Chapter Eleven: Shock and Awe
Sunday, 20th of August, 2006 - City of Westminster, Central London, England
This was the time Takashi liked best. Opening his eyes and discovering his mate's body laid atop his. The soft sounds of Harry's breathing echoing in his ear, and more importantly, smelling Harry's intoxicating scent filling the room seeping into his pores comforting as well as inflaming the wolf inside. When Harry was safe in his arms, Takashi knew everything was right in the world.
Reaching up, Takashi tangled his fingers through Harry's hair reveling in the peace flowing through his body at having his mate close and safe. Takashi often battled with his wolf's desire to keep Harry locked away. Being in England didn't help. He hated England, especially magical England. Whenever he visited, his wolf demanded he drag Harry back to Japan, back to safety. Safety where he knew the rules, games, and players.
But that was not to be. Despite the wolf's Alpha instincts, he was a man first and as a man, he knew Harry needed freedom.
Harry stirred in his arms, rolling off his body disrupting his thoughts. Takashi moved as well, spooning Harry from behind his hands curled around Harry's lithe form resting atop his mate's stomach, his palms caressing the place that would one day hold his pups.
Smiling and nuzzling his chin atop Harry's head, his hands still on his stomach, Takashi felt Harry awaken. They laid in silence for several minutes snuggled into each other's embrace.
"Taka?" Harry began hesitantly.
Harry placed his hands atop Takashi's and sighed. "You're projecting quite strongly. I can literally read your thoughts. You're thinking about what Luna said. You want kids?"
"Ah," Takashi answered squeezing Harry's stomach a little tighter.
"You wouldn't care if I got pregnant during my next heat would you?"
Takashi swallowed. "Ah."
"I know as an Omega, I'm supposed to become this baby breeding machine to prove my fertility and power, but there's a lot I want to accomplish before becoming pregnant with multiples," Harry stated matter-of-factly.
"I do want a large family, but just not now." Harry said slowly removing his hands from where they rested atop Takashi's. "You're disappointed I'm not ready?"
Takashi could feel his throat getting tight as panic set in. No, Harry couldn't think that of him. He quickly lifted his hands from Harry's stomach to raise them to tug gently on Harry's hair until his head jerked back and their eyes met. Still grasping Harry's hair, Takashi bent down and sucked harshly on their bond mark before he let go and met Harry's tense gaze.
"Iie (no). Want family, but want you happy more," he informed Harry summarizing his earlier thoughts. "If you're unhappy the pups are unhappy. If my mate and pups are unhappy, I'm unhappy. We'll wait."
Takashi knew he answered correctly when he watched green eyes flood with relief and the tension seep out Harry as he snuggled back into his embrace. Takashi slid his hands down the sides of Harry's body and tickled causing Harry to groan and bat his hands away.
"Stop. I guess it's time to get out of bed?" he muttered miffed as if it were Takashi's fault the world spun along and it was his duty to spin along with it.
"Ah," Takashi bent and kissed the top of Harry's head. "Long day."
"I'm not moving until I get tea, toast will be nice as well." Harry grumbled snuggling underneath the covers, pulling them over his head.
Takashi chuckled and climbed out the bed. He slid back the heavy golden drapes along the wall to let in the moonlight before moving to the kitchenette beside their bedroom to brew Harry's tea and call down their breakfast orders despite it being midnight. After Harry downed his tea, Takashi pulled his resisting mate out of bed and into the shower. Once dressed, they moved into the main room, sat around narrow the oval dining room table to eat breakfast watching the stars come through floor to ceiling windows, and planned their day.
"I don't really need nine properties in the UK," Harry frowned flipping through his notes.
"I'd hate to sell, maybe rent them out?"
"Ah. Save them for our pups, especially if one of our sons marries Neville's daughter," Takashi said with a smirk when Harry rolled his eyes. "Which will you keep?"
Harry frowned thoughtfully. "Potter Hall obviously. The cottage would be a nice get away for the two of us once you fix it up and one of the London properties so we don't have to stay in a hotel every time we visit."
"Godric's Hollow, Bath, Brighton, and Hogsmeade are in prime locations; they can be fixed up and turned into bed and breakfasts or small hotels."
"Need more staff. And a business model, you're all over the place."
Harry banged his head on the table causing the basket with his croissants to upend. "You're right, first farming, now publishing, and hotel management."
"Set up a corporation."
"Me!" Harry squeaked. "This is a lot of work. I'll need another manager won't I?" Harry turned towards Takashi and he nodded. Harry sighed dramatically in response, his face still resting on the tabletop.
Takashi smiled fondly at his mate and unable to resist, reached out and ruffled Harry's hair. "Need someone to do the dirty work until you can take over, a President."
"Damn Dumbledore. I'm not prepared for this." Harry lifted his head from the table and rubbed his temples. "Not only do I have my businesses to deal with I have to worry about Dumbledore, vengeful death eaters, and Order members coming after me."
Takashi slid his chair over and rubbed Harry's tense shoulders, feeling pleasure when his mate relaxed and submitted to his ministrations. "Harry?"
"You are my Omega. My duty is to protect you. To ease your burden. Worry about your education. You keep forgetting you're not alone any longer."
"One step at a time," Harry breathed. "You're right."
Harry punched his shoulder. "Prat."
They packed their bags and apparated to the next house on their list, a property in Notinghill. Once they left Nottinghill, they apparated to Black House in Hampstead. Takashi hummed in appreciation. It was the nicest property they'd seen so far. The neoclassical villa sat surrounded by seventy acres of land, the front entrance had a neat, manicured garden filled with cone shaped and rounded shrubs that directed guests toward the steps and the front door.
"Wow." Harry looked about the pristine white villa with an attached magical orangery his eyes as wide as a Japanese spider crab. "Wow. Why didn't Sirius live here? Maybe the inside isn't as nice as the outside?"
It was. Despite the sparse furnishings and lack of electricity and modern utilities, which was expected for backward, British wizards, the Black House was the most livable property they'd seen so far.
"I like it," Takashi told Harry as he scanned books on library shelves while magical portraits waved at them.
"Merlin. This is night and day compared to Grimmauld Place. No elf heads, no feeling of oppression."
Takashi chuckled. "Let's finish looking around."
The basement contained elf quarters, wine cellar, as well as a potion lab. The first floor had four reception rooms with fireplaces so one could floo in, drawing rooms, two grand dining rooms, a large library, as well as magical portraits arranged throughout covered with sheets, as well as a massive kitchen, and library with rare magical tomes. The first floor was clearly for visitors. The second floor held the master suite, four other bedroom suites, living areas, study, another library, as well as another smaller kitchen. The third floor seemed to be for kids. It had five bedrooms, a game room, dueling room, and schoolroom with its own age appropriate library.
"I don't understand. The house is spotless. Is someone living here?"
Takashi shook his head. "The wards are locked down. The only reason I'm here is because I'm with you."
But Takashi began to doubt his words when they toured the property. The property had a manmade lake with a bridge crossing it, and several Egyptian inspired temples, as well as a Quidditch Pitch. But what really raised his suspicions was upon seeing the working dairy farm. Someone had to feed the cows, milk them, and make the cheese. He turned to look at Harry with a raised brow.
"House elves?" Harry questioned uncertainly. "Though I can't see Kreacher taking care of this place and he's the only Black elf I know."
"We can ask."
Harry nodded though Takashi could tell he was reluctant. "I don't have good memories of Grimmauld Place."
Takashi squeezed his hand. Taking a deep breath and closing his eyes in concentration, Harry apparated them in front of Grimmauld Place only for Harry to gasp. On instinct, Takashi drew his sword and felt around with his senses and magic, but saw nothing out the ordinary.
"No. The house, the outside is different. It's still tall and narrow, but instead of looking black and dingy, it's a clean red brick. It shouldn't look this nice. Squatters may be here, even Dumbledore. He placed the property under the Fidelius Charm."
Takashi frowned. "I can see the house."
Harry's head jerked in Takashi's direction. "Even though Sirius died, he wasn't the secret keeper Dumbledore was so it should still be under the charm, unless Dumbledore lifted it after Sirius died, but why?"
Takashi sheathed his blades. "Let's find out."
Takashi's wolf was in control. He ran on instinct as they climbed the steps to the property. He pushed Harry behind him the moment they reached the front door and cast several spells to see who was inside. Satisfied, it wasn't a trap, he turned to Harry.
"The only being inside is a magical creature, most likely the house elf," Takashi said.
Harry nodded and touched the door, which immediately gave way and allowed him entrance. Takashi followed watching with amusement as Harry spun around in shock.
"Not how you remember," Takashi asked wryly.
Takashi looked around curiously. The marble entryway floor gleamed black, the walls white, a small stand with fresh flowers sat beside a stained dark wood staircase which rose three stories in the air. A drop chandelier made from crystal and lit with an everlasting lumos charm hung from the ceiling to the entranceway several stories below. A wizarding portrait of a regal witch nodded her head respectfully from her frame. When she did, Harry nearly passed out and stumbled back into Takashi.
There was a short pop and an elderly house elf dressed in a neat tuxedo with the Black crest on its pocket appeared before them and bowed.
"Master Harry. You look healthy, Master Sirius would be pleased. And you are Master Harry's Alpha. A noble pureblood for Master Harry. Have you eaten breakfast?"
"We are still on Tokyo time," Takashi answered when Harry seemed struck dumb. "It's nearly time for lunch."
"Of course. Come, come."
The house elf led the way to the kitchen while a dazed Harry followed. They went through rooms decorated with modern furnishings and came upon the kitchen, a long narrow space that held modern furnishings mixed with Victorian appliances. The room was painted white with hanging pendent lights in alternating gold and silver with the same everlasting lumos charm cast on it. A long, narrowed table and island dominated the room. Kreacher motioned for him and Harry to sit in the club chairs at the island while he whistled happily while preparing their lunch.
"So you were part of Sirius's plan?" Harry asked finally finding his voice. "Last summer, you acted awful to us on purpose?"
"Master Sirius orders, easy orders, the filthy interlopers," the old elf grumbled. Takashi quirked his lips unable to hold back his amusement and saw Harry doing the same. "Master Sirius was Lord Black, although his mother disowned him, his father and grandfather hadn't and as Lord Black, his orders overrode old Mistress's. Master Sirius knew that despite everything Black interest must come before the whims of mad men. We purposely made the house look derelict before allowing any member of the Order of Phoenix inside."
As he cooked, Kreacher informed them of how Sirius returned to Grimmauld Place after Harry's third year of school and found him under the influence of the horcrux Regulus Black had stolen from the Dark Lord. Sirius had gotten them both healed by the goblins and the horcrux was destroyed. They came up with the plan to manipulate the Order of the Phoenix to learn as much as possible of their schemes so they could help Harry.
"But Master Sirius knew his time was limited. Although he claimed head of House Black, he didn't have the power the Blacks once yielded. He was one man, a fugitive from justice, up against wizards more powerful magically and politically. His one ally, you, couldn't help because of the nasty charms and potions they fed you. He knew he wouldn't make it out alive, but he was determined that if he couldn't beat them magically or politically, he'd be smarter so you'd at least gain your freedom. Once Master Sirius died, I was under orders to lockdown the Black properties to everyone except you, restore the house back to the way it was, remove the fidelius charm, and contact the goblins."
"I thought only the castor could remove the fidelius charm?"
Kreacher stared at him as if he were an idiot. "And I thought they removed the spells on you. I am an elf. Our magic works differently than wizards. We were enslaved eons ago, because we were too powerful magically and attempted to rule over wizards." Kreacher shrugged. "When we lost the final battle, we lost our magic. The only way we retain our magic is to take magical oaths to serve a wizarding family. The more tasks we're given the stronger our magic."
"I apologize," Harry said to the elf with a slight blush. "Binns never covered that in the History of Magic. It appears I have many gaps of knowledge about the wizarding world."
"That is understandable," Kreacher acknowledged. "Filthy wizards."
"Do you take care of Black House as well," Takashi asked the elf.
"With the other remaining Black elves, there are seven left."
"You're the one who delivered Sirius's first letter to me!"
Kreacher nodded just as regally as Walburga Black had. "Yes. I was pleased you destroyed the Dark Lord and discovered the truth on your own. It made my task easy. Master Sirius would've been happy to learn that, I had to stop him several times from poisoning the filth in his home."
Takashi reached over and rubbed Harry's back when he saw the sad smile flash across Harry's face at the mention of his godfather.
"What about you Kreacher what will you do now Sirius is gone." Harry asked once he gained control of himself.
Amused, Kreacher sat down a bowl of hot soup, salad, thick crusty bread with chunks of butter and cheese. The simple meal was expertly prepared Takashi was impressed.
"Thank you," he told the elf.
He received a nod in response.
"This is good," Harry exclaimed cheerfully, devouring his meal.
"Thank you Master Harry. To answer your question, I belong to you now at least until you give birth to the next Lord Black."
Harry's eyes widened.
"Kreacher I," Harry began only to stop. He looked as overwhelmed as he had this morning. "Since I won't be in England for anything except a short visit for a few years, I was going to turn several of the properties I own into magical and muggle inns or bed and breakfast places, but I need someone to manage the household staff. Can you oversee and manage the staff for me?"
Kreacher straightened to his full height. "Of course Master Harry."
"Once everything gets set up, it makes sense to staff the properties with house elves. Maybe ones like Winky and Dobby who were abused, have no place to go, or freed by their families though some guests will be muggles. Can house elves blend in?"
Kreacher rolled old elf eyes and transformed into an aging butler.
"Wicked," Harry grinned.
They spent the rest of their lunch discussing ideas for the properties with the house elf. Kreacher through speaking with other elves knew the gossip surrounding Britain's pureblood families helped Harry on where to go next. As a result, Harry had Kreacher deliver a note to his friend George requesting a meeting between him, his Alpha, and his Alpha's best friend, the heir to a magical construction and design firm. Kreacher popped back in a few minutes later with a reply inviting them to lunch, dinner for them, with the promise to set up a meeting with the Higgs family afterwards.
As they prepared to leave, Kreacher handed Harry a package from Sirius. Harry opened it and looked at Kreacher confused. Takashi peeked down and saw a copy of the Tales of Beedle the Bard and a folder filled with reports, and a rock with the etching of a triangle with a circle inside and a line etched through the middle of it.
"I forgot," Takashi groaned disappointed with himself.
"When Sirius met with us to redraw our marriage contract he told father and I about the myths surrounding your family, he mentioned that your family history became the basis for a children's story, the Deathly Hallows, I believe. Sirius wanted to make sure you knew a part of your history."
Curious, Harry flipped through the book a bookmark was in place of a story entitled The Tale of the Three Brothers. Once finished, Harry dug inside his satchel and pulled out the cloak he always carried with him, and then touched the stone before looking at Kreacher amazed.
"Is this for real?"
"Yes," Kreacher informed him. "The Potters are descended from the third brother Ignotus Peverell, the Dark Lord was descended from the second brother Cadmus. Being raised by muggles, the Dark Lord had no idea of the significance of the ring he'd stolen from his family, because he turned it into a horcrux. Luckily, Sirius hired the goblins to remove the curses and destroy the horcrux. As the last surviving member of the Perverell line, the Deathly Hallows rightfully belong to you."
Curious, Takashi took the book and read the story. Once finished he examined the cloak and the stone and slipped on the cloak watching as his body disappeared underneath while his head which had been uncovered remained.
"Makes sense," he told Harry. "If this cloak has been passed down in your family, the charms should have faded by now." He held the stone. "I don't feel any magic; it feels like a regular pebble. I wonder where the wand is."
"Dumbledore," Harry growled. He had been reading through the packet Sirius had sent with the items. "Sirius hired investigators from America to research Voldemort, Dumbledore, and the Deathly Hallows."
"I'll need to see that."
Harry nodded still reading and growled. "It appears Dumbledore sensed the power in the Dark Lord as he did with me and tried to manipulate Voldemort when he was at Hogwarts. Unfortunately for him, Voldemort was a typical Slytherin and never trusted him, which is why when it came to me he started his manipulations much earlier and made sure I was always surrounded by his followers." Harry made a face as he continued scanning through the paperwork. "Eww, that's a picture in my head I don't want."
"Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald were lovers despite the fact that Grindelwald's an Alpha and Dumbledore's a Beta."
"Yeah," Harry sighed and stuffed the paperwork, the book, cloak, and stone into his bag. "More stuff I have to muddle through." He nodded to Kreacher. "Thanks, you've been a great help."
The house elf bowed low with a pleased smile on his face. "Of course, Master Harry."
They used the floo at Grimmauld Place to reach Gringotts where they rented a small conference room. Harry hated the floo, it was hard to step through the flames without looking as if you worked as a chimney sweep in your spare time. The moment they reached Gringotts Takashi waved his arm and removed the soot. Several patrons inside the entrance hall gaped at Takashi's display of magic and it was then Harry remembered that because of the Prophet everyone assumed Takashi was a muggle. Several of the braver witches and wizards surged forward and attempted to speak, but stopped at Takashi's glare. They were able to enter the conference room without molestation and once the door closed behind them, Harry slumped back in the seat and banged his head against the back of his chair. Takashi sat beside him rubbing his back.
"How am I going to beat the man who owns the most powerful wand in the world?"
Takashi sighed. "Stop thinking like a Westerner."
Curious, Harry turned his head to stare balefully at his mate wondering how he could be so calm at his possible demise when he was usually the most possessive Alpha on the planet. "Huh?"
"Loophole," Takashi nodded to the focus ring on Harry's finger. "We don't use wands."
Harry's mouth dropped open. "Right."
"And who says Dumbledore conquered the wand."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked curiously.
"The Elder Wand has a thestral hair core. Thestrals are tricky. Just as you cannot see the animal if you haven't experienced and accepted death you cannot harvest or work with thestral ingredients unless you truly accept and are comfortable with the idea of death. Most who want power aren't comfortable with the idea of death, do you really think Dumbledore accepts the idea that he is infallible."
The mere idea of Dumbledore believing he was wrong about something was laughable as the man projected the image that he always knew best.
"You're brilliant." Awed, Harry lifted his head from the table.
Harry snorted and rolled his eyes. Feeling better, he was ready when the guards Takashi hired to oversee the transfer of ownership of the Daily Prophet arrived. Their main job was to make sure files weren't destroyed and removed and update him on the chaos his anonymous ownership caused the company. Harry was impressed with their report they were very thorough. Though what really impressed Harry was when one of the guards, Sadao Jovici gave a detailed summary about the financial holdings of the Daily Prophet as well as problems he'd seen with the day to day running of the paper. Harry felt he had just finished listening to one of Hermione's dissertations, but in a good way. He blinked once the man finished his report.
"Okay, you're hired."
The guard looked confused and turned to Takashi for elaboration, but Takashi shrugged.
"You are the new president of the yet to be formed Marauder Corporation, which by the way will be your job to form and head, just in case you were wondering." Harry told the shocked wizard. "I'll double your salary to start."
Sadao looked to Takashi his eyes wide.
"Harry is a Morinozuka," Takashi shrugged. "The Morinozukas and Haninozukas are family. It is not a betrayal but a promotion from a family member who has acknowledged your worth."
The lanky Eurasian grinned and bowed to Harry. "I am honored. Thank you for the faith you have shown in such an unworthy person."
Harry jumped up and gave the startled Beta a hug. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Takashi pull out his mobile, probably to text Mitsukuni that he'd just stolen one of his employees. Harry grinned sheepishly at his mate, who only shook his head in amusement as he typed.
The goblins set up the employment contract between he and Sadao as well as a created a business vault to the new Marauder Corporation. Harry happily spent the next several hours foisting the majority of his responsibilities off on Sadao to include introducing him to Kreacher, as well as the new business manager of Potter Farms. They then toured the different properties he planned to turn into inns (as Kreacher was insulted to think that the elves would be overburden if they cooked more than breakfast). They left a happily overwhelmed Sadao who had pages and pages of notes to floo to the Three Broomsticks in Hogsmeade Village.
"Do you think I made a good choice," he asked Takashi as his mate once again removed the annoying soot that accompanied floo travel.
"Ah. He went to Hogwarts but became disillusioned after he graduated. He caught up on his non-magical education and even went to Cambridge, before moving to Japan to learn more about Japan's magical community. It's how he began working for the Haninozukas, but from what Mitsukuni texted me; it's known he misses his family here in England, which is why he was chosen for this assignment."
Harry breathed a sigh of relief. "So Mitsukuni and his family aren't mad."
"No, though Mitsukuni has given me a list of cakes he'd like for you to bake upon our return."
Harry snorted. "Of course he did."
The first thing Harry felt upon stepping outside the Three Broomsticks and into the blinding sun was freedom and he breathed deeply reveling in it. For the next couple of hours, he'd be free. He didn't have to stress. He didn't have to be terrified of being the Potter who ruined hundreds of years of financial and family prosperity. He didn't have to stress about how far behind he was in his education. And, he especially did not have to stress about how he was going to acquire the skills to beat a wizard a hundred years his senior. Feeling free from his burdens, Harry squinted under the brightness of the sun and dug into his satchel for a bottle of water. Taking a big gulp, he handed the glass bottle to Takashi who did the same.
"Want to explore before walking to George's," he asked looking around High Street. "We have time?"
Takashi looked curiously at the cobbled streets and thatched cottages arranged in a haphazard manner, which Harry knew was quite different from the modern magical community Takashi was used to.
Their first stop was Honeydukes. Harry dragged his mate inside the sweet shop. Mrs. Flume, the proprietor's wife eyes widened dramatically upon recognizing him before handing he and Takashi free samples of the newest flavor of no-melt ice cream she had been placing in a display case.
"Thank you," he said gratefully. It had been like walking around in a sauna outside.
The older Omega smiled bashfully. "Congratulations on your mating."
Harry grinned, pleased that for once someone in England actually seemed genuinely happy for him. Takashi bowed his head respectfully to the woman before Harry, suddenly overcome with excitement grabbed Takashi's arm pulling him through the shop filling the basket he carried with cauldron cakes, sugar quills, Bertie Botts, Treacle Fudge, crystallized pineapple, and various other sweets he had a hard time getting in Japan.
After fifteen years, Harry now had a sixth sense whenever he was the focus of someone's attention. It was knee jerk reaction for him to stiffen whenever he heard whispers, he knew was directed towards him.
"Cal look," a pre-Hogwarts aged boy whispered urgently to his friend. "There's Harry Potter, let's ask for an autograph."
The boy attempted to tug his friend their way, but Cal twisted in his grip stopping the enthusiastic fan in his tracks.
"No way," Cal hissed. "He's with that mad muggle. Mum says Harry Potter's Alpha sneaks into homes at night and chops off the heads of kids who don't finish their dinner."
Harry couldn't help it; he buried his head in Takashi's chest and chortled with laughter. His shoulders shook with his amusement, tears of merriment rolled down his face, a face that had turned red as he choked whenever he tried to stop laughing or attempt to talk. All Takashi could do was roll his eyes and rub circles on Harry's back but even that was interrupted when Harry dashed to the loo before he peed himself. Finally, they were able to continue with their day. Though, little Cal's words were the nicest whispers they'd heard about themselves during their trek through Hogsmeade.
Shopkeepers bent over backwards to help them while shoppers gawked and whispered about he and Takashi's relationship and the obligations they felt he owed magical Britain. Despite the whispers, he managed to introduce Takashi to Hogsmeade and pick up a few items. Takashi spent a lot of time inside Dervish and Bangs buying several magical gadgets. Inside Scrivenshafts Harry put in a special order for a white phoenix quill set, in which the feathers had to accept him much like a wand, as well as special ordering parchment. They both brought a stack of books inside Tomes and Scrolls. As the shop assistant put together their orders, the bell above the door ringed as a new customer entered the shop. Looking up, Harry flushed when he saw who walked inside. The girl froze in her tracks and did the same.
"Hello Harry," she said shyly.
Swallowing his nervousness, Harry went up to the girl and gave her a hug. "Sorry, I was a piss poor boyfriend."
Cho's laugh was like tinkling bells and Harry breathed a sigh of relief to realize she no longer had any ill feelings towards him. "Well you were filled with potions and going against your instincts. Ma Ma said she was surprised you managed to circumvent them at all and pay any attention to me. Besides, I wasn't exactly in the best frame of mind either. I cared for . . . Cedric a lot."
Harry tugged gently on the shiny, black hair he always admired. "Well you look beautiful, and much more relaxed than I've seen in a long time."
Cho's flush deepened. "I've finally accepted things, I think. You defeating You-Know-Who and having the opportunity to spend time with my parents and talk about what I'm feeling helped." She pulled back from the hug but they still keep their arms around each other. "I am sorry for the way I acted Harry, I was a bit of a mess these last few months." She shook her head as if to clear her gloomy thoughts and smirked. "But at least I was right about how awful Ron and Hermione were."
Harry snorted a laugh. "Big understatement there, come on and meet my mate."
"Your mad muggle?" Cho asked her eyes twinkling in amusement. "Never figured you to be one who suffered from Yellow Fever, Harry," Harry looked confused and she giggled. "Muggle term for Whites who are only attracted to Asians."
Harry rolled his eyes and dragged her over to Takashi who was at the counter paying the shopkeeper.
"Takashi, come meet my old girlfriend, Cho. Cho, this is my mate Takashi Morinozuka."
Takashi shoved the shopping bag into his satchel and walked over to where they stood and bowed to Cho.
"Ms. Chang, a pleasure."
Cho leaned over and whispered in Harry's ear. "Handsome." She straightened and looked at Takashi curiously, her eyes widening when she saw his focus ring. "I see the papers are wrong again, you're not a muggle are you?"
Takashi chuckled. "You recognize my ring?"
Cho nodded. "Mother has one. She grew up in Hong Kong and came to Scotland to escape an arranged marriage where she met my father who is a muggleborn." Cho smiled proudly as she pointed towards the medical clinic. "Ma ma is a lead healer at the clinic and Ba Ba runs the family's import business in Glasgow, where we live."
"Wow Cho, I didn't know that. What are you doing in Hogsmeade? Shopping?"
"Lunch with Ma ma. I'm a little early, so I thought I'd come and purchase my books for Hogwarts." She cast a shrewd gaze in Harry's direction. "You're not returning are you?"
"No. Even with the reforms, I just had too many bad experiences."
Cho nodded sadly and hugged him. "Good luck." Her eyes widened when she saw Harry's focus ring. "From what I've seen with Ma ma Eastern magic has a totally different feel than ours. My parents are talking about taking me to Hong Kong next summer to reconnect with my family and heritage so I can learn their magic and history."
"It is different. I had to throw out everything I knew about wands to get my ring to work for me. I'll owl you and let you know how I'm progressing so you'll be more prepared than I was."
She smiled. "I'd like that."
Harry pulled Takashi's arm forward and looked at his watch. "Sorry, we can't stay and chat we have our own lunch date to get too. Take care Cho."
They separated and he and Takashi left the main business section, passing Hog's Head following George's directions to his cottage, which sat at the end of a private lane in an area with upscale traditional cottages. George's den was a large, pale yellow thatched cottage surrounded by neatly trimmed hedges. A small garden rested underneath the windows. A manicured lawn surrounded the cottage with a crab apple tree out front just waiting for a tire swing and a gaggle of kids to run about the fenced yard. Despite not wanting kids now, the Omega wolf inside Harry purred upon seeing the perfect family home.
Pushing open the front gate they walked up the stone path, before they could reach the front door, it opened and George burst out running towards him.
George engulfed him in a hug, picked him up, and twirled him around. Harry laughed and hugged his friend.
"Mate, this is stunning."
"I know," George beamed happily. "Adrian's parents gave him the house as a graduation present. Adrian says the only reason I married him was to get my hands on the cottage."
"I would. Of course it doesn't hurt that Pucey isn't bad to look at."
Chuckling, George wrapped his arm around Harry's waist and led him inside. "Come see my den."
Harry paused long enough to see the former Slytherin Chaser and Percy introducing themselves to Takashi.
"Handsome," George said following his gaze. "You reek of him little Harry. You must have fun climbing atop that?"
Harry's face went bright red. Laughing George pulled him into the cottage decorated with large, mission style furniture. The entire cottage felt warm and welcoming. George in Omega Den mode gave Harry a tour of the four bedroom, four-bathroom cottage. The last room he showed Harry was the master suite, which reeked of the Alpha/Omega pair. Harry immediately sniffed out that the couple hadn't held out for George's next heat like he and Takashi had. Granted they had a few months wait compared to he and Takashi's few weeks.
"So how was it?" George asked sitting cross-legged on his and Adrian's large four-poster.
Harry flushed. Why was he always asked that? "Good."
"So you remember? All my solo heats passed by in a blur of frenzied haze of desperation and a huge sense of unfulfillment."
"I remember." Here Harry flushed. "I felt the frenzy and desperation . . . but I feel it nearly as much when I'm not in heat, only this time it just went on for days. My mind was hazy, but it was like 3rd year when we got drunk on fire whiskey after the Quidditch final."
A look of extreme relief crossed George's face. "Thanks. Makes me feel better since Adrian and I are trying for pups."
"Already!" Harry sunk on the settee at the foot of the bed.
George shrugged. "I've been in love with Adrian since I was eleven. For us it's a long time coming. I think it's the Weasley in me that wants a large family." He frowned. "I hope I'll see my kids as individuals instead of a set like Mum and Dad saw me and Fred. I hope since it appears as if my and Adrian's relationship doesn't resemble Mum and Dad's our and our children's lives will be different than what I experienced with my parents."
"How is everyone," he asked genuinely and snorted at George's look of surprise. "George, I was conditioned for years to think of your family as my own. Those feelings are still there even if I feel betrayed and doubt I'd trust you guys again."
George nodded though he looked sad. "Fair enough. Bill's somewhere in Egypt working as a freelance warder, Fred said. Charlie is still with the dragons, but now that Mum isn't sending him howlers to keep in touch with the family, we barely hear from him. Ginny and Ron are delusional and ignore any faults they have and feel no remorse. I think Fred is coming around. It shocked him when I stood up to him and left." George looked down at his hands. "I never spoke up for myself before. I was supposed to be in Ravenclaw but was terrified of Fred's reaction, the family's reaction of having a Weasley not in Gryffindor. I'm not brave. I never stood up for myself, so I didn't stand up for you Harry." He shuddered. "I am sorry. I should've done something, should've figured out a way to help you somehow. But with Mum on one side and Fred on the other, I never . . ."
Harry clambered on the bed and engulfed George in a hug. Harry could image how awful it was for George, in some ways George had been just as trapped as he had been. George shuddered in his embrace and tears fell down his face.
"Does Pucey love you?" Harry asked changing the subject once George calmed down some.
"Deeply. He proves it every day. He's very patient. I'm a mess emotionally, he's my pillar of strength, my everything."
"Then allow yourself to be happy in this beautiful home."
"And babies." George said with a smile patting his stomach longingly.
George only chuckled smiling contently. "I can't wait."
"Doodle!" Pucey called from downstairs. "Mimsy said the food is ready."
George wiped his eyes. "We'll be down in a moment."
"Doodle?" Harry questioned with a smile.
"Hush," George climbed off the bed and went to the attached bath to wash his face. "What does your Alpha call you?"
Harry thought about it and flushed. "Mine."
George's head popped out the bathroom with a smirk. "Possessive, huh. Well, everyone knows what happened to the Carrows, freaked Ginny out for days before she turned back into her regular spoiled self. He's good to you?"
"Amazing. Never realized how sexy the strong but silent type was."
George chuckled and they made their way downstairs. Pucey waited at the bottom with Takashi and Percy his eyes filled with concern and love as they lit on George, but the tension in Pucey's shoulders eased when George gave him a blinding smile. Adrian went to George and kissed him lovingly. Takashi came to him and squeezed his hand. Harry smiled at him, then turned and greeted Percy with a hug.
They went to the dining room where a house elf brought out their meals.
"So how are things going with your girlfriend Percy?" Harry teased.
Percy blushed. "Very well, thank you for asking."
"You should've invited her; I would've loved to meet her."
Percy smiled. "You're a good kid, Harry. I will introduce you the next time you're in town. Actually, even I can't see her for another week she's in Sicily visiting family."
"Ooo. You didn't tell me you managed to snag an Italian beauty, Percy!" Harry laughed.
Percy was caught between glaring at Harry and flushing with embarrassment.
"So, what about you two?" Harry asked George and Pucey curiously turning his attention onto them. "How did you get together?"
Adrian and George exchanged fond glances so full of love that Harry felt envious.
"First year. Fred and I caused so much destruction in Charms that Flitwick split us up. I ended up next to Adrian. You know how chaotic Flitwick's classes are, the best place to have private conversations under the radar." Harry nodded with a smile. "Snape found out we were separated and thought he'd be sadistic and pair the class up a Gryffindor with a Slytherin. I got Adrian again. We became friends and kissed for the first time third year."
Here Adrian snorted. "Your fault Potter, so thanks."
"It was after your first Quidditch Match, where you swallowed the snitch. George was gloating about Gryffindor's win afterwards. I kissed him to shut him up."
Harry giggled. George smiled and leaned over to kiss his husband; they seemed to communicate with their eyes before George relaxed and turned back to Harry.
"Things got stressful this year. Not only was their Umbridge, but also Dumbledore, my parents, and Fred." He looked worriedly at Pucey, before he continued to speak. "Adrian knew something was wrong, but I couldn't tell him what. I kept having panic attacks and felt as if I were being pulled apart. Even without knowing what was going on, Adrian wanted to run away with me, but I was too scared. How can you run from Dumbledore let alone my family? My family scared me more than Dumbledore. Once after we had been snogging, I forgot to remove Adrian's scent. Fred sniffed me out and had a fit demanding to know who the Alpha was. The only Alphas in our year beside Fred were Adrian and Montague. When I refused to stay who, he assumed it had been Montague because Montague had a habit of making snide comments about me being an Omega while Adrian and I ignored each other in public."
Harry's eyes widened as he thought of the Vanishing Cabinet incident. "Oh No. So that's why . . ."
"Yeah. I got scared after that, stopped meeting Adrian. That's when Fred planned our 'escape' from Hogwarts."
Adrian rubbed his hand up and down George's arm Harry noticed George was shaking. "When you defeated the Dark Lord and I learned what Dumbledore and his family had done, I understood his stress and panic better. I left Hogwarts and found him at his Aunt Muriel's. We began seeing each other again." He turned to George with a broad smile on his face. "Now we're married and will bond during his next heat and begin a family."
After that, their conversation was fun, light, and airy as they discussed Quidditch and reminisced about the silly stuff that happened during their time at Hogwarts. It was through Adrian Harry learned that with the fines levied against Lucius Malfoy, the reparations the family had to pay to those Lucius had harmed as well as to the Ministry that Narcissa and Draco were in danger of losing Malfoy manor. They had actually looked into moving to a smaller property here in Hogsmeade until Draco finished Hogwarts and they could leave the country.
"Wow, that's a step down."
"Not really," Pucey shrugged. "The Malfoys were always wealthy, but being a family who immigrated to England to escape the witch hunts, they didn't have the clout and status Draco loved to brag about until Lucius Malfoy married Narcissa Black and she became the only Black that wasn't dead, disowned, or jailed. Lucius used his connection to the Blacks to consolidate his power base as everyone assumed Draco was the Black heir and would inherit the Black fortune and title." Pucey grinned and raised his goblet to Harry. "It seems that once again, everyone was wrong."
"Imagine that," Harry deadpanned to everyone's amusement. "So your family are purebloods?"
"For the most part," Pucey shrugged. "We're not snobs about keeping our blood pure like most and like the Potters have mated with muggleborns or half-bloods. My sister-in-law is a half-blood. Also like the Potters, the Pucey's are farmers and grow most of the fruit and vegetables used in magical Britain. But I'm the second son and my brother will inherit the family business."
"What do you do now that you graduated?" Harry asked Pucey curiously, still unsure of all the available careers for wizards.
"I'm a junior clerk at the ministry in the Committee on Experimental Charms Department. I'm also working on my Charms mastery."
"Adrian's brilliant. You know he was Head Boy, right?" George cut in with a smile, shooting his mate an adoring look. "He helps me nail down a lot of the issues we have with product development in the shop and helped me with the charm work on the fireworks, which was why they were so hard to get rid of."
It was hard not to smile, George had it bad. It was sweet.
After they ate, they floo'd to the village Wimbourne to the headquarters of Higgs Magical Construction, a magical construction and design firm owned by Bertie Higgs and his son, Adrian's best friend Terrence resided. Sadao already waited for them. They met in the conference room with the two Higgs men who were both Beta's and Terrence's older sister Marin the firm's interior designer. Marin was an Omega who bonded to a muggleborn Ravenclaw and who had sat for a muggle degree in interior design at Chelsea College of Arts. Harry was impressed with the Higgs family and wished he had gotten to know Slytherins better while he'd been at Hogwarts instead of assuming they were all like Malfoy.
They looked at magical blue prints that were 3D and discussed design plans for the remodel of each of his properties. The Higgs blinked in surprise when Harry informed them he wanted the properties wired for electricity and the charms the magical world outside of Europe used to prevent magic from interfering with modern technology. Instead of being outraged like most purebloods, the Higgs were intrigued with the possibilities and had already began making plans to tour magical construction companies in America. Once they finalized plans and determined the priority of the properties Harry wanted remodeled, Harry told them to stay in contact with Sadao to tour the properties and if they had any questions.
After the meeting they floo'd back to George's where they said goodbye. Pucey managed to pull him aside once George and Percy went into big brother mode and were grilling Takashi.
"Thank you," Adrian said earnestly. Harry looked confused. "For meeting with George. He's seeing a mind healer, but he still has nightmares about you and is deeply ashamed for never speaking out on your behalf. That you're here and appear to forgive him will go a long way towards his recovery, I hope. Will you continue to write? He feels better after getting a letter from you. He laughed for an hour after reading your rant about those red-headed Alpha twins your mate is friends with."
Harry snorted. "Anyone would, those two are mess. Of course, I'll write."
Pucey let out a relieved breath and nodded regally. "Thank you."
"I'm glad he has you."
Pucey looked at George his expression so full of love it couldn't be faked. "I always knew he'd be mine. I'm glad were married now and I can protect him. That twin of his still tries to dominate him when they're working. He and his sister are weak Alphas who are controlled by animal instincts rather than human reasoning. But since George is their family, he's susceptible to their tricks when he otherwise wouldn't be. They destroyed his self-confidence. It'll stop soon."
Harry suddenly felt scared for Fred and Ginny Weasley. After leaving the picturesque cottage, and seeing they were alone, Harry wrapped an arm around Takashi's waist and leaned against him as they walked through the residential area of Hogsmeade and back to the business district.
"Thoughts?" Harry asked.
Takashi nodded. "Fragile."
"Ah. Doesn't have your strength of mind or character. His twin, in a sense had been his Alpha and he wasn't a good one. Too domineering and stifled his development. He's a submissive."
Harry rolled his eyes. "All Omegas are submissive."
Takashi stopped walking and stared at Harry incredulously. "Harry when have you ever submitted to me?" Harry flushed as he thought about what they'd done earlier in their hotel room. Takashi snorted a laugh. "Sex doesn't count. So other than that, when have you submitted to me?"
Harry bit his lip and shrugged. "I tend to be emotional and cling to you a lot."
"Baka," Takashi muttered frustrated. "That's not being a submissive, that's being an Omega who is in a relationship with an Alpha and getting the required emotional support all Omegas, all humans need. A submissive is a person who shies away from what they think and feel. A submissive remains silent out of fear of what other people would think or do to them. Tell me Harry, when have you ever shied away from letting anyone know what you think or feel about them?"
"Well, I never told Ronald that I thought he was a big, fat jealous git and I hated his guts," Harry said stubbornly.
Takashi rolled his eyes. "I think your Ronald figured your true feelings towards him when you used wandless magic to silence his rant and stuck him to a wall with a sticking charm the most seasoned wizards could not remove."
Harry pouted and purposely knocked into Takashi's shoulder. "I got your point. I don't have a submissive bone in my body except when you manipulate me sexually."
"Exactly." Takashi nodded amused. "You're friend George is a true submissive. He constantly looked for his Alpha's approval before he spoke."
Harry thought over their meeting and gaped at Takashi. "You're right."
"Of course I am."
Harry sighed dramatically. "What am I going to do with you?"
"Blowjob would be nice."
"Hentai, one track mind you have," Harry said punching Takashi playfully in the arm. "Do you think Pucey would hurt George?"
"No. He's besotted. He asked for my and Percy's advice on how to get George to become more assertive. I gave him some ideas and invited them to visit after they bonded. I think seeing us in our den will help George break out of his shell."
Harry beamed at his mate. "Maybe, you have earned a blow job."
Harry reached up on his tiptoes to press his lips against his mates. As he did, Harry felt a magical disturbance in their air that caused him to flinch and stiffen in his husband's embrace. Takashi noticed the change immediately and pulled out his katana. A bright flash enveloped them. Takashi struck at the disturbance and ended up loping the head off Dumbledore's phoenix Fawkes. The bird exploded and reformed at their feet as a baby chick sitting in a pile of ashes, a burning letter at its side. Takashi waved his hand over the letter dismantling the tracking and port key spells before pulling the burning letter out the pile.
Takashi nodded, took Harry's hand, and continued down the street ignoring the increased stares as people came out their homes to gape at them. Finally reaching the business area, they returned to the quill shop. The shop was packed with customers and a reporter harassed the stalwart owner about Harry's previous visit. The reporter squeaked when he saw Harry and dropped to the floor in a faint when he saw Takashi holding his katana, traces of Fawkes blood still clinging to the blade.
"Mr. Potter," the owner's voice was filled with amusement.
"Mr. Emmett," Harry infused his voice with power for the benefit of their audience. "Is my order ready?"
"Of course, one moment please and I'll gather it for you."
While Harry finalized his order, Takashi conjured a chair and sat down. In a show of dominance among the shoppers, he ritualistically cleaned his blade. Seeing Takashi wasn't done with his show, Harry looked over other items Mr. Emmett had in his store and added an antique globe and stand from the 1700's and a writing desk that would look good in his office. Mr. Emmett seemed ecstatic to the additions in his order. Harry was positive the man was a former Slytherin. The amused mutter of 'Gryffindors' to his and Takashi's antics sealed his suspicions. An hour and half later, they checked out the hotel, taken the port key back to Japan, and were inside their apartment.
Harry collapsed on the sofa exhausted. For security's sake, they decided to forgo the limo and apparated to the London airport and from the Tokyo airport. It was eleven pm Tokyo time and Harry was tired, but first. . .
Takashi sat down next to Harry and in familiar loopy handwriting were the eerie words.
"You cannot hide."
Shuddering Harry stared at the words in shock, which had Takashi putting the note away in his pocket.
"He's a senile old man who is desperate. Let's get cleaned up and go to bed. It's late."
Wooden, Harry allowed Takashi to pull him upstairs, wash him, pull him to soak in the bathtub, and put him to bed without a word. Shivering in his Alpha's arms, it took a long time for Harry to realize he was safe and not laying in a too small bed on a lumpy mattress that should've been thrown out years ago.
*Hiya. I hope everyone is having a good summer. I don't know when I am going to update but the story is written up to the beginning of October, but I need to read the manga to finish as their is a lot of character development in the manga that is ignored in the anime. Also, I need to finish the entire manga because I think the author of Ouran didn't expect that her manga would be so popular and continued past what she had originally thought because the timeframe of Ouran in the manga is all over the place. The school year in Japan runs from April to March, but in the months in the manga are all over the place, though I admit the anime tried to fix all that. But, I need to read the whole thing so I can adjust events.
*Can't think of anything else to say. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your support and feedback.