luna is with us. We want to be seen as the good people so we can't have any mysterious disappearances."
"Shame," Luna, Blaise and Neville muttered much to the amusement of the rest.
"We'll go back to our House tables when we have something more to offer."
"Merlin this week is going to be a nightmare." Ron complained and got sounds of agreement throughout the group. They made their way towards the Great Hall discussing everything that could happen throughout the week getting more and more elaborate as they went, as soon as they heard other people their masks went up and as a collective unit they moved into the focus of the school. Whispers and conversations burst forth almost immediately and as much as Harry wanted to either scoff or smirk he kept everything firmly off his face. Luna led them towards the Ravenclaw table and Harry had to bite back any visible signs of amusement at the look of fear that crossed a few Ravenclaw's faces as Luna tucked herself into his side once again. Many of the students weren't even trying to be discreet as they stared at them and others had their heads bent together as they very obviously talked about them, thankfully, McGonagall's threat of detention with Snape was holding steady and no one actually confronted any of them so they could start their breakfast in peace.
"Brace yourself, papers are incoming." Hermione warned, and Harry perked up.
"Let's see what magic Rita had wielded this time."
"I still can't believe how excited we are to read her stuff after 4th year." Ron shook his head and Harry barely stopped himself from snorted.
"Don't remind me but Rita is the same as any spell; powerful when wielded correctly, dangerous if used against you."
"That is oddly philosophical." Blaise mused and Harry smirked.
"It's been known to happen."
Anything else they wanted to say when the morning swarm of owls swooped in to deliver the mail and it was clear that everyone was waiting on the paper's arrival because many put their letters down to snatch it up.
"Oh damn, she got all of our quotes." Harry noted, scanning over his own paper when Luna shoved one in front of him. "That should get people talking."
"Were you under the impression that they weren't already talking?" Draco wondered sarcastically. "That's a Hel of a Headline."
Potter-Black Section Shift Explained
The New Leading Alliance Speaks Out:
Shocking events during the Wizengamot session yesterday brought forth a huge shift in power caused by four new members of the Chamber lead firmly by none other than Harry James Potter-Black, Lord Head to the Houses Potter, Black, Peverell and Gryffindor. Reawakening the long held Potter/Longbottom alliance, newly presented Lord Ronald Prewett and Lady Hermione McKinnon unhesitatingly illustrated the famed Golden Trio closeness by allying themselves with the Potter-Black Lord without question. Not only did the Lord Potter-Black shift the Majority lead rapidly to the Dark Section within the Wizengamot, he and the new Seven House alliance brought enough power to push through Lady McKinnon's own nominee, Lord Malfoy, into the Interim Minister's position.
Many questions are already being raised about the dramatic shift in Section by the Seven House Alliance: why now have Lord Prewett and Lady McKinnon claimed their seats after years of silence? What are the crimes committed by Dowager Lady Augusta Longbottom to see her banished by the new Lord Longbottom? And most notably what is the cause of the apparent hostility between recently disgraced Albus Dumbledore and Lord Potter-Black? While not all of those questioned can be answered just yet, this reporter brings you the first exclusive statement from the Seven House Alliance. After leaving the Wizengamot session yesterday, this reporter caught up with Lords Potter-Black, Prewett, Longbottom and Lady McKinnon to ask them about their shock arrival, their abrupt departure from the Light Section and the behind the scenes happenings that caused such actions.
When asked about his words of banishment, Lord Longbottom stated:
"Augusta Longbottom, while not disowned, has been banished from the House of Longbottom for crimes against it and it's Heir. Not only did she illegally both by law and House Law, withhold my Heir and Lordship, she also brought in outside influence to infect the House of Longbottom. Her actions and subsequent betrayals under the power of one of her previous alliances makes me uncomfortable following her direction for the House of Longbottom which is why I moved my house into the Neutral Section."
He also added:
"With the reawakening and strengthening of the Potter/Longbottom Alliance, taking on a Neutral Stance benefitted the new direction House Potter was also undertaking."
This brought forth the question of just how long the Longbottom Lord knew about Lord Potter-Black's change in direction to which the young Lord allowed a grin.
"Augusta's betrayal to the House had further reaching consequences than many are aware of, but my Godbrother and I are doing much to solidify our bond as we should have been able to do as children and are closing working together in all ways."
While not a direct answer, it does clarify that Lord Longbottom was indeed aware of the shift Lord Potter-Black intended to go through with and supported him in his actions. It also indicated that there's a possibility the problems within House Longbottom are linked to problems with Lord Potter-Black.
This was something subsequently brought up when speaking with the new powerhouse of the Wizengamot with his two most loyal friends, Lord Prewett and Lady McKinnon.
Lord Potter-Black said:
"While I will not go deeply in to House Longbottom politics, the previous Dowager Lady's actions and betrayals have personally affected me and my relationship with my Godbrother, Neville [Longbottom]."
Also questioned was the alliance between the three of them, Lady McKinnon confirmed:
"We will always stand with Harry [Potter-Black] throughout thick and thin, and that is not something we take lightly. We have always been close as many people are aware, and that easily translates into an alliance within the Wizengamot."
Lord Prewett added:
"We make decisions as a group, and with the Potter/Longbottom Alliance being revived, it was agreed that Hermione and I would join that alliance creating a seven House Alliance as a foundation for what we hope to be a greater alliance once we find our footing within the Wizengamot."
With the three of them confirming their solid alliance, I had to ask about the apparent hostility between the Potter-Black Lord and Albus Dumbledore, and whether or not it extended to all of them. Lord Potter-Black stated:
"Certain truths have come to light for me about the real character of Albus Dumbledore and I can never again say that we are on the same side of anything. He is responsible for betrayals and harm against my Houses and while I will not discuss his actions today, I will state that I intend to pursue the full extent of Dumbledore's mechanisms against me and mine."
Lord Prewett continued saying:
"I have to agree. Dumbledore is responsible for many things, some we know of and others I fear have yet to be uncovered, and his actions directly go against the core of our House values. Our shift in section is partially because of Dumbledore, however, while young, we are not as foolish as to completely alter the placement of our Houses due to one man, no matter his actions."
Lady McKinnon went on to say:
"During our research into the Wizengamot and the Section standpoints, we came to the realisation that the traditional aspects of Wizarding society within the Dark resonated with us more than the Light's unrealistic progressive nature. And even though we don't agree with everything in our new section, we do feel that it's a better suited for us at the current time. Which is why I put forth, and we all subsequently voted, for Lord Malfoy for Interim Minister."
Their words reassure many who were wondering if they had given any thought to their actions and it's relieving to know that even though they are young, they have researched and planned their moves and none of them intend to act rashly. Of course, their confirmation of their split from Dumbledore still begs the question what the aged ex-headmaster has done to alienate what looks to be the future of the Wizengamot, especially with the hints Lord Potter-Black left. Before leaving, each rather worn out from their first session even if their poise never faltered, I managed to ask Lord Potter-Black about his surprise Proxy Headship and his knowledge on the Lord or Lady of the Slytherin House.
"The Lord Slytherin wishes to remain anonymous at this time as he is concerned about the negative connotations surrounding the House itself. I have spoken to him and discussed where he would like to take the direction of his House, and he felt that putting the Slytherin House under my control (as Lord of the Gryffindor) while following his direction may work toward lessening the stigma attached to the House as the people could see Gryffindor and Slytherin working together once more."
Given the last known time a Gryffindor and Slytherin worked together in harmony they gave us one of the greatest educational institutions within our world, this reporter is excited to see what could be achieved this time around.
Dumbledore has yet to respond regarding the split between himself and Lord Potter-Black and with the young Lord making bold yet vague claims surrounding the aged Chief Warlock, we have to wonder if Dumbledore has gone to ground because he knows what he's done is despicable or he fears what else will come to light. Just what has he done to break away from what, arguably, could have been his greatest allegiance and does it hold true to the horrifying picture Dumbledore's past is painting about the man? With a new Interim Minister backed by the Seven House Alliance and the rapidly shifting tides of the Wizengamot, we can only wait and see what is to come.
Rita Skeeter; Special Correspondent to the Daily Prophet.
"Well if the Snakes were questioning you having the Slytherin Proxy before they're going to be a whole lot worse now." Blaise said in delight, "outright claiming to have spoken to Lord Slytherin? Thank you greatly."
"You're welcome," Harry replied jokingly, "I figured Dumbledore would really appreciate reading that bit."
"Yeah, he and everyone who knows who the Slytherin Lord is." Hermione muttered and Harry smirked.
"We need the Snakes to be cautious in their actions more so than anyone else," Luna pointed out, "Gryffindors, while quick to anger, can be appeased much easier than the Slytherins."
"So it is them that we need to be more cautious of?"
"Yes and no, Gryffindors will react but McGonagall will not stand for their actions with everything she has and is set to learn." Luna told them all, "Slytherins, on the other hand, stretch in and out of the castle and while the outer politics will be corrected by Him eventually, we cannot afford to lose any possible alliances."
"You two are going to need to be vigilant." Neville warned and both Blaise and Draco nodded.
"We intended to be if only for entertainment purposes." Blaise assured, "I do think that many will be told to be cautious until He has spoken, especially when the Act is raised."
"We're on a very fine line for multiple aspects of our plans." Luna said, eyes distant again, "we cannot be reckless."
"This are some very leading quotes." Draco mused, "this is going to raise more questions."
"I'd rather people be questioning and speculating in a direction we've led them until we have a chance to get our shit together properly." Harry told him, "Dumbledore may be out of the castle and his reputation has taken a beating, but until we have a more solid base, we cannot afford to be lax in our actions nor can we know for certain that when we do eventually release the information it is taken how we need it to be taken."
"I know, it's just a fine line you are walking right now; it's a concern."
"Oh we know, but hopefully in the next few weeks we can build things up in a way that doesn't have the whole world turning on us as they are wont to do." Hermione pointed out.
"Plus, with your father's campaign that we are building we're hoping to have everything legally put through long before anyone truly realises who's in control." Ron added and Draco nodded.
"Yes, I do understand it's just sometimes the realisation of how careful we have to be becomes a bit much."
"Don't worry, Bleech, we're only taking over the country." Neville declared brightly much to their amusement and Draco shot him a dark look.
"You're not funny."
"On the contrary, that was hilarious." Neville countered with a grin, but that grin quickly faded when he caught sight of something out of the corner of his eyes. "ah shit, how did we forget that?"
"What are you talking about?"
Neville pointed and they all turned to look at what had caught his attention before cursing.
"Oh of course she did." Ron sighed, "let's see what she's going to say then."
The ancient Weasley owl flopped down just missing the remaining bacon that Hermione quickly pulled out of the way and clutched in Errol's talons was a bright red envelop that was beginning to smoke already. Ron jabbed it with his wand with a soul deep sigh and immediately Molly Weasley's rage filled voice boomed throughout the hall.
HOW DARE YOU STAND AGAINST ALBUS DUMBLEDORE AND OUR FAMILY. HOW DARE YOU BETRAY OUR WAYS AND STEAL A TITLE THAT DOES NOT BELONG TO YOU. AFTER EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE DONE FOR YOU, THIS IS HOW YOU REPAY US.
HOW DARE YOU TARNISH YOUR SISTERS REPUTATION WITH TRECHERY AND LIES, WHEN YOU KNOW NOTHING OF THE SITUATION WE ARE IN. I ALWAYS KNEW THERE WOULD BE A REASON I NEEDED TO PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO YOU BUT YOU HAVE BECOME WORSE THAN I EVER COULD HAVE BELIEVED.
YOU ARE A DISGRACE OF A SON AND A SHAME UPON MY NAME. YOUR ACTIONS ARE UNFORGIVABLE AND WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, DO NOT BOTHER COMING HOME BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT WELCOME.
YOU ARE NO SON OF MINE.
The bright red letter burst into flames after her final word leaving the hall in an eery silence as it seemed the entire student body stared at Ron with wide eyes. The red head blinked once before adopting a look of vague amusement.
"I think she's losing her touch."
Because the Hall was so quiet everyone could clearly hear Ron's voice and there were many looks of confusion and disbelief, Harry barely stopped himself bursting out laughing and instead sombrely shook his head.
"She went easy on you." He said instead and Hermione nodded gravely.
"She may be in shock."
The three of them shared a look before bursting out laughing unable to help themselves and the rest of their group shook their heads at them.
"You're all mad." Draco decided.
"Eh, its hard to take the woman seriously after she obliviated me multiple times for not doing what she wanted." Ron replied, his voice deliberately loud enough to be overheard causing the Hall to shake of its stupor from the howler and burst into conversation.
"Nicely done." Blaise murmured, and Ron shot him a grin.
"How long do you think it'll take for it to get out?"
"It'll be with the parents but tonight."
"That's a thought: where is Ginny?" Neville wondered and they looked to the Gryffindor table noting the lack of bright red.
"She wasn't in the common room when we had our inquisition either." Hermione remembered and Ron shrugged.
"If she has any sense, and she does, she's laying low until she has instructions."
"Yes, but it's what those instructions say is what I'm concerned about."
"Well as long as we limit what she can send home then I don't care." Harry decided, "without Dumbledore in the castle she's limited in what she can do."
"Do remember that both Burbage and Vector owe Dumbledore." Luna reminded him, "both Trelawny and Hagrid do too, but they are of no consequence."
"True, but when McGonagall gets to go through the entirety of the staffing, they'll both be gone." Hermione pointed out.
"Plus, if we can get the proof that Vector ruined poor Sally-Anne then she'd be arrested let alone fired." Harry said.
"I can work on that." Luna decided and Harry nodded.
"Do you think it'll be a good idea to warn McGonagall about their lack of Mastery now or wait for her discover it?"
"The only one Vector has direct contact with is with me, Luna and Draco." Hermione pointed out, "Draco and I can watch each-others' backs and Luna will know long before she gets the chance to try something on her."
"True, and none of us come into contact with Burbage at all so her being anywhere near us would be an indication of a problem." Neville added.
"So leave it for now unless there hasn't been anything done within say a month?"
"Yes, we'll bring it to father and McGonagall at the same time. The Board warned her that they'll be monitoring her closely so it wouldn't be too suspicious if they had information before she told them." Draco said, "we'll speak to father later about the Board and see what their plan is. I know the new Lord Nott will be taking his seat back, so he should have insight too."
"Who even sits on the Governors?" Ron wonders, "I know Malfoy, Nott, Smith and Davis."
"Ogden and Davis also sit."
"Plus Spinett and Gamp."
"Who are the last 4 then?"
Their was a pause before all of them turned to Luna in question and the fey-like girl rolled her eyes and answered:
"Hawkthawn, Blishwick, Bletchley and Goldstien."
"Three Neutrals and a Dark."
"Well Abbott, Smith and Spinnet are Light, Malfoy, Nott, Bletchley are dark leaving Davis, Gamp, Ogden, Hawkthawn, Blishwick and Goldstien in the Neutral which makes it pretty balanced."
"I think its purposely done to make the school less political and actually about the kids their teaching."
"Yeah that's worked out well with the old fool in charge." Draco muttered disparagingly.
"Positive thoughts, Bleech." Harry joked, "come on, let's get to class."
Surprisingly, or maybe not given everything that had happened over the past couple of days, the school days was relatively peaceful. Oh they couldn't relax, not really, with what seemed like every eye in the school on them, but the student population wasn't yet willing to actually talk to them. Hermione and Draco both insisted it was mainly Harry, as a few Slytherins and Gryffindors had spoken to them while they were in classes that Harry wasn't, but when they were together they avoided them like the plague. Harry pointed out that they only spoke to them about school stuff so it didn't really count but he was outvoted much to his amusement.
It was odd, they found, going through school fully as themselves for the first time ever. It was one thing to be themselves in private, hiding from Dumbledore and stretching out their abilities and their knowledge, but to finally be able to do so in public was both liberating and terrifying. The professors reactions may have been Harry's favourite thing, something Neville, Ron and Hermione agreed with. McGonagall's open surprise when all four of them got the new Transfiguration spell on their first attempt was gratifying, while Flitwick's genuine delight at their mastery of the water spell and the Red, as well as doing completely wordless.
Harry made a mental note that they should speak to the Charms Master given the whole situation, given his Goblin heritage he was probably neutral as long as nothing harmed his students. Harry had never heard of him being in the Order and Flitwick was known for giving people the benefit of the doubt so it would be worth talking to him either way. Luna would know. They stuck to the Ravenclaw table for lunch once again, taking probably a perverse amount of amusement at the fear coming from the Ravenclaws that had made it their mission to target Luna before this. Hermione and Draco had vanished off to the library, clearly enjoying being able to work together openly and intending to make the most of it, and Blaise and Ron had decided to make a public spectacle of themselves and make out by the lake. Blaise was stamping what amounted to a neon sign over the state of their relationship and Ron was just enough of a little shit to go along with it. Harry thought it was hilarious.
He, Neville and Luna had wandered down to the Greenhouses for a break from the rest of the students staring at them. Neville and Luna wandered around tending to the plants while Harry sat watching them from a safe corner taking a moment to just breath. He had a raging headache due to Tom's fraying temper and while he'd normally be pissed the older man let it bleed over that much, Harry could tell the man was doing his best to shield it despite how angry he was. As much as it was a relief to be able to go around as himself, Harry was more than thankful to get to Potions for his final lesson of the day because Snape would be having absolutely no shit from anyone and Harry was all for that.
Thankfully, either by coincidence or Snape's very limited mercy, the potion they were working on the wound-clearing potion, something Harry was uncomfortably familiar with, so the motions were rather soothing on his weirdly frayed nerves. It was an immense relief when the final bell went and Harry went directly to his rooms with Draco, Blaise, Ron and Hermione and wasn't surprised when Luna and Neville met them when they were half way there.
"So, that was long." Ron decided once they had all flopped down.
"Is it weird that I've been both relieved and weirdly tense all day?" Hermione wondered and Harry shook his head.
"No, I've been feeling the same."
"Me too," Ron agreed.
"I don't think I've been feeling as bad as you guys but I've definitely been more tense than I thought I would be." Neville added and Draco nodded.
"It makes sense. You may be yourselves now, but you also have all the eyes of the school on you. They're all looking to see the changes."
"Plus, the quotes from the paper this morning would have only given you more attention." Blaise pointed out and Harry sighed.
"I know, but I figured I of all people would have been used to having eyes on me."
"Yes, but you were also layered under so many spells you weren't actually feeling things as you should be." Luna reminded him gently and Harry grimaced.
"Oh yeah, I didn't actually have a personality lest it was what Dumbledore wanted."
"Let's not start talking about that man just yet, he's probably going to come up repeatedly later." Ron groaned, throwing a hand over his eyes.
"Anything happen that we need to immediately talk about?" Harry wondered and got negative responses from the group so he cast a Tempus to check the time and nodded. "Right, well go and spread out for your nap and turn back to just 11:30 and meet in the Gryffindor rooms so one of you can grab Moony."
"You'll meet us there I assume." Hermione clarified and Harry rubbed at his scar with a grimace.
"Probably for the best."
"We'll see you later." Neville said getting to his feet, "take a potion or something, you're going to need your wits about you."
"I will if it doesn't go away when I've calmed him down." Harry assured him, "he's been shielding as well so he must be pissed."
"You think it's the situation or something in particular?" Hermione asked.
"It started off at the situation but I think something or things really spiked his temper because from just before lunch onward it really amped up."
"His talents in Legilimency are both a blessing and a curse." Luna informed him and Harry barely bit back a groan.
"Oh this should be fun to try and make sure he doesn't start picking off students." He grumbled under his breath, waving off his friends as they laughed at him. He shadowed directly to Tom's rooms and was surprised to find Tom not in the living room, he blinking and poked at their bond and followed it through the bedroom where he found the Dark Lord face down on the best still in his towel from what Harry assumed was a shower.
Harry raised an eyebrow, especially when the man didn't so much as twitch at his arrival, and stripped off his uniform switching it for sleepwear and called an elf to a topical muscle relaxant as he could see the tense lines all down Tom's back from the doorway. Harry climbed onto the bed and straddled the older man, perching on his ass and leaning down to press a light kiss in between his shoulder blades, then another on the back of his neck and a final one just below his ear.
"I'm back with you now." Harry murmured, "remove those who have no chance coming near me from your mind."
Tom didn't exactly untense but he released a breath so Harry took that as a positive sign. He poured a little of the relaxant into his hands and slowly started to massage it into the older man's back, starting from his shoulders and worked his way down gaining a few pleased hums as Tom finally uncoiled. Harry flicked his wrist and switched the towel around Tom's waist for sleep trousers and moved so he was laid on his side facing the other while Tom rolled over and pulled him closer.
"Much," Tom agreed.
"What set you off?" Harry asked, tapping his own temple to indicate how he knew and Tom grimaced.
"My shielding slipped I see."
"Not fully, but something surged just before lunch."
"I will need to speak with my people sooner rather than later."
"It was a Slytherin that pissed you off?" Harry said in surprise and Tom scowled.
"Many are using their cunning and lay in wait for more information, but there are a few making their own plans." Tom told him, "those who wish to confront you I care not for, if they wish to forfeit their life that is an error their parents failed to teach out of them."
Harry snorted at that, shooting Tom an amused look.
"There are a few in the House that see your power and want it for themselves, thoughts of betrothals, potions, spells and even baby traps have all been thought of and discussed."
"You knew this was going to happen," Harry pointed out, "we both expected there to be many thoughts like that so that couldn't have been what really got to you."
"You are correct, however much I did not appreciate their insipid thought process." Tom sneered, "it was the older Carrow student: the Carrow family are manic but they are particularly dangerous due to their incredible knowledge in Ritualistic magic. Carrow intends to use a family based binding ritual to gain your power as their own; it would make you no more than a slave to their will."
Harry blinked stunned before a flare of absolute rage rushed through him so strong Tom hissed in surprise.
"It's bad enough that Dumbledore wants me to dance to his tune but at least he's clearly aiming for some sort of control over the damn world. Now I've got some petty little prick trying simply because they want my birthright?"
"Calm yourself," Tom ordered, tracing soothing circles on Harry's hip. "I will never let it happen. You will never be separated from me."
"How did you make that sound both sweet and threatening?" Harry wondered, his rage fading slightly at Tom's words.
"It's a gift." Tom joked and Harry snicked, calming down some more. He sighed and buried himself away in Tom's neck.
"Yes, I have always had that belief." Tom agreed utterly serious and Harry snorted though it was muffled from where he was hidden.
"Today has already been long and its only half way done." He complained, "I'm not moving until my body wakes up on its own."
"Sleep, we shall go back once you have awoken with no issue."
"We need to go back half past the hour so remember that." Harry told him, sighing happily when Tom splayed his hand possessively under his shirt on his lower back. "Nap well and dream of murder."
"I shall imagine exactly how I will wipe out the entire Carrow line should they dare not heed my warning."
"Better than counting sheep, I guess."
When Harry woke from probably the best nap he had ever had he was basically plastered all over Tom, who clearly saw no issue with this as he had an arm locked tightly around his waist. Harry looked up and saw Tom reading from a book he was levitating in front of his face seemingly quite content to lay and read until Harry woke up much to the younger ones surprised pleasure.
"You were more tired than you realised," Tom said to him and Harry made a sound of agreement.
"Just gone seven. You have enough time for a quick shower if you wish."
Harry reluctantly pulled himself up and stretched out his body feeling loads better than he had done before his nap. He allowed himself five minutes of just standing under the hot water before giving himself a quick wash over and heading out to change. He blinked when he saw a bunch of new items in the wardrobe space he's acquired and shook his head with a grin at what he assumed was Luna's work. He pulled on a pair of soft black leggings and paired it with a black and gold fitted tunic that fell to his mid-thigh, added a new pair of knee high boots that he immediately loved and finished the ensamble with a rich green open front robe that was embellished with a gold runic pattern all along the edges. Harry turned when he heard Tom make a huffing sound and raised an eyebrow at the man's look of appreciation.
"See something you like?"
"You could make a shapeless robe look good and you know it."
Harry felt himself flush slightly and shot Tom a light glare that was zero percent effective unsurprisingly. The other was in fitted robes that draped over his frame and did wonderful things for his broad shoulders, making him look like the even taller than he actually was.
"Oh like you are so much different." Harry countered crossing his arms and Tom smirked.
"I never said otherwise."
"You're arrogance is your leading personality trait," Harry muttered summoning all of things he needed for the upcoming meeting and tucking them into the pocket inside his robe.
"Ah but my darling Snake, is it arrogance if it is true?" Tom wondered, slipping an arm around his waist and pulling him close. "We make a dangerously attractive pair, do we not?"
"I suppose we are complimentary." Harry allowed and Tom scoffed.
"Our power, our looks, our intelligence, our abilities all harmonize. Do not act as if you are not perfect, darling, it is unbecoming."
"You have got to stop saying things like that!" Harry hissed, covering his now glowing cheeks, "I know you do it on purpose."
"Ah but it doesn't make it any less true." Tom pointed out with a smirk and Harry pouted, trying to stay even a little frustrated when Tom kissed him without much success.
"Why are you like this," Harry complained, "you are too charming for your own good."
"Would you prefer I direct it elsewhere?" Tom wondered and Harry glared at him.
"Don't you dare!"
"You see? I need an outlet."
"That is such bullshit." Harry denied with a scoff and Tom shrugged lightly.
"I have urges."
"You have urges alright but I doubt at the top of your list is the overwhelming need to be an obnoxiously charming bastard." Harry stated, "murder or torture usually claim that spot."
"Oh I don't know, something else has definitely become a priority." Tom countered, hands pointedly sliding down over Harry's ass leaving absolutely no question as to what he was alluding to. Harry shook his head amused, reaching up to press open mouthed kisses along Tom's neck and nip at his jaw line before kissing the older man with a bit more heat.
"Well, I am sure something can be done about those urges if you are good." Harry murmured looking up at him through his lashes and Tom's eyes darkened slightly.
"I don't know the meaning of the word." He immediately countered and Harry smirked.
"But you are already so good to me, aren't you Tom?"
"I look after everything I consider mine."
"That you do," Harry agreed, "now we have places to be so why don't you think about exactly what you want and if you don't give me a giant headache through dinner when we return I will see about fulfilling those wishes."
"You are a tease, Snake."
"You wouldn't change it," Harry brushed off, "are you apparating?"
"Yes, lets go back now."
They used the time turners to go back to 11:30 and Tom vanished as soon as the world had stopped spinning, Harry was quick to follow him through his shadows and he smiled slightly as they made their way to the dining room. They weren't the first ones there, surprisingly that was Draco and the twins, but they weren't the last ones to arrive either for which Harry was grateful.
"I honestly forgot how you guys were getting here." Harry said to the twins after greeting the Lord and Lady of the manor and taking a seat next to Tom, who sat next to Narcissa, and Draco shot him a droll look.
"Thankfully, I did not."
"Oh like you didn't use that to your advantage." Harry brushed off, taking perverse pleasure at Lucius' look of pain. He felt a surge of amusement from Tom so he knew the other had caught sight of the older blonde's expression too. "The others?"
"They should be here now, they only had to collect Moony but I think Paws may be waiting for Rabastan."
Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Is that so?"
"Something about it being more convenient." Draco replied with a roll of his eyes and Harry barely stopped himself from snorting.
"Sure, real convenient that he happened to be there on the day of our meeting."
"I said the same thing."
Footsteps alerted them to more people arriving and Harry grinned as his watched Bellatrix skip into the room with her exasperated husband trailing after her at a more sedate pace.
"Sister! Nephew!" She chirped greeting them both with an exaggerated kiss on the cheek while nodding to Lucius almost absently. She looked over the twins with interest and shot them a manic grin, that brightened when they matched the expression with their own. "You'll do nicely!"
"Such high compliments-,"
"We thank you, my Lady."
"Don't encourage them." Harry joked and the twins immediately adopted innocent expressions that were believed by exactly no one.
"Baby Black!" Bellatrix exclaimed, coming round to press a smacking kiss on his own cheek. "What wonderful work you've been doing."
"I try," Harry demurred and she cackled.
"More than try! I almost felt bad for Dumbledore and then I remembered who he was and got over it."
That made Harry actually snort.
"Yeah he does that."
More footsteps sounded and Blaise, Ron, Neville and Moony entered all looking a bit flustered and Harry looked at them in question.
"We forgot that Snape doesn't have a time turner and almost missed the turn back." Neville explained, "The others have gone for him now."
"Oh shit yeah," Harry remembered, "forgot about him too,"
"Yeah, he'd usually get away with going to a DE meeting because Dumbledore would eagerly wait for him to return so he'd make excuses."
"Eh we might have to do something about that now that he's gone." Harry mused and Neville shrugged.
"Or we could just be better planners."
"Yeah but effort." Harry joked and the others laughed. "All good for you, Moony?"
"Yeah, I was late returning from the sanctuary. We've just had our first successful cub born."
There were exclamations of delight and Harry beamed.
"Yeah, both mother and baby are doing well despite the fact that no one knew of the pregnancy until very late. They just thought they were run down and sick due to stress which, unfortunately, tracks given all things."
"Oh doesn't it." Narcissa said in disgust, "I shall make a check on them this evening after the meeting. I'm sorry I missed it, but there would be nothing I'd have been able to do anyway."
"No, werewolves are very overprotective during the birthing process and I don't know if a single non-wolf has been present during a birth in known history." Remus agreed, "I think they'd be happy if you were did look in later, Alpha Greyback will be there as reassurance and given the stress the mother has been under recently I think it will put everyone at ease knowing the cub was alright."
"We really do need to do something about their lack of wands. The sooner I can start given practical healing lessons to go with the theory the quicker my mind will rest easy." Narcissa declared and Remus nodded.
"You and me both." He agreed, "but I think that's being brought up today?"
"Yeah, it is. We have a lot to get through but that is something high up on the list." Harry assured and both Narcissa and Remus nodded pleased.
Luna danced into the room with a stone faced Snape following along with an amused Hermione and Rabastan and Harry didn't think he wanted to know but Ron asked because he was truly a Gryffindor at heart.
"A different arrangement shall need to be created should we have another meeting during any time when I need to be at the school." Snape stated coldly, shooting a dark at Luna who merely smiled serenely and patted him on the arm.
"I don't mind bringing you with me, Professor." She told him, very clearly ignoring his point much to Harry's amusement.
"I am sure you don't, miss Lovegood. However, I should not need to rely on you."
"Yes, we'll plan better if there is a next time." Ron agreed, "we kind of forgot you'd actually need an excuse now."
"Here's to the only downside of Dumbledore being out of the castle." Neville joked raised his glass mockingly making the teens laugh.
"There's a downside of Dumbledore being out of the castle?" Theodore Nott Srn wondered as he entered with the last of their group, Dolohov.
"A very minor one." Harry allowed, "still happy he's out."
"Who isn't?" Dolohov wondered taking the final seat. Food appeared as soon as he had done so and everyone helped themselves at a motion from Narcissa as the conversation continued.
"His eviction followed by your debut into the Wizengamot has stirred up much more interest in the international community than I would have believed it would." Theodore told them with a sly smirk, "its been excellent."
"The reactions all round have been both more than we had predicted and different." Hermione mused, "it's both frustrating and pleasing in equal measure."
"I'm still surprised the school has been, for them anyway, rather tame."
"Yeah well McGonagall did universally threaten them with the King of awful detentions." Neville pointed out and Snape looked rather happy with the title.
"I can't believe we're actively using the threat of Snape to keep our sanity." Ron muttered and Harry barked out a laugh.
"It's a threat I will be milking for as long as possible." Harry stated and Draco smirked.
"I would, not even us snakes want whatever detention he has lined up."
"Severus, whatever have you had your students doing in the past?" Lucius inquired impressed and Snape offered a rather nasty smirk.
"I can be very creative."
"I'll say." Said every person under the age of twenty.
"I don't know if that's concerning or not?" Rabastan said and Harry shook his head.
"For once, no."
"It's the previous times that raise questions." Rodolphus commented and all the students (and the twins) all simultaneously wrinkled their noses.
"I know more about the biology of magical creatures from his detentions than from class or self-study." Blaise told them. "No one needs that knowledge. No one."
"You think that's bad? He had us clean his classroom after an explosion with toothbrushes and no magic; it was on the ceiling." Fred exclaimed.
"That was better than the time he had us do the Hospital Wing." George grumbled.
"Do not earn detention then," Snape dismissed and everyone who had served detention with the man glared at him, not that he seemed to care whatsoever.
"The threat will only hold for so long though, some daring idiot will finally crack and do something." Draco picked up.
"Carrow or McLaggen," Harry added and both Blaise and Draco looked at him in surprise.
"Yeah, apparently they have a family based binding ritual." Harry told them indicating Tom's pissed off expression.
"I assume Carrow could probably be held off given everything." Blaise hummed, nodding to the Dark Lord, "and with the Act being raised sooner rather than later."
"Oh their actions will be curbed," Tom stated coldly, "should they persist then they are too stupid to live."
"Let's not advocate murder at the dinning table, if you please, my Lord." Narcissa cut in delicately.
"She has a room for that." Bellatrix whispered loudly, grinning at her sister's icy look that was shot her way.
"Am I the only one who does not doubt for a second that Lady Malfoy has a murder room?" Ron murmured to Blaise, who nearly snorted his drink out from his nose.
"It's probably decorated all in black in case of blood spills." Blaise added and they both had to bite back their snickers as Narcissa shot them a cool look.
"Would you like to find out personally?"
They both shook their heads rapidly and she offered them a lovely smile with absolutely no warmth in it at all.
"Never forget the strength of Black blood." Hermione informed them wisely and Bellatrix jabbed her knife at her in agreement.
"Black blood will out."
"There to terrifying the masses." Rodolphus muttered while Lucius nodded and Remus nodded in agreement, both sisters immediately turned to their husbands with identical looks in their eye.
"What was that, darling?"
It was made all the more frightening as they asked it together and those sat near each sister looked as if they were questioning their decisions, which was all the more funny for Harry as Tom was sat next to Narcissa.
"I can't believe I miss that." Remus shook his head.
"Baby Siri was always so gentle compared to most of us." Bella lamented and everyone who had ever met Sirius Black looked at her as if she was insane.
"Black and gentle are not words I would ever put together." Snape drawled and despite the disdain in his tone Harry couldn't argue.
"Exactly, so watch your words." Narcissa agreed, eying her husband and brother-in-law with narrowed eyes.
"So before the Black sisters mysteriously become widows so close to one another." Theodore cut in before blood was spilled, "I assume that we are all caught up with this countries articles."
"We've seen the Prophet and I think Luna has been monitoring the others but there has been nothing to note." Harry said, looking at his sister in conformation.
"Since the Prophet has monopoly over the nations news, there hasn't been any articles in any of the more trival papers. I've had daddy hold off on the Quibbler, and Witch Weekly and Lush do not really emphasis politics unless its indicating someone to marry, and with the balls not yet released they've not put anything out."
"Honestly, we need to have more publications in this country because this is ridiculous." Hermione complained and rest of the table agreed with her.
"Since the Ministry took majority control of the Prophet any publications we had before that mysteriously lost funding, or were bought out." Lucius admitted.
"When we were young I preferred reading the Wizarding Times." Theodore said indicating Tom and Dolohov.
"I remember that one, though I preferred Magic Today." Dolohov mused thoughtfully.
"They were both much better than the usual drivel we receive in the Prophet." Tom agreed, "does anyone know what actually happened to either publication?"
"I believe Wizarding Times got bought out and merged with the Prophet, not that they actually took much from the Times." Theodore replied after a moments' thought. "I cannot say I know anything about Magic Today."
"It was driven to the ground by Dumbledore and the Ministry both, so mother bought it and hid who the new owners were. I think she hoped to revive it but something happened before that could be put into motion."
"So we have a paper basically ready to go once we secure the Ministry spot." Ron affirmed.
"All we need to do is make sure we ace the campaign." Hermione added with half enthusiasm and half dread.
"Yes, and can I say that getting Lucius into the Ministerial race in such a way was a thin of beauty." Theodore acknowledged and the Trio plus Neville grinned.
"It was supremely satisfying."
"It may be worth starting up the new/old paper for the campaign you know." Ron mused, "yeah, our Rita articles have been great for the sensationalised news she does, but actual policies? Probably not for the best."
"You may be right." Lucius agreed, "though she would be someone you may want to take with you for any sensationalised things we may need."
"Also, it would look bad for the Prophet if the Rita Skeeter is no longer writing for them." Rabastan pointed out, "especially if you have whatever sensation you have planned to be the opening article for the new paper."
"Plus, any creature advocation you intend to push through will never fly with the Prophet." Moony added, "even with the facts to back it up the Prophet would probably not publish it and getting a journalist of some integrity to do it justice will be nigh on impossible given the state of this country."
"You are correct." Dolohov agreed, "many countries that have no ties to us have special reporters that deal in creatures who are actually knowledgeable in what they talk about."
"If this is something we intend to pursue it will need to be done with careful hands." Tom warned them.
"Very careful," Ron acknowledged. "particularly if we intend to use if for the campaign."
"I think I have the exact idea of how we can tie it in to the new campaign." Harry sat up straight. "One of the campaign points is going to be the overhaul of Azkaban and it's sentencing process…"
"Oh that would be perfect." Ron exclaimed, "once we get that in place we could also use-,"
"Exactly, it would also change the opinions of people like Bones and it would be enough sensation but with solid facts-,"
"We would rope in the people and feed them shit people like Dumbledore have tried so desperately tried to hide." Harry finished and they shared an excited grin oblivious to the looks of confusion going around the table.
"For those who do not speak Trio they intend to use the lack of trial for the late Lord Black to indicate the flaws within the system and then use the fact that Dumbledore has been using Azkaban to hide away people he couldn't kill off. That would turn Bones' attention back towards the DMLE as a lot of this happened while she was in office so if she does return she'd be too busy focusing on that rather than eyeing up Lord Malfoy's every move. Plus, the sensation Rita would bring to the article would draw in many readers but instead of the usual drivel the Prophet feeds its readers we'd been feeding them actual facts and it would give us the opportunity to use the things we've gathered from out of the country to educate people who have been stilted due to Dumbledore and the Ministry (which was also Dumbledore) for so long." Neville translated for the rest of the room and the three of them shared a sheepish look.
"What Neville said."
"Sometimes you three are worse than us." Fred stated pointed at his twin and all the teens scoffed.
"No one is as bad as you two."
"Shall we move this conversation into a better room?" Tom suggested, turning to the Lady of the manor. "We have much to discuss."
"Of course, my Lord. I have a sitting room prepared for us." She stated, "Lucius?"
"If you would please follow me." Lucius announced, "my lovely wife has prepared plenty of space for any and all documents and plans that shall be illustrated during our meeting."
"With how much we need to go through that was very wise." Draco said, "but then this is mother."
"She has ever been efficient."
"I feel like that's a grave understatement." Rodolphus muttered and Bellatrix agreed.
"It is, Cissa was organising all of our things before she even went to Hogwarts."
"Should I worry that Narcissa is going to take over?" Tom wondered and there was a beat of silence as they all genuinely contemplated it before shrugging.
"At least someone has things under control if all else fails?" Rabastan offered gaining multiple snorts.
"The murder room would become real popular real fast." Ron declared and there were agreeing nods all round.
"Want to pick out the really dumb Death Eaters? Tell them they've all been demoted in favour of Narcissa and see who argues." Harry murmured just loud enough for Tom to hear making the man laugh before he could stop himself.
"I may just do it."
Lucius lead them into a large room with enough seating for them all but more prevalent was the numerous tables scattered around where things could be placed out and used to write on if and when necessary. Immediately seats were claimed, Harry just assumed he would be near Tom, Narcissa arrived and drinks were handed out, tables were levitated over while both groups brought out any parchment work, notes and documents they had been working on. Put on display as it was made their work load look even worse and Harry took a deep breath and leaned on Tom slightly before clapping his hands together once to draw everyone's attention.
"Let's get this show on the road shall we?"
So there we have it, the characters clearly had their own ideas of what should be in this chapter but I hope you like it none-the-less. I always love to hear from you guys – even if I don't reply to every message I get – so feel free to drop a comment and let me know what you think.