Disclaimer: Don't own it.

Italics: Flashback

Chapter 29:

A Tale of 2 Slytherins

"What's going on Daphne?" Harry asked, his voice chilly, as he turned to the Blonde for answers, deciding to ignore his Godfather for the moment, "What are we doing here?"

"I want you to listen to what Mrs. Malfoy has to say Harry." Daphne said firmly, trying to make her dismay at the sudden coldness with which Harry addressed her.

"Harry..." Sirius murmured, getting up from the armchair, Narcissa continuing to stare at the floor, her hands clasped nervously in front of her.

"Why exactly would I want to talk to Malfoy's mother?" Harry spat at Daphne, "When has their entire family been anything but pure evil?"

"Because I can tell you much more about your father and even your mother than anyone else alive including Sirius." Narcissa said softly.

"I-What did you say?" Harry stammered, his eyes wide.

"You heard me the first time Harry Potter." Narcissa said suddenly and firmly, raising a finger to silence Sirius and Daphne. He looked exactly like him. The messy hair, the lanky figure. Only the flashing emerald eyes, gave away that he was not in fact James Potter, the love of her life. James had soft brown eyes, and they had never looked at her with the same amount of revulsion and distrust that his son's held. She should have been in his life, Narcissa realized, consequences be damned. She let James down at the moment he needed her the most. She owed him this. She owed it to James to make sure Harry knew what it meant to be a Potter. She owed it to the boy who saved her with a smile and a hug, to help shape his son into the person his parents always wanted him to be.

"Never ask someone to repeat themselves, especially in a personal setting. It gives the impression that you weren't paying attention to what was being said, or that the person's words carry no importance. People in Wizengamot have fragile ego Harry, and you need to soothe them if you ever want to have things your way. Never appear surprised, no matter how ludicrous a statement the person makes. A perfect poker face is your best friend. Important lessons for when you enter Wizengamot, so that consummate politicians like the Minister or my husband don't eat you alive. Your father might have been a typical Gryffindor, but he was smart enough to realize when someone was trying to help him, like Miss Green here is trying to do." Narcissa said calm, motioning for them to take a seat on the empty couch, "You've been careless Sirius."

"Harry's had other things to deal with Cissa." Sirius said uncomfortably.

"What happens when he needs those skills? Life is much more than waving a wand and playing pranks." Narcissa said, her voice clipped.

"Skills? Is this about Voldemort?" Harry asked softly.

"In a way Harry. This is about what happens after you defeat Voldemort, because you will. There is no doubt about that. Despite all the terrible deeds to his name, Voldemort is a man. Men can be killed Harry Potter. Ideas are truly immortal. What is to stop another Pureblood, picking up where he left off, claiming Voldemort's legacy as his own? Ideas only ever die, when the people have something, someone larger than themselves to believe in. Something that inspires them to stand up to the hate and bigotry around them. You have to be the torch bearer Harry. They trust you, they believe in you. You have to run on hope, the hope the wizarding world has in you, their hero, they Boy-Who-Lived, and when you enter Wizengamot, you need to turn that hope into something tangible for the people. This fight we are having, this struggle for the rights of muggleborns, needs much more, encompasses much more than killing Death Eaters and locking Voldemort in Azkaban and throwing away the key. James understood that. My brother, in his hatred for his family and all the influence that came with the name Black, decided childishly that all that is needed to win this fight is hunt down every single Death Eater that remains. This refusal to think straight, is partly why Sirius wrongly spent so many years in Azkaban. I will not allow him to make the same mistake with you. I've heard of your tales Harry. You've been reckless, and had it not been for Hermione Granger and Dumbledore, you'd probably have died in your first year. The time for bravado is past. Everyone, even James Potter's son needs to grow up sometime. Unfortunately, you never got to experience a proper childhood. For that I'm truly sorry. Great me are forged in fire Harry Potter, and it's the privilege of lesser one to light the flame. I'll do that for you if I must, even if it means I have to give up my only son. I...owe... James" Narcissa whispered, her eyes shining with tears, "Maybe this is how I am to repay him."

"You really knew my father?" Harry asked, frowning.

"I did." Narcissa murmured, a watery smile on her face, "He'd be proud of how much you've accomplished, but he'd also be concerned about how little you know."

"Mrs Malfoy?" Daphne asked, her voice unusually subdued.

"Miss Greengrass. It's Daphne, isn't it?"

"Yes. It's been a while." Daphne said, shifting uncomfortably.

"I do believe I last saw you at the Ministry Christmas Ball last year. You looked stunning in those forest green robes, but then you've always been stunningly beautiful. Unless Draco improves his behaviour, he'll be most unworthy of you. Unfortunately, my husband thinks his last name is enough to help your father overlook any flaws my son might have."

"Over my cold lifeless body." Daphne growled, her hand immediately going to clasp Harry's.

"Told you she loved Harry as much as you loved James, puppy crush and all." Sirius said, grinning, as he shot a wink at Daphne.

"And I told you, if Harry is anything like my James, he'd be just as devoted to her as James was to me and Lily." Narcissa shot back, serenely sipping her tea.

"How... How did you and... What about... You married Malfoy. Why?" Harry asked softly, his eyes searching her face for answers.

"It's a long story Harry. Susan and Gabrielle are waiting for us." Daphne murmured, rubbing the back of his hand with her thumb.

"You knew." Harry growled, turning to her.

"Remus told me Harry. On the Knight Bus. That's why I brought you along to meet her. I haven't been hiding it from you. I promise I didn't know before today and Remus only told me the basic facts. That's all!" Daphne pleaded, her eyes wide.

"Sorry..." Harry whispered, "I didn't mean... sorry." He murmured, pulling her towards him, so she was partly on her lap. "It's just so much. The tournament, Dumbledore's lessons, this..."

"I know sweetheart." Daphne murmured, cupping his face in her hands. "But you needed to know. Let's face it love, Lord Black is hardly the perfect role model for you." Daphne teased, looking at Sirius with an innocent smile.

"You don't ALWAYS have to be right." Harry grumbled, trying to suppress a smile as she softly kissed him.

"Our lives would be so much simpler if you just listened to me and Susan." Daphne teased, as she leaned in to kiss his nose, wisps of her blonde hair tickling his chin.

"Hem." Narcissa coughed gently, as she hid a smile under her hand. "My cousin can't handle so much cuteness children."

"That's right. Get a room." Sirius groused, still smarting from Daphne's constant teasing.

"You shouldn't keep your betrothed waiting Harry." Narcissa said, leaning back in the chair with a fond smile.

"But-"

"We'll meet again Harry Potter. My situation... is a little difficult, but I'll make sure I talk to you soon." Narcissa said softly, "I'll be in Hogwarts next week, to help plan the Yule Ball."

"Okay." Harry answered, his brow furrowed, as he slowly got up, following Daphne towards the door.

"It was nice to meet the real you, Mrs Malfoy." Daphne said from the door, unsure how the older woman would take the statement.

"Narcissa sweetie. The pleasure was all mine." Narcissa said, waving goodbye.

"Narcissa? You refused to let me call you anything other than Miss Black till our 7th year." Sirius pouted, as the door closed behind his godson.

"You were a lecherous dog who slept with a different girl every month. You do understand I was apprehensive to seem overly familiar with you. I did have a reputation to maintain." Narcissa grinned, "Besides, she's going to marry my son. She can call me Narcissa."

"I'm not a punching bag for your amusement."

"If one is to believe Remus' account of the first meeting between you and the enchanting Miss Greengrass, that's exactly what you are dear cousin." Narcissa shot back with a tinkling laugh.


Diagon Alley:

"You were gone for quite some time. Are you okay?" Susan asked, appearing concerned at the distracted look on Harry's face, before asking with a faint smile, "Daphne took you to a secluded corner of the Leaky Cauldron and snogged your brains out, didn't she? I'll have to talk to her. she can't go breaking my boyfriend every so often."

"I heard that." Daphne shouted, as she stood into Fortesques.

"She didn't." Harry murmured, rolling his eyes, "I just had a talk with... someone not sure what happened myself. like I said we'll have to have a long talk with Daphne." Harry said, nodding at his girlfriend, who followed Remus, Tonks, and Gabrielle, out of the Ice cream shop.

"Pistachio Daphne?" Susan asked as she picked up a bag, "Just some shopping I did while we were waiting for you." She said in response to Harry's questioning look, a quick peck to his cheek.

"What?" Daphne replied in between licks, the group walking deeper into Diagon Alley, Remus and Tonks deliberately falling behind to give Harry and the girls some privacy. "It's my aesthetic. Tonks ordered bubble-gum. could have gone with strawberry but nooooo... it had to be shocking pink. I didn't see you questioning her terrible taste when she threw her into a bon the moment she walked out of the shop. At least, I like pistachio." Daphne said, sticking her tongue out childishly.

"She does have a point you know. Strawberry was pink as well, and I think you'd have enjoyed it much more than that disgusting concoction." Remus said mildly, smiling fondly at Harry.

"Sush, old man. it's been a while since you've been adventurous, and experimental. but I must say Mr. Lupin, you're incredibly sexy for an older guy. Maybe it's your recent election to Wizengamot. Like most girls, I've got a thing for powerful men." Tons whispered, her lips almost touching his ear. "No, I think it's just who you are. Coming, sexy?" Tons finished with a grin and a kiss to his cheek as she skipped behind Susan, into Florish and Blotts leaving Remus frozen in the middle of the street.

"Must we stop for a book? Need." Daphne teased, watching Susan walk towards the young adults section of the Fiction wing.

"I'm out of pulp fiction. My aesthetic is cuddles by the fireplace, romantic novels and buff brave Gryffindors." Susan murmured distractedly, reading the blurb behind a book.

"That does sound nice." Gabrielle said, fascinated by the rows of books on Quidditch.

"That's probably because you'd enjoy cuddling a particular buff Gryffindor by the fireplace as well." Daphne said slyly, smirking at the red that instantly filled her cheeks.

"Harry? Harry!" Daphne said, clicking her fingers in front of his nose, breaking his train of thought.

"Huh? What happened?"

"Go help Gabrielle." Daphne said, pointing at the Veela, who had her nose buried in a book, "She's clearly fascinated by Quidditch, and you probably know much more than the employee who looks terrified at being approached for help."

"Do you ever stop scheming?" Susan asked, digging in her handbag for reading glasses.

"Hush, you. Would you rather share Harry with someone like Megan Summerby?"

"Harry might not be the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to relationships, but even he'll realizer what we're up to sooner or later."

"I practically rubbed myself against him like a cat whenever I hugged him and it took a kiss in front of a stadium full of people for him to realize I had a thing for him Bones." Daphne said sarcastically, looking at the book she was reading over her shoulder. "I bet Harry won't realize Gabrielle likes him till he finds him naked in his bed wearing bunny ears."

"Do I detect a hint of Tracey there?" Susan asked smiling as she leaned her head back on her shoulder.

"Merlin forbid!" Daphne replied, crinkling her nose, "Tracey is, and always will be, one of a kind."

"So are you Miss Greengrass." Susan replied, turning to place a tiny kiss on her shoulder, feeling particularly brave.

"By the way, I've been meaning to ask. Are you alright? You've been awfully quiet today, and you're the only one who didn't buy ice cream at Fortesques other than Harry, and he's got a lot on his mind." Daphne murmured.

"I'm fine!" Susan snapped uncharacteristically, keeping her eyes fixed on the book.


"I had no idea you loved Quidditch." Harry said smiling at Gabrielle.

"I then I got it from Papa. Fleur and Mama don't particularly care about it. Mama claims eet is an unseemly sporty." Gabrielle replied, shrugging as she browsed the titles.

"Do you play for your house in school?" Harry asked, pulling a copy of Quidditch Through The Ages, for her.

"We do not play Quidditch in Beauxbatons, not do we have zee houses like in 'ogwarts. Rather, we sort people on ze basis of their year. Ze first years get one dormitory, ze second years another, and so on. Ze only time I get to see Quidditch is when Papa takes to games in summer." Gabrielle replied, struggling under the weight of the books she had picked up.

"What position would you play? If you had the chance?" Harry asked, taking some of the books from her.

"Seeker!" Gabrielle said, beaming, passing her books to the cashier. "I am small, fit and have perfect eyesight. Perfect for a seeker, non?"

"Boys." Daphne mouthed to Susan, rolling her eyes, as Susan added a couple of books to Gabrielle's piles.

"My treat." Harry said firmly, stopping Gabrielle as she dug into her handbag for money, moving to pay the cashier.

"Harry was the youngest seeker in Hogwarts in over a century. Why don't you ask him for lessons?" Susan asked with a faint smile.

"I was there when he dived for that stupid remembrall. I thought my heart would stop/." Daphne grumbled softly, a scowl on her face.

"Nothing ever happened to me while playing Quidditch that Madame Pomfrey couldn't correct Daphne." Harry murmured, turning around to face her, before taking a hand and pulling her closer.

"You better not die doing something stupid before I get my beach wedding Harry James Potter." Daphne whispered, her arms around his neck as she gazed into his gorgeous emerald eyes, "I'll travel around the world, find the resurrection stone, get you back and kill you myself."

"Noted." Harry whispered, his lips against hers as Daphne tried to supress a moan, desperately wishing her etiquette lessons would kick in and stop her making a scene in the bookshop. To hell with it, Daphne groaned, fisting her hand in his shirt, trying to pull her Harry closer. Her Harry. Her mother might claim true love is irrational at 15, but she knew Harry. She had been inside him, in his mind. During their weekly Occlumency sessions she learnt his worse fears, his greatest regrets. He wasn't the unassailable hero everyone thought him to be, nor was he perfect. He was deeply flawed, and had his shortcomings, but that just made her love him more. She couldn't help it. Wizarding Britain could have its hero. She'd be happy with her flawed, adorable, sexy as hell Harry.

"Ready?" Daphne asked reluctantly, pointing her wand at Harry. What if she saw something he didn't want her to see and he decided he didn't want anything to do with her? Teaching him the theory was one thing... Actually, doing it... "Harry... Are you... Are you sure? It' your first time. You won't be able to block me completely, if at all. I... I can't help myself either. I'm not a skilled legilimens like my father... or Professor Dumbledore. They can search for a specific memory. I... I just know the basics... Theory mostly. All I see are flashes. I... I can't help what I see. What if I..."

"See something?" Harry smiled, hands folded in his lap as he leaned back in the chair. "I don't mind Daphne. I have nothing to hide from you."

"If you're sure..." Daphne murmured, closing her eyes. "LEGILIMENS"

"Your mother just entered the shop." Susan whispered near her ear in a sing song voice, a smirk plastered on her face.

"What? Where?!" Daphne screeched, jumping back and furiously smoothening her blouse.

"I lied, but in my defence, I had to do something to separate the two of you. There are children around." Susan replied, the smirk still plastered on her face.

"You lied?" Daphne growled, appearing outraged, before smiling. "Cunning, Bones. I'll make a Slytherin of you yet." She murmured, swooping to place a kiss on her cheek, before turning around and walking out of the bookstore haughtily... or as haughtily as she could, with a crumpled blouse and smudged make-up.

"You know how hard she works for her mother's approval love." Harry murmured, wrapping an arm around Susan, after she had finished stuffing the books in her purse. "She hates doing anything that she feels her mother wouldn't approve of."

"Working to earn a mother's approval. Must be nice." Susan said softly, staring at Harry's shoes.

"Susie? Are you alright?"

"They died right outside Fortesques. Yesterday was the 14th Death Anniversary. Auntie would never tell me how they died. All I knew growing up was that they had been very brave, and I should be proud of them." Susan muttered bitterly, furiously wiping her tear stained cheeks.

"When did you find out?" Harry whispered, shepherding her into a relatively quiet alley besides Gringotts, motioning for Tonks, Remus and Gabrielle to follow Daphne.

"I'm sorry... I didn't... This was supposed to be your day... I pretended to be happy... I was doing good... Didn't want to disappoint you. I'll just go. You can enjoy with Daphne... Come pick me from the Leaky Cauldron." Susan whispered, trying to get out of Harry's grip.

"Susan! Love. Susie." Harry murmured, grabbing her hands and pinning them above her head, against the marble wall of Gringotts, "Mrs Potter!" Harry half-shouted in desperation, staring into her watery blue eyes.

"Witch Weekly says the key to a successful relationship is communication. And lots of sex apparently." Susan said idly, settling comfortably against Harry's chest as she flipped through the magazine.

"Is that so? I guess we can't have a successful relationship for a couple of years then. Might as well give up." Harry teased, smiling as he made notes in his copy of Manual for Broomstick Care. It was their weekly ritual, spending the night in the Astronomy Tower, cuddling under the stars, as they talked about everything and nothing.

"Well, I'm not ready to give up on my husband just yet. We should have code words, so we can use them when one of us wants to talk and needs to make sure the other doesn't interrupt." Susan giggled, twisting and pushing Harry onto his back.

"Code Word?" Harry asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Something that'll help you understand you need to shut up and listen to me Mr. Potter." Susan whispered, her finger pressed against his lips. "Ooo. Mr. Potter. You better listen to me when I call you Mr. Potter, Lord Potter." Susan said haughtily.

"The same goes for you, Mrs. Potter." Harry growled, flipping her over so she was pinned under him.

"Yes sir." Susan squeaked, her eyes wide, red instantly covering her cheeks.

"Sir?" Harry cocked an eyebrow, kissing the tip of her nose.

"Sorry. Reflex. The only other person to call me that till now is Professor Snape and I know he does it to taunt me, but you sounded very commanding, in-charge and professory. Very hot. Professor Potter." She whispered, softly kissing him.

"Did you just compare me to Professor Snape?" Harry growled playfully, his forehead touching hers.

"I know you don't like him Harry, but there are very few Professors who can command the attention of a classroom like him." Susan whispered, feeling very hot all of a sudden. "You exude an aura of power and confidence these days Harry, much like him. The only difference is that, while his aura has a certain malice about him, yours is warm and fuzzy... Like... Like I'll be safe from everything in the big bad world, as long as I stay by your side." Susan whispered, her cheeks crimson.

"Yes sir!" Susan squeaked, as she stopped struggling against him.

"Still not over that particular reflex?" Harry murmured, stroking her cheek with a finger.

"I haven't really had a chance... You called me Mrs. Potter for the first time since since the night in the Astronomy Tower." Susan murmured, leaning into his touch., "Harry... People will notice... The headlines..."

"Don't worry about it." Harry murmured, fumbling in his pocket for his wand, pulling it out, casting a Notice Me Not Charm at the entrance of the alley. One of the many advantages of being emancipated, he could now perform magic outside Hogwarts. "Now. Mrs Potter, care to tell me what happened to your parents? When did you find out they were killed by Death Eaters?" Harry asked, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.

"They... They were killed yesterday... Outside Fortesques. I.. I haven't told anyone in Hogwarts. People... They only know my parents were killed in a Death Eater attack... Auntie kept the grisly details secret... I found out the file when I was nine... Only Hannah knows.." Susan hiccupped, staring at her shoes. "I usually.. usually spend the day in bed looking at family albums.. I didn't.. I really didn't want to come today.. But like Hannah said... It was the first weekend in a really long time... And you've been so stressed trying to figure out the clue in the Golden Egg... I've been trying really hard to be worthy of you Harry Potter... Please don't be mad?" Susan whispered, having given up any efforts to fight the tears.

"Remember what I told you that night on the Astronomy Tower?" Harry asked, gently wiping the tears off her cheek with his thumb.

"You... You.." Susan hiccupped, finally looking up at him, desperate to make sure he'd meant what he had told her, "You told me I was the most precious thing in your life and you'd do everything possible to keep me safe and happy." She whispered, her blue eyes wide and fearful.

"You were alright before we left Susie. Was it the visit at Fortesques?" Harry asked gently, allowing her to snuggle into him, as he looked around, hoping his charm would hold. The last thing they needed was for this conversation to be published in the Daily Prophet, with accompanying pictures.

"Partly. I never visit Fortesques if I can help it, but Gabrielle wanted ice cream. The first time I went to Fortesques, was with you. Over the summer." Susan sniffled, her voice muffled by Harry's chest. "It was also Daphne. She was worried about her mother so much... She'll take you to her parent... They'll swoon over you... They'll get a chance to spoil you... Mother you... It dawned on me that I'll never get to take you home to Daddy. They'll... They'll never see how happy I am.. How good their choice turned out to be... I know it's stupid and selfish... You don't have your parents either... At least I have auntie... I shouldn't complain. It's just... I sometimes feel I'm not good enough for you, and try as I might, I just can't shake that feeling."

"Wherever they are Susie, I'm sure they are still looking out for you and they're glad you're happy, safe and content." Harry said softly, kissing her tear stained cheek. "As for me... You're absolutely perfect for me. I couldn't ask for a better partner for me to spend my life with. You're spectacular... kind... lovely... hot... sexy..." Harry whispered, punctuating each syllable with a kiss, till she burst out into giggles. "Now... how about you come along with me and stop Daphne from draining my Gringotts account?" He smiled gently, pulling back.

"Sure..." Susan giggled, a watery smile on her face, "You're a wonderful man, you know that Harry Potter? I love you so much..." She whispered, taking his hand as they sneaked out of the alley.


Little Hangleton:

"Hello Harry. I hope you had a pleasant day." Dubledore asked serenely, unwrapping a lemon drop as he nodded at Remus, not appearing surprised to see Susan with them as well.

"Professor. Why this sudden detour from Diagon Alley?" Harry asked, his eyes widening as he saw the dilapidated signpost behind the old Headmaster. "Little... Little Hangleton. What're we doing here... Did you find him?! Voldemort!" Harry asked, suddenly sounding excited, as he tightened his grip on Susan's hand.

"Nothing so dramatic, Harry." Dumbledore chuckled, turning to Remus. "Are the girls okay? Miss Tonks, Greengrass and Delacour?" He asked, as Remus nodded.

"They took the Knight Bus back to Hogwarts. Daphne wanted to come with us." Remus said, trying to hide his smile.

"Miss Greengrass is indefatigable." Dumbledore chuckled, offering a lemon drop to the gathering. No one accepted. "Remus, thank you for escorting Harry here. I'll talk to you tomorrow." He said, smiling serenely.

"Why are we here Professor?" Susan asked, shivering, her thin blouse giving no protection against the biting cold wind.

"Ah. Many of my fellow wizards pay no attention to the happenings of the Muggle World. A huge folly indeed, for I believe it's in the Muggle World where Voldemort will strike first." Dumbledore explained, motioning for the couple to follow him as Remus smiled at Harry before apparating away. "There was a curious post in one of the Muggle newspapers I like to read in my free time. A man dead, in a dilapidated house formerly known as Riddle Mansion. Nothing wrong with him... He was just... Dead. Sound familiar Miss Bones?"

"Avada Kedavra.." Susan whispered, her voice soft. "Riddle... This was Voldemort's house?"

"His fathers. The Muggle. Right, Professor?" Harry asked, as they walked up the hill.

"Indeed. Troubling then, for a man to die there, not long after Peter Pettigrew escaped. I just hope my suspicions are wrong, and Voldemort isn't back in Britain..." Dumbledore said softly, looking tired and weary in the moonlight.


Author's Note:

I'm back! Miss me? Uni sucks, I had writer's block, but I'm here finally! Better late than never.

If you liked this Chapter, leave a sock for Dobby. What do you think they'll find in Riddle Mansion?