The Contract

Chapter 130

Rodolphus tossed and turned, his mind in utter turmoil. There was a time in his life pre-Azkaban where he would have laughed it off and continued on his way. However, post-Azkaban him was far less reckless, he needed to be if he didn't want to end up back in Azkaban. Without a hope of getting out this time, Harry and the Dark Lord had worked tirelessly to see to it that they were released from prison and innocently at that. Circumstances had worked in their favour – with one little hiccup – even with Bellatrix thrown into the mix. Such an incident wouldn't work again, so naturally, he and Rabastan would be very careful.

It wasn't just their impulsiveness that had curtailed their actions, it was the knowledge. Neither would ever allow themselves to be put back into Azkaban. They would rather die, even with the newer modifications that the prison had undergone. They would never give up their freedom lightly again. Rodolphus knew that most of his cohorts were of the same opinion, and thus a far more cautious generation had emerged from Azkaban. Well aware of the fact that this truly was once in a lifetime chance.

Everyone and everything within Lestrange estate had been subdued since the attack. The House-elves adopting their Master's stances. It was a mere few hours until it was two days since the attack upon their home, their safe place. It left Rodolphus overwrought and unable to sleep. Once he was cleared to of course, with the possibility of concussions he'd been encouraged to remain awake for a certain number of hours.

Unable to remain abed, Rodolphus stood up, grateful he hadn't disturbed his husband's rest. Time then became unknown to him, as he paced back and forth for hours, afront of the fireplace. It was lit, keeping him warm in the chill of the night. The thick black curtains keeping the room cocooned. Normally it was comforting, but right now it was stifling. Drifting over to the window, he looked out into the night. The entire estate and its surroundings were bathed entirely in darkness, with only the stars to guide one on their journey.

Rodolphus inhaled sharply, his breath puffing out, leaving moisture on the window. He wanted to scream, to rage, to find whoever did this and really let loose. To show everyone why you don't mess with the Lestrange's. To re-enact what he had done to the Longbottom's once more. Not even Sirius could keep him calm, although, it didn't help that he was still a little out of it after what happened. It took everything in him to stop himself acting so impulsively. Truthfully, the only reason he wasn't acting was because he did not know who it was. That was perhaps the most vexing thing of all.

Severely agitated and out of sorts, Rodolphus moved back over to the bed and tucked his husband in. Mind made up, he turned and padding out of their bedroom. Hands opening and shutting, the only show of his highly agitated state. He moved silently through the landing to his brother's bedroom. Feeling for sure that his brother was likely in the exact same state as himself.

He didn't bother to knock, he silently opened one of the doors.

His agitation subsided as he stared in shock, Rabastan wasn't alone, Harry was in his bed. Albeit with the puppy between them on his tiny dog bed. Not only that but Rabastan was sound asleep, perhaps having Harry close was the only way to ensure it? "Have you decided on a name yet?" his voice quiet, Rabastan was asleep, it would seem Harry was more like him, and severely disturbed by what happened.

"I'm still undecided between two, Gabriel or Quentin," Harry confessed, absently reaching out to stroke the sleeping puppy. Smitten with the small creature, even if he was somewhat annoyed Rabastan had chosen now to get him. He'd always wanted to wait until he was no longer at Hogwarts to get one.

Rodolphus cocked his head, wondering at Harry's fascination with patron saints. He had named his owl Hedwig after one as well. Naturally, they knew all wizards and witches that became 'Patron Saints' which included Saint Patrick, Saint Andrew, Saint George and Saint David. The muggles could think what they liked, but they were all wizards from prominent wizarding lines and well revered. "Unable to sleep?"

Harry's green eyes met Rodolphus' dark ones, shaking his head, "No, not really." He confessed to his soon-to-be brother-in-law.

"You don't intend to do anything stupid are you?" Rodolphus pondered on whether Harry would act that way, it was such a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff move to leave, to avoid your loved ones to 'save' them. Harry wasn't from either house; he was intelligent and sought knowledge in any form. In that, he was the perfect Ravenclaw, but his ruthlessness was paramount, making him ideal for Slytherin. He should have been sorted there, no doubt, but it did make his friendship with all the Slytherin's so understandable. Personality wise, Harry was most assuredly as Slytherin as he came.

"Like what? Leaving?" Harry asked, blatantly snorting, and making no effort to quiet himself. "I am not leaving; it would just make us all miserable and in just the same amount of danger."

Rodolphus inclined his head, "Indeed," pleased that Harry was logical about the attack, and not about to become emotional and flee in the night. He wasn't sure why it hadn't hit him earlier that it might be Harry's reaction, but it didn't matter now.

"If this is why you're here, I'm not going," Harry jutted out his chin determinedly, green eyes gleaming fervently.

Rodolphus slowly smirked, "Hardly," he murmured, moving to sit on his brother's bed, luckily, he didn't have the silk bedding on so he didn't slide off dramatically. Yes, it had happened in the past, and his brother almost burst a lung that time. Luckily, they'd both been more or less given the all clear medically, so he hadn't hurt himself. "What are you still doing up? And more importantly in here?" a hint of teasing in his tone, just seeing his brother and Harry made him feel grounded, more in control, they were alive, they were whole.

Merlin help anyone that took his family from him, for there would be no stopping Rodolphus.

"Father won't be pleased," Rodolphus taunted him.

Harry just stared unimpressed; an eyebrow rose in exasperation. "Technically there is nothing about it being forbidden in the contract." He pointed out, despite his exasperation he loved the way Rodolphus teased him, it was like having an annoying older brother. He'd always treated him this way (after he regained some semblance of himself visiting Azkaban) including ruffling his hair all the time. It warmed Harry when he did it even if he complained, and Daphne complained about her little sister that way too.

Harry was still expected to be chaste however, until the wedding. Neither were willing to risk the contract breaking. So, Corvus had given them a little wiggle room. It wouldn't be the first time they'd shared the bed, or a room at any rate. Albeit back then there had been no chance of anything occurring between them. Both had been injured and or ill, and to attempt such a thing would be impossible. Neither had been interested in carnal relations, Harry had been too young still – and uninterested – and Rabastan was still recovering from his decade long stint in Azkaban. Mentally he'd been fit, but his body despite his attempts at strengthening had still been very frail and weak.

"True," Rodolphus replied, staring pensively at Harry, "How are you really feeling?" he hadn't asked, not wanting to overwhelm the teenager with stupid questions. It wasn't a stupid question per se, but overall, it was redundant. How would someone really expect another to feel after a near fatal attempt on their lives? Never mind that they didn't have a clue on who it could be. Harry had been stating curtly that he was fine, so much so that everyone had stopped asking, they were all in the same position too, they didn't want to talk about it so the simple but effective 'Fine' had been uttered by them all at various times in the past two days.

Harry's brow furrowed, displeased with the way the conversation was heading, until he looked at Rodolphus. He hadn't seen such a look in his eyes since the very beginning of their acquaintance. During the first few trips to Azkaban where he'd legally made it so that Rodolphus could be his 'chaperone' with Rabastan. "Rodolphus, whatever you are planned, don't." he grimly cautioned him. Perhaps he should inform Corvus as well, just to be on the safe side. If anyone could ensure Rabastan and Rodolphus didn't go off in the deep end, it would be their father.

"How is it you aren't chomping at the bit to get revenge?" Rodolphus asked, Harry was more violent than both him and Rabastan together. He was a vindictive little shit, Merlin help anyone that wronged him. Or at least that's what he'd thought, perhaps he had Harry all wrong, but he knew he hadn't.

Rodolphus shivered, the hairs on the back of his neck began to prickle, and he swallowed eyes wider than normal. The look on Harry's face, the feel of his magic…they'd often compared Harry to Tom…but it was the first time he'd really, really had that intensity focused solely on himself. It made him want to kneel in subjugation, which didn't sit well with him, since it wasn't Tom, it wasn't the Dark Lord but Harry. Someone not yet out of Hogwarts for Merlin's sake.

"Oh, believe me, Rodolphus, when I find out…and I will find out…they're going to regret ever messing with me, with us." Harry said coldly, his magic lashing around him, keeping him to his promise. "Messing with this family." With his family.

Rodolphus stared at Harry in admiration, "How can you remain so calm?" all he wanted to do was rage, scream, shout, just punish someone.

"Are you kidding? The Dursley's would have beaten the hell out of me if I spoke out of turn, or worse showed any emotion they didn't want to see." Harry said dryly, "Doesn't your Occlumency help?" he asked peering at Rodolphus, his hand continuously massaging over his pups head.

"Not today it hasn't," Rodolphus, glancing at his brother's sleeping form, suspicious to the extreme. His brother wasn't exactly a deep sleeper, not anymore. The slightest noise could rouse him and he wasn't exactly silent. "You gave him a potion, didn't you?" he deduced.

"I did," Harry said shamelessly, "To be fair he should have seen it coming, I'm pretty sure he did it to mine." But he hadn't drank from it, although, he should have, he needed some sleep. Unfortunately, his mind, like Rodolphus wouldn't quiet.

Rodolphus laughed, rubbing his head ruefully, "I agree," Rabastan should have seen it coming, just like Sirius really should have seen him doing it. A smile appeared on his face, a genuine one, he was very glad that his brother had someone who cared about him so much. Merlin, it had taken nearly a decade and a half to understand the sheer happiness that drives people to do stupid things. His attack on the Longbottom's was stupid, yes, but he hadn't done it out of happiness, he'd been furious, angry, like he was right now actually.

At least their partners were going to be well rested tomorrow if nothing else.

"Come and join us," Harry said, patting the bed closer to Rabastan than him, likely where Rodolphus was more comfortable.

"I'm glad the painting survived," Rodolphus murmured, as he crawled up, getting himself comfortable, it was a beautiful picture, very well done, and just the most exquisitely painted. "Might get you to paint a miniature, to put in a new pocket watch I want to get Sirius."

"It will cost you," Harry teased, he was just kidding, he'd never force Rodolphus to pay for something except perhaps the paints he uses. He'd used the majority of what Corvus and Rabastan had given him on the picture he'd given Rabastan.

Rodolphus murmured a bit, agreeing with him, "Worth it." He murmured, the tiredness finally settling into his bones.

Harry flushed in sheepish delight, "Thanks," he replied, positively delighted by the compliment, he loved painting, but he loved the thought of being a lawyer more. Being a painter would likely give him more time overall, and seeing to his Wizengamot duties too than a lawyer would. "I'll do it free if you help me through all the gifts tomorrow." He bargained.

"Done deal, no takebacks." Rodolphus declared, peeling open an eye his lips turning into a smug smile when Harry laughed clearly delighted. "Get some sleep." He added, if he didn't say something he knew Rabastan would get pissed at him.

Surprisingly after that, sleep did come swiftly to the two struggling for the elusive Morpheus.

Aurelius had made his way swiftly to Lestrange estate in the early hours of the morning. He knew exactly when the Aurors usually updated the 'victims' of news in the cases concerning them. He had gone early yesterday and had returned today, and to nobodies' surprise, Corvus began filling him in right away, knowing why he was there.

"They've tested the paper and wax that remained on the explosion," Corvus explained, as he poured a second cup for the Dark Lord as he emerged out of the Floo network. Which had been opened up for regular service, only a few people had full access to the Manor, and they were all family except for Aurelius. "You'll be pleased to know they didn't match, surprisingly the parchment and the wax is far superior than the parchment that's used at Hogwarts."

Aurelius frowned, "I wish I could say this pleases me," he revealed to Corvus, as he took a seat, and brought the cup close to him. "Unfortunately, it just heralds a lot more questions for which I have no answers." And he greatly disliked not having answers.

"They're doing further tests to see if they can work out where they're manufactured, which might lead them to who had purchased them. Given the superiority quality, they think they might succeed in that area of the investigation." Corvus informed him thoughtfully, "Given that it is superior quality items, I cannot help but wonder if it's someone seeking retribution, someone who doesn't believe the outcome of the trials." His index fingers joined together and pressed against his lips.

"The Longbottom's?" Aurelius queried, a thoughtful frown on his face, as his mind mulled over possible culprits, like he hadn't already been doing that. The list unfortunately, wasn't quite as short as he'd like. That's if you considered Harry the target and the Lestrange's as well.

Corvus's lips were drawn into a firm line, "Nobody can be dismissed lightly." Yes, he was even considering them, they had the biggest bone to pick with his sons after all. However, this particular attack seemed to be aimed at Harry himself, so, he wasn't sure they would aim for Harry in particular…unless it was someone presuming to 'save him from himself' and killing him off while he was young before, he was too 'corrupted' there was no knowing who would take over from Dumbledore. They didn't presume to know him completely. He may have left instructions in his will for all they knew, so yes, this was a rather alarming time and he was very afraid for his son's life. Harry was naturally included in that. Both Harry and Sirius for that matter.

"Regretfully all too true," Aurelius replied curtly, he was truly worried about this threat, if it wasn't against him and his own, he would have been impressed with their ingenuity. He'd never seen anything like it, something that was meant to trigger the wards, and take care of the problem, only for a secondary trigger to combust and it would have killed them if not for how strong the runes were on all jewellery items he'd rigged for safety. Unfortunately, it was against someone he held most dear, and so he would show them they messed with the wrong family.

"What's true?" Harry asked, entering the temporary dining room, the dining room was utterly rank at the moment.

"Good morning," Corvus said, watching the young man shuffle into the room, the dog ever watchful from where he was cocooned in Harry's arms. Spoilt little thing, but their bones were still developing so it was much safer for them to be carried especially when met with stairs. "We were conversing about the Aurors, they just left not twenty minutes ago." Harry wasn't a child anymore, and he did not have a habit of lying, even to protect loved ones.

"Have you slept?" Aurelius asked, staring intently at Harry, he didn't look like he had.

"A little, maybe four or five hours," Harry explained, sitting down and setting his pup on the many beds strewn all over the manor. "It's more than I got the night before." He offered up as if it was a good thing.

Aurelius inclined his head, very true, he wasn't sure anyone had slept the other night. He had called a full meeting of what was left of his followers that night. All of them had expressed worry for the young Potter Lord. A vastly different reaction than they would have had say six years ago before Harry entered Hogwarts. That hatred had run deep, but now they knew they owed Harry their literal freedom. They were willing to do anything to help Lord Potter. "I have personally brought you your Hogwarts letter, and OWL exams, both opened."

Harry swallowed thickly, hating that little bit of weakness, that relief he felt that he wouldn't need to open it. "Thank you," he said, wondering if he'd feel like that about all his mail now…or if it was just too soon since the attack? He couldn't even sum up his excitement over his OWL results. "How likely will it be that whoever attacked me will be found?" scooping up some scrambled egg and setting it on his plate.

Both Aurelius and Corvus naturally noticed Harry's slight – barely noticeable – hesitation.

"It's highly unlikely the perpetrator will be found," Aurelius stated bluntly, "Whoever did it is intelligent, and likely wouldn't have made themselves easily found, especially not given their attempted murder." And it had been attempted murder.

Harry sighed, nodding resignedly, "I suspected as much, nobody who went into such lengths to get this through ancient wards would make themselves easily found."

"Unless they expected the evidence to disintegrate," Corvus added, eating breakfast, "Do not underestimate overconfidence Harry, it has brought down many a wizard in its day."

Aurelius made a thoughtful moue, considering it as a very real possibility. He understood the hubris of overconfidence. He had been brought down to earth because of it, and spent a decade lonely abandoned spirit in constant agony. Although, one might consider it faux overconfidence, since each decision he made after the Horcruxes were magically induced one might argue.

"I'm surprised you'd say anything good about the Law Enforcement Department," Harry commented, as he opened up his letter. Inside was a list of all items to be purchased before returning to school for his sixth year at Hogwarts. Considering all the classes he took; it was quite a hefty load he'd be taking with him.

Corvus chuckled, "They are doing well, most do their job properly, there are those however, that would rather do the bare minimum." He confided in Harry here, "We have a very professional bunch looking into the attack. Have no fear, I looked into them, they're well known for closing their cases, only seventeen percent of their cases are still unsolved."

Harry grinned, not surprised at all that Corvus had immediately looked into those permitted into his home. Even if it were only to collect evidence, on a temporary basis. All were watched over by the invisible but ever watchful House-elves who did as their Master bid. An attack on their Master Harry was an attack on them as far as the faithful House-elves were concerned.

"So? How did you do?" Corvus enquired, "Have you passed adequately to proceed as a lawyer?" he knew that Harry had, there was no doubt about it. He hadn't seen anyone be more determined to succeed, not even his sons.

Harry's eyes skimmed over the words on the page, satisfaction suffusing him. "I did." He confirmed, rather pleased with himself.

"Your scores are very impressive, but do not be so disheartened if your scores are beaten." Aurelius informed the young wizard. He had great expectations of Hogwarts, and was determined to see it truly become the best magical school in the world. He strove to see it happen, even if it ate up at all his limited free time.

Harry was affronted by that statement, but he knew it was the truth. The changes were still ongoing when it came to Hogwarts. Including classes being added slowly to the curriculum over the years. He knew there were still a few more classes that the headmaster wished to see added in the coming years. "Well, I've made sure it's no easy task."

Aurelius chuckled, "You have indeed," he had passed all his classes.

Ordinary Wizarding Levels

Harry James Potter

15 Ordinary Wizarding Level pass

Fail Grades – Poor (P) May possibly repeat. Dreadful (D) Troll (T) failed

Passing Grades – Outrageously Outstanding (OO) Outstanding (O). Exceeded Expectation (EE). Acceptable (A)


Practical - O

Theory – O


Practical – O

Theory – O

Defence Against The Dark Arts:

Practical – O

Theory – O

Dark Arts

Practical – O

Theory – EE


Practical – OO

Theory – OO

"They've created a new pass level?" Harry commented, blinking owlishly, before glancing up at Aurelius amazed.

"They did, your work was truly tremendous, they'd never seen anyone create a more distinctive Patronus charm. Knowing you've been doing it for years had them persistently requesting the new level for the most intelligent and powerfully magic on any subject." Aurelius answered before continuing to eat his breakfast, by the time he returned to Hogwarts breakfast will have been served. He'd had nothing to do with it, they'd come to him regaling him with Harry's tremendous abilities, as if he didn't already know. Then proceeded to do what they did best, keep at it until they got the answer they wanted.

"Amazing," Harry murmured, before returning to reading his results.

History of Magic:

Practical – EE

Theory – EE

Muggle Studies:

Practical – OO

Theory – O


Practical – EE

Theory – EE

"I am unsurprised, it's never been one of your strongest classes," Corvus commented, "But you nevertheless did very well. Well done, Harry."

"Thank you," Harry said, flushing in pride, revelling in Corvus' high opinion of him.

Care Of Magical Creatures:

Practical – OO

Theory – OO


Practical – EE

Theory – A

"It was just after my other exams I was exhausted," Harry said flushing a little in embarrassment.

"I did warn them that it was pushed in during a bad point," Aurelius declared, "I wouldn't be surprised if most others had similar marks."


Practical – OO

Theory – O


Practical – EE

Theory – EE

Ancient Runes:

Practical – OO

Theory – OO

Nobody was surprised – or would be – given Harry's penchant for using runes for the most mesmerising of reasons. He had created some of the most powerful magic they'd ever seen using it. Admittedly blood runes, but it still counted as runes. He'd given Bathsheda Babbling a run for her money, nobody had seen her quite so passionate except when caught in a whirlwind of possibilities with Harry. He had revived her love for the subject.


Practical – EE

Theory – EE


Practical – O

Theory – EE

"I did better than I thought I had," Harry said relived beyond belief, "I wonder how the others have done." Excited to know bur he wasn't sure if the Floo was working yet.

"There will be a celebration happening at Malfoy Manor this afternoon," Corvus explained, "With all owls deviated yesterday, Lucius got in touch with me this morning to inform me."

Harry lit up, "Is everyone coming?" excited to see everyone, his distress earlier entirely forgotten.

"They are, Rabastan, Sirius and Rodolphus will be making an appearance as well." Corvus explained, that's what he liked to think, unfortunately, Sirius and Rodolphus were going to be rather busy. Unfortunately, the mail had burnt, and the Floo calls had gone unanswered, and thus they were largely still unaware that they were being persistently pursued.

A/N – There we go! I think I remembered all the subjects Harry was taking, but if I'm wrong do let know 😊 I will in no way get on at you for correcting me 😊 I do prefer to know than be ignorant to any silly mistakes! So, two more years at Hogwarts, I wonder where the next stopping point might be best…what do you guys think? Other than leaving for Hogwarts perhaps Christmas? Or will it be the summer holidays in a single jump? Who is after Sirius and Rodolphus and why? 😉 haha ah it's finally getting to start to get to the next bits that have been plaguing me for ages 😉 R&R please!