A/N: Hi, thank you for keeping on reading my story, despite my rather slow updates, and thank you for your feedbacks. Many reviewers had suggested to add Tonks to the list of Harry's future lovers; I had initiatially rejected that idea due to the fact that Harry and Tonks were second cousins, once removed (assuming that Dorea was Harry's grandmother, which I do; this also made Harry and Ginny third cousins). However, due to the number of reviewers suggesting that idea, I decided to set up a poll to see what everyone thought about adding more lovers to the original list of sever witches (Hermione, Daphne, Tracey, Luna, Astoria, Fleur and Susan); please go to my profile page and vote in the poll to let me know of your thoughts on this, and PM me if you have further comments. Thank you!
Without further ado, please enjoy this scene. Cheers.
Thank you texan-muggle, for proof-reading this slightly longer chapter. You are a star!
"Speech" | Thoughts | "Mind Communication" | §Parseltongue§ | [Speech in Foreign Language] | Incantations | Written Words
Scene 12 – Courting Snakes
Room of Requirement, Hogwarts Castle
11th May, 1993
Luna had barely noticed that Harry was gone when he came back; it wasn't too long in her perspective anyway. Cassie had found a way to implement different time dilation ratios to the two rooms currently in the Room of Requirement, so although hours had passed in the godfather's and son's perspectives, only twenty minutes had passed for the young Ravenclaw. Besides, she was still chatting animatedly with her newly-acquired familiar when her new boyfriend came back.
The experienced warrior was rather content to just watch his little moon be happy, so he observed and discussed mentally about the time dilation fields with his daughter. The learned mage was quite impressed with Cassie with the way she isolated the time dilation fields, and that provided him with an inspiration, which he immediately proposed to the brilliant entity.
"Princess, do you think you can find a way to cast a time bubble, which you can both control the size and the shape of, as well as the time dilation ratio at will?" mentally inquired the ex-Head of the Department of Mysteries.
"That would be so cool! I will work on it Daddy!" answered Cassie enthusiastically.
"Thank you, my Princess. I have every confidence that you will succeed. Let me know if you want my input." The millennium-old entity beamed back mentally at her daddy's words and went to work on her new project.
By then, Luna had finally finished her first chat with Fawkes; she turned her head to look at Harry again and they both grinned at each other: the former in happiness and the latter in seeing the former was happy.
The happy girl then jumped into her new boyfriend's arms and proceeded to kiss him; again, it was a relatively innocent kiss for the immortal warrior, but it lasted a lot longer than their first kiss. Harry gave a quizzical look to his little moon when they broke apart, to which Luna immediately answered his unasked question.
"I like kissing you, and I will endeavour to kiss you as often as I can," she said in her usual carefree and blunt way with her newfound happiness mixed into her voice.
If Harry was surprised by the blonde girl's answer, he didn't show it. The reborn mage did respond by kissing his little moon again, who happily returned and savoured the kiss. When they broke their kiss this time, Harry said, "You won't hear me complaining about it, my lady."
Luna smiled brightly and replied, "Thank you, milord."
The powerful battle mage had spent the rest of that morning with Luna in the Room of Requirement, getting to know each other; during that time, Hedwig had flashed in to deliver High King Ragnuk's reply. The animal-loving girl was absolutely awed by the majestic white phoenix, which had resulted in some bickering between Hedwig and Fawkes. Their bickering, however, didn't last that long due to the loving and equal attention Luna had paid to them both.
They left the Room of Requirement after Luna was informed on how to access said room. Hedwig decided to tag along with her human, whereas Fawkes decided to keep the recovering Sirius company, and do some flying while the old dog exercised under Dobby's watchful eyes. The recently-freed phoenix's decision probably had something to do with Hedwig's earlier comment about him becoming a fat turkey after being kept in the old coot's office for so long.
Much to Hedwig's indignation, her human had put a glamour on her, hiding her new majestic form after fixing his own disguise; only Harry's reassurance that she was just as beautiful in her old owl form calmed the 'slightly'-vain bird.
The famous wizard knew that some attention would always be directed at him in the magical world; he had come to terms with it sometime during his last four centuries of life in a timeline that would never be. However, that didn't mean he wanted to draw more attention to himself, at least not yet; having a white phoenix on his shoulder would definitely do that. That was not to mention how weird it would look to have such an enormous bird perched on the scrawny body everyone saw. In reality, the phoenix's natural magic along with the battle mage's animagus-enhanced strength allowed Hedwig to perch on said battle mage's much-broader real shoulders without any discomfort to Harry.
Great Hall, Hogwarts Castle
11th May, 1993
Harry was again sitting at the Ravenclaw table, having lunch while happily chatting with his little moon, with the snow-white 'owl' perched on his right shoulder. The master Occlumens had established a temporary telepathic link with Luna, so she could understand Hedwig; this also enabled them to have a private mental conversation when the topics of the conversation required it.
As he ate and chatted with two of his girls, Harry noticed again the lack of staff at the High Table; however, the Hospital Wing seemed to be quite crowded. It looked like Madam Bones had summoned more Aurors, Healers and two Unspeakables; the time-traveller even recognised names of the two Unspeakables present. The battle mage wondered what the Unspeakables were doing there, to which Cassie provided the answer: the old goat had used his Alchemy skills when dosing his employees, which the Healers could detect but were unable to treat; thus, Madam Bones had called in help from the Department of Mysteries.
Harry was planning to introduce himself to Madam Bones in person after lunch, but it looked like the director already had her hands full, so he would see if he could find a better opportunity after his meeting with the goblin chief.
Speaking of which, the battle mage considered himself quite lucky so far: Harry didn't plan for Professor McGonagall to cancel all the classes that day, but she did, which meant that he could attend his two o'clock meeting with the High King without worrying about being missed from the castle; the former Unspeakable had planned to craft a temporary time-turner to deal with that particular issue, which was no longer needed for the time being.
Somehow during their private mental conversation, their focus shifted to the subject of the attacks, which naturally led to Harry explaining how he planned to acquire Melissa the Basilisk as a familiar. The following response from Luna managed to surprise the master Occlumens.
"So you really are the Heir of Slytherin, even though you are not the one behind the attacks," said the perceptive girl in an entirely-nonchalant manner.
Harry realised that his shock must have registered over the telepathic link, as his little moon timidly asked, "I am sorry, am I not supposed to know that?"
The perceptive mage immediately recognised his new girlfriend's insecurities resurfacing; he should have expected that as despite how well they hit it off, Luna had only known him for half a day, and she must be worried that she might lose her new friend with that comment. With the life she had so far, Harry understood that her trust would have to be earned slowly over time.
He quickly softened his expressions and gathered Luna into the safety of his arms. Harry soothed his little moon by running his hand over her back and with his gentle words over the telepathic link, "It's alright, my little moon. I don't mind you knowing anything about me, as I don't have anything to hide from you; just like you don't have to hide anything from me. I was just quite surprised how quickly you figured it out, as I myself only acquired Salazar's ring very recently."
By this time, Luna had melted into her boyfriend's arms; clearly, her fear of losing her new boyfriend was unfounded. She stayed where she was and explained her reasoning, "I saw the Lordship rings on your finger, but I couldn't decipher to which families they belong. When you said you planned to bond with Slytherin's Basilisk with such confidence, not to mention that you already knew her name, I realised that you must have somehow gained Salazar Slytherin's blessing to bond Melissa. I then remembered about the laws of conquest, which led me to deduce that Slytherin had acknowledged and approved you as his heir."
Listening to her reasoning, the experienced battle mage tightened his embrace over his little moon. "Brilliant, Luna, you are simply brilliant, and never let anyone else tell you differently."
Luna just burrowed deeper into her boyfriend's embrace, and let a few happy tears drop. Here was someone who accepted all of her, and he was hers. Maybe not hers alone, but whoever else was going to share their Harry would be hers as well. The young Ravenclaw couldn't be happier and couldn't wait to have more friends.
Silence stretched for a while before Harry spoke again. "As a reward for your brilliance, I am going to introduce you to the Founders later today or tomorrow," Luna's eyes sparkled at that and the battle mage continued, "but for now, I am going to see if I can bond with Melissa before my appointment with High King Ragnuk. As much as I would like to take you with me this time, I think it would be the best if I greet her by myself this time. As a Parselmouth, I am immune to her deathly gaze; you, on the other hand, would be in danger until I am sure she would obey only my commands."
"I understand, Harry. Please be careful, I can't lose you as well." Luna didn't mean for Harry to hear the last bit, but given they were talking using their temporary telepathic link in the first place, the master Occlumens heard it anyway.
Harry gave his little moon a bit of a squeeze to reassure her, "Don't worry about me, I will always be with you. Call my name out anytime you need me; given I have control of the castle's wards, I will be able to hear you anywhere and would be with you in an instant."
With that said, Harry gave Luna a kiss on her cheek, before he released her from his embrace and stood up to leave the Great Hall. He mentally instructed the Hogwarts elves and one of the Potter elves to look after Luna.
As usual, Harry Potter's movement drew many eyes in the Great Hall; many had looked strangely at the budding relationship between the Boy-Who-Lived and Loony Lovegood. Luckily for them, nobody said anything, as the most tactless students in Hogwarts were being kept in the Hospital Wing at the time, and the rest were either afraid of drawing the ire of the Heir of Slytherin or ashamed of accusing their saviour as the attacker.
Once again, a pair of icy-blue eyes discreetly followed the famous or infamous boy, brimming with curiosity. Instead of merely observing this time, the resident Ice Queen of Slytherin decided that there were too many changes happening around the Potter heir to not actively seek more information.
Ground floor corridor, Hogwarts Castle
11th May, 1993
Hedwig followed her human out on his shoulders, again; she made an observation as the 'new' Lord Slytherin made his way towards the Chamber of Secrets.
"You are certainly going to have an interesting pair of familiars."
At her human's questioning look, Hedwig mentally chuckled, then explained to her human, "You are bonded to me, a white phoenix, the ultimate symbol of light, even more so than normal phoenixes. You are to bond with a Basilisk, the epitome of dark creatures. Now, that certainly qualifies as interesting, doesn't it?"
Harry burst out laughing; some passer-by looked at him strangely, which the warrior mage promptly ignored. "That certainly is an interesting observation, Hedwig. Thank you, girl. Oh how I missed you! Anyways, you shouldn't mistake dark for evil, and light for pure like the rest of Wizarding Britain have."
At Hedwig's obvious 'explain' look, the future Headmaster of Hogwarts continued, "The way Wizarding Britain had classified light and dark is totally rubbish. They praise the old goat as the Leader of Light, when in reality, he is nothing more than a manipulative bastard who doesn't have the guts to get his own hands dirty. He had no problem getting people killed to achieve his own agenda, as long as he didn't have to do it himself or directly order someone to do it.
"As for all the so-called dark magic classified by the Ministry, that was purely to control what the population can do. True, there are curses that are truly dark and evil; the three Unforgivables favoured by the Death Eaters are good examples, as to successfully cast them, you have to fill yourself with hate, enjoy controlling others and enjoy causing pain. Thus, successfully casting any of those three curses will taint one's soul and magical core. Having said that, those three Unforgivable Curses were modified from curses that don't require hate as a component, but a much higher amount of magical power to cast."
By now, Harry had moved far enough from the Great Hall to be able to Shift away without anyone noticing, that was if the battle mage had not noticed two particular snakes trying to follow him discreetly. The experienced mage thought they were making a very good effort trying to be discreet given their age and experience. However, he wasn't a Grand Battle Mage for nothing; he had noticed the two little snakes before they even left the Great Hall, and that was without Cassie's help.
Harry was currently out of his two follower's line of sight, thus he could Shift away and lose his tails easily. However, an opportunity to speak with these two was one the 'young' wizard could not pass up, so he decided to lead them to a more private region of the castle before introducing himself. Harry carried on walking at a gradually slowing pace while he continued with his lecture for Hedwig mentally.
"Phoenix is not the symbol of light, but a symbol of good and pure. I had killed many and used some of the so called dark curses including the unmodified versions of the Unforgivable Curses; although, there were some instances where my magic was fuelled by vengeance, but in the end, I only served justice and made people pay for their crimes. I killed, so they could not harm another innocent again. I had never enjoyed killing nor torturing and I never knowingly hurt anyone for my personal gain. And thus, both my magic and my soul remained pure.
"Each of my animagus forms is a representation of my character at some stage of my life; usually a new form appears after a big life-changing event, while keeping the spirit of my existing forms. I am not sure when my Royal Phoenix form appeared, him along a few other forms' spirits were all there in my soul when I first studied animagus transformations with the Native Americans. But I know he is an exception in that, if I ever strayed far enough from good, the spirit of Royal Phoenix would leave me behind. Therefore, not wanting to become who I am fighting against, I frequently check on my soul and my magic, as well as consult with the spirit of the Royal Phoenix.
"Basilisks are dark creatures because the majority of the population are afraid of snakes as well as wizards and witches who can talk to snakes. I suppose enough dark wizards or witches have given Parselmouths a bad reputation.
"In addition, snake parts, especially the venom are used in many dark rituals. But people seemed to choose to forget, snake venoms could be used in many powerful healing potions. In my opinion, the sheeple are just afraid that magic cast in Parseltongue is particularly powerful, and there was no way they could counter it as they couldn't understand what was being cast. Plus, they are jealous as Parselmagic is particularly useful in an activity I will not mention," finished Harry his lecture with a slight and instantaneous blush.
Hedwig was listening intently to her human's explanations until her human said his last sentence. Despite him catching himself in time, enough fragments of memories her human was reviewing made it to Hedwig's mind, which clued her in to just what activity he was referring to.
If she could blush, Hedwig would, so she just settled on swatting her human on the back of his head with her wing, while scolding him, "Get your mind out of the gutter, Harry. I am sure their younger versions who are probably still sitting in the Great Hall now wouldn't appreciate those thoughts."
"Oh, but I know two of them who are not," retorted Harry. Deciding to be cheeky, the young mage said what was to follow that statement out loud to see if he could get the two snakes following him to react. "Besides, you never know, they might appreciate it."
The experienced mage was successful with his bait, as one of followers decided to cut in his conversation with his beautiful familiar. "Who might appreciate what, Potter?"
That was his cue. Smirking inwardly, Harry turned around to face the younger versions of two of his past lovers: Daphne Greengrass and Tracey Davis. Looking at them, the time-traveller was reminded of the beautiful women they would become.
Ministry of Magic
12th January, 2012
Senior Auror Captain Harry James Potter, secretly Unspeakable Peril, was working at a DMLE office he shared with his partner of nine years and lover for four, Senior Auror Captain Susan Amelia Bones.
They had kept their relationship secret, knowing it could be used against them. However, every so often, they would do something kinky in their shared office. And today was one of those days. They had just cleaned themselves up when three ex-Slytherins dropped into their office. Astoria Malfoy née Greengrass, her sister Daphne Greengrass, and Tracey Davis who never seemed to leave Daphne's side.
Both Susan and Harry immediately had their wands ready under the table. Harry held no ill will against the trio, as his powerful memory couldn't remember any incidents where Daphne or Tracey joined with Draco Malfoy in his taunts. Harry also remembered seeing Daphne, Tracey and Astoria discreetly helping the light side with injured combatants during the Battle of Hogwarts. But Astoria was a Malfoy now, both Lucius and Draco had again chosen the wrong side in the Third Wizarding War, and both had bought their way out again, so Harry was right to be cautious of the wife.
All three showed their hands to indicate that they were not armed, but Harry knew there were wand holsters on the markets that were charmed to be invisible, and could eject their wand into the user's hands by a flick of wrist, like the ones he was wearing, except his were even better. So both Harry and Susan remained alert.
Daphne seemed to be the spokesperson of the group, and said, "We mean you no harm, Potter, Bones. We are here to ask for protection from the Malfoys. The albino git my sister was forced to marry is planning for another uprising, and we want no part of it."
The Unspeakable knew Daphne must have had some Occlumency training from her Ice Queen acts during their Hogwarts years; he wasn't confident enough with his Legilimency yet to ensure he could probe into her mind undetected, but he knew enough passive Legilimency to know Daphne spoke the truth from Tracey's and Astoria's mind.
The Auror gave his partner a nod, they both relaxed, and the master Occlumens withdrew any form of Legilimency. Unlike Dumbledore, law enforcement officers didn't like invading other people's privacy, but he would use it to gain an advantage during battles.
During the following discussion, they found out that Lucius Malfoy had tortured the elder Greengrasses into signing an unbreakable marriage contract during the Second Wizarding War. However, Lord Cygnus Greengrass was crafty enough to avoid losing the Greengrass family fortune to the Malfoys, but he still lost his youngest daughter to the contract. It was fortunate that Draco Malfoy was possessive enough, so that Astoria had only needed to tolerate him alone, without being whored out like some other Dark families did.
Daphne and Tracey never married; they were put off by the junior Death Eaters' actions since the beginning of their fifth year right after Voldemort came back. They managed to protect each other from even the most persistent rapists in the snake pit, but not everyone was so lucky, and they had witnessed some of those hideous crimes being committed right in the common room with Snape only half-heartedly 'trying' to stop them.
Three months later, with the three extremely cunning witches' help, the pair of Senior Auror Captains managed to stop Lucius and Draco Malfoy for good by legally killing both in a well set trap, thus postponing the Fourth Wizarding War.
During those three months, the five of them got closer, and they had kept in touch after Draco and Lucius Malfoy's deaths. Daphne asked why Harry hadn't taken his seat in the Wizengamot, to which the Potter heir explained his problems with Gringotts due to his break-in in 1998, hence why he had not managed to take his Lordship yet, and he was working on solving the problem. He just couldn't tell her it was Croaker who was helping him.
It was when she asked him why he didn't take his Lordship at eleven, which he could have as the last Potter, Harry had told the Slytherin all about Dumbledore's manipulations.
Daphne was appalled by everything she learned from the emerald-eyed young man; she now had a further understanding why the Noble and Most Ancient House of Greengrass had remained neutral, and voiced her opinion to the other four in their little group.
The cunning blonde then suggested threatening the goblins with telling the public that, it was them who allowed Dumbledore to steal from Harry James Potter, the last of the Most Noble and Most Ancient House of Potter, Order of Merlin, First Class, orphan of two war heroes, Boy-Who-Lived, Man-Who-Won and his many other bloody titles.
The young war hero did just that, thinking he didn't have much to lose, and got a meeting with High King Ragnuk the Seventh, Chief of the Goblin Nation the next day, with a promise that he wouldn't be harmed. The rising Unspeakable thought this would be a great teasing material in the future: Director of the Department of Mysteries, Unspeakable Croaker never thought of threatening the Goblins.
In the end, Harry and the High King had formed a friendship that lasted until Harry's rebirth. Harry had an heir test, and got a lot more than he asked for. Along with his Potter Lordship, Harry discovered he had many more titles, as well as being descendent and/or magical heir of three Founders.
When the three Slytherins were informed of all his titles, they immediately started coaching Harry, and Susan to a lesser extent, on Pureblood traditions, politics and etiquette, so they could make the most use of their votes.
During this time, the five of them got even closer and one day, Susan invited the three beautiful Slytherin witches into their bed. The well-travelled Unspeakable was shocked at the beginning to say the least, but he didn't put up much of a resistance; let's be fair, no red-blooded male would.
Things went well between the five of them for years; Harry knew that his four witches had come to love him, and told him so many times. But he couldn't say it back, not after Luna's suicide as well as Hermione's and Fleur's murders; he was too afraid that when he did finally admit to them and himself that he loved them, they would be taken away from him again. Though Harry never explained this to them, all four of the intelligent witches understood; they were content knowing how much their lover cared about every single one of them, so their relationship stayed as it was.
Things went on so well for so long; by 2030, the Unspeakable and his four lovers were all-but-married, as they practically all lived together. The witches had all aged well, due to them being powerful witches in their own right, as well as being constantly bathed in the Grand Battle Mage's powerful aura; they were all in their fifties by then, but still had bodies most thirty-year-olds would kill for.
The content warrior had finally considered having children of his own, but…
The time-traveller ruthlessly buried what would have followed that memory somewhere in his Mind World really hard even for himself to get to; it wouldn't do for him to have another breakdown then in front of these two witches. Their younger versions hardly knew him, and he wouldn't want to scare them away now, would he?
The much younger versions of two of his past, or was it future, lovers stood in front of him; their radiant beauty already started to show. Daphne's straight golden-blonde hair ran smoothly past her shoulders, whilst her icy-yet-still-beautiful-blue eyes gazed into his emerald-green ones; the master Occlumens would have sworn that she could look right into his soul if it wasn't for his mastery in Mind Arts. The Ice Queen's aristocratic features and already-developed curves foretold the well-endowed gorgeous woman that she would grow into.
Tracey, while not as well developed as her best friend, was just as beautiful in the ageless warrior's opinion. Her slightly-curly dark-brunette hair framed her bubbly features and her deep-sapphire-blue eyes danced mischievously.
The time-traveller reminded himself again that this was his second chance at life; all that he had lost was here, alive and well again. Harry was going to grab on to this second chance and do everything he could to pursue his Happy Ending with all seven witches he knew he loved and would love him back. He was not going to repeat any mistakes he had made in his previous life and the reborn mage was going to live without regrets this time.
Having made his mind up, and being presented with opportunity, Harry decided to get a move on wooing these two beautiful snakes.
"Hello, Miss Davis, Miss Greengrass, I haven't had the pleasure. This beautiful girl on my shoulder is my familiar, Hedwig," said Harry with a warm smile; he gazed first into Tracy's curious sapphire-blue eyes, then Daphne's icy-blue ones with his emerald-green eyes before he affectionately tickled Hedwig under her chin.
"Harry, what are you trying to do? Get me to blush enough to initiate another burning day?"
Harry ignored Hedwig, and approached the girls slowly with the witty bird still on his shoulder, clearly showing he was unarmed. He stopped short with about a meter between him and the Slytherins; his smile turned mischievous, and Harry picked up Tracey's right hand, gently brushed her middle knuckle against his lips while maintaining eye contact the whole time, before repeating the same actions with Daphne.
Daphne Greengrass, heiress to the Greengrass family fortune, Slytherin's resident Ice Queen. Like many witches of her age, she grew up reading stories of Harry Potter, but she wasn't one of those fan girls. Daphne was smart; she was groomed to take over the family businesses one day, so she knew those stories were just that, stories. That didn't stop her hoping to meet Harry Potter and get to know the real him though.
Being sorted into Slytherin with Harry Potter sorted into Gryffindor destroyed that hope, even if they shared most of their classes, obviously by the old coot's design. Daphne knew she was pretty, and she was proud of that fact, but she also knew she attracted enough attention she didn't need nor want as it was, without befriending the Gryffindor Golden Boy. So Daphne kept to herself, never dropping her Ice Queen persona, and protected herself along with her best friend Tracey from any unwanted attention in the snake pit.
Being the true Slytherin she was, Daphne kept her eye on Potter during her first year, and had many questions formed in her head. He was nothing like she expected: Potter was clearly underweight, wearing rags that were clearly unbecoming of someone his station; she knew perfectly well that the Potters were one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Wizarding Britain. Her instincts told her there was something not right with Potter, but there was nothing she could do. So Daphne observed while being unobserved.
It seemed Hogwarts was a lot more exciting than she ever expected, but every exciting event seemed to somehow revolve around the Gryffindor Golden Boy, the redheaded garbage bin, and the smart muggleborn girl.
In the past two years, despite knowing there was more to the real story in all those rumours she heard about, Daphne found Potter did seem to act like a typical foolhardy Gryffindor: rushing into situations unprepared, reacting without thinking, basically completely opposite of how a true Slytherin would act. That was until the previous day during Potions class.
Like always, Daphne acted more Slytherin than anyone else in her house. When the fight broke out, she just sat there and observed, evaluating how it would affect her, and if there was anything she could use to her advantage. It was then she saw it: not only Potter did not jump in to help the redheaded garbage bin, Potter had a smirk on his face as he sat there calmly in the middle of a chaotic classroom. That had piqued the Ice Queen's curiosity.
What followed next only intrigued her further. Having been taught Occlumency by her father, she knew the Headmaster and her Head of House scanned students' thoughts frequently; she had felt mental probes brushing against her shield before immediately withdrawing. When Snape started to blame Potter for the fight, unsurprisingly, Daphne was again surprised by Potter's seemingly innocent response, and the cunning blonde knew then Potter was baiting Snape. Clearly Snape took the bait, as in mere seconds, the Potions Master was on the floor and had wet himself.
Daphne wasn't sure what Potter did, except that he did something. The only explanation the Greengrass heiress could come up with was, Potter had somehow developed Occlumency defences she could only accomplish in at least another decade. But how was that possible?
She had been thinking about what Potter did until dinner that day, when another fight broke out between the redheaded garbage bin and the blonde ponce. The observant girl immediately shifted her attention to Potter, who by chance, met her gaze.
Then, Potter did the unthinkable; he smirked and winked at her. The Heiress Presumptive of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Greengrass could not believe the audacity of the boy; she was the resident Ice Queen who hexed anyone who so much as looked at her wrong, and Potter had dared to wink at her. When she finally finished silently fuming behind her Occlumency shields, she realised Potter was already gone, and the cunning heiress began to analyse everything.
Potter had somehow started both fights, and for some reason, the Gryffindor Golden Boy, had let her, a Slytherin, know what he had done. Potter didn't jump to help the redheaded garbage bin; something must have changed. Out of the Golden Trio, Granger was petrified just two days before, the garbage bin didn't seem to change that much; so in conclusion, whatever had changed, it centred on the Potter heir.
The blonde heiress couldn't get Harry Potter out of her mind; for the first time, the Ice Queen was intrigued by a boy. She didn't sleep well that night.
Daphne spent the next morning discreetly observing Potter. She was first very surprised that the Gryffindor Golden Boy was sitting at the Ravenclaw Table, but the budding relationship between the Potter heir and the strange blonde Ravenclaw intrigued her even more.
The observant girl was also one of the few students who noticed the lack of staff at the High Table. When Professor McGonagall made her announcement, the blonde Slytherin wondered about the reasons behind the cancelling of their classes. She then noted Potter's lack of reaction to both the accusing glares and the announcement. This led to Daphne suspecting Potter's involvement in whatever was keeping the staff busy.
The cunning blonde proceeded trying to discreetly listen in to Potter's conversation with the young Ravenclaw. She found that not only could she not hear a word they were saying, but only her strong will with the help of her Occlumency training allowed her to consciously realise that she couldn't eavesdrop on their conversation.
By that point, the slightly frustrated Slytherin didn't know what to think; she had already made too many educated guesses about the events surrounding the Potter heir to make any more assumptions. Daphne was deciding whether to be more proactive for her information gathering, when she realised that her decision was just taken away from her for the time being: Potter had just left the Great Hall with the Ravenclaw girl, leaving a rather agitated Ice Queen behind, who knew she wouldn't be able to follow Potter without making a scene. She silently promised herself that she would be ready when the next opportunity presented itself.
The cunning heiress arrived early for lunch later that day so she could observe her developing obsession, not that she would ever admit to herself that she had an obsession.
She saw the young Potter heir arriving for lunch, with the same young blonde Ravenclaw again, whom, with Tracey's help, Daphne had found out was Luna Lovegood of the Most Ancient House of Lovegood; she was frequently bullied by her own house-mates. The blonde Slytherin snorted inwardly at that, I thought Ravenclaws were supposed to be smart! The Greengrass heiress knew and understood that in the magical world, especially in Wizarding Britain, friendships and alliances were built during Hogwarts years, and so were animosities; it was stupid to antagonise one of the Most Ancient Houses like that. The Lovegoods might not have any votes in the Wizengamot, but they were still a very old Pureblood house; there was a reason that no one went after the Quibbler despite the amount of the Ministry's dirty laundry it was subtly airing. As for the Lovegood heiress, Daphne would reserve her own judgement until she knew more about the young Ravenclaw.
Back to the subject of her intere-, err, investigation, Daphne had noted many subtle changes about the Potter heir in the past two days. He might look the same, and was still wearing the same rags he always wore; to the observant Slytherin, he might as well be a completely different person.
The most obvious change was his posture: his shoulders were no longer slouched, his back straight, he looked self-assured, and for some reason, the way he walked reminded Daphne of a predator stalking its prey. Another notable change was his eyes: the emotional turmoil that was ever-present in his eyes since he was first accused as the attacker was gone; in its place, those eyes showed intelligence, mischievousness and confidence.
Over lunch, the blonde Slytherin noticed that whatever was going on between Potter and Lovegood was developing rapidly; despite not being able to hear anything they said, she could see through Potter's actions that he was very protective of the younger blonde. The observant Slytherin filed that information away as she saw the Potter heir was about getting ready to leave; Daphne discreetly signalled her best friend to get ready to leave the Great Hall unobserved.
Tracey Davis, Heiress Presumptive of the Noble and Ancient House of Davis, might not have acted like other Slytherins, including her best friend Daphne, for she was friendly and bubbly towards almost everyone and had some seemingly impulsive tendencies like Gryffindors did. However, in reality, she was every bit as cunning as the resident Ice Queen and even more slippery; she had to be to survive in the Slytherin Dungeon as a half-blood.
Tracey was the gossip who didn't gossip. Unlike the Ice Queen who preferred to sit back and observe to gather information, the friendlier Slytherin preferred a more 'hands-on' approach. She would initiate conversations among her peers by talking but without really saying anything. This worked well for her as her friendly and bubbly demeanour would put others at ease and cause them to let their guard down, which also gave her an edge during a fight: her care-free attitude could change instantly without any warning and before you knew it, her curses were already heading in your direction.
These differences were a significant part of why the two best friends complemented each other so well in the snake pit. Daphne's cold icy-blue eyes would warn off any boys with some sense of self-preservation; those without would be put at ease then cut down by a seemingly harmless Tracey. For information gathering, while the cheerful brunette was better at extracting useful information from smaller groups, the blonde Ice Queen could sit back and observe to watch out for the bigger picture.
Daphne's observation skills allowed her to identify a shift in political power as well as the focal point of said shift within the school; she would then inform Tracey so the latter could gather more information using her friendlier approach. Hence, the Greengrass heiress had become the unofficial leader and spokesperson between the two cunning snakes, despite the Davis heiress being the more talkative one.
When her best friend had approached her earlier in the day about the things she'd noticed about Potter, Tracey immediately agreed to follow her plans of following the Potter heir after lunch. So after seeing her blonde friend's signal, the two best friends left the Great Hall discreetly without any trouble.
As discreetly as they could, the Slytherin duo followed the Potter heir, who looked like he was having a mental conversation with his owl. The two glanced at each other for a moment from this new development.
They of course had seen Potter's owl around; while they both thought the owl was exceptionally beautiful, neither of the Slytherins thought it was Potter's familiar. Very rarely did witches or wizards find their familiars at such a young age, as only someone with a matured or a very powerful non-matured magical core could attract their potential familiars to them. However, a familiar bond was the only explanation they could come up with for Potter's ability to mentally communicate with the owl, and both realised the implications this explanation would have regarding the Potter heir's magical power.
By then, Tracey had also noticed the subtle changes her best friend had pointed out earlier about the famous boy; she began to appreciate why Daphne had become so interested in the Potter heir. Oh, the Ice Queen might be able to fool everyone else, and sometimes even herself, but the astute brunette could always see through her best friend of more than ten years. She might have said that her interest in Potter was purely about information gathering, but Tracey could tell whatever changes the Potter heir was going through, they were waking up the girl in her best friend.
Tracey's inner musing was disrupted by Potter's clearly teasing voice. "Besides, you never know, they might appreciate it."
Seeing there was no one around to witness their association with the Gryffindor Golden Boy, Tracey realised this was the perfect opportunity for her and her best friend to strike up a conversation and gather some information about the Potter heir.
Daphne saw what her best friend was about to do, and despite the misgivings she had about her best friend's approach, she knew how effective said approach was; that was not to mention her own increasing curiosity about the Potter heir, thus she didn't do anything to stop Tracey.
"Who might appreciate what, Potter?" asked the brunette Slytherin loud enough so the Gryffindor would be able to hear her calling his name from the other side of the corridor.
What followed Tracey's question shocked both of the heiresses.
Whilst Daphne didn't see the moment of emotional turmoil flashing across the time-travelling warrior's eyes, the observant snake could tell Potter wasn't surprised at being followed; she scoffed inwardly at that revelation.
They were both a little surprised when the Gryffindor called out both of them by their name, but more so when he did so with warmth and not a hint of hostility. Both of the astute Slytherins were surprised further before they could dwell on the Gryffindor's friendliness; whatever they were expecting of the Potter heir, the way he greeted them wasn't part of it. Potter had greeted them with almost perfect Pureblood etiquette, which Daphne had thought he knew nothing about; the only imperfection was the flirty tone on top of that otherwise perfect performance.
Said imperfection was soon forgotten when the bow and the constant eye contact allowed both of the Slytherin beauties to see his entrancing emerald-green eyes over the top of the wizard's glasses, for the first time without any barriers. Both Slytherins saw what the observant blonde didn't see before from afar: immense, radiating, and yet controlled power.
Any other boy who dared to touch their hands, let alone kissing said hands, would have been sent to the Hospital Wing immediately after; but time-travelling warrior had shocked both of the usually-ruthless heiresses enough, and with those enchanting green eyes staring at them, they both remained silent; the Ice Queen didn't even complain when Potter had yet to let her hand go.
Harry was quite amused by the speechlessness of the two Slytherins, but didn't let it show. They clearly didn't expect him to greet them like this; oh the irony, when it was their future selves who taught him everything he knew about Pureblood etiquette.
The young man kept Daphne's still outstretched hand in his, enjoying the feel of her smooth skin again after so long. Harry continued, seeing they were still speechless.
"It's a shame something as trivial as house rivalries has denied us the opportunity to be introduced before."
Having finally recovered from Potter's surprisingly warm, polite and slightly flirtatious greetings, the Ice Queen decided to stop making a fool of herself, and answered, but made no attempt to extract her hand from the young heir's grip.
"I agree, Potter. By limiting our social circles within our own houses, we isolate ourselves from three quarters of the school; at least from a business point of view, we would have disadvantaged ourselves significantly." The blonde beauty then turned her attention to Hedwig, before speaking to Harry again, "She is indeed a beautiful owl."
"I see how it is, you two are double teaming me, see who can make me blush the most," complained Hedwig in his head.
Harry chuckled, at Daphne's questioning look, he quickly explained, "Hedwig said thank you, but was complaining about us two making her blush."
Daphne was quite amused by Potter's dynamic with his owl, and nodded in understanding, but didn't say anything; she mentally made a note confirming the full familiar bond between the Potter heir and his owl. Tracey had no such compulsion to remain silent, having recently recovered herself from the numerous shocks delivered by the Potter heir. "Aww, you two are so cute!" She then proceeded to imitate Harry's earlier action and tickled the beautiful bird under her chin.
The time-travelling mage could feel Hedwig's conflict between enjoying the brunette's attention and being indignant at being triple-teamed.
Harry decided to not dignify the 'cute' comment with an answer and continued with where Daphne left off, "You are of course correct. Which is why I had promised myself just recently to expand my social circles, and try to get to know people from the other houses."
The thoughtful blonde arched one of her elegant eyebrows, and asked, "Including Slytherins?"
The experienced warrior answered with an easy smile, "Definitely, how else would I get to know two interesting and also two of the most beautiful witches in Hogwarts standing before me?"
"Oh, smooth, Potter," jumped in Tracey, "I didn't know you had such a tongue on you. But are you sure you can handle the two of us?"
Harry didn't take his eyes off Daphne during her best friend's question to show his sincerity. Daphne studied his intense green eyes; there was no lust or leer, just sincerity, clearly indicating he meant what he said and wanted to get to know them as Daphne and Tracey. When she realised this, the Ice Queen blushed.
Harry smiled in triumph inwardly at making her blush, happy that he didn't mess up and was allowed in the Ice Queen's first layer of defence; the experienced mage decided to move on quickly before it became awkward and undo the progress he had made. He winked at the still blushing blonde before turning towards the brunette to counter her slightly flirtatious comment, "Well, Miss Davis, if you spend enough time with me, you might find out," finished the Potter heir with a rakish grin worthy of James Potter that left Tracey in the same state as her best friend.
Both of the Slytherins recovered quickly though due to their somewhat-adequate Occlumency the time-traveller was well aware of. He continued where their main topic of conversation had left off, "Contrary to general opinion, I do not hate Slytherins, I do not think all Slytherins are evil, and I know for a fact Salazar Slytherin himself did not hate muggleborns, or new-bloods as they were called in his time. I just dislike Malfoy, his cronies, and his godfather, who happens to be Slytherin's Head of House for the time being."
That little snippet of information about Salazar Slytherin clearly intrigued the Slytherin beauties, and the astute battle mage recognized it; he decided to add another piece of information he knew they, especially Daphne, would find interesting. Being their lover for nearly two decades in the future, the time-traveller knew what made the two Slytherins tick. "In fact, if I hadn't met Malfoy, I would have been sorted to the Noble House of Slytherin."
Both Slytherins were intrigued by Potter's comment about Salazar Slytherin, and they could tell he wasn't making it up, but how could he know about those facts that were clearly lost in history? Before they could dwell on that further, Potter's next comment about his sorting definitely gave both of the astute Slytherins something else to think about. That was a very valuable piece of information and should be used carefully; neither the dark nor the neutral families would be happy with the Malfoys if this information got out. Because of the ponce's blunder, the neutral families missed a prime opportunity to be associated with a family as old and as powerful as the Potters, and the dark families missed a favour they could gain from the Dark Lord by delivering the Boy-Who-Lived using their heirs.
Harry could literally see the wheels spinning in their cunning minds, deciding on how to use this information in the future; he really did know and love them. Death was right; the reborn warrior vowed to himself again to accept all they would be willing to offer and keep them safe this time around.
Daphne snapped out of her planning first, and refocused on his eyes; she saw amusement in them. She realised then that he knew she would make use of that information, and he was happy to let her. The astute blonde had an inkling that Potter might be a lot more Slytherin than anyone realised; a true Slytherin hiding among the lions. Daphne narrowed her eyes at Potter, who just smirked back, Merlin, he can be infuriating. "Why?"
The intelligent warrior knew perfectly well what she was asking, but couldn't help teasing her. He adopted an innocent expression. "Why what?"
"You know exactly why what," said the slightly frustrated blonde, almost with a growl. Tracey had also snapped out of her planning by Daphne's one-word question; she was very amused by what the Potter heir was doing to her usually-stoic best friend, so for once, the bubbly brunette kept her mouth shut, sat back and observed.
"Do I?" Harry grinned widely, and Daphne huffed. He knew that she knew that he was teasing, and he wasn't afraid to show it. The ruthless resident Ice Queen wanted to hex him, and that was when she realised that her hand was still in his; it was also when she realised how natural and nice she felt having her hand in his. Not willing to carry on that train of thought, Daphne immediately withdrew her hand and blushed, which wasn't helped by Potter's disappointed pout and her best friend, traitor's snickering at her.
Again, before it got awkward, the intelligent young wizard answered her question, "I know that little piece of information would be useful in the snake pit, and could be used to protect you from Malfoy's ilk in the next few years." Harry then paused to wait for her to look him in the eyes, so she could see his sincerity. "I really do want to get to know you, Daphne, if you let me. And if you do, you might decide you need to hide our developing relationship to protect yourself, and I will understand. But I also know, no matter how careful we are, we might slip up one day, and that information could help give you an edge protecting yourself."
The majority-owner of Hogwarts knew that no one could harm either of the girls while they were within Hogwarts' ward boundary. However it wasn't the right place or the right time to release that piece of information, not to mention that the time-traveller knew how independent both of the girls were; they wouldn't want to feel like damsels that needed to be protected by their prince.
He turned to the bubbly brunette, who had stepped back to the background for a moment, and extended the same offer to Tracey with the same, intense and sincere tone.
Neither heiress was easily impressed, but they were by Potter's reasoning; he was clearly a lot more aware of everything happening in the castle than he let on. They could also tell he was sincere and really wanted to know them and keep them safe; neither were naïve enough to think that their beauty didn't have anything to do with the Potter heir's attention, but they were happy to see that their looks were not the only thing the young man in front of them was interested in. If anything, it would help both of their families in the future.
Daphne spoke up in her de facto role as the spokesperson of the two, "Thank you for your concern about our safety, Po… Harry. You are not what I expected, in a good way. I think I can speak for Tracey that we would like to get to know you, too. I must say I am intrigued by your actions since yesterday; I won't pry, but I can tell you are getting rid of the redheaded garbage bin. To be honest, I don't understand why you are friends with him in the first place."
Harry gave her a genuine smile and reassured her, "I know you don't want to get used to calling me by first name; you are more likely to slip up that way, so I won't mind you calling me Potter for now." The two Slytherins nodded in acceptance, again surprised by how insightful Potter was. "As for the weasel, he should consider himself lucky that he is still breathing given what I have discovered," growled out the battle mage as his eyes hardened for a moment, before his calm composure returned. "I'm sorry that I can't let you know what I've discovered until both of your Occlumency shields are more advanced."
The astute blonde instantly cut in, "That was it, that was what you did to Snape, wasn't it?" Harry's smirk was all they needed to know. Whilst Tracey was awed by the Potter heir's prowess at Mind Arts, the Ice Queen thought if that was his standard, her Occlumency would have a long way to go; she said somewhat dejectedly, "If you could do that to Snape with your Occlumency, and using that as standard, it would take me a long time to be as good as you are now."
Harry moved a little closer to the dejected girl, and waited for her to look him in the eyes. She did knowing he most likely knew Legilimency given what she knew now, but already developing enough trust for him to not use it on her. "If you let me, I would be happy to show the both of you how I developed my mindscape; although it would still probably take a few years to get to my current proficiency, we are not using me as a standard. Your standard is to be able to defend against a full mental assault by Dumbledore or Snape, and I am confident you would get there by the end of this summer if you are willing to learn."
"Really?" asked both of the enthusiastic Slytherins simultaneously.
Harry nodded affirmatively, "Really. I'm planning to invite a number of other like-minded people from different houses for this, including the lovely Miss Lovegood, whom I am sure that you have noticed I had breakfast and lunch with," said Harry while gazing directly into the blonde's icy-blue eyes.
Daphne's eyes widened with a deer-caught-in-the-headlights look, as her best friend snickered again at the Ice Queen getting caught with her hand in the cookie jar.
The Marauders' heir winked at the snickering brunette while the Ice Queen was employing every bit of her Occlumency training to not pout; he continued, "However, I am afraid that the two of you are the only ones currently in Slytherin I can trust to not stab me in the back, given the current climate in the once-Noble House of Slytherin, so please keep this between yourselves."
For the first time in a long time, Daphne consciously let her Ice Queen persona slip in front of a boy, and smiled brightly. Sure, she was somewhat peeved about being embarrassed by said boy earlier, but the cunning Slytherin was even more impressed. However, the fact that he could look past her outward beauty and her Ice Queen persona, and was willing to trust her as well as to help her allowed the Ice Queen to finally drop her guard.
"I understand, Harry," said the beautiful blonde softly, "I thank you for your offer, and gladly accept it." She paused to consider her next words, "I can tell that you are up to something, but I can also tell that you hold no ill-intent towards Tracey and me. Despite how Slytherin I now know you can be, you still have that Gryffindor nobility within you. I must say, it's a good mix. I think I speak for Tracey that we will be looking forward to learning from you."
Tracey nodded enthusiastically next to Daphne in agreement; the brunette let her best friend take the lead, but seeing she had finished, the bubbly girl jumped in, "Before we say our goodbyes, you haven't answered my very first question yet. Who might appreciate what?"
Remembering how their conversation started, instead of the vague images of all his past lovers, the time-travelling mage replayed the memories of doing that particular activity with older versions of Daphne and Tracey, and blushed for a second before he quickly got it under control.
"Harry! Mind, Gutter."
"Shush, Hedwig. I couldn't help it, and I should be free to think whatever I want behind my impenetrable mental shields. You could choose not to see what I am thinking."
Harry's eyes turned mischievous as the Marauder in him decided to make an impressionable exit for the ladies; he smirked before answering the brunette, "I can't tell you the 'who', but as for the 'what'," the wizard lowered his voice, paused, stepped towards them and leaned forward as if to tell a guarded secret; this served to draw the two Slytherin beauties closer as well.
Both Tracey and Daphne saw the instant of blush, the mischievous look, as well as Hedwig's indignant look towards her master; both had a feeling that they were better off not knowing the answer, but leaned forward anyway to hear what the Potter heir had to say.
The three heads were as close as they could be without Hedwig getting in the way; Daphne and Tracey could feel his hot breath brushing against their right and left ear respectively, making both of them shiver in pleasure, that they nearly didn't hear what the mischievous boy had whispered. "Would you appreciate having a Parselmouth performing cunnilingus on you? See you around, ladies." Finished the Marauders' heir with a bit of seduction in his voice.
He stepped back as he removed both Hedwig's and his glamours, letting the beautiful and shocked Slytherins have a good look at his muscular form dressed in a form-fitting duelling robe and his beautiful familiar, while said familiar swatted him on the back of his head. Two seconds later, the white phoenix flamed her naughty human away.
When the slightly flushed girls finally got themselves under control from Harry's seductive voice to register what said seductive voice said to them, they were somewhat confused at first. However that confusion gave away to shock and awe from the sudden appearance of a handsome, emerald-green-eyed and clearly powerful young man, as well as a majestic white phoenix that clearly belonged to the same powerful young man.
When the shock wore off, the handsome young man had already vanished in the midst of a bright-white flame. It only took another few seconds before the adolescent Slytherins fully comprehended what the Potter heir had whispered in their ears. Their eyes immediately glazed over, faces flushed and panties soaked, as they both started to imagine the handsome man who had just disappeared performing the unspeakable act he'd mentioned to them.
When they recovered enough of their senses, Harry was nowhere to be seen and both highly-aroused girls wondered if they imagined the more handsome version of the Potter heir. Daphne cursed Potter's name as she quickly found a bathroom to get her blush under control; it would not do to let the rest of the school see the Ice Queen blushing like this.
It took half an hour for the seething Ice Queen to get her blush under control. Tracey had followed her best friend to the bathroom, and during that time, she alternated between sniggering at the angry blonde and dreaming about the emerald-green-eyed hunk that was Harry Potter.
Slytherin Dungeon, Hogwarts Castle
11th May, 1993
Eventually, they both headed back towards the Slytherin dorm room they shared with each other to change their soaked knickers.
Despite still cursing Potter's name under her breath, Daphne couldn't get the image of him using Parseltongue on her out of her mind, and she knew she was going to need some self-relief that night. As for Potter, he would pay for what he did; Daphne had a vicious smile as she began to plan her retaliation against Potter.
As she replayed their conversation with the infuriating boy, Daphne couldn't help notice that he seemed to know a lot about her, including which buttons to push to rile her up. Although he seemed to use that knowledge to decide where the conversation led, and tease her sometimes, Harry was honest about it, and also used what he knew to help her instead of manipulating her.
She was Slytherin enough to still be cautious and not make the final judgement based on one meeting, but the astute blonde had a feeling that she had met her match, and this newly developed friendship would progress to something more. Just as well, she might not have made her final judgement, but the intelligent young Slytherin knew Harry James Potter was not someone she wanted as an enemy. Which also meant her retaliation would be more about embarrassment rather than hurtful, and definitely a lot more subtle. The Slytherin's resident Ice Queen could do subtle, and she definitely enjoyed a challenge.
Tracey could literally see the wheels spinning in her best friend's mind; she smirked at the blonde as despite the outward rage, she knew Daphne was smitten with the emerald-green-eyed wizard, even if she most likely wouldn't admit it to herself. Who could blame her; the brunette knew perfectly well and could admit to herself that she was smitten with the same wizard as well. The hunk of a wizard known as Harry James Potter was handsome, powerful, intelligent and rich as well as charming, respectful and polite; he would make a perfect boy toy even if they only dreamt up the more handsome version. Her best friend and she had shared everything since as long as they could remember; Tracy was sure that Daphne wouldn't mind sharing Potter with her either.
After that Parseltongue comment, Tracey shivered in pleasure at the mere thought. She didn't need Harry's warning about not mentioning their upcoming Occlumency lessons to other Slytherins; other than Daphne, and possibly Story, the brunette had no intention sharing the green-eyed hunk with any other pampered Pureblood princesses. With that thought, the cunning Slytherin started her planning for seducing Harry Potter for her best friend and herself.
Review response: HowInMadHowie pointed out Tonks' appearance in the last chapter as a fully qualified Auror; thank you for pointing that out, it was a mistake on my part. As I am using all the facts explicitely stated in canon for everything before Harry's jump back in time, thus, Tonks graduated the year before Harry first entered Hogwarts, and therefore, she had left for nearly two years at the current point of my story. I decided to change 'freshly-out-of-traning' to 'freshly-out-of-Academy' for where Tonks was at for her Auror career. She had a rank of Junior Auror (for graduating the Auror Academy), but was completing her field training before becoming fully qualified. Hope that made some sense. Cheers