I want to thank everyone for the likes, favorites, follows and messages. I want to explain why I don't have a set schedule for posting chapters on this story or any of the other stories I have. I have been in a debilitating state of depression because my husband died of a heart attack in June, since that time I have had to bury my husband, move from our house back to where I grew up and now I am fighting depression with everything have left. This chapter was partially written before my husband passed away and I just had to leave it for a while so I could get my head straight. Please have patience with me on writing, I am trying not to make things too depressing and have had to write parts of this chapter several times before it sounded right.
Thank you once again to SilverOrbedLioness, you are a wonderful beta and an amazing friend. Thank you! Thank you to TheHuntress53 for reading it over as well, love ya girl!
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I do not own Harry Potter or anything associated with the Harry Potter universe that privilege belongs to J.K Rowling. I am simply playing in her backyard, swinging on her swing and sliding down her slide.
Chapter 6: Misunderstandings
One hour before the Wizengamot session:
A loud knock shook Kingsleys door.
"Enter," he stated plainly not even lifting his head from the piles of documents that littered his desk and finished signing the parchments that were required to be presented to introduce Harry and Severus as members of the Wizengamot.
Percy Weasley stood inside the doorway, his face was purple from rushing but more so because of what he held in his hands. Kingsley glanced up from the papers on his desk with a slight look of annoyance, whatever Percy had obviously wasn't good news.
"Minister, something has to be done!" Percy urged as he took three long strides and plopped the bulging folders on top of Kingsley's already crowded desk.
Kingsley picked up the first folder and opened it to reveal a picture of Lucius Malfoy. He didn't even get to read the first paragraph before Percy was pacing and talking again.
"All three! This is unacceptable if we let those...those people-" he spat, "get away with this everyone will be trying to do the same thing!"
"What exactly are you talking about?" Kingsley said calmly placing his hands on top of each other on his desk.
Percy stopped pacing and stared blankly at Kingsley. "Read them!"
Kingsley furrowed his eyebrows, sighed and began to read the folders. A note stuck to the inside caught his attention:
We can't allow others to try and purchase their way into this law; not only is that illegal it is unconscionable! Please inform the Minister of this development, Lord Malfoy, Lord Potter, and Miss Granger are in real danger of being auctioned off like a house-elf! Here are the results:
It is conclusive that Lord Lucius Abraxas Malfoy is an 80% wand match to Miss Hermione Jean Granger, Former Undersecretary Dolores Umbridge, is only a 15% wand match.
( This match would be disastrous!)
Likewise, Miss Hermione Granger also carries respectively an 80% wand match to Lord Severus Snape and Mr. Draco Malfoy.
Please inform the Minister that Lord Harry Potter shares an 85% wand match with both Miss Ginerva Weasley and Miss Luna Lovegood
Note: Former Undersecretary Umbridge has offered a hundred ninety-three thousand galleons to complete this match in favour of herself instead of Miss Hermione Granger. This can not be allowed!
Mr. Gregory Goyle has offered twenty million galleons for Miss Granger.
Mr. Marcus Flint has also offered twenty million galleons for Miss Granger.
I was contacted this morning by Mr. Lu Chang, he wants to offer a substantial amount to have his daughter Cho made a wand match to Mr. Harry Potter.
Please respond as soon as possible, I have owls flooding my office. These particular matches may need to bond sooner than anticipated. A public announcement may also become necessary to prevent further disturbance to proven matches. Something needs to be done immediately!
Miss Wendy Greene
Chairman of the Repopulation by Marriage Act]
"We need to contact them."
"Not to worry, Percy. Harry, Lucius, and Hermione will be here in less than an hour for the Wizengamot session. I will speak to them. I should contact Luna and Ginny as well, unless you have time to floo call Ginny and your mum? I can send a note to Arthur and I will contact Xeno and Luna."
"Yes, I will notify mother and Ginny," Percy nodded his head.
"Good, this needs to be resolved quickly. Just the thought of Umbridge with Lucius…" Kingsley gave a revolted shudder and ran his hand across his eyes. "You may use the floo in my secretary's office to call Molly and Ginny."
Percy gave a slight bow and turned to leave the room. "Has your wand match been identified, Percy?" Percy stopped mid-stride and his shoulders slumped slightly. "It remains...inconclusive." Percy straightened back up and walked out of Kingsley's office.
Kingsley sat still for a moment, lost in thought about all that had occurred in the last few months. If he was being honest with himself, the last few years. None of them had been able to just breathe and enjoy life for a while. With the ending of the second war came a new set of problems and while they weren't violent they were no less disturbing.
Just the thought of that vile woman trying to bend the ministry law to her will, again, set his teeth on edge. He was going to find a way to rid the ministry of that woman if that is the only thing he ever accomplished as being Minister of Magic he would do it. Lucius did not deserve to be bound to that toad and Hermione did not deserve to be bound to two men who still saw her as filth. He wasn't sure what the deal with Harry and Cho was, perhaps Harry could explain that one.
Kingsley pushed his chair back and stood, stretching his muscles. He still wasn't used to sitting behind a desk, he was an Auror and a damn good one at that. He would need to start working out again, this stint as Minister wouldn't last forever and when this was done he had every intention of being back in the Auror department chasing those who deserved to be in Azkaban.
Kingsley walked to the massive fireplace, took a handful of floo powder and knelt down calling out: THE ROOK!
"Luna?" Kingsley called out to an empty room that looked as if it had been bathed in every color of the rainbow.
"Oh, hello Minister!" Luna replied as she walked from the kitchen to the sitting room.
"I need your help with something if you wouldn't mind coming through to my office, I would very much like to discuss it with you."
"Sure, I will be there, would you like me to bring daddy as well?"
"Yes, it would probably be best if you did."
"Alright. I will grab my dress and come through."
"My wedding dress, of course, it's yellow. Harry likes yellow, he told me it makes my hair shine."
Kingsley laughed at her expression. Yes, Harry did say that. Harry Potter had pined over Luna and Ginny for years now he would get his witches and they were all a match.
At least these three will be happy together.
"Yes, bring your dress, Luna. I have a feeling you will need it."
"She will only need two hours to find one, I think Ginny and I can help her. She knows exactly what she wants."
"Hermione, she already knows what she wants," Luna smiled at Kingsley.
He was always slightly unnerved by Luna, she was either exceptionally perceptive or she was a seer. He believed she was both to some degree. Kingsley thanked Luna and broke the connection to the Lovegood residence.
Percy flung the floo powder into the grate calling out for the Burrow. Molly was standing in the kitchen peeling what looked to be at least ten pounds of potatoes and humming along with the Wizarding Wireless. He chuckled at the woman who everyone knew was a formidable witch, his mum but was also mother to everyone as well.
"Mum," Percy called out and Molly dropped her knife and had her wand pointed at the fireplace before he could say hello."
"Percy Weasley! You scared the living daylights out of me!"
"I do apologize, mum, is Ginny home?"
"Yes, she is out back pulling radishes from the garden, give me one moment and I will get her for you." Molly holstered her wand and wiped her hands on her apron before walking to the back door to retrieve Ginny. She came through the door as perplexed as Molly was to find her brother in the fireplace.
"What's the matter? You never floo call me," Ginny stated kneeling down in front of the floo.
"I need you and mum to come through to the Minister's office, we have a situation that needs to be resolved as soon as possible."
"Is this about that insane Marriage law, Percy?"Ginny frowned.
"Well, yes, but I think you will be pleased by who you are matched with. I just need you both to come through so Kingsley and I can explain. Please."
Ginny turned her head to look at Molly who had her hands on her hips as she looked directly at her son.
"Who?" Molly said sternly, she knew it was a requirement but she would fight tooth and nail to stop it if Ginny was paired with someone who would hurt her. Molly already disapproved of the way the Wizengamot paired Hermione with three men, spies for the Order or not, they were branded Death Eaters. If any of those three ever hurt her she would kill them the same way she did Bellatrix. Luna, Harry, and Hermione were as much her children as if she had given birth to them herself and she would not allow anyone to hurt them.
"Mum," Percy tried to dissuade his mother from her murderous train of thought. "I can't…"
"Percy Weasley! You will tell me right now or you and Kingsley will get an ear full! I will not hand over any of my children to someone who will hurt them!"
"Mum, I could get fired and I promise Ginny's match would never lay a hand on her."
"Well!? We would know when we get there anyway, let her have a minute to get used to the idea, Percy. Descent person or not, she should at least be able to come to terms with who it is beforehand! " Molly demanded.
"It's, Harry," Percy sighed, "but there is more to it than that, mum. Harry, as well as Hermione, are matched with more than one person. That isn't really the problem either. We have people trying to buy their matches in this law, Mr. Chang has petitioned for Harry but Ginny and Luna are Harry's matches. Cho was only a small match, not even enough to count in the law."
"Cho wants Harry!? That sneaky harpy! She only dated him because he was famous!" Ginny shouted
"I know, Gin. Are you ok with...Luna?"
"Why wouldn't I be? Luna is one of my best friends, I can get along with Luna, Percy. I will not put up with Cho."
"Just, come through, please. Harry will be in the Wizengamot session today, Kingsley is introducing him and Snape to their seats and reinstating Malfoy. I do not think the session will last more than an hour or two."
Ginny put her head in her hands, she really didn't know what to feel other than relief. Molly placed her hand on Ginny's shoulder and gave it a slight squeeze. She looked up at her mother, her eyes filled with tears. Molly smiled down at her only biological daughter, she could see the relief on her face.
"Tell Kingsley we are going to get cleaned up and come through."
"Thank you, Percy," Ginny whispered through her tears, she was a match to Harry. She could hardly believe she was a match to the man she loved most in the world.
"You're welcome, Gin." Percy looked at his sister, she had grown into a beautiful and fierce woman. He was glad Harry was her match, he just prayed to whatever God was listening she could live as a triad with Luna, he knew how fiery his sister was, the only consolation was Luna wasn't quick to anger.
Luna and Xenophilius Lovegood stepped through soon after Percy broke the connection with the Burrow.
"Hello Minister," Luna smiled.
"Just Kingsley, Luna," he smiled back. "Xeno, we have an issue we need to discuss I am waiting for Molly and Ginny to arrive. Please have a seat I need to send a message to Arthur."
"Of course, Kingsley, my Luna and I will be right here."
Kingsley returned to his desk and jotted a note to Arthur Weasley on a small piece of parchment, folded it and sent it to his office.
What a bloody mess…
I need to see you in my office as soon as you are available.
Percy stepped back into Kingsley's office and watched as Kingsley finished his short note to his dad.
"Please take this to Arthur," he said handing Percy the folded piece of parchment.
"Mum and Ginny will be arriving momentarily."
"Thank you for contacting them, Percy." Percy nodded and grabbed the note and turned to walk out the door but was stopped by Luna grabbing his hand. Percy looked down at the beautiful blond girl sitting primly on one of the dark leather wingback chairs.
"We will be fine, Percy," Luna looked at Ginny's brother with a serene smile plastered on her face.
"I pray you are correct," Percy replied.
Thirty minutes before the Wizengamot Session:
Everyone was crowded inside Kingsley's office. The noise level had reached deafening and he wondered if he would have to shout to make them hush.
"As much as I love seeing all of you, we have business that needs to be addressed immediately. As you know a new law…"
"We already know, Kings," Ginny said quietly. "What I want to know is if Harry is aware of what has happened?"
"No, not yet, he will be here shortly for the Wizengamot session but I will not tell him anything until after. He is already frantic about taking two seats in the Wizengamot and I can already tell there will be one person who will try and oppose it in any way she can." Kingsley was adamant about not stressing him before the session began.
One hour after the Wizengamot Session:
"Oh, hello Harry," Luna beamed.
"Luna!" Harry said as he engulfed her in his arms. "It is so good to see you."
"It is good to see you as well."
Ginny and Molly stepped through the fireplace and once again and Harry bear hugged both women. Molly laughed at the tight hug her adopted son gave her but Ginny just didn't know what to feel at the moment. She was ecstatic to see Harry that was a fact, but would he be just as excited to find himself bonded to her or Luna?
"I have missed you, Gin," Harry said into her hair and she closed her eyes.
"I have missed you too."
"Good! We are all here now," Kingsley laughed as he clapped Harry firmly across the back. Harry stumbled forward slightly causing Ginny to fall backward into Molly.
"Kingsley!" Molly chastised good-naturedly as her hand flew to Ginny's shoulders to steady her once again.
"First off, Molly, I would like for you to help Hermione and Lucius with research into finding the next living magical person in dead magical families. I remember at one time you telling me it was a hobby of yours when you were at Hogwarts. Would you be willing to help?"
"Well, yes, of course, I will, Kingsley."
"Ginny, Harry, Luna you three follow me for a moment I need to speak with you privately. We shall return shortly. "
Kingsley led the three into his office and summoned a folder from his desk before shutting and sealing the door.
"Before we go any further, I want you to understand that if you agree with what I am about to tell you it will need to be done immediately, understood?"
A collective 'yes' came from all three. Kingsley laid the folder on the table and rubbed his hands across his eyes.
"It was brought to my attention just before the start of the Wizengamot session that your name has come up first in the wand matches for the Marriage law. You, Harry, are matched with both Ginny and Luna which is great because since you all match I can marry you, but of course, you already know all of this. There have been some very powerful families trying to pay exorbitant amounts of money to have all three of you married into their families. Now, there are two options we have so that the original results are not 'disposed' of. 1. I can marry you today and one of you ladies will retain the title of Lady Potter and the other will be Lady Potter-Black or 2. You can wait until May the 15 and test your luck!"
Harry ran his hand through his messy black hair and closed his eyes. He wasn't going to lie he had been in love with both of these women for years. He had only pulled away from Ginny because he was dealing with everything after the war and they were still grieving for Fred and everyone else who had died. He fell in love with Luna at Shell Cottage, many days she was the only one person he could bare his soul too and not feel pitied.
"What do you ladies think?" Harry asked quietly.
Kingsley excused himself to leave the threesome alone so they could discuss their options.
"I-I really don't know, Harry. I won't deny that I love you but I don't want you to feel obligated..." Ginny answered but Harry had other plans. He took two long steps toward her, clasped her beautiful, tear-streaked face and lowered his lips to her querulous ones.
"Why would you ever believe you are an obligation? I have loved you for years, Ginny. I will continue to love you until death takes us away from each other and even when that happens I will love you for eternity in the hereafter."
Ginny began to cry harder, she knew deep in her heart Harry loved her not everyone else had always taken priority. First the war, then the depression. Losing Fred and so many others had taken its toll on all of them. Now, there was Luna. She loved Luna dearly, she had always protected the quirky girl even as a child when the local bullies tried to pick on her. Several times during Hogwarts Ginny and Neville would step in to protect their friend, especially the last year. Could she share Harry with Luna? Could she be that unselfish and brave?
"I will marry you, Harry," Luna piped up. " and I would love for us to be family as well, Ginny."
Ginny stared at Luna for a moment and smiled, she already felt as though Luna was family and Harry had been a part of her life for so long she couldn't imagine a life without him. But, what if she was too selfish to share him? She didn't know if she could, she had loved him for so long the thought of him with Luna made Ginny feel ill. A conclusion crawled through the cracks in her heart: would it be too bad if she had to share him with Luna? In fact, she knew her life-long friend would be the only one Ginny could more than tolerate. She understood that Harry would have to marry two women because he was Lord over two houses and the Savior of the Wizarding World! Ginny also comprehended the dire thought that should she not accept now she would lose him forever. At least it was with Luna and not some crazy bitch like Pansy Parkinson or Cho Chang. Or even the slightly clumsy and ditzy Susan Bones, the Prom Queen Lavender Brown, or the too cool for school sisters, Daphne and Astoria Greengrass.
Ginny sat down hard at the table and laid her head on the cool mahogany surface trying to stifle the tears that were threatening to break loose once again. Luna walked over to her, knelt down and ran her hand soothingly down her red waist-length hair. Harry stepped up behind Ginny and hugged her from behind.
"I will be right there with you, Gin. Luna and I both, I will always protect you and I will always provide for you both and any children we may have. I swear."
"I know," Ginny sniffed.
"But, I do love both of you, Gin. I just assumed, which I see now I shouldn't have done so, that you already knew I love you. I have loved you since Hogwarts, I will keep loving you until I die that is a fact. I had never been more jealous in my life than I was watching Dean kiss you, I wanted to hurt him worse than Voldemort. The hardest thing I ever had to do was leave you behind when Hermione, Ron and I had to go on the run. Didn't I already swear to you I wouldn't leave you behind again? I am sorry these last two years have been...difficult. I am sorry I pulled away from you, but that doesn't mean I stopped loving you." Harry lifted Ginny's face and smiled at her, she was so beautiful. He honestly didn't know how he got so lucky to have her or Luna, let alone both! Harry grabbed Luna's hand that was still slung around Ginny's shoulders and kissed her knuckles.
"I have loved you, Luna, since Shell Cottage, probably a lot longer than that, but I realized just how much the day you helped me bury Dobby in the sand. You were the only bright ray of sun that held me together- held all of us together- when all hope seemed lost you gave me the strength to keep fighting. I couldn't help but fall in love with you. You let me cry and did not pity me when the task of facing the monster that nearly destroyed the world almost destroyed me." Luna took Harry's hand and kissed it back causing both Harry and Ginny to chuckle at the odd gesture.
You say I can't love you both, Gin, but I already do and now we have a chance to all be together as a family. Do-do you not want that- want us? Either of you? I want both of you, all of you, forever. Whatever problems come, whatever we have to face I want us to face them together."
Ginny turned her red-rimmed eyes toward Harry, she could see he was sincere.
"Yes. Yes, I want that." Luna flung her arms around both of them and rested her head on Ginny's shoulder. Ginny gave a half shuddering laugh and leaned her head toward her friend. They would make this work, they had too because she did not want to lose Harry or Luna; her own selfish pride aside, she would keep her insecurities at bay and she would be the best wife she could be. She was a Quidditch player for crying out loud, she could Chase and Seek. Dexterous, working as a team and juggling complications were second to breathing for her. Why was she so despondent when, deep down, she could not have it better? Did she not say once that anything is possible if you got a lot of nerve?
"Yes," Ginny squared her shoulders, jutting her chin out, her dark brown eyes glittering with determination. "Of course we bloody well can!".
"That's my Ginny!" Harry exclaimed proudly as he wrapped both his witches in a hug and kissed the top of their heads.
Kingsley watched the scene play out before him just as he opened the door again, he was slightly jealous although he knew Harry was head over heels for both of the ladies he would be marrying this afternoon. He cleared his throat to get their attention. Harry lifted his head with an almost serene smile on his lips and nodded yes.
"Well then ladies, it looks as though you need to get dressed!" Kingsley smiled brightly and left the room once again.
Before Harry met with Ginny and Luna:
Lucius caught Hermione's wrist and swung her around to face him. A look of confusion marred his perfectly sculpted face.
"Hermione, I know you are upset about something. What did I say that upset you!?" Hermione lowered her eyes and stared at the floor between their feet. How could she explain this without sounding like a diva?
"I-Well," she swallowed hard and raised her eyes back to his and tried to give a silly laugh that came out more as a choked sob. "It's silly, Lucius. I shouldn't be upset at all-really I am fine."
"No, you are not, you are upset and that upsets me; I can not fix it if I don't understand what I did wrong." Lucius ran his right hand down the side of her arm. He could feel the goosebumps rising as his hand skimmed his fingers down to her hand and laced them together.
Hermione looked down at his hand that now held hers.
"I never wanted any of us to marry for obligation or a debt to pay. It was just nice for a moment..you know...to pretend otherwise. I lost my head for a moment, I swear it won't happen again."
Realization hit Lucius like a brick, he had made that statement as a thank you for what she had done and continued to do on a daily basis. Hindsight being what it was, he could see why she thought she was a debt to pay and an obligation because of this law. No, he never would have entertained the notion of marrying the young woman had it not been for the circumstance they found themselves in but he wasn't going to deny he was attracted to her in every way. Not only was Hermione beautiful, she was intelligent, kind, brave and loyal to a fault; there were so many good qualities about her that seemed to contradict with her obvious lack of self-worth that it was quite disturbing to see this fierce lioness lose her roar. She had been brave for too long, she had fought battles and continued to fight battles that should never have been thrust upon her.
I wish I had taken the time to know her sooner…
Lucius tugged her closer and wrapped her in his arms around her and rested his chin on top of her head.
"I will not deny a month ago this was out of obligation and self-preservation, Hermione. I also will not deny that I saw a way to repay all the wrongs I have committed through you. It was foolish of me, and truly I apologize for the lack of tact. But, I can say with absolute certainty now, I would marry you regardless, witch. You are a wonderful person; you are kind and brave, fierce and strong, you have an undeniable magnetism that draws people in and that in and of itself makes me quite jealous. You are beauty and passion all wrapped together in one parcel, you are brave and loyal and none of us deserve you, least of all me. I care for you and I only see that growing as time passes...Do you believe me? I will swear on my own wand it is true."
A tear slid down the corner of Hermione's eye, down her jaw and fell to the top of Lucius's boot.
"Yes," she whispered.
Lucius tightened his grip on her and eventually, she placed her arms around his waist.
"We can wait if you would rather wait. I will find some way to silence Umbridge, Hermione."
"No, I just wanted to have a dress and my friends present. I wanted it to be-well, more special than... Kingsley's office. I don't want an extravagant wedding, just a little...more."
Lucius grinned, despite being called a bookworm, a know-it-all, and many other cliche names, Hermione was still a woman. A woman who wanted romance. A woman who wanted to be cherished for more than just what she knew, who she knew and for being a war heroine.
"Stay here a moment, I will return momentarily," Lucius kissed the top of her head and walked out of the door.
Hermione stood frozen for a moment, she had no idea what Lucius was doing.
"What!?" She whispered to herself but stayed where she was.
Lucius looked at the adjacent seating area where Severus, Draco, Harry, and Kingsley stood talking.
"Severus, do you have any of those beauty products made that you supplied to Madam Malkin?"
Severus turned to look at Lucius puzzled as to why he was even asking.
"Yes...Why?" He drawled.
"We will need them in about two hours," Lucius replied and then turned his attention to Draco. "Have the House-elves decorate the East Rose Garden with fairy lights. Tell them we will be having a dinner party this evening with at least…" Lucius tilted his eyes in thought. "Just say twenty people, it may be fewer but it is better to be over prepared than under prepared."
Draco looked even more perplexed than Severus but nodded his head anyway. It gave him something to do.
"Mr. Potter, have your matches been notified?"
"Well, umm...no-not yet," Harry sighed as he raked his hand through his messy black hair.
"Actually they have, Harry. I took the liberty of notifying them before the Wizengamot session,"
"There is nothing to worry about, both of them are happy about it."
"Excellent!" Lucius nodded in approval.
"What is this about father?"
"We are having a bonding ceremony at sunset of course."