Granger, we need to talk

Chapter 50

Good Lord people. After forty-nine chapters of disclaimers about my rewards

(Nothing except personal satisfaction)

for doing this, I still need to write another it all belongs to JK Rowling?

Alright, go read disclaimer for chapter forty-seven.

That'll work.

How time flies when . . . Nope, not hav . . . actually, sorta am having fun

Where did the time go?

/*

In mid-April, the emotional tempo within the castle had changed. The Hufflepuff-Fighting Phoenixes friendly match last week had been exciting. The 'Puff seeker had somehow acquired a Nimbus 2001 broom that was almost as good as Harry's Firebolt. The Hufflepuff chasers had been on their game also. The Phoenix's had been down by forty points when Harry caught the snitch just before the two-hour mark.

The Ravenclaw-Slytherin match the next week was an almost repeat of their slaughter by Gryffindor last fall.

Intense studying had slipped into being the norm among the Fifth, Seventh and Eighth Years. For once Harry had not groaned in anticipated pain as Hermione produced her study schedule for the last two months of the school year. Even Ron's complaints had felt pro forma as the bushy haired genius had actually scheduled Quidditch practice and match referee time in his colour coded folder.

April 28, 1999

It was just before bed and Harry was in the suite common room checking on the quiz he planned to give his fifth-year's DADA class tomorrow. At least that was his ostensible reason for being where he was at this time. The kids needed all the help he could give them. O.W.L.'s were in less than two months.

Actually though, he was ruminating over the last two weeks.

The morning the parents were to leave the manor for their Bed and Breakfast in Oxford, Harry had floo'd Robards to find out what had happened at his house. He was told nine wizards had apparated to the yard and then attacked the house, blowing in the doors with spell fire. Five wizards had rushed into the house while the remaining four had stayed outside on guard.

Robards went on to say it had been a text book trap. The two now smaller inside and outside groups had been ambushed by disillusioned auror's and knocked out or disabled in under ten seconds. The Death Eater wanna be's were now residing in ministry cells and the interrogations were just beginning.

A sudden inspiration hit Harry. He asked if he could bring Hermione's parents down to the cells. He was thinking that having her parents seeing and maybe listening to the scum who would kill them without remorse would help Hermione's case.

Robards scotched the idea saying her parents probably could never understand how someone would want to kill them just because they existed. That attitude was probably beyond their world view.

"Harry," he said sympathetically, "that view of the Death Eaters is still beyond the world view of many magicals that just lived through it all."

The second meeting was at the empty house in Crawley. That was when they informed Hermione they were going back to Australia and continue with their new lives down there. She and Harry were welcome to visit after graduation.

"And Daphne?" her voice asked, leeched of all emotion.

"We feel it would be best if she did not stay at our house," came the reply.

Harry had actually bit his tongue to keep from laying into them. Even after staying at Potter Manor, they still had in their heads that `young Harry' didn't have enough money to stay in hotels. It was a sort of willful blindness, just like those idiots now in their cells at the Ministry. Harry quickly dropped that line of thought.

Lastly, they had seen them off, briefly, at London Heathrow a few days ago. Hermione had refused to let tears fall as they watched the plane leave the runway and rapidly disappear. She merely hugged her two partners and walked close as they started the return to Hogwarts.

Hermione had been seemingly brave after their departure but had been miserable and her deep guilt feelings about what she had done to her parents was again an emotional minefield for the remaining two.

It had taken a week before Daphne hauled Hermione and a bottle of fine French brandy into her room while Harry fell asleep alone that night for the first time in a while. It was a long, eventually drunken, release of her `it was all my fault' emotion. The ex-Slytherin led her senior wife down the logic paths that it was better for her live parents to be able to have antipathy towards her than them be buried with no chance of reconciliation.

The Underground Pub had seen an uptick in patronage and money income thanks to the addition of some excitement to the games. Hermione had received permission and actually held three classes for the first-and-second years in the Pub as a Mundane learning experience.

Turned out to be a good thing that she taught money type and handling along with Mundane menu ordering in the first part of class. She had little realized that eleven-, twelve- and thirteen-year-olds stoked up on hamburgers, chips and sugary fizzy drinks could be so energetic.

She got some mild revenge though when those who did not pass her quiz the next class missed the hour of cartoons the second trip. The telling and re-telling of the antics of a bird called the Road Runner and some cat and mouse called Tom and Jerry made the failed students green with envy.

The trials of the nine DE wanna be's were to be in a few days. The results were foregone. Nowadays, attacking aurors allowed automatic use of Veritaserum questioning during the trials. It turned out five were recent Hogwarts graduates, and that two more Heirs Primus of prominent Dark Houses would be residing in Azkaban for twenty-five years to life. The lessons of losing one's heirs and the crippling financial `belonging-to-a-criminal-terrorist-organization' fines would be a strong admonition to the remaining Dark's in the new wizarding Britannia realities.

His girls had done some serious talking and had decided that their weddings would take place two weeks apart. Hermione would be first on Sunday, July 18th, and the newlyweds would have a one-week honeymoon. One week for each had been decided on after they confessed that individually they could not bear being away from him any longer.

With Harry's birthday the day before his wedding to Daphne, that week promised to be hectic. Daphne's mother was switching between berating her daughter for the extremely short notice, and bouncing with delight that her daughter was getting married. AND she was marrying Lord Black. Iolanthe basked in the envy of her social acquaintances. Modestly, of course. Pffft.

The second honeymoon was being humorously referred to as Harry's rest with recreation week.

Quidditch practices had also been biting into his time. Their `Friendly' match with Ravenclaw was slightly more than a week away. Rumours were swirling that since so many players had left Britannia during Riddle's reign that the league was desperate to recruit new talent. Foreign players were still reluctant to play for British teams fearing foreigner prejudice. It had become widespread knowledge that Voldemort had hired many foreign mercenaries to bolster his forces during his short reign.

Contributing to the league's problems was that many teams had taken severe financial damage the last year, so Hogwarts players were attracting inordinate amounts of attention. After all, young rookie players cost less than established players.

Harry had HalberdMaster make some discrete inquiries into the league.

His lovely brides-to-be had three nights ago planted the bug in his ear that since his fame was already out of control, becoming a quidditch star would not make things worse. And, the constant publicity from being a premier seeker would be helpful to their political agenda.

"Five years should be enough to get us over the ridge and on the downslope of having to fight tooth and nail for every reform. Our allies should be firm in their commitments by then. Even having a sympathy-generating career-ending injury could be of help."

That talk cemented Harry's feeling that his lovely snake had such a devious mind, he could have trouble following her even when she had clearly explained her plan.

Any team would make allowances for Wizengamot time, they said. And if the old geezers tried to mess with 'Mot meetings to screw with his teams' schedule, they would be buried under such a mountain of bad publicity they would never think of trying that again. In fact, Daphne looked downright feral at the thought of what she could do to the perpetrators.

Thinking of his lovelies, he had been shown many parchments with offers of prestigious apprenticeships and lucrative employment offers they had received. They said that unless he wanted them to take one of the offers, they were going to refuse all the ones received up to now.

Daphne had put it bluntly. "None of us will ever have to work for a weekly galleon pouch." She looked at a suddenly uncomfortable Harry. "I understand that all the money you have is not an accomplishment you performed. And that bothers you. Two families of smart, tough, nasty, and perhaps even some very bad characters, worked for centuries to build the wealth you now control."

"Yet, think. It sure was nice to be able to throw galleons to Hermione during the Eighth-Year living quarters construction or at the quidditch pitch rebuild. And as much as we would prefer not to remember it, we bribed several Wizengamot members to not show up to make a quorum to keep the Dark Alliance from running roughshod over us while our side was trying to regroup after being decimated in the fighting or the purges."

"Then, out of pocket change, you hired extra instructors so we get some education beyond the basics of a miserable standard Hogwarts education."

"So, you, Mister Potter," she said poking him in the chest. "Do not get to wallow in angst and brood about how you have money that doesn't feel like it's yours. It's not wasted until you start buying albino peacocks or gilded super speed racing brooms."

/*

Early in May, Harry started to feel an un-scratchable itch inside his skull. It became bad enough that his girls had confronted him about his sudden restlessness in bed at night. They tried shagging his brain to exhaustion, but that had only led to tired witches.

Finally, one night, Harry carefully slipped away from Daphne and did something he hadn't done in years. He grabbed his wand, the Maurader's map, put on his invisibility cloak, and began to roam the darkened halls and passageways of the castle.

An hour later found him in the plain seventh-floor hallway in front of the tapestry of Barnabus the Barmy attempting to teach trolls to dance.

Suddenly Harry realized that that itch in his skull was much stronger. The air was practically thrumming with magic residue. Harry was puzzled. The Bulstrode fighting group had not seriously practiced here for a couple of weeks. Schoolwork kept getting in the way of keeping their combat skills honed.

While he was in deep thought, his feet had unconsciously been moving in the ancient pattern imbued in this corridor. Suddenly out of the corner of his eye he saw a tall, narrow, plain wooden door appear in the wall.

Absolutely shocked, he just stood there gaping at it for several moments. Then, like a man who's afraid his vision will disappear, he rushed over, yanked the door open, and plunged on through.

There in front of him was what his subconscious had been working on during his pacing. The dueling room from the old DA meetings, complete with dueling dummies, cushions, targets, and a blackboard that even had some wand movements drawn on it.

It took minutes for Harry to close his sagging jaw as he looked around. Finally, he pulled his wand out, and stepping in front of the dummies, he started casting mid-level non-destructive spells at the mannequins. With every spell, the room atmosphere in the room seemed, . . happier?

It was almost two hours later a tired but smiling Harry Potter left the seventh floor and virtually skipped his way down to his quarters on the third.

There he did something he had never done before with either of his future wives. He woke Daphne up from her deep sleep by intentionally erotically kissing and stroking her on every erogenous zone he knew, and then before she was properly awake, rolled her on her back and eased into her surprisingly wet sex.

Buried in her, he withdrew, then plunged back in deeply. Harry proceeded to pick up the pace until he was working on pounding her through the mattress. Daphne awoke in a highly charged state. Completely surprised, and very aroused, she shocked herself by realizing she was urging him on despite the unexpectedness of doing what he was doing. That, and the feeling of wantonness in enjoying what she was doing, surprised the hell out of her.

Daphne was awake no more than three minutes before Harry stiffened and she could feel him spilling into her pussy. Everything that had occurred spiked and carried her over the edge also. A very tired Harry pulled her close and the two exhausted teens were asleep within thirty seconds.

The next morning had a thoughtful Daphne awakened in her usual position on the right side of Harry's bare chest. She tried not to shift or change her breathing rhythm while working on un-fuzzying last nights' memories. She and Hermione had learned that Harry was extraordinarily sensitive to them waking first.

With no answer from her sleeping affianced, she started to head for the loo. At that point, a sleepy voiced Harry told her to get Hermione to take her up to the seventh floor.

"She'll know what to do," he slurred.

After staring at the again dead-to-the-world Harry, she walked out, meeting an awake Hermione reading in the parlour.

A tomato red blushing Daphne tried her best to explain the oddity of last night. When she reached Harry's request about the seventh floor, Hermione started chewing on her lower lip with a puzzled expression on her face.

Suddenly her eyes flew open wide and she stiffened in shock, and grabbed Daphne by the arm and started hauling her towards Hermione's bedroom.

"Quick, get dressed. Now. Morgana, I hope he wasn't dreaming. Kelse-e-y!"

Less than ten minutes later, the elf-assisted dressed duo, were hurrying through the halls and corridors of the castle up to the seventh floor. Daphne watched confused as Hermione seemed to be confused from the way she walked repeatedly in the hallway where they had practiced so diligently just months ago.

Her confusion continued as her arm was grabbed and she was propelled through a small door in the wall that she would have sworn hadn't been there a moment ago. The room she entered was dark, with just a hint of dawn light coming from the wall of windows to her left.

That's odd," she thought. "Dawn was several hours ago. Well, it is a magical castle." What was shockingly extraordinary was the lighted structure of the most famous landmark in Europe, the Eiffel Tower.

"How did we get to France?"

Hermione actually squealed as she grabbed her arm and towed her over to a white, small round bistro table with two matching white chairs. Before she sat, Hermione pulled a small box from a robe pocket. Tapping it with her wand, she enlarged it, then started removing items from the box.

Muffins, pastries, chocolate, jams and a carafe of coffee with cups, cream, and sugar were placed on the table. Daphne's benumbed brain supplied her with the thought that the box was probably procured from Kelsey.

Hermione happily plopped herself down on her chair and said, "Let's enjoy our breakfast in Paris as the sun comes up. I'll tell you all about this later, but right now, let's indulge."

Daphne looked out the brightening windows at the impossible and decided to let her non-functioning brain follow her to-be Senior Wife's advice. After all, if she didn't supply the proper answers later, she would quietly kill her and proclaim it was justifiable. Meanwhile, this was lovely.

/*

April fled into May. The studying actually picked up. Revising in classes started for the OWL and NEWT students. Harry held extra tutorial classes for his Fifth-Year students.

The Fighting Phoenixes versus Gryffindor match had the Eight's losing by sixty points when Ginny focusing on her closing in on the snitch, never saw Harry bombing out of the sky to literally pick it off her fingertips.

It was Neville who summed it up best. "Harry, I congratulate you. You've managed to piss off both of my fiancées. Maybe I should quit restraining them and let them hex you clear across the Black Lake. My room would be a lot more peaceful. And we all could use a good laugh."

As an olive branch, The Potter-Black's shared their secret about the Room of Requirement having returned. The two girls shot out of the room like nifflers after gold. Hours later when they returned, Luna actually kissed Harry on the cheek and said "Thank you."

In the climactic Ravenclaw against Gryffindor match, it was the Gryff's turn for Ginny to snatch victory from a loss as she showed she was almost as good as Harry at being a seeker at Hogwarts during an epic chase against the 'Claw seeker to grab the golden-winged ball.

The Fighting Phoenixes-Slytherin friendly match did not take place as a match. Harry found out later that Millicent, backed by Daphne and Tracey, had somehow talked Ron into turning the match into a two-hour clinic where the Eight's older players taught the young and woefully inexperienced Slytherin's how to really play.

Positioning and simple tactics were explained and then practiced. Keeper, beater, and chaser training drills were explained and then practiced. Harry took their second-year seeker and taught her a few "simple" moves. Sloth rolls, barrel rolls, tail-kicking for extra sharp turns, how to patrol the pitch while looking for the snitch. And the ultimate, he took her aloft doubled on his Firebolt and showed her how a Wronski Feint worked.

The last ended the clinic on a screaming high note.

Ron told everyone the reason he let Mils talk him into a clinic was, one: trying to show their skills to any team scouts watching would have been a waste of everyone's time as the sna . . er, Slytherin's were so-o-o bad, professional-level player skills would not have shown well. Two: coaching and teaching were a skill prized by professional teams, so everybody got to showcase another expertise.

An unforeseen consequence was the other three teams wanting their own clinics from the Phoenixes. They were politely turned down due to the time commitments necessary for the Eight's approaching NEWT's.

The calendar was about to morph into June when the girls caught Harry staring off into space one evening as they returned from the library. He was so deeply somewhere else that he did not acknowledge their entrance.

Concerned looks were exchanged by the female duo, who quietly settled to either side of him. A few minutes later, Harry returned to the present, and confusedly asked when had they come in?

After another round of looks between the females, Hermione spoke up. "We've been here a bit. What has you so concerned that your mind vanished from the world for a while?"

Harry sat silent for a while, then scrubbed his face with both hands. "I was trying to figure out what could spring out of the woodwork at the end of the school year to become a dangerous "Harry Potter Adventure." It has happened for seven years. Should this year be any different?"

There was no hesitation before Hermione answered. "Yes, this year will be different. With Dumbledore and Riddle gone, you have no manipulators trying to finish their years' grandiose schemes before the term ends. There has been no buildup of strange and vaguely threatening occurrences at the school this year. All in all, a first. I'll take it."

Daphne broke in with, "The PureBlood supremacists still free in the wizarding population are laying low. They have been taught that having the undesirable gaze of the Potter-Black alliance or the DMLE concentrated upon them leads to disaster. The attack on your house really did catch the last idiots who did not care or were too stupid to realize the consequences of what they were doing"

"There may be others eventually, but a competent DMLE should be able to stop them, or bring their stupidity to their Head of House, who will most certainly stop them before their vaults end up bleeding gold to the Ministry."

/*

The Spring girls-will-ask-boys Dance was less exciting than the Winter Ball had been for the Potter-Blacks. Hermione and Daphne both asked him to the dance at the same time in Great Hall before dinner. They and Ginny and Luna wanted to make it very clear that those two men were taken and pain would be visited upon anyone who thought they could horn in.

The dance itself was not without drama. Various crushes were acted upon by older girls who figured they would only have to put up with any embarrassment over being refused for a month before they could flee home.

The younger year females got a taste of the sheer terror that caused uncontrolled sweating, hyperventilating until they were about to pass out, and the mind blanking that often-caused embarrassing runaway mouth.

Some of the boys became swollen-headed by being asked by multiple girls, some got swollen faces after the dance since they thought having been asked, they could now take liberties with poor, sloppy kissing followed by roaming hands because only a loose girl would ask a boy out.

Madam Pomfrey was so busy that night that it took hours for her to finally find time to dispense bruise paste and pain potions to the swollen faced. And there were at least three returnees who could not keep their mouths shut a second time.

The band, the Rampaging Griffins, had obviously been schooled by the Headmistress as to how many slow waltz dance songs had to be played to balance off the "fast" dance music they seemed to want to play.

It was a decent night. Cakes and punch were the food and drink, and only three girls were sent back to their dorms to change as the Headmistress deemed their "little black dress" to be much too little for her liking.

Oooooo vvvvvv oooooO

June and the dreaded testing weeks for O.W.L.'s and N.E.W.T.'s arrived.

Harry could honestly say he preferred N.E.W.T.'s to having to go to the Summer Solstice Wizengamot meeting. Thank Merlin for proxies. The only legislation of import was the removal of the restrictive werewolf laws emplaced in the last several decades. The Black Sisters could herd the P-B-L Alliance the right way without Harry interfering.

O.W.L.'s were to be the same as every other year. Most O.W.L.'s had a two-hour theory exam at nine A.M., followed by an hour to two-hour practical exam in the afternoon. This affected Harry by his having to help proctor his Fifth-Year students.

It had been a long, seemingly impossible project to catch his students up to the Britannia wizarding criterion set for practical O.W.L. standards.

For the theory test of his OWL students, Harry could only smile at them as he stood with Professor Walbridge as they filed into the Great Hall that had been set up with every non-cheating charm on the tables, parchment and quills known to wizardkind.

The first week Thursday was the practical, he did no testing himself but sent the appropriate student to the appropriate examiner at the appropriate time. His secondary, but unspoken job was to instill confidence in the to-be-tested.

All his students had been warned to be a half-hour early to the waiting room for those to be called for testing. In that thirty minutes, Harry ran the class through the wand movements and incantation of every spell in the Fifth-Year curriculum.

There were a few minor incidents when a nervous student or two pushed their magic and intent into the practice and an actual spell impacted a wall. Harry would smile and say, "And that is why we aim at walls for this practice."

He was admittedly gratified when only two of his students exhibited Hermione-like nerves of failure after the exam, but they were high-strung Ravenclaw's, so he did not take it as a failure.

Intermixed were the N.E.W.T. tests. His Business Planning and Estate Management class was a Tuesday test, Potions Wednesday, and Enchanting was the next Monday. Compared to some, an easy-peasy schedule. He would be giving his second-year DADA class their exams the Tuesday after N.E.W.T's.

/*

And so, the final year for the most ill-starred two class years in hundreds of years came to a close on Friday, July second. The tests were all done. Results for the O.W.L., N.E.W.T., and Mastery class tests would be public by Tuesday as the Express was London-bound on Wednesday.

Harry was in possession of one grade already. The Underground Pub project had been given an all-around EE from his BM&EP graders. After reflection, Harry accepted the grade as fair. He had started the plan with absolutely no experience in business.

And all the Seven's and Eight's who had done the actual physical spellwork had been given their Extra Credit marks. Everyone involved had received O's or EE's. Explanations attached to their grading parchment sheets had detailed why the grade given was warranted.

That had kept the grumbling of the EE's receivers to a minimum.

Oooooo vvvvvv oooooO

It was Tuesday evening. Tonight was the Leaving Feast. A week later than usual. The tables were neatly arranged except for the Eight's/Veteran's table.

There, disorder was quietly rampant as the emotionally charged teenagers were having trouble with where to sit. Best friends were occasionally abandoned for the company of those that one had fought beside during some particularly brutal moments last year. The feeling of leaving a band of brothers and sisters was very strong this evening. Tears and sniffles were commonplace.

The Potter-Black Gang, all eight of them, were not quite as affected as others because they knew they would see each other frequently. But others that had become their friends this last year were jittery with what Hermione concluded was separation anxiety.

Susan and Padma seemed to have the worst case. Perhaps, part was because neither had found someone to be romantically involved with this year, and they had decided to jointly open a shop in Diagon Alley this summer.

The eight were also guilty of being giddy. Offers had arrived from three Quidditch teams for Harry, two for Mils, and one each for Ginny and Ron.

Oddly, all four had received offers from the Falmouth Falcons. This was not quite as wonderful at second glance. The Falcons were in an intense fight with the Chudley Cannons to be the worst team in the league. The offers were, Harry for Seeker, Mils for Beater position, Ginny for reserve Chaser/Seeker, and Ron as reserve Keeper.

They would be doing lots of talking for the next week and spending galleons on a Solicitor to keep the team management honest. He was not really needed. Harry knew the owners well.

House Black now owned twenty-six percent and House Potter owned twenty-six percent of the Falcons. Harry had insisted, through a goblin known as Groinripper, that managements' salary negotiations with the four would be fair.

There was a Quidditch Cup awarded to Gryffindor this year, but the House Cup was not. It and the point system had been abandoned for the year and indications were it would not return.

Head Girl Verbena Fencroft had won the grades race, so she gave the Leaving Speech. As she was sitting down to polite applause, the ambush struck.

Headmistress McGonagall stood in the midst of that polite applause and said, "Thank you, Head Girl Fencroft. Now we have with us tonight, the young man who has done much in shaping our world over the last eight years, and especially in shaping Hogwarts since this autumn. Lord Potter-Black, if you would please."

McGonagall was looking straight at Harry with a tiny, evil smirk as she spoke the last words. The Hall became pin-drop silent as everyone stared at Harry.

"O-o-o-h that was nasty, Headmistress. No warning, no chance of wriggling out of this. I see you are a believer in revenge is a dish best served cold."

Harry took his time standing. Some inspiration struck as he decided to repeat his September performance by sitting on the end of the Eight's table.

"Tonight, we are one very small step from becoming true members of Britannia's wizarding society. Some would say we already are members as we had the unfortunate happenstance to be the ones to finish the Blood Wars. We here, along with many others who had the bravery to come and fight with us, are the ones who really, really do not want to have our troubles visited upon our children, our grandchildren, or our great-grandchildren."

"We will be the tip of the sword that will continue to be vigilant in protecting our hard-won peace. Unlike eighteen years ago, there will be no returning Dark Lord. There will be no influential followers pardoned by bribery ready to pick up the mantel of evil, richer and more influential than when their master was first defeated. There will be no reservoir of dark creatures ready to serve him because they have been treated like scum by our society. These are two things we will change."

"Hundreds, yea, thousands died because our so-called leaders failed in their single most important duty. That duty is to protect their citizens to the best of their ability. They failed that duty because they did not want any change to interfere with their comfortable lives. Our leaders allowed themselves to become so insulated from reality that they came to believe nothing would ever change for them because they and theirs had been powerful for so long, that they and theirs were untouchable, and they did not want anything to ever change."

"Every government is like that."

"Our inherited problem is that the ministry that wanted no change was run by the PureBloods, for the greater good of the PureBloods. When Tommy boy started by killing the inferior scum such as Halfbloods, muggle-born and squibs, they were allowed to keep doing so in the hope they would leave the other PureBlood's alone."

"We all know how ignoring the problem because it might embarrass some prominent members of society worked out. Remember, Moldy Borts, the PureBlood champion, actually killed off more wizarding lines than aurors or the final battle."

Harry paused for a moment. "We can never allow ourselves to become like those who forgot they were not supposed to rule us. They were supposed to work for us, the wizarding population of Britannia. Ministry service should not be a route to ill-gotten riches through bribery-for-services. Ministry service should be about standards and even ethics."

Harry slowly looked around and tried to catch every eye looking at him.

"We are the generation that must make sure these lessons learned at such a great cost to us and our families are never forgotten. Either government works equally for all people it is supposed to represent or chaos, resentment and revolution will surely follow."

Harry raised his wand. "Remember all those who died. Light your wand if your family lost loved ones in the war."

His lit wand was followed as it had been in September by every wand in the Hall.

Oooooo vvvvvv oooooO

The train trip to platform nine and three-quarters was somber for the graduated students. The usual affirmations of keeping in touch seemed more sincere than most years. The bonds of warfare, followed by ten months of living with previous strangers from other houses had changed this group.

This company would remember.

Never again.

Oooooo vvvvvv oooooO

Three days later. Potter Manor.

Harry's timing was probably atrocious, however, he had been wrestling with the problem for months and still had no idea how to talk to his fiancées about the problem. His formal request that they join him at Potter Manor at eleven A.M. was unusual. His formality and nerves were picked up by his increasingly bewildered, and thereby nervous, fiancées.

From Harry's point of view, he had allowed his procrastination to back him into a corner. He desperately wanted to ignore the problem and wished it would go away. His well-founded fear was that somehow his girls would find out that he had made such a large, unilateral decision without consulting them. And when they did, and they would, he reckoned their punishment would be . . . creative.

He got them seated on a couch in the parlour. The constant running of his hand through his hair, while he paced in front of them, was stretching their waiting female nerves tighter and tighter.

Finally, after a look between them, they jumped up and clamped Harry between them, trying to hug the stuffing out of him.

As he expected, Hermione was the one to start. "Alright Harry, what has your broom twisted in your knickers this morning? You're wearing robes, which you never do here with us. You're more nervous than a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, and you're about ten seconds from being hit with an over-powered Cheering Charm, after which you will blab your secrets to us. Now give."

Harry carefully disengaged himself from the two and from a pocket in his robes drew forth a sheaf of parchments.

As he held them, he said, "I'm sorry. I should have had more courage than to let this slide for so long. Back in June when I found out I had acquired eleven lordships by Rite of Conquest, I also found I had inherited two other Houses. Unfortunately, they create the same problems as being Lord Potter-Black does."

He handed the parchments to a wide-eyed Hermione, who opened them and started reading with Daphne beside her, reading just as avidly.

The pair must have reached the same part simultaneously. Hermione's gasp was lost on the loud "Morgana!" that Daphne blurted.

"We obviously have some time, over six years, before a decision has to be made," he nervously blurted. "Whether I claim the Peverell and Slytherin lines, (1) or do nothing and hope my descendants can do so."

His voice took on an almost desperate note. "Daphne, my lovely, political Slytherin, please don't allow the votes of those Most Ancient and Most Ancient and Most Noble Houses factor into your, our, decision. I personally believe two wives will be plenty. Our family dynamic will be strained enough with two wives."

"I cannot imagine spreading myself amongst four."

Harry's oxygen-deprived vision actually greyed out from the fierceness of the four loving arms that had wrapped around him.

Done, fini, finite.

A/N:

See Chapter 5. A long, long time ago and practically in a galaxy far away.

Massive amounts of thanks to all who Favorited or Followed the story. Until you decide to suck it up and stick one of your stories out in public, you have no idea. In my case it kept me focused on finishing as I did not want to disappoint those who had encouraged me by hitting that little button. Manly bro and sis hugs all around.

Yeah, it looks like a cliffie. However, this is it. The last chapter.

PLEASE NOTE: This story is complete. I will be editing, correcting and re-publishing almost all chapters over the next year or whatever.

Any further chapter publishing notices for this story will be because I screwed up the process somehow.

This story is finished thanks to a huge amount of work by Alix33. THANK YOU!

Also Thank you to some others whose reviews and PM conversations affected my writing: AndrewWolfe, Charlee56, loomerg and Elsbeth Ravensblood.

And I promise in the future to Favorite or Follow good stories. Until it happens to you, you have no idea of the warm, fuzzy feelings you get when an 'established' author whose writing you admire, Favorites or Follows YOUR story. Although in a couple of cases, I went all fanboy. Sque-e-e!

I do believe I have covered the points I wanted to when I started writing this story.

Rebuilding of Hogwarts, Harry becoming a Potter, Harry's Wizengamot control from the Rite of Conquest. And just how do two wives co-exist with each other, and the Razor Fin Plimpie use and conspiracy. The return of the Room of Requirement.

This ending may seem rushed to others.

It is not rushed to me.

I have no intention of writing about the weddings, the foregone conclusions of the DE trials, or decades of infighting in the Wizengamot for a more representative ministry. Or the great CCTV threat to the Statute of Secrecy, Harry's short, but stellar Quidditch career, Daphne Black, Minister of Magic, or Hermione Potter and the return of Dwarves to Britannia.

I leave Hogwarts set on a path of renewed greatness, and will let your imagination fill in the blanks, McGonagall's problems included.

I have zero, nada, zip, zilch interest in writing about the above. Or as originally intended, an eighteen years later Epilogue. Fortunately, sanity has prevailed on that possible atrocity.

FYI: Plot bunnies that I let go of. I thought they were neat, and I teased them, but eventually decided they interrupted the story flow.

Warrior Witch Zaraida: She was a spoils of war trophy from the Battle of Tours, 732 A.D. Her ring was to be an Arabic/Muslim/Central Asia language translator. Ended up married to her capturer, Wulfgrod Potter. Useful if Enegollu escaped and they went to track him down.

Captain Sulstrude: Squib and retired Senior Captain of the Peninsular and Orient Steamship Navigation Company. (The P & O.) He deliberately flubbed knowing about radar and infra-red detection. Had to stay in that honest, bluff seaman character, don't ya know.

Neville, Ginny, Luna, and their relationship. Oh, my. Could this have been fun and M+ -rated to write.

The elaborate backstory of Jiugar Enegollu, planner, plotter, and assassin. Again, would have been a distraction, but fun.

And lastly, who was that robed and cowled woman who brought the possible Flint heir for testing to the Rite of Conquest 'Mot meeting? Inquiring Black Sisters wanted to know. I hung up on 'em.

Ciao, until the next story.

SpeedisArmour